A celebration of learning
HIGHLANDS RANCH – Adults flooded into the gym at Fox Creek Elementary, eagerly looking forward to seeing the results of months of scientific and social research. The hallways of the school were dressed in charts, infographics, and bios for the researchers responsible. As the adults took their seats, the night officially began with the youngest of the scientists- the first grade students- singing a song to kick off the Celebration of Learning.
“Celebrations of learning are one of the facets of Expeditionary Learning,” says Fox Creek Learning Coach Angel Wolf. “It’s a chance for [the students] to present to the public, their parents, and the public the learning journey they’ve been on.”
Students at Fox Creek spent nearly two months on their expeditionary learning projects, which ranged in topic from documenting visits with the elderly, to exploring the intricacies and impacts of different weather patterns.
“We have kids acting as professionals in the field” says Fox Creek Principal Brian Rodda. “They go out, they study, and they research, and then they come back and report to our community on what it is that they’re learning, and ideally, the learning that they’re doing- they’re seeing the difference that it’s making in the community.”
Parents seemed impressed with the depth of the projects, many noting just how much learning opportunities have evolved since their school days.
“It’s awesome, it’s good to see what they’ve learned throughout the year,” said Fox Creek parent Jon Wright. “I like how we went from my son in the first grade to the fifth graders, and the difference of a poster board to laptop presentations and video editing. Something they never did in my school- I had to go to college to learn video editing.”
Throughout the night, the students guiding the event garnered praise from parents, community, and school administrators alike for their presentations and the professionalism displayed on cold, snowy Tuesday night.
“It shows you what kids are capable of,” DCSD Director of Schools Corey Wise said. “And sometimes, how much more capable they are than we realize.”
“I’m just incredibly proud of the work, not only of our kids- especially of our kids- but of our teachers,” said Wolf. “When you see what they’ve been able to pull out of these kids over a seven-to-eight-week span, it’s pretty incredible.”