Applied Learning Projects; ongoing
Throughout the year every class will focus on one or more projects they feel will make an impact within their community (school, neighborhood, city or more). Our children have such wonderfully big hearts and often suggest projects that will serve or help others. The class will “discover” the benefit of committees, the committees will work to find ways to make their project as successful as possible. So please expect cryptically handwritten notes from a letter writing committee asking for food donations, hand-colored reminder stickers that bleed a little extra washable marker, hallway boxes for collections, misspellings and forgotten details! These are all signs of learners hard at work. Have your student send a positive note and question back to the class to kindly ask for those missing details. It’s a great way for everyone to learn and take ownership of their learning.
Field Day is held on the large, open sports field behind the school during afternoon school hours. In Alice Carlson fashion it is a highly unique event that provides the students a chance to lead, work in a team, use their imaginations, get moving and have a great time. Students are assigned to a group comprised of students from all grade levels. It is a great way to foster a sense of community among classes and ages. The groups rotate through stations to participate in wonderfully novel games. Typically 5th grade students lead each team along with a teacher and parent volunteers.
Intercession; one week in October and March
Intersession is a wonderfully unique opportunity at Alice Carlson. Since Alice Carlson adopted an extended-year calendar in 1993, classes have let out for one week in both the fall and the spring to accommodate workshops that help strengthen the foundation of learning, and give our students opportunities to work with local artists, talented parents, and staff members. There are two strands offered during intersession: an academic strand and an enrichment strand. The academic strand is designed to strengthen students’ skills in language arts and mathematics. Students are invited to attend this strand based on teachers’ recommendations. Traditionally kindergartners are not invited to fall academic intersession.
Ever seen a bright idea, number wizard, flash card or piece of Pi? You just might at Math-O-Ween, a school-wide event where the kids dress up in math related costumes and go from class to class to play student-run math games. The students typically take a 30-minute time slot to teach or run the game their classroom created. The remainder of the evening you and your child can walk around and enjoy the games of other classes. It is a fun way to see the upper level classrooms and the complex work they are doing.
Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE); ongoing
In time you will begin to hear your student talk about trips to the OLE. Have them take you on a tour! This wonderful garden at the northwest corner of the large, open sports field will be a magical place of learning during their six years at Carlson. It is truly worth your time to visit Alice Carlson’s section on the Real School Gardens website and look at our Seeds of Learning articles to get an idea of what a tremendous resource the OLE is to our students. To find our page visit www.realschoolgardens.org and type Alice Carlson in the search bar.
The portfolio is a collection of work that demonstrates growth and mastery of the content learned throughout the year.
For students in grades k-2, the portfolio is based on a growth model and the work demonstrates the growth that your child has made throughout the year. It is exciting to see just how much a child can grow in each subject area over the span of nine months. As you look at the portfolio with your child be sure to notice the improvements your child has made and discuss with him/her what they think about the work from the beginning of the year to the end. Because your child was an important participant in the development of the portfolio he/she should be able to discuss the progress made, the standards met, and the skills he/she is still working towards.
For students in grades 3-5, the portfolio is a collection of work that demonstrates mastery of the content they have learned. The work in this portfolio will be the student’s very best. Rather than focusing on growth, this portfolio is a showcase of work that meets grade level standards. It may also include student’s reflections on their ability to master grade level content.
It is important to know that a portfolio is a serious form of assessment providing families with a great deal of information about their child as a learner.
Writer’s Workshop: An Alice Carlson Tradition
Each year third and fourth grade students have the opportunity to participate in Writer’s Workshop. This all day event is structured like a real conference where a keynote speaker, usually a well-known children’s author, gives a presentation and then after lunch the students move to breakout sessions on various writing topics. The breakout sessions are lead by teachers, parents and community members who have a specific skill or talent related to writing. The sessions are hands-on allowing learners to work in groups or to write and to share their ideas. This is another example of the types of learning extensions that take place at Alice Carlson where learners participate in real world events designed to make learning meaningful and authentic.
The Writer’s Workshop is an Alice Carlson Tradition. This is an event for all 3rd and 4th graders. These students have the opportunity to meet different Authors and participate in various writing workshops. This event will take place during the school day, next door to Alice Carlson at University Baptist Church.