Our mission at Hillside Academy is all about the kind of learners we want our students to be.
I regularly see evidence that this school inspires passionate, confident and creative kids. I see the smiles on the faces of the Kindergartners who recently graduated from our Pre-K programs and talk with them about what they are learning in Mr. M’s class. I see the new high school freshman who were the first graduates of our middle school program last year. I see how successfully they are navigating the new experience of attending a large high school. I hear from their parents how well our school prepared them for success.
Obviously, I want my students to look like that, too!
One of the ways the teachers at Hillside Academy make that happen is Project Based Learning.
Project Based Learning requires students to be very active and engaged, but that doesn’t mean that the teacher’s role is lessened. My job is to ensure that the project covers the knowledge my students are expected to learn. Planning our most recent project took me to the state of Washington’s curriculum standards for Life Science. I wanted to be sure that I had clearly defined goals so I could guide my students and cover the concepts they need to be learning about. Learning facts and developing vocabulary are obviously important parts of the picture, but there is time for exploring ideas and developing understanding of concepts that can be overlooked in a more traditional style of teaching.
Project Based Learning requires me to continually be a student. Each project helps my students develop a clearer understanding of the world we live in and helps me to be a stronger educator as well.
For more information on preparing your Pre-K student for Kindergarten, may I suggest reading these links: