At the Castle, students in Grade 4 through 6 learn through our Collaborative Classroom model, where teachers work together to deliver high quality and meaningful curriculum that challenges every student to achieve their full potential. The Collaborative Classroom model allows students to work in both larger and smaller group settings, supported by expert instruction that is geared to meet each student’s unique needs. Expert feedback and an individualized focus allow each girl to be supported and challenged, helping her to achieve her personal best while igniting her love of learning. Students collaborate and learn in a variety of ways, including multi-grade groupings, as a whole class and in smaller teams. This unique restructuring of the traditional classroom model is based on evidence that shows how inquiry-based collaborative approaches to teaching help students more effectively learn important 21st-century skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and innovative thinking.
“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
Planning can be done in many ways, but the most powerful is when teachers work together to develop plans, develop common understandings of what is worth teaching, collaborate on understanding their beliefs of challenge and progress, and work together to evaluate the impact of their planning on student outcomes.”
– John A.C. Hattie, Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning
Combine three skilled teachers with three excited classes and you’ve got the chance to create collaborative learning experiences that meet the needs of all learners. Throw in the support of two dedicated Directors and a skilled Program & Instructional Coach, and suddenly each girl can thrive. An integrated program focusing on real-world problems combined with research-based best practice in teaching ignites each girl’s love of learning.
Evidence shows that inquiry-based, collaborative approaches benefit students in learning important twenty-first-century skills, such as the ability to work in teams, solve complex problems, and apply knowledge from one lesson to others. The research suggests that inquiry-based lessons and meaningful group work can be challenging to implement. They require changes in curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices -- changes that are often new for teachers and students.
Inquiry-based instruction can help teachers deepen their repertoire for connecting with their peers and students in new and meaningful ways. That's powerful teaching and learning -- for students and teachers alike.
(Excerpt from "Teaching for Meaningful Learning: A Review of Research on Inquiry-Based and Cooperative Learning" by Linda Darling Hammond and Bridget Barron)
A growing body of research has shown the following:
(Adapted from Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding by Linda Darling-Hammond et al.)
|Mr. Heyes||Lower School Homeroom|
|Ms. Heyes||Lower School Homeroom|
|Ms. Senior||Lower School Homeroom|
|Ms. Tracey||Lower School Homeroom|
|Ms. Garcia||Director of Wellness & Student Support|
|Ms. Kuchirka||Head of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum|