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February 13, 2020

Annual Fund Impact: You Make a Difference

Castle News

Spotlight: New iPads for Lower School Design Thinking Curriculum

Workplace readiness, applicable ways of thinking and skill requirements all look very different from generation to generation. The skills we needed to get a job were not the same as our parents. Workplace and university readiness are not just topics for our upper grades, but for lower grades too at Trafalgar.

In our Lower School (LS), we teach the process of design thinking to provide the girls with the framework used for innovation, inquiry and discovery. These skills are necessary when preparing them for the world of work and in fact, it was there that the approach began.

Last year, all LS teachers were trained by the Future Design School (FDS) in how to implement design thinking into their classrooms. FDS then spent a week with the girls during Beyond the Castle. As we take the next steps in Defining her Future, we believe that routine practice with this framework is imperative.

Framework:

This is where the generosity of the Annual Fund has made a big difference. The purchase of three new iPads ensures that each homeroom teacher in the Lower School has an iPad to use in their classes from Grades 4 to 8.

“Donor dollars transformed the way our Lower School students are able to learn,” says Mrs. Taylor, the Director of Lower School.

One use for these iPads will be to provide opportunities for our girls to use the design thinking process within Ontario’s Curriculum. In Grade 7 for example, the girls will use the iPad as they learn about structures. All the movies, slides, information and activities are on the iPads. Students will work through an exciting series of lessons using the design framework to answer the question, “How might we design a structure that withstands a natural disaster in a chosen community?”

This is only one use; the iPads provide several opportunities for our LS teachers in their classrooms. An iPad in the hands of our teachers will allow them to immediately capture evidence of learning. Mrs. Taylor explains, “They say that a picture paints a thousand words, well with an iPad, observations and conversations can be recorded quickly and teachers can use photos and recordings to assess each student’s understanding.”

“The iPads have provided a true extension to the technological learning I can do in my classroom,” says Grade 6 teacher, Mrs. Kuchirka, who has used the iPads for the Future Design Project, to carry out math activities, for students to record their own comments, and to design and create mission patches and maps for her space unit.

The impact of your support is felt every day. Thank you Annual Fund supporters! 

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