The classroom experience at Carlthorp School is student-led, experiential, and inquiry-based with activities designed to build confidence, facilitate problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and provide a strong foundation of gratitude, passion, empathy and a commitment to service.
Below are two recent examples of experiential learning as well as Service Learning as students traveled off-campus to participate in curricular activities outside the classroom.
In order to experience their science curriculum first-hand, the 1st Graders traveled to the Upward Bound House Urban Farm. Not only were the students able to build upon their knowledge of plants, but they also learned about composting and harvesting, after which they had the pleasure of tasting freshly grown produce. In addition, the group planted new radish seeds that will be harvested in January 2020 on the Carlthorp School MLK Day of Service. Finally, the students also learned about why the UBH Urban Farm is special. In particular, it plays a vital role in reducing food insecurity in the homeless community, encourages community partnership, and helps to teach families practical skills for healthy living.
In 6th grade, students visited Glen Alla Park with Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration, an organization focused on eliminating bias for children with disabilities. Carlthorp students were partnered with Pre-K and K buddies and played on a climbing structure, in the sandbox, and on the swings. They also made music and played with bubbles. Francesca M. described the experience as follows, “Even though there were some differences between us 6th graders and our buddies, we found that we actually had a lot in common too. We all love music and singing, giving hugs and playing games. One of the many things we learned at our field trip was that sometimes disabilities aren’t physical and that kids with disabilities aren’t really that different from us.” Our 6th Graders have spent much of this year learning to be leaders of our school community, nurturing their K buddies and serving as role models to the underclassmen. This field trip provided them with the opportunity to exercise their compassion and expand on their leadership skills outside school.
These are simply two recent examples of experiential learning. The school year is filled with so many incredible opportunities for all grade levels.