about 1 month ago
We focus on project-based learning to instill a passion for learning in all our students; and, as an A+ School, we integrate the arts into all subjects so that students are exposed to all art forms, including: drama, dance, music, visual arts and creative writing.
At Community Charter School, we view students as individuals. We do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach to learning. Because of this belief, we utilize a variety of instructional methods based on the multiple intelligences to instill a passion for learning in all our students. Below are the various methods we incorporate each instructional day.
Project Based Learning
Project Based Learning is the use of classroom projects to assist in the acquisition of deep learning. Students use projects and inquiry to engage with issues and questions that are interesting and relevant to their lives. These classroom projects are used to assess each student’s subject matter competence and then compared to traditional testing.
Project Based Learning is an approach for classroom activity that emphasizes learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary and student-centered. This approach is generally less structured than traditional, teacher-led classroom activities; in a project-based class, students often organize their own work and manage their own time. Within the project based learning framework, students collaborate, working together to make sense of what is going on. Project-based instruction differs from inquiry-based activity by its emphasis on collaborative learning. Additionally, project-based instruction differs from traditional inquiry by its emphasis on students’ own artifact construction to represent what is being learned.
At CCS, we use projects throughout the school year to cover various state content standards. Within these projects we incorporate the arts. Whether it is incorporating music into a documentary or incorporating drama into the creation of an opera, these end projects cover multiple objectives while making it relevant to the students.
The Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test is administered throughout the year. It provides detailed, actionable data about where each child is on their unique learning path. This data gives teachers the opportunity to put children of similar academic ability into small learning group and allows the teacher to set individual learning goals for each student. Students receive intense instruction and support in areas of weakness and are encouraged to find their own upper limits in areas of strength.
Learning Centers are developed by teachers to nurture and grow different learning styles and multiple intelligences. In addition to improving their academic learning experience, students learn to collaborate, problem solve and manage time wisely.
Arts and Academic Integration
Community Charter School utilizes arts integration. At CCS we believe that incorporating arts is crucial to developing a well rounded student. Because of this, we have a full time music teacher and a full time art/drama teacher. These teachers spend half of their time working in the classrooms co-teaching and implementing arts integration into the project based learning activities.
Community Charter School utilizes an interdisciplinary academic approach as well. Interdisciplinary learning emphasizes and allows students to seek and discover existing connections between the various academic disciplines.
What is A+?
The A+ Schools Program is the largest, longest running, most successful arts-based whole-school reform effort in the nation. Since 1995, A+ Schools has been using the arts as a catalyst for creating connections and making school an engaging, meaningful and enjoyable place to teach and learn. A+ evaluators have consistently found that A+ Schools have been able to respond to accountability standards in both effective and creative ways, meeting standards in N.C.’s high-stakes testing program without narrowing the curriculum by deeply integrating the arts into instruction.
What does an A+ School Program look like?
The A+ Schools Program is a whole-school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to teaching and learning in all subjects. A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to develop creative, innovative ways of thinking, learning and showing what they know. In A+ Schools, teaching the state’s mandated curriculum involves a collaborative, many-disciplined approach, with the arts continuously woven into every aspect of a child’s learning.
The A+ Schools Program is a whole school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to how teachers teach and students learn in all subjects. The mission of the A+ Schools Program is to create schools that work for everyone — students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community.
The central vision of A+ is to create enhanced learning opportunities for all students by using arts-integrated instruction, which incorporates Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, other theories of intelligence and recent brain research.
A+ Schools combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts instruction, offering children opportunities to learn through all the ways in which they are able. The arts are taught daily to every child: drama, dance, music and visual arts at least once each week.
How are the arts used in A+ Schools?
In A+ Schools, arts education is approached in three ways:
- Arts Integration – bringing together arts and non-arts objectives to create hands-on, experiential, connected and meaningful learning experiences.
- Arts Education – developing an understanding and comfort in the elements, principles, history, processes and works of each art form.
- Arts Exposure – creating opportunities for students and staff to experience artistic works, performances and careers both in the school and in the community.
For more information on the A+ Schools Program, please contact:
Michelle Mazan Burrows, Director
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