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Expeditionary Learning

Expeditionary Learning at Cedar Park

At Cedar Park, Expeditionary Learning is classroom/grade-level driven opportunities to…

  • Deepen the learning within a curricular unit of study (ie creating an expedition around the CCC non-fiction unit comparing doctors and zookeepers)
  • Expand on the learning by focusing on unique topics/ extensions outside the curriculum (ie the class is doing a science unit on physics, and the teacher designs an expedition into astrophysics)
  • Hands-on Learning and Application by providing a minimum of3 field work opportunities a year in each classroom to bring learning to life/make real-world connections while collaborating with our community to learn from diverse artists, authors, experts (ie beyond defining and identifying a picture of a stethoscope… students know that it is a tool you listen with, it has hollow tubes on each side that sound travels through, they can describe placement on the body and the specific sounds doctors and nurses are listening for because the student has worked with a real doctor/nurse using the real tool)

Two Key Components…

Classroom Expeditions & Field Work

Classroom/Grade-Level driven opportunities to deepen and/or expand the learning while providing students opportunities to pursue their interests and passions. An expedition…

  • … is responsive to teacher, student, class, grade-level interest
  • … is not bound by a day or time limit (it can last a month, a trimester, shorter or longer (driven by the learning opportunities))
  • … includes field work (off or on site) to connect learning to the real world (classrooms will provide a minimum of three field work opportunities a year)
  • … will include opportunities for students to synthesize and share their learning with others in individualized ways (scaffolded for success based on age, developmental readiness, and academics needs) (ie. A grade level expands on the winter CCC non-fiction unit using literature to compare and contrast doctors and zookeepers. This expedition would include…
    • field expedition to the Woodland Park Zoo to meet, shadow, and learn from a professional zookeeper
    • a site visit by a general practitioner doctor and nurse to share their profession with students and allow them to engage with real doctors’ tools (including stethoscopes, blood pressure readers etc.)
    • becoming digital pen-pals with a zookeeper in Kenya to gain a global perspective of the profession.

The expedition would culminate with students creating a recruitment video for the medical and zoological professions sharing specific learnings about each and how they are similar and different)

IDEA Time – Creative and Academic Enrichment for all

As part of our equity commitment, Cedar Park will offer weekly enrichment opportunities to ALL students (regardless of academic level). IDEA opportunities will include…

  • time to IDEA:
    • Imagine
    • Design
    • Engineer
    • Artistically create
  • courses balancing enrichment opportunities with student interests (students help generate topics and then select their electives)
  • Courses led collaboratively by school staff and parent, family and community members
  • 3-week creative elective sessions rotate between 6-week academic enrichment sessions
  • Academic enrichments can highlight the sciences (physical, aerodynamics, environmentalism, chemistry), literacy (book clubs, drama classes, puppetry), math (market place, geometry, engineering), and other academic topics

Additionally, throughout the year students have opportunities to expand on their learning by participating in…

Art Docent Art Enrichment

  • Highlights diverse artists, histories and expressions
  • Opportunities to explore artists and perspectives through field work
  • Opportunities to showcase school, community, national and global artists and experts

Green Team Club

  • A new club for interested students in all grade levels to participate in
  • Opportunities to explore environmental sciences and community service
  • They will organize and facilitate the green clean/recycling in our lunchroom, helping all students be environmentally conscious while working towards securing financial awards for the school based on green clean effectiveness

This outline of Expeditionary Learning at Cedar Park is an individualized expression of how we, as a school, will balance our equity commitment to strong foundational academic outcomes in literacy and math with our commitment to our option of creative/experiential learning for all students.

This outline models our commitment to experiential learning by focusing and expanding on the most successful portions of our program during our opening years of 2017-19. We recognize that our school’s outline is a variant of established Expeditionary Learning definitions in surrounding option schools.