Laurel is a Project Based Learning School
The Laurel school vision is that we are confident students, passionate teachers and involved community. We believe that our shared vision and educational model are instrumental in creating a cohesive, continuous K-5 educational experience for our students and families. During the 2014 - 2015 and 2015 - 2016 school years, Laurel’s Visioning Team used a design thinking process to determine an educational model to be applied across all classrooms at our Lower and Upper Campuses. Following the pilot of three educational models, and empathy input work with our teachers, students and families, we fell in love with Project Based Learning!Each school year, Laurel students experience at least three Project Based Learning (PBL) units. We strive to create "Gold Standard PBL" units and PBL learning experiences as defined by the Buck Institute of Education. Our teachers and staff engage in ongoing professional development and training every year. Teacher grade level teams collaboratively design and implement their grade level PBL units to ensure meaningful integration of content areas, such as reading, writing, technology, science and social studies.
In a nutshell, here are some of the key elements of PBL that we emphasize at Laurel:
- A challenging problem or real world question drives the learning.
- Students engage in sustained inquiry and research during the unit.
- The inquiry and research often includes assemblies, presentations, and/or interviews with members of the community or investigative field and study trips.
- Students have voice & choice within their project and how they demonstrate their learning.
- Teachers incorporate a feedback mechanism with an authentic audience for students to revise their public product during the unit.
- Students collaboratively create and present their learning within a public product - often during a special event or showcase.
Our implementation of Project Based Learning, with the leadership of our passionate, hard working teachers and involvement of our community blend together to create joyful and meaningful learning experiences for our students.