Our curriculum centers largely around projects that relate to the real world. Students connect what they are learning to life beyond the classroom, sparking curiosity and enthusiasm for their lessons. Whether they're working on projects individually or together with peers, students learn and refine skills, such as working with a team, interpreting data, or presenting a persuasive argument.
At the end of every project, students share what they've learned. They can do this through essays, presentations, lively structured debates, or other creative ways that relate to the specific project.
While students are directing the project work together, teachers oversee their progress, and give feedback along the way. When they see the opportunity for deeper learning or to help students who fall off course, teachers use class time to work with students individually or in small groups to provide specific support. With projects, students are learning both the subject matter and how to direct their own progress toward their end goal for the project.
Each project page has the following information
- Essential Question: Key questions that students are answering or exploring within the project
- Enduring Understanding: Key insights from the project, which generally apply to multiple topics and situations
- Description: Background on the project and a general overview of what the student will be doing throughout the project
- Project Guide: A teacher-facing document that provides a comprehensive overview of a project (similar to a unit plan). This includes the project info, scope and sequence, Cognitive Skills and where they show up in the project, knowledge and understandings, standards alignment, Focus Area alignment, sample calendar, and project structure
- Cognitive Skills: The skills that the project assesses. These skills come from the Cognitive Skills Rubric, a collection of 36 higher-order thinking skills that are geared towards readiness for college, career, and life
- Focus Areas: The Focus Areas with the Content Knowledge a student needs in order to be successful on the Project
- Standards: Each project is aligned to the Common Core or Next Generation Science Standards
- Final Products: Products that allow students to demonstrate their understanding of Cognitive Skills, which must be submitted in order to complete the project
- Checkpoints: Learning experiences that students will complete as they work towards their Final Products