11.13.2020

A Message from the Director: How Do Toys Keep Kids Connected?

“How do toys keep kids connected?” That was TK-2nd grade’s Driving Question. Through the five-week Toy Project, the learners wrote narrative and informational pieces about their favorite toys, learned to read data through surveys and graphing, explored measurement, and dove deep into the design-thinking process. Project-based learning is always about the process of learning, and during this process they connected reading, writing and math with something that is relevant in their lives. At the end of this process, they created a real blueprint, and with the help of the Notion N’ Motion Loose Parts Box that the school provided for each child, they created their own toy from their incredible imaginations! The learners collaborated with each other sharing their blueprints and toys, further fostering that relationship connection.

To further expand their knowledge of the world around them, they had expert Pixar toy designers from Mattel as well as YouTube phenom Ryan Kaji from Ryan’s World visit their Zoom Classroom to give expert advice.

The project wrapped up last week when the learners had their first virtual Presentation of Learning! They created their own unboxing videos and presented them to families and toy designers from Mattel. In addition, they answered many questions about their learning process, including their perception of how toys keep kids connected.

This was a beautiful way to not only engage our learners but also implement the state standards in a way that was meaningful and sparked their imagination and creativity. Most importantly, while most children are either on the computer all day or filling in rote worksheets, these children had Play Choice Boards with a variety of options connected to the project that were must-do’s each day.

Even through distance learning, we still honor what is best for the child. Kudos to our amazing families who fully supported all of the components of this project.

With gratitude,

Lisa Latimer
School Director

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