A Message from the Director

iLEAD Agua Dulce Director Lisa Latimer with learners

Dear Families,

We hope you had a relaxing week off and took time to reset. We have some fun events to look forward to over the next of couple weeks! We hope you will participate in our family activity by creating a scarecrow that will be displayed at our Halloween Car Parade event! The more scarecrows, the more memorable for all our learners. We are also looking forward to seeing everyone dressed up at the parade. We have some goodies for the learners and special prizes for all who participate in the Scarecrow family activity.

Last week, our facilitators participated in some amazing professional development, and we were busily assembling our Notion n’ Motion boxes for all TK-6th graders. These boxes are filled with a variety of loose parts for our learners to utilize for their toy prototypes. Having opportunities to immerse in the design thinking and engineering process is essential for higher-level learning. Through innovative and collaborative design experiences, learners apply critical thinking and creative problem-solving.

What Is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is a solutions-based, creative process used to address challenges. Design thinking is rooted in empathy and driven by ongoing feedback, reflection, and creating innovative solutions to prototype and test.

What Is the Design Thinking Process?

The design thinking process requires that learners immerse themselves in the experience of those who are impacted by a particular challenge. Learners then seek to identify the root cause of that challenge, redefine it, and brainstorm alternative ways to approach it, constantly making adjustments based on feedback and trials and errors.

Through this process, our learners tap into their imagination and create ways to bring their ideas to fruition. This can be a difficult process in the beginning stages. However, if encouraged, the possibilities of what the learners can do are endless.

Therefore, it is important that our families encourage the creative process, assist where needed, but not take over the ideas or overly “help.” The end result need not be perfect. We are not looking for an aesthetically beautiful product. We are emphasizing the creative process and the critical thinking involved in making the toy.

The loose parts provided can be used in conjunction with other parts you may have at home or with repurposed toys. Learners are not required to use all the pieces. Step back and enjoy watching your child’s incredible imagination come to life and the learning growth from design thinking and the engineering process!

We wish you a wonderful week!

Lisa Latimer
School Director


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