Third Graders Study Lost Cities as Part of Remote Learning

As soon as stay-at-home orders switched daily school to remote education from home, Kathleen Shook, third grade teacher at The Learning Center Charter School, immediately switched gears on how to continue enriching E-STEAM and PBL projects for her remote class.  As a result, students embarked on an extensive project based on lost cities of the world.

A targeted E-STEAM education approach ensures students engage in science, technology, engineering and math regularly. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, complex question, problem, or challenge.

The premise of the lost cities project came from a book the class read together about cities in history that are no longer inhabited either by means of disappearance, natural disaster, or mysterious episode.  Students researched lost cities and chose ones to focus on depending on their interests.  Petra, Atlantis and Great Zimbabwe were popular choices.

At the conclusion of the project, students designed and built models of their chosen lost city.  Many used recycled materials while others used both technology and materials found in nature to build outside forts.

“Not being able to be in the same room with my students is challenging to be able to gauge how my students are delving into a subject,” said Shook.  “However, I know from experience that PBL projects like this harness student curiosity and allow a deeper exploration and understanding of studies.”

The lost cities project included science, reading, writing and social studies components.

“What we could have learned about lost cities in one lesson on one day is nothing compared to the deeply engaged learning that we participated in during our PBL unit with lost cities as our overall theme,” said Shook.

Want to learn more about the E-STEAM and PBL approach at The Learning Center Charter School? Fill out the form below and we will contact you.

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PBL Math – Geometic 3D Shapes During Remote Learning

Sixth grade students were tasked with creating 3D spaceships using geometric shapes as part of a larger PBL (Project Based Learning) project during the last several weeks of remote learning. Students had to research spaceships in order to be able to create an accurate model. Additionally, they had to find the area, perimeter, and surface area of each shape on their spaceship.

2nd Graders Immersed in STEM & PBL Project About Bats

Second grade students at The Learning Center Charter School spent the month of October immersed in a STEM and PBL project all about bats.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and PBL stands for project based learning. Students at The Learning Center charter school are very familiar with each since students at the school engage in STEM and PBL education daily.

A targeted STEM education approach ensures students engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics regularly. PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, complex question, problem, or challenge.

Of course the second grade students read about bats but they also expanded their studies across the curriculum.  In science, students learned that bats are flying mammals that are important for our environment. In geography, they learned that bats live in warmer climates, closer to the equator and that no bats live in the continent of Antarctica. In math, they learned how to read thermometers as related to the preferred climates of bats as well as measurements of bats’ wingspans.  

 “Bats are a good fit for students in the month of October due to Halloween,” said second grade teacher Stephanie Hopper. “The kids are interested in spooky things and I take the opportunity to harness that curiosity and use it in every subject we study and really delve into the subject deeply.”

Hopper added that “What we could have learned about bats in one lesson on one day is nothing compared to the deeply engaged learning that we participated in during our PBL unit with bats as the overall theme,” said Hopper.

3rd Grade Science – Body Systems

Third grade students have studied bones, muscles and skin systems of the human body as part of their science curriculum. Ms. Kathleen and Ms. Emily co-taught the unit and kept students engaged with an extended Project Based Learning (PBL) approach to the subject.

Students played games, made art, made graphs, made models and read a variety of material on the subject as part of the extended project.

Want to know more about Project Based Learning (PBL) at our school? Fill out the form and we will get back to you shortly.

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Annual School Round Up Feature in the Cherokee Scout

Each August, our school is featured in the special edition section of the paper from the Cherokee Scout called the Annual School Round Up.  It’s always a wonderful summary of all the great things happening on campus and the vast array of programs and services available for your students.  Take a look…

The Learning Center Charter School, a tuition-free public charter school, continues to break ground with high-quality offerings in 21st century education. On-going facility improvements are designed for rich academic opportunities on this “future-ready” campus.

The Learning Center Charter School offers an E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts/Agriculture, and Math) learning environment.  Students are exposed across the curriculum to 3-D Printers, robotics and coding. The school’s education philosophy includes the belief that all young learners have the right to experience a broad, rich, and rigorous range of academics during the formative K-8 years. Additionally, the school offers an award-winning nutrition program, daily P.E., unique electives and extra-curricular opportunities. The school’s emphasis on healthy living, community involvement and high academic standards is designed to produce future-ready citizens. This tuition-free public charter school (K-8th) has NO district restrictions and accepts students across all counties.

The Learning Center’s Montessori Blend Kindergarten program has proven to be a strong approach to instruction for even the youngest learners. “We’ve had consistent success with the feeder Montessori Program that is located on our school campus,” said school director in training, Ryan Bender.

The school’s programs include Compacted Math classes for accelerated math students, daily PE for all grades, a highly developed drama program, and frequent garden-based learning opportunities across campus and in the school’s Outdoor Learning Center. The upper grade’s CREW Program, in its fourth year of operation, promotes character development, goal setting and responsible behaviors.

More extras including National Junior Honor Society, wrestling team, ARTrageous and artists-in-residency program, “Mini and Middle REAL” young entrepreneur program and AIG After School Program provide students with the opportunities to become all they can be.  The school will field a soccer team this fall and looks to expand their sports program to include cross country as well.

Designated as a “USDA Healthier U.S. School” (Silver Level), The Learning Center Charter School places a strong emphasis on its nutrition and exercise programs. The school also has a free breakfast and lunch program available for ALL students.

The charter school serves approximately 200+ students and is open to both in and out-of-county students. There is no tuition for grades K through 8th. The school also features a Montessori private preschool, serving ages 3-5 years. After school programs are available for all ages. Summer Enrichment Programs such as Innovation Tech Camp and intervention programs are also offered.

5th Grade Social Studies — Civil War

Fifth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School completed their studies of the Civil War on April 26th but students didn’t want the unit to end.

Jay Ward, fifth grade teacher, developed a multi-layered social studies simulation that required students to imagine they were a soldier who just volunteered for the Civil War. The class was divided into Union and Confederate soldiers and grouped to represent different state infantries.

“Once students were assigned their regiments, they had to research what battle flags looked like and replicate one for their regiment flag,” said Ward.   “Students then marched around campus with their battle flags and we recreated the Battle of Oak Grove.”

To simulate the Battle of Oak Grove, students rolled dice to determine if they fired their weapons, were injured or deserted. They would roll again and use an injury table created for the simulation to determine what injuries they sustained, if they were healed, died, received amputations or were sent home due to injuries.

Recreating the battle took several class days.  Every day after the simulation, the students had to write letters home as a soldier and explain circumstances, outcomes and daily struggles they faced on the front lines of the Civil War.

“My students were so engaged in this learning process and figuring out exactly what it was like to be part of the Civil War,” said Ward.  “This project really allowed us to explore the subject on a deep level.”

7th Grade Social Studies — World War I

Recently, seventh graders were studying World War I.  Here they are seen simulating their version of WWI trench warfare. One group was the Allies, the other the Central Powers. Based upon the rules of their particular game, the Central Powers were victorious in their simulation. The kids loved engaging in this activity and, as a result, understand WWI on a deeper level.

2nd Graders Become Engineers of Own Parade Floats

Before Thanksgiving break, second graders at The Learning Center Charter School completed a Project Based Learning (PBL) project focused around the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

PBL is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

The second graders first learned all about the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Once they had a solid understanding of the historical perspective, students researched past float designs. They were then challenged to design and construct their own balloon floats.

Stephanie Hopper, second grade teacher, said, “These students diligently worked on academic standards that included math, science, social studies and language arts during our Thanksgiving parade PBL project.”  Hopper added that the genius behind PBL is that the students just thought they were having fun.

“The PBL approach ensures that students learn material with both breadth and depth because students are so engaged in what they are doing,” said Hopper.  She added that the PBL approach provides a means for integration across multiple subject areas and allows students to better understand a topic through the physical act of doing.

Upon completion of the project, students shared their work with the entire school by conducting their very own parade across the campus.

4th Graders Dive Into History

Fourth grade students recently learned about events leading up to the French and Indian War.  As part of their studies, they were tasked with composing a letter to a friend or family member back home describing their circumstances and environment as a soldier in the war.  The students then tea stained the parchment paper and sealed the envelope with a wax seal.  Their teacher, Ms. Carrie, said it was so interesting to hear the detail that students included in their letters. It was clear to her that the letter writing process caused her students to become invested in the history and understand it on a deeper level.