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Cool Schools: Students Make Artifacts For School's Museum

9:41 AM, Mar 4, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Miner Elementary School in Southeast is becoming a museum, and the students are making the artifacts.

Journey Banks, who is 4-years-old, has fun with her part. "We tried to make some buildings and some cars, and we showed what was in the city."

The ideas used to create those artifacts come from the students themselves. It's the jumping off point for something called "Project Based Learning." For example, preschoolers loved a painting of cakes they saw on a recent trip to the National Gallery of Art, so teachers used it as the basis for lessons. The lessons, including everything from art, to history, and even math, all related back to the painting featuring those cakes.

The idea is if kids connect with something they like, the lesson will just be an extension of that.

Teacher Courtney Daignault can see the concept is already working. "When you can give a child a topic that they are truly and genuinely invested in, I think all of those skills that are required for life long learning become even more tangible."

They are also more in tune when it comes to taking tests as well, according to Principal LaVonne Taliaferro-Bunch. "I'm beginning to see increases in test scores for benchmark tests for my students, because we're teaching where teachers need to re-teach skills where students are become proficient in those skills."

If you have a Cool School e-mail Mike Hydeck your story ideas at coolschools@wusa9.com. Catch our Cool Schools reports every Friday morning at 5:45 a.m.

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