STEM learning outcomes demonstrate students’ STEM literacy necessary for the next level of STEM learning and for post-secondary and workforce readiness.
Standard 1.8 Narrative
In order to prepare students for an ever changing world, Fayetteville School strives to prepare all students for their next level of learning. Inquiry based learning allows students to pose questions or problems and apply concepts from science, technology, engineering, and math in order to solve real-world problems. It has been the goal of our district for the past five years to bridge the gap between learning taking place in the classroom and the learning required to thrive in the real world. This goal is made evident each year through a district-wide end of the year Innovative Learning Showcase. Each school across the district has the opportunity to showcase the learning taking place in the school. Judges are brought in with backgrounds ranging from education to business official. Awards are given to the top projects and presentations from a number of categories like coding, robotics, and engineering design.
Schoolwide rubrics have been developed as a foundation for all teachers in all grade levels, which has allowed for common language and transition from grade bands. Students are able to strengthen their leadership skills starting in the elementary grades by holding leadership roles in their classrooms and throughout the school. Our high school students have opportunities to participate in Mock Interviews with real business representatives.
In order to sustain, Fayetteville School will continue to provide real world experiences that are extensions of learning in the classroom. We will sustain our areas of strength by continuing to implement project based learning with an emphasis on the engineering design process. Teachers and students will continue to utilize this process when producing powerful tasks. The use of rubrics and checklists that include school wide rubric as a foundation for classroom rubrics. The school wide rubric focuses on the 4 C’s which is included as a competency in project based learning.
Areas of Focus
Fayetteville School is located in a rural area where business is a rarity, frequent routine visits are unrealistic for students and for visitors. The lack of resources in our remote area makes it difficult to provide these consistently. When focusing on career options students often overlook areas that don’t require a college degree but will allow them to be in a lucrative career.
Plans to Improve Area of Needs
As an area of growth, we will continue working to expose students to more trades in addition to colleges, ensuring that students are able to make the best decision based on their needs while expanding students knowledge of available lucrative careers. We will do this by incorporating STEAM job areas into our Career Day that don’t require 2 year and 4 year degrees. In addition, teachers will work to include a plethora of online virtual field trips and utilizing virtual conferencing to communicate with experts on a consistent basis.
Through the PBL process, students chose animals, researched them, determined how adaptations and heredity affect animals’ ability to survive in a zoo environment, evaluated what the animals would need to survive in the zoo, used the engineering design process to guide them as they developed their plan for their animals, employed Ozobots, Sphero Ollies, and LEGO WeDo kits to represent their animals, and implemented all aspects of STEAM in their creation of Colton’s Zoo. Colton’s Zoo was created so a classmate with a brain tumor could live out his dream of being a zookeeper since he would not be able to do it “for real”.
In order to build STEAM literacy in elementary, students have leadership roles in the classroom and school. Students have the opportunity to be a member of the student lighthouse team. Students complete an application and interview process to be selected as a member. Students also have the opportunity to apply for safety patrol. In classrooms students are tasked with jobs that make them a prominent member of the class. Assigning leaders in the classroom fosters ownership, community and cohesiveness among class members. When they feel involved in daily operations in the classroom they positively manage themselves and each other which prepares them for the next level of STEAM learning.
Educators at Fayetteville School are eager for all students to be leaders of their own learning. Student portfolios and student-led conferences are a vital practice to enhance this ownership. Students at Fayetteville School maintain a portfolio that tracks student work and attendance. Students are also responsible for setting personal and academic goals and tracking progress towards these goals. Parents and guardians are invited to participate in a conference led solely by their child. Students facilitate this meeting from beginning to end and take the lead in understanding and communicating their learning progress. Parents are encouraged to ask questions for clarification during this conference.
Students take great pride in collecting and explaining their data. This sense of responsibility and accountability will prepare students for post-secondary and workforce tasks.
Students are creating digital portfolios to prepare for post-secondary and workforce readiness. These digital portfolios allow students to brand themselves based on the 21st Century skills that they want to showcase to potential employers or school administrators. The most important value of a digital portfolio is the intrinsic boost to a student's self-confidence. They can clearly see their own accomplishments.
EDP Interactive Scale
Middle school students utilize the EDP scale to assess where they are in the Engineering Design Process. Students use the scale to help them understand the process, and to help them verbalize where they are and where they are going next with their project. As students familiarize themselves with the EDP interactive scale, thinking like an engineer becomes second nature when students encounter problems that may arise in post-secondary and workforce settings.
Middle school teachers utilize the same team roles in each classroom. The teachers feel that having the same team roles throughout each classroom allows students to transition more easily from one classroom to the other. The teachers believe that the team roles offer increased productivity and performance within the cooperative learning groups. Groups that can work well together can achieve much more than individuals working on their own. A broader range of skills can be applied to activities and sharing and discussing ideas can play a pivotal role in deepening student understanding of a subject. Team roles are preparing students for the next level of STEAM learning and for post-secondary and workforce readiness.
Financial Literacy - H & R Block Budget Challenge
Business students participated in the H & R Block Budget Challenge. This is an online simulation that features a ‘learn by doing’ method of teaching students how to manage an online bank account.
Before starting the simulation students make choices about the bills they are required to have. Students choose between cell phone packages, insurance coverage amounts, where to finance their car loan - credit union or bank- and what percent of their income they wish to put into a 401K along with others. They take this information and create a budget spreadsheet in Excel showing their anticipated income, the projected due dates of bills, and a column that keeps a running total of their account balance. Their goal is to keep the account balance column ‘in the black’.
Students receive paychecks every two weeks and email notifications about common household bills. They log into their bank account and schedule payments or ‘write checks’ to pay the bills on time.
They receive point deductions if bills are paid late, or if their credit card balances reach a certain amount.
Financial Literacy - Mad City Money
In a cross curricular PBL business students along with Senior History and Senior English students participated in the Mad City Money program sponsored by Heritage South Credit Union.
Business students were given a ‘life’ with a career, spouse, insurance, student loan amounts, credit card balances and some even had a child. Senior students researched the life they would be experiencing in the next year and created their ‘life’ with the results of that research.
Students worked in class to create a budget of what they thought they should spend on common household budget areas such as housing, utilities, food, transportation, child care, etc.
On the day of Mad City Money students were instructed to ‘shop’ from these merchants, purchase something from each category, pay on their credit card debt, and put something in savings without overdrawing their account. Other students posed as the merchants at each store, helping their peers choose items to meet their families needs. Student shoppers calculated their totals, wrote checks and balanced their check registers while shopping.
A representative from Heritage South was on hand that day to help students wade through their credit card debt and savings goals.
Career Readiness Indicators
Students in business classes are offered the opportunity to take the Microsoft Office Specialist Exams. Earning the ‘MOS’ certificate readies students for the next level for postsecondary and workforce readiness. Some employers require these certifications as a condition of employment. Most of our students earn Word and PowerPoint. Thirty certificates were earned in the Fall semester of the 2018-2019 school year, and seventy-one certificates were earned in the 2017-218 school year.