Target 1Student-Centered Learning. FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step – Increase easily accessible opportunities for global collaboration for teachers and students.

Indicators of Success – Students and staff will create personalized learning networks to communicate and collaborate with others.


Recently GEMS seventh grade students read the book, “Peak” by Roland Smith, as a summer project. The story is about a boy who climbed Mount Everest and all of the trials and tribulations associated with such an adventure. In addition to reading the book, students researched the many challenges one faces when attempting to climb Mount Everest.

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Not only was the book an entertaining and informative to read, it also launched authentic research in our school. The students used the book itself, informational texts, video segments, websites and watched a Dateline segment (“Into the Death Zone”) to enhance their enduring understanding of the topic.

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Students reached out to climber Sandra Leduc, a Canadian diplomat based in Jerusalem, who has climbed Mount Everest. Through a multitude of emailing from students and teachers to Sandra Leduc, a SKYPE conference session was scheduled. The entire 7th grade attended!! Sandra’ s insights to the commitment for mental and physical preparation was invaluable information for our loca explorers.

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The interactive question and answer session allowed students to ask very detailed questions, which aided their research projects on the topic. Their learning goal for the research portion of the project was multifaceted. Students needed to cite textual evidence from multiple sources, including digital information, and to complete an informative/explanatory writing assignment using facts and quotes.


A great book, a great SKYPE interview, and a great reading assignment over the summer!

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