BFA Fairfax HS Students Embrace Montreal Adventure

Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.

Action Step – Provide students with access to content, resources, and methods for learning beyond the school day and beyond the school walls.

Indicator of Success – Staff, students and community embrace the digital, social, mobile and “always on” learning styles of 21st century students.

In the middle of January, 43 BFA Fairfax students traveled to Montreal to participate in a multidisciplinary adventure that combined educational and cultural objectives.

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Students in Poetry and Short Story classes and Public Speaking spent 6 hours on the ground and under the ground navigating their way through the city. Students used their iPads to access digital copies of maps of the center city and of the Metro/underground system.

IMG_8908Students completed a scavenger hunt of cultural and commercial sites that included Christ Church Cathedrale, Notre Dame, St. Joseph’s Oratorio and the Museum of Fine Arts. Students used the remaining time to explore this great international city.

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Students created their own groups of 4-5, were given an adult advisor, and were set down on the banks of the St Lawrence in Vieux Montreal. Advisors were in place to keep students safe, but the rules were clear: students had to navigate themselves to their destinations in a timely way. Each group set out in different directions at 9:30 and rendezvoused at the Museum of Fine Art at 1:00.

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This trip enabled students to gain a better understanding of the importance of Montreal in the broader North American and international community and its significance in the history of North America, along with the blending of French/Anglo/Asian cultures in 21st Century Montreal.

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Upon returning to BFA, the student groups assembled to create multimedia presentations that captured their learning.

This activity is a great example of authentic student-centered, student-led learning outside classroom walls.

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