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 3: Make relevant and authentic problems become the focus of learning.

Indicator of Success: Students are engaged in answering authentic questions and solving problems in collaborative settings.

Students climbing up to 400′ Elevation

Instead of memorizing the textbook definition of different landforms, 3rd and 4th grade students left the classrooms to experience the trails at Niquette Bay State Park.  While hiking on the trails, Mrs. Leclair’s class was able to climb up and down trails, measure elevations, mark waypoints, and take photos of different topographical land formations. While Mrs. Lee’s class used the technology to look at plants and animals as part of their food webs unit.

Student using digital camera to document organism ecosystem

Equipped with backpacks, Niquette Bay trail maps, GPS devices, and digital cameras, classes explored the predominately forested state park along its scenic rocky and sandy shoreline along the bay. They climbed from 100′ elevation up to elevations over 400′.


The park’s trail system accesses high points along each of these ridges, from which impressive vistas overlook Malletts Bay to the south, the Green Mountain ridge line to the east, and the Lake Champlain Islands to the west.

PicMonkey Collage
View from Mansfield & Lake View Vistas

Students were able to select from a variety of different learning opportunities along different trails including letter boxing, reading poems, and the Niquette Bay Scavenger Hunt.


Using all the knowledge the learned from their adventures, students are working on how to use the GPS and digital photograph technology to develop content that they can collaborate with other learners in other communites.


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