When you think of school, do you think of making turkey calls? Learning strategy through board games? Designing T-shirts? Creating virtual and augmented reality?
Would this fit in a regular school day? Can students have a voice in proposing and designing their learning?
To affirmatively answer these questions in grades 5-8 we have F.L.O. (Flexible learning Opportunities). Originally designed as a way to creatively schedule for non-traditional learning, we sought out student interests and designed offerings for our students in grades 5 & 6 as well as 7 & 8.
Each Friday, we get creative with our schedules. Students join their group for approximately one hour to dive deep into a topic of interest that they have picked. This FLO session is a 6 week cycle with a culminating showcase on February 21 at 2pm (We hope that families will join us- to experience the amazing learning that our students have been engaged with!)
Beginning in late December/early January teachers began discussing and surveying students to determine themes for our offerings. Teachers had some ideas, but so did students. From these discussions, we created the following offerings. These range from hands-on to high-tech; from practical to personal; and through all of the offerings, students are encouraged to expand their understanding and interests. This has also been an opportunity for students to work in different groupings and with different adults, many of whom are also able to share their passion for the topic.
|Grades 5 & 6 Strands||Grades 7 & 8 Strands|
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Dungeons & Dragons
Engineering (& Bridge Building)
T-shirt Logo Design
Turkey Call Making
dive into their FLO Activities. Each week, it has been a joy to see students learning and passionately engaged in pursuing their interests, building community and pursuing what is possible!
As a culminating activity, we look forward to welcoming families to share in the learning (and performances) with our young people this Friday, February 21 at 2pm for our first FLO.Case (showcase)!
Justin Brown is the Principal at BFA Fairfax Middle School is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY.