Innovative Learning Part 3


CES leading the way.




Innovative Learning Last of 3 parts


As one of South Carolina’s few rated-excellent schools, Clinton Elementary School has adopted Project Lead the Way Launch as its innovative learning vehicle for the 2019-20 academic year.

In addition to robots at Joanna Woodson, personalized computers at MS Bailey, and on-site authors at Clinton Middle School, Project Lead the Way Launch is an initiative embraced by District 56 in its effort to bring innovation to today’s classroom. Clinton Elementary this year became the district’s first school with a clearly-defined focus -- it is emphasizing STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and is launching a Science Olympiad Team.

A poster in the school’s front lobby shows how to use The Scientific Method. 

Science is emphasized in displays all throughout the school, which led the way on the district’s state report cards released Oct. 1 with an Excellent Rating.

District 56 is 1 of 15 school districts in the state with all its schools at Average or above (among 81 districts).

PLTW information provided by the district’s curriculum office calls the learning initiative “A Transformative Professional Development Experience Centered on Student and Teacher Success.”

Teachers are encouraged to look upon their development and instructional role “in a different way.”

The information says, “Teachers will develop an understanding of activity-, project-, problem-based (APB) instructional approach, embrace their role as facilitators of learning, and gain familiarity with grade-level PLTW Lunch modules.

“PLTW Launch teachers have access to on-going training opportunities throughout the school year including robust instructional support, on-demand resources, and a community of collaborative educators to connect and interact with through our online tool community.”

Teachers also can “advance their careers as instructional leaders and program champions.”

Students “begin each module with an engaging ebook story featuring the characters Mylo, Suzi and Angelina, who introduce the challenge students will work together to solve.”

The curriculum challenges students to try new things - “to learn from mistakes, and to apply what they know to find solutions.”

Schools can customize how they use the 10-hour modules. The teachers’ resources and the modules are available for the 2019-20 school year in English and Spanish. A summative assessment is available in each module. 

For instance, the modules aligned to Pre-Kindergarten Standards are: Life Science: Living and Nonliving Things, Matter: Floating and Sinking, Healthy Habits and Spatial Sense and Coding. By 5th grade, the modules aligned to the grade standards are: Robotics and Automation, Robotics and Automation: Challenge, Infection: Detection, and Infection: Modeling and Simulation.

In “Robotics and Automation” modules, PLTW Launch says, “Students explore the ways robots are used in today’s world and their impact on society and the environment. Students learn about a variety of robotic components as they build and test mobile robots that may be controlled remotely. Angelina, Mylo and Suzi are tasked with designing a mobile robot that can remove hazardous materials from a disaster site. Students are then challenged to design, model and test a mobile robot that solves this design problem.”

In this way, District 56 believes, students are exposed to “real-life” applications of what they learn in their classrooms.

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