Educational experts nationwide are recognizing that students spend too much time seated in desks. Recently I came across a Twitter thread discussing this common lament, I felt proud to say that this is not the case at Piedmont.
More than any school I've seen, students at Piedmont move as they learn. Students are frequently standing and moving here at Piedmont. Teachers rig standing desks, students gather in groups to film, world language students move between clues posted on walls around school. Not only are our students not confined to the desk, desks are pushed aside as 7th graders build their factories and museum pieces in social studies; their scale models in social studies. 6th graders stand on them to deliver their Greek god and goddess monologues, 8th graders use them as borders for the battle simulation. The above photo shows Mr. Ciambrone's students testing the bridges they built to "Grandma's house" (below Mr. C's elbow).
We are also good at leaving school entirely for real world learning. 8th grade is going all over town creating their own service projects, Our 7th grade races through the city. 6th grade builds rectangular prisms on the field. All our grade levels go on experiential learning overnight trips.
Today, I walked out of my office to Mr. Milligan's students crowded together planning their mock trial strategy for his novel study. I turned the corner and there were Mr. Miller's students analyzing a poster outside, took another step and ran into Mr. Beckton's students excitedly jumping around, looked up and there were Mr. O'Neill and Ms Swift's students zig zagging in and out the door.
At another school, the first reaction might be panic! Some places mistakenly believe that docile silent pencil pushing is the only sign of learning. They couldn't be more wrong. What I saw was great engagement. Turns out the entire 6th grade team was working on an observation and communication lesson that supported those skills as needed in each teacher's discipline.
I immediately pulled out my camera to gather proof of the moment. Check out the video and a few of these related posts about active learning and thank you Piedmont teachers and students for being a model of what is right in education!
There were so many examples of active movement based learning I got overwhelmed trying to list them all. If I have not covered yours, please send me a photo or invite me in. Now I'm off to judge the 7th graders as they hold their practice trial!
Two ways to Incorporate Movement into Your Next Class
Celebrating Piedmont : a blog of Happy Happenings
"Celebrating Piedmont" logs only a small fraction of the learning magic the teachers of CMS' Piedmont Middle School, an IB World School. create daily. In that sense, it is authored by all the staff and students of Piedmont. It is curated by Ms. Gurthie who can be reached at the icons above. She'll be happy to brag about Piedmont's teachers and students any chance she gets! Please note this blog has only just begun and we have so much to show off! Come back again soon!