Friday, November 2, 2018

From Artsville to the Hornet's Nest

Recently I took a little road trip and visited our schools on the southern end of the county.  I was so excited about what I saw that I knew I wanted to share it in my blog.

My first stop was Carrsville Elementary, at the southernmost part of our county, next to the city of Franklin. The school is reinventing itself as an integrated arts school, with programs similar to what you might find at a magnet school. They have given themselves the appropriate nickname of "Artsville."  Beginning in September 2018, Carrsville started a music program where every student participates in violin for 30 minutes every day. This is an amazing opportunity for our students to learn an instrument starting at a young age.  I will write more about the violin program in an upcoming blog.  In addition, Mr. Johnson, the PE teacher, has integrated Drums Alive into his classes. The program combines fitness, drumming, music, and educational concepts to build active movers and learners. I took a turn participating which you can see in the video below (and, Yes, it was as fun as it looks!).

My next stop was Windsor High, or The Castle, where I found an inflatable ball pit in the lobby.  The Yearbook class installed it as part of bullying prevention month.  Students were invited to sit and share with each other as a way to learn more about their difference and to ultimately break barriers. I also visited with building trades students who were working on projects in their new lab space.  Hands on masonry at school?  Now that's building skills for a solid future!

Next up was Georgie Tyler Middle School where "It Takes a Titan" rings true.  I saw amazing examples of curated student work from previous projects:  Digital Songwriting, The Tiny House, Pond Life, and more.  Curation is an important part of project based learning.  It highlights the learning process and showcases student work for a wider audience.  Students also learn to take pride in their work, seeing it on display everyday.

Finally, I wrapped up my journey with stop at Windsor Elementary School.  As I walked about the school, I saw students collaborating on activities in their classrooms and in spaces throughout the building.  I stopped by Mrs. Owens' music room where students were learning to play their new keyboards.  Just like Carrsville, this is an incredible opportunity for our students to learn an instrument while still in elementary school. 

It did take me a few hours to visit all four schools, but you can have the same experience (almost) in just 3 minutes!  Here's a compilation video from my visit to the southern end of the county. Enjoy!

From Artsville to the Hornet's Nest