Collaboration Wins the Olympic Gold

The 2022 Winter Olympics are coming to an end, but there’s plenty of Olympic action in second grade! Students took on the assignment of building excitement for and viewership of the Winter Olympic Games. To accomplish this, second-grade project-based learning groups (PBL) researched one Winter Olympic sport and then created a project to inspire other Beasley students to watch that sport.

In PBL units, students have to research, collaborate, share feedback, and deliver reflections on their experiences. It’s in-depth, student-directed learning centered on the process, not the product. Students also learn and hone their skills in goal setting, organization, leadership, decision making, teamwork, creativity, compromise, and more. Much like with Olympic teams, collaboration is essential!

This year’s second-grade Olympic events included curling, bobsled, biathlon, figure skating, speed skating, snowboarding, hockey, cross country skiing, and freestyle skiing. Students designed Olympic event medals using the Glowforge 3D Laser Cutter in the Lower School Maker Space, and they enjoyed a special presentation day where other Lower School classes could explore the various events.

From the students’ perspective, this PBL endeavor helped them learn and collaborate with others.

“What I loved the most was the way the teams worked to make the projects,” said Eliza K. ’32. “Sometimes we argued a bit, and that was challenging. We did the Biathlon, and I learned that that is a mix between two sports, skiing and shooting.”

Teammates had to learn how to work through conflict, too, which is essential for every collaboration. Darian D. ’32 enjoyed the process. He said, “Our team did freestyle skiing which I was excited to work on. I liked working with our team because it gave us new ideas. But, it was kind of hard because we disagreed with each other and had to stop sometimes.”

Adiya Z. ’32 also worked through a disagreement and came through with flying colors. “I was on the bobsled team, and I had a disagreement with another teammate about the flag design. I like PBL because making the paper track was fun, and I learned a lot of new things about bobsledding. The experience was tough, but we worked it out,” she said.

True to the Olympic motto, second-grade students learned to go “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together!”