The yearly theme in first-grade classrooms at MICDS is Community. Throughout the year, first graders explore different communities ranging from their classroom community and the MICDS community to the St. Louis community and, globally, the community in China. They also are introduced to project-based learning (PBL), a method of teaching where learning happens through the completion of a student-directed project. This month, MICDS first graders continued learning about Community through a PBL lesson that focused on community helpers.
For the project, each of the two first-grade classrooms were split into five small groups. Each group was in charge of selecting a community helper (i.e. a firefighter, a doctor), creating an idea of how to teach the Senior Kindergarten about their specific community helper, developing a plan to present their information, and presenting their projects.
Groups collaborated with their team members to learn and teach about doctors, dentists, firefighters, mail carriers, and police officers. For their presentations, students were creative with the mediums they used with the SKers: games, videos, skits, posters, and books. “It is always fun to see first graders incorporate the skills they have learned throughout the year including researching through reading, writing skills, as well as independence in ideas, collaboration with classmates, and public speaking,” said Kara Pracht, First Grade Homeroom Teacher.
What a fun way to learn about community helpers and practice so many new, important skills acquired in first grade!