More than 115 transitional kindergarten through sixth grade students spent their Spring Break at Randall Elementary World Languages School for the second annual April Acceleration Academy.
“April Academy provides an extended learning opportunity for our students to build vocabulary, math and science skills through project based learning,” said Executive Director Priti Johari, who commended the April Academy team for creating a wonderful experience for our students.
Using a Project Based Learning model, students were given the opportunity to engage in a learning that was deep and long-lasting by developing their class projects throughout the week. PBL blends content mastery, meaningful work, and personal connection to create powerful learning experiences.
“Ultimately, our goal with the April Academy was for our students to create a powerful learning experience by helping them gain competence in critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration,” said director Raul Patino, who polled families at the end of the week and received a 97.4 percent approval rate.
On the last day of the academy, students showcased their projects to families who visited their classrooms. Each of the families in attendance had the opportunity to interact with students and ask questions regarding the projects developed by students.
“Working in groups and creating a product were major contributors to what made the learning relevant and meaningful to them and truly allowed us to accelerate their learning,” Johari added.
TK students delved in the Art of Shapes for their PBL; the kindergarten unit was titled ‘Rain or Shine’; first-grade projects were ‘Inspired by Nature’; and second grade students learned different ways of ‘Taking Care of Our Environment.’ Meanwhile, the third-grade unit captured ‘Species Survival’; fourth graders explored ‘Getting to Safety’; fifth graders were introduced to ‘Plastics’; and sixth grade students learned about ‘Shrinking Our Footprints’.
Students in TK teacher Wendy Lundeen's class learned about different shapes and their attributes (number of sides and vertices); examined art from different artists (Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Ruth Asawa, and Alexander Calder) and learned about how they created their art as well as what shapes they incorporated into their art.
"At the end of the week, we created our own two-dimensional and three-dimensional art pieces using paint, canvases, Model Magic, and chenille stems," Lundeen shared. "Students also recorded their own artist statements about their pieces where they discussed the shapes and colors they used in their art. QR codes of their videos were created so that the community can learn more about each student's art piece."
“In my personal opinion, programs like these make our student community get together and see the importance of diversity across all the school sites,” Patino added. “Parents took the opportunity to meet others from different schools just like our students did as well.”
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING:
The governing board of Milpitas Unified School District will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.