Busy Buzz Newspaper and Special Video Interviews By: Caleb, Braxton, Kade, Colton and Calvin
What is LEAP? LEAP Lab? STEAM? Makerspace? PALS?
There are so many acronyms, yet they all relate back to one goal:
LEAP will provide significant support for students in need of enrichment opportunities.
LEAP stands for "Learning Enrichment Activities Program." The "LEAP Lab" is the classroom where all of this magic will take place. Everyone is welcome to come and check out our lab; we have new mobile tables for easy rearrangement and collaborative groupings as well as flexible seating options throughout the room. Additionally, the technology that we now have available is cutting edge. "LEAP" is an all-encompassing term for the program and its activities. Below are the specifics of the different components that make up LEAP.
While brainstorming how this innovative program could best accommodate the unique needs of our students, I came across many different and exciting ideas. I learned about MakerSpaces, STEM, STEAM, FabLabs, Acceleration, Differentiation, Project Based Learning, 21st Century Learning, College and Career Ready, Real-World Problems, Disruptive Technology, Student-Centered, and Digital Literacy, to name a few.
While all of these concepts and teaching practices are having considerable impact in classrooms nationwide, it is impossible to incorporate all of them into a single class and to do it well. Therefore, our LEAP program will take essential components, ideas, and philosophies from many of these programs and apply them to the specific needs of our Heyworth students.
LEAP will primarily follow the philosophy of MakerSpaces and STEAM programs for all students in our school, with an extra acceleration component for our most proficient students in math and reading.
MakerSpace and STEAM (STEAM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) learning is hands-on, student-led education. Students will work individually or in small groups and will take control of what and how they learn. We will include high-interest activities such as coding, animation/claymation, movie-making, engineering, inventing, 3D design and print, health/wellness, gardening/growing, robotics, programming, clothes/textiles, re-purposing, paper crafts and more.
Students are expected to come into the LEAP Lab ready to explore, wonder, imagine, create and reflect. Students are expected to make mistakes. Students are expected to learn during the process. We want them to stretch their minds and tweak, tinker, and rework as they go.
In addition to LEAP, we will soon introduce a high-level program for those who qualify. Proficient and Accelerated Learning Students (PALS) is a program that will provide appropriate challenges for students in both reading and math. A small percentage of students can often move through material more quickly than their peers. This program is designed to allow high-achieving students to work at their levels and learn new things every day. Students in the PALS program will be working in the LEAP Lab during their RtI times and occasionally during math or reading/ELA.
A variety of assessment tools will be used to determine qualification for this program. The selection process will include an analysis of student test scores as well as teacher and parent recommendations. Students themselves may also submit a request to be considered for the program. Approximately 5% of the student population will qualify for PALS.
We are eager to launch this fresh new learning experience.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates!