21 st Century Skills in Action

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1 21 st Century Skills in Action To prepare for college, careers, and citizenship, it s not enough to master academics. Students also need to acquire a set of skills that will last for a lifetime. To be able to solve problems in our complex, fast-changing world, students must become resourceful, creative thinkers who can work well with others. These competencies known as 21st-century skills are summed up as the 4Cs by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills: Collaboration, Creativity, Communication, and Critical thinking. The 4Cs don t replace academic learning goals. Students still need to become good readers and writers, even though they may be learning and publishing on new platforms. Using mathematics to solve problems and seeing the world through the lens of the scientist are essential for today s learners. Students also need to draw their own findings from history s lessons. The ambitious goal is to integrate 21st-century skills with rigorous core content so that students will master the 4Cs and the academic content and skills. At The Classical Academies, teachers, parents, and students are accomplishing this in exciting and effective ways. On the following pages you ll find some of the many activities in which Classical Academy students are developing, fine-tuning, and using 21 st Century Skills. We teach a subject not to produce little living libraries on that subject, but rather to get a student to think mathematically for himself, to consider matters as an historian does, to take part in the process of knowledgegetting. Knowing is a process, not a product. Jerome Bruner How are educators at The Classical Academies moving our students through the 21 st Century?

2 Collaboration CAHS students collaborate during group projects in math, English, history, art, drama, science, world languages, etc. For example, AP World History students collaborate in order to organize Culture Day, English students collaborate to produce projects related to novels that were assigned in class, Drama students collaborate to produce and perform skits, science students collaborate during lab activities, and Journalism students collaborate to produce the yearbook and school newspaper. through the use of Google Apps. The Google Apps website provides abundant storage of digital media and allows students to participate in realtime editing and collaboration through distance in addition to allowing students to share multiple documents, create and send surveys, and analyze the survey results. through their association with sports teams and club involvement. to produce drama productions like the Fall Play and the Spring Musical. through peer review of essays and other school work. in ASB to organize student events, enhance school culture, and disseminate information. during think-pair-share activities in English classes. in study groups during Study Hall and Learning Labs. by engaging in peer tutoring. between disciplines. For example, Photography students work with Art students as they create work samples for their portfolios. K 8 students collaborate as they peer-review writing in language arts classes. work in groups on math and science challenges. participate in Buddy Reading. review and discuss math work of a fellow student. create a book club. work with peer groups toward creating a set of classroom rules. facilitate small group discussion and determine goals to complete a project. create videos together about topics being studied. write a class book based on cause and effect. create original compositions in middle school. create original works in drama and music. review, edit, and offer constructive criticism for history day/science fair projects. quiz each other on basic knowledge and facts. work together to assist teachers in Super STEM Saturday activities. work with siblings and co-op with other families to teach & learn curriculum. work online to share ideas and create a final product (in ELA, etc.). Skype with fellow students to work on projects together.

3 Creativity At CAHS, creativity is nurtured and encouraged in English class through student assignments that can be completed in a variety of formats. For example, a novel project can be completed as an oral presentation, a poster, or a complex piece of metaphorical art. Students are encouraged to be creative as they accomplish the assignment. In English class through creative involvement in the class Renaissance Faire and/or Huck Finn Day. in Drama class through the repeated use of improvisation activities. during brainstorming activities conducted in class. in AP Statistics class by allowing students to choose their own populations and variables to study and analyze using statistical tools. in ASB by allowing ASB students to develop the themes, decorations, and games for events like pep rallies, lunch games, and dances. in Art class by allowing students to choose the themes of art projects that will show evidence of the art skills that are being learned in that unit. in Math class by allowing students to create their own word problems and mathematical functions. in Dance class by allowing students to choreograph many of their own dances. in History through the creation of a Civil War newspaper. in all subjects through encouragement to explore Webquest, Prezzi, Power Point, video production tools, etc. Creativity is fostered and developed in our K 8 students through creating posters for periods in history. learning by using manipulatives and other hands-on activities. completing assignment in multiple ways (picture, oral presentation, etc.). student work that demonstrates knowledge through different types of projects. the use of apps, such as the Lego movie maker, to represent learning. student products using tools such as diagrams, posters, power point, or Prezi to represent learning. show what you know projects. meet the masters and creating art projects based on famous artists. student choice for demonstrating/presenting writing concepts. students writing their own word problems and solving other students problems. creating YouTube videos to demonstrate science concepts or re-live historical events. using body/hand movement to accompany learning. student-centered alternate forms of assessment to meet particular learning styles. utilizing banned word lists and replacing banned words. designing a unique, pleasing, and purposeful lay out for History Day and Science Fair display boards. the flexibility of our curriculum, which leads to numerous opportunities for creativity.

4 Communication Communication is encouraged, taught, and practiced at CAHS as students learn methods for communicating visually through Visual and Performing Arts courses and programs. This includes communicating through plays, musicals, dance performances, photographs, and art shows. research topics for presentations, develop a lesson, and teach the material to their classmates. solve math problems and explain their graphs and mathematical reasoning to their peers. work in groups to create a group project or performance. read and send s to their teachers and are encouraged to write s that are respectful and professional. access wikis to receive information regarding class assignments and due dates. access School Pathways to get detailed information on their assignment and course grades. learn the important aspects of a great speech or a logical and well researched debate. Students in our K 8 programs are taught Communication skills through think-pair-share activities, small group share time and class discussions. the use of technology. For example, students ~use schoology to have discussions with their teacher. ~ teachers with questions. ~communicate with teachers via the school wiki. ~ select a variety of formats to present research findings ( Prezi, Glogster, PowerPoint, Google Docs, etc.). oral presentations. talk through conflict in a calm and respectful manner. student-led conferences to evaluate their unit work and monitor progress. using academic language. share ideas with the class. literature discussions/literature circles. instruction and application of PVLEGS. student-created videos of math, literature, history, or science lessons. write a song & perform for History/Science review. drama: improvisation group scenes & monologues. students discuss how particular science topics are used in their homes, classrooms and world. History Day/ Science Fair presentations. identifying steps of the scientific method and explaining hypothesis or findings. share what they know and things they are proud of. speech & debate skills.

5 Critical Thinking Critical thinking is developed and encouraged at CAHS as students reflect individually and corporately on complex topics through teacher-led group discussions. use art criticism techniques to evaluate artwork. solve math word problems and problems involving proofs. learn to use whole primary sources to support their assertions. discuss current events and the ramifications of those events. learn about DBQ s in their AP courses. learn to construct logical arguments in Speech and Debate. debate scientific hypotheses to determine the validity of a hypothesis based upon the evidence. learn to evaluate an author s purpose and bias when reading informational text, poetry, and literature. K 8 students hone their critical thinking skills through developing a problem solving approach to open ended problems. group discussions. problem solving in math; use sentences to explain their reasoning. searching for information in expository texts. identifying author s purpose. answering in-depth critical thinking literature based questions. debate scientific ideas; prove scientific ideas when possible. problem solving in engineering design projects. analyzing real-time data (earthquake mapping). creating their own poem (after studying an author). the use of diverse teaching methods and/or curriculum. writing persuasive essays with sound, valid arguments. evaluating the purpose or main idea of a text. developing charity activities, small businesses, and clubs. Solving multi step math problems. comparing multiple view-points presented in primary source documents. creating character analysis for musical theatre. STEM Day and Camp Invention. online math supplemental program. History Day, Science Olympiad, Science Fair. science questions asked regarding energy, magnets, electricity and students respond with possible answers even when they are not certain. using various historical documents to answer a question about a particular time period or event (Historical Scene Investigation). summarizing daily notes in math class. creating multiple solutions to math problems using various tools and manipulatives. using peer evaluation rubrics to assist students in editing.

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