What began as a fun incentive after a week of working hard in a first grade classroom unexpectedly morphed into a treasured weekly tradition in what first graders have coined as “Frog Friday.” While the children love racing around the edge of the pond with their retractable nets in hand, there is so much more than frog hunting going on beneath the surface. Friendships have expanded and the classroom community has been strengthened as children encourage each other and strategize on the best locations and conditions for spotting frogs. Research tells us that personal change and growth occur through the experience of relationships.
Throughout fall, first grade teacher, Sarah Dawe, incorporated literacy skills as she led first grade herpetologists in researching frogs and constructing life cycle models in the classroom. She also immersed students in an Imagination Lab and a poetry writing session down by the pond. Sarah Dawe shared, “One of my favorite parts about teaching is following children’s leads and creating high interest curriculum based on topics that they love. Frogs were not initially on my radar as the year began, but now it seems like a natural subject to explore.”
The latest phase of this integrated curriculum is a Frog Life Cycle Museum exhibit which was on display in the Town Square! Students used collage and recycled materials to create eggs, tadpoles, tadpoles with legs, froglets (a frog with a tail!) and adult frogs. They also learned about pond habitats as they constructed cattails, lily pads and other natural features.
At Brookwood, faculty are warm and child-centered and are responsive to students’ interest and needs. We develop academic excellence using the means and methodologies we know to be best suited to inspire a love of learning and how to think. We know that the mind cannot develop if the self lies unattended, and that neither will develop if both challenge and support are not equally tendered to the learner.