At MCDS we actively create opportunities for voice, choice, and ownership of learning. With this model, students develop an organic joy of research and learning.

Research concepts are introduced through using a “KWL” chart to document what they Know, what they Want to learn, and add what they Learned as they progress through a unit.

In the Kindergarten classrooms students use these concepts during their unit on the continent of Africa. Each student chose an African animal to research and present their findings to the class. They proudly honed their public speaking and presentation skills in preparation of sharing their animal with the class. 

In language arts, we took a close look at bears and the job of being a bear scientist, from our Scholastic magazine. Students learned about how scientists track and take care of the bears. We also looked at how bears hibernate as well. 

Students apply their inquiry skills to math, too. Recently, students discovered that equations can be written with the whole first, which was surprising to many of them! For example, one can write that 8=2+6 because the equals symbol means “is the same as” not “and the answer is”. 

We asked parents to consider what their student does at home to show they are a thinker. They discussed this concept with them and wrote down ideas on a thinker lightbulb that were then displayed in the classroom.

Learn more about design thinking.