A Day in the Life

The Lab focuses on developing the whole child including socio-emotional, artistic as well as academic development.  Classes throughout the day are designed to address each of these areas of learning.

9:00-9:15 am – Community Meeting

The Lab incorporates concepts from the Responsive Classroom and Paulo Freire’s theories of co-learning between teachers and students.  Students sign-up to speak or co-lead the community meeting each day. During the meeting, students discuss issues at the learning center, or in the larger community and practice community leadership skills, problem-solving and collaboration.

9:15–9:30 Morning Advisory

Instead of traditional grouping by age or grade, students are assigned to an advisory group based on their ability to work independently.  Their teacher/advisors then tailor the level and type of support provided to their independence level.  One goal of the Lab is to develop students who love learning and who are able to self-manage their own learning during the week.   Teachers/advisors coach students in building their skills in setting appropriate and achievable goals for the day and week, asking for help when they need it, reflecting on their own process of learning, and self-managing their learning through the week alone and with others.  During morning advisory, students set their learning goals for the day and reflect on the process they will use to accomplish them.

9:30–12:00 Core Learning Time

During this time, students work towards their personalized learning goals independently or in small groups.  Each student has an individualized “playlist” tailored to their learning needs and goals developed at the beginning of the term.  Students may use online resources like the Khan Academy or Brain Pop, participate in Writer’s and Reader’s Workshop sessions, receive individual tutoring, participate a small group session designed to support attainment of a particular skill or concept, or receive peer-to-peer support from other students in the program.  Depending on their independence level, students are provided with varying levels of freedom to determine which ones of their goals they will work on, at what time, and how.  Teachers/advisors coach the students during this learning time, and also provide individualized tutoring and support as needed.

12:00–1:00 pm Lunch and Free Play

Students have lunch outside. Each month students select the activities they would like to have available during free play like basketball, tetherball, 4-square, chess, and large-scale Jenga blocks.

1:00/1:30–3:00 Project Based Learning Studios

During studio time, teachers use an “authentic project-based learning” approach to help students design and carry-out projects that address a real need in the community or the organization.  Science, history and social studies are woven into the projects developed by each student or group of students.

3:00 Pick-up