In the Classroom
ECL In the Classroom
In the 2016-2017 school year the Conte West Hills ECL program began new focus projects in the classroom, in addition to the continued work with the teachers circle. Efforts were focused on four classrooms as case studies, three third grade classrooms and one-second grade classroom.
ECL Curriculum Highlight
Curriculum development started with a series of group activities that started with breathing and stilling exercises with children in a circle in the classroom. We then moved into systemic activities in small groups or in the whole class. Students could then move into individual work at their desks with an extended art activity. Activities ranged from one week to month long activations. The classroom teacher might follow up with a sharing afterwards or a continuation the next day. Towards the end of the school year we focused on two long-term projects: student illustrated constellation stories and classroom quilts which focused on concepts of place and belonging.
Teachers in the Classroom
The Teachers Circle (TC) acted as a catalyst for teachers to adapt and create projects inspired by activities from the TC to projects for their students. The teacher also would find other resources or programs like “Growth Mindset” that complemented the strength of the student’s family system. One example of a project teachers created was Schoolyard Habitat that was a creative extension of the constellation lens worked on in TC.
Conte West Hills Schoolyard Habitat
The School yard Habitat was an outdoor circle created with many plants and flowers in the Conte West Hills schoolyard. The Schoolyard Habitat utilized the natural environment as a space for small group work and whole class discussions. The space could also be used to share as a class or just take some time to de-stress and enjoy nature.