Typical Day @CapVillage

A Day @ Capital Village PCS

Meet Taylor!

Meet Taylor, a fifth-grade Capital Village PCS student.  She lives in Northeast, DC with her mom, dad and younger sister.  Taylor enjoys dancing and wants to be a lawyer.  All through elementary school, Taylor had great grades in English/Language Arts and she loves to write.  Math is an area of growth for her, however.  Her diagnostic MAP scores show that she has some skill gaps that need to be addressed before she will be on grade level. Her LAB coach identifies that working on Taylor’s multiplication fluency will help her grow. Her mom says Taylor is super opinionated and passionate, with great creativity and an eagerness to succeed.  All of this information, along with her current and past grades, assessment scores and anecdotal information about Taylor is a part of her learner profile within Taylor’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP). She is particularly excited to continue work in the current Expedition, “Climate Change on Your Corner.” Winter is coming and she’s seen reports on the news predicting particularly harsh weather this year and she’s wondering what climate change has to do with this. 

Period 1
Humanities Seminar

Taylor’s first class of the day is her Humanities Block – her favorite. The Learning Studio is a classroom with a variety of learning spaces.  There are spaces for independent work at a desk, as well as space on a carpet with bean bags, pillows, portable lap desks, and soft chairs. The Humanities Block is divided into two parts: Seminar and Lab.  Yesterday, Taylor had Humanities Seminar.  In this class, her two teachers start the class by breaking down the learning target, so she knows the goal of the lesson.  During this unit, Taylor and her classmates have been reading excerpts from the book, It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Past, Present and Future of Climate Change, practicing using annotation strategies to determine key details and summarize the main ideas. Taylor then worked in a small group to put together a 3-D model and presentation to DC City Council members, to inform them about the effects of climate change in DC and proposing neighborhood-specific emergency preparedness actions. Her teacher checked in from time to time to make sure her team was on the right track, but Taylor and her group are so engaged in the work it didn’t take much to keep them focused.

Humanities Lab

Since today is Tuesday, Taylor has Humanities LAB. First, she checks her goal sheet for LAB that she created for the week in Office Hours with her Crew Coach. She moves to the quiet corner to focus on her reading quiz.  As soon as she finishes, Taylor and her teacher get her score.  She answered 9/10 questions correctly!  Much better than before.  Clicking on her test results, Taylor sees why she got the last question wrong and adds to her notes in her journal. Taylor likes being able to learn from her mistakes and retake quizzes to help her reach her goals. Now she gets to focus on continuing her research on climate change in DC. There are a few articles flagged for her on Google Classroom from her Lab Coach. She is working on collecting direct quotes to support her argument that DC City Council members should prioritize emergency preparedness planning. The more she learns about what natural disasters could be possible, the more inspired she is to make her voice heard.

Period 2
Math Lab

After Humanities, Taylor has her Math Block.  Math is not Taylor’s best subject, but she knows the progress she has made since the beginning of the year. Her teacher, Mr. Jackson, gives them a challenging problem to “grapple” with in a small group of 8 students.  Grapple is Mr. Jackson’s favorite word.  He tells Taylor’s class all the time that math is about struggling a bit to solve problems.  It takes Taylor and her partner, Toni, several tries to answer the word problem Mr. Jackson gave out. But Taylor was excited when she realized her answer was correct and shared with the class how she and her partner solved the problem. In Math LAB, Toni and Taylor like to work together on her Zearn lessons.  Since this is connected to her goal of improving her math data, Taylor appreciates having the work time in class to complete it. Toni is a few lessons ahead of her in math, so Toni normally helps Taylor when something stumps her.  Today, however, when a word problem didn’t make sense, Taylor helped Toni break it down.  The Lab Coach came over to listen and said, “Good thinking!  Taylor, where can you capture those notes?” Taylor jotted down her notes in her math journal. After about 30 minutes they switched gears and gave each other feedback on their climate change data graphs. The Lab Coach showed Taylor how to modify the labels on her graphs to give the reader more information.

Each Wednesday, Taylor has a half day of Lab Courses.  After Town Hall, she reports to Lab and logs into Canvas to check her progress and set goals for today.  She always meets with Ms. Turner, her Crew Leader, on Wednesdays at 10:15.  During these Office Hours, they go over Taylor’s progress towards her goals and create a weekly plan. Together, they check her progress against her own personal goals and work toward completion of her Expedition projects. Ms. Turner is pleased that Taylor has taken initiative to support her classmates in completing their advocacy letters. She tells Taylor that makes her a leader. Taylor smiles to herself and feels so proud to be a student at Capital Village PCS. 

Period 3

Just before lunch each day, Taylor heads to her “Crew.”  Her Crew Leader is Ms. Turner.  Today, Ms. Turner leads Taylor and nine other students in games and discussion about empathy.  Before they leave, everyone takes some time to formally reflect on their time in Seminar and Lab this morning and to set a SMART goal for tomorrow. Taylor sets a goal to spend the first 15 minutes of Math Lab practicing her multiplication skills, so she is better equipped to solve those multiple-step word problems. When she shares her goal with the group, her friends practice empathy by sharing that they’re finding word problems to be tricky too. Some of her peers in Crew share that they are struggling to write their climate change advocacy letters. Taylor is able to share some of her ideas and makes a plan to partner up with a few of them during Humanities Seminar tomorrow to guide them. Taylor is proud of herself for taking steps that will help her achieve her goals and feels supported by her Crew.

Period 5
Science & Health

Taylor loves heading to Science after lunch on Tuesdays and Fridays. Her class is currently in the middle of a unit on weather and climate, of course. She and her classmates are building models to show different examples of how Earth’s interconnected systems (the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere) interact to shape weather and climate. Today, each group is presenting their plan for building their models to the class. They will be asking questions and giving each other feedback according to the rubric they created together. Taylor is a little nervous about public speaking, but her teacher, Mr. Johnson, has helped her class create a space that feels safe, where it’s ok to make mistakes and learn from them. 

Period 6

Taylor’s last classes of the day are an Enrichment Course and Studio.  Yesterday, Taylor had a Debate course (Studio), partnered with Washington Urban Debate League, which gives her the opportunity to use her love of reading and writing in a new and challenging way.  After Debate, is Spanish class (ENRICH), but today, Taylor has dance as her fitness class. Through one of several partnerships her school has with community organizations, Taylor takes dance classes here two days a week with a choreographer from Joy of Motion.  Taylor is so excited to have something fun and challenging to end each school day with.