Our District has identified six Lifelong Learning Skills that every child needs to succeed in life.
These skills apply to students in all our schools – kindergarten through high school.
Throughout every person’s life, communicating effectively is essential. Effective communication is both oral and written; it is clear and clearly understood by all the parties involved. It is engaging, articulate, and appropriate for its audience. Effective communication involves ideas, facts, opinions, and feelings. Teachers model and students practice this skill in all areas of our curriculum.
Take responsibility for learning
Developing self-directed learners is a goal in every Laurelwood classroom. In school, it means following directions, completing assignments correctly and on time, asking questions when unsure, and managing time wisely. We see this transition happening through the grades with homework; kindergarteners require parental support with their homework; as students progress through the grades, completing homework should require less and less from parents (mostly just a time and place) and more from the student. If homework is disrupting your family’s life, talk with your child’s teacher. He/she can help you with strategies to help your child take responsibility for learning in this area.
Contribute to society
We take this seriously at Laurelwood. Students have many opportunities to contribute to the school community and to society around us. Student Council, Safety Patrol, and Conflict Managers are all avenues of service. Students help in the cafeteria, in campus clean-up, and in the library. All students participate in fundraisers to support the school; all are involved in Buddy Reading to help one another become stronger readers. The Giving Tree, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Pennies for Patients are additional opportunities for students to help the larger community. Most of our children lead lives of great privilege when compared to the world at large; giving back helps us and the world become better people.
Become informed, be productive, think
This includes learning about the world and using what you have learned to move forward and succeed. Knowledge alone is not enough; it is a tool to solve problems and think critically about what has been learned. Being productive is producing work – completing assignments, projects, and homework. Thinking is using logic, reflection, and meta-cognition to increase our learning in all areas. Teachers model and students practice this skill in all areas of our curriculum.
This involves working cooperatively with a group, respecting the rights and contributions of each participant, and recognizing the power of many minds focused on a single task. Working collaboratively is a learned skill; it starts in kindergarten and is reinforced and refined throughout the grades.
As we all know, media in all its forms bombards us daily with more and more information. The amount of information at our fingertips on the Internet alone is almost beyond comprehension. Processing all of this information – evaluating its relevance, considering its source, recognizing its biases, determining its importance – is an essential skill that every educated person must acquire. Processing information begins with strong literacy skills; it also includes knowledge of fundamental principles in math, science, history, geography, economics, and the arts. Ultimately, processing information involves making judgments about what information is valid and is useful. We work with students discussing facts vs. opinions; we read a variety of genres in fiction and non-fiction to process information from different sources. We ask students to show what they have processed in a variety of assessments – writing, speaking, demonstrating, etc. Processing information is essential for success in school and in life.