Students are immersed in authentic, hands-on learning when classrooms are transformed

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It might only be the third week of school in Chesterfield County, but Bon Air Elementary is already rocking out some transformational teaching! Students and teachers participated Thursday in the second annual Rock Your School event, along with hundreds of other classrooms around the world. The movement was started last year by the creators of the Get Your Teach On conference. Teachers were encouraged to create meaningful and highly engaging lessons and activities to bring excitement into the classroom.

In 2018, thousands of educators from more than 1,000 schools participated in Rock Your School. All 50 states, plus entries from Canada, Australia, the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Brazil, Norway and the UAE participated. Bon Air Elementary was one of those schools last year, and although it was the first classroom transformation for many of the teachers, they quickly realized the children were blown away by their outside-the-box educational experience. Because they had such overwhelming success last year, teachers were eager to go bigger and better with their classroom transformations this year.

“The teachers at Bon Air Elementary are fully embracing the concept of Imagine Tomorrow,” Midlothian District School Board representative Dr. Javaid Siddiqi said. “By transforming their classrooms, they created amazing educational experiences in remarkable learning environments that fully immersed their students in learning.”

Each grade level designed rigorous activities to engage their students and bring learning to life in their classrooms. Kindergarten did an alphabet circus theme where children worked collaboratively to complete writing puzzles and matching activities before moving to a carnival station where they would play a game. First-grade students were thrilled to have an Italian restaurant day where they were busy spelling with spaghetti and cooking with addition at the Punctuation Pasta-Eria. Second grade focused on famous musicians and their music, while third grade did genre-themed rotations. Hip-hop rhymes with homophones and country hoedown place value bingo were some fast favorites for these students. Fourth-grade students were captivated by a Scooby Doo mystery theme, where they became honorary members of Mystery, Inc. and used their critical-thinking skills to solve a digital escape room mystery. Fifth graders were absorbed with building the strongest stage in their STEAM class and completing a sound check on a giant floor keyboard as they solved their North American tour breakout game.

“Seeing our students embrace an infinite learner mindset is what movements like this are all about,” said Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty. “These teachers created amazing learning experiences for their students simply by transforming their classrooms. It’s events like this that spark the joy of learning in our students”


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