Photo submitted Chandlers students participate in STEM activities in the school gym.

Photo submitted

Chandlers students participate in STEM activities in the school gym.

For the NDL

Throughout this school year, middle grade students at Chandler's School have been participating in hands-on learning activities in a variety of subjects outside the traditional curriculum.

Students completed surveys in August that indicated their hobbies and potential career interests, listing a variety of topics they would like to learn more about, including culinary arts, computer coding, sports management, sports marketing, physical fitness, broadcast journalism, etc.

Chandler's staff members then reviewed the data and developed curricula that included core concepts to meet the needs of the students. The middle school schedule was adjusted to include a daily time period allocated to focusing on student interests.

The response from students, parents, and teachers was so positive throughout the fall that the staff members again surveyed the students in early December to develop classes for this semester. Students are currently taking part in classes focused on leadership, physical fitness, responsibility in social media, music, among others.

Seventh grade students in Ms. Lyons' class responded in a survey that the activity period connects the content that they are learning with their passions and interests. Carlee Baker a 6th Grade Student added, "We are able to learn how to cook, which is a real life skill."

The staff members have also seen the benefit of incorporating the daily activity period. "Our activity period nurtures a positive culture as students have opportunities to gain new skills and to build new relationships with learners in multiple grade levels and with teachers as lead learners who share common interests," Mrs. Cunningham stated.

Mrs. Pryor said, "Our activity periods have given the students an opportunity to explore areas that interest them at a deeper level."

"The activity period has been a great way for students and teachers to explore activities that might not fit exactly into required course curriculum, but are educational and have real-life relevance," Mr. McCarthy mentioned.

Regardless the class at Chandler's during activity period, students and teachers are having a great time learning together.