As a parent you may be wondering what differentiates us from other schools? Perhaps you’re wondering what the inside of a Nova Pioneer classroom really looks like? Well, certainly learning looks a little bit different at Nova Pioneer. From how the classrooms are designed, to the language our students and teachers use in the classroom and even down to the behaviours our students exemplify.
It’s important for us to create a responsive classroom
We are very intentional about creating a responsive classroom and there are four key domains to achieving this. They include:
- Engaging Academics: Learner-centered lessons that are participatory, appropriately challenging, fun, and relevant and promote curiosity, wonder, and interest.
- Positive Community: A safe, predictable, joyful, and inclusive environment where all students have a sense of belonging and significance.
- Effective Management: A calm and orderly learning environment that promotes autonomy, responsibility, and high engagement in learning.
- Developmentally Responsive Teaching: Basing all decisions for teaching and discipline upon research and knowledge of students’ social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.
How do teachers engage with students?
Our teachers use a number of prompts and routines to create an environment that best facilitates learning. Here is some of the language you will hear in a Nova Pioneer classroom:
- Risk It: A prompt to challenge students to attempt a response, even if they aren’t sure if they’re correct.
- Do Now: A quick assessment question that students answer at the beginning of class to test their mastery of a previous lesson.
- Exit Tickets: A short questions given at the end of a lesson to test student mastery of what they have just been taught. Exit tickets are a student’s ‘ticket out of the classroom’ and are used by the teacher to gauge student understanding of the lesson material.
- Reflection meeting: A whole class meeting in which a problem or a theory from an investigation is posed to the students.
How do we setup the classroom?
We are intentional about creating the kind of space that allows for students to receive individualised attention and to also encourage collaboration between each other.
Desks are arranged in 5 “centers” which consists of 6 students per center. Each center allows for a different activity to take place at it, and allows students to engage in the content being taught in different ways – whether it be a group activity, using a chromebook or in an individual capacity.
Centers gives the student opportunity to learn to work collaboratively with others but also work individually. Each center takes 20 minutes to complete, before students rotate to the next center.
How do we incorporate technology in the classroom?
Technology is a big part of who we are as Nova Pioneer and what we do, and we blend this into our students learning experiences. We makes use of Blended Learning as part of our teaching.
Students make use of Chromebooks during their rotations during lessons. Technology is also offered as part of the innovative space. Our students start coding and robotics from Grade R.
Creating transparency using glass walls
We believe in transparency in everything that we do. This is represented in the design of our buildings. The glass doors also encourage collaboration between the classrooms as you can move the doors open.
Glass doors also encourage ‘positive distraction’ and students get comfortable with positive stimulation (other students learning) happening around them.