Sing Me the Learning

Take a look at the Lady Gaga parody,"Snakes Are Born This Way," created by second graders and their teachers at Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston for a smile and a reminder of what learning and high quality student work can look like. For instance, notice the multiple drafts of snake drawings. This video is part of their June newsletter which showcases student work and teachers' professional development from the whole year. They clearly take their mission of being a laboratory for innovation seriously, because this is one of the best examples I've found of a school documenting student and adult learning in a meaningful, accessible manner for a wide audience.

Conservatory Lab is an Expeditionary Learning school, so a product like the Snake video is part of an extended, across the disciplines study. As a music focused school, they use El Sistema model, with their youngest students receiving daily instrument instruction. The new Common Core Standards call for an upswing in non-fiction reading for even the youngest students. Students nail scientific vocabulary in "Snakes Are Born This Way." Students clearly developed expertise on the subject of snakes, and had a joyous time showing off what they'd learned.