Tucked into a quiet corner of campus, Frazer Hall is home to our youngest Episcopal Knights. Open the red doors and it is anything but quiet inside. The buzz and excitement of learning fills the air. PreK-4 students are engaged in their latest project: Exploring Communities.
In the project approach, students investigate meaningful questions that require them to gather information and think critically. Project-Based Learning isn't just about doing projects, but the process of students learning through projects. One of the critical pieces of gathering information involves interviewing “experts” who can provide students with answers to the questions they are researching.
We interviewed a cardiologist, Dr. Jeffrey Hyde, who taught us about keeping our heart healthy and how to take our pulse. He let us observe his surgical cap and stethoscope and even checked up on one of our friends who had been sick. She got a clean bill of health!
Restaurant owner, Rick Patel, shared his expertise in the food industry. We learned about eating and preparing healthy foods and practicing good hygiene during food preparation. Students especially enjoyed becoming a “sandwich artist” as Mr. Patel led a demonstration on how to roll Subway sandwiches.
We wrapped up this week with a visit from Avery Davidson, television news reporter for This Week in Louisiana Agriculture or TWILA. He brought the tools of his trade, a microphone and a camera. We watched how the video is recorded and edited for television. We enjoyed being silly and watching ourselves on camera.
Throughout the upcoming weeks, students will continue to explore the big question “What do I want to be when I grow up?” They will continue to tap into the talents of our Episcopal community with more guest experts including paramedics, an orthodontist and even a K-9 officer. At the conclusion of their project, PreK-4 will host a Career Day where students will share what they have learned from their experts about the many ways that they educate us, keep us safe and healthy, and create a caring community where we can grow up to achieve our dreams.
Julie Mendes, a 2001 graduate of Episcopal, returned to teach Pre-K4 at her alma mater in 2012. She received both her undergraduate degree and MEd in elementary education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. After teaching second grade in a Dual Language program in Texas public schools for three years, Julie moved abroad to teach first grade at a bilingual school in Gracias, Lempira Honduras. Julie enjoys teaching alongside some of her former teachers and seeing what life is like on the other side of the desk.