At Baldwin, we are reimagining our curriculum to further nurture our girls’ skills as flexible, collaborative problem-solvers able to draw connections across disciplines, communicate across boundaries and work well in teams. Over the school year, our Lower School students will embark on an interdisciplinary, project-based learning experience with their teachers. This Interdisciplinary Incubator will culminate this spring in a public expo led by the students.
This year, their work will focus on health and medicine, exploring the systems of the body and the impact of nutrition, exercise, technology and the environment on those systems. For the first several weeks of the Incubator project, the students have been focusing on the building blocks of project-based learning, including teambuilding, risk-taking and collaboration.
Lower School classes also spent time establishing group norms, focusing on these questions:
- How do we work productively as a whole class and in smaller groups?
- What does it mean to be a good teammate and collaborator?
- How do we demonstrate that we are contributing group members?
- What do we do if someone in the group isn’t contributing positively?
In addition, an important part of the Interdisciplinary Incubator project is reflection. Classes leave time at the end of each work session to reflect on their work/activity:
- What was the goal of this activity?
- What went well and what didn’t?
- How might we approach our work differently next time?
In the last few weeks, Pre-K through Grade 5 students officially launched their Incubator projects with fun and thoughtful work sessions, which introduced each class to their overarching theme for the year.
Pre-K: The Five Senses
Baldwin’s Pre-K is exploring the five senses, exploring how they use their senses to help navigate the world. They will also learn how to use their senses to figure out real-life problems.
The Kindergarten class is investigating the topic of exercise and will explore different forms of exercise and how exercise affects our wellness.
Grade 1: Balancing Brains and Bodies
Grade 1 will be focusing on how the brain and body work together to help physical and mental health.
Grade 2: Dental Health
Grade 2 will be learning about the topic of dental health, exploring how their choices affect dental health and why dental care is important to overall health and wellness.
Grade 3: Safety
Grade 3 will be delving into the topic of safety and will investigate how safety helps us in our lives, the impact of safety rules and tools on our society and how these differ in certain scenarios and jobs.
Grade 4: Nutrition
Grade 4 will be exploring the topic of nutrition and will investigate how food choices impact individual and societal health in the present and for the future.
Grade 5: Health and Technology
Grade 5 will be examining the topic of technology and its impact on health, wellness and the field of medicine.
Sample class launches included Pre-K using their five senses to decide if a jar was filled with sugar or salt, and Grade 4 visiting a mock grocery store to get them thinking about what kinds of foods they typically buy and what ingredients they contain. Our Kindergarten engaged in multiple forms of exercise in the gym, and Grades 1 and 2 used various centers, such as books and videos, to dive into their topics. Grade 3 explored various safety objects displayed around the room, and Grade 5 brainstormed all the ways technology can impact health, both positively and negatively.