BRUNSWICK –– The innovative ways students learn and achieve took center stage Tuesday when Brunswick Schools held an Innovation Showcase at the high school.
The idea for the showcase came about when Amy Rutledge, the district’s community relations director, and two of the district’s instructional coaches, Jen Young and Stacey Garnet, were discussing ways to show the public what students are doing daily.
“We all were discussing how we can showcase what’s going on in the classroom whether it involves technology, innovation or the hands-on projects that we know our teachers are doing on a regular basis,” said Rutledge.
Students got to display projects such as all-terrain vehicles created by coding students at Edwards Middle School, photos taken by digital arts and photography students at Brunswick High School as well as many computer coding and STEAM projects.
“So, in the sixth grade, they were talking about what classes we could do and I liked this one because it involves building and coding,” said Josh Watkins, a seventh-grader at Edwards who participates in the automation and robotics program.
“My favorite part is the building portion because I just love building different things.”
Other programs that were showed off included circle time and mindful music moments, which are being practiced at Kidder Elementary School.
Mindful music moments are when teachers and students take a few brief moments each day to listen to a mindfulness prompt and music as a way to help students become calm and get ready for the day.
In addition, circle time is something that several teachers at Kidder have been practicing in their classrooms. It’s when teachers gather their students in a circle and allow their students to share things that excite them or bother them.
“At the very start of the day, everyone wants to come up and tell you what happened to them and this gives everyone an opportunity for everyone to be heard,” said Carol Conway, a guidance counselor at Kidder Elementary.
Conway shared a story of a third-grader who was going through a hard time at school. One day, an event occurred that caused him to feel stress at school.
The other students in his class asked their teacher for circle time and were able to let the student talk about what he was struggling with. The students showed the struggling student their support.
Circle time can also be lighthearted.
Annalise Ebert, second-grader at Kidder, demonstrated this by sharing a new holiday she made up.
“My favorite holiday is the first day of summer vacation. That’s a holiday for me,” she said while sitting on a bean bag and talking to administrators during an exercise.