Inquiry-Based Learning and Environments for All Students

Francis Scott Key Elementary School will be using their 2017-18 Innovation Award to create more inclusive and accessible spaces and inquiry-based learning for students of color, with special needs and girls.

The Challenge

Francis Scott Key sees the opportunity and need to redesign teaching and learning to ensure access and empowerment for all of their EL, SPED, and other students including female students and SES students through the development of a comprehensive and coherent STEAM program. More specifically, their students with limited English and disabilities often face disadvantages in meaningfully engaging in communication of ideas and equally participating in co-constructing knowledge with peers. The redesign of the learning environment will allow these students to increase their physical proximity to peers and allow more opportunities to engage in varied peer collaboration through flexible groupings. Innovative use of materials and space, such as tables with a whiteboard surface, can also allow these students to communicate their thinking in way that utilizes different learning modalities so that they can better connect and build upon the ideas of their peers.

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