HCS has missions surrounding social justice, service learning, learner centered education, and interrage learning. You can learn more about them at hobokencs.org. Here you will find how these missions are used in the 5th and 6th Grade Humanities classroom.
Social Justice is the center of education in the 5/6 Humanities Classroom. In our ELA classroom, we organize the entire year under 3-4 social justice essential questions. Each question is associated with a reading genre, and a writing genre. Each unit surrounds a social justice issue that is found nationally or globally, and we seek to answer these essential questions throughout the unit. Some examples of questions are:
What are freedoms required by a just society?
Why is it important for me to stand up for myself and others?
What are our roles and responsibilities for providing civil liberties for others?
Service Learning differs from community service in that it is service attached to our content and standards that help grow students as they provide this service for others. Each service learning opportunity is carefully crafted based on student interest and engagement in the unit. In the past our classrooms have created public awareness campaigns, book drives, raised money for organizations, and more.
Learner Centered Education
Learner centered education in our classroom prompts us to ask students: How are you learning? Are you learning in the best way that works for you right now? How can you take ownershp of your own learning. In the past, we have used learner centered education when reading novels. During these units, students have been given the guidance and freedom to read in whichever way works best for them. We put students into groups based on their wants AND needs. Some students read out loud, some read independently, some read on their own schedule, some reason on a strict schedule. Overall, we try to maintain a way for students to learn at their own pace with the materials required for them. In that way we can personalize the learning. As we know, one size does not fit all, we must adjust so that everyone has what they need to succeed.
Our school has many different initiatives regarding interrage learning. One way we incorporate this into the classroom is to combine it with service learning and use those opportunities to interact with the lower school to educate them on matters that we are learning about.