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Timber Trail Elementary showcases student talents

Brad Parks, senior director of guest experience at the Denver Zoological Foundation, joined some fifth-grade students in front of their “trash-to-treasure” project.  All the fifth-grade projects were auctioned off, and $753 was donated to the Washed Ashore and Stand for Trees organizations.

By Lynne Marsala Basche; photos courtesy of Anna Mallinson

On January 9, Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) opened its doors to family, friends and the community for its first showcase.  The event was a school-wide opportunity for students to display and present their project-based learning creations.

Through project-based learning, students are taught to learn and recognize information that they can take from the classroom and use in real life.  All grades participated in the open house.  Projects included kindergarten classes showcasing how the sun influences the temperature on Earth due to the Earth’s rotation, first graders shared how they are learning math, second graders explored animals and their habitats, third-grade students explained some science experiments, fourth graders created fantasy creatures based on animals, and fifth-grade students learned about the impact of trash in Colorado and how they can make a difference.

While every grade had impressive projects to share, the fifth-grade class took their works to a higher level as part of their “We can change the world” project-based learning lesson.  Students created  “trash-to-treasure” sculptures, which were inspired by the Washed Ashore exhibit at the Denver Zoo, as well as some of their literacy projects.  All trash-to-treasure works were part of a silent auction at the showcase, and proceeds were donated to Washed Ashore and Stand for Trees in order to help pay it forward and care for Earth.

Cookies are missing!  First grader Cole is busy designing a scenario to show how the cookies are disappearing and writing the word problem to explain to showcase participants.

“Our showcase event was designed for the parents to see and experience first-hand what their students have been learning during the first semester of school,” said Principal Michele Radke.  “Students were the teachers and presenters and were so proud to share their projects and experiences with their families.  As we know, students learn best through authentic, hands-on experiences, and we wanted to give our parents that same opportunity.”

TTE intends to make the showcase an annual event after the successful inaugural event.



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