Smithfield Initiatives & Research
Personalized Learning in CMS aims to develop the whole child, and empower them to take ownership of their learning by providing them with multiple pathways to demonstrate mastery learning in order to be successful and productive 21st century citizens in an ever-changing world. All Smithfield classrooms and subjects follow the Personalized Learning philosophy.
Per unit, students take a pre-test to determine what standards have been mastered and what standards have not. From the pretest data, a specific instructional plan is put in place per child, where they work through the standards they need to work on. This tailored, self-directed instruction, empowers and motivates students to work toward their academic goals.
A flexible seating classroom is one in which traditional seating charts are replaced with seating arrangements that allow the students to seat where they choose. One of its principal objectives is to reduce the number/duration of sedentary periods of time, which research has identified as a danger to health. Flexible classrooms give students a choice in what kind of learning space works best and increases collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
Flexible at Smithfield can look like:
- Stand up tables
- Low tables
- Floor cushions
- Stability balls
- Sensory seat cushions
- Scoop chairs
- Bungee chairs
- And MUCH, MUCH more
At Smithfield, our staff sees the endless benefits of having students up and moving throughout the day. We believe in supplying children with the tools they need to have the best possible school experience. One of our core beliefs is that children should not sit for more than 20 minutes without movement. Students move through brain boosts, Justdance videos, teacher-directed exercises, or sensory centers. We have FUN while keeping our brains awake and ready to learn!
Check out this resource, Why Children Fidget: And What We Can Do About It, about children who have a difficult time sitting still for long periods of time.
Thinking Maps are a set of techniques used in primary and secondary education. There are eight diagram types that are intended to correspond with eight different fundamental thinking processes.