Ninja turtles, LEGO’s and Hot Wheels were the toys of choice for my sons when they were small. They built buildings, castles, airplanes and mixed the toys for amazing adventures! This week I had an opportunity to spend time with Deleena, a four-year-old girl who has an incredible imagination and played with a set of large fairy themed building blocks. Creatively, all of the building blocks became different types of food that filled the “order” she took from us at her “restaurant.” During the time I spent with Deleena I laughed and learned how to drink magic milk shake tea from a cup, which was really part of the pastel colored building block set. Of course, it was important to keep only my pinkie finger up at just the right angle, say “Cheers,” and drink somewhat loudly followed by a chorus of “m-m-m.”
As I left Deleena, she hugged me good-bye and told me to come back to the restaurant “tomorrow.” The experience left me thankful for the Columbia School District teachers who incorporate the natural imagination and creativity of our children and expand it as they provide learning experiences in the classroom. From the time our children are born they begin creating scenarios with items and situations in their surroundings. Beginning with our wonderful preschool teachers right up through our senior high school teachers they work to connect real-life experiences through project based learning, hands-on activities and assignments created to extend their understanding of historical, as well as today’s society.
Just walking around the Columbia School District so many examples of great learning activities come to mind. Our high school art program allows students to use their imagination and skill to create amazing pieces of artistic expression. The Columbia Central musical last weekend took basic abilities of our students and showcased them on the stage. The Columbia Middle School video news curriculum has encouraged students to break out of their shell and experience producing a student news program. At Columbia Elementary School teachers continually use their creativity combined with the imagination of their students to make learning come alive.
As we continue to expand our students’ learning opportunities we are working to include courses and experiences which will encourage students like Deleena to benefit by gaining knowledge and reaching new heights in understanding of the world around them. If you are interested in learning more about the great programs at Columbia School District please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 517.592.6641.