Outside Classrooms: Even Small Doses Can Help Counter Nature-Deficit Disorder
Some teachers remain reluctant to take learning outside. They worry students will lose focus. But as researcher Ming Kuo said, “You can add as much instructional time as you want and keep pouring, but once that cup is full, it’s full. You have to find ways to give kids more capacity to take [information] in.” Being in nature seems to increase that capacity.
Virtual Reality in the Classroom
Imagine a student so viscerally immersed in learning that it’s dizzying. Literally. That’s the power of using virtual reality in the classroom, and it’s capturing the attention of K–12 educators.
Employee Spotlight–Meet Jesus Anorve-Garcia
Have you ever wondered who works on and fixes the machinery at Smith System? Well, meet Jesus. He has been working at Smith System for the past eight years. Lately, Jesus has been assembling and moving our production lines from Plano to the new facility. He is one of the only people who knows how all of the machinery at Smith System works.
Future-Proof Furniture Fills New K–8 Leadership Academy
If modern K–12 education design had a mascot, it’d be a chameleon. Just like those color-morphing lizards, learning spaces and furniture must functionally adapt over their live span for every grade level and possible pedagogy. It’s called future-proofing.
Smith System Studio: 3d Printable Barrier Screen Stands
Beginning today, anyone can download our free design file to create a basic 3D plastic stand for making classroom screens. Aer printing the stand, students simply slide any type of firm material into the slots, like plywood, cardboard from collapsed boxes or foam board, to create an upright barrier.
An Innovative STEM Environment at Donny O’Dell Elementary.
“My students’ ability to collaborate has greatly improved, no matter who’s in their group. Their confidence in trying new things has skyrocketed, too. They’re given opportunities to explore, fail, and not give up. I love seeing that.” So much so that she has her eye on securing funding to create O’Dell’s first “STEMineers”
A Transatlantic Team: Smith System Furnishes Primary School in Greece
The opportunity to furnish a classroom is exciting. The opportunity to develop and direct the furnishing of an entire new primary school is extraordinary, especially when that school must seamlessly integrate into a beloved, 113-year-old educational institutional.
Flavors Noodle Chair Turns Occupational Therapist into Active Seating Advocate
As an elementary school occupational therapist, Megan Kelly Petersen has a trained eye for spotting issues that hinder student learning. But she’s also tenacious at finding solutions, especially for kids who struggle to stay focused.
Creating an Engaging Early Learning Environment for Young Learners
“I love my school!” is a comment that every educator longs to hear, especially those working with the most malleable of minds: preschoolers. That’s frequently happening at the newly opened District 59 Early Learning Center (ELC) in Mount Prospect, Illinois. The dynamic building is a modern example of how a bright, engaging early learning environment can incorporate 21st Century learning principles.
Building a Makerspace: Ryan Park Elementary’s Story
After attending a number of conferences and observing the creative learning opportunities offered by Makerspace education, Ryan Park Elementary School Principal Amy Heavin decided to put together a team to create her own Makerspace called “The Learning Lab” at her school. Here is their story.
How to Launch a Charter School
Two of us teachers started doing Genius Hour in our classrooms. Genius Hour is inspired by Google's 20% projects where their employees have the freedom to work on their own creative projects 20% of the time, as long as the projects benefit the company. We wanted to give our students an opportunity to own their learning and research and create their own projects. We would always say, "What if we had our own school? We would do this or do that differently or better.”