With support from FMPS, Toki Middle School implemented the Expeditionary Learning (EL) Model to increase achievement levels in reading and writing. The EL model increases student motivation to learn; engages students, teachers and the community; and empowers all to become leaders of their learning.
During the 2011-12 school year, Toki sent staff to three EL national conferences to learn how to teach reading and writing, planned an EL conference at Toki for all staff members, and hosted an in-school consultation with an EL school designer. The grant also allowed Toki to administer components of EL in all grades and employ the first learning expedition in 6th grade.
Through the learning expedition, “What makes a healthy community?” 6th graders took trips and conducted fieldwork in gardens, learned about the effects of weather, and explored the advent of agriculture. In their final projects, students were able to connect all of the concepts they learned throughout the year. The skills they gained will have a lasting impact as they continue on to 7th and 8th grade.
By implementing the EL model, Toki Middle School hopes to improve relationships among staff, students, parents and the community; administer professional development focused on reading and writing across disciplines; and continue high quality of instruction.