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Second-Graders Boost Wolf Pride with Problem-Based Learning Project

It starts with an observation. Maybe it’s a trash bin overflowing with recyclable materials. Or perhaps it’s items that linger in the Lost and Found for weeks, or an area of campus that could use some sprucing up. For Wildwood 2nd graders, the issue they wanted to address as part of Intersession Week was a bit more intangible–how to boost Wolf pride and bring more school spirit to campus!

This spring, elementary students took part in Wildwood’s first-ever Intersession Week, devoting an entire week to diving into problem-based learning (PBL). PBL is similar in many ways to project-based learning, yet instead of focusing on creating an end product to share their learning, students are involved in both identifying and solving a real-world problem.

As part of their solution to increasing school spirit, 2nd graders came up with the idea of “Wolf Week” to celebrate the end of the school year, with themed days to spread energy and excitement among their classmates in other grades.

Students not only developed ideas for the week, which included activities such as “Movie Monday” and “Tech Tuesday,” but also presented their case to Wildwood administration to consider implementing. 

“The students divided themselves into teams, each tackling a different aspect of ‘Wolf Week’, in order to present a viable, thoughtful, and convincing solution,” said Katie Delly, 2nd grade teacher. “From publicizing the week around campus to creating cheers and brainstorming campus-wide activities, they got a sense of the multiple aspects and approaches, as well as teamwork, that it takes to successfully implement such an event.”

After brainstorming and narrowing down options, students came up with the following themed days:

  • Movie Monday: “My favorite day of the week,” according to Leonie K. ‘32

  • Tech Tuesday: “We put QR codes all over campus for people to scan and learn new things,” said Abbot D. ‘32. “It was really cool to see people use them.”
  • Stuffie Wednesday: “I liked seeing all the different stuffed animals people brought to campus,” said Arrow L. ‘32. “One student brought a stuffed Hot Chocolate, and I had never seen that before.”
  • Big Games Thursday: “It was really fun to see how students interacted with giant-sized games and utilized Big Yard in ways they normally wouldn’t,” said Monze Garcia, 2nd grade teacher.
  • Yummy Friday: “Who doesn’t love a fun treat to end the week?” said Violet S. ‘32

While the week delivered loads of fun, it also brought important lessons and opportunities to develop Life Skills, according to Sarah Simon, associate director of elementary school.

“Problem-based learning provides the opportunity for students to develop the skills of working in teams, oral and written communication, research, and problem-solving–all while directing their energy and efforts toward real-world issues,” said Sarah.

For Abbot D. ‘32, Wolf Week not only boosted school spirit, but also his sense of pride and accomplishment. “We actually got to think about something, and then bring it to life!”

  • Spring 2022