Oak Knoll’s Upper School offers a wide variety of classes for grades 7-12. From Darkroom Photography to HO Psychology, AP Latin to HO Engineering, the opportunities are limitless. As a student, I’ve enjoyed getting to explore these options and challenge myself academically. However, some of my most memorable experiences have been taking those OKS courses that are on the rather quirky side.
Modern classrooms are awash in technology. From devices to 3D printers to robotics, there seems to be no end to the different activities that engage our students. Although it appears it is the gadgets and gizmos that have our students’ attention, it is more likely the way teachers are choosing to employ the various technologies. Instead of simple lessons or projects, many teachers use the concept of gamification to get students learning on a deeper level.
There are proven benefits of small classroom sizes - from increased achievement to higher graduation rates. The way students learn and perform are significantly impacted by a small classroom environment - specifically those with fewer than 20 children. Students are more likely to receive individualized attention, which enhances learning opportunities, improves behavior, builds a community and produces overall better results, from test scores to grades.
When I was in school, a well-planned, one-size-fits-all lesson was the way we learned. We sat at our tables quietly, listened to our teacher and raised our hand when we had a question. You could usually hear a pin drop, as noise was frowned upon. The teacher was the star of the show, and the students were the audience members. Today, the classroom is made up of an ensemble cast, featuring both the teacher and the students.