Real World Learning at Lamar Elementary

When Lisa Washer teaches, her Lamar first graders listen, absorbing real world lessons she imparts like little sponges thirsty for knowledge.

“Science, math, reading, social studies, you name it…everything we teach our children is applicable to the world around them and how they will ultimately function in it,” said Washer. “We can’t leave our classrooms every day to explore and discover, but when we do get the chance, I make sure that it offers something that interests and engages my students…and that they can relate to when we’re back learning in the classroom.”

One outing this school year transported all three classrooms of Lamar first graders to the Choctaw Recycling Center, followed by a picnic in the park. “This Field Trip broadened our kids’ horizons in terms of the need to conserve, preserve and reuse our resources to help improve our environment and climate here on earth. They learned what can be recycled, how those things multiply when thousands of people use them, why we should try to not use things that cannot be recycled, and how we can each do our part to make our planet a better place for all of us.”

Washer says even the picnic in the park afterward was a fun learning experience. “We talked about air quality, the weather, the importance of properly disposing of trash, which items we used that could be recycled. These kids are already learning to think critically. It’s the kind of learning and thinking that will serve them well as they progress through school…and on to college, careers and the work place.”

When the class can’t travel, Washer says there are supportive people willing to bring real world lessons directly to the classroom. “One of my student’s parents has a menagerie of spiders, scorpions and snakes,” said Washer. “My student asked her to bring some of them for his ‘Show and Tell’ presentation, and the kids loved it! They had a million questions, like which ones are poisonous and how do you know if it’s poisonous, how big will they get, which bites hurt the most and can any of them kill you. It turned out to be a great science lesson for the kids.”

Last but not least, Washer says real world learning can sometimes come in the form of a tasty treat. “Something as simple as a Tootsie Roll Pop, which I brought on the 100th day of school this year. I passed out Tootsie Roll Pops to the kids and asked them to determine how many licks it takes to get to the center. A very tasty way to improve their basic math and counting skills!”

After a picnic in the park, Lamar first graders gathered in groups to discuss the many things they learned about the need to recycle as well as doing their part to preserve and improve the environment.

All three classrooms of first graders at Lamar Elementary enjoyed an interactive field trip to the Choctaw Recycling Center where they learned about the importance of recycling to preserve natural resources and improve earth’s environment.

Lamar teacher Lisa Washer praised supportive and involved people who bring real world learning into the classroom. “One of my student’s parents has a menagerie of spiders, scorpions and snakes,” said Washer. “My student asked her to bring some of them for his ‘Show and Tell’ presentation, and the kids loved it…a perfect example of the effectiveness of real world learning.”

Real world learning in Lisa Washer’s classroom included a tasty math lesson on the 100th day of school that involved determining how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.

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