Foundations of Open School at Marcy
1. Interdisciplinary Learning is used to encourage student engagement and complex thinking.
• This is when a single subject is used to practice skills from more than one academic subject.
Examples of Interdisciplinary Learning at Marcy include:
• An art residency where students use writing, math, drawing and research to complete the art project.
• Writing paragraphs in science to describe observations in an experiment.
• Using geometric shapes in math to create art projects, while also learning about proportion and geometry.
• Learning about art history as a way to learn about a style of making art – for example studying Picasso and then making cubist art works.
2. Student-Centered Classrooms include opportunities for students to:
• make choices
• be involved in decision making
• work independently
• and in cooperative groups
• assess their own learning
Examples of Student Centered Classrooms at Marcy include:
• In creating History Day projects, students are able to choose a subject that fits within a theme, and from a variety
3. Grouping of students may change based on the subject, the skill that is being practiced or the activity. Flexible groups can increase student challenge and allow students the chance to learn from each other.
Examples of Flexible Grouping at Marcy include:
4. Families and the Community are valued resources for enriching and expanding student learning.
Examples of including the Community in learning at Marcy include:
• Options Classes that use volunteers from the Community as teachers.
• Our relationships with the University of Minnesota and Augsburg College, which bring large numbers of college students into our classrooms.
• Parent volunteers in a variety of jobs, including Art Adventure, field trips and as classroom
5. Learning is a process, something that each student does. Teachers are guides, helpers and instructors.
Examples of the Process of Learning at Marcy include:
• Math problems that require a student to figure out a way to solve a real-world problem.
• When students are asked to explain to their class the “how” or the “why” that lead them to the answer.
• Classroom discussion of Growth Mindset, and how everyone’s brain can grow to learn new skills.
• Encouraging students to think of learning as the process of practicing a new skill until you can do it – like riding a bike.
• Language Arts time that allows students the chance to choose what to read or write about, while teachers offer structure through lessons that focus on skills that are part of all literacy. Such as, write about your choice of subject, using complete sentences and complex vocabulary.
6. We strive for a school culture that recognizes the Whole Child. We recognize that students must feel safe, welcomed and a part of the community before learning can really take place.
Examples of ways that Marcy recognizes the Whole Child include:
• Specialist classes and arts residencies that encourage students to express themselves in creative ways.
• Our partnership with the Mental Health Collaborative to help student with their emotional well-being.
• All of our teachers are trained in Responsive Classroom. Responsive Classroom focuses on encouraging positive behaviors in classrooms by building community and encouraging students to self-reflect.
• Our teachers are called by their first names. This tradition is intended to show that teachers and students are partners in education – both deserving of respect.
• Marcy is an International Peace Site. We celebrate Peace Day every year and many teachers incorporate Peace education into their school day in various ways. Peace education encourages non-violent conflict resolution and tolerance for others.
• Marcy administrators and behavioral specialists encourage students to problem solve with other students and staff to reach agreements that can improve behavior.
415 4th Ave SE Minneapolis, MN 55414
Telephone: 612.668.1020 | Fax: 612.668.1030