Future Ready Week Equips LCCS Students With Life Skills

Cultivating creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking

By: Emily Chesnic, Campus Communications & Volunteer Coordinator

HARTVILLE – It was Future Ready Learning Week March 13-17 at Lake Center Christian School, where upper elementary students applied concepts they are learning in their classes, including science and math, to gain real life experiences.

Elementary Principal Mrs. Dannon Stock said students rotated through “maker” stations, “cultivating creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking,” preparing them for college and the workforce. 

 “Learning should be exciting, enjoyable, applicable, and that is what is being displayed during our Future Ready Learning Week,” said Fifth Grade Teacher Mrs. Susan Hulse, who is an active part of Lake Center’s future ready initiative. “As teachers, we are able to take something we are interested in and let it come alive. When you observe the students, their excitement becomes contagious and we see how valuable this hands-on learning is. Through the activities this week, they are learning valuable life skills.”

Project-Based, Student-Centered Experiences

During Future Ready Learning Week at Lake Center, fourth grade students traveled to a different station each morning for project-focused education. The activities included creative art, bridge building, flight/aerospace and furniture building. Students were guided through the design process as they partnered together to complete a task, said Mrs. Stock.

“Our fifth and sixth grade students were able to choose areas to focus on for the week based on their interests. They spent afternoons concentrating on designing, problem solving and building,’ she said.

Areas for the fifth and sixth grade student-driven learning: fine arts, creative writing, cooking, sewing, and stop motion with a green screen. These activities took place in eight different locations in the elementary, including the makerspace, which includes a 3D printer, green screen, sewing machines and technology so children imagine, use their hands to create, and further develop into lifelong learners, said Mrs. Stock.

In the school kitchen, Mrs. Hulse guided students as they followed a recipe, replacing unhealthy ingredients with nutritional ones. She explained how making small changes, like swapping sugar for applesauce reduces sugar content and benefits one’s health. Her students made a nutritional meal option and shared it with students and staff to expose others to healthier food options.

Concerning the Future Ready Learning Week, Fifth Grade Teacher Mrs. Courtney Williams said, “ I love that students are able to experiment with different activities they may not dare to try on their own. The students work with students in another grade level, adults with diverse expertise and problem solve in a safe and encouraging space.”

Learning should be exciting, enjoyable, applicable, and that is what is being displayed during our Future Ready Learning Week." 

Future Ready Learning Elevates Student’s Interests

Students agreed Future Ready Learning Week allowed them to take an initial concept, brainstorm and follow steps to completion. After crafting a story board and using stop motion to create a short film, Gabriel Hersman, a fifth grader who wants to enter the technology field one day, said the project left him dreaming big. 

“I was able to mesh lego building with technology and learned a lot in the process. I now could make a longer movie one day,” he said. 

Sixth grader Evelyn Greetham enjoyed creating a bookmark, small pillow and pillowcase, after selecting her favorite fabrics and learning how to operate a sewing machine. 

“I really like being creative so this station was a good fit for me. I know I will use these skills as an adult,” she said.

Eloise Helmich, a sixth grade student, added she envisions sewing as an adult to bless charities with needed items.

Intent of Future Ready Learning at LCCS

Future ready education at Lake Center makes content relevant to students’ lives and establishes opportunities for students to tap into curiosity and use core knowledge while working with others. LCCS students are developing life skills through research, technology, teamwork, inventiveness, strategizing and decision making.

The development of the whole student is at the heart of this student-focused learning. It is designed to equip the next generation with the life skills needed to continue to learn beyond graduation and succeed into adulthood. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Mrs. Gretchen Shaffer said engaging in future ready learning helps Lake Center students advance in academic excellence, continue to develop in Christian character, use their God-given abilities and show their love for Christ to others.

“The overall purpose of future ready learning: we want our kids to follow the calling God has on their life,” she said. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Above: During Future Ready Learning Week, Lake Center fifth grade students, Nikola Wilson and Haddasah Scaife, craft an artistic piece together, after collaborating on a design.

Above: Lake Center sixth grade students, Kaiden Dallas and Vladik Torchilo, team up to prepare homemade granola, gaining real life experience in a kitchen.

Above: Avery Dishong, a fifth grade student at Lake Center Christian School, creatively collaborates with Eloise Van Volkenberg to create a mosaic reflection of Psalm 23. This activity took place to teach students a life skill – how to take an idea and follow it through to completion.

Above: Gage Nelson and Jaden Franke, Lake Center fifth graders, create a movie with legos and a green screen, an activity part of Future Ready Learning Week, allowing the students to experience different ways to use technology.

Above: Luciana Rithcie, an LCCS fifth-grade student, learns to use a sewing machine, completing her own pillowcase as part of future ready skill building at the school.

Photos by: Susan Strudthoff

Above: Mr. and Mrs. Cory and Christine Miller selected Lake Center Christian School as their family’s partner for Christian Education. Their son, Ender, is a kindergarten at Lake Center this year. Mr. and Mrs. Miller also are the parents of Oakely, 2, and Autumn, 6 months.

Photograph Provided by The Miller Family

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