A Best-Practice Reflection by: Jill Culligan; Laura Hebert; Cindy Somers; and Mitchell Leger, Edith Cavell School
On a chilly December day, Edith Cavell’s Middle School team of teachers (Jill Culligan, Laura Hebert, Cindy Somers and Mitchell Leger) embarked on an adventure to see the Entrepreneurial showcase at Claude D. Taylor elementary school in Riverview. The showcase was the culminating event of the PowerPlay program, which aims to promote personalization, entrepreneurship and citizenship.
As we entered, we were greeted by our gracious hosts at Claude D. Taylor, including the grade 5 French immersion teacher, Marie-Carmen Savoie. We were invited to explore their showcase of items that were set up by the grade 4 and 5 students. Each student had designed and manufactured a product. They were guided through the process by the PowerPlay program and explored what a business plan looked like and how to sell their product. They had catchy advertisements and slogans on their posters and clever product names. One student even went so far as to have a moving arrow on his display so as to grab our attention.
Engagement of student learning was evident within minutes of meeting with students. As we walked into the room, students were trying to draw in customers with catchy sales pitches. When questioning students on what they learned or what they felt was the greatest challenge, we found many of them found a lot of enjoyment from creating their product. Their knowledge extended well beyond their product and showed an understanding of the process of design, marketing, and selling. Our team was thoroughly impressed with the amount of students who showed an affinity for making a sales pitch and engaging with potential customers.
After visiting Claude D. Taylor, our team felt that PowerPlay would be the right next step for our middle school. Edith Cavell is in its second year of emphasizing the importance of student-led passion projects. Our team has been focused on facilitating the personalization of our students’ learning, allowing them to hit curricular outcomes without even realizing it. We will be embarking on PowerPlay in the new year and we have high hopes for our students in grades 6-7-8 after seeing the standard set by Claude D.
To any educators who have even the slightest curiosity, we recommend going as a team to witness a PowerPlay Showcase, but if possible, have your students witness one as well. The amount of knowledge that we were exposed to from our visit is definitely going to be beneficial to your students as lifelong learners.