Second-graders get Googly eyed over campus maps

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Visitors at Fuller Elementary School certainly won’t have trouble finding their way around campus thanks to Jessica Foster’s second-grade class.

These second-graders created their own hand-drawn campus maps using Google Maps technology and spatial recognition of their school. After completing the project, the students had the idea of placing them at the front office for visitors to use after checking in.

“Parents and visitors are picking them up constantly,” said Fuller Office Manager Sheila Olivas. “They love it and think it’s a great way to guide them around our school!”

Second-grader Tonantzi Vidales was the student who had the idea of placing the maps in the front office. Her idea was to not only help parents and visitors get around campus, but to also encourage new kids to come to Fuller Elementary.

“I love Fuller and I thought it would be great for kids who want to go to my school to use when walking around,” said Vidales.

Foster’s classroom is centered around the principle of authentic learning. This style of learning encourages students to create tangible and meaningful projects to be shared with our world. Through Project Based Learning activities such as their map project, students authentically learn how to generate creative ideas, collaborate, share and grow their unique strengths, and discover real world applications.

Student teacher Nichole Lynch has been working with Foster’s classroom all year. It was Lynch’s idea to encourage students to create the map of their own school campus.

“With authentic learning, it’s important to make our projects meaningful and have a purpose,” explained Lynch. “We figured the most familiar place for our students to create a map would be for the Fuller campus. Once we determined the project, students put forth their own creative ideas in designing their maps.”

After being used frequently during the school’s recent parent teacher conferences, the maps are all stacked and ready to be used for the next round of visitors to Fuller Elementary.

“This was a great project because our students not only learned a real world skill, but they can feel proud that they are making a difference in our school,” said Foster.

By Gabrielle Olson, Communication Specialist, Tempe Elementary School District

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