Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered approach to teaching in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving an open-ended, interdisciplinary, real-world problems.
Place-based Education is an approach to teaching that roots the academic learning of students in their own community to promote environmental stewardship and cultivate capable young citizens.
Outdoor learning has been proven to help students by alleviating stress and distraction, developing risk-taking and risk-assessment capabilities, developing empathy and humility, sustaining wonder, and encouraging a sense of responsibility for our environment.
The question we get the most is "Well, what about the academics??" Academics, along with socio-emotional health, are at the core of Verdi EcoSchool approach to teaching and learning. It is, in fact, our commitment to academics that pushes us to create a learning environment in which the progressive skills of math, science, reading, writing, social studies, and the arts are put into practice with hands-on projects and into context with interdisciplinary, real-world applications.
Our approach to academic learning emerged from a growing frustration in the limits of the traditional classroom model. Most of us are familiar with, and even grew up in, a school environment that requires students to sit in their chair all day within the confines of a concrete room learning facts about separate subjects and taking tests about the content. The effectiveness of this model is being increasingly questioned worldwide. Instead of asking "How do we get our students to succeed on the standardized test at the end of the year?" we ask "Is this academic content relevant to our students in the real-world? Do they have the skills to apply it?"
PREVIOUS LEARNING UNITS
PHYSICS OF ARCHERY
Ms. Savannah is a passionate educator who started her career in Brevard Public Schools. She holds degrees in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education with endorsements in Reading Education and ESOL. She joined the Verdi EcoSchool with the goal of teaching students in a more genuine way, that doesn't revolve around tests, algorithms and forced learning, but rather revolves around natural and organic learning.
She is a Brevard County native whose dream has always been to teach and she is so excited to be a part of the Verdi EcoSchool.
At the Verdi EcoSchool Savannah is a part of the core educator team where she helps to design curriculum, create immersive educational experiences and works with community specialists to deliver innovative programming to students.
When not teaching Savannah enjoys hiking, running, practicing yoga and reading.
Ms. Denise is an educator, artist, and resident of Eau Gallie. She studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, and completed her graduate degree in Art Education at Boston University. Denise has taught and held administrative roles within the museum, public school, gallery, and non-profit settings. She is a specialist in arts integration – an approach to teaching that integrates art as a primary pathway to understand concepts across multiple disciplines and core content areas.
Denise is a patient and dedicated teacher. She seeks to maintain an inquisitive, creative, respectful, and fun learning environment.
At the Verdi EcoSchool, Denise wears many hats as a co-educator of the upper school and arts integration specialist in addition to her role as an administrator. When not teaching or making art, you can find Denise cooking, gardening, renovating her house with her husband Matt, or walking her dogs.