London Towne Global Classroom Program
During the 2017-18 school year, London Towne participated in the pilot Global Classroom program that FCPS implemented in 8 schools. Our 5th grade AAP class collaborated with 5th graders at our partner school, Instituto Psicopedagogia Integral y Colegio Isaac Martin (IPICIM) in San Jose, Costa Rica to solve an authentic science-related problem. London Towne students conducted an environmental assessment of our school in STEAM class, determining that we needed some fresh ideas for our recycling program. Costa Rican 5th graders presented us with an environmental problem they observed, polluted oceans. Small groups at each school researched and brainstormed solutions to their partner school’s problem. They proposed solutions to each other via Skype at the end of the school year and provided each other feedback.
In the 2018-19 school year, FCPS expanded Global Classroom to 18 schools and London Towne continued our collaboration with IPICIM, involving our 3rd grade Spanish immersion students. We used the project-based learning model to solve an authentic problem in our partner country, constructing models suggesting how IPICIM could collect and reuse rainwater. Our 3rd grade peers at our partner school proposed improvements to London Towne's courtyard, using their own sensory garden as inspiration.
In the 2019-20 school year, we are honored to be one of 32 schools in the still-growing FCPS Global Classroom program and are focusing on strengthening our partnership with IPICIM for a third year! The participating classes, now in 4th grade, each share details about their daily lives via the digital recording tool, Flipgrid. We continue to plan and discuss improvements for our courtyard by implementing IPICIM's suggestions and creating some sensory garden elements using recyclable materials. London Towne students also hope to be able to suggest some of their own ideas to further upgrade IPICIM's garden, such as bilingual signs for native plants.
All students participating in the Global Classroom project increase their cultural responsiveness by learning about their partner country’s culture as well as forming relationships with their long-distance peers. The students will focus on the Portrait of a Graduate attributes of Communicator, Collaborator, and Ethical and Global Citizen. As Ethical and Global Citizens in action, students also have the opportunity to address a global issue, as defined by the United Nations in their Sustainable Development Goal. Our project relates to goal #15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.