MENTOR, Ohio-- Teachers lecturing at the front of the classroom is how most of us remember school. But, that is not what you'll find at Fairfax Elementary in Mentor. This week’s Fox 8 Cool School uses a new approach to learning.
Students learn the "traditional" coursework, but just not in a typical setting. They have an open-concept classroom with no standard desks and chairs. “It's a classroom design that enables students to work in small groups; to work in a whole group; to work individual with a teacher or classroom assistant, and it helps us provide each student with the instruction that they need at that time," fifth grade teacher Cecelia Robinson said.
Teachers find that students get immersed in their work. "I think the kids are happy because they get to have their personal iPads. And, when they have partner work, they will usually have math game or a social studies project," fifth grader Devon Ambrus added.
This blended learning is a district-wide distinction in the Mentor schools. That also includes the use of technology integrated in the daily lessons. "I think learning with technology enables students to be more engaged, more motivated. It also lets them learn at their own pace. But, in the same sense we haven't abandoned enriching and immersing our students with reading and writing,” second grade teacher Stephanie Ward said.
Fairfax prides itself on being a community school. It has an active student council that cares about others. "We think of activities we can do and we do stuff for Mentor,” third grader Alexa Stockman said.
And, that community spirit adds to the reasons why Fairfax Elementary is a Cool School. "The teachers and kids are just so nice and they really work together to get things achieved," fifth grader Brooke Jacoby added.