El Education at FCE

LEARNING EXPEDITIONS - In EL Education schools, Learning Expeditions are the primary way of organizing curriculum. The subject matter of a Learning Expedition is a compelling topic derived from content standards. Learning Expeditions feature linked projects that require students to construct deep understandings and skills and to create products for real audiences. Learning Expeditions support critical literacy, promote character development, create a sense of adventure, spark curiosity, and foster an ethic of service. They address central academic standards of content, skills, and presentation, and include goals related to character and community. They allow for and encourage the authentic integration of disciplines. Teachers work together to ensure that Learning Expeditions align with local standards. A coherent sequence of Learning Expeditions is mapped vertically through the grade levels to ensure that expedition topics are not repeated and that students learn essential skills and knowledge

The integral elements of a Learning Expedition are:

  • Compelling topics

  • Guiding questions

  • High-quality products or performances created for an authentic audience

  • Fieldwork

  • Experts

  • Service

Learning Expeditions engage students by allowing various types of learners to enter the curriculum from their entry point. It allows for differentiation as well as enrichment in areas students want to dive deeper. Learning Expeditions create a sense of true purpose for a particular topic and students become experts on a topic they may never have chosen to become an expert.

Learn more about EL Education at: http://elschools.org/


In addition to our Learning Expeditions, there are five key dimensions within Expeditionary Learning that create the heart of learning at Fox Creek Elementary School:

CURRICULUM - Our approach to curriculum makes content and skill standards come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs. Academically rigorous learning expeditions, case studies, projects, fieldwork, and service learning inspire students to think and work as professionals do, contributing high-quality work to authentic audiences beyond the classroom.

INSTRUCTION - Our classrooms are alive with discovery, inquiry, critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. Teachers talk less. Students talk and think more. Lessons have explicit purpose, guided by learning targets for which students take ownership and responsibility. In all subject areas, teachers differentiate instruction and maintain high expectations in order to bring out the best in all students and cultivate a culture of high achievement.

CULTURE AND CHARACTER - Our school builds a culture of respect, responsibility, courage, and kindness, where students and adults are committed to quality work and citizenship. School structures and traditions such as crew, community meetings, exhibitions of student work, and service learning ensure that every student is known and cared for, that student leadership is nurtured, and that contributions to the school and world are celebrated. Students and staff are supported to do better work and be better people than they thought possible.

ASSESSMENT - Our leaders, teachers, and students embrace the power of student-engaged assessment practices to focus students on reaching standards-based learning targets and drive achievement. Students continually assess and improve the quality of their work through the use of models, reflection, critique, rubrics, and work with experts. Staff members engage in ongoing data inquiry and analysis, examining everything from patterns in student work to results from high-stakes tests.

LEADERSHIP - Our school leaders build professional learning communities that focus sharply on student achievement and continuous improvement, use data wisely, and boldly shape school structures to best meet student needs. Leaders celebrate joy in learning and build a school-wide culture of trust and collaboration. Leadership in our schools goes beyond a single person or team - it is a role and expectation for all.