Riverfield Country Day School Starts Investigation Research

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EXPLORING THE WORLD: The innovative investigations research process brings the opportunity for students to learn about subjects that interest them the most. From left are teachers Erica Barnard and Aimee Martin in front of a weather project that students created.


Riverfield Country Day School has become one of the most innovative and respected private schools in the region. Following the idea of focusing on subjects that interest students, a new Investigations Research was implemented into the curriculum beginning last year.

Aimee Martin and Erica Barnard enjoy teaching a combined Kindergarten and First Grade class together and feel that the process has been a wonderful addition for the students. “In the beginning, students chose a variety of subjects that they wanted to learn more about throughout the year. Some of the students wanted to learn about pyramids and others chose weather. Two of the students were very interested in the ocean so they decided to work with one another,” explains Barnard.

Other subjects included royalty, animals and planets. One student wanted to learn about the whole wide world, which soon became the theme. “We wanted to choose a theme that would bring all of the subjects together and knew that this would be perfect,” notes Martin.

Once all of the students had chosen a subject to investigate, they got to work with the help and guidance of their teachers. The subjects provide a way to teach the students about math, science, reading, writing and a variety of specific skills. “The investigations were the basis of the curriculum, which makes it exciting for them,” notes Martin. “It was amazing to see the students working together and teaching one another throughout their investigations.”

Their investigations involved a lot of fun research and even some trips around town. The Tulsa Zoo provided a great learning experience for everyone. Students applied the lessons that were learned at the zoo to their own investigations.

In addition, a trip was arranged to Gilcrease Museum as soon as the students decided to create a museum with their research. They took notes and evaluated the ways that they could display all of their information. “The entire classroom was later transformed into a collaborative museum. Students made invitations to invite others to enjoy their exhibits,” adds Barnard.

The museum was a success but was not quite the close of the program. Barnard continues to explain that “The culminating event at the end of the year was a play called Round Up. The students organized the performance to share the information that they learned about their subjects with others.”

Martin and Barnard are looking forward to the upcoming academic year and the new investigations that will be formed in their classroom.

For more information about Riverfield Country Day School, call (918) 466-3553 or visit www.riverfield.org.

Updated 08-16-2010

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