As the Executive Director of Live It Learn It, I am excited to launch our new blog, The LILI Pad! Through the LILI Pad, we are eager to share with you ways in which you can provide rich opportunities for your students and colleagues without doing all of the work from scratch! The LILI Pad will offer teaching reflections, monthly themes, mini-lessons and best practices for facilitating experiential learning. As an organization, we have experienced great success with our students and believe you will as well. Our students have grown exponentially due to our hands-on approach to teaching.
Through The LILI Pad, you will have access to useful and rich resources and also to our incredibly smart staff. Each post will be written by a member of our team, myself or the founder of Live It Learn It! Information about each blogger can be found in the About Us section. In the future, we look forward to special blog opportunities that may include our partner institutions, teachers, education bloggers and possibly you! How exciting!
While we will continue to facilitate learning directly for students and provide on-site professional development for teachers, we realize that our capacity to impact students will grow indirectly through The LILI Pad. Therefore, we look forward to hearing from you! We want to know what you think and how you’ve used the blog to enhance your content and pedagogy. Washington, DC and every other city in the world have amazing informal learning opportunities that bring content to life. Use those resources. The LILI Pad will get you started and we look forward to hearing about your own unique lessons. We want to be in conversation with you.
Our team has had the great fortune of facilitating experiential learning opportunities for nearly 17,000 students in DC Public Schools. Our approach to teaching students is unique as we use museums, waterways, and art spaces as informal learning places for our students. Our approach consists of three parts: a pre-lesson, field experience, and post-lesson. We teach students using our Guided Experience methodology – experience, analyze, and connect. Our students, 3rd-6th graders in DC’s most impoverished schools, have the opportunity to experience, analyze, and connect with these institutions in deep ways that strengthen them academically, increase their motivation, and build their sense of efficacy – their own confidence in their ability to learn. Equity is at the forefront of our work with students. We understand the importance and impact of experiential learning when teaching students who experience the trauma of poverty.
Since 2005, we have had the pleasure of partnering with a wide range of schools and cultural institutions. Our partner destinations include many of the world’s most visited museums and the nation’s most treasured sites. Through our units, students have been able to:
∙ Weigh the decision to stay or move, as they analyze the challenges and opportunities during the Great Migration (with a visit to the Phillips Collection to see Jacob Lawrence’s series).
∙ Investigate the effects of erosion and reduce it by planting native wetland plants along the Anacostia River (during a trip with the Anacostia Watershed Society)
∙ Be inspired by Frederick Douglass’ perseverance and passion, and walk in his footsteps at his home in Anacostia (at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site).
∙ Immerse themselves in these and other equally important and exciting academic units (we have 25+ units) that showcase a local cultural treasure.
Join us in developing and unleashing the innate curiosity in students and providing rich opportunities for them to engage with their city. It’s their city too and it is our responsibility to provide them with critical exposure and thoughtful access to the arts, humanities, and STEM sites contained therein! We are excited that you have chosen to join us on this teaching and learning journey and, again, look forward to being challenged to consider ways to ensure equitable access to learning for all students with whom we encounter.