Campus Life2018-10-03T20:48:06+00:00

Principal’s Corner

Patty Messer
Executive Director

Principal’s Newsletters

Year end Report 2018

Current Happenings

Events

Family events are an important component to The Grande Innovation Academy’s mission and vision of creating a better Casa Grande community. We encourage families to look at the dates and mark their calendars now so we can count on a great turn out.

The World’s Timeline: History Hosted by the Scholars

Starting with the 2017-18 school year, each grade level will host an all day event depicting a particular time period in history that they have studied. Costumes, food, and reenactments will be included. We encourage parents and volunteers to participate.

Wednesdays throughout April-May
Kinder: The Royal Court Hosts a Ball
1st:  The Frontier Explorers
2nd: Ancient Greece and the 1st Olympics
3rd: The Innovations of Ancient Rome
4th: Knights of the Round Table
5th: The North vs The South
6th: I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door: The Story of Ellis Island
7th: Keep Calm and Carry On: The Roles of WWII
8th: Standing Strong: Civil Rights Movement

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In the News

SMALLab brings virtual reality to school

SMALLab brings virtual reality to school SMALLab Article in Casa Grande Dispatch

Math Madness Night

Families of the Grande Innovation Academy participated in a successful continuing education event: Family Math Madness. The Grande Innovation Academy hosted a Monday Math Madness day November 14th. The teachers in grades K-8th integrated math into every subject all day. The scholars participated [...]

Hoot and Howler 2016

Annual Hoot and Howler Fall Festival 2016 Over 400 families and friends of the Grande Innovation Academy participated in the annual Hoot and Howler Festival. The Grande Innovation Academy hosted their annual Hoot and Howler Fall [...]

Scholars with Spoons

Scholars with Spoons will join our Scholars with Shovels program The Grande Innovation Academy administration team attended a week long program at the Edible Schoolyard Academy in Berkley California to learn about inspiring ways to accommodate an interactive and fully engaging garden-to-kitchen educational experience. [...]

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Master Class Tagline

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit
.
Aristotle

Calendar

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The Grande Scrapbook

  • 6th Grade Desert Outdoor Center 1
  • 6th Grade Desert Outdoor Center 1
  • Tonto Creek 1
  • Tonto Creek 2
  • Tonto Creek 4
  • Tonto Creek 6
  • Tonto Creek 5
  • Lake Pleasant 1
  • Lake Pleasant 2
  • Lake Pleasant 3
  • Lake Pleasant 4
  • Lake Pleasant 5
  • Lake Pleasant 6
  • DC 2018
  • DC 2018
  • DC 2018
  • 7TH GRADE 2018
  • Archaeology Dig 2018
  • Archaeology Dig 2018
  • Archaeology Dig 2018
  • Archaeology Dig 2018
  • Philly Trip
  • Philly Trip
  • Washington DC 2018
  • Washington DC 2018
  • Washington DC 2018
  • Washington DC 2018
  • Tonto Creek Camp 2017
  • Tonto Creek Camp 2017
  • Tonto Creek Camp 2017
  • Tonto Creek Camp 2017
  • Tonto Creek Camp 2017
  • Tonto Creek Camp 2017
  • Tonto Creek Camp 2017
  • Tonto Creek Camp 2017
  • Hoot and Howler Fall Festival 2016
  • Hoot and Howler Fall Festival 2016
  • Scholars in the garden
  • Sewing Club 2016
  • Sewing Club 2016
  • Sewing Club 2016
  • Sewing Club 2016
  • Sewing Club 2016
  • Scholars in the classroom
  • Family Math Madness Night
  • Family Math Madness Night
  • Family Math Madness Night
  • Crazy Sock Day
Swim Testimonial
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.
  • Photo of Global Day of Design 2017 classroom activities.

The Grande Innovation Academy Curriculum

Why is curriculum important?

A curriculum is the backbone of every school. With the adoption of state standards and preparing scholars for college, expectations have increased and The Grande Innovation Academy has stepped up. With our reading curriculum, we are encompassing higher level nonfiction text that also aligns with the Core Knowledge sequence that supports cultural literacy. ELA is balanced with discussion pieces as well as the listening and learning strand that enables students to connect what they read with what is happening in the world around them.

Our mathematics curriculum, Engage New York, is used from kindergarten through eighth grade and is rigorous and contains deep-thinking questions while requiring scholars to respond in writing to math problems. As an example, it’s not just about being able to multiply, but it is about applying the concept of multiplication to real life problems and situations scholars will use as adults.

Our many programs are used to develop a well-rounded educational experience that fosters growth and independent thinkers.  As our core values state: All scholars will get an education that will strengthen the local community.

Aligning with our Core Knowledge Sequence, CKLA (Amplify) is our reading program and it includes two instructional strands for K-3 that work together to instill both background knowledge and foundational skills, and these integrate into a single strand in Grades 4-5.

https://www.amplify.com/curriculum

Writing in grades K through 5th uses the Being a Writer Curriculum that instills the love of writing while deeply teaching writing stamina, problem-solving, and the state standards.

https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org/being-a-writer

ELA for Middle School uses a balanced literacy approach through Engage NY ELA.  Scholars read thought provoking novels and write essays responding to literature in a rigorous, standards-aligned process.  The reading is engaging and relevant to today’s society and current events.
Our Math Curriculum is rigorous, aligned to standards, and promotes deep thinking about math in ways that strengthen the basic skills but expand problem-solving abilities.

https://www.engageny.org/common-core-curriculum

The Core Knowledge Sequence is a detailed outline of recommended content knowledge and skills to be taught in language arts, history and geography, visual arts, and science from kindergarten through grade eight. The Sequence complements the general skills and objectives found in state and our curriculum guides.

https://www.coreknowledge.org/

College and Career Path

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The Arizona Department of Education has put together a checklist for the parents and students to review to assure they’re on the right path. Are scholars taking challenging courses? Are they keeping a folder with their best work? Are they adding money to a college savings account?

At every grade level, scholars should be preparing for their future Click here for a K-12 College and Career Checklist.

“Building a culture of trust frees people to act on their leadership intuition and the ability to move at a faster pace.  – Angela Arhendts

The FABulous FABLABS

What are they and why is everyone so excited about them?

Simply put, a FabLab is an interactive, hands-on, and do-it yourself fabrication laboratory which allows for students to take ownership of their project and through intrinsic creativity, realize they’re capable of many things.

The idea for FabLabs was sparked by a course called “How to Make (Almost) Anything.” offered at MIT’s CBA Department (Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for Bits and Atoms). The class, which was conjured up as a “how to” course for 10 engineering students, drew in 100 students studying art and architecture as well as engineering. The FabLab’s mission is “for ordinary people to not just learn about science and engineering but actually design machines and make measurements that are relevant to improving the quality of their lives.”

FabLabs exist all around the world. From Costa Rica to Ohio, these small scaled laboratories are popping up with laser printers, circuit boards, industrial-grade fabrication tools, electronics, software and magnets needed to turn anything a child can dream up into a reality. The benefits of FabLabs includes exposing students to high-level technology, inculcates a sense of belonging to the community in which they live and helps develop their imagination, dexterity, cognitive strengths, and creativity.

By learning to think outside the box, the knowledge, confidence and independence student’s gain will help them with future challenges and change the way we use technology.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the FabLab Exchange. For more information regarding the FabLab going in at the Grande Innovation Academy’s Casa Grande campus, please contact Mona Lisa Speers at 520-876-0492 or mlspeers@giaowlsmail.com.

FabLab Project

SMALLab Learning

The Grande Innovation Academy is the first school in Arizona to incorporate SMALLab Learning. 

Today, students are growing up in a technology-rich environment and are finding it more difficult to pay attention in a passive learning environment copying figures from the board.

Interactive learning is a more hands-on, real-world process of relaying information in classrooms. While passive learning relies on listening to teacher lectures or rote memorization of information, figures, or equations, interactive learning invites students to participate in the conversation, through technology or through role-playing group exercises in class. Interactive learning engages students who are raised in hyper-stimulated environments. It sharpens their critical thinking skills which are fundamental to the development of analytic reasoning.

What is SMALLab?

SMALLab is an embodied learning environment.  Motion-capture technology tracks our scholars’ 3D movements as they learn in immersive, interactive space. For example, as scholars are learning about a physics concept like velocity, they can hear the sound of their actions getting faster. They can see graphs and equations that represent their motions in real time. They can feel the weight of an object in their hand as they interact in real physical space.

Why SMALLab?

Cognitive scientists have discovered compelling evidence that nearly all of our experiences are in some way grounded in the body.  This suggests that the embodied experiences can lead to more effective learning – learning that is kinesthetic, collaborative, and multimodal.  SMALLab Learning is at the forefront of this exciting new field of embodied learning.

Explain what Embodied Learning is all about?

Embodied learning is an emerging field that blends human-computer interaction with learning sciences.  Cognitive scientists have discovered compelling evidence that most language and cognition is grounded in a bodily experience. This suggests that embodied; physical activities can lead to more effective learning. Embodied learning has the potential to transform K-12 learning in schools, museums, and community centers.

SMALLab Learning Logo
Small Lab
Path to Potential Logo

The Path-2-Potential Gifted Program allows gifted scholars to delve deeper into content as they develop critical thinking skills, enhanced with our unique curriculum structure. Structured leadership opportunities with the Scholars with Shovels Community Garden as well as the Roots and Shoots Program enable these high-ability scholars to contribute to their communities. Innovation and creation are the themes for these Scholars while they invent and solve real world problems in the Fab Lab. The Path-2-Potential is a ONE of a kind program in Casa Grande and is ONLY available at the Grande Innovation Academy.

1st – 8th Grade Gifted Programming The Path-2-Potential Gifted Program is taught in three structured gifted platforms: 1st and 2nd grade, 3rd-5th grade, and 6th-8th grade. The teachers of the program are highly qualified and experienced in differentiated instruction.

1st – 2nd Grade Cluster Scholars are clustered together with other scholars and one teacher that receives specific training in gifted education and differentiation. Based on assessment data, scholars will have curriculum compacted, accelerated, and will be challenged with high-level projects.

3rd, 4th and 5th Self-Contained Gifted Scholars in this class receive instruction with one teacher that receives specific training in gifted education and differentiation. These scholars will have a personalized learning plan using GoQuest, an inquiry and project-based learning platform based on each scholar’s interests. Based on assessment data scholars may have curriculum compacted and accelerated through a year’s worth of curriculum in a shorter amount of time.

6th – 8th Honors Classes The middle school gifted scholars will receive core instruction that is differentiated based on ability and need. They will receive specific leadership opportunities, coding and extended time in the SMALLab.

3rd – 8th Gifted Partnership Scholars partner with Central AZ College for their STEM Program.

Scholars attend quarterly “Meet-Ups” with other gifted scholars from around the Phoenix Metropolitan area:

  • AZ Capitol
  •  Create Makerspace at the AZ Science Center
  • Phoenix Library
  • Museums

Scholars will also participate in service learning:

  • Feed my Starving Children
  • Local Events
  • Food Bank

As part of the Path to Potential Program, the Grande Innovation Academy has partnered up with Level Up Village. Through Level Up Village, our Scholars will have the opportunity to connect with peers in other countries, exchanging video letters and collaborating on STEAM projects. Level Up Village has 40+ global partner organizations in more than twenty countries.

Enrolled scholars interested in qualifying for the gifted program may schedule testing by contacting Patty Messer 520-876-0492 or info@giaowlsmail.com

Gifted Wordly

Gifted in the News

PUSHING G/T STUDENTS PAST RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS: GRANDE INNOVATION ACADEMY

PUSHING G/T STUDENTS PAST RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS: GRANDE INNOVATION ACADEMY

A five year old boy pulled out a chair just as his aunt moved to sit down. She fell to the floor and broke her hip; incurring $11,000 in medical bills. The aunt sued her 5 year old nephew for battery. This story is a real-life legal case and is one that thinkLaw uses with students across the country.

Students begin by determining the answer to the question, “Should the boy be held liable for battery?” The discussion extends further with probing questions like, “What would the world be like if people could just go around suing 5 year olds?”  And conversely, “What would the world be like if children couldn’t be held accountable for seriously injuring adults?”

To read the rest of the article about the Grande Innovation Academy, click here.

Pen Pal Schools

PenPal Schools Certified Global School Badge

With Pen Pal Schools, standards-aligned projects help students develop essential skills. This safe setting allows students to read and analyze non-fiction texts, share ideas with an authentic audience, collaborate using technology and build empathy, curiosity, and respect for one another. For more information, click on the icon to visit penpalschools.com.

Habits of Mind
#1 Persisting
#2 Managing Impulsivity
#3 Listening with Understanding and Empathy
#4 Thinking Flexibly
#5 Thinking about Thinking
#6 Striving for Accuracy
#7 Questioning and Posing Problems
#8 Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
#9 Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
#10 Gathering Data through All Senses
#11 Creating, Imagining, Innovating
#12 Responding with Wonderment and Awe
#13 Taking Responsible Risks
#14 Finding Humor
#15 Thinking Interdependently
#16 Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

Farm Based Classrooms

Lodestar Logo

The Grande Innovation Academy has partnered with Lodestar Organic Farms in Concho, AZ. We have a garden space of over 1000 square feet preparing to be planted with vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Scholars will plant, cultivate, and harvest their crop to sell at a Farmer’s Market each week during the year. Scholars will also donate some of their crops to the community food bank. The Grande Innovation Academy core values include educating the whole child. When scholars spend time in the soil…they are able to focus better in the classroom.

  • GIA Garden

The No Child Left Inside® Coalition is composed of environmental, educational, and public health organizations, businesses, civic organizations and other public enterprises, all dedicated to ensuring a comprehensive education for all.

Scholars and Shovels Logo

The Scholars with Shovels and Spoons is a unique program that uses the garden as a creative space to learn and grow. The 2000 square foot area is made up of raised garden beds, an aquaponics system, chicken coop and duck pond.

Each class visits the garden twice a month for a formal lesson that ties into curriculum and standards. The kitchen, visited twice a month, is an experiential learning classroom where students accompany their science and humanities teachers to experience the culture, history, language chemistry, and geography through the preparation of food. Students cook together with produce just harvested from the garden and eat a freshly prepared dish, sharing the fruits of their labor. As they harvest, cook and eat their way through the school year, scholars experience lessons that support academic learning in the classroom.

Our program is listed at the Edible Schoolyard website: http://edibleschoolyard.org/program/scholars-shovels-grande-innovation-academy

Garden Rocks
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