News & Events

February 23, 2018

The Most Magnificent Thing- F. W. Howay embarks on a design challenge…

Ahead of our Student-Led Conferences during the week of February 6th,  F.W. Howay, took on a design challenge using a beautifully written and illustrated book called, The Most Magnificent Thing,  by Amy Spires.

The purpose of the design challenge was to have Howay students focus on Critical and Creative Thinking- one of the Core Competencies of the redesigned curriculum.  Critical/Creative thinking, or the need to think deeper and differently about a subject, are important qualities to instill in children to help them navigate through their learning and their lives.  Critical/Creative thinking skills will help students learn to interpret and understand information, rather than simply memorizing it.  The three phases of Critical/Creative thinking are:

  • Analyze-reflect on and evaluate thinking, products and actions
  • Question-explore materials and actions
  • Develop-design and experiment with different ways of doing things

In addition to our focus on the Core Competency, this cross-curricular and cross grade project inspired and engaged Howay students for over 2 weeks!  On Friday, January 26th, we kicked off the project with a school-wide assembly, featuring the story, The Most Magnificent Thing, to serve as our inspiration for this design challenge.  In the days that followed, students designed a  “Magnificent Thing” out of empty cardboard box, practicing the stages of Critical/Creative Thinking along the way.

On the evening of Thursday, February 8th, students were thrilled to share their designs and creations with their parents during our Student-Led Conferences. It was noticed and mentioned by many parents that the project served another unintended, but equally worthwhile, purpose- the sense of camaraderie and community amongst students, parents and staff while the project was underway. Dialogues at home and at school, between siblings, friends, parents and teachers, had Howay students fully engaged and excited about their work.  We are proud of all their work and thrilled to share just a few samples.

Jamie Sadler


F.W. Howay Elementary