We are thrilled to have re-introduced Minimester to Sheridan this year! Minimester is a weeklong program for our middle school students, giving them a chance to engage in small group, out-of-the classroom experiences. For this Minimester, students were divided into mixed age groups, each with an area of focus. These areas were Afrofuturism, DC Murals, DC Music, Food and Culture, Food Justice, Monuments to Unsung Heroes, Outdoors for All, The Power of Words, and Women in Art.
One of the core principles of progressive education is to ensure that students have hands-on experiences that allow them to create connections with their classmates as well as their larger communities. Minimester is a way to offer students a chance to step outside the classroom, try their hands at new ways of learning, and take on challenges. Our work during Minimester included not only the activities themselves, but also ample time for debrief and discussions so that students are able to take what they’ve learned and apply it to new ways of thinking and looking at the world.
During this year’s Minimester, students had the opportunity to travel to many educational museums including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of Women and the Arts, the Planet Word museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Students also visited restaurants with cuisines from different cultures and food distribution centers including Lapiz, Immigrant Food, Bronze, Lebanese Taverna, Martha’s Table, and Marianne’s, a cafe run by DC Central Kitchen.
Students were able to learn about and spend time at many other exciting spots around DC including the Kennedy Center, the US Botanic Garden, the Metropolitan Branch Trail, Roosevelt Island, the Washington Monument, the Mexican Cultural Center, the Korean Cultural Center, among other exciting places!
In addition to traveling outside of the building to new places, students also did a lot of hands-on learning within Sheridan as well. Teach the Beat came to Sheridan and taught students about Gogo, students painted a brand new mural on the cafeteria wall, and many experts zoomed in to speak with students about everything from food insecurity to music recording to DC monument history.
On Friday, students presented what they learned throughout their Minimester week to fellow students and Sheridan families. Be sure to click through the photos to see places that students went and some of what students learned!