PPOS kindergartners research, recommend toys for future preschool


By Emily Murphy | Pagosa Peak Open School

“What are the attributes of a marble?” Project-based Learning (PBL) Advisor Kelle Bruno asked kindergartner Jalu during their project time. 

“It is white and round,” Jalu answered.

The group of Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS) kindergartners sitting with Bruno were in the middle of their Toys for Joy project, where students not only discuss and research their toy preferences, but also build their vocabulary and cooperation skills.

Students gathered data through experiences like a trip to Walmart, where they observed different toys and shared their likes and dislikes; and a visit to Seeds of Learning where they interviewed preschoolers about their toy preferences.

“The intention of these field work experiences is for our kindergartners to use the information they collect to make recommendations for new toy purchases for a future preschool space at our school,” Bruno said. “During our walking field trip to Walmart we made observations about the attributes of all sorts of toys. The students were walking around the toy aisles saying, ‘I prefer this toy!’ and ‘I have wanted one of these for my entire life!’ It was a fun experience to take our learning out into the community.”

“Attributes means what color, shape, size and texture,” 5-year-old Avery said. “Some toys have attributes like they are hard or squishy.”

PPOS is a project-based learning school where students grades K-8 engage in projects, through which they can acquire a deeper understanding through active exploration of issues within a real-world context. The impact of this kindergarten project will directly affect students of the school in the future. 

This year, PPOS is proud to have Kelle Bruno as its K-4 PBL advisor. Bruno has seven years of PBL experience, and is dedicated to supporting lead advisors in elevating this work with students. 

All classes at PPOS engage in multiple projects throughout the year, looking for ways to influence their own community, and create positive change.