The Grove

Each student’s experience of Roots is unique. Students at Roots are not constrained to one classroom of 30 students their age until next year when they are placed in another such classroom, one step down the assembly line. Instead, students spend much of their day in a large, open space called The Grove where they work independently or in small groups on projects aligned to their personal learning plans. Then, several times throughout the day, master teachers pull flexible groups of students into meeting spaces to receive targeted skill instruction.

These design features combine to make each student’s experience of Roots highly personalized. It is a school designed for students not for adults – a school that appreciates its students as little people with innate curiosity and a wide range of interests, strengths and gaps.

Take a closer look at The Grove…

Roots Elementary Grove

1.) A reading teacher meets with five students who are at precisely the same reading level, even though they are not all the same age. She knows exactly what decoding skill they need to advance to the next level and is guiding them through a shared text.

2.) Laticia and her coach are reviewing her academic progress and portfolio of work. Together, they will discuss what her goals should be for the next two weeks and how she should spend her time. This includes which teachers to meet with and how often, as well as what independent or group work to focus upon in the Grove.

3.) Amanuel is writing a persuasive letter to convince the principal to make yogurt available at breakfast everyday.

4.) Ashley and Michaela are reading one of their favorite books together.

5.) A Teacher Resident checks in with readers, helps them when they are stuck and asks comprehension questions.

6.) Amiri is playing a math game on Dreambox right at his level. A paraprofessional is overseeing the computer area.

7.) Michelle is on RazKids reading a book on her tablet. It’s a challenging book for her so she listened to it first and is now reading the text independently.

8.) Josh and McKiya are measuring the length of various objects using nonstandard units. The math teacher who launched the investigation is observing students’ work and pushing their thinking.

9.) Yasin and Jaevon are making a glider out of cardboard and duct tape. Volunteers are encouraging the young makers and suggesting improvements.

10.) A group of students have gathered to debate The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. A reading teacher guides the discussion and pushes students to provide evidence for their claims.