2nd Grade Teachers Roxaboxen Award

Second Grade Roxaboxen Project Recognized by Ventura County

Congratulations to our second graders and their teachers, Karen Mercer and Eric Cowen, whose “Roxaboxen” student project was recognized with an IMPACT II award.

Run by the Ventura County Office of Education and supported by community sponsors, the IMPACT II awards are presented to K-12 educators for unique, original, and innovative curriculum projects. Through a comprehensive online PDF, these excellent teaching ideas are available to all educators in the county and raise awareness of exemplary classroom practices.

Inspired by Alice McClerran’s children’s book Roxaboxen, which details the adventures of a group of neighborhood children in a seemingly barren desert, Roxaboxen celebrates the imagination of children who, no matter the time or place, can create whole worlds out of what they find around them.

“Second Graders loved this project because it was THEIRS. We were co-creators of playful and authentic learning.”

Eric Karen Roxaboxen Award Ceremony

The Second Grade’s Roxaboxen was a child-led project that empowered students to learn and grow through imaginary play. It captured their imaginations and involved many different aspects of their learning.

Over the course of several weeks, students spent time reading and discussing the book, building a community, where each child created their own space utilizing found materials, as well as engaging in scientific observation of the Roxaboxen environment and writing their own “zine” about their creation.

“What started as an afternoon read-aloud turned into a weeks-long investigation into community, economy, science, and art,” says Karen. “Second Graders loved this project because it was THEIRS. We were co-creators of playful and authentic learning.”

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