Prattville Christian Academy’s I.D.E.A. Lab is a cross-curricular S.T.E.A.M. environment that allows students to extend traditional classroom language arts and reading lessons into hands-on experiences designed to provide multi-sensory learning. PCA’s I.D.E.A. Lab houses a media center, library, and makerspace area for students in grades K-7.
Design Thinking Labs
Design Thinking labs and lessons expose students to standards-aligned science, technology, engineering, arts and math concepts. In addition to the people, places, and things that students read about when checking out books, students analyze and empathize, make social-emotional connections and engage in real-life problem solving and designing.
Extended Language Arts & Writing Concepts
Students create writing journals that focus on characters and settings in the books they are checking out and reading. Discussion prompts and collaborative experiences on dry-erase tables prompt reading reflection, real-world connections and the use of creative expression to demonstrate comprehension through writing and art.
I.D.E.A. Lab experiences coincide and align with ISTE Standards (International Society for Technology in Education.) This enables students to develop the digital citizenship skills that are critically needed in today’s technology-driven, business world.
Online resources, such as Storyline Online, virtual field trips, educational sites and Google Suite tools are also used to support teaching and learning. Students can utilize online tools for researching, documenting and presenting information to develop life skills that will be used beyond PCA’s campus.
Nearpod is also a beneficial tool to engage students in the learning process by allowing them to participate in a variety of activities, including various types of content delivery and formative assessment supporting visual, tactile, and auditory modes of learning. It can provide immediate feedback data as needed and can be set to a “student-paced” mode for home review and engagement outside of class.
Accelerated Reader Program
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a research-based, reading program designed to help lower school students improve reading skills. Specific times are made available for students to visit the Media Center, test reading comprehension and meet reading goals.
Therapy Dog Visits
A certified therapy dog visits elementary students weekly for a special reading experience. Students practice their reading skills by reading to the dog, petting and interacting with him. In addition to improving reading skills, these visits provide a social-emotional benefit to the experience.
Book fairs are held during the fall and spring of each school year. These events help support efforts to fund various needs for the I.D.E.A. Lab. Students, parents, and teachers are encouraged to shop for their favorite books as well as other items that might be of interest to them.
Middle School Learning Lab (MSLL)
Middle School students visit PCA’s I.D.E.A. Lab weekly for active lab time to engage in digital citizenship, life, career and social skill development, Design Thinking concepts and more. Classes are provided with autonomy in tool and project choice. Artifacts created throughout the year are organized in student-created, digital portfolios that students can take with them into future grade levels.