Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paper and Pencil Curriculum: How Much Do You Rely on It? | Edutopia

I found this great article about the direction of 21st Century teaching. It is short and siimple, but with a powerful question:

What if teachers couldn't use paper?

Paper and Pencil Curriculum: How Much Do You Rely on It? Edutopia

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

8th Grade Trips: A Letter From Crystal River, FL

This week our 8th graders went on their February Trips. John Schoultz (7th/8th Grade Science), Stephanie Keaney (1st-4th Grade Science), and Mary Winstead (Advancement Officer and Alumni Development) are with the second group of 8th graders finishing up their SCUBA certification and diving with the manatees in Crystal River, Florida.
  Dear Canterbury,

This trip has been GREAT. The first day in Savannah the weather was beautiful and the dolphin experience was great. We saw many dolphins, we played on the beach and the girls saw Paula Dean's house. That was especially thrilling for Caroline Y. and Christian H.

We then headed to Crystal River, FL. We were breathing air underwater the very first evening. The SCUBA classes have been long, hard, and cold, but our kids have really worked very hard. Everyone passed the written tests and all the pool dives. We are working on the last two dives to become fully certified this afternoon.

This course has felt like school. Students have had serious math calculations (determining pressure groups is a complex math calculation), science work (understanding pressure and density as it relates to air consumption), health (how nitrogen works, how hypoxia works), and they have had to learn teamwork since their lives depend on it.

We've had some amazing stories of success including one student who had significant worries and fears on the first day and took 30 minutes just to learn to breath with the regulator. Now she is dropping into the water like a champ. It has been amazing to watch.

We saw our first manatee in the wild yesterday (It was a mother and her calf swimming by the boat - it was great!), but will have much more contact this morning.

The biggest challenge so far has been the cold water and since our kids have no body fat, they get cold quickly. But I am so proud of their persistence and dedication.

We head to Atlanta tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

8th Grade Trips: A Letter from New Orleans

Our 8th grade is on their February trip this week. Below is a letter to our parents from Tricia Fisher, our Venture Out Director and Wes Vogel, our Social Studies teacher, from New Orleans, where six of our 8th grade boys are helping to clean up neighborhoods still devastated from Katrina.

Hi Everyone,

We haven't had any down time or internet access until this evening. We have had such a whirlwind time from the moment we arrived. Our first night at the Embassy Suites was great- The hotel could not have been nicer- good staff, nice rooms. They loved our well-mannered children. We ate at a little Italian restaurant where we had alligator sausage. We walked the French Quarter yesterday, visited the Aquarium (I-MAX had a Hurricane movie) and the Katrina exhibit in the Cabildo. It was a very good way to help the students understand the impact of Katrina and the way of life down here. We ate shrimp po-boys at Johnny's which were fantastic!

The church house where we are staying is perfect for our group. There is a pool table, basketball goal, space for everyone to chill, and an old nintendo- no TV and they have been fine. We had quite a first day with our service group. I think it was an eye opener for all of us and a reminder how blessed we are. The pastor of the Center gave a special welcome with two stories that set the tone for our trip. God calls us to step out and not step into ourselves and help others- Your children were just special souls today- they worked so hard and in very dirty circumstances. You would not believe how bad this garage was that we pulled out- water was still in it along with a thousand tools, dental stuff, a rusty car and who knows what else. The gentleman was a dental technician who had a stroke- he was there today as well- We also went to another house and cut down (attacked) banana trees. Just perfect for the boys: hacking down branches, chopping logs, really loving that part of the day.

We feasted tonight on andouille po-boys, boiled shrimp, salad and laughs. We cooked for ourselves- better and cheaper than most restaurants. We had lots of sous chefs helping us. There have been no picky eaters on this trip.

Tomorrow we will take down a fence and beyond that I'm not sure what the next job will be. We will definitely wear sunscreen tomorrow. You should see Wes- he looks like a crawfish!

Wes and I are really enjoying the boys- lots of jokes and humor- Nothing like traveling with my daughters!! Please know that you should be proud of the way in which your sons are working and interacting with others.

Hope you enjoy these pictures. I'll send more when we can.

Tricia and Wes

Friday, February 18, 2011

Use a Bad Idea for Good

Scott Adams, Inc.
I was reading a blog post by Daniel Pink, and he in turn was reading an article by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, about how he would use bad ideas to move into good ones. It is an interesting tactic for creativity. Check out the Daniel Pink's blog post here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Honesty Findings from 2010 Josephson Institute of Ethics Survey

Check out some initial findings from the 2010 Josephson Institute of Ethics Survey, which surveys 43,000 high school students. You can find it at the Interesting Education Blogs list below right under the title Good News and Bad News 710.3.

The Internet: Circle the Wagons
I remember sitting down with my mom and practicing how I would introduce myself to a friend's parent on the phone when I wanted to invite him over to play:

"Hello, Mrs. Smith. This is David Skeen. May I please speak with Johnny if he is available?"

"Hello, David. How are you?"

"I'm fine Mrs. Smith. How are you?"

"Fine, thank you. Unfortunately, Johnny is not available to speak right now. He got frustrated and broke the Nintendo again playing Tecmo Bowl. You boys play that game far too much."

"Yes, Mrs. Smith. Please tell Johnny I called."

Editor's Note: We would often play Tecmo Bowl and then go outside and try to re-enact it in the backyard. I felt like the reenactment took more time than the video game, but maybe that was because I often found myself on the bottom of the pile....But I digress: video games have been around, but it was isolated technology and the social networking consisted of the guys on the couch giving pointers to those playing the game. It was nothing like the all-encompassing social nature of technology today.

I remember how cool it was that my brother and I got our own phone high school. I remember marveling at how liberating e-mail felt when I first used it on a regular college. Do parents sit down with their children and have conversations about the Internet like my mother and I did about how to conduct myself on the phone? Do they even have dual hard lines into homes anymore or have cell phones put that to bed? Is it liberating or status quo to get an email these days?

The point is, we are behind the curve in terms of growing up with the Internet. The common phrase is students are Digital Natives and we are Digital Immigrants. Well it is time the Digital Immigrants start to adapt to the world of the Digital Natives to help them learn the values they'll need to stay safe.

The Internet is like the Wild West of 19th century dime novels: wide-open and virtually lawless. During this period in history families were able to defend themselves on their trek out West by circling the wagons, depending on a shared sense of community, and imparting their family values on their children. We need to take the same approach when navigating the Internet (chat rooms, Gmail, Google Buzz, Facebook). Three simple, practical ideas can help you get started: Talk, Look, and Act.


  • To your kids: The number one thing to do is to talk to your kids about what the Internet can hold. Find out where they're going online and who they want to interact with. Don't let them mention their passwords to anybody but you. Make them understand anything that goes up on the Internet, stays on the Internet and furthermore it's never really anonymous. A good phrase I heard today is "if it's not something you would write on the SmartBoard at school, it shouldn't go on the Internet." Finally, do not let them talk to anybody they don't know face-to-face.
  • To your kids' friends' parents: Be open to discussing what your kids are saying and doing on the Internet with their friends' parents. It's not always easy to tell the parents of one of your son or daughter's classmates what's been going on under their watch, but if they don't know, they can't address it.
  • To the school: If an issue from the chatroom is finding it's way into school, we'd like to be aware of it. Next year, we will be incorporating a Technology class into every grade level. A large part of the curriculum will focus on digital responsibility and ethics based on our Social Contract and Honor Code.
  • At the computer screen: Place the family computer in a heavy traffic area. Be sure to check the screen often to see what your child is looking at. It may annoy them, but the best way to keep them off sites you know they shouldn't be on is to let them know you're watching.
  • At your child's email, chat rooms, buzz, AIM, facebook, etc: You should have every password and check what they're talking about. It may sound Orwellian to us, but this is a necessary step to protect your children. Take a second during your last nightly e-mail check to scan your son or daughter's discourse from the day. If you find something, TALK.
  • Find security settings: For every social network or Internet browser, there are ways to place security measures around it. There are also parental controls on many browsers and websites.
  • Check and delete, if necessary: While you are looking at your child's email, etc. if you see a name that you or your child don't recognize, delete it.
  • Circle the wagons: When the school or community has experts discussing the Internet and our students, call your friends and make a night of it. There are also some great blogs out there on Internet safety and how to protect your children. Check them out. I have some on the right side of my blog:, Google's Family Safety Site, FBI: Parent Guide to Internet Safety.  
The Wild West was scary, but it also held limitless opportunities for growth. Our country was defined by the frontier: the spirit of discovery and innovation which thrived in the face of the great unknown. The Internet is our students' frontier. They have an innate ability to use the tools at their disposal, but need the values and savvy to navigate their new world safely. It is our job to teach them this, so they can embark on their journey to tame their digital frontier.

Monday, February 14, 2011

8th Grade Art: Working with a Professional Artist

This year, we expanded the Fine Arts offerings for our 8th grade and included Studio Art in addition to Band and Chorus. Three intrepid 8th grade boys took us up on the choice and have been working with Molly Stouten on a variety of projects.

Last week, they were invited to work with Chapel Hill artist Patrick Dougherty on his sculpture at Guilford College. Mr. Dougherty is an acclaimed artist who has built similar installations around the world. Through Molly's relationship with Guilford (she was an adjunct professor from 1999-2001), our art students have been able to take advantage of the opportunities the college provides. Over the years, Molly has developed a relationship with Terry Hammond, Guilford's Gallery Director, and they talk each year about how to get our students involved.

Our current 8th grade students visited Guilford in the fall to work with the artist Bryant Holsenbeck (who has also been featured in Stafford Art Gallery in 2009). This past week, the students were put to work trimming, placing, and implementing some of the final steps in Mr. Dougherty's work. The sculpture will be named after is finished on or around February 20. The construction of the installation is being filmed by UNC-TV for a 10-12 minute segment on the artist, which will appear on their program, Our State, next October.

A link to the work Mr. Dougherty is completing at Guilford College is below:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

From the Chaplain: Morning Prayer

On Thursday, March 3rd, there will be a service of Morning Prayer from 7:40 a.m. to 7:55 a.m. in the Follin Chapel, inside Phillips Chapel. Dating back to 1552, Morning Prayer draws on the monastic tradition of monks reciting prayers throughout the day. In its current form, Morning Prayer consists of a number of appointed Scripture readings, psalms recited by those worshiping, and prayers for ourselves and others. It is a wonderful way to start a day, and a great opportunity for parents and children to worship together in an intimate setting. I encourage you and your children to attend this service and try it out. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at, or (336) 288-2007 ext. 124.


Father Finnin +

Quick Survey
This morning I had an opportunity to take over an advisory. We ascribe to the Developmental Designs philosophy of advisory which begins with a Greeting, a Share, the Daily News, and an Activity. The philosophy offers lots of choice in the type of each component and this morning I chose a "snowball" Share.

Students are given a topic, write their share on a piece of paper, crumple it up and toss it into the center of the circle, and then when directed, pick up a "snowball" from the ground and reveal the share of some other student. This morning I set the topic as "I'm happy at school when..." Here is what I heard:
  • school is not boring
  • we have time to talk
  • classes are fun
  • I see iPads
  • it is almost time to go
  • we have recess (this was mentioned twice)
  • when we're in PE
  • we have Hot Lunch
  • we're doing interactive work
  • we don't have a lot of homework and everything is done
Although far from a perfect example of data collection, this brief exercise affirms most aspects of what we're doing in the middle school and highlights some areas to work on. It is also confirms for me that our students are wanting to be engaged in learning in the 21st century ways.

Our faculty believes, and Developmental Designs and our Middle School Vision both support, the idea that school should be engaging and fun. We believe opportunity to play is developmentally appropriate and thus our schedule has both recess and PE. We are also continuing to embed student choice into classwork and creating lessons like the Transient Transfer project where students have an opportunity to "talk" in educationally constructive ways.

We have an advisory system, academic counselor, student counselor, and chaplain to help identify the ways we can help the student who most looks forward to going home. We also offer study halls during the school day so students are able to get a head start on their homework. Finally, we rolled out the iPads to the students last week, so they will become a more integral part of the student experience in the middle school.

Most of the answers above speak directly to the type of 21st Century learning we've been reading so much about. They want to collaborate, they want to be engaged and have fun, they want to use technology, they want to opportunity to play and interact with the content, they want a sense of accomplishment and purpose in the work they do. All of this is what gets them into the "flow" - that state Carol Dweck has named where motivation meets purpose at the sweet spot and quality learning and creating happens.

Tomorrow we will be asking all the students in the middle school to complete a Student Climate Survey, which will allow is to identify issues we need to address, applaud successes, and continue to refine how we teach and learn. Stay tuned for some form of the results.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rosalind Wiseman on Campus: February 10-11

Rosalind Wiseman, the NY Times best-selling author of Queen Bees & Wannabees will be presenting “Raising Resilient & Ethical Children on February 10th at 7:00 p.m. in Berry Hall at Canterbury.  This event is open to the public, we hope you’ll join us.

There is a link to her blog below for more information on her work with students.

Transient Transfer Greensboro

Our Canterbury stars were out Friday night at the Green Hill Center for NC Art in downtown Greensboro. Fatimah Tuggar, an artist in residence at Duke University opened her show Transient Transfer Greensboro, which featured many pictures and recorded sounds of the city of Greensboro captured by Canterbury 7th and 8th graders from our Art Elective taught by Molly Stouten and Vicki Johnson.

The idea came from this year's Innnovator's Challenge, which asked faculty to "upgrade one of your classroom assessments so that students demonstrate learning through a real-life application: a contemporary performance or product created using 21st century tools. "The main components in the lessons needed to:
  1. "involve students in collaborating with someone outside of our community, preferably using 21st century tools such as Skype, email exchanges, and blogs,
  2. solicit student ideas as you plan the project,
  3. incorporate a variety of 21st century skills, such as creativity, collaboration, media literacy, global awareness, adaptability, self-direction, and empathy,
  4. require students to share the performance or product with a real audience (audience similar to the audience experienced by contemporary professionals in the field),
  5. make the project interdisciplinary and collaborate with at least one other professional, from our staff or from the outside, and
  6. be ready to explain how the upgrade leads to enhanced learning outcomes and how you will measure the learning."
Molly and Vicki were able to gear the fall semester Art Elective to fit into the Innovator's Challenge. First, they contacted and worked with Fatimah Tuggar at Duke University and Mary Young at Green Hill Center Center for NC Art to frame the project. Second, the students learned the keys to digital photography, file organization and labelling, sound recording using iPods, and stop-gap animation. Third, the students met with the artist twice (once on Skype and once in person) to show their work and receive feedback from the artist. Ms. Tuggar was able to offer both artistic insights and technical pointers our students could use in their personal projects (currently on display in Stafford Arts Center).

The real-life product was Ms. Tuggar's work Transient Transfer Greensboro, currently on display at Green Hill. Molly Stouten, Vicki Johnson, and a number of the art students were on hand Friday for the premiere of the work. The students had a lot invested in this project because it was a professional piece to be displayed in a professional manner for a real audience. It is the perfect example of 21st Century teaching and learning.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mandala Project: 6th Grade is Seeking Recyclable Parts
Sixth grade students will be studying ancient Asian cultures as part of their social studies curriculum. We’ll examine the origins of Hinduism and Buddhism and consider their influence on Asia and the rest of the world in both ancient and modern times. During the third trimester, we’ll be creating a large mandala, a geometric design used as a meditation aid for both Hindus and Buddhists. This art form is also seen in Christianity in symmetrical designs used for rose windows and the Celtic cross. Under Ms. Stouten’s direction, we’ll use items that can be recycled or would otherwise go to the landfill to create a colorful mandala that can be displayed on campus.

This project was inspired by the work of Bryant Holsenbeck, who was a visiting artist at Canterbury in 2009. She recently created a huge mandala on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill and has done similar work elsewhere.


We are collecting materials for this project NOW! Please begin your collection at home. A simple bag or box in a central location is all you will need for your collection of:








Please bring items to school where they will be sorted for color.

Dates for mandala creation are TBD. You will be the first to know!

Cameroon Connection Grows

As you may have read in an earlier post, our 6th grade has been working with a school in Cameroon to track elephants in that country in order to come up with some solutions to their plight. See Curriculum Corner: 6th Grade and Elephants. (Editor's Update: our 6th grade teachers have been in communication with a playwright from Cameroon who has written about elephant poaching and are exploring ways to use the school's collection of djembe drums to film one scene from his play.) As a result of this collaboration, we found another opportunity to consult with the school in Cameroon.
This year in the 7th and 8th grades, we have a dedicated time each week to service learning, outdoor education, and leadership. In the 7th grade we used this time in the beginning of the year to prepare for our MDG experience (7th graders research and then take on roles of citizens in Third World countries by actually spending two days in the woods building communities). Now, our 7th grade is transitioning to a partnership with the same in school in Cameroon to discover the differences of water consumption between Greensboro, Cameroon, and our third partner school in Salem, Massachusetts. Linda Allen has sent home tally sheets with her math classes, which will be brought back and calculated and Karen Niegelsky has set up a blog at so students from all three school can compare their information and learn how water consumption can shine a light on just how different our lives can be.

As we move further into the 21st Century and realize the type of skills our students are going to need in order to meet that world head on, it will be projects and partnerships like these with the students in Cameroon that foster the type of leaders we seek to develop at Canterbury School.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Anti-Bullying Program at Page High School

A note from our friends at Page High School:

Nationally praised anti-bullying speaker Keith Deltano to appear at Page High School on Monday, February 7th, 7:00 PM at

Page High School Auditorium
201 Alma Pinnix Drive

Community Welcome – Seating Limited!

For More information visit – or Contact Page HS PTSA President Rebecca Buffington @ 545-1103 or

Program sponsored by the Page High School PTSA with a SPICE grant funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro