Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dana Foundation Blog: What neuroscience can tell us about morality

I came across this article this morning and thought it a fascinating approach to morality. It brings up some great points for discussion in an ethics class or an advisory, and could be a great way to demonstrate the concrete benefits of morality in society to adolescents who believe it is a structure created by adults for the mollification of their children and/or students.... Dana Foundation Blog: What neuroscience can tell us about morality

Monday, March 28, 2011

Learning is for a Lifetime: The Brain Research Confirms
 We've heard many times before that we should be lifelong learners, but many people come into that statement with a preconceived notion that once past a certain age, the brain can no longer change to become an expert in something. For example, many people believe they may be too old to learn a new language or a new instrument. The brain research that is coming out these days refutes this belief. Below is an article from the SharpBrains website outlining the plasticity of the brain and its ability to adapt to new information throughout our lives.

Some wonderful related work you should check out is JoAnn Deak's website and books on learning (especially as it relates to adolescent girls), Daniel Pink's work on motivation (which comes from a number of psychologist's work but Pink puts in a more "pop-culture" context), as well as the SharpBrains website which offers tools to help your brain become more plastic.

Brain Plasticity: How Learning Changes Your Brain

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Study: Promoting Students' Personal and Social Development Boosts Academic Outcomes, a Guest Blog by Joseph Durlak | Edutopia

The middle school vision at Canterbury hoolds that we must address the whole child and support their social and emotional well being. The meta-analysis below confirms something we've known for a long time: the more safe, secure, and happy children feel, the more they learn. Through our work with Developmental Designs (the entire faculty will be taking a week long course for the second training stage of Developmental Designs this summer), we are able to use the language and structures to promote a learnng community that has as its foundation sound social and emotional teachings.

Study: Promoting Students' Personal and Social Development Boosts Academic Outcomes, a Guest Blog by Joseph Durlak Edutopia

Friday, March 18, 2011

Canterbury Lacrosse: The First Game...Ever

In addition to being the Middle School Director at Cantebrury, I am also the lacrosse coach. This is the first year we've had a team and the boys had their first game yesterday afternoon at Forsyth Country Day School in Winston. The fellas put together a tremendous game, but we needed one more bounce to go our way and it did not. Check out some photos from the game below (courtesy of Tommy Ravenel)

"Control the butterflies and, as our 8th graders say, 'Do Work!'"

Head up and moving the ball: picture perfect

The brothers working together.

Douglas to Hutton  - a nice partnership

Notice the shape of the net

Billy-O with the save!

I'd say 90% of the fans were Canterbury-related

Taking the ball for a stroll...
It was a good, physical game of lacrosse.

Definitely a middle school game. Look at the size match-up...

Michael Josephson Commentary: Maybe Pro Athletes Really Aren't Jerks 714.5

I thought this brief article was a nice change to what we're hearing about pro athletes in the news. It is especially important to share this with our boys who should know decency in their sports heroes should be what they look for in their role model.

Michael Josephson Commentary: Maybe Pro Athletes Really Aren't Jerks 714.5

Thursday, March 17, 2011

8th Grade Homeless Experience: The Reflection Product

Below is the video of the 8th grade Homeless Experience Chapel:

8th Grade Homeless Experience Chapel

The file is about 23 minutes long. The first 6 minutes are chapel preparation.


What Does "Technology Integration" Mean? | Edutopia

I came across this blog post on Edutopia today and thought it mapped out perfectly the stages of technology integration a school should pursue. At Canterbury, we are lucky enough to have great technological resources. As with all resources the fundamental strategic question becomes how best to use those resources. Our charge is simple: it needs to be in a way that best serves the students.

Next year in the middle school we will offer a Technology class to every grade level which teaches the tools of technology so that they can be used in the classroom without taking "content-time" away to teach the tool. Additionally, this class will frame the Big Questions of technological literacy as it pertains to ethics, Honor, and digital citzenship.

The article below addresses the tool part of the curriculum and I welcome your thoughts on that and/or the Big Questions of technology.

What Does "Technology Integration" Mean? Edutopia

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sleeping to Remember—And Forget - Dana Foundation

I found this article this afternoon and it supports a lot of what we talk about in terms of the amount of sleep adolescents need each evening. It is CRUCIAL that adolescents get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night in order to stay healthy, but also to retain and embed learning. The study referenced in the article below discusses the power of sleep to move information from the short-term memory home of the hippocampus to the long term memory home of the neocortex. Just another reason to get the kids into bed early, remove all digital distraction from their rooms, and make sure they are actually sleeping.

Sleeping to Remember—And Forget - Dana Foundation

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

8th Grade Homeless Experience: The Idea...

The 8th grade has spent a better part of the year brainstorming, planning, and organizing their capstone service learning experience. This fall we asked the students to come up with a theme within their category of service, Think Globally, Act Personally. After small group work, the class decided they wanted to learn about and serve the homeless and hungry.

The next stage students embarked on was drawing from personal experience, research, and collaboration to determine the types of activities they could engage in to accomplish this goal. Many had spent a night at their church recreating the life of a homeless person, others had taken part in Stop Hunger Now, which works with community groups to create and deliver meals to the homeless, still others remembered their visits to Urban Ministry, while some were excited to document and prepare a movie about their service learning theme. From these varied experiences the 8th graders created what we are calling the Homeless Experience. A generous donor has offered to sponsor Stop Hunger Now, and 8th grade advisors have helped to organize the rest of the night. We are all very excited about the potential for this Homeless Experience and believe the increased awareness and empathy that will come out of this will enhance the leadership qualities of the 8th graders. Here is the schedule for the Experience:

Tuesday, March 1

1:30 - 4:00 - Visit Pathways in Greensboro and Save-a-Lot (to purchase dinner and breakfast with $2.00)
4:00 - 6:00 - Build a shelter from cardboard boxes, complete homework, eat dinner
6:00 - 9:00 - Stop Hunger Now Program
9:00 - 9:30 - Vespers in Philips Chapel
9:30 - 11:00 - Plan for Chapel on Wednesday
11:00  -          Bed

Wednesday, March 2

6:00 - 7:00 - Practice in Chapel for service
7:00 - 8:00 - Make breakfasts for Burrito Bikers
8:00 - 8:35 - Middle School Chapel performance
8:35 - 10:30 - Reflection