Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Webinar on Sleep and Stress for Parents and Students
Every once awhile, something will fall into my lap that seems so easy I can't believe it. Today, I received two emails this afternoon from North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS) and campus outreach services promoting two free webinars on the need for sleep to manage stress and socializing.

As some of my previous blogs have stated, sleep is crucial. These webinars are phenomenal resources from NCAIS with experts from Eastern Illinois University, St. Joseph University, UNC-Charlotte, and Harvard Medical School.

Check them out:

Healthy Sleep Strategies and Stress Reduction for Parents

Healthy Sleep Strategies and Stress Reduction for Students

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Service: 6th Grade Leads the Way on Glasses Project
Our 6th graders took the lead on a drive to collect gently used eyewear over the last month. One of them, Chandler S., is the guest blogger today and provides a summary below:

“They will probably cry with joy when they put on those glasses because they have not been able to see in so long,” said Ms. Leslie Deaton, director of The Free Clinic of Rockingham County, founded in 1998 by a local church in Reidsville. The clinic is a non-government funded public clinic that provides medical, dental, and eye care to people who cannot afford it.

About a month and a half ago, Dr. Tara Jernejcic, who has a second grader at Canterbury, asked us to collect gently used eye glasses for the clinic so that they would be able to give them to people with eye problems. Mrs. Mintz held a meeting for volunteers to make posters, plan announcements, and come up with a name for the service project. A team of sixth graders decided the project name should be “Gee, I Wish I Could See” and decided that the school goal should be to collect 100 eyeglasses. Mr. Jones agreed that if we achieved this goal of 100 eyeglasses the whole school could have a casual dress day. One and a half months later the volunteers counted the glasses and achieved the goal with 123 glasses! As a reward, on April 20th the volunteers were invited to the clinic to learn more about what they did there and present the collected glasses to Ms. Deaton.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Heritage and Innovation

I found this article this morning and haven't heard the phrasing of heritage and innovation, although the idea of a tension between tradition and the new age in education is nothing new. I think every school is trying to balance the twin tensions of keeping tradition and those things that make the school what it is with the powerful movements towards 21st century education and what that looks like at the school.

Improving Memory to Improve Academic Performance - Dana Foundation

I thought this was an interesting article that attempts to clarify some of the ways in which brain research, particularly fMRI research, and education can work together to meet students where they are, provide relevant and purposeful interventions if need be, and understand every child in our classrooms. I would recommend the second half of the article specifically.

Improving Memory to Improve Academic Performance - Dana Foundation

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Glimpse: An Engaging Class on World War I
As we continue to incorporate strategies to engage students in education in order to develop critical thinking and analysis skills, I visited Mr. Vogel's 8th grade classroom and saw the lesson described below.

Mr. Vogel’s 8th grade social studies class began with a framing question of How was WW1 different from previous wars?

Mr. Vogel assembled nine stations, each consisting of engineering draft-pictures of WW1 military technologies, an outline of how the weapon was used, and the estimated number of casualties this weapon was responsible for in certain WWI battles. The nine stations included the airplane, flamethrower, artillery, trench system, battleship, machine gun, German U- boat, tank, and poison gas.

After a brief introduction, students read about each technology and made initial predictions on how it might have changed the war experience for soldiers, analyzed and matched primary source document excerpts to the nine stations, and revised their original predictions about how the technologies affected soldiers’ experiences.

Finally, as a reflection, students created “human bar graphs” to evaluate (1) the technology they thought was most feared by soldiers, (2) the technology they thought most changed the way war was fought, and (3) the technology they thought left the most lasting impact on future warfare.
This lesson also incorporated the Plan, Work, Reflect cycle which Developmental Designs infuses into our everyday operations as a division. As we go forward, we will continue to develop lessons and projects which target these 21st century skills in ways that are engaging to students.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Full Week, A Whole Child

There are often fleeting moments of reflection these days as we enter the whirlwind of the final days of school. However, I was able to find one of those moments last night as I walked off the field after our lacrosse game. I saw Ben S. trudging off the field with a wide smile on his face. As we all know, that's pretty typical from Ben, but I have a feeling last night he was smiling because he had had a full week.

On Monday, he delivered his 8th grade sermon with poise in front of the entire school community (students, faculty, staff, parents, and guests) from the pulpit in Phillips Chapel. On Wednesday night, he starred in the Canterbury Players' production of Bye Bye Birdie as Albert Peterson. He (and the rest of the cast) received a standing ovation for his performance. On Thursday, Ben went to classes, spent the afternoon reprising his role in Bye Bye Birdie for the student body, and that night, scored a goal in his lacrosse game. Tonight he will finish out his role with the final showing of Bye Bye Birdie at Berry Hall, but first he needs to take a math quiz.

If we are looking for an example of teaching the whole child, I'm convinced Ben S. embodied it this week. Our students do these things all year long, and it is important that we take a moment, notice it, and be satisfied that our goal of a whole child is being met.