Posts in September 2012

  1. Day 16: Richard, Technology Specialist at the Lower School

    [ By on September 28, 2012 ]

    Today I gained a deeper appreciation for the capacity of my third-grade Tech students for risk-taking and honesty in discussion, and for how much I have to gain from open exchanges of ideas with them. Third grade is the first year our students are given their own personal computer accounts, and along with the trials of creating, setting and remembering one’s own password, we have been talking about responsible use of technology, and the application of the same rules of kindness and courtesy that we strive for in all other aspects of our lives to our behavior in the online world. We’ve discussed the idea of owning our own actions, both in terms of feeling good about what we do ...

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  2. Day 15: the students of KM, Kindergartners

    [ By on September 27, 2012 ]

    KM took a walk along the Story Walk and here is what they have to say about it. They were walking and asking "What was it?" and it was different kinds of animals. I liked learning new animals. You get to hear the book while you walk and see pictures. I learned that actually the Story Walk was really fun. I liked the nest - the mud dauber's nest. I liked the bird's nest. I learned that you can enjoy a good story with friends. I liked the book. I liked the blue jay. We learned how to listen to each other. I see sometimes the orioles on campus. There's a bee nest ...

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  3. Day 14: Kayla, Ninth Grader

    [ By on September 25, 2012 ]

    Today, in English class, I learned that Jane Eyre is so much more than a book title. Instead of tapping my fingers on my desk, discreetly doodling drawings, or attempting to hide the mint gum slipped under my tongue, I sat, and listened to the English discussion that I found more intriguing than ever. I listened as my English teacher’s words slowly rolled off her tongue, the comfort in her voice confirming that she was familiar with the novel. I didn’t raise my hand as usual; instead, I let other people talk while I listened, before blatantly interrupting with my interpretation. As I thought over my answer, I carefully summarized the story in my mind, reminding myself that Jane’s character reflects that ...

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  4. Day 13: Jenna, Director of Middle & Upper School Admission and Director of External Affairs

    [ By on September 24, 2012 ]

    As the Director of Middle and Upper School Admission, I spend much of September away from our beautiful campus, visiting other schools with my admission colleagues. Today, I had the opportunity to visit with eighth graders at two schools in NYC. My colleagues and I love to talk about Riverdale, each of us taking turns sharing what we like most about the school. I spoke about the academic program, Tracy discussed the co-curricular offerings, and Lois talked about community and the Riverdale support network. I didn’t really think much about our talk and what each of us was emphasizing, as this is something we do 5 to 6 times a day this time of year. After spending most of the day ...

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  5. Day 12: Don, Director of the Learning Research Team of the Lower School

    [ By on September 21, 2012 ]

    Today, I began to learn the meaning of the word autopoietic.  A literal translation for autopoietic might be ‘self-creating.’  In an article I have been reading, Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century, Cathy Fosnot, a math educator with powerful ideas,  borrows the word from biology and applies it to learning theory.  A phrase in this article really grabbed me: “..., in reality constructivism is not a theory of teaching; it is a theory about learning.”  For those who do not know, the essence of constructivist learning theory is that knowledge and understanding are constructed - not acquired.  You cannot just go out and get some knowledge; somebody cannot simply give you some ...

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  6. Day 11: the students of 1V, First Graders

    [ By on September 20, 2012 ]

    Today is Thursday, September 20, 2012.  This afternoon Mrs. Greller and Mrs. Bartels came into our classroom. We did three activities. She read a book to us about bucket filling and bucket dipping. The title was How Full Is Your Bucket. We sorted different activities into bucket filler and bucket dipper categories. We acted out how to be bucket fillers and bucket dippers. We learned to treat others the way you want to be treated and how to handle your anger in a nice way. Bucket filling is better than bucket dipping. Role playing can help you learn how to behave in certain situations. When you fill people's buckets, it makes them feel good. :-) It was fun! It was a lot of fun! ...

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  7. Day 10: Nathalia, Sixth Grader

    [ By on September 19, 2012 ]

    Today I learned many things, but one subject that stood out today was English. In English, we were refreshing our minds about The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle. Afterwards, we were put into groups. Our groups had to draw the major events in Charlotte Doyle’s adventure that changed who she was. I had a lot of fun drawing with my fellow classmates. When we were finished we were very proud of our work. Our thoughts had really been put on paper! As I looked at our poster, I realized something: sometimes you have to go out of your comfort zone to do the right thing. This changed me because now I know what to do to become a much stronger ...

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  8. Day 9: Ricky, English teacher, Upper and Middle School

    [ By on September 14, 2012 ]

    I’m thirty six years old as I’m writing this, and I’ve decided that I am no longer cynical. The only paychecks I’ve ever gotten as a full-time employee have been for teaching English. Maybe I’ll do this for another thirty years, and maybe I won’t. I don’t know. There are a lot of reasons that teachers burn out. And as many reasons as there are for moving on in life, trying something new, I keep finding more reasons to continue teaching. For example, kids figure things out about themselves right in front of you. There are no more empathetic, or critical, readers than teenagers. Hardened adults may love the poetry of a particular writer, the sounds she makes when she puts words ...

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  9. Day 8: Aaron, Lily, and Teji, Fifth Graders

    [ By on September 13, 2012 ]

    We started the day with specials and then we had a math test for the groups of math and what we learned over the summer in math. We are just reading a new book called Wonder, and we learned about a kid who had problems with his face and he's trying to deal with it. Right now we are in Language Arts and we're figuring out how many pages we can read in 15 minutes, and what books are just right or too hard. And we're going to learn about History today. In reading we learned about strategies for how we can make ourselves better ...

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  10. Day 7: Sam, Seventh grader

    [ By on September 12, 2012 ]

    In the beginning of the day there was an assembly, and I learned about different organizations that help all types of people. From kids with cancer to teaching kids about games from the eighteenth century. Today, in English, I learned about Langston Hughes. He was an African American poet who wrote in the time of the Harlem Renaissance. In Latin, I had a quiz on last year’s material. This quiz included imperatives, principal parts, present tense verbs and irregular verbs. In science we talked about whether or not M&M’s made a student do better on a test and even made a lab of it for homework. Next, was math where I learned more about order of operations and using negatives ...

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