Posts in December 2012

  1. Day 65: The Students of 2M

    [ By on December 20, 2012 ]

    We used a microscope. We used a microscope to look at people's hands. We looked at human bodies. We looked at people's hands,  hair, shirt and ears. We looked at donuts and Hudson the Bear and paper snowflakes. We used iPads to look at all these things. Some hands were dirty and some were clean. The students of 2M say "We rock!" and want you to know they study hard and they have a bear named Hudson. He travels around New York City with people. A dirty palm. An earring. Strands of hair. Hudson Bear. ...

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  2. Day 64: Belinda, 10th Grader

    [ By on December 19, 2012 ]

    Today during my painting class, many of us took our tentative first steps in our newest project: a landscape.  The assignment was fairly open-ended, as we could pick any image we wanted to -- a place we love, or just a Google image of which we were particularly fond.  I think everyone was a little scared … some of us more than a little. We were given 18 x 20 inch, clean white canvases to work on, and everyone had a bit of an, “Oh my god … that is a lot bigger than we’ve been working on” moment.  It just seemed so … official. We all sketched our drawings for as long as humanly possible to avoid putting paint on ...

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  3. Day 63: Mike, Dean of Students — Grade Eight

    [ By on December 18, 2012 ]

    Today was my first day back at work since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, and I wish I could say it was a solemn event.  The fact is that it was Monday, like every other, only sadder.  I thought a little about what it meant to have the safety of eighty-nine Eighth graders in my hands, but mostly I thought about how I was going to fit in the next week’s worth of lesson plans. Moving on is not unique to the job – most of us cannot take off from work just because we are disillusioned, hurt, or profoundly sad.  The difference is that going back to work for us means performing.  It means standing up in front of a ...

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  4. Day 62: Sarah, Spanish and Latin teacher, Middle and Upper School

    [ By on December 14, 2012 ]

    Tucked away in our classroom on the second floor of the Hackett building on this sunny day in December, thirteen 6th graders were using regular –AR verbs in complete sentences for the very first time. “¿Hablas español?” I asked. (Do you speak Spanish?) A confused look spread across the classroom as the meaning of the sentence sunk in. One student immediately voiced her concern about the predicament. “I don’t really speak Spanish completely yet, but how can I answer with no if I am answering in Spanish?” “So don’t you think you should answer with sí?” I asked in Spanish with a smile. The next few questions included other languages and other –AR verbs. “¿Hablas francés?” (Do you speak French?) ...

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  5. Day 61: Max and Jack, Fourth Graders

    [ By on December 13, 2012 ]

    I did violin and PE for specials. I did solos in my violin special: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Hot Cross Buns. I started playing violin this year. I practice at home. I play songs with a recording. There is music for each song. The recording is a disk in my book. (Max) I'm working in math right now on the calendar, mainly the months of the year. To remember all of this, I use a song that I was taught in Kindergarten. There is also a song for the days that I learned in Pre-School. (Jack) Max does his homework, plays games with his sister, and watches television. He has dark brown hair and blueish-gray eyes. Jack has brown eyes and ...

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  6. Day 60: Elon, Six Grader

    [ By on December 12, 2012 ]

    Today I learned the true meaning of grit. That instead of measuring a person by their book smarts (GPA, SAT, tests & quizzes, etc.), to measure them by their character. This to me sounded like a huge breakthrough for education. For schools who are solely known for being completely about books, to start looking at their kids for their character is amazing, and actually gives the kid more of a chance to succeed. Riverdale is already doing this and I appreciate that so much, because when children see themselves as a grade, it can really bring them down. This is especially true when the kid next to them is now ‘so smart’, because they scored a higher grade. That child ...

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  7. Day 59: Dani, 12th Grader

    [ By on December 11, 2012 ]

    “And blessed are those whose blood and judgment are so well commeddled that they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger to sound what stop she please. Give me that man that is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him in my heart’s core, I, in my heart of heart” (Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 2).

    For most people December is a time of Christmas carols, wreaths, and holiday shopping. But for seniors December means college decisions. Understandably, this has put our grade in a frenzied state. When will X College send me their result? Will they send me an email or hard copy? How many other supplement essays do I have left?

    So…what does

    ...

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  8. Day 58: Nick, Hill Campus Maintenance Supervisor

    [ By on December 10, 2012 ]

    My favorite thing to do is hunt and fish. I do it to relax and also to control the animal population. We don’t have predators, so the deer are overpopulated. With so many houses being built, there is less and less land for the deer. You have to control them or they will take over. I hunt for deer and turkeys, and I fish. Whatever I catch, I eat. By controlling the population you save trees, and you give jobs to conservationists and people working for the environment. They write the permits and regulate the hunting. I go hunting to clear my mind. No work orders, no phone calls, I think about nothing. Being in nature is my best break from ...

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  9. Day 57: Jeff, Math teacher, Upper School

    [ By on December 08, 2012 ]

    As a math teacher, I don't often get the opportunity to have the same kinds of open-ended arguments with my students that my colleagues in the English and History departments do. The nature of mathematical instruction at the high school level is such that, at the end of the day, there are right answers and wrong answers. We will often have lively debates in class -- Is a line longer than a ray? Can a polygon have equal sides without having equal angle measures? -- but students are not really asked to deal with ambiguity, as these questions ultimately have a correct answer. I suppose this is one of the appeals of mathematics and the hard sciences; solutions can always ...

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  10. Day 56: Maya & CJ, Fourth Graders

    [ By on December 06, 2012 ]

    Something that I like about school is at recess my friend and I play soccer with all the guys. I think that is interesting because guys don't usually like to play with girls. The boys play fairly with us. (Maya) I always wanted to see Mr Martinez's desk and office, and I finally got to see it today. I got to see it because I'm telling Mrs Bartels to write this and I am in Mrs Bartels', Mr Brehl's and Mr Martinez's office. I wanted to see Mr Martinez's desk because he is awesome! He is an assistant computer worker. (CJ)

    (editor's note: Mr Martinez is the LS Systems Manager)

    Maya does ...

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