A teacher-student collaboration brings the history of the Aztec Empire to life in the classroom reaching all types of learners.
An expanded version of this article with the title, Game Creation and Differentiated Learning, appeared in the 2015 Winter Issue of Independent School Magazine, an NAIS publication.
I can recall my mother, a third grade teacher, sorting and counting some kind of play currency at home in the evenings as she launched into a homespun classroom game that (if I remember correctly) was structured around a social studies unit tied to the 1492 expedition of Columbus. It seems that almost everyone has memories – however hazy and blurred by time – of a teacher or a class where game play punctuated a semester’s rhythm or lightened the classroom mood for a spell.
Excerpted from remarks at the Annual Meeting on October 24, 2013
Last summer we built a new playground for our Kindergarten and Lower School children. It didn’t entail a dramatic sea change in the face of our campus, as did the demise of our graceful old willows or the construction of our colorful new Lower School Building. But, like the earlier demolition of the old Kindergarten space and the departure of our beloved Kindergarten slide, it represented loss as well as gain. Something had to be destroyed before the work on the new playground could begin.
Emilie Liebhoff, Director of Admissions and Assistant Head of School
“The Confidence Gap,” “9 Qualities of Confident Women,” and “5 Ways Women can Exude Confidence at Work” represent just a small sampling of recent articles that explore how women perceive themselves relative to their actual competence. While self-confidence has often been an issue for women, the subject has become increasingly topical of late. Much of the recent rhetoric in this vein has focused on professional-age females, almost ignoring that confidence (or lack thereof) is something learned when we’re children. And so we’re compelled as educators and parents to wonder, what strategies can we implement at home and at school to ensure that our girls are growing up both competent and confident?
The documentary film “Most Likely To Succeed,” which my school in Dedham, Massachusetts, screened last week for a large audience of parents and educators, purports to show a new way of educating children, one that will better prepare them for the future and the challenges that await them in a rapidly changing world.
On the surface, it seems that the filmmakers feel they have the Right Answer to education, while the monolith of the current American educational system has had nothing but wrong answers since the Industrial Revolution altered much of the western world. In my view, this way of thinking may be as binary as the computers they condemned in their film.
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. This 1992 best seller by John Gray described the fundamental differences between men and women. Perhaps Mr. Gray was extrapolating on some differences between the sexes that were expressed in the early 19th-century nursery rhyme “What Are Little Boys Made Of?” “Snips and snails and puppy dog tails” is the answer, whereas little girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice.” Society today recognizes the sexism in those words, yet the stereotypes of how boys and girls should dress and behave persist even amidst the growing awareness that we do not live in a gender-binary world.
Once upon a time in Greenwich, Connecticut, for reasons that now elude me, I was asked to speak to a group of nursery school parents on the topic of gender differences. This was long before John Gray’s Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (referenced in Rick Edie’s short piece on page 6 of the DCD Fall Bulletin) had entered the Golden American Rolodex, but I had been observing and teaching boys and girls of varying ages for some time, watching their behavior and interactions among themselves and with their parents, and had studied and read a fair amount about their differences.
Art Teacher Lisa Houck Discusses the Role of Art in Learning
For Lisa Houck, art class is not a luxury, a place for down time, or a perk of an enriched curriculum; for Lisa Houck, art class is a vital part of the educational experience. “What I’ve come to understand in teaching art to all ages, from children to folks in elder hostel programs, is that art is essential. It is an essential part of our education. It is essential to our development, unique in the confidence it brings from building up skills with results you can see".
Dedham Country Day School in Dedham, MA, is a private coeducational school for children in PreKindergarten through Grade 8. We offer a balanced curriculum in which challenging academics, arts, athletics, and community service are connected to ensure children grow whole and strong.