The 2012-13 Parent Education Committee has provided a list of suggested summer reading choices for Trinity parents. This list was created in conjunction with school administrators, the 2012-13 Parent Education Co-Chairs, and members of the faculty and staff. Some of these books will be the focus of book discussions during the school year and others are selections being read over the summer by faculty and staff.
The most recent edition of Inside Trinity is in your mailboxes. Kudos to Liz Ball, Trinity’s Director of Communications, for another excellent publication. And cheers to Brandi, Eugene, and Jan for their impressive cover photo! This Inside Trinity issue is certainly one that focuses on 21st century pedagogy and technology. But what resonates most (for me) is that Trinity has been, is currently, and will always be a school which focuses on the child and his or her learning and growth as an individual. I hope you’ll take time to read the articles at some point. You’ll learn a lot about the school and your colleagues…and you’ll be proud as well.
Here are the Weekly Learning Links for the week of April 23rd:
Flattening the School Walls by Liana Heitin (shared by Pat Kerner) — An inspiring article about an outside-of-the-box school in Oregon. As Trinity moves toward a greater focus on project/challenge-based learning, “Horn describes project-based learning as working down Bloom’s taxonomy instead of up. The students are given a task that requires higher-order thinking skills—often to create something—and they must learn and practice lower-level skills along the way. Whether or not students realize it, the standards are embedded into the projects from the start. Horn and his teachers map out each project on a matrix, with the content subjects on the horizontal and phases of the project on the vertical.” How might we incorporate our Enviroscape more purposefully?
The Importance of Frustration in the Creative Process, Animated by Maria Popova — Stories of creativity often leave out the negative emotions and experiences associated with them. This short animated video provides an excellent support to the idea that “before we can find the answer — before we can even know the question — we must be immersed in disappointment.”
Behind Instagram’s Success, Networking the Old Way — A few weeks ago, Instagram (the popular social photography app) was bought by Facebook for 1 billion dollars. This NYT article, though it’s lengthy, examines the twenty-something founders’ story of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Educators can learn from the focus on risk-taking and relationships…two central aspects to the success story.
And speaking of flattening school walls, the creative process, risk-taking, and relationships, check out the 10 minute story of nine-year-old Caine Monroy and his arcade made entirely of old, discarded cardboard boxes.
Join us for the culminating event in Trinity’s 60th Anniversary Speakers Series. On Tuesday, April 17, Trinity will host a group of nationally recognized authors, industry experts, and thought leaders to discuss a topic critical to the future of our children and our nation.
The panel discussion, entitled “A Glimpse Into Tomorrow’s World: Will Your Child Be Ready?” will be held at Mount Paran Church of God at 7 PM.
Next week, Trinity will welcome award-winning classical pianist Alpin Hong to the school for a full week of music. On Wednesday, March 21, Hong will join Trinity parent and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Assistant Concertmaster Jun-Ching Lin and Trinity Alumnus Ben Beilman for a concert at Symphony Hall. Many of Trinity’s own students, faculty, and staff members will play alongside these stellar talents. It will be a musical performance unlike any other, with an array of artistic experiences from creative dance and visual expressions paired to music to a-first-of-its-kind iPad ensemble.
The evening will be a unique example of Trinity’s tradition of innovative collaboration and creativity. Check out the video for a sneak-peek of this incredible concert:
Jedd Austin, PE Teacher and Trinity TV Extraordinaire, is utilizing his strengths and interests in a unique way with his students. Our very own AWAC occasionally turns into a physical education lab, complete with self-reflection, videoed assessment, and a personalized approach to improving fitness. The picture provides a visual of the students’ self-assessment and the short video (embedded below) is an example of how Coach Austin uses technology to record student learning to aid in better, more objective self-assessments. In this video, you will see students working in pairs to record and analyze their personal fitness growth (sit-ups in this video). If the video isn’t embedded below, click on this link.
Trinity’s P.E. team widely recognized as leaders and learners in Atlanta and beyond. This year, they will host the third annual Keeping Kids in Motion P.E. Conference at Trinity School which attracts public and private school educators across the state of Georgia. Way to go, P.E. Team!
Here are the Weekly Learning Links for the week of February 26th:
How My Teaching Has Changed by Chris Kennedy — This is a beautiful and balanced blog post reflecting on the shifts in education and the changing role of the teacher. Kennedy writes, “It is simplistic to think one method of teaching can replace another, and it is disrespectful to conclude there haven’t been wonderful real-real examples in our schools for hundreds of years. But the move to personalized learning, the focus on “the 7 C’s”, and the power of technology to allow us to do things not possible before, have really changed the dynamics.”
Parenting Hi-Tech Children by Tim Rylands — This comprehensive overview of a presentation by Larry Rosen, an expert in the psychology of technology, is interesting and thought-provoking. Rosen was a keynote speaker at the 2011 Learning and the Brain Conference and this post shares much of the recent research (links included) about children and their use of technology. This post presents a host of information on multi-tasking, social media, and student’s growing need for constant connectedness.
Your Reputation is Your Résumé by Ted Greenwald — An interesting article, from Technology Review (published by MIT), about how young people, who are more and more networked, are shining in job interviews and job searches because of their strong online presence. What might educators do to model this participation in networked learning and participate in these places…for our own good and for the good of our students?
A man of faith and justice, Allison Williams believes that questioning the status quo leads to deeper thinking and to making choices grounded on moral and ethical reasoning. He often would play devil’s advocate, seeking his listener to reconsider their thoughts and to justify their opinions. Challenging a position held firmly by others gave him an opportunity to teach. ~ Maryellen Berry
Here are the Weekly Learning Links for the week of February 20th:
The Art of Distraction by Hanif Kureishi (and shared by Stephen on Twitter) — This NYT Opinion piece is “well worth reading for a view on how not paying attention and creativity can intermingle.”
How do Children Learn to Read Silently by ScienceDaily — An interesting and brief article about oral reading, silent reading, and reading comprehension — and the research that FSU is sponsoring over the next four years to unearth better instructional strategies to increase fluency in children.
10 Journaling Tips to Help You Heal, Grow, and Thrive by Loran Hills (and shared by Beverly Tatum via Twitter) — Develop your intuition, start a dialogue with your inner child, and log your successes are three of the tips that “tiny buddah” shares about the power of writing for personal and professional growth.
The Math Curriculum and Department of My Dreams by John Burk — In this blog post, Burk reflects on Park School’s newly designed math curriculum with the 14 habits of mathematical thinking in mind. He asks questions essential to 21st century learning and curriculum — and reflects on the tension of innovative v. traditional curriculum. His reflections are excellent food for thought as we continue our work with social studies curriculum at Trinity.
An important piece of Trinity’s Sixth Grade Program is the Capstone Project which is the culminating project of students’ elementary school career. These projects have a specific goal: students must apply what they have learned through research (their QUEST paper) and demonstrate understanding through a real-life application project which is independently designed. Through the QUEST process, Sixth Graders must identify an area of interest and complete an inquiry-based process which allows the opportunity to investigate a topic in a personalized and student-directed manner. The purpose of the QUEST research paper and the final Capstone project is to both build and celebrate students’ creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, synthesis, and analysis skills….all of those 21st Century learning skills that are so important!
And finally, Andrew Hennessy’s TEDxKIDS@BC Talk (based on his Sixth Grade Capstone Project) is finally live. Watch his eight minuted TEDx Talk here:
Here are the Weekly Learning Links for the week of February 12th:
Rebranding Teachers by Hyperakt and Studio 360 — “Education is the key to human progress, therefore teaching is among the most important professions for humanity.” These visuals represent something that is both inspiring for all of us educators and thought-provoking as well. “Teachers are currently represented by uninspiring, childish visual imagery. Images like apples, chalkboards, and the ABCs neither revere the profession of teaching nor do justice to the intellectual and creative development teachers help guide in students of all ages.” Check out what one design firm did when they were faced with this challenge…and turned it into an opportunity for all of us.
edu180atl: 2.9.12 by Alicia Andreou — A 250 word reflection on learning from others. Alicia used Emily Connolly’s social studies class (and Skype to Saudi Arabia session) as inspiration for Thursday’s post based on the prompt, What did you learn today?
Getting Started with Skype by Silvia Tolisano — And speaking of Skype…this is a great resource for teachers who are interested in connecting with others using Skype (a free videoconferencing tool). This document highlights a project called “Around the World with 80 Schools” but it also provides great ideas about various student jobs related to using Skype for learning.
A Little Empathy by Edna Sackson — A very short reflection on empathy and communication based on Sackson’s experience and observations during a recent hospital visit. How are we focusing on these two skills in schools?
We are halfway through the Green Cup Challenge and thanks to Suzanne Edwards and her team of Fifth Grade Watt Watchers, all of us at Trinity have been educated about energy usage. In the first two weeks of the challenge, we have significantly reduced our energy usage (12% in week one and 13% in week two). The Fifth Grade Watt Watchers are taking their jobs seriously and a few students chose to create a PSA about their watt-watching at Trinity. According to Suzanne, these students “wrote, directed, filmed, and edited the video independently” and it certainly meets the guidelines for the Challenge, as all “videos should be student written and directed for presentation to the school community and the public, creating awareness, excitement and motivation about the Green Cup Challenge.” Way to go, Fifth Grade Watt Watchers! If you want to vote on their video or see other schools’ videos, click here!
Here are the Weekly Learning Links for the week of February 5th:
On Assessing Creativity: Yes, You Can & Yes, You Should by Grant Wiggins — It seems like many of us are looking for ways to make the notion of 21st century skills as concrete as skills related to the 3Rs. Is it possible to measure the 3Cs (creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration)? Wiggins argues in this blog post (full of excellent links!), that yes, assessing 21st century skills can happen and focusing on impact is essential. I love this quote: “This idea of focusing on impact is actually key to student autonomy, reflected in self-assessment and self-adjustment. The more we focus on impact – did you achieve the goal of such a performance? – instead of such abstract things as “focus” and “organization” or such indicators such as “eye contact” in speaking (which should not be criteria that are mandatory but indicators of the more general and appropriate criterion of “engaging the audience”), the more students can practice, get feedback, and self-assess and self-adjust on their own.”
Interesting Books You Should Read by Madeline — Want to know what some of our oldest students are reading? Check out Madeline’s blog (Madeline also publishes “The Trinity Times” every month in paper format) and read her most recent post about the books she (and others) enjoy reading.
Whale Fall: Poetic Cut-Paper Animation inspired by RadioLab (shared by Maria Popova) — This “stop-motion animation” and its accompanying soundtrack is fascinating and tells many stories, not just the one about “how when a whale dies, its body can sustain an entire microcosm of an ecosystem for up to seven years.” Stop-motion video is being attempted by many elementary school students across the country…is this something some of your students would be interested in learning?
The Upside of Dyslexia by Annie Murphy Paul — An interesting NYT piece in the Sunday Review section about dyslexia. The last paragraph reflects much of Trinity’s work with strengths-chasing for all students: “Glib talk about appreciating dyslexia as a “gift” is unhelpful at best and patronizing at worst. But identifying the distinctive aptitudes of those with dyslexia will permit us to understand this condition more completely, and perhaps orient their education in a direction that not only remediates weaknesses, but builds on strengths.”
Here are the Weekly Learning Links for the week of January 29th:
Doodle for Google 2012: If I Could Travel in Time shared by Free Technology for Teachers — Every year, Google invites “students in the United States to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see.” Submissions are due March 23 and more information about the contest can be found here.
Every Child is a Scientist by Jonah Lehrer — Young children are “naturals” at almost everything. In this WIRED Magazine article, Lehrer explores how not knowing and questioning is often more important than knowing.
A New [Year's] Challenge: Start with Small Steps by Shelley Wright — What does an inquiry-driven, project-based, tech-embedded classroom look like? Shelley Wright’s four pieces of advice about creating more of a student-centered classroom are both thoughtful and detailed.
Check out what a wonderful job Trinity faculty member Justin Cahill did at the second Admissions Open House. His talk is followed by touching and heartfelt reflections by Third Grader Sarah and Sixth Grader Jillian. Kudos to Justin, Sarah, and Jillian!
Only one Weekly Learning Link for the week of January 8th. It’s a video about “spontanteous and relentless compassion” and how one fourth grade teacher radically altered his students’ thinking based on a geo-political game he created for his public school students in 1978. John Hunter and his World Peace Game is an inspiration, and his 20 minute TED Talk (embedded below) is worth watching. Additionally, the following two links will take you to other sites to learn about Hunter and his work: