In second grade students are engaging in reenactments, recreations, and hands-on construction projects to help make events of the American Revolution come alive in their 21st century classroom. Read about their adventures on the NAIS Inspiration Lab:
First graders at TPS are collaborating together to build a three-dimensional community in their classroom…and deepening their own classroom community in the process. Check out their brief story here on NAIS Inspiration Lab: http://inspirationlab.org/story/5324
Our society tolerates gross unfairness every day. It tolerates misogyny, racism and the callous indifference to those born without privilege.
I think that most of us are programmed to process the little stories, the emotional ones, things that touch people we can connect to. When it requires charts and graphs and multi-year studies, it’s too easy to ignore.
We don’t change markets, or populations, we change people. One person at a time, at a human level. And often, that change comes from small acts that move us, not from grand pronouncements.
How can I teach leadership skills to all my students? Read Teaching Leadership to All
How can I create a culture of inclusion in my classroom? Read In Pursuit of the Multicultural Curriculum
How can I develop my own creativity so I can model it for students? Read Embracing our Creativity
What is innovation and why does/should it matter to me and my classroom? Read The Innovation Imperative
Here is a list of 7 apps that can be used to introduce and expand on computer program concepts for children of many ages. I have used and seen Hopscotch implemented with children as young as 6 and 7 years and it is equally engaging for adults. On top of programming/coding skills, these apps can assist with sequential thinking, cause & effect, planning, organization, and error analysis and revision: all key components of design-thinking.
If we are concerned that students today are too quick to allow their attention to be yanked to the brightest object (or to willfully redirect it once their very low threshold of boredom is surpassed), we need to consider ways that we can bring home to them the potential reward of sustained attention.
Willingham argues that attention disorders may not be on the rise, rather…the need for and valuation of sustained attention in our culture may be on a dramatic decline. As digital natives (a term coined by Marc Prensky) – students can largely avoid the experience of even mild boredom in their daily lives…but also miss out on some of the rewards of patience, perseverance, and waiting it out.
How do we, instead of trying to wrest attention from the disengaged, inspire it through a little healthy boredom that has powerful rewards?
Recently at Tuxedo Park School we had the privilege of learning about wildlife conservation efforts for big cats around the world (jaguars, tigers, lions, snow leopards, and cougars). The Vice President of the wildlife conservation organization Panthera, Andrea Heydlauff, shared the story of these secretive, majestic animals. Panthera’s mission is “to ensure the future of wild cats through scientific leadership and global conservation action.”
At TPS part of our mission is to – from our earliest years in the Pre-Kindergarten – train and inspire learners who are knowledgeable, skilled, and driven agents of change in their local and globally communities. Ms. Heydlauff shared information about four of the worlds “big cats”, threats to their survival, the science behind world-wide conservation efforts, and things we can do – at all ages – to join these efforts.
As our students grow and develop in a world that looks very different from the one in which we were educated, we work to prepare them for their future, not our past. Ms. Heydlauff’s visit was a perfect opportunity to give students an additional snapshot of the broad array of career paths that are available to them. When you ask a student what they would like to be when they grow up, you know you are asking a question the answer to which will likely shift and change many times throughout their lives. That said, you are also likely to get one of these answers: doctor, veterinarian, musician, movie star, pro-athlete, or something to do with Legos. We hope that in drawing attention to professional adults who have followed the passions of their hearts and strengths of their minds – to careers that many of us aren’t even aware of – that we can continue to train children for their future, one in which they live the mission of TPS as adults.
Take a moment to to watch the video below, an award-winning video telling the story of one of Panthera’s projects. In it, the narrator is a young boy who lives on a ranch in the Brazilian Pantanal learning how cows, people, and jaguars can all live together. It serves as a shining example of the work they do in local communities.
Even in light of the grim forecast for the expedition’s hardships, Shackleton understood the importance of play and the value of morale. This photo shows members of Shackleton’s crew playing football. Their ship, slowly being crushed by the Antarctic ice, sits in the background. With cold temperatures, dwindling food supplies, winter nearing, the hours of darkness increasing everyday, and no end in sight it is marvelous that there was space to play. We live fast-paced, high-stimulus lives. As educators our attention is pulled a thousand ways at once, and yet we also strive to keep it focused on the one thing that really matters in our profession: children. It is so easy to get bogged down in the to-do lists of job and life, in the hard work of working hard…that we forget that play has a very important place in drawing us together, in lightening the heavy load, and in adjusting our perspective. Shackleton’s crew played cards, hockey, produced shows, performed music, sang, and shared company. As a result, Shackleton’s crew enjoyed camaraderie in the face of all manner of physical and mental trials. We must, as educators in the 21st century, strive to keep sacred our time to play together and on our own.