Hope School Visit!

Each week a group of interested and dedicated students meet with Dr. Frazier and together they plan Science activities for local children who rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to do Science activities in school. Each week another group of students meet to plan activities for a local school exchange on Saturdays. Below is Dr. Frazier’s account of the two clubs coming together on Saturday morning:

“The Middle School Hope Club and Science Corps joined forces today to offer some experiments in chemistry for the children at the Hope Foundation School. Our AES students are always so good at assisting the Hope School kids, who are always excited about the chance to do some hands-on science activities. The Hope School students were quick thinkers. They enjoyed mixing, observing, sketching, and discussing their ideas.

The Middle School Hope Club is a junior partner with the High School Hope Club. The purpose is to offer enriched educational and recreational experiences for children from the Hope Foundation School which is located in Sangam Vihar, an impoverished area in South Delhi. The Middle School Science Corps is an initiative to bring firsthand experiences with scientific phenomena to local children who seldom have the opportunity to explore, tinker, and mess about in science. We now have conducted sessions with the Hope Foundation School and Each One Teach One. On Monday afternoon we will visit a section of Making A Difference (MAD) which meets at AES. There the object is to teach English. Our science activities will provide a meaningful and tangible context for learning new language.”

Open Doors Week

Thanks to everyone who took part in our first Open Doors Week of the year!  Open Doors is a concept of teachers getting into each others’ rooms to learn from each other. We kicked off this year’s ODW series with a week of looking at literacy across the curriculum.  Teachers took time out of their busy schedules to observe and learn from one another. Most often when it comes to Open Doors Week, the biggest “a-has” usually have to do with being reminded of just how incredible our colleagues are, and this week was no exception.  Weeks like this one make me wish I was a student at AES (though, I kind of am…)!

Whether written on the chart paper in the MS Conference room, or just told to me in passing, here are some of the highlights of the week that have been shared:

  • Students using the analytical paragraph structure of Claim-Support-Explain in math class to make their math thinking visible!
  • Students using a thesaurus to practice paraphrasing a standard that they are currently working towards
  • Students having independent reading time in World Language classrooms
  • Masterful socratic seminars happening in 8th grade Humanities
  • Crafting hypothesis statements in Science class
  • World Language and EAL teachers realizing they need to hang out more (professionally and personally!!)
  • Visible thinking protocols being used to make students purposefully look at their writing and see it in a new way
  • Students independently using mentor texts to improve their writing
  • Anchor charts for close reading in Science classrooms
  • Reading, reading, reading, reading…and a little more reading–in ALL classes!  HOW COOL?!

THANK YOU to all of the teachers who made this happen.  What an inspiring week! After all…

“The most valuable resource teachers have is each other.  Without collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspectives.” -Robert John Meehan

Written by: Courtney Al Moreno, MS Literacy Coach

Apple Pi ET

A couple of times a month, we take time to extend our advisory period for grade level teams to have Enrichment Time (ET). Last Tuesday we had an ET.

8th grade engaged in a fun apple pie making activity, which relied on collaboration, team-building, organization and planning. Judges weighed in on ‘Best Dressed’, ‘Best Crust’, ‘Best Filling’, ‘Most Likely to Be in a Pie Throwing Contest’, and ‘Biggest Train Wreck’. Check out the fun pictures below.

Cup Stacking Challenge

Mr. Fumi tasked his 8th grade math students with the cup stacking challenge this morning. Given a couple of white styrofoam cups, students first shared: What do you notice? What do you wonder? They then needed to figure out how many cups would need to be stacked to reach Mr. Fumi’s height. Students are studying linear relationships and rate of change, and this example is a fun way to explore these concepts.

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Marshmallow Challenge

On the first day of math class, our sixth grade students in Mr. Amlani’s and Mr. Smith’s classes took part in the Marshmallow Challenge. This was an activity for students to come together and create a free standing structure with 20 pieces of uncooked spaghetti, 1 yard of masking tape, 1 yard of string, and a Marshmallow in only 18 minutes! As the students learned, the exercise really reveals some deep lessons and the importance of collaboration. Here some shots of the students on action:

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And here is a great Ted Talk that discusses the value of this exercise:

Teacher Orientation Fun

The school year started for teachers with wonderful professional learning. A major theme this year is focusing on Collaboration. And in that in mind, teachers participated in a Collaboration Task Party to get in the spirit.

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Teachers create a made-up language:

Teachers create a dance: