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In the News

We were in the Seabury School news! Picture are three amazing students visiting from China for our winter camp. Each has been working directly with a class to help learn about our culture, customs, and language. Centered in the image is the boy who visited our class. He has been with the 4th and 5th grade class for the past three weeks.
Recent posts

Gardening Season Begins in Earnest

Gardening is a process that moves through each year without a real end or start. Much like the plants involved, the practice is organic and mutable. Weather, seasons, plant growth, and daylight all play roles in how and when we garden. 

The good news is that we've begun planting seeds. We are risking a little bit of an early plant, but hope that it will pay off with June sunflowers and May salad greens.

We planted large sunflowers, a few of our carry-over onion bulbs, and some lettuce greens.

Raspberry Pi...not the edible kind

Last fall, a handful of our class decided they wanted to participate in a creative maker style project hosted by Raspberry Pi. What is Raspberry Pi?
Well here is what they have to say about it: The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world, able to solve the problems that matter to them, and equipped for the jobs of the future.
The goal of the project they hosted was to develop a tool or device that would help people during a cataclysm. 

Emergency Pizza
Emergency pizza is not a pizza that you eat when you’re hungry; it is a secret kit that you would use if you are in emergency. The reason it is called Emergency pizza is because on the inside it is a life saving kit, but on the outside it is a normal pizza box.  You can call for help on the built in phone. You can track people down you just need a some of its DNA, t…

Sometimes we just need time with our friends.

Occasionally it's good to share a few of the happy moments in the classroom.

Defend the Fort!

As part of our Civil War studies, we are doing some simulations. This week's simulation is based around defending a fort. It started with an activity in which the class measured calculated the size of all of the major objects in the classroom. 
Once we had a map of our classroom, aka the Fort, we started figuring out the ways to defend it. Each student was given a budget and a set of criteria to draw their own defenses. 
Using some calculators and some brain power they got to work!

The defense plans were not easy to decide on. Do you buys cannons but no walls? Or do you buys walls and food, but then have just a few cannonballs or low gunpowder? 

There were a lot of creative ideas.

Even more conversations about budget, costs, necessities, and strategies.

The best part...they all participating an hour of math work without even realizing it. Measuring, counting, calculating area and perimeter, balancing a budget and not one grumble or groan about how math is boring.

The Value of a Bad Grade - Part 3

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.”  –  J.K. Rowling

Art stories and grades aside, there are two important things that come from getting bad grades.

1. A bad grade, when given for the right reasons, is a marker that students are being challenged.

If students takes a math test of 10 problems and gets them 100 percent correct, they have shown they know all of the information on the test. They've had no opportunities to push beyond what they know or to show the limits of their ability. Using tests simply to assess student progress is great. Using that assessment as the marker of a student's success can be a recipe for trouble.

2. A bad grade, when a result of appropriate expectations, can teach resiliency. There are few things that teach us how to perservere more than learning to have the confidence to keep a…

The Value of a Bad Grade - Part 2

“No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.” – Chris Hardwick

As I describe the impact of straight A's, anyone with experience with gifted education will begin to reminisce about countless experiences with their students. I'll start this part of my talk on bad grades with a small personal story.

I grew up in a small town. I was an artistic kid who drew tons of pictures and received nothing but compliments about it most of my early childhood. My drawings were met with blanket compliments from everyone around me. Each year that passed, I kept reproducing the same images knowing that they would elicit that always desirable "I like it." or "It's great." The adults around me believed they were being supportive. In so many important ways,…