The gym was abuzz with 8th graders touring each other's handmade exhibits. Students discussed what was happening in each tableau and decided together what was the message to take away. Ms. Hon, Ms. Styles, and Mr. Reddig facilitated the showcase and quizzed students while visiting teachers were amazed. Take a look at some of the work below.
We’re winding down with curriculum compacting for the year. I have helped some students personalize their curriculum and many others have done so within their usual classroom this year. The slideshow above shows just a few of the things we've done in the last month here at Piedmont: curricular and extracurricular. From music to art to electronics. In the compacting room some students learned elecronics basics and fixed a 3D printer, some students created non-photoshopped trick photography, some wrote presentations on astronomy, the mind, and more. We even created a bubble and glitter trombone, explored plastics and hydrophobic sand. Earlier students wrote and created an orchestra skit, a black hole independent study and a musical chess score.
A sixth grade ELA compacting student who is 27 pages into her first novel just left my office. I left her feedback on the first 17 pages and she’s returning to discuss it tomorrow and continue working. Two other students just left the makerspace after fixing the schools 3D printer. It had been defunct for years. These students sought out the opportunity to fix it as a “passion project” and have been coming in during recess to see if they could find the problem. They worked together via trial and error, trying one thing, looking for a result, going back to the drawing board, trying something else. After weeks of research and tinkering, they just completed a perfect print of a tiny toy boat. They started a second print, and, as tech will do, this print isn’t adhering. I wish I could take credit for the thinking process happening as they methodically attack this new problem, but it’s all them. I am taking notes while watching them, and planning a way to have them take on apprentices next year who can learn from them.
These two compacting situations today illustrate the commonalities and differences of the compacting room this year and help elucidate why I am so proud and happy of our inaugural year of having a dedicated space for compacting. In both situations, students have brought a personal passion into their school day and in both situations they are creating a tangible product. In the case of the novel-writer, she is working on this for class credit. In the case of the printers, they are doing this as an extracurricular extension. Both situations are valid and scalable to future work. If your student is interested in compacting their classwork, have them ask their classroom teacher and if they’d like some guidance on a passion project they can bring to school, have them speak with Ms. Gurthie. We are always looking to learn and improve.
Piedmont is so proud of our very own Mr. O'Neal! In addition to earning National Board certification and being named the learning community Teacher of the Year, he also won a coveted spot at the CMS Teacher Talks. Like TED talks, the event features teacher speakers with an important message to share. Listen in to Mr. O'Neal's spoken-word invocation against the pedagogy of low expectations and you'll easily see why he's such a force for greatness in the math and the course of our school.
Students joined with counselors and Officer Rorie to plant to pinwheels in front of school this week in honor of child abuse prevention month. Tomorrow the Piedmont community will wear blue in solidarity.
We all play a role in keeping kids safe. Let’s work together to ensure children are safe, healthy, and nurtured all year round. For more information please contact The Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team. Visit www.Meck4Kids.org
Celebrating Piedmont : a blog of Happy Happenings
"Celebrating Piedmont" logs only a small fraction of the learning magic the teachers of CMS' Piedmont Middle School, an IB World School. create daily. In that sense, it is authored by all the staff and students of Piedmont. It is curated by Ms. Gurthie who can be reached at the icons above. She'll be happy to brag about Piedmont's teachers and students any chance she gets! Please note this blog has only just begun and we have so much to show off! Come back again soon!