|Professional Development News|
6th grade created planets to scale in a lesson yesterday which perfectly illustrates the active learning credo. Instead of doing a worksheet or reading in a book alone, students used an activity from NASA to help them understand planetary size and scale.
Students studied the Moon Earth and Mars and then, using measurement tools and balloons, created models of each to scale.
Groups planned and measured, discussed and compared the sizes of their gold moons, blue earths and red mars models. Once they were satisfied that they had achieved proper scale, they took their models to the hallway where they measure distance accurately scaled between earth and moon. Their teachers explained that scaling Mars’ distance wouldn’t fit in the hallway as they used meter sticks to walk out the distance.
Anytime you give a 6th grader, balloons you’re going to have some joy but what was wonderful about this NASA lesson was the way the abundant smiles translated into learning and understanding distance and scale and space more completely.
We are proud of 6th grade's own Mr. Kollar, whose idea for a podcast has made it to the finals of the Queen City Podcast contest!
Although you might assume his podcast would be about math, you may also know he's a huge sports fan. His idea is a weekly re-cap of all local sports, from high-school to the pros.
He writes, "If I win, you better believe I will be spotlighting former Pirates who are doing great things out there."
To learn more and help him get a chance to make his concept a reality, vote at this link once per day!
LINK TO VOTE: https://queencitypodquest.strutta.me/gallery?entry_id=1345667
Best of luck to Mr. Kollar!
Educational experts nationwide are recognizing that students spend too much time seated in desks. Recently I came across a Twitter thread discussing this common lament, I felt proud to say that this is not the case at Piedmont.
More than any school I've seen, students at Piedmont move as they learn. Students are frequently standing and moving here at Piedmont. Teachers rig standing desks, students gather in groups to film, world language students move between clues posted on walls around school. Not only are our students not confined to the desk, desks are pushed aside as 7th graders build their factories and museum pieces in social studies; their scale models in social studies. 6th graders stand on them to deliver their Greek god and goddess monologues, 8th graders use them as borders for the battle simulation. The above photo shows Mr. Ciambrone's students testing the bridges they built to "Grandma's house" (below Mr. C's elbow).
We are also good at leaving school entirely for real world learning. 8th grade is going all over town creating their own service projects, Our 7th grade races through the city. 6th grade builds rectangular prisms on the field. All our grade levels go on experiential learning overnight trips.
Today, I walked out of my office to Mr. Milligan's students crowded together planning their mock trial strategy for his novel study. I turned the corner and there were Mr. Miller's students analyzing a poster outside, took another step and ran into Mr. Beckton's students excitedly jumping around, looked up and there were Mr. O'Neill and Ms Swift's students zig zagging in and out the door.
At another school, the first reaction might be panic! Some places mistakenly believe that docile silent pencil pushing is the only sign of learning. They couldn't be more wrong. What I saw was great engagement. Turns out the entire 6th grade team was working on an observation and communication lesson that supported those skills as needed in each teacher's discipline.
I immediately pulled out my camera to gather proof of the moment. Check out the video and a few of these related posts about active learning and thank you Piedmont teachers and students for being a model of what is right in education!
There were so many examples of active movement based learning I got overwhelmed trying to list them all. If I have not covered yours, please send me a photo or invite me in. Now I'm off to judge the 7th graders as they hold their practice trial!
Two ways to Incorporate Movement into Your Next Class
Students, be sure to practice your presentations live before the day. Make the topic your own, relax, be confident, and draw the audience in with interesting information! Students who don't feel sure of the value of their message tend to do poorly on presentation day.
As you view the images and video posted here, notice what impresses you and think about how you can make your presentation engaging and educational to the folks who will watch it. Discuss insights and concerns with your mentor.
8th graders, Ms. Gurthie can watch your presentation and give you feedback and tips to improve during your healthy kids if you email her. 7th graders, Ms. Gurthie can help you choose a project close to your heart.
Good luck! Be ready to shine and show off your best on the 8th like these students did!
More iNformation about the IB MYP 8th Grade CS Project
The inspiration of Community and Service is the belief that each student can contribute to the community and will ask themselves, “How can I make a difference?” To fulfill the MYP IB requirement, 8th grade students are required to complete a Community Project.
The Community Project is an ongoing community service activity where students focus on one area of interest in which they can make a positive impact. Students should choose an area of society in which they have a particular passion to make a difference. Through this MYP community project, students experience the responsibility of completing a significant piece of work over an extended period of time, as well as the need to reflect on their learning and the outcomes of their work—key skills that prepare students for success in further study, the workplace and the community.
Piedmont Middle School - an IB world school- is a place where students are challenged to display a sense of social responsibility and global awareness - from the Piedmont IB Community And Service MYP Project page, Karen Gorman and Ronny Reddig, lead teachers.
Using the design cycle, the IB Community Project allows students to :
The aims of the MYP projects are to encourage and enable students to:
• participate in a sustained, self-directed inquiry within a global context
• generate creative new insights and develop deeper understandings through in-depth investigation
• demonstrate the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to complete a project over an extended period of time
• communicate effectively in a variety of situations
• demonstrate responsible action through, or as a result of, learning
• appreciate the process of learning and take pride in their accomplishments
Students must address all strands of all four objectives in the MYP community project.
Objective A: Investigating
Objective B: Planning
Objective C: Taking Action
Objective D: Reflecting
The global context chosen by the students provides a context for inquiry and research in the project. Students choose only one global context to define their goal.
Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.
- Laughter therapy campaign in children’s hospital or elder care home
- Tutoring classes providing additional or special instruction to primary school students
- Researching the effects of cola drinks on digestion and developing a campaign to promote healthy choices available from school vending machines
SPACE AND TIME
Students will explore personal histories; homes and journeys; turning points in humankind; discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations from personal, local and global perspectives.
- Joining a museum or historical society in the community to contribute to maintaining, restoring, and recovering local history
- Making a plan for wheelchair accessibility
- Seeking to improve the facilities for young people by producing an article for the school magazine summarizing the problem and possible solutions
Students will explore the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
- Improving the environment in the local hospital by designing and creating a series of pictures to hang in the corridors
- Performing a theatre play to raise awareness on bullying
- Promoting intercultural understanding through a graffiti contest
Students will explore the natural world and its laws; the interaction between people and the natural world; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments; the impact of environments on human activity; how humans adapt environments to their needs.
- Helping a local community make an efficient, low-cost use of energy-powered devices
- Developing a program to promote the use of wind energy for domestic devices
- Campaigning to reduce paper use and to promote recycling
- Campaigning to reduce water, electricity or fuel waste
GLOBALIZATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
Students will explore the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the relationship between local and global processes; how local experiences mediate the global; the opportunities and tensions provided by world-interconnectedness; the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment.
- Campaigning to raise awareness and reduce plastic straw waste use
- Passing a plan to local authorities for tree planting in an area in need of re-greening
- Creating a school or community garden
Students will explore rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities; sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
- Campaigning for fair-trade awareness
- Contributing to educational opportunities, for example, supporting a local non-governmental organization that works on literacy in our town
- Addressing the concerns of immigrants and migrant populations
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!