|Professional Development News|
Making is at the core of Piedmont's culture WE MAKE SO MUCH, IT'S HARD TO HYPERLINK IT ALL!
Every day is #GlobalMakerDay at Piedmont! Well, maybe not EVERY day, but it IS extremely rare to walk the halls of Piedmont and not see students planning or building something across the curriculum and at all grade levels. Students are even making and creating during standardized test times, the time usually known as the least creative of the year.
Making is a given in our interdisciplinary passion projects, in Ms. Newburger's excellent Library Makerspace, in clubs, and in encore classes like Art, Band, Drama and Orchestra, but what makes me love Piedmont so much is how common it is in our core classes as well!
Consider Mr. O'Neill this week alone, from spears to swans his students were making. Props to him and all to the Individuals and Societies teachers whose students recently built their own tools when studying the stone age. They then created marketing campaigns for the tools and sold them to classmates.
The Social Studies classroom making tradition continues in the upper grades as students design build earthquake resistant structures and make period costumes living history exhibits, industrial revolution inventions (yet more industrial revolution), civil rights museums, (another Civil Rights museum) etc.
Teachers model making at Piedmont. Mr. Egnot models this by transforming his classroom into a war zone of WW1 trenches and the media center yearly through his maker skills and Ms. Frilot transforms her classroom to a poetry cafe with soft lighting, colors, and seating.
In World Language and Language Arts classes, students write songs for the Harlem Renaissance, compile playists and record their own podcasts, design and build whirligigs (both with wood, and with minecraft redstone)and recreate setting layouts and film their own movies based on their novel studies. They make culture clusters that make manifest their own poems.
In Math, students make large and small designs for the famous Scale Model Project. They also create their own board games and of course there's the yearly giant Prism-palooza!
In Science, they design their best protective egg case then test it out by catapulting the egg using a homemade catapult.
What does this culture of making lead to? It leads to kids who think creatively and make for special occasions and for no reason at all! They spend their free time building and making everything from towers to ASMR videos.
Stay tuned for more as we celebrate active learning and creating today and every day at #PiedmontIB. Send me your photos and videos if I don't happen by!
At Piedmont we are big proponents of experiential learning. from recreating (safely) wars and revolutions in individuals and socieities classes, to walking field trips of Uptown historic and modern business sites, Piedmont students learn by doing. In math they don't just study prisms, they build them, blow them up and go inside. In science, they don't just study heat and geothermal activity on the earth, they make smores to exerience it.
Here are a few recent examples of special events our teachers created for their students:
FinancE: Money Math in Real Life
Guest speakers teach Financial Literacy to sixth Grade and 8th grade
Thanks to Ms. Styles and Mr. Reddig, the 8th graders spent the days before Winter break learning about a topic that will help them for the rest of their lives. The teachers arranged a two day participatory experiential lesson in finance from the experts at Wells Fargo. Students learned about timelines, what you can and can't control, how quickly money goes when you are an adult, and how to guard yourself from unexpectd setbacks.
Thanks to Ms. Swift and 6th grade math team for inviting in a Piedmont parent and finance expert to be a guest speaker to 6th graders. Money math in real life, and a good lesson about the way debt can spiral out of control. Here are a few photos from that event.
Titanic In the Gym
Thanks to Mr. Chandler, Ms. Hash, and Ms Tapia for the Titanic in the Gym event where 6th graders used their knowledge of math and reading to stay afloat. I heard only a few survived but everyone enjoyed the chance to compete and cooperate in the multi-class simulation!
Wonder Field Trip
Thanks to Ms. Kryszak and the 6th grade team for organizing a trip to see the new release film of the summer reading blockbuster novel Wonder. Students enjoyed seeing the book come to life on the big screen almost as much as the popcorn and having the theater to ourselves! They were able to cheer for the heros and boo the villains together and also learn a little about the importance of empathy for those who are different from ourselves.
Thanks to Mr. Carpenter, students were able to go with their Career and Technical Education classmates to the 2017 Geek Fest. Students loved being on a college campus. They attended lectures on Minecraft and Movie Making, toured a high tech automotive center, and particpated in hands on tech sessions like:
I don't have photos of this year's leadership trip to Queen's University, or drama's trip to see the high school play, so please understand this is only a small slice of the work teachers here to do make learning real every day.
Genius Hour, Passion Project, 20 percent time...whatever you call it it's about the Love of Learning. At Piedmont we call it LOL and it happens every spring.
For the 4th year in a row, 6th graders showcased the information and skills they gleaned from their 6th block independent study time to their classmates, families, and teachers and once again we were amazed at the talent, dedication, creativity and diversity of interests of our class.
Thank you to the sixth grade teachers who each year braves the messiness that comes with student-driven learning. Thank you to the sixth grade students who shared with open arms just a little of what they love. You can tell it was all worth it when you see the proud and happy smiles in this video.
New club Receives Grant for SMoothie Nutrition
Thanks to a Donors Choose grant and your community support , the new Piedmont Healthy Living club is offering a special Friday perk. Starting today, the club now serves delicious and healthy smoothies to staff. The club was founded by Health Teacher Garrison Cherry in conjunction with School Nurse Gina Mallay.
Mr Cherry says, "Students came up with recipes, tested them out during clubs, researched the nutritional benefits, and run the whole operation."
Thank you so much to Mr Cherry and Nurse Mallay for your passion for keeping Piedmont healthy and teaching students good nutrition in a fun way! Students, we are so proud of you and appreciative!
The project will continue to develop throughout the year and donations are accepted. #piedmontyouknow #cltfoodie #clthealth #schoolhealth #healthybreakfast #smoothie #drinkyourgreens💚 #nced @cmsschools
UPdate! Watch the New 2017 Community Project Video
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!