Michael MacDonald, eighth grade, and Sonia Gupta, sixth grade, will represent The Lovett Middle School at the Georgia Independent Schools Association city-wide spelling bee at Woodward Academy on February 12, 2009. Michael and Sonia competed against 22 other class spellers to have the opportunity to represent the Lions and possibly move on to district competition in Macon, Ga. on February 26, 2009.
Thank you to all who were in attendance Wednesday evening. You will find the PowerPoint presentation under the For Parents tab above. If you will follow the links to Curricular Resource Materials you will find the PowerPoint for viewing or downloading.
If you have any questions or comments about the presentation, please contact your teacher or MS English Department Chair LeeAnn Emerson.
8th grade fashionistas…
and it’s not who you might think it is!
I am consistently amazed and amused by my students! One of the things I love about my 8th grade classes this year is that I get to teach half of the students I taught last year. One of the advantages of teaching the same kids two years in a row is the level of comfort reached in the classroom early on in the year. This became so evident yesterday when six of my eighth grade boys proceeded to model the clothing I had brought into the classroom to help us review clothing / color vocabulary. I never intended for them to put the clothes on… my clothes! They had so much fun! They amused themselves, the class and me- and it really was a great learning tool. When I suggested taking a picture, one of the boys immediately grabbed my laptop and snapped this photo…priceless!
One of the most fascinating new tools I’ve implemented this year in my classroom is the online learning environment- Moodle. I have one for each of my class periods, and I love using it. It was wonderful way to begin going “paperless.” I am able to post notes about class, link to Quia quizzes and websites, and even have students hand-in assignments that can be automatically graded. It is a private site- that requires log-in, so even though it is web-based, the security is still in place. That being said, I also want to say that there is no substitution for one-on-one relationships and the power of a face to face conversation. I think one of the advantages we have being in a community like Lovett is the rapport we have with our students. This rapport allows us the flexibility of being able to explore new technologies, such as laptops in the classroom, blogging and online learning environments such as Moodle. I think that our relationships with our students will become increasingly important and more valuable as we continue to define how we, as educators navigate the 21st century shift.
“The question before all educators is how and how quickly we change, not whether we’ll change.”-Pat Bassett
Last February NAIS president Pat Bassett challenged independent schools to change. Referencing work by Thomas Friedman, Mel Levine and Howard Gardner, Bassett outlined the need for revisioned schools and retooled students. Why? This new global knowledge-based economy and society requires more creative, collaborative, and networked people who can critically think and communicate innovative ideas. As Gardner writes in his book Five Minds for the Future, “[s]tudents may have accumulated plenty of factual or subject-matter knowledge; but they have not learned to think in a disciplined manner.”
Beginning in the 2007-08 school year and continuing in earnest this year, the Lovett middle school faculty is focusing on what a 21st century learning environment looks like and what outcomes we should expect from our students. As we develop a more ubiquitous computing environment and navigate a networked world of information abundance, we are examining what we teach, how we teach, and how we assess the work. What demonstrates learning? What is the role of the student? The teacher? Technology?
Check out the following video, produced by a small team of faculty along with Owen Matthews, Middle School Technology Coordinator, and Laura Deisley, Technology Consultant. Presented to a group of 20 leading independent schools in the Southeast-including Trinity, Westminster, Woodward, and Holy Innocents– the video demonstrates the hard work our faculty and students are doing to “understand the shift” and begin the process of learning to thrive in a highly networked culture.