Sunday, March 1, 2015

Upper School Design Day

Earlier this fall, the students and faculty in the Upper School spent the day using the design thinking process (empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test) to imagine a new school schedule.  Student and faculty leaders facilitated the work insuring each portion of the process from brainstorming to presentation provided opportunities for ideas to shine!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lower School Ipad Collaboration on Autumn Expressions

Autumn Expressions: Collages, Sounds, and Words – 2nd graders collaborated in music, art, and literacy to create an autumn project. In art they used their visits and iPad photos from the Preserve as inspiration to create autumn landscapes. They created paste paper in reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. They created a horizon line and drew basic shapes in pencil and used watercolor to paint their background. 2nd graders used their colorful paste paper to collage their trees, grass, cattails, and other natural items. In music class, they recorded rhythms on the Green Ribbon trail using rocks, stones, leaves, and the creek. 2nd graders also created poems about autumn. Look for a video compilation of this project in the New Year!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Audio Commentary in the Academy Monthly

Making the Invisible Visible is a new content area on The Academy Monthly digital Magazine site that presents student opinions on a variety of topics.  Using the webtools on SoundCloud, a Swedish online audio distribution platform based in Berlin, Germany, students upload, record, promote, and share their originally-created sounds.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Educreations App Turns Students into Animators in Middle School History

Students in Bayard Templton's history class are using the Educreations Ipad app to build media projects for assessments.

"As part of our Williamsburg project, I asked students to submit a creative project as evidence of something they had learned.  There were a variety of choices, some involving writing, others using visual or audio.  The animation above was submitted by Jake who had worked with  Educreations in the Lower School.  He explained that he loved working on the interface so much that he contacts the creators to report bugs and make suggestions," reports Templeton. "Other highlights, from my classes, included three music videos, several songs, and two sets of store signs made via woodworking."

Educreations is built expressly for the Digital Classroom allowing students and teachers to share video lessons in a safe and private classroom environment providing rich feedback on student work. The best part?  Videos are automatically saved to the cloud for anywhere anytime viewing.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Design Thinking with Lower School Parents

Empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test - the stages of Design Thinking - a problem solving process was introduced to parents at the recent Lower School Life meeting. Using simple prototyping materials they helped each other design their ideal wallets following the guidelines of Design Thinking which was developed by David Kelley at the Stanford Design School and has been practiced at GA in a series of Design Days with students across the school.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tiny Office Concerts

Tiny Office Concerts (the brain child of Charlie Masters, Upper School Performing Arts Chair) are a compelling way to bring student music performances, in a close up and authentic setting, to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Modeled after the NPR tiny desk concert, we will take it to the next level by utilizing the numerous nooks & crannies and tiny office spaces throughout the GA campus as performance spaces. Masters reports, "This is a huge opportunity for student musicians to perform in an innovative way. Music performance is a realtime experience and through video recording and sharing, we are removing the barriers of venue, time, and marketing, so students can literally perform for the world!"  To watch Tiny Office Concerts and to subscribe to the channel (because you won't want to miss one of them)  click here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Using Media to Teach Sanish in the Middle School

Using digital media tools, eighth grade Spanish produced a collection of creative, informative and funny public service announcements as a way to practice the Spanish language, and engage with the material and each other in a new way.   “The project was the culmination of a review unit on familiar commands,” said Middle School Spanish teacher Deb Mersky. “Students gave some sound advice for movie going, living a healthy life, and succeeding in school.”  Jonas Jeswald, Middle School Head commented,  “What I love about this project is how unmistakably engaged the students are. This is what happens when you combine a collaborative activity with a fun tool and eager students. ¡Que padre! (How Cool!)”