Sunday, September 18, 2016

Digital Mathfolios in the Lower School

Lower School teacher, Marnie McDonald  had been using paper portfolios and digital portfolios for many years with her students, when she asked herself, “ How could a process “mathfolio” tell the story of the growth of my math students?” It was her  belief that every student should have a collection of personal bests–a cloud-based story of their development and artifacts of accomplishment that was easily shareable and organized for presentation.
When starting the portfolio process, McDonald kept it simple. "I started with a single unit. I determined goals and purpose for the portfolio, created a checklist and explained the process to students. I encouraged them to take an active role in the development of their portfolios. What I discovered is a  valuable and meaningful evaluation tool that effectively assesses student learning in math.  These portfolios offered insight into my student's thinking, understanding, and mathematical problem-solving skills, and offered a picture of the student's progress in math."  The students thought it was a great process too.  Here is what some of them had to say: Max reports, "I liked that I could be creative in math." Dominic adds, "It was challenging for me to do the polygons, but I actually learned them by doing them over and over again."  And Sarah states, "I loved designing my own dream home. I calculated the area and perimeter for each room. This did not make it into the portfolio but it was awesome."

Click here to see the results.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Middle School Students Draft Their Own Re-Design of the GA Field House

As the school year was winding down earlier last summer, middle school students in Mr. DiFranco's science class integrated their understanding of mechanics, design, and new technologies in a project based learning unit around GA's new field house expansion.  Below are some prototypes of designs including fans designed and printed using the Makerbot 3D printers in the Beard Center for Innovation's new makerspace.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Thingiverse CAD Design

Science teacher Jim DiFranco worked with upper school students and science fair researchers teaching them to use CAD programming that allows for 3D printing on our makerspace Makerbots.  Above is a replica model of  3D printed phages for AP Bio demonstrating how a virus effects a hosts and and replicates within a bacterium.

Friday, May 27, 2016

All School Design Day: PLAY!

Earlier this year the GA community came together for a unique Design Thinking project on PLAY!. Combining our divisional work in design thinking with maker culture at the school, this year's All School Design Day was inspired by Caine's Arcade and Imagination Foundation's Cardboard Challenge. Students and faculty worked in blended design teams made up of students and faculty from each of the three divisions.  Their objective? Identify the aspects of great play and manifest that in an original game.