Fahari's Weekly Staff Memo: 6/01/2015 - 6/05/2015
A Message from Fahari's Principal: Stephanie Clagnaz, Ed.D.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
How can project-based learning increase student engagement?
Some "projects" border on busywork. Others involve meaningful inquiry that engages students' minds.
-John Larmer and John R. Mergendoller, ASCD
Project-based learning is much more than student posters and PowerPoint presentations. There are several important criteria that must be included in projects to make them a standards-based and engaging way to have students demonstrate what they know.
Significant content: projects contain significant and important content around which inquiry takes place.
Relevance (need to know): students need a way to connect to the content rather than being told they should learn it because it will benefit them later in life.
A driving question: Larmer and Mergendoller say that a project without a driving question is like an essay without a thesis. A focused question to drive the project makes it more than a series of activities.
Student voice and choice in the project topic: when students are given choices, they are likely to be more invested in doing the work.
21st Century skills: well-designed projects should include collaboration, communication and opportunities for creativity and critical thinking
Authentic inquiry: this goes far beyond finding information and presenting it. Students create their own questions and investigate possible answers.
Feedback and revision: as the project progresses and after it is complete, students are provided with opportunities to revise and reflect on the content and the process.
A publicly presented project: allowing the children to present their work to varied audiences.
We have seen several wonderful examples of this work at Fahari recently. Our seventh grade students just completed their projects dealing with probability. Students presented their work to our entire school community as the groups gathered in our gym and we participated in playing their probability games and listened to them explain theoretical and experimental probability. They were able to explain the math behind the games. We were also privileged to be members of an audience for our 6th grade students as they presented their social issues research. The children were able to support their claims about issues such as ridding our community of gangs and President Obama’s response to ISIS.
As we continue on, let’s see more of this kind of work.
- How can project-based learning enhance student engagement?
- In what ways can we incorporate collaborative projects that stay focused on standards while engaging students?
This past week, I had the opportunity to travel with the 6th and 7th grade students for their end of year trips. While very different in style-- the 6th graders went to a camp ground and the 7th graders traveled to Baltimore--they were equally amazing.
The 6th grade trip brought our students to a YMCA camp in upstate New York. For many students, it was their first time leaving an urban environment and visiting “the woods”. It was also the first time many of them were away from home on an overnight trip. The students went on nature walks, learned about each other during team building exercises, and played in the grass. What stood out most was students experiencing the natural world, and engaging in play. The games of football, conversations while seated on giant rocks and the swatting of gnats, were truly beautiful sights.
The 7th grade trip brought us to Baltimore. While Baltimore, like New York, is an urban environment, it still offered our students many new experiences. My personal favorite experience was visiting the Walters Art Museum. The Walters Museum houses the art collection of the Walters', a wealthy American family. They collected many works of art from all over the world. I had the opportunity to work with a small group of students as we explored art from the ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt, and Asia. The students asked questions as they took in the experience.
What I was reminded of from both trips, was our obligation to provide students with new experiences. As we prepare students for college and the world beyond, we need to ensure that they have the cultural capital to thrive in any environment in which they may find themselves. Trips to museums, theater, and the even “the woods”, are all critical pieces of educating the whole child. Let's keep this in mind as we plan for the upcoming school year.
Thanks for all that you do,
Assistant Principal for Administration and Culture
Technology, Data and Testing Updates
Tech Tip of the Week: Pupil Path in Skedula
What is Pupil Path?
Pupil Path is a student information system for parents and students. Pupil Path allows parents and students to view important student and school information such as student attendance records, class schedule, assignment due dates and grades, school announcements, and more. This is a convenient tool for both parents and students to keep up with class work and student performance.
Pupil Path Registration
First, you must register on Pupil Path. Students have already received a Pupil Path invitation letter from Fahari. This letter provides them with their student OSIS (ID) number and the registration code needed in order to sign up. All “Pupil Path Registration Letters” are on the Google Drive.
To register for Pupil Path, students need to:
1. Log on to https://pupilpath.skedula.com/
2. Click on Student Register
3. Fill in the required information on the registration form and click Register.
4. Once registered, you will see the following prompt to set your password and login. The username is the OSIS # (Student ID) and the password is self-generated.
5. Students will login and see the following screen where they can access all their academic information.
STANFORD 10 Testing:
STANFORD 10 is a nationally normed assessment delivered by Pearson Education which assesses student performance across core academic subjects. At Fahari, we assess math problem solving skills and reading comprehension. We will administer the Reading Comprehension exam this week to all new students in grades 5 through 8.
Report Cards – Fourth Quarter
Report cards for the fourth quarter will consist of academic grades, PRIDE grades, reading levels and detailed comments for each student. These measures paint the picture of the whole child and provide families with multiple reference points on their child’s growth at Fahari.
2015 Remaining Testing Dates
Stanford 10 – June 8 and June 9
Algebra I Common Core Regents – June 17
Living Environment Regents – June 16
Interim Assistant Principal of Instruction
This week's schedule updates
Will it be an A or B week?
We will be following a A schedule this week.
Who Will Be Out?
Monday, June 1st, 2015
Stephanie Clagnaz (PM Out)
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
Kim Hunter (PM Out)
Friday, June 5th, 2015
Thursday, June 4th 2015
No School for Students - Staff PD Day
Monday, June 8th 2015 to Tuesday, June 9th 2015
Stanford 10 Testing
Tuesday, June 16th 2015
Board Meeting @ Fahari Academy - 7:00 PM
Tuesday, June 16th 2015
Living Environment Regents
Wednesday, June 17th 2015
Algebra I Common Core Regent
Thursday, June 25th 2015
8th Grade Graduation @ Medgar Evers College - 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM