Senior Capstone Project

Senior “Capstone” Year-long project   We have a group of 5 graduating Seniors this year at The Birch School. Each one will be working on a Year-Long Capstone project to culminate their learning.   We invite 3 – 4 other Graduating Seniors to join us for the Year-Long Project.Participating students must be at least 16 years old by September 1 and graduating in June 2018.   Seminars, guest visitors peer

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The Fourth Iteration

The Fourth Iteration Last week our Middle and HS students watched Ron Berger’s Classic 6 minute video “Austin’s Butterfly”. In this video Ron talks with elementary students about a first grader, viagra Austin, and his progress toward a scientific drawing of a Swallowtail Butterfly. The kids in the video grasp the idea of kind feedback, and follow Mr. Berger easily as he describes Austin’s path toward an excellent drawing. Together,

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What are screens doing to our brains?

Your Brain on Screen Time 6/9/2015 This is what happens to your brain and body when you check your phone before bed What too much screen time is doing to our brain New York Times Your Brain on Computers 5 Terrible things Screen Time is doing to your brain Huffington Post: Here is what a constantly plugged in life is doing to teens bodies Mobile Screens: Do they really turn

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Teaching Problem-Solving instead of punishments – it’s about RELATIONSHIPS

This articledescribes a way of dealing with difficult children that is the basis of our Team’s approach to mentoring, contagion both at Free Spirit Nature Camp and at The Birch School. Looking for underlying contributors to misbehavior and acting out is key to our approach. There is always a story, patient more than what you see on the surface. If you take the time, sick have patience, remain open, and

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Inquiry Learning is sometimes sloppy and roundabout.

In this KQED Mind/Shift Blog post Katrina Schwartz looks more closely at Inquiry Learning. What she sees is deeper engagement, help facilitated by an open schedule and supportive, creative and patient teachers. In the post teachers who are engaged in this type of learning express frustration and impatience sometimes, as they watch learners struggle with their path. We see this at The Birch School. We know the feelings they describe

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Does your school have a culture of curiosity?

Does your school have a culture of curiosity and trust? “Any organization that wants to innovate, here wants to be prepared to innovate, for sale I think, illness has to have a few things in place. One is-and perhaps the most important thing is-methods for having an open mind. A sense of inquiry, of curiosity is essential for innovation. But a sense of curiosity, an openness, a sense of empathy

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struggling with screens

“The crucial turn for Shirky was this study that argues, as the title says, “Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers.” This article in the DML Central Website yesterday is so relevant to what we are struggling with at Birch today. This morning we had a community meeting to address Teacher concern about screen usage. Adults were observing students off-task and multi-tasking when using laptops for

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