Holiday Sing - dismissal after the concert, 11:15 am
December 23, 2013
Winter break, no school
January 6, 2014
Classes resume after winter break
January 17, 2014
Blue / Green Winter Games (afternoon)
January 20, 2014
MLK Day, school in session
January 21, 2014
Seventh Grade Outdoor Ed: backcountry skiing hut trip
February 17, 2014
Presidents' Day, no school
February 18, 2014
News and views from Aspen Country Day School
Evening Series: Technology is Evolving
Friday, November 22, 2013: Last Thursday, parents joined Brian Davies for the Evening Series: Technology is Evolving. Brian, Technology Director, focused on Education Technology as it relates to our school.
Just nine years ago, ACDS had only 18 lab computers. Today, ACDS still has a lab but has expanded the resources to include iPad programs, iReady assessments, school email addresses, interactive white boards, GAFE (Google Apps in Education) and a 1:1 program for Middle School students. These are just a handful of examples, and we are constantly adding more to enhance the learning environment. ACDS Technology Philosophy:
Our intentional use of technology focuses on the principle that technology is a tool for learning. We live in a time and place where technology is ubiquitous, and we have an obligation to prepare our students for 2025 and beyond. We balance this idea with the reality that more technology does not necessarily mean more learning. Therefore, when we design our technology curriculum, when we consider the hardware, software and infrastructure needs, and when we focus on our mission to create our technology program, we ask three essential questions:
What educational problems can technology solve?
How does this application help our students develop essential skills or knowledge for the 21st century?
What do we need to consider to be forward thinking in our approach?
Creating Parks Out of Geometric Shapes in Third Grade
Monday, November 18, 2013: Math students in Third Grade have been studying geometry and were recently introduced to new shapes such as the trapezoid, parallelogram, and the rhombus. Students studied the attributes that make these shapes unique such as angles, number of sides, and parallel lines. For example, what makes a parallelogram different from a trapezoid? Answer: Only one of these shapes has two pairs of parallel sides. Students brought shapes to life by creating a park, whether it be a snowboarding or skiing terrain park, BMX park, or an equestrian course. Each park had to include ten different shapes which could be items such as a jump, tabletop, rail, or structure. The students enjoyed the creative process and saw first-hand how their everyday world is filled with many geometric shapes. Click here for pictures.
Conversions Brought to Life
Friday, November 15, 2013: Recently, Sixth Grade Math students took to the ACDS parking lot for a lesson in conversion. The exercise? Students ran 50 meters and recorded their times. They took the times back to the classroom and, using unit conversions, calculated how fast they ran in miles per hour. Click here to view the sprinters.
Acting Elective Performs in Front of Peers
Thursday, November 14, 2013: Middle School students in the Acting elective performed in front of their peers during the weekly Middle School assembly. Over the course of the last two months, the students have been learning the skills for scene work including partner scenes, monologues, and one-line scenes. Each student chose the format for the performance on Thursday, and the audience enjoyed the variety of vignettes. Marci Sketch, the Drama teacher, noted, "I was amazed how well this group stayed in character and how sincere they were in the delivery of their performances." For the final month of the elective, students will work on scripted scenes from On the River (a story about Mark Twain), Diary of Anne Frank, and other playwrights such as Henrik Ibsen.
Introducing our new head of school, Josh Wolman
Friday, October 11, 2013: Please join us in welcoming our new head of school, Josh Wolman, who comes to us from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., where he is currently Associate Head of School for Admissions and Financial Aid. Josh and his family, left, will move to Aspen in the summer, and the new headmaster begins on July 1, 2013. Between now and then, there will be many "transition" events to honor and celebrate our retiring headmaster, John Suitor, and to welcome the Wolmans to our town and our school. Click here for more info.
Parent Night: Different Format, Huge Success
Friday, September 13, 2013: On Wednesday night, parents experienced a different type of back-to-school evening. New this year, parents enjoyed mini-lessons from their children's teachers. Some of the highlights included watching Mark Sumera, Eighth Grade science teacher, demostrate the exothermic reaction of zinc and sulfur; Maria Carbonetti, Spanish teacher, giving parents a geography quiz on South America; and Clark Addington, Fourth and Fifth Grade math teacher, teaching Fourth Grade parents about place value with a rounding game.
"I have been going to Parent Night for almost 11 years, and this was by far the best one," said parent Liz Howie. "It was great to see how the teachers are so energetic, and to really experience their different teaching styles." Click here to view photos of parents learning in action.
Teachers Attend GAFE (Google Apps for Education) conference over the summer
Friday, September 13, 2013: In August, Brian Davies, Technology teacher, and Megan Talarico, Middle School Math and Science teacher, attended a conference in Boulder to learn more about the suite of products that Google offers for education and how they work in the classroom. Brian joined the pre-conference program that focused on the deployment and technical issues surrounding GAFE. In the upcoming months, our entire school will be transitioning our email over to the gmail interface, so using GAFE tools will be a seamless experience for students and teachers alike.
Here is a first-hand look from Megan on what she gleaned from the conference:
During the conference, I learned more about Google forms, a way to survey a group, and spreadsheets, a way to organize information. The instructors demonstrated how to create an interactive Google form and taught us how to link the results to a Google spreadsheet. Since the data from the form links automatically to the spreadsheet choosing this mechanism to survey and report is a time-saving option. My classes will be enhanced by this tool both by polling the students and illustrating their responses graphically (modeling the importance of graphically depicting data) as well as directly teaching math students how to use these tools to create and analyze data.
In addition, I attended a section on Google maps. ACDS aims to include more map-oriented activities across disciplines, Google maps offers a vehicle for students to create maps such as global earthquakes, volcanoes, or oceanic dead zones.
Finally, the conference highlighted the use of shared documents. Students will be able to work simultaneously on presentations, drawings, spreadsheets, and documents. Google drive will also allow me to comment digitally on the actual document, improving my ability to provide meaningful feedback.
Sixth Grade Spanish students share their summer projects
Friday, September 13, 2013: Over the summer, Sixth Grade Spanish students were assigned to build a house either as a 3-D construction or by using the program Mindcraft. The students had to build houses with at least eleven rooms as well as including furniture. Each house was different as it was built from the imaginative minds of each of the students. Some features including gardens, farm animals, and rooftop terraces overlooking the ocean.
Sixth Grade Spanish students presented their houses to smaller groups. Solely in Spanish, each student explained the various features of the rooms as well as the identified the furniture. This is the first of many oral presentations throughout the year used to demonstrate proficiency in the language and knowledge of vocabulary. Click here for pictures.
Academic update, August 2013: from Assistant Head of School Andy Davies, a look at a few changes in the program, staff, and plans for a meeting to review assessments and ERB testing. Click here for more.
Aspen Country Day School • mailing: 3 Music School Road / physical, Sept 2012-May 2013: 620 West Gillespie Street • Aspen, Colorado • 81611 Phone: 970.925.1909 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org