Ms Riesers’s middle school DEAR group.
Our DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) silent reading program just got a little louder. All students now have the option of joining one of seven honors groups and talking is encouraged. Lead organizer and humanities department chair Henry Seton believes the new groups will spark students’ interest in reading as well as sharpen their comprehension and discussion skills. Students can earn a GPA bump on their humanities grade based on their participation in the student-led discussions and the annotations they make in the texts (not literally in the books but on stickies!).
Over 100 students opted into this fall’s honors groups, which meet once a week and are themed to touch on topics outside the regular curriculum. For instance, Mr. Seton is leading a group on books about food and cooking, and the group’s first text is a memoir entitled, “Yes, Chef” by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. Head of School Caleb Hurst-Hiller, a former humanities teacher, is leading a group on sports in society. The students in Spanish teacher Laura Efron’s group on gender are reading a graphic novel “Fun Home” by Allison Bechdel. Math teacher Tabitha Schober is facilitating a group on race, and history teacher Eva Lam’s group will delve into readings on current events like the Ebola epidemic and same sex marriage. There are two middle school sections, each led by Katie Rieser, formerly a humanities teacher and now dean of curriculum and instruction. Both Ms. Rieser and Mr. Hurst-Hiller are excited at the chance to take off their administrator hats and get back in the classroom during DEAR.
Ms Schober’s group
Mr Seton’s group
Summer Academy Faculty
We are midway through our Summer Academy for new students. About 100 rising 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th graders are at CCSC every weekday morning for four weeks, taking humanities and math courses and learning the ropes, from the dress code to classroom systems like Homework First boxes, Do Nows, Shout Outs, merits and, yes, demerits. Continue reading
Middle school girls during the Hour of Code at CCSC
CCSC students were among the estimated 15 MILLION young people worldwide participating in this week’s Hour of Code. Organized by the nonprofit Code.org, the event offered free online tutorials designed to introduce students of all ages to computer programming. Continue reading
Author Andrea Cheng leads a discussion as her mother looks on.
It’s not often that high school students have the chance to meet the author of a book they are reading in class. Even more rare is the opportunity to meet the person whose life story inspired the book. So the students in Ann Cheng’s 9th grade humanities class hit the jackpot last week when both the author and the subject of Marika, the historical novel they have been reading, visited their classroom. Continue reading
Sir Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in the 1948 film.
The seniors in AP English Literature are reading Hamlet. While Shakespeare’s language may be unfamiliar to the millennial generation, teenagers of any era can relate to Hamlet’s angst-filled internal debate. Teacher Chase Ferree asked students to compose and read aloud a soliloquy about a personal dilemma. Here are three examples, each reflecting a modern anxiety Hamlet might have trouble understanding. Continue reading
Radio 107.1 broadcasting from Mr. Seton’s classroom
“Why go to college?” was one of the prompts given to 7th grade students for a humanities assignment to write an ear-catching radio ad. In addition to providing students with an opportunity to hone their persuasive writing, the unit also helped them develop the public speaking skills and the confidence to “sell” their ideas in front of an audience that also included faculty and staff guests – great preparation for Roundtables, which this grade will do for the first time at the end of the year. Continue reading
We hardly had a chance to celebrate our students’ performance on the 2013 MCAS exams – in case you haven’t heard, CCSC 10th graders earned a #1 ranking in English for the second straight year – when the Boston Globe ran a front-page article with the headline, “Online exams may replace MCAS tests.”
As the story explained, the new online tests will be piloted this year and next as part the state’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards. Continue reading
It’s probably been more than a few years since any of the students in Marna Eckels’ 9th grade physics class played with dolls, but they seemed willing, even eager, to throw Barbie off a cliff in the name of science. Continue reading
New mural painted by 2013 graduates Charde Hunt and Shadia Ahmed.
Our school motto (“Because success is a choice”) is a daily reminder that everyone here has chosen to attend or to work at CCSC and that success is the outcome that we hope – expect — will follow from making the choice to join our community and to embrace the values of commitment, citizenship, scholarship and courage. So, as we begin another school year, it’s good to reflect on why we made that choice and on what we hope to gain from the experience of being at CCSC. Continue reading
Words of encouragement we hope will stick with students.
During one of this week’s professional development sessions, the entire CCSC faculty shared some of the phrases they use to motivate students to always do their best work and to encourage them to keep persevering, no matter how hard it seems. Teachers jotted down each phrase on yellow stickies and read them aloud to each other. We’ll be hearing a lot of these words of encouragement in classrooms when classes start next Wednesday. Continue reading