Student Reflections on Costa Rica Service Project

By: 7th and 8th Grade Students

Eighteen 7th and 8th grade students spent a week volunteering in Costa Rica. During the trip, they wrote reflections on their experiences in the trip’s blog. Here are a collection of quotes from their reflections:

We learned how there is a tree that had three hundred different species of symbiotic plants growing on it (crazy but incredibly cool)! After our minds were full of new knowledge and information, we set back to clean our rooms and prepare for our next adventure.” – Floria A. ’20

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Berkeley Carroll Celebrates Computer Science Education Week

P1090810Last week Berkeley Carroll celebrated national Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code across our Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools as part of our year-round STEAM initiative.

Our third and fourth graders started participating in Hour of Code tutorials and writing code regularly in their STEAM classes two years ago, rapidly progressing from initially having no experience to now writing it confidently and with increasing complexity. It’s truly incredible to see how far they have come! Throughout the school year, they are encouraged to use a number of free iPad apps, including Kodable, Daisy the Dinosaur, Scratch Jr. as well as Light Bot, in various classes. Continue reading…

Spreading Dignity by Supporting Girls’ Education

By: Megan Saxelby
Middle School Humanities
Siena, Wilha, and Charis
Sixth Grade

One of the things that I find the most rewarding about teaching humanities is that you are able to adapt your curriculum to address history as it unfolds. While watching the horrific images of the terrorist attacks in Paris, I decided I would give my class an open ended project that focused on spreading dignity as a direct response to acts of hate carried out that Friday.

Students chose to spread dignity in so many ways: beautiful public service announcements to show to their classmates, slipping anonymous notes of positivity and encouragement into every locker in the middle school, and even creating “dignity boxes” where passers by could stop and grab a positive message.

One group found their inspiration in the work of Malala Yousafzai, and, after viewing this powerful image, decided they wanted to spread dignity by spreading access to education. In the next two weeks their goal is to help raise $1000 for the Malala Fund, and they are almost there! Below is their powerful speech. Please consider supporting our young activists as they live out the BC mission to be critical, ethical, and global thinkers!

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Vital Words – September 15th, 2015

Dear Friends,

Some of you may have not visited our Lincoln Place campus where our Middle and Upper Schools live. Many of the hallways are lined with student lockers and it has long been a matter of interest to me that we have locks on the lockers at Lincoln Place. I know the easy explanation is that students may keep something of value in the lockers and therefore the lockers need to be secure. This is more than a little ironic because over the years the biggest concern we have had with students and their belongings is it seems that most carry every last item around with them in their backpacks.

Our endeavors at school are built on trust and I think our students do a very good job of living up to our expectations. Our students are tolerant, honest, and up for taking risks.

At the opening meetings for Middle and Upper School students I invited all of our students to go without putting a lock on their locker. Why?  I hope that as a community we can strengthen our ability to look after one another.  This symbolic gesture would send the message that we are committed to having a safe community.
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Seniors “Document The World”

By: Ernestine Heldring
Upper School English Teacher

The culminating project of the senior English class, “Documenting the World,” was to create short documentaries. This is the first year students have made documentaries rather than write final papers. Our students worked in groups of six for several months on these projects: figuring out what essential questions they wanted to ask, shooting interviews, finding and recording B-roll and then weeks of post-production and editing. We’re really happy to have partnered with the wonderful non-profit, Reel Works, on this project – they taught us so much about filmmaking!
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Sails and Street Names Come Together in a 4th Grade Field Trip

By: Becky Blumenthal
Lower School Science Teacher

While students in other schools are often presented with classes that divide the world into distinct disciplines such “science,” “social studies,” and “math,” the Lower School, like all of Berkeley Carroll, unites these disciplines to reflect the interwoven nature of our world. Sometimes we plan tirelessly to make this happen, and sometimes a day in the field reveals this naturally.

Throughout fourth grade, science and social studies cross paths. In the fall, students learn in social studies about the native people who lived in this area before European contact, focusing on how their environment influenced their lifestyle. Simultaneously in science, we study the Hudson River watershed, examining at the geology and ecology that shaped the lives of the same groups of people.

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6th Grade Humanities Talks Dignity, Local Community & Current Events

By: Megan Saxelby
Middle School Humanities Teacher

Sometimes when you teach, there are moments where it feels like the whole world is trying to get involved in your curriculum. Every day there is a headline that connects to your studies, and kids who come in eager to discuss something they heard about or read, particularly when the central theme for our Humanities class this year is the idea of dignity, defined as the fundamental value of every individual, and the theme guiding this current unit is tolerance.

We’ve been analyzing how/why people violate dignity through the study of history and literature, and how these conflicts might be avoided by spreading open-mindedness and empathy. Continue reading…

Start a Conversation: Nepal

By Ana K.
Upper School Student

I made this short film to start a conversation about what is happening in Nepal. Its purpose is to promote thinking about how we can help people when we live far away. I hope that by watching this short video, you feel inspired to donate. If you’d like to donate money through the Berkeley Carroll community please contact Ms. Heldring and Ms. Matthews in the Upper School. If you are unable to donate, having discussions among your co-workers and peers is just as valuable.

And here are some ways we can help:

– Buy “Nibbles for Nepal!” (Bake sales will happen almost daily until we reach our goal of $3,000.)
– Donate to our “Bucks for Nepal” bucket! (located at the front desk)
– Think of a teacher challenge! (What would you pay to see your teacher do —  for example, cartwheel down the hall!)

Spring Intensives Report: Neuropsychology

This year, the Upper School’s popular Spring Intensives program featured 18 courses on three continents. The Journalism Spring Intensive was tasked with reporting on some of the different Spring Intensives going on around the school. Here’s the articles from 3 students reporting on the Designing A Musical: Godspell Spring Intensive.

Tacos, My Brain, and Myself
By Mia Gates

The steady thumps of a drum circle, mixed with the steady beat of students saying “I like tacos” over and over again, radiate through the hallway. But this isn’t Prospect Park on a Sunday afternoon, nor is it a school cafeteria on taco day. This is the Spring Intensive Neuropsychology: My Brain/Myself.

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Spring Intensives Student Report: Designing A Musical

This year, the Upper School’s popular Spring Intensives program featured 18 courses on three continents. The Journalism Spring Intensive was tasked with reporting on some of the different Spring Intensives going on around the school. Here’s the articles from 3 students reporting on the Designing A Musical: Godspell Spring Intensive.

Lively Yet Vigorous: Spring Intensive
By Grace Chong

Music, dancing, laughter, and screw guns? The Spring Intensive Designing a Musical: Godspell features a set building crew of productive Berkeley Carroll students led byJim Kent, Technical Builder, who are also learning how to write their own scripts with Justin Indovina, Choir Director and Theater Chair. What should you expect to see and hear as you enter the Performance Space?

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