New Play Yard Helps Lower Schoolers Develop Upper Body and Core Strength

By: Amanda Pike
Lower School Director

Berkeley Carroll opened its new, improved yard space at 712 Carroll St. this fall, a development which thrilled the PreK and kindergarten students who now use it on a daily basis. The yard includes parallel bars, turning bars, a one-way rubber track for running and tricycle riding, artificial grass and a climbing structure called a Spaceball.
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Building Tolerance on a Global Level

By: Carolyn Sloan
Lower School Music Teacher

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Zug, Switzerland to share my music with the the Ship of Tolerance project, an art installation designed by international artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. The project is intended to promote peace, tolerance and hope among different people and nations around the world, specifically by educating youth from different continents, cultures and identities through the shared language of art.
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Berkeley Carroll Honors Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Over the past week Berkeley Carroll celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr., other civil rights activists, and changemakers in all three levels of the school. During a joint Middle School and Upper School assembly, Madison B. (’16), Michael M. (’21), Sophie W. (’16), Henry S. (’21), Devin H. (’16), Briana J. (’20), Tai D.-M. (’20), Garrett C. (’16), and Aaron G. (’16) all presented short biographies of activists from both the past and present. Keynote speaker and former Poet Laureate of Philadelphia Sonia Sanchez shared a collection of poems celebrating and remembering civil rights activists throughout history. The choir and dance team ended the assembly with a joint performance of the song “Glory,” written by John Legend for the movie Selma.

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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…

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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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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First Graders Discover: My Matisse

By: Phaedra Mastrocola
Lower School Visual Arts

This year, first graders had the wonderful opportunity to visit Matisse: The Cut-Outs—the largest and most extensive presentation of the cut-outs ever mounted—at the Museum of Modern Art. The trip provided the impetus for an extended unit of study that encompassed the entire first grade art curriculum.

Students improved their cutting skills as they discovered the differences between organic and geometric shapes and positive and negative space. They learned to work both collaboratively and individually as they learned about composition, large and small, with a focus on size, placement, overlapping, and color. And they made color choices based on temperature and visual impact. Finally, they used their fine motor skills to strategically thumb tack their collages together, much like Matisse, adding an element of dimensionality to their final pieces.

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