Earlier this week, I got to spend some time in Anne’s 5th and 6th grade social studies class as students prepared to engage in a role play of the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, the first-ever women’s rights convention held in the United States. I was able to watch and interact with our students as they took on the identities of different marginalized women’s groups—Cherokee women, Enslaved African-American women, New Mexican women, etc. Students were asked to consider the needs of these groups individually and then prioritize them with the goal of unifying all the groups to present at the convention later that week.
I was moved by the way this lesson humanized the people often written out of the historical record. Not only were students given the opportunity to learn about these groups, they were then empowered to use that knowledge to champion for the social, cultural, ethnic, and religious rights of women. What an incredible way to live our commitment to social justice in practice.
It goes without saying that our current cultural and social climate as it relates to women is fraught with challenges. If the #metoo movement is any indication of where we are in terms of gender equity and equality, the world is in need of change and far from where we might want it to be. Each time I walk into a class, I am reminded that our classrooms are the incubators for that change. We are doing the work of both educating our students and helping them engage critically in the world around them.
I can’t believe we are only a week and a day away from winter break! It’s been such a busy year and I hope you enjoy this well-deserved time off. I wish you all a restful weekend with your loved ones.
In our ever-changing world, one of the challenges we face as educators is making sure we design learning experiences that will help anticipate the challenges and problems of the world our young people will be ushered into. One of the ways the workforce is changing is that employers have started to identify a need to hire emotionally intelligent employees. In fact, conversations in the world of education have shifted quite dramatically over the last forty years from an emphasis on a child’s IQ (intelligence quotient) to a focus on their EQ (emotional quotient)
If a student has a high degree of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management they are more likely to graduate and excel in life. Researchers have also found a strong correlation between great leaders and individuals who exhibit the aforementioned qualities.
One of the ways we work with our students at Ancona is by cultivating a sense of self-awareness early on. We support that work in a number of ways, including through our use of restorative practices. The goal of restorative practices is to empower children and adults alike with the agency to contribute positively or change situations and relationships that aren’t quite “right.” The power of restorative practices is rooted in the idea of community and that we are all capable of positive change.
I share this as a way of highlighting just one of the robust ways we support the emotional growth of our children at Ancona. Helping students take ownership over their actions, even when they are negative, provides students with opportunities to reflect on the “why” of their choices. An important part of any child’s development is how they come to learn who they are, and why they make the choices they do. The more time we commit to metacognitive practices with our students, the greater degree of growth and development we will see in their emotional intelligence and maturity—a characteristic that will serve them well, long after they have left us.
We are excited to announce our After School offerings for Winter, 2018!
The majority of our student-centered, experiential programming is included with your After School registration. Two of our partner organizations—Sticky Fingers Cooking and Renaissance Knights Chess— require registration and fees separate from After School. You are not required to sign your child(ren) up for After School if they would like to participate in either of these two programs. If students remain in After School beyond the duration of the partner class, the After School daily drop-in rate will apply.
In addition to our new offerings, we are happy to continue providing Homework Help and the Middle School Lounge and Cafe as part of our After School program.
Monday: Voici Francais, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. / NO ADDITIONAL COST for 15 sessions
Margaret Patterson will engage students of all ages in a fun and no pressure introduction to French each Monday afternoon here at Ancona. Students will have the opportunity to learn basic vocabulary, play games, and speak a variety of French phrases over the course of this fifteen session offering. On the final class students will make a trip to a local French bakery to enjoy a delicious pastry or baguette and try out some of their new linguistic skills!
Monday: Play Go! and Othello with Keom, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. / NO ADDITIONAL COST for 15 sessions
Our resident tabletop master Keom Granger will battle students 3rd grade and older in the timeless strategic games of Go! And Othello every Monday in the Commons. No skill level is required as Keom takes meaningful time to instruct each player in basic strategy and gameplay from the first session to the last session. The focus of the course is to ensure students are engaging their minds while having a great time playing classic strategy games.
Tuesday: Theater Games and Even More Improv!, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. / NO ADDITIONAL COST for 15 sessions
Rose Gottlieb will instruct the students in a variety of improvisation activities, games, and skits all the while creating an environment of acceptance, freedom, and fun! Children will be encouraged and assisted in crafting their very own performances that will range from stand up comedy routines to short theatrical performances and improv skits.
Wednesday: 3-D Printing and Design, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. / NO ADDITIONAL COST for 12 sessions
Our very own Rodney Williams will be teaching students how to use the online program TinkerCad to create their very own three dimensional objects! Children will have the opportunity to learn the program, create their own designs, and print them out using our 3D Printer. This class is limited to fifteen students, so please be sure to reach out to Jerome Shannon and let him know that your child wants to start designing their very own 3D objects!
Thursday: Sticky Fingers Cooking, 3:30 – 4:15 p.m. and 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. / $216 for 12 sessions
In every delicious Sticky Fingers class, students will get hands-on experience preparing nutritious food that they’ll love. Yes, even the pickiest eaters will eat their own creations with gusto! All recipes are always nut-free and all allergy and food sensitivities can be accommodated in this hands-on class. Ancona is excited to be offering two classes every Thursday this winter: a pre-primary and kindergarten class from 3:30 to 4:15 and a 4:30 to 5:30 class for elementary and middle school students. Space is limited so don’t hesitate, follow the link below to register your child today!
Thursday: Dance with T-Kay from Hyde Park School of Dance, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. / NO ADDITIONAL COST for 6 sessions
Dancers of all ages will have the opportunity to get in the groove each week with T-Kay Buchanan of the Hyde Park School of Dance. Students will learn the basics of movement and rhythm in a fun and accepting environment. No experience or skill level is required, just a positive attitude and the need to bust a move!
Friday: Chess by Renaissance Knights Chess Club, 3:30 – 4:30 / $105 for 10 sessions ($115 if registering after January 5, 2018)
Renaissance Knights program is specifically designed to cultivate progressive learning for 21st century students and the skills the students acquire are imperative for them to succeed in school and for their future success in the global information society. Players will be instructed in advanced chess concepts, compete against one another to develop their own personal abilities, and have the opportunity to participate in local tournaments.
Friday: Gym Games with Stan, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. (preprimary – 2nd grade) and 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. (3rd grade and up) / NO ADDITIONAL COST for 15 sessions
Stan Coleman brings his high energy and enthusiasm into the gymnasium to end each week with some good ol’ competition filled with sportsmanship, teamwork, and fun. Children will attend their age appropriate class on Fridays and engage in a multitude of classic gym games and indoor sports. A large emphasis is placed on participation, respect, and learning to not take yourself too seriously!