We had a wonderful Tree Talk last week where we discussed how to successfully lead with others by celebrating the similarities AND differences that exist in our world.  We talked a lot about how we are more the same than we are different, and specifically discussed the Hispanic culture as a culminating event for Hispanic Heritage Month.  We were so grateful to Senorita Hernandez and Senora Stewart for their wonderful Power Point presentation! The faculty were all were really impressed by the behavior of our Second Grade students during the Tree Talk and thought they did a great job respecting all the speakers and presentations.  They actively listened and responded appropriately the entire time. Thank you!

Third grade student Morgan Tickle made my day after the Tree Talk when she walked up to me the following day and handed me the book Its’ Okay to Be Different.  She told me she thought this would be a perfect book for our next Tree Talk based on the message she heard yesterday.  I was so impressed with her ability to lead herself and internalize the message from our time together as a Lower School community. She also showed her compassion for others and her desire to make sure everyone feels respected and celebrated.

Fourth graders in Mrs. Aurilio’s and Mrs. Price’s classrooms have recently shown their spirit and dedication during their Independent Work days which were inspired by Google’s 20% time.  Each student chose to research and learn more about something that was of a special interest or passion to them.  They had some guidelines to follow, but ultimately they were required to lead themselves the entire day by setting up their individual learning plans and holding themselves accountable for the expected outcomes.  It was a great way for the teachers to see if the skills and learning strategies they had been teaching were transferable out of isolation.  It was truly inspiring to watch these young students immersed in self-directed learning and critical thinking.  They were all on task and engaged the entire day, and based on some reports from parents, the learning continued well after the school day.

I had the pleasure of spending some quality time during a recent Literature and Lunch day with fifth graders Stephen Butters, Luke Law, Carter Brown, Bailey Foster, Spencer Hammersla, Phoebe Ellison, Jonathan Phillips, Charlie Ramquist, Gayle Krest, Matthew Badger, and Emily Hernandez.  The book we were discussing was Wonder.  All of these students demonstrated their courage as they shared their honest thoughts about this heart-warming book.  I was beyond impressed with their ability to articulate their opinions and make connections from the book to their own lives.  Well done, fifth graders!

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