A D39 Love Letter

Thank you Maria! 

At the Friday coffee chat last week, Mindy Ahrens invited us parents to share what's going well at school this year. I've been blown away by what my kids have brought home or shared with me about their learning, and have been meaning to send a follow up to the D39 love letter I sent you in January, so she was my motivation to get this out sooner rather than later!

I love that Carter has rediscovered the distinct voice he gave to his writing back in Kindergarten, but lost the year before he started D39. His humor and personality again shine through informative writing about animal senses, the Kumeyaay and Spanish missionaries, the history of football, and narrative writing about what his favorite part of spring break was or what a quote from Ghandi about limited resources means to him. Thanks to Mrs Castillo and Mrs Johnson, he embeds this voice within the appropriate structure of writing as he incorporates catchy hooks, examples and evidence to support his claims, and conclusions.

I love that he enjoyed writing the history of football book so much, that he and his friends researched and wrote short books about spiders, praying mantis, and Tasmanian tigers in their free time at school. How many 9 year old boys do that?!

I love that he spent time in Mrs Gilles maths class learning about money, and working through complex real world scenarios involving purchases and change. I love that he and his friends researched and presented on the history of money, including ancient forms of currency. I love that he is exploring geometry and perimeter, again through examples that apply content to real life.

I also love that he continues to devise intricate football plays with his friends during every recess, got to experience a special Google virtual field trip, and most of all because of the confidence and articulation he has developed at D39, he continues to be his own advocate and make good choices in and out of school.

I love that Beckett built a working clock as part of his math unit with Ms Jacobs on telling time, and each student personalized their clock face with unique elements that reflected their interests. I love that in reading writing mash up, he not only learned the OREO (opinion, example, reason, opinion) strategy for persuasive writing, but Mrs Kasner also taught them elements of debate such as how to rebut an argument! In first grade. And I love that he identifies "OREO" opportunities while riding in the car when he hears what he thinks is the best song, or reading a book he thinks is the best.

I love that he is yet again engrossed in Kasner's Oceanography Deep Dive, researching animals in the deepest parts of the abyss with his friends,  and learning to write cursive and fun fonts in Awesome ABCs. 

I also love that Mrs Kasner took him to see the pizza-box-life-size-periodic-table that 5th graders created because she knows how interested he is in elements and their characteristics. Most of all, I love that his insatiable thirst for learning is only fueled more by the daily experiences he has at D39, and that he has the confidence to look for answers and create solutions at home as well as at school.

I love how warm and caring the Welcome Center and Wellness staff are; providing comfort to my kids when they are hurt or sick, facilitating early releases for appointments that cannot be scheduled after school, and always making me feel valued and not an imposition, even when I create more demands on their time.

Lastly, I love how receptive and open our principal is to meeting with us parents, hearing and empathizing with our concerns, and allowing us the chance to devise and try out solutions to these. I love how tirelessly everyone is working towards the common vision that D39 was born from, and I am excited to see the extraordinary things students create, achieve, and innovate next year.

A big fan always,
Maria

Pod C Kindergartners Imagine their Dream Houses

Kindergarteners in Mrs. Power & Mrs. Fousek's homeroom have been learning about geometry, measurement, retelling stories, story sequence, and comparing and contrasting. Here is a video to give you a tiny view into the learning happening in this architecture experience.

Join us for Connect39 Coffee Chat

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CONNECT39: Our last coffee chat of the school year is TODAY (May 20), at 10:30AM (please note new time) in the SHOWCASE. Please join us for an opportunity to learn more about the 2016-2017 Design39Campus Experience (our advancements planned for next year to enhance our students' learning success) with Joe Erpelding, Kyle Kupper, and Amy Richardson. To view the live stream,  see below:

Student Powered Interviews

Throughout the month of May, Design39Campus (D39C) had the opportunity to host teacher candidates from around the country to experience a taste of what it is like to be an LED at Design39Campus. As part of our multi-faceted hiring process, potential teacher candidates participate in a design thinking group process to showcase their abilities to collaborate in a team environment.

In the past, our interview panel consisted of D39C team members. This year, we decided to try something new! In addition to staff, students were invited to the interviews as well.

"Design39Campus is a student powered school, and we are so thrilled to have students be a part of this work," said Joe Erpelding, Principal of D39C. "When you think about it, kids are directly impacted by our staff everyday, and hearing their voices allows us to choose the best possible LEDs for our kids and families."

The students on our panel were selected by their teachers and took time out their evening to spend with us. Our kids had many ideas to share with our team, and their feedback was critical in our decision making.

"We were so amazed by their insightful feedback," said Judy Caraang, a 4/5 LED at Design39Campus. "Our kids really have a grasp of what it means to be a great team player. So glad they could join us!"

Watch the video below to learn more about our student powered interviews!

Mixed Media Characters

The 6/7 Art and Design Deep Dive students are making self-portraits that they call Mixed Media Characters. They got to express their interests through their artwork. The self-portraits are describing the person's inner self, not the students' appearances. The students were able to use different art materials for this project.

You might wonder where they are going to put these art projects. Mrs. Grissom, the teacher for this class, painted an entire wall black so that they could  hang the projects. The kids in this class have been developing their project for about seven class periods. They have worked really hard and they tried to make it personal and important to them while still showing the silly part of them! They got to show things about them that most people don't know. They liked expressing themselves on paper. The class loved that it was unique and each was very different in their own ways. These Mixed Media Characters are a great way for students to express themselves in a fun, creative way!

By Zil, grade 6

School News Team

Tick, Tock... K-1 Students Make Clocks!

The B pod K/1 classes made clocks out of different found items. They have many materials that were laying around at home and made them into fantastic clocks. Who knew clocks could be so original?

The kids went through the design process to make these clocks. They planned the clocks and they made a checklist of what they were going to make. Then they started making the clocks. They decided to make clocks because in math they were learning about time and they were not really interested in time because they could always look at a digital clock.  So the K-1 LEDs decided that making analog clocks would be fun could get the kids excited about learning about time.  After they made their clocks they would have to learn how to tell time.

The clocks could be anything they wanted them to be they didn't have to be just round or square. August in Mrs. Kasner’s class, made a skateboard clock. They got to use a drill and some kids got to use a Dremel. The kids were really excited about the clocks and really worked hard on this project.  

By:  Zil, Noor, Iniyaa

D39C School News Team

 

FutureNOW! Conference 2016

FutureNOW! Conference 2016 is officially in the books. What an incredible day of learning, sharing and connecting with amazing educators, thought leaders and education partners! On April 30th, over 300 educators from all over California gathered at Design39Campus for a day of professional learning and networking. We kicked off the conference with two of our talented D39C students and was inspired by a keynote from innovation expert, Milton Chen. From there, educators disbursed into breakout session ranging from Design Thinking, to STEAM Powered Little Bits, to launching rockets. It was truly an inspiring day of learning. One attendee commented: "That was amazing! Very inspiring and gave me renewed desire to change."

Thank you all for attending the FutureNOW! Conference. Here is the #edchatSD Storify from the amazing event: http://sfy.co/i1Ncd  You can keep updated about the conference at http://futurenowedu.net .

We hope to see you next year!

Join us for Bike to School Day on May 4

Pump up those tires and get your helmets ready! D39C is participating in National Bike to School Day on May 4th, 2016. Teams of student bikers accompanied by adult volunteers will follow routes of varying distances with a celebrity LED – choose the best route for your children based on their ages and biking abilities. Or you may choose to bike independently and join the celebration on campus before school. There will be coffee and bagels for adult participants! Details on LED participation and routes will be revealed next week!! Contact: Kyle Kupper at kkupper@powayusd.com.

Click here to sign up!!