Collaboration and Communication

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!

Literably.com

The B114 homeroom with Tyler Borek.

The B114 homeroom with Tyler Borek.

We had a special opportunity yesterday to meet with Tyler Borek, creator of Literably.  What is Literably? Literably is a classroom tool that helps elementary teachers monitor students’ progress in reading. The site administers and scores oral reading assessments (with a comprehension check), so teachers can spend less time assessing and more time teaching. 

The 2nd and 3rd grade span has been working closely with Literably for the last two years.  From in-person to video conferences to emails, our relationship is mutually beneficial. Yesterday we had a lunch meeting with Tyler.  We learned that La Mesa-Spring Valley and Mountain View schools are using Literably district wide (Wow!).  We also had a chance to ask questions and give suggestions for site improvement. 

(From left to right) Abby Robles, Carly Ciuffreda, Tyler Borek, Patrick Dela Cruz, Kate Stanley, Kriscia Cabral, Maureen Dunn, Brenda Gillies, Anna Johnson

(From left to right) Abby Robles, Carly Ciuffreda, Tyler Borek, Patrick Dela Cruz, Kate Stanley, Kriscia Cabral, Maureen Dunn, Brenda Gillies, Anna Johnson

And then.....

Tyler stayed after lunch to meet with students. My homeroom students had a question/answer opportunity. "What inspired you to create Literably?" "Who helped you create Literably?" "How did you come up with the name?" "Was it hard to rewrite the code for iOS?" 

Students in B114 asking Tyler about Literably.

Students in B114 asking Tyler about Literably.

 

After questions, the students gave Tyler suggestions to improve Literably.  

  • More variety with passages
  • More comprehension questions
  • Instant feedback after answering comprehension questions
Students offering suggestions to improve Literably.com 

Students offering suggestions to improve Literably.com 

After our chat, Tyler stayed to see the students as they completed their weekly Literably recordings.  When they came to me with Literably questions, as they sometimes do, I happily directed them to ask Tyler for help :) 

Kai, Gabriel and Lainey seeking help. 

Kai, Gabriel and Lainey seeking help. 

What a small moment filled with awesome memories for all involved! Tyler Borek is an inspiration, an innovator, a mentor, and a friend to us at Design39Campus. 

 

Virtual Reality Book Reports in 2/3

Quiet on set!

Quiet on set!

Kids in Mr. DC's homeroom are filming virtual reality book reports for the book Holes. 

Practicing the filming process

Practicing the filming process

Using the virtual reality app Aurasma, kids will be able to broadcast their reports whenever someone points their camera at the posters they designed! Very cool! 

Whenever anyone points their phone at the screen, our virtual book reporters will pop up! 

Whenever anyone points their phone at the screen, our virtual book reporters will pop up! 

Exploring light and shadows

First grade students in C pod have been exploring light and shadows over the last few weeks. They have discovered how different materials affect light and learned the scientific terms opaque, translucent and transparent. In order to integrate our subjects, students will now create shadow puppet shows to retell a story. Currently groups of four students are planning out their scenes and dialogue, determining which materials they need and are testing the effect of those materials once the light shines on them. Throughout this project students will be learning Next Generation science concepts, and growing their writing and literacy skills. Additionally, the important skills of communication, collaboration, problem solving and technology will be highlighted.

Diving Deep with the 6th & 7th Graders

Architecture and Design

In Architecture and Design, taught by Mr. Fritch, students are designing houses to learn the meaning behind the broad word ‘architecture’.

ART

In Mrs. Grissom's A and B day art classes, students are creating mandalas - a symbol in the Hindu and Buddhist religion meaning ‘universe’ and ‘center’. They are now finished, and you can go see the display on the wall between B204 and B206.

Music Creation

Another cool deep dive is Mr. Manalo’s Music Creation class. The students are currently creating music to match a movie scene. They are also finishing up learning the cup song. This creative deepdive takes place in B204 and B206.

Ceramics

The B day Ceramics class is shaping their lumps of clay into birdhouses. They are using slab techniques to achieve the massive shape. At the same time, students are indulged in personal projects. This all takes place in Makery B213.

Exploravision

In Mr. Asmus’ Exploravision classes, they work on taking a thought, and transforming it into a prototype, and then to a product. Groups are working on writing their essays and designing their prototype about their idea. But groups that are further ahead are working on their sample web pages to display deep learning and research.

6th Grade Project Lead the Way (PLTW)

In PLTW 6th grade students are learning how to model Orthographic Projection -  representing a three-dimensional object in two dimensions - with building blocks. They are also starting out on Autodesk inventor, design application for creating 3D digital prototypes on the computer.

7th Grade Project Lead the Way (PLTW)

7th grade PLTW takes place in makery C204 taught by Mrs. Gonzalez. They’re currently learning about different circuit components and how to solder, as well as engineering skills. Their next project will be soldering a night light circuit board.   

School News Team

Last, but certainly not least, Mrs. Eveleth’s School News Team! This class is in charge of getting news out to the rest of the school and the rest of the world.