Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 1 - New Beginnings

We are excited for the new year; for the new 1:1 iPad initiative, the new Houses, project based 
learning,  and much much more. 

1:1 iPad initiative 

This year every single student at Hazen Middle School will have and iPad to use, to bring home, and to work with at school. We are still working on the polices for apps and downloading programs. However, we have established zones where it is appropriate to use the iPads and where it isn't. There are also places that are in between; "yellow" zones where the iPads can only be used sometimes, like the  classrooms. The students will be keeping their iPads through high school, using them every year. As the school year goes on the rules for the iPads will be more concrete and easy to follow. With the new iPads we can all collaborate on projects electronically and do most of the work on our iPads. So far this year we have used Nearpod on the iPads which is a way we can all do an assessments then the teacher can share completed assessments with the class we can see others work on our iPads. We have very high hopes for the iPads and for the future technology of Hazen Middle School.

Check out this great video our teachers made to help us understand appropriate use of iPads:

The Houses

We have mixed up the middle school! In order to unify the 7th and 8th grade curriculum we have half of each grade in the with the 7th grade teachers and the other half with the 8th grade teachers. Some activities within the house will include 7th and 8th graders, although core academic classes are still divided by grade level. Each set of teachers have two 8th grade classes and two 7th grade classes so the normal 8th grade teaches can learn how to teach 7th graders and the normally 7th grade teachers can learn how to teach 8th graders. We will name the houses soon, for now they are just houses 1 &2.  There will inevitably be some hiccups but our middle school will forever be stronger for it. 

Project based learning

Every student will now be doing an personalized study on a project of their choice. They will spend one class period of every B day working on our project. Right now we are working on questioning ourselves and finding a good topic for a study.

It's been an exciting first few days, and there is much more work and fun to come. Stay tuned.

-Composed by Elijah Lew-Smith, 8th Grader