Another Day in The UK

As SURN Director, Jan Rozzelle, and Assistant Director, Jenny Hindman, travel through the United Kingdom to visit schools they may visit for the 2016 Study Tour, they have been building relationships with school leaders. They are learning about how these schools are using research and practices

Jan and Jenny engaged in conversation with Jill Harland and Jo Davies, co head teachers at Brudenell Primary School in Leeds England. Their passion for seeking out research and placing it into tactile is evident. For the past 5 years teachers at Brudenell have engaged children in P4c (Philosophy for Children). When asked what p4c helped them do, the year 3 and 4 students in Mrs. Acton’s class said, it “warms my thinking” “I like p4c because there are millions of answers,” and ” it helps us reason and think fast,”

The mud kitchen in the outside play area at Brudenell

The mud kitchen in the outside play area at Brudenell

We saw evidence of the growth mindset (Carol Dweck‘s work) and Will Ord‘s mindfulness. Every space in the school communicated care and learning. Like the schools we visited in Berwick-upon-Tweed students questions and work covered walls making the values and learning in the school evident.

Present made by a student in response to the query of what life would like without books

Present made by a student in response to the query of what life would like without books

The action research being conducted by teachers and support staff on questions of interest in their context was especially interesting to us. We sought to know more about this school wide job-embedded professional development by talking with faculty members and the co-head teachers.

James Nottingham identified this school as one for SURN to visit and we hope to include it on the 2016 study tour we are planning

SURN Observes P4C!

As SURN Director and Assistant Director, Jan Rozzelle and Jenny Hindman travel through the United Kingdom to visit schools they may visit for the 2016 Study Tour, they have been building relationships with school leaders. They are learning about how these schools are using research and practices

Jan and Jenny traveled to see two schools in Berwick-upon-Tweed, which is located on the east coast of England near the Scottish border. Both schools start at Reception (kindergarten) and continue through upper elementary. They have approximately 150 students.

At Holy Trinity Primary School, we had the honor of listening to students in Mary- Rose Blythe’s class engage in a p4c experience. P4c stands for Philosophy for Children. The students made observations about a stimulus material in this case a painting. Then they generated words and questions. The class voted on a question and engaged in rich dialogue about it. In the process they agreed, clarified, disagreed, and refined their thoughts. A fish bowl strategy was used. The students on the outside made their thinking visible using a map.

Student work from Holy Trinity Primary School

Student work from Holy Trinity Primary School

At Tweedmouth West Primary students filled every space and their teachers invited students to think through multiple ways of approaching content. For example in Anne Robertson’s classroom students were to work graphing data. Her students shared different ways to display data including Carroll charts, bar graphs, and others – we left before seeing students collect their chocolate data.

Tweedmouth West Primary Students

Tweedmouth West Primary Students

In another room we heard students practicing violin. The violin teacher works with students in both schools. The rhythm of music has impact in other subjects such as reading.

Tweedmouth West Primary Students Practicing Violin

Tweedmouth West Primary Students Practicing Violin

James Nottingham, 2014 SURN Leadership Academy speaker, recommended both of these schools to us.

SURN Around the World

Jan Rozzelle and Jenny Hindman, SURN Director and Assistant Director, have been spending this week in Edinburgh. They had an amazing conversation with The Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School  teacher and class guardian, Dr. Mark Burgess, who described the values and hallmarks of a Steiner Education. Dr. Burgess trained for two additional years to become a Steiner teacher. The focus of learning is on the student. The format for learning includes verse, song, recall of the previous day’s learning, time for the new material, a portion of the day is called the will where students continue to develop and show their learning. Jan and Jenny experienced through Dr. Burgess’ words the Steiner vision.

Jan

Jan in Edinburgh with a Scotsman playing bagpipes

Jenny

Jenny petting Greyfriars Bobby, a faithful dog whose legend is a popular children’s book

It’s Time for March Reading Madness!

Welcome to SURN’s March Reading Madness

Twenty books go head-to-head in this exciting twist on March Madness.  Welcome to SURN’s first annual March Reading Madness!  Starting on February 24th and continuing throughout the month of March, you get to vote on which book you think is the best.  There are six rounds over the course of the next few weeks, and only the books with the top votes advance to the next round.  Excited about your book?  Don’t forget to vote!

March Reading Madness Schedule:
February 24– Round One
March 3– Round Two
March 10– Round Three
March 17– Quarter Finals
March 24– Semi-finals
March 31– Final Championship

bracket

Click to zoom in

The Official Bracket Based On Your Input:
 

How to Vote:

Please visit our Google form to vote.  It should only take about two minutes—it is super quick!

More Information on the Books:

White Dolphin

Ruth and the Green Book

Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!

Pete the Cat

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Wonder

Lightning in a Jar

The Book Whisperer

Accessible Mathematics

The Energy Bus

Teach Like a Pirate

Camp

Riding Freedom

Mindset

Lean In

Papa’s Mechanical Fish

When You Were Little

To Kill a Mockingbird

Mr. Peabody’s Apples