Haddonfield School District 2017 New Year Initiatives

District Integrated Arts (IA) Initiative 

The Haddonfield School District plans to move from a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)-based curriculum to a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Arts (STEAM)-based approach in its educational philosophy during the 2017 New Year. With that said, there will be exploration and strategic plans including ways in which the Arts can be utilized to- remove barriers to learning; increase interest in science, technology, engineering and math; build partnerships among school districts, and maximize creative opportunities for students in terms of utilizing Divergent Based Thinking, involving components of Critical and Creative Based Thinking.

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Haddonfield Memorial High School

Spanish students are traveling to Cuba this summer in which they will be experiencing living with Cuban residents, working on farms, and receiving college credits. HMHS students are the first high school students to travel to Cuba from New Jersey. The International Club will be meeting in January to plan and create a cultural week, sell cultural pins to fundraise and travel to different countries to do community service and unite with UNICEF.  They are hoping to create a cultural night for all of Haddonfield to enjoy.  The club would also like to connect with communities around us and do many different kinds of community service to help immigrants from other countries.  This club is open to all World Language students of all grades who are passionate about learning new aspects of different cultures and bringing that knowledge into Haddonfield.

In December, the French II students are studying the history, customs, traditions and dialect of Alsace, a French region along the Rhine river bordering Germany. We will enjoy researching and tasting la gastronomie alsacienne with traditional desserts and we will dance La Mazurka (folk dance) in class. The French Club will be participating in some of the following activities: A Buche de Noel contest last week before Christmas. Invite a pastry chef to HMHS to prepare and teach us how to make a French “galette des rois” for the Epiphany in January. A field trip to Wilmington, Delaware in the spring to visit the stunning estate of French industrialist and philanthropist Du Pont De Nemours. A trip to France,

The Spanish Club students are teaching Spanish to children at The Beechwood School.  The students will be visiting Beechwood for 6 sessions over the upcoming weeks. Spanish III students have learned about the culture, history and geography of Spain.  Students learned about the Arabic influence in Southern Spain and will work on painting ceiling tiles to replicate the Arabic designs throughout the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.  Spanish III students are also learning about life in the Andes Mountain ranges and the Incas and their counting system which was represented by a Quipu. 

Spanish II students have discussed train travel and compared and contrasted a train trip in the Andes Mountains ranges to one in Spain.

New math curriculum was phased into the high school this year.  Due to the change, students will see algebra in the high school strengthening their skills.  Furthermore, this curriculum provides the opportunity of doubling up with Algebra II and Geometry, which enables students to progress further in mathematics in high school.  Next year, the curriculum will further expand in the high school by incorporating both freshmen and sophomores as the current curriculum begins to phase away.

The computer science curriculum took on a new class this year with AP Computer Science Principles, which is promoting computer science to a wider range of students in the high school. Next year, we look to further expand this program by revising the introduction to computer science curriculum as we attempt to make computer science a course and a path for all students. The biggest venture we are currently involved in is the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into the science curriculum. At the moment, it is the topic that many of us are currently focused on. The CP Biology curriculum is being completed revamped and reconstructed to meet the new standards.

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Haddonfield Middle School

 Collaboration is Key at HMS A Professional Learning Community (PLC), is a group of educators who collaboratively journey through a cycle of collective inquiry, action and assessment.  A PLC operates under the assumption that a key factor in student learning and success is collaborative, continuous, job-embedded training driven by staff members.  Teachers work with self-directed teams in a constant loop of questioning, research, implementation and analysis.  This powerful professional activity has become part of the school culture at Haddonfield Middle School.  In lieu of regular monthly faculty meetings at HMS, staff members collaboratively explore new and exciting topics as part of their Professional Learning Communities.  The process started early in September with the guidance and assistance of the Middle School Professional Development Committee.

The middle school staff gathered and discussed ideas that they were looking to collaboratively explore with student achievement being the end result.  A few of the topics that the middle school staff are investigating this year include:

  • Exploring Google Classroom and how the collaborative features can improve student achievement
  • Research and implement mental health strategies that will have a positive impact on the adolescent learner
  • Investigate how interactive technology will impact student success
  • Investigate APPs that will help students overcome obstacles and become successful using technology
  • Explore the concept of Deliberate Optimism and how the middle school can implement strategies to improve the school culture
  • Research and implement best practices in cross-curricular instruction

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Elementary Schools

 The elementary schools are excited to start the new year with various afterschool STEM programs. The following are descriptions of STEM clubs offered at the elementary schools. STEM CLUB 1-Lego WeDo 2.0  Grades 3-5: Lego bricks are naturally engaging to elementary students. Using the Lego WeDo 2.0 systems allows students the opportunity to learn science, technology, math, and engineering more effectively. This STEM class will provide students hands-on experiences involving Lego bricks that incorporate problem-solving, collaboration, and communication skills. We are looking forward to exploring lots of new areas within the STEM world!

STEM 2-SPHERO ROBOT HYDRO-HYPOTHESIS  Grades 3-5: SPRK STEM challenges are fun, interactive activities that challenge students to use creativity and teamwork to move through simple steps of the design process in order to build Sphero-based creations. The Hydro-hypothesis challenge leverages Sphero’s ability to swim to test whether or not students can build a contraption to transport a load (pennies) across a small body of water. This activity would provide an excellent opportunity to discuss the concepts of buoyancy, density, surface area, and what types of materials float in water.  In addition, it challenges students to create and test their own inventions.

Robotics Club (Grades 1-3): This after school club is run by Robotech Inc., an organization that runs STEAM based clubs in our area. This club is open to 14 students and runs for 6 weeks. Each meeting is 90 minutes. The program consists of students working collaboratively to build LEGO models featuring working motors and sensors; pro-gram their models; and explore a series of cross-curricular, theme-based activities while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as language, literacy, and social studies. Each session allows students to construct and program a new Lego machine growing in complexity each week. 3 additional sessions of this class will be held this year.

STEM/3-D Printing Club (Grades 3-5): This club is led by teacher Lisa Murphy and is open to 14 students and runs for 8 weeks meeting for an hour each week. Activities in this club include using the 3-D printer to create designs as part of an international education workshop called The City X Project, which is designed to teach elementary students how to creatively think and problem solve using 3-D design and printing. Students are presented with the following problem from the City X curriculum: Humans have just landed on an alien planet, and they’ve staked out an area for their first city, City X. But building a new city is difficult work, and they’re beginning to identify some challenges relating to health, safety, communication, transportation, and more—problems that they need help to solve. Now the Citizens of City X are sending transmissions back to Earth, describing the challenges they’re facing. It’s up to the young designers and innovators of Earth to invent solutions to these problems and help create a thriving City X. Following this introduction, each student randomly selects a citizen card, which presents a situational problem requiring the use of their imagination and the 3-D printer to design a solution to their citizen’s problem. Using Tinkercad software, student “inventors” design and print their inventions. Throughout this project students learn the design process and develop critical thinking skills. An HET grant has been applied for to extend this club by running an additional 8 week session. The grant also includes adding Lego Robotics materials as an extension to the CityX project.

Destination Imagination: The Destination Imagination program encourages teams of learners to have fun, take risks, focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the arts and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.

 

 

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