"Technology is used at the Chelsea School as a tool that enhances our students' and teachers' ability to learn, create, collaborate and innovate," said Katherine (Kate) Fedalen, head of school. The Hyattsville school, which serves fifth- through 12th-graders with language--based learning disabilities, has embraced a variety of hardware and software that allows students to learn and succeed both in and beyond the classroom. [read more...].
It's 2014 and we must now acknowledge that our digital cultures will demand that students do more than consume digital culture - our most successful students will be able to participate in the production of our digital worlds. Scratch, a visual programming language developed at MIT, has emerged as a very powerful tool to get kids as young as 6-years old coding meaningfully and purposefully. While working to better understand how software and hardware interact, Chelsea School's middle-division technologists collaborated to create and publish their first puzzle/game. After learning about Scratch, students approached the traditional maze puzzle and re-imagined it for digital culture. Students generated mazes using an online maze generator and processed the maze graphics in an image editor. They hacked together code that recognizes when players touch the lines, and programmed an appropriate resultant action. With the maze puzzle algorithm in place, students could develop game play influenced by successful board game. For example, if players bump into a red spot (the antagonists), the script silently works out "combat" using a random number generator that emulates a die roll. Conditionals than determine whether to reward the player. High School students at Chelsea School have the opportunity to work with coding concepts such as variables, loops, conditionals, and algorithms through courses like Information Systems Management and Web Design and Development (both completer pathways to graduation). With this project, middle school students at Chelsea School now share with them an understanding of how actively shape our designed world.
Although Brad Brown comes from a family of teachers, he wasn’t necessarily “expected to follow in their footsteps,” he says. But, “when I reached maturity, for want of a better word, I realized teaching was the most meaningful work I'd found in all my years of searching for my calling.” An educator since 1999, Mr. Brown earned a B.A. in theatre arts from the University of Southern California and a M.A. in educational psychology from the University of Colorado, Denver. Were he not a teacher, Mr. Brown would be a professional writer. “And, in fact, I am! This year a song I co-wrote, ‘E=mc2,’ was published and recorded on Modern Songbook Records. I also collaborate regularly with my other half on her one-woman show called ‘Einstein's Girl,’ which has played to sold out audiences on both coasts. I love writing and sharing that love with my students.
As to Mr. Brown’s favorite moment as a teacher? “I suppose I'm not alone as a teacher in enjoying the moment when a former student makes [...Read More]
(Via Hyattsville Patch) Students and staff from Chelsea School visited the White House on November 13 for the 2013 Disability Mentoring Day in honor of October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The White House hosted 20 high school juniors and seniors with disabilities from five Washington-area high schools – the Chelsea School (Hyattsville, MD), Cardozo Education Campus (Washington, DC), Eleanor Roosevelt High School (Prince George’s County, MD), Falls Church High School (Fairfax County, VA) and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (Washington, DC). Mentors shared their personal experiences living and succeeding with disabilities and discussed their insights into varied career choices. Students also discussed “soft skills to pay the bills” for workplace success and learned [read more...]
Chelsea School Teachers at this Year’s MANSEF Conference
Sabre Goldman, social studies teacher and coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Studies Department, presented on Integrating Mobile Devices and Social Media into Study. Ms. Goldman’s seminar focused on using automatic reminders, digital task lists, graphic organizers, detailed assignment expectations and other helpful study aids that are imbedded in the technology that our students use every day. The effectiveness of specific smart phone and tablet applications was presented, along with best-practice methods for incorporating them in education.
Our middle school science and math teacher, Amy Isaacson, who has been studying multisensory and kinesthetic math strategies for several years, presented on the CRA Approach to Teaching Math. CRA stands for Concrete, Representational to Abstract. This method relies on hemisphere integration to activate both sides of the brain through physical and symbolic representations of mathematical concepts. Ms. Isaacson has used this method with great success with students in our middle school who struggle with numeracy.
Chelsea School’s Spanish language teacher, Arelle Hughes, gave a presentation entitled Foreign Language Teachers: Wake Up and Smell the CI! (CI stands for comprehensible input) [read more...]
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