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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

AHS Students Create Video as part of Boston Chinatown Fieldwork Day

This video was made at the completion of the Boston Chinatown fieldwork day, which is part of AHS Chinese language and culture curriculum.  Students visited local businesses such as bakeries, art craft shops, pharmacies, and bubble tea shops.  In addition, the students dined in an authentic Chinese restaurant, which is quite different from the popular Chinese restaurants in the U.S.  In the process, students interviewed some of the owners and employees at these businesses.

In preparation for the fieldwork day, students worked in groups drafting their action plans, which included deciding the aspects of Chinatown they were going to focus on, the different roles for each student, the kind of questions they were going to ask and why, etc.  The goals of this video project was for students to experience firsthand the Chinese culture in Boston Chinatown, use Chinese language in an authentic context; and develop their social skills in the target language during the whole process.

The video was then entered in the International "Language in Motion" Video Contest. To see Andover's Team Dragon video see below. To see all the entries go to this link.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rainforest Reptiles Visit South School!

Kindergarteners at South had the opportunity to meet some reptiles “up close and personal” when Rainforest Reptiles came to visit.  Joaney M. Gallagher and Michael K. Ralbovsky of Rainforest Reptile Shows have over 200 exotic reptiles, ranging from iguanas, Burmese pythons, boa constrictors, lizards, turtles and American Alligators. Their animals are the stars in an interactive show that travels to many schools. Rainforest Reptile Shows, a Massachusetts, family-based business, was established to educate and entertain people of all ages about reptiles, animals and the importance of preserving the natural habitats of the world. The kindergarteners at South learned about rainforest reptiles, their habitats, and specific reptile characteristics such as vision and defense mechanisms. This visit was a huge hit with our youngest students and one about which they are still talking!
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Monday, April 27, 2015

WHMS Sixth graders visit Memorial Hall to learn about Andover History

The Hub: Wood Hill's Digital Learning Commons: Sixth graders visit Memorial Hall to learn about A...Students from 6West visited Memorial Hall Library on March 23 and 26 to learn more about Andover history. The students will be writing research papers and creating digital presentations on historical topics ranging from the town seal, town departments, historical figures like Pompy Lovejoy and historical places like Frye Village and Abbott Academy.

The groups met with Teen/Reference Librarian Clare Curran-Ball and Local History Librarian Kim Lynn to learn more about the research process. They explored the Andover Answers wiki and examined primary sources, books and digitized material from the Andover Room. Many groups also interviewed prominent figures in the town, including the police chief and library director.

This week I will be helping students to create an iMovie video on their topic. When we finish them I will share them on The Hub's site and students will present to their parents and peers at Memorial Hall Library.

Credit: Sarah Menesale

Friday, April 17, 2015

W.E.R.A.W.C. 2015

West Elementary School had their twentieth annual readers’ and writers’ conference (W.E.R.A.W.C.) in March. The week began with opening ceremonies, which consisted of six performances by the student council and students at each grade level first through fifth. During the course of the week the children saw twelve authors, illustrators and storytellers. Some of the presenters the students saw were Soman Chainani, author of The School for Good and Evil (soon to be a movie by Universal), Kathleen Duble, Rob Buyea, AJ Smith, Jen Chapin, musical artist daughter of the infamous Harry Chapin, Rob Surrette (Hero Art) and more!  In addition, over one thousand parents came to school to hear their children read their own published book and receive an official W.E.R.A.W.C. ribbon. This action packed week was generously sponsored by the West Elementary School P.T.O. and the teachers at West!

Monday, April 13, 2015

West Middle School 7th Graders Win Statewide eCybermission Competition

The U.S. Army just announced the state winners of the 13th annual eCYBERMISSION competition, one of several science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives offered by the U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP). The competition is an online learning competition designed to cultivate student interest in STEM by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local communities.

Under the direction of 7th grade science teacher Kelly McDonald, two 7th grade teams from West Middle School placed first and second in the state. One team, Grip Tech, completed a project, which focused on improving traction for runners in the snow and ice. The members, Ashley Hardock, Bryce Herald, Nina McKone, and Foster Rose placed 2nd and each won $500 in U.S. EE Savings Bonds, valued at maturity. The other team, the “Jays”, completed a project on improving the rescue techniques of the Kemp turtles on Cape Cod Bay. This team placed 1st in the state and qualified for the regional competition to be held April 20-24th. The members, Yasmin Gulbas, Jolene Pern, Armaan Vasowalla, and Sebastian Zhu each won $2000 in U.S Savings Bonds, valued at maturity!
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