EDUCATION MATTERS—SANFORD SCHOOL'S PRIVATE SCHOOL BLOG

Learn more about current school issues and trends from Sanford School’s educational experts.  Sanford’s blog is sure to help you navigate your child’s educational journey.

Strategies for Maintaining Strong Student-Teacher Relationships

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on November 29, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Lifelines, resources, motivators, and inspirations, teachers act as the students’guides through the exciting, sometimes frustrating, but always challenging world of education. They are there to prepare the students for the adult world, help them grow into kind, curious, and diligent citizens, and inspire a love of learning. But a teacher’s role is relatively passive. They can only give so much without input on the parts of the students. Students have to take advantage of these giving members of a school community in order to fully profit from the efforts of a teacher. As such, it is essential that students maintain strong relationships with their teachers to wholly exploit their potential.

How do students maintain strong relationships with their teachers?

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Topics: Education, Academics, Community

The College Application Process:Writing College Essays

Posted by Katie Trachtenberg '06 on September 19, 2019 at 1:30 PM

Writing college essays is a daunting task for most high school seniors and the cause of much friction between students and their parents in the middle of the college application process. Parents want to see applications completed and submitted well before admissions deadlines while students find thousands of ways to avoid writing their essays. Writing about oneself is never an easy task, but it is especially challenging for teenagers who are just beginning the process of self-reflection that insightful writing requires. These young writers are often apprehensive about putting pen to paper because they believe that their words, which will be evaluated by unknown admissions officers, will determine their college choices and their success in life. 

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Topics: Education, College Guidance, Academics

Beyond Word Problems:  Making Sense of Math

Posted by Heather Taylor and Chris Mosberg on May 17, 2019 at 12:00 PM

The study of mathematics involves the balance of procedural skill, fluency, conceptual understanding, and application. Engaging students to make sense of math, rather than teaching them to memorize concepts, helps create mathematical thinkers. An important key to understanding mathematical concepts is a problem-solving approach in the classroom.

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Topics: Education, Academics, STEM

Libraries for 21st-Century Learning

Posted by Sandy Sutty on May 3, 2019 at 1:25 PM

The way students read, write, and access information has changed rapidly in our growing digital world. To meet the needs of 21st-Century learning, the role of the librarian is changing and libraries are transforming to better meet the needs of students. They are converting into flexible learning spaces to encourage the gathering and sharing of knowledge. Librarians continue to inspire a passion for learning and are also incorporating teaching strategies for students to navigate the digital world. Librarians encourage students’ learning in the following ways.

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Topics: Education, Academics

Building Creative Minds In The Woodworking Shop

Posted by Ensign Simmons and Maria Tate on April 19, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Did you know that swinging a hammer in a woodworking shop has a wide range of benefits for students? Woodworking provides the ability to identify a problem, brainstorm the possible solutions, and test your ideas. These skills lend themselves to all aspects of life, both inside the classroom and out. Woodworking classes have recently regained popularity because they build essential life lessons along with reinforcing math, science, and problem-solving skills. In fact, a study from Purdue University showed students benefited from participating in hands-on engineering projects.  A woodworking program benefits students in the following ways:

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Topics: Education, Academics, Arts, STEM

Top Summer Enrichment Programs: Make It The Best Summer Ever!

Posted by Eric Peoples and Scott Swope on March 8, 2019 at 12:06 PM

Summer presents a whirlwind of choices for families including day camps, special interest camps, downtime, and family vacations. Students have the opportunity to pursue the interests they love, make social bonds at camps, and create family memories that will last a lifetime.

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Topics: Academics, Summer, Parenting Tips

Tools to Teach Coding to Kids

Posted by Patrick Martin on May 18, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Elementary school is the perfect age to teach coding. Learning to code is fun, empowering, and provides essential 21st century skills. According to the US Department of Commerce, within the last ten years STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) employment opportunities have grown by 24.4% vs. only 4% in non-STEM fields, and STEM-focused employees make an average of 29% more than non-STEM workers. It is important that we provide our children with the computer science skills necessary to be successful.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Parenting Tips, STEM

Is It Writing or Recess?: Getting Kids Excited About Writing

Posted by Susan Bachtle and Missy Bloom on May 4, 2018 at 12:30 PM

The schedule says “language arts,” but, at first glance, you might think the fourth-grade class looks more like they’re having recess than writing. Students are scattered around the room and spilling into the hallway, happily chatting in pairs, drawing pictures, sticking and re-sticking multi-colored Post-Its on bright yellow paper, or laughing uproariously at a story being told by a teacher. But, believe it or not, this is what writing looks like in our classes! This past summer we traveled all the way to Barcelona, Spain and joined nearly 200 other teachers from all over the world at a summer writing institute created by Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading & Writing Project. The week-long training introduced us to new ways to think about, talk about, and teach about writing, and our classes at Sanford School haven’t been the same since. Now when we approach writing lessons we think about how we’ll support the three different types of communication that we want to see happening throughout the class: teacher-to-student, student-to-student, and student-to-self.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Parenting Tips

The Power of Student Led Conferences

Posted by Christine Yasik on April 17, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Parent-teacher conferences have been a staple of communication between home and school for many decades, and certainly, there is value in maintaining those important traditional conversations, which often take place without the student being present. This communication is a key to student success. However, the paradigm is shifting, and the age-old process has changed in many schools, as the students are frequently not only attending the conference but actually leading it. Monica Martinez, a senior scholar for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and co-author of a book that addresses school approaches that facilitate deeper learning, queried, “How many of us, as students, appreciated being talked about in the third person as if we were invisible?”

Student Led Conferences (SLC's) are not new by any standard, but they are gaining momentum and popularity, not because they are a “trend,” but because they encourage and empower students from the elementary level through high school to take responsibility for their learning in a way that might not have happened previously. The format for an SLC can vary widely, from the use of a questionnaire, sharing a portfolio, or highlighting a strength and area of growth in every subject, but the common denominator requires that the student communicates to the parents WHAT s/he is doing in school and WHY.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Parenting Tips

Five Advantages of Personalized Learning

Posted by Sandy Sutty on April 6, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Personalized learning is when the planning, teaching, and assessment focus on the individual needs and interests of each student. It provides an education that includes differentiation and individualization, tools which support student success.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Parenting Tips