Head of School Blog
Susan Tyree Dempf, Ph.D.

The Dream of a Snow Day

The chance of snow, and dare I say the dream of a snow day, is not the only cause for excitement at the Academy.  The students in our Second and Fourth Classes have participated in the international Hour of Code initiative.  The program is designed to help expose students to computer science and coding.  Our Sixth Class is going well beyond this as they are ‘building’ their own Space Invaders game.  Don’t be mistaken, while it sounds like fun and literally games…real learning is occurring as our students learn computer programming including: sequencing, loops, iteration, functions, variables and list.

Our Third Class students were busy writing letters today, not to Santa but rather from an adopted perspective of an immigrant new to this country.  Their letters included descriptions of the Statue of Liberty and the sights, sounds and smells of the various neighborhoods in which they live.  I loved how these young writers were asked to place themselves ‘in the shoes of another’ and describe what was being experienced. 

It was exciting to see even more experiential learning opportunities occurring with our Fifth and Sixth Class students as they enjoy an early exposure to Physics during Science class.  They are learning about how changing a variable can influence the frequency of a swinging pendulum.  Potential and kinetic energy conversations followed.   And, over in the Stuart Center I discovered one-on-one planning conferences happening as our Eighth Class students worked in support of their understanding of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.

There is way too much going on to even consider a snow day!  So tonight or tomorrow when you are in the car or having dinner, enjoy the conversation about ‘what was learned today’ and on occasion toss in the question…’How did you learn that?’  I think you will join me in appreciating that the ‘how’ is even more exciting than the ‘what.’

Dr. Dempf

December 7, 2017