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Showing posts from February, 2014

Break Down Classroom Walls

Last week our second grade boys traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to build on their knowledge of the American Revolution.

To prepare for the trip, the boys have been studying how New Amsterdam eventually became the New York Colony and why the colonists were upset about a remote monarch ruling over their land.

At the museum, boys visited the American Wing, where they critically analyzed Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware.

Getting our boys out of the classroom through field trips such as this, which amplify and deepen their learning, is something we've been focusing on at Saint David's throughout all grades.

Next week, our fifth grade boys will be engaged in hands-on work in a forensics DNA Lab located in the city, our sixth graders will be at the N-Y Historical Society examining the Gilder Lehrman Collection, a unique archive of primary sources from America's past, and our eighth graders will be heading off to JFK International for…

Reunion Day for Horizons at Saint David's

Squeals of excitement could be heard in the lobby as boys and parents reconnected with one another and their Horizons teachers on our recent Horizons Reunion Day.

The boys, now either first graders or second graders, enjoyed a typical Horizons day on Reunion Day this past Saturday, a combination of class work, sports, music and free play. They were also assessed by their teachers, who evaluated their progress in academic skills since last summer.

Saint David's Horizons boys were thrilled to be with their summer classmates and with their teachers Courtney Sanchez, Meghan Patterson, Leah Kaplan, Melissa Ferrer, Lindsay Buhr, David Bell, Jorge Roman, Keith Williams, Amanda Rathbun and Nieve Gonzalez.

Several of our current Saint David's eighth graders volunteered their time and helped out with sports, lunch, and playtime.

The day also included a series of informative lectures for Horizons parents on the following topics: "Food and Nutrition," "Enrichment Activitie…

Lunch at Rye Country Day

I had the great pleasure of visiting Theo '10 for lunch and a tour today at Rye.  We reviewed his transition to Rye from Saint David's, his experience at high school in general and any ways that Saint David's may be able to further improve the experience of our boys based on Theo's critical reflection. 

We had a spirited exchange.  What fun to catch up!

Theo graduates from Rye this year, matriculating to Vanderbilt.  He continues to excel on the golf course.  Now ranked 14th, Vanderbilt is thrilled (click link) to have him.

The last Saint David's boy to attend Rye for high school was Daniel M. '07 who then matriculated to Drexel. 

It was great to catch up with Theo before he heads off to college.  Nashville is lucky to have Theo.

Saint David's Boys Help Cold Spring Harbor Solve Mystery

Yesterday was the day Saint David's fifth grade boys had been eagerly anticipating! 

The boys, along with a cohort of their teachers, traveled to the DNA Learning Center's research facility in Cold Spring Harbor for a full day of hands-on work extracting and analyzing DNA at the prestigious laboratory.

The boys worked with professional-grade lab equipment to solve a "DNA mystery." They were given a sample of one plant that is known to have life-saving medicinal properties, but is very hard to cultivate. They were also given three other plant samples and asked to determine, based on their extensive DNA analysis, which of the three was most closely related to the cure-all, and therefore, the most likely to share its medicinal properties.

Working in pairs, each fifth grader practiced following the steps of a lab protocol to carefully isolate and extract DNA from the leaf sample, amplified the DNA using PCR (this process makes billions of copies), and then loaded their DNA …

Second Grade Teaches Visitors About New York

Our second grade boys took the lead as teachers yesterday.

In a special culminating Exhibit, the boys presented projects they had completed and learning activities they had engaged in related to the evolution of New York City from Lenape lands to Dutch settlement to thriving metropolis.

This 'performance of understanding' was the conclusion to months of joint in-depth study with their teachers and archivists from the N-Y Historical Society.

Parents and faculty were invited to learn from our boys as they displayed their Lenape totem poles, wigwams, colonial still life paintings, replicas of Fort Amsterdam, and their portfolio of work.

All year, the second grade has been exploring the evolution of New York City over time while it maintained a constant connection to its historical heritage.

This Signature unit of study, (defined as such because of our joint work with an outside cultural institution), is one of several that now feature prominently in the Saint David's School …

A Road Map to Successful Parenting: Hallowell

Last week in a Parents Association sponsored event, Dr. Edward Hallowell, child and adult psychiatrist, and bestselling author of more than twenty books, including The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, spoke to parents at Saint David's about the extreme importance of meaningful connectivity in childrens' lives.

In an era when we primarily speak of connections in an online sense, Dr. Hallowell urged parents to "saturate your child with positive connections" that go beyond the digital. His recommendations and messages included advising parents to model how to be a good friend through the cultivation of their own friendships.  He also spoke about the superiority of in-person friendships to those that are primarily lived online, and how important it is for children to feel connected to nature, to an activity or team and with others who have similar interests.  By exposing them to a broad range of people, organizations, and institutions, children have a greater opportu…