MRS + Teton Science Schools 5 day workshop

Over the last 5 days our brains have been completely saturated with the wealth of knowledge and experience of Nate McClennen from Teton Science Schools. We delved deep into Place Based Education and so much more.... We are looking forward to continued work with Nate throughout the year and to see all of our planning and ideas become action during the school year!

a lot of great (and sometimes messy) thinking

a lot of great (and sometimes messy) thinking

shan palmer
Wyoming Area grad’s speech cut short following critical remarks

> view video here

The valedictorian and class president of Wyoming Area’s Class of 2017 had his microphone silenced mid-speech during Friday’s graduation ceremony when he started to criticize school administrators.

Villanova University-bound Peter Butera had just started to criticize what he considers an overly authoritarian administration when the plug got pulled on his speech and he was approached by Principal Dr. Jon Pollard to leave the stage at Sobieski Stadium.

“I don’t think it could have gone any better,” Butera, 18, said Sunday. “I got my point across and them cutting the microphone proved my point to be true.”

According to Butera’s post, this is what he would have said after his microphone was cut: “Hopefully for the sake of future students, more people of authority within this school will prioritize the empowering of students as well as preparing them to further their educations. Because, at the end of the day, it is not what we have done as Wyoming Area students or athletes that will define our lives, but what we will go on to do as Wyoming Area alumni. And I hope that every one of my fellow classmates here today, as well as myself, will go on to do great things in this world and find true happiness and success. Thank you all for coming out to this great celebration today.”

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shan palmer
South Burlington School Bans Homework, Urges Kids to Play

Students who hoped for an end to homework got their wish at Orchard Elementary School in South Burlington. 

“It’s true,” confirmed principal Mark Trifilio. “We just went to being a homework-free school this year.” 

Trifilio announced the no-homework policy in a newsletter to parents last Friday. The school enrolls almost 400 children in pre-kindergarten to fifth grade. South Burlington has three elementary schools, and so far Orchard is the only one to go homework-free. 

Teachers voted to ban homework for the year at a training shortly before school opened, with Trifilio’s approval. The superintendent of schools also OK’d the change.

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shan palmer
Social Media 101

Written by Josh Spector - Digital marketing consultant. Collector and sharer of ideas.

It’s time to teach social media to high school students.

While some adults who don’t understand social media — ironically because they were never taught it —still dismiss it as a novelty or distraction, the reality is social media has become a force of incredible power, change, and business.

It’s changed our world and its importance is only growing.

So much so that I can’t think of anything more important to teach our next generation of leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and working class citizens than how to create and interpret social media.

If the job of our education system is to prepare students to succeed in the “real world,” then teaching them social media skills should be a prerequisite.

While most teenagers already use social media, I doubt many understand the intricacies of how social media works.

We’ve handed a world-changing technology to a new generation without giving them any instructions on how to use it.

For example, how many teens understand the impact their social posts can have on themselves, others, and the future?

The class could explore everything from self-image to bullying through a social media lens, and help kids understand the impact their news feeds and notifications have on their perception of their life and world.

In learning why people post what they post, how people react on social platforms, and how habits (good and bad) are formed, students would acquire a set of skills to help them understand and deal with the scenarios they face on a daily basis.

Taken a step further, the class could also explore the role social media plays in marketing and advertising — how social platforms use psychology to attract and retain users, and how advertisers use those platforms to reach and influence consumers.

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It’s important for kids to know who Henry Ford was, but it’s just as important for them to understand how the things they use every day came to be, why they’re hooked on them, and what they mean for the future.
shan palmer