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This winter, the Senior Kindergarten bird unit ended with a wonderful performance of the book Noisy Bird Sing-Along by John Himmelman. Wearing the mask that each had made and decorated in art class, students represented the different species and performed the unique bird calls in the book as our school librarian, Marie Unanue, narrated. Before helping film the performance, I discreetly propped my phone in the back of the room and hit record for a behind the scenes timelapse video. The result was a 30-second clip that could be a subcategory in Newton’s existing law of motion — a...Read more

Children are captivating, complex, beautiful creatures with a hunger to learn and to share all the exciting things they are learning. Just last week, as I was taking temperatures for morning carpool, I heard a Lower School student working through their math facts. Their older sibling hopped out of the car, corrected the younger sibling’s math, and happily walked into the building reciting more complex math to themself. It was the perfect picture of a Rossman student. Ask any of our students to tell you something about science, or social studies, or grammar, and they would be able to dazzle...Read more

This year, I start most of my mornings in the 6B classroom. If you walked into the room, you would likely notice natural light pouring through the wall of windows. Your eye may then find the rainbow tower of construction paper and a shelf lined with bottles of paint. In a typical year, the 6B classroom is the art room.

Our art teacher, Erica Spangler, starts her day a few doors down in the Extended Day room. Because many specialist classrooms have been repurposed to enable adequate social distancing, the Extended Day room has become a temporary office for teachers. There, “Super...Read more

Many of our faculty have administered the ERB quite a few times over their years at Rossman. They have gotten to know the detailed set of directions read before each testing section quite well. These typically conclude by saying that we cannot answer questions about the test during testing and encourage students to ask any questions before starting. This year, one student quietly raised a hand and asked his teacher, “I do have a question. Why do we take this test?” Thankfully, our Rossman faculty understand the importance of answering that question. Ever wondered this yourself? Below I...Read more

When I speak with prospective parents on tours in the halls of Rossman, I always point out a unique feature of our curriculum: Our students have a class period each day dedicated to writing. This is not the case in many schools where writing is often lumped in with all of the other language arts — reading, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, speaking, and listening. In many “English” or “Language Arts” classes, writing is treated as an extension of reading; students are primarily asked to write about what they read.

This emphasis placed on writing at Rossman is important since writing is...Read more

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. We are inspired by project based learning and excited to incorporate it into our everyday learning. Recently, entire schools are taking this approach to teaching. With so many resources at our fingertips, it’s easy to try these new teaching and learning methods with our students. With our 1:2 ratio of iPads in the classroom, technology is often a major factor in...Read more

It is that time again for the preparation of the annual Geography Bee at Rossman School. Every year, the fourth through sixth graders brave the unknown and take a risk with the GeoBee, and every year I am asked “why do we do this?” This year, instead of saying “because it’s tradition” I decided to talk with the students and together figure out, why do we have the GeoBee? 

While yes, tradition is one reason, we also talked about how our world is ever changing and that can feel overwhelming to us. Students feel these same challenges in social studies and when they witness what is...Read more

This fall I’ve been working my way through Jo Boaler’s book, Mathematical Mindsets (2015). Boaler has authored fourteen books, numerous research articles and is currently a Mathematics Education Professor at Stanford University. Her resources and philosophies about education have been very inspiring to me; they are changing the way I think about math, talk about math, and teach math. In the opening chapters of Mathematical Mindsets, Boaler outlines and dispels common myths that most of us have believed about math. She argues that these myths inhibit learning. I think many...Read more

First-grade teachers are in our third year of Lucy Calkins Writer’s Workshop implementation. The curriculum is research-based and used in classrooms across the globe. Our units of study focus on narrative, opinion, and informational writing. This program helps to develop a life-long love of writing and equips each author with the tools and independence needed to create books of all varieties.

blog_writing3.jpgDuring a unit, students are guided through the...Read more

If you have joined your child for lunch in the dining room lately, you’ve probably noticed the addition of several bins and posters along the side wall. As we’ve settled into our routine here at the beginning of the year, students and staff are redoubling their efforts to make Rossman a more sustainable school. One of the main areas of focus has been decreasing the waste created in our dining room and correctly managing the waste we do create.

When students are finished with their lunches, they carry their trays to the waste station on the side of the dining room. It is here that...Read more

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