In September 2015, a new chapter begins for elementary technology at NCS – one that does not include me because I am transferring to our middle school to design and lead a brand new STEAM (STEM that incorporates art) program called “Technology, Engineering and Design.” But first, some perspective.
Three years ago, we changed elementary technology instruction at NCS forever. Back then, we:
- designed and built the “STEMLAB,” a student-centered, flexible learning space unlike any other classroom in the district;
- incorporated an emphasis on STEM, and engineering in particular, by, among other things, integrating selected units from the award-winning Engineering is Elementary program from the Museum of Science in Boston;
- embraced mobile devices, i.e., Chromebooks … including, naturally, Google Apps for Education (but still also instructed students on the use of PCs and applications like Microsoft Office);
- captured students’ imaginations, encouraging their sense of wonder, possibility and curiosity about the world around them.
The NCS elementary technology program has a bright future. Under Principal Maureen Vaccaro’s leadership, and considering the team she is assembling, the continued support from our outstanding teaching staff, and the creative ideas I’ve heard so far, the best is yet to come. Honestly!
Leaving the elementary school is definitely bittersweet; my heart will always be in K-4, but I’m also tremendously excited about the opportunity that lies ahead in our middle school.
So, for my current students in Kindergarten through third grade, this isn’t goodbye, it is “see you later.” In the case of my fourth graders, it’s “see you next year.” And, for the middle school students whom I’ve already taught, and will again next year, it’s “see you soon.”
I’ll close by thanking the people who made this program possible: my elementary principal Maureen Vaccaro; our previous superintendents Dr. Rich Stepura & Dr. Janice Fipp; our Board of Education; my elementary colleagues; parents (especially those who volunteered in my class); the Northfield PTO; the Northfield Education Foundation; and everyone else who contributed ideas, inspiration and encouragement all these years. Thank you!
All my best,
to follow my next adventure – bookmark this blog: http://blogs.ncs-nj.org/daedalus/
Take a look at the photo above.
What could possibly attract the attention of a group of students like that?
Hate being out of school but love talking about the learning in my classroom. Here are the presentations I’m sharing at NJASA’s TECHSPO conference in Atlantic City today.