Students Surprise with Music Choices for “Soundtrack of My Life”

A few years ago we started playing music over the speakers in the hallways and Commons before school and between classes as a way to energize and lighten the mood for everyone, particularly in the darker months of winter. With the help of Google Forms and Spotify, and some legwork from the Middle School Office, we have been able to

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Personal Not Personalized: Inspiration and Self-Assessment in Middle School

As I prepared for our return to school this week, and found myself looking for inspiration to ward off the inevitable post-vacation blues, I was energized by how we are teaching students to work on one of the hardest skills in all of school: how to make learning personal. This has particular meaning for me because there is so much

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WordPress Now Powers 25% Sites World Wide

Last month, a group that monitors world wide Internet usage and publishing, W3Techs, released their annual report that included this revelation: 25% of all web sites in the world are published using WordPress. It’s a fascinating data point, especially since it has been growing steadily for years which points to a long term trend. To understand it better, it helps

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How to Learn: the Backwards Bike and Learning New Study Habits

The start of the second term in the Middle School brings basketball practices, new art courses, and a fresh page on year-long courses. It is also the time when we can start to look back at the year so far and turn up the conversation about how each of us can learn more about how to learn. I talked this

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Moshe Baran Inspires 8th Grade to Learn from History of Holocaust

Students in Grade 8 this week sat down with Mr. Moshe Baran, a survivor of the Holocaust, a member of the resistance army, and a long-time friend of Sewickley Academy. Before this visit, students had finished their unit in English class on the power of words and Elie Wiesel’s masterwork, Night. They had also visited the United States Holocaust Memorial

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Memory, Space Archaeology, and a $1 Million Prize

We know in order to remember something, humans need to turn short term memories into long term memories. We do this most effectively by connecting new information with knowledge already stored in our long term memories, or by otherwise working and processing the information until it is recreated inside the neural synapses of our long term memories. This week at

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Turning Attitude into Achievement: 3 Takes on Growth Mindsets

Over the past decade, many educators and parents have learned how to unlock more potential from all students and children after learning about the inspiring work of Carol Dweck and the Growth Mindset movement. Recently, I have seen this work revisited as we – educators, parents, coaches alike – have experienced the challenges of implementing the changes in our language

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Talking About Progress and What Students Are Learning

The midpoint of the first trimester has brought with it Official Notes and conversations about study skills, growth, and achievement. As you discuss the pursuit of excellence and what it means for you in making adjustments over the next five weeks of the term, here are three recent articles that can help us form a long-term vantage point about what

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