Mini-term: a time to delight and try something new (or teach!)

    Ask any middle school student to name a highlight of the school year and you’re sure to hear two words: mini term. During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the “regular” school schedule shifts to allow for special course offerings two hours a day. Faculty and staff, parents, and community members offer courses […]

Where’s the library? New cloud-based database puts resources at student fingertips

What do children need to support their ideas with research? A library, of course. The Mustard Seed School library looks a little different than you might expect.  Over the past few years, we’ve developed an innovative and flexible 21st Century library. The one-to-one laptop program in the Middle School has put online resources at students’ fingertips. Several years […]

What you give: 2017 Annual Partnership Report now available

You and I know that the world’s increasingly complex. No longer is it enough to be academically strong. Students must know how to collaborate. Think creatively. Understand technology.  Implement the engineering design process. Engage with a world that changes moment-by-moment. Our students are learning in a world that’s very different from the one that many […]

Mr. Lawrence presents at New³ summer math conference

When Jim Matthews, a math professor at Siena College, asked Mr. Lawrence if he would present at the New³ summer conference, Mr. Lawrence couldn’t refuse. After all, Professor Matthews is a math hero to Mr. Lawrence, and a recent inductee into the New York State Mathematics Educators Hall of Fame. (Did you know that there’s […]

Reflections on learning from an unplanned guest: Lady Liberty Part 2

The New Colossus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command […]

Unplanned guest occupies kindergarten: Lady Liberty Part 1

(Editor’s note: This is the first blog of a two-part series. The second blog, Reflections on learning from an unplanned guest can be found here.) Kindergarten teacher Leonor Silva had no idea what was going to happen. She didn’t have a lesson plan. Intentionally. But she had a professional goal: to develop the blocks area into a […]

How do you teach students to be designers from the very first days of school?

Who’s a designer? As early as preschool, children can learn to be designers. Design is an application of creativity and critical, higher-level thinking. Designers are innovators and agents of change. At Mustard Seed School, teachers value creativity and the design process. They build these concepts into the curriculum. The Coleman Fung Chair for Creativity and […]

New professional development chair brings neurodevelopment science into the classroom

Thanks to funding from the Agnes and Peter Steenland Memorial Chair for Professional Development, MSS teachers are learning about neurodevelopment: how the brain builds pathways for memory, attention, and language. How will this influence teaching? Say a fourth grade student (we’ll call him Joe) has difficulty storing and retrieving information in his brain (a weak […]