Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fidget Spinners, SIS, Great Thanksgiving Listen - November 6, 2017


At the Middle School, Kathy Peng finished her fidget spinner project, in collaboration with Scott Kley-Contini. From Kathy herself: "The students used their creativity, perseverance, and an understanding of Newton's three laws of motion to successfully design, 3D-print, customize, and test their own functioning fidget spinners over the past two weeks.'

'Here are some photos of the students in the Innovation Lab on Wednesday and collecting data in class [on Friday]: '".

At the Upper School, Diane Main has worked with Kevin Williamson, the class deans, and O of C to address the needs around daily bulletin announcements and whole-class communication using Schoology. Liz and Diane met with the involved parties and made the case for leveraging Schoology's already-existing tools. 

Also, Diane addressed upper school faculty and the entire student body about digital versions of textbooks and how we can make sure students are using legally acquired editions (and not illegally sharing or using editions they did not purchase or subscribe to). If you missed the faculty presentation, or just want to see it again, here it is!

Don't forget to take a look at our Great SIS Adventure blog! It includes all the updates to the SIS Focused Feedback meetings we've been hosting. The slides on the blog posts have valuable hyperlinks in them and if you haven't had your chance to provide feedback, yet, these blog posts will help you IMMENSELY if you have any questions.


In the spirit of giving, I invite all teachers and staff to participate in The Great Thanksgiving Listen (

"The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national movement that empowers young people—and people of all ages—to create an oral history of the contemporary United States by recording an interview with an elder using the free StoryCorps App."

I have personally been using StoryCorps for almost 10 years, and the last year I was in an English classroom, I used it heavily with my students to investigate, learn to listen (and really hear) and ultimately, build their empathetic muscles.

What's even better is that StoryCorps also offers an entire kit for all educators, in case you want to use this with your students. But you can just do this in your family, with friends, or with one other person.

Get more information here

Finally, if you want more information on how to implement this, or you just want to talk about idea around this, reach out to me (Liz) or any of your LID Directors.

(BONUS: If you are aware of, or know of the great video tool, Flipgrip, there's a great Flipgrid that's being built to share these Great Thanksgiving Listens at



EXCELLENT work by Sarah Leonard who answered all the trivia questions correctly and quickly after our last post. She was offered a coffee as her prize, but turned it down (what?!), so a $5 Starbucks card was donated in her name to a randomly chosen teacher from her division, instead. :)

Stay tuned for trivia questions in our next blog post!

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