Middle School Meets May Term

Posted on June 13th, 2013 by Tony Tepedino
Special thanks to Lindsey Brown for this write up on Middle School May Term.
Middle School Students at Allendale Columbia School broke new ground this Spring by participating in an authentic learning initiative called May Term.  Students spent three hours each morning completing an in-depth exploration of a topic outside of the conventional curriculum.  In these sessions they were required to work together to solve real-world problems in ways that reached beyond the immediate school community.
Whether it was analyzing artifacts from a real archeological dig, creating a video game for a larger audience, building a survival shelter in the rain, or writing and staging a play at a community nursing home, students were challenged to be creative and collaborative often in areas outside of their comfort zone.  They were also invited to use technology to create their own content in sessions such as “Behind the Lens: Photojournalism” and “Action: Screenplays, Storyboards and Soundtracks.”
In the afternoon, students were able to choose eight different intramural sessions taught by a wide variety of Allendale Columbia community members.  Students made muffins with the kitchen staff and practiced meditation with the school psychologist.  They walked the nature trail, played rugby, drew original Manga and auditioned for our talent show.  Faculty and staff offered a total of twenty eight sessions, and students were able to choose the experiences that most interested them.
Reflection was also an integral part of May Term.  Students participated in daily discussion groups and created a blog to record and process their experiences.  Tina Duver, Dean of Middle School students, writes:

Words and picture will never fully describe the success and energy present this week, but it will help serve as a memory and record of a wonderful May Term during this final week of the 2012-2013 school year.

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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade