When I speak with prospective parents on tours in the halls of Rossman, I always point out a unique feature of our curriculum: Our students have a class period each day dedicated to writing. This is not the case in many schools where writing is often lumped in with all of the other language arts — reading, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, speaking, and listening. In many “English” or “Language Arts” classes, writing is treated as an extension of reading; students are primarily asked to write about what they read.
This emphasis placed on writing at Rossman is important since writing is...Read more
The “Gift of Words” project is one of our favorite third grade writing projects. We began by reading the book Be Good to Eddie Lee, which is about a boy who has down syndrome and how he was not treated kindly by his peers. We held a classroom discussion about how we should treat each other with kindness and how everyone has different gifts that shine. We then shared with one another the amazing gifts that all of us have (e.g. some of us are good at climbing trees, drawing, doing math, being empathetic with others, being helpful, reading, kicking a ball, telling jokes, turning a negative...Read more
Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. We are inspired by project based learning and excited to incorporate it into our everyday learning. Recently, entire schools are taking this approach to teaching. With so many resources at our fingertips, it’s easy to try these new teaching and learning methods with our students. With our 1:2 ratio of iPads in the classroom, technology is often a major factor in...Read more
Great Stories. Great Graduates. A special interview featuring a mother-daughter duo.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "An education is the investment with the greatest returns." A friend of mine who sent her daughter to Rossman years ago is always quick to share that it was one of her best investments. Funny thing is, her Rossman alum daughter now enjoys a burgeoning career in NYC in the field of investments. As head of school, I am always curious to learn what families value in a Rossman education, so I enthusiastically took the opportunity to interview this mother...Read more
First-grade teachers are in our third year of Lucy Calkins Writer’s Workshop implementation. The curriculum is research-based and used in classrooms across the globe. Our units of study focus on narrative, opinion, and informational writing. This program helps to develop a life-long love of writing and equips each author with the tools and independence needed to create books of all varieties.
During a unit, students are guided through the...Read more
Thinking about elementary school may bring up memories of multiplication facts, phonics, or memorizing state capitals. But what about research projects? For Rossman students, research projects are a core component of education. Surprisingly, the experience may not be all that different from your own experience in middle or high school, with a few modifications to ensure that it’s safe and developmentally appropriate for our students....Read more
When you join Rossman School, you are not only welcomed into a joyful and caring community but also become part of a history of traditions. Each day I have the joy of seeing students take part in such traditions, from singing “woohoos” at birthday lunches to hugging their Rossman little siblings as the Junior Kindergarten class passes in the hallway. As a teacher, I have the privilege of stepping into curricular traditions.
Each year the sixth grade embarks upon the traditional HERO Project. While the project has evolved through the years, the heart of the inquiry has stayed the...Read more
While recently conversing with a third grade child at lunch, he shared with me his excitement about the “numerous” houses he would visit on Halloween. I was struck immediately with his ease of using the word “numerous.” Clearly, he had a firm understanding of the word, which he spoke so fluently! It was obvious to me that he is well on his way to developing a strong vocabulary.
Rossman teachers explicitly weave vocabulary into their daily instruction, creating a seamless transition from learning words orally at a young age to acquiring the tools to learn from the written text. While...Read more
One of my favorite photos of my children has them on different levels of an interior staircase, both grasping the wooden rail, as they headed to the second floor of the London home of Benjamin Franklin. They tease me now because they say I insisted they hold the stair rail because Franklin himself touched it. They are right. Just as I insisted they touch the pew in St. Paul’s Chapel where George Washington worshiped while serving as our nation’s first president and the brass knob on the blue door to enter Vincent Van Gogh’s home.
When traveling, I love to visit places that offer a...Read more
STEAM is a buzz word in art education. It refers to adding art and design into the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The goal is for these subjects to work together and influence innovation among students. It is exciting to see how cross-curricular work can help students make connections, ask good questions and discover more about different subjects.
After seeing a display of artwork at the University of Michigan with the subject matter of scientific cells, I was inspired to see how Rossman’s science and art curriculum could work together to create a STEAM...Read more