Education

What Does Learning At Morristown's Peck School Look Like?

The Peck School's mini-mester
89123fa6415bd3bd8b17_ec57b445bbe9ad722420_3be0aac9227f5e708fe0_IMG_4368.JPG
89123fa6415bd3bd8b17_ec57b445bbe9ad722420_3be0aac9227f5e708fe0_IMG_4368.JPG
MORRISTOWN, NJ - What is school? What does learning look like? These are profound questions that great schools ponder as they build their curriculum and hone their pedagogical style. For example, just as classrooms burst open to encompass the outdoor environment, the community, and the world, notions of success and failure in school evolve as well.
 
“We are actively teaching children that when things don’t work out, it doesn’t mean you fail. It means you have to come at it from a different perspective,” explains Daisy Savage, The Peck School’s Head of Upper School. "Students are encouraged to try, and if they fail, to “fail better” en route to success".
 
This is a major advantage to an independent school environment, where curricular evolution and educated risks can be taken throughout the course of a school year to create deeper and thoroughly engaging experiences for students.
 
 
In the spirit of taking educated risks, The Peck School faculty and administration decided to design and launch a unique learning experiment during ERB testing week this year. In the past, after participating in these standardized tests, students returned to accelerated versions of their daily classes. Faculty brainstormed ideas for a more effective and engaging use of the after-testing time, and The Peck School Mini-mester was conceived.
 
“I don’t think that any of us were totally prepared for what was going to happen,” said Savage. “We hoped it would be successful, but I think it has been beyond our wildest dreams in terms of the kids exploring, being excited and being engaged.”
 
Director of Curriculum and Faculty Development, Chris Weaver, has been working with Ms. Savage and the entire Upper School Faculty since the beginning of the school year to design a set of week-log immersive experiences for each grade level. “What are the different types of experiences we could create for the kids, and really for ourselves,” was the challenge Weaver set. “How can we give ourselves a greater sense of possibility around what education could be.”
 
After a great deal of planning and preparation throughout the school year, the resulting mini-mester rolled out the week of January 25th to the 30th. Unfortunately, the launch was delayed by a day as the North East was inundated by a massive snowfall and classes cancelled on Monday the 25th.

 
The rest of the week was a huge success. The fifth grade built elaborate Rube Goldberg Devices. The sixth grade worked in teams to compete in designing working snow sleds out of basic materials. The seventh grade engaged in building working robots, and the eighth grade focused on solving world issues in an activity entitled “Cities of the Future.”
 
Students spent their afternoons rotating through additional exercises including “Tessellations” (drawing special geometric shapes), “Little Bits” (easy to use electronic building blocks that empower students to invent), “Junkyard Challenge” (competing to construct the highest tower using nothing but tape and straws), and “Lion’s Pride” (combining poetry with imagery to express feelings that are often kept hidden by students).
 
 “You own your learning. It’s not something that’s being force fed to you. People really learn things when they are interested in learning things, when they are engaged in learning things, and when they feel a sense of ownership", said Weaver of the success of the mini-mester. 
 
The Peck School’s talented faculty and administrators are already working on ideas for Mini-mester 2.0.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Morristown

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Reserve Your Spot: Morris County Historical Tours Begin This Summer

May 16, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Community members are invited to “Discover Morris County” through the summer walking tour and lecture series  The Morris County Tourism Bureau invites everyone to experience the rich history that Morris County has to offer with a knowledgeable guide. Summer programs will be held over nine successive Saturday mornings during June, July and August.  ...

National Public Gardens Day at Morristown's Macculloch Hall; Sat. May 12

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Macculloch Hall is inviting the community to National Public Gardens Day on Saturday May 12 from 10am - 1pm.

Visitors can enjoy the gardens as well as family activities, presentations, art, scavenger hunts, and stories. The event is free and open to the public.

Inquiries can be directed to Cynthia Winslow at cwinslow@maccullochhall.org

 

 

Morristown Welcomes Sandy Hook Ride on Washington

Team 26 will ride from Newtown, CT to Washington D.C. to raise awareness of gun violence, stopping in Morristown for a welcome rally

MORRISTOWN -- A 400-mile bicycle ride that will begin in Newtown, CT and will continue toward the steps of the U.S. Capitol will arrive to a welcome rally in front of Morristown’s Town Hall on Saturday, May 5 at 5 p.m. The ride is being conducted by Team ...

4 Day Sale at The Depot

May 18, 2018

4 Day Sale going on now through Sunday at The Depot Gift & Home. The more you spend, the more you save!

980 Mt Kemble Avenue (Rt 202)

Morristown NJ 07960

The Civil War Invades Historic Speedwell in Morristown

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Cannons, muskets and bayonets! See and hear all these and more at the Civil War Weekend, Saturday June 9 and Sunday June 10 at Historic Speedwell in Morristown.

Visitors will be able to visit the battlefields of the American Civil War during this two day event. The weekend showcases the daily lives of soldiers. Visitors will witness musket, artillery, and bayonet drills as ...

DISRUPTing in Morris County

FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Morris County Economic Development is proud to sponsor the upcoming DISRUPT / NNJ on May 10th.  This DISRUPT event is hosted by the Northern New Jersey chapter of DISRUPT, a non-profit international network of meet-ups designed to facilitate networking and knowledge sharing with a focus on innovative practices in talent, culture, and technology.

DISRUPT / NNJ ...

Superheros to the Rescue! Over 900 Runners Run the 2018 Superhero Half Marathon

May 21, 2018

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ -  Who is the strongest superhero? There has been some debate on the internet as to who the strongest superheros are. According to CBR.com, it is Sentry (3rd),  Thor (2nd) and The Hulk (1st) who top their list. However, it might just be the 900 runners that were strong enough to participate in the 2018 Superhero Half Marathon on Sunday May 20 at Ginty Field in ...

10-Year Old Boy Battling Cancer Receives Generous Donation From Randolph Hockey Family

RANDOLPH, NJ- While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real life battles off the ice there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the Randolph Varsity hockey team, when they came together to deliver good wishes and ...

Peter Toth to Perform a Free Piano Recital at the Morristown Historical Park; Sunday May 20

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The community is invited to Washington's Headquarters Museum on Sunday May 20 to enjoy a piano recital featuring Hungarian pianist Peter Toth.

The free piano recital will take place at 1pm at the national Historical Park's Washington Headquarters Museum; 30 Washington Place.

Toth will play the park's 1873 Steinway Grand piano that will ...

The Kootz at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

May 15, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Stop by the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum to hear The Kootz perform a medley of blues, pop, and rock from the 60s-90s on July 1 from 2-3pm.

Break out the picnic blanket or beach chairs and join us in our historic garden Sundays at 2:00 pm for a selection of music and poetry.

$10 per adult, FREE for members!

Rain or shine. In the case of inclement ...

Three Bloomfield Teens Are Missing, Police Seek Community Assistance to Locate Them

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Police Department is asking for the public's assistance to locate three teenagers who went missing this week. One of the parents reports that a large sum of money is missing suggesting the three may have fled the state. 

16-year-old Ulises Yance and 15-year-old Alex Lopez were last seen Fridaymornin, and 16-year-old Alexa Arenas was last seen ...

In London Town - NJFO Season Finale

On Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, under the baton of David Wroe, presents a magnificent 35th anniversary season finale celebration of music linked in some way to England and its great city of London.

The concert opens with Sir Edward Elgar’s exhilarating Introduction and Allegro for Strings, a work composed in 1905 to enable the string section ...

Parents of Dangled Roxbury Kid File Lawsuit Warning

May 20, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - The parents of a 6-year-old special needs student who, according to authorities, was hung upside down and shaken by a frustrated teacher's aide in March, filed a notice of tort claim today, the first volley of a forthcoming lawsuit.

The notice says the Landing couple intend to sue the aide, the Roxbury school board, a number of school  administrators and ...

Bayonne Bridge New York-Bound Lanes to Close Monday Night

May 21, 2018

BAYONNE, NJ – Emergency construction work on the Bayonne Bridge will force the closing of all New York-bound lanes on Monday night.

Lanes on the bridge will close at 9 p.m. on Monday and remain vacant until 5 a.m. Tuesday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement.

According to the press release, emergency work is needed to repair drainage grate on the ...

Living longer is in your control

Research published this week in the journal Circulation, reported findings of a 34 year study on over 100,000 people found five modifiable lifestyle     
 behaviors associated with a 14 year longer life expectancy in women and a 12 year long life expectancy in men at age 50. The health behaviors related to longer life included never smoking, eating a healthy diet, ...

Find Your Dream Home During Our DOUBLE Open House Weekend!

The forecast for this weekend is rain, rain, and more rain---so why not spend your time touring your new home?  Team Nest Builder offers 2 wonderful Open Houses this weekend, PLUS a new listing for you to check out via video tour!

27 Hilltop Trail, Sparta

Step into your own fairytale with this Lake Mohawk, storybook-sweet 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom gem! Gather in front of the rustic ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Letter to the Editor: Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

May 14, 2018

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...

Guest Column: May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May 9, 2018

With warmer weather and sunny skies on the horizon, it is important to remember that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Skin cancer can greatly affect quality of life, and it can be disfiguring and even deadly. There are approximately 5.4 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually. Luckily, Skin Cancer Awareness Month provides a great time  to educate ...

Congressional Candidate Tony Ghee Candidate Statement

May 20, 2018

With the retirement of longtime Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, the good people of Morris, Essex, Sussex and Passaic Counties will elect a new representative this November. It also means that our Republican Party has a choice to make, as well.

Do we nominate a career politician in an age when most people don’t trust their government or the people serving, or do we seize this ...

Choose Brian Bergen for Assembly

My name is Brian Bergen. I am a West Point graduate, former Army Officer, combat Veteran, dedicated family man, small business owner and active community volunteer.

I am extremely excited for the opportunity to launch a campaign for NJ State Assembly in LD25. I have been humbled by the outpouring of support I have received thus far. My goal is to unite the party behind me in June 2019 and lead ...

Warrants, DWI and Narcotics Top This Week Police Blotter

May 14, 2018

4/23: ARREST FOR NARCOTICS: Officers were dispatched to the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation in Jefferson Township on a report of a noise complaint. An investigation led to Rebecca L. Schank-Smith, age 22, of Bloomingdale, and Delia A. Gutierrez, age 23, of Lincoln Park, to be charged with Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. They were both released with a court date pending.

4/23: ...

GFWC Woman's Club Denvilee Rockaway Area Places Flags on Veterans' Graves

May 20, 2018

GFWC Woman's Club of Denville-Rockaway Area Helps Honor Veteran's with Flags for Memorial Day

On a very rainy Saturday, May 19, fifteen members of the GFWC Woman's Club of Denville- Rockaway Area, along with local Cub Scouts, citizens, and Veterans helped Phyllis and Jim Vialard, board members of the Memorial Association of Rockaway, Marcella, and Denville, place flags on ...