skip to main content

Mission Monday

 

May 8, 2017


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

The North Salem Central School District played host to a team of administrators and teachers from the Tri-State Consortium for a three-day visit from April 26 – 28.

In its efforts to engage students to continuously learn, question, define and solve problems through critical and creative thinking, the district has engaged in collaborative efforts with the Tri-State Consortium and EdLeader21 Consortium to answer the following two questions.  

1.    To what degree is the Mission having an impact on students in and out of the classroom?
2.    To what degree are Mission-linked instruction and learning embedded in the culture of the district?                   

Answers to these questions will help the district continue to improve its work with students in preparing them to be problem-solvers, decision-makers and innovators for life.

View highlights from the visit in the below video.

 

 

April 26, 2017


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

View the below video to see our amazing journey to create a Mission for all students!

 

 

 

April 24, 2017


 

Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

It's that time of year again when robots roam the halls of North Salem High School.

The Tech Wise Guys, NSHS's robotics team, engineered and programmed their original robot to enter an FTC FIRST Robotics Tournament at Riverside High School in January. This year's FTC FIRST Robotics challenge, called Velocity Vortex, required students to build and program a robot that can move in all directions, lift a giant ball, gather and shoot smaller balls and press color sensors both autonomously and with remote controls during a teleop phase.

The team demonstrated outstanding critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication throughout the season and during the tournament, and everyone looks forward to deepening their building and engineering skills.

View the robots in action in the below photos.


 

April 17, 2017


 

Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Students in the high school International Club explore global cultures and celebrate diversity.

“One thing that translates into any language is delicious food!” said club advisor Jessica Drumm. “We celebrate multiculturalism through sampling at least two different cuisines each year through a fall and spring club dinner at a local restaurant.”

Students decided to enjoy Japanese hibachi during their latest outing.

“We had an up-close and personal view of this culinary tradition and enjoyed collaborative club bonding time as well,” said Drumm. “These dinners help students become global citizens and allow them to broaden their knowledge and respect of diversity.”

Citizenship in one of the five areas of the North Salem Profile of a Graduate as a Problem Solver. The other four areas are critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration and continuously improving learning.

In the below photos, students are enjoying a Japanese hibachi meal.

 

   

 

April 10, 2017


mission monday fake news photoWelcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

The idea of “fake news” has been a prominent one on the heels of the latest presidential election, and eighth- and 10th grade English students collaborated on a project focused on identifying credible sources and fake news.

Tenth-grade honors English students worked with teachers Cynthia Sandler and Gaetano Vitiello to investigate media literacy and create two lessons about fake news and identifying credible resources with an eighth-grade audience in mind.

Students in the classes of Karyn Johnson, Theresa McCleary and Eric Pechenko met with the 10th graders in the library to learn about the two timely topics.

In preparation for the lessons, 10th graders read William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” and learned about the fake news that Brutus received and how acting on that news contributed to the assassination of Julius Caesar.

“These sophomores dug into the who, why and how about this fake news,” said Vitiello.

After dissecting the text, students continued to research fake news, its forms and purposes, as well as how to distinguish it from factual news.

The discussion challenged them to problem-solve by using research to get information about the problem, develop possible solutions and decide on a solution to implement.

“Getting valid and reliable information is essential for effective problem solving,” said Vitiello. “Both grades of students exhibited key components of our mission – critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration, as they worked toward becoming more thoughtful and careful consumers and creators of information.”

View scenes from the collaborative lesson in the below photos.

 

 

 

 

April 3, 2017

 


 

rappin photoWelcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Students in the Honors Biology class were given an opportunity to demonstrate their understandings of a science concept and process through creative alternative methods – a rap song.

The criteria for the assignment were:

The science concept must be presented accurately
There must be pictures/animations about each vocabulary word/science concept
There must be at least 20 vocabulary words described and explained with diagrams
There must a good beat/melody/rhythm and rhyming words throughout the rap song

View students’ rap in the video below.


 

 

 

 


March 27, 2017


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

The Middle School Robotics Club is happy to introduce a spin-off series of workshops with its first set of classes focusing on 3-D printing.

In these sessions, led by eighth grader Ellen Herlihy, students explore web-based programs including TinkerCad to create original designs to print in the library's 3-D printer. In addition, eighth grader Jasper Gitlitz has provided 3-D pens for students to try out, enabling them to draw in a whole new dimension.  

View more in the photos below.


 

 

 

March 20, 2017


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Middle School Robotics Club members are following their passions this semester with students researching, engineering and creating their own tech-related projects.

For example, several students are building a submarine with the hopes of exploring Peach Lake this spring. Another group explores computer game design, while others re-engineer VEX robots, build with 3-D printing programs, develop lightsabers and innovate with Raspberry Pi. Students reflect and share ideas with one another as they pursue their varied interests in a room buzzing with creativity.

View more in the photos below.




 

March 13, 2017


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Students in an algebra enrichment unit at Pequenakonck Elementary School designed stores to sell items in a classroom mall. Together they brainstormed a store theme, store name and items to be sold and used critical thinking to work out the details.

Advertised sale items demonstrated understanding of single variable and simultaneous equations. Students utilized multiple problem-solving skills to shop at classmates’ stores and determine the value of each variable.

View some of the shops in the below photos.






 

March 6, 2017


 

Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

North Salem High School senior Richard O'Leary utilized the school library's 3-D printer as a part of his Eagle Scout Project for the North Salem Open Land Foundation's Gaymark Preserve.

Part of his project involved leveraging the technology of QR codes to help hikers learn about bluebirds in the Northeast. His innovative idea to 3-D printing the code as a plate allowed for a sturdy, weatherproof and aesthetically pleasing object to hang in the open land. Creative and critical thinking are essential tools in problem solving.

 

 

 

 

February 27, 2017

 


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Seventh-grade students engaged in a challenging problem-solving task as part of the school’s technology program.

“We made planes out of Styrofoam this year,” said student Ryan. “Even though the end result was great, I faced many challenges as I tried to solve the problem of getting my plane to fly.”

Students used minimal materials in addition to the Styrofoam.

“I had a lot of problems to solve as I tried to build a plane that would fly,” said student Max. “I had to fix soldering…and adjust my wing and tail to get my plane to fly high. I thought of many ways to solve the problems and found some that worked.”

After making small adjustments to their planes, students found their hard work paid off.

View the planes in action in the below video.

 

 

 

February 20, 2017


textWelcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

North Salem High School students are engaged in media literacy work with music and music videos. This involves critical thinking where they deconstruct how artists convey their messages through multimedia works. After a full class discussion and analysis of the song “Royals” by the artist Lorde, students then chose their own song to analyze, deconstruct and present to the class.

Listen to the students discuss their analysis in the below video.

 

 

February 13, 2017

 


clockWelcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

 

Eighth-grade art students are using creative, divergent thinking as well as critical and convergent thinking to explore how creators find their inspiration through the study of the pop art movement and artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.

Students then applied the knowledge in investigating the characteristics and culture of an eighth-grader through group work. Students pushed the creative thinking strategy further by imagining a person their age living in a different time, country or economic background. Through the use of an affinity map, thumbnail sketches and reflection, each student uncovered a personal inspiration that will drive an original design for a functioning clock and begin the steps to construct it.

 

 

February 6, 2017


artWelcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Advanced Placement art students Henry Balch, Julia Colletes, Tori Dearborn, Chloe DeLeo, Shauna Hendrie, Dana Kopser and Sarah MacLeod are currently developing the “Concentration” portion of their portfolios – a body of related works that demonstrate sustained and thoughtful investigation of a specific, visual idea.

From the onset of brainstorming to reflection and self-assessment, this visual investigation involves critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication. The works that are the culmination of this problem-solving process will be featured at the Young Artists 2017 show at the Katonah Museum of Art. More than four hundred works of art from more than 40 schools in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess and Fairfield counties will be on view.

The show will run from Feb. 12 to March 5, 2017, with an opening reception on Sunday, Feb. 12 from 3 – 5 p.m.

View samples of the students’ work in the below photos.

 

 

January 30, 2017


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Students in Sharon DeLuca’s kindergarten class were thrilled when they learned that Assistant Principal Julio Vazquez would be the latest “mystery reader” for the class. Mr. Vazquez read the story, “What Does It Mean to be Kind?” by Rana DiOrio, which encouraged students to be kind and start learning about the qualities needed to fulfill the profile of a fifth-grade student. “We take every opportunity to work with our students to develop their learning, literacy and character,” said Mr. Vazquez. “The read-aloud focused on what kindness means so that we all continuously teach it and learn the expectations of citizenship.”

 

January 23, 2017


mmjan20Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

North Salem Middle/High School students analyzed the election polls in their social studies classes, learned about the role of the Electoral College and discussed the candidates leading up to November’s presidential election. After reviewing the facts, students were challenged to make an informed decision in a schoolwide vote on Election Day. The results of the election were: •    Hillary Clinton — 242 (43% total vote) •    Donald Trump — 229 (40% total vote)
•    Gary Johnson — 29
•    Jill Stein — 10

Ninety-seven percent of middle school students and 72 percent of high school students participated in the election.
 
Students used their creative thinking skills to evaluate the pros and cons of each candidate and organized those ideas into categories in their minds. They then conducted further research and used communication and collaboration skills to discuss ideas, disagree and respect the ideas of others. 

 

 

January 16, 2017


 

Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

 

Sophomores in the AP European History course at North Salem High School were recently challenged to take on the identity of a figure from the Age of Enlightenment – a project that required extensive research and immersion.

The purpose of the project was to engage students in learning an immense amount of information about 18th century Europe in ways that would help them go beyond the facts and gain a deeper understanding of the concepts, while having fun undertaking challenging and thoughtful work.

Each student selected a historical figure, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Catherine the Great and Mary Wollstonecraft to research and create a period costume for.

In addition, students prepared themselves to answer in-depth questions from other students about their historical figure, as well as engage in debates about period topics including politics, science and religion.

The assignment challenged them to use their creative thinking skills to take the point of view and walk in the shoes of their chosen person. Critical thinking skills were used to dig into the research and construct opinions and arguments. Communication skills were used in the intense and friendly debates with other historical figures.

 



 

 

January 9, 2017


 

Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Sixth-grade students learned how people with physical disabilities manage everyday tasks such as dressing, picking up objects, drinking, moving in braces and wheelchairs and keeping balance among other efforts, during the Putnam-Westchester BOCES Pine Bridges workshop.

All of the students were impressed with the skills and persistence necessary to manage the tasks – a change in perspective that is very important. They used their creative thinking skills to tackle the simple tasks and used their collaborative and communication skills to succeed during the workshop.

 

December 26, 2016

 


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

In order to alleviate some of the stress middle school students may experience and to help them meet the demands of content-area subjects, the seventh-grade team has begun the school year by sharing shortcuts, or “hacks,” to help with students’ daily lives.
The yearlong program, Hacks and Happenings, aims to help students continuously improve their problem-solving skills. Areas of focus so far this school year have included a growth mindset that encourages persistence, metacognition, organization skills, a reflection of “how long does it take you to get ready to learn?” and a planning flash mob.

These authentic experiences help students meet curriculum state standards, as well as become more self-aware, while using skills including critical and creative thinking.

Upon completion of seeking and applying each weeklong hack, students reflect in their journals about how they improved in the areas and where they would like to make more of an effort.

 

December 19, 2016

 


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

High school chemistry students recently learned about the phases of matter and thermodynamics. As part of the unit, students were challenged to use their knowledge of the principles of distillation, along with their creative and critical thinking skills, to make an apparatus that would perform the distillation process efficiently.

Working with a partner, which encouraged collaboration, students communicated to bring their ideas to life. When completed, students explained their proposed structures and functions of their inventions to their peers.

 

 

December 12, 2016

 


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Members of the band “The Roots,” who are seen every weekday on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” recently entertained at Pequenakonck Elementary School.

David Guy, the father of a PQ kindergarten student, joined bandmate Ian Hendrickson-Smith and kindly took requests for songs from PQ students during their visit.

“They reached out to the kindergartners as well as the brass and horn band members in fourth- and fifth-grade,” said Assistant Principal Julio Vasquez, who noted that PQ students are always striving to continuously improve their  learning capabilities, a philosophy in line with the district’s mission.

Guy and Hendrickson-Smith told the young musicians that although some of the scales they are learning now may seem boring, they will be very important as they become more advanced and encouraged them to practice every day. They even told the students they still practice their scales each day.

“The kids in all grades asked respectful questions and were very engaged,” said Vasquez. “It was a wonderful experience for all. PQ students are very fortunate and we are very grateful!”

 

 

 

December 5, 2016


 

Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Seventh-grade students engage in problem-solving as part of “Tiger Talks,” a TED Talks-inspired program that encourages them to select a topic about which they are passionate to research and create a presentation to persuade and inform their peers.

Critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication and citizenship are essential parts of this process. Once their presentations conclude, students assess their own work and offer feedback to their peers. By learning their own strengths and areas in need of improvement, students continuously enhance their problem-solving skills.

 

November 28, 2016


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Pequenakonck Elementary School students made their thinking three-dimensional as part of the latest Genius Hour, an enrichment opportunity for students in grades three through five during their lunch and recess blocks.

Using creative and critical thinking, students utilized the computer-aided design program Tinkercad to design and print objects in plastic or modeling clay. Some students also contributed their 3D designs to the growing PQ Lego Village.

“Genius Hour allows students to explore their passions in STEAM-related activities and encourages creativity,” said Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Human Resources Dr. Mike Hibbard.

 

 

 

November 21, 2016


Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

Eleventh- and 12th grade chemistry students recently took on roles as members of the “North Salem Sports Medicine Supply Company” and were challenged to determine which chemicals would be effective for use as cold packs.

Using skills including critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication, students experimented with various chemicals in hopes of finding ones that could be used to treat injuries at outdoor sporting events.

The assignment culminated in a research and development memo reporting the findings, written by the students, to send to the company’s chief executive officer.

Chase University River Central School District