• Where in the World is Ms. Wrenn?

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 4/9/2014 4:05:00 PM
    Recently Apple invited Director of Technology and Director of Curriculum Elaine Wrenn to be the keynote speaker at the Technology for Accessible Learning Conference at the Nanjing Deaf School in China to share how the Echo Horizon School technology program was developed, and how our Echo Center and mainstream teachers are using iPads with deaf and hard of hearing students to promote language development.   Conference attendees included headmasters and curriculum directors from schools for the deaf throughout China.  
    photo of people in China  

    On Monday, March 25, Ms. Wrenn visited Soon Ching Ling School (http://soongchinglingschool.org) in Shanghai and gave an impromptu presentation about Challenge Based Learning. They were very impressed with the mission of our school and also with our students' work with CBL. The headmaster is eager for students from both our schools to collaborate on projects in the future. They have a multicultural division of the school where the students are learning English starting in the primary grades, so this is a great opportunity for future connections with our school.
    Below are some photos from her travels in China! 
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  • 6th Grade Student Turns the Tables and "Teaches" Faculty About iStopMotion

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 3/26/2014 11:45:00 AM
    The tables were turned at a recent faculty meeting, when 6th grade student Oliver S. stood up in front of the faculty to "teach a lesson" on using iStopMotion to create stop motion animations and time lapse videos.  He began his lesson by sharing a few videos that he had created both in his free time and as part of school assignments.  Oliver then demonstrated how one would create a stop motion video from scratch.  If you'd like to learn how, just watch the video below!
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  • Arts Showcase Season Has Begun!

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 3/7/2014 3:35:00 PM
    The annual season of Arts Showcases has begun at Echo Horizon School. The showcases are a performance, of course, but they are also a demonstration of our arts program. The art, music, theatre and movement activities used to bring stories to life are typical of what the children do in arts classes all year long. The videos below serve to illustrate the process that the children go through to arrive at the final performances.
    Recently, the Kindergarten students recreated the beloved story of “Where the Wild Things Are” in their showcase entitled “Pure Imagination.  The Kindergartners used art, music, theatre and movement to tell the story of Max and his imagination.  
    In the First Grade Arts Showcase called ‘A Tale of Tails,’ the children used music, theatre arts, creative movement and visual art to tell an African tale, with a moral at the end. 

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  • 6th Grade Students Accept Weekly Challenges From Author as Part of “Project Writeway”

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 2/27/2014 8:10:00 AM

    With the guidance of renowned author Hope Anita Smith, the 6th grade students are working on a poetry unit entitled “Project Writeway.”  Much like the popular TV show Project Runway, each week students are presented with a new challenge asking them to, “work within the lines, but think outside the box” as 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher Meg Smith puts it.  The overall theme of the unit is community and “self-reflection and community goes way beyond the realm of language arts, Meg Smith says.

    For their first challenge, students were presented with various types of fabric swatches and asked to take inspiration from the patterns or the feel of the fabric and then expand on their description.  They were challenged to take what they saw and think about broader ideas and concepts.  For example, how a piece of fabric with individual dots might make up a larger design when view together as whole and how this might relate to diverse members making up a family or  a community.

    Each Tuesday, author Hope Anita Smith leads the class in a discussion of the week’s challenge with teacher Meg Smith connecting and clarifying the concepts being presented.  Each student has an opportunity to meet with both Anita Smith and their teacher, allowing them to hear two different perspectives on feedback.  At the end of the unit, students will each have a portfolio of 5-7 poems that showcase their work.
    woman talking with students
     woman talking with students
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  • Pre-Kindergarten Students' Hearts Beat Like Drums

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 1/27/2014 8:00:00 AM
    In a recent music class, the Pre-Kindergarten students learned to describe their hearts as 'drums' in their bodies that have their own beat, the 'steady beat' of human bodies. Using heart shaped icons as their score, the children spoke, moved, played body percussion, and played instruments to the steady beat.
    children playingmusic
    children playing musical instruments
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  • Echo Horizon School, A Community Attuned

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 1/9/2014 10:15:00 AM
    Echo Horizon School was recently profiled on the website of Matt Steiner's Launch Education Group. In his latest edition of Elementary Schools that Change Lives, he "explored the concept of attunement as it relates to classroom communication, teaching, and the diverse exchanges among teachers, students, and administrators. By cultivating a culture of attunement – one that hinges on active listening among community members – Echo Horizon produces empathic, sophisticated thinkers who harbor a lifelong love of learning."
    Click here to read Matt's complete blog post featuring Echo Horizon School.
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  • Echo Horizon School Wishes You Happy Holidays and a Peaceful New Year!

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 12/20/2013 7:35:00 AM
    May this season be bright and spent making memories with family and friends. The video below is a short montage of our students in this year's Winter Program. We hope their singing helps get you into the holiday spirit!
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  • Students Join 10,000,000 Others Across the Globe for 'Hour of Code'

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 12/18/2013 8:25:00 AM
    Last week, December 9-15, 2013, was National Computer Science Education Week and the students at Echo Horizon School joined 10,000,000 students in 170 countries for an “Hour of Code.” This event brought attention to the importance of computer programming by encouraging students all over the world to spend an hour engaging in coding at a developmentally appropriate level.

    Here at Echo Horizon, students in all grade levels from Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade engaged in some form of programming activity for at least an hour over the course of the week. As a five-time Apple Distinguished School awardee, integrating technology into classroom learning, and finding innovative ways to do so, is an everyday practice.

    The Pre-Kindergarten students "programmed" their friends to follow a certain path by giving and following directional words. The Kindergarten students played Tynker Puppy Adventure, which is a game that teaches basic concepts of programming. 1st Grade students used the Kodable iPad app, a maze game that requires students to use programming concepts such as sequences, conditions, and loops, and Scratch, a block-based programming language, to design geometric shapes. 2nd Grade students used the Daisy the Dinosaur and Kodable iPad apps while the 3rd Grade students used games on Tynker.com to learn and practice coding.

    4th grade students used the "Write Your First Computer Program" tutorial designed by Code.org which used Blockly, a block based programming language, and Angry Birds characters to teach coding concepts. They also played programming games on Tynker.com in addition to using Turtle Art and Hopscotch, programming apps on their MacBooks & iPads, to write their own original programs to generate geometric patterns. The 5th grade students had a choice of how they would practice coding, either creating a holiday card using the Scratch programming language, playing programming games on Tynker.com, or following the "Write Your First Computer Program" tutorial provided by Code.org. Finally, the 6th grade students worked to build and program Lego Robots to "sing" and/or "dance" to holiday songs. In their classroom, robots could be found moving and shaking to tunes such as Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidl and Jingle Bells!

    “The energy and enthusiasm around the various forms of coding was palpable throughout the school,” said Echo Horizon Director of Technology and Director of Curriculum, Elaine Wrenn. “Students were fully engaged in planning, collaborating, troubleshooting, and creative problem solving. This is just one of several hours that our students will spend programming throughout their years at Echo Horizon. This event was a wonderful way to focus attention on the importance of teaching programming in schools.”
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  • Girls Volleyball Teams Faces Turning Point School

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 12/17/2013 8:20:00 AM
    Last week the Echo Horizon School Girls Volleyball Team, comprised of 5th and 6th grade students, faced their first game against Turning Point School. Watch the video below for a glimpse of all the action.
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  • Special Author Visits Students and Discusses Responsibilities of Being a Pet Owner

    Posted by Echo Horizon School on 12/9/2013 8:15:00 AM
    On Friday, the Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students had a special visit from author and Certified Human Education Specialist Diane Rose-Solomon.  After reading her book to the students, she engaged the children in a discussion about the responsibilities of being a pet owner, and gave us all some important pet safety reminders. Below is the official trailer for JJ The American Street Dog and How He Came to Live in Our House.
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