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Extending Community During Social Distancing: Remote Experiential Learning in Spanish

By Mr. Charlie Sellers, Spanish Faculty; Lindsay Davis, V Form; Tate Frederick, V Form; and Sydni Williams, IV Form

Extending Community During Social Distancing: Remote Experiential Learning in Spanish

Spanish is not for the classroom, and it is my hope that, after this year, all of my students will feel empowered to use their Spanish beyond St. Mark’s. 

– Mr. Charlie Sellers

During the final three weeks of Remote Learning, Spanish 4 students worked on a multi-step project called Estrechando Lazos/Making Connections. I asked students to pick a topic that in some way related to one of the units that we studied during remote learning: COVID-19 in the Spanish-Speaking World; Immigration: Assimilation and Alienation; and The Food Supply: the Migrant Farmworker in the United States. Students were asked to research the topic and find two to three relevant sources. Then, they tried to make contact with at least one person who is knowledgeable in the topic area. Students composed emails in Spanish to set up interviews using Zoom. 

Experiential Learning is a large part of what we do at St. Mark’s, and what I have learned from participating in experiential programs at our school influenced how I set up the project. I relied substantially on what I learned from last year’s Fifth Form Lion Term Leaders, Colleen Worrell and Kim Berndt: Design Thinking; making contacts outside of the school; giving students choice in choosing topics; guiding them along the way; and helping them present their most salient takeaways in a final demonstration of learning. In the final week of school, students presented a culminating project of their choice that showed what they had learned. The students’ work exceeded my expectations. 

The projects were diverse and relevant to the students’ interests. Fifth Former Sydney Williams interviewed both a family friend who is an immigration attorney and WBUR immigration reporter Shannon Dooling about the Dreamers and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. For her final product, she created a collage about the Dreamers and DACA. She wrote facts that she had learned from her interviews and research in images that she cut out of monarch butterflies and two stop signs. A symbol of the Dreamers, monarch butterflies pass freely over the US/Mexico border. She also included a dream catcher behind an image of the Statue of Liberty, and she superimposed these images on top of a background of the Dream Act.

Final Project by Sydni Williams, featuring information from her interviews.
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Weaving My Past to Grow My Present: VI Form Lion Term Letter to V Formers

By Thomas Scaringella, VI Form

Weaving My Past to Grow My Present: VI Form Lion Term Letter to V Formers

Dear Fifth Form Peers,

First, congratulations on your newly earned title as, Rising 6thFormers! It is a huge accomplishment with many prospects. Seek out all the opportunities you can. Although unrecognizable now, from this day until the end of next year, every experience is going to culminate together and lead you down paths to be explored. Lion Term was one example of this for me.

Since I was little, a fascination of formulas and numbers consumed my inner self. Immersed in the sports section of the Boston Globe invoked motivation, aspiration, and infatuation. The stats were the most intriguing.  Someday, I imagined, I would be like Tom Brady or Big Papi. Or not. There were no unexpected wins for me generating global crazes. However, my love of statistics and teamwork did drive me to the role of an athletic team manager multiple times since 7thgrade. Fast forward, ironically, I had a similar encounter with real estate; the area of focus for my Lion Term project.

Over a year ago, our family was inquiring about real estate in Southern Florida. Initially, the thought was dull. My head was into college visits, a summer job, and seeking out summer activities in the north. Driving around with my family to visit new, humid terrain was not ideal until I sucked it up and forced myself to get engaged. Quickly, I began performing my own research and evaluating stats. Grabbing real estate booklets, snatching the Sunday real estate section of the New York Times, and studying online searches became a pastime. Reviewing home days on market (DOM), analyzing price per square foot, identifying % of increase or decrease in previous selling price, comparing tax assessments and homeowners association fees among various communities, and grasping how much time realtors put into a sale (and at what cost) were among some of my interests. As such, selecting an assignment for Lion Term was a “cushy number.” Fortunately, I established a good relationship with the Florida agents, and they took note of my analysis and enthusiasm. After acquainting the Sister Listers Delray Beach Lang Realty team of Lion Term, they graciously extended an offer to work with Nolan Moore and me. (more…)

American Sign Language to “Youth” by Troye Sivan

By Sarah Bechard, III Form

American Sign Language to “Youth” by Troye Sivan

Editor’s Note: In the St. Mark’s Saturdays’ course “American Sign Language,” the students found resources and learned the signs to perform one whole song in ASL. The goals of the assignment were to learn ASL vocabulary, understand how to sign songs, understand ASL word order, and practice sign fluency. The subtitles reflect ASL word choice and grammar, rather than spoken English grammar.

PLEASE CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW VIDEO

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Project Based Learning in The Global Seminar: The Zamibia Presentation

By Sarah Bechard, Michael Ferlisi, and Sydni Williams, III Form

Project Based Learning in The Global Seminar: The Zamibia Presentation

Editor’s Note: All III Formers took part in The Global Seminar’s project to create a proposal to improve the state of the fictitious country Zamibia. The students collaborated in groups as United Nations Development Programme Sustainable Development Teams. The two artifacts below include the slide presentation that the students delivered to their classmates, teachers, and visitors as well as the video of the presentation.

Click here for Sarah, Michael, and Syndi’s Presentation for Zamibia (more…)

Herbst Musikvideo Projekt: 99 Luftballons

By Lukas Hanenberger, Syndey Howard, Cait Lochhead, Lucy Martinson, Hans Wu, Ryan Yang, and Justin Zhang, VI Form

Herbst Musikvideo Projekt: 99 Luftballons

CLICK IMAGE FOR GERMAN IV’s CLASS VIDEO or CLICK HERE:

Read below for assignment parameters in Mr. Daniel Mertsch’s class (auf Deutsch): (more…)

Spoke’n Revolutions: Bikes, Water, and Soul 2018

By Truman Chamberlin, V Form

Bikes, Water, and Soul 2018

Click on Image for Video Chronicle of the Event.

As we transition into the cold and gloomy winters of New England, we cannot help but think about the warmth of summer. Naturally, for teenagers, the hallmark of summer is summer vacation. When I go through the “God-I-wish-it-were-summer” time, my mind immediately wanders back to the 750-mile bike trip I went on in July. Eleven riders ranging from ages fourteen to seventeen, three adult leaders, and two support van drivers all took a step away from their mundane lives and embarked on a week-long journey through North Carolina. This unforgettable trip was a transcendent experience in my life.
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