Congratulations to our 2014 MHS Graduates!

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On Thursday morning, the MHS community celebrated the Eighth Grade Class of 2014. High Schools our students will attend include: Boston Arts Academy, Boston Community Leadership Academy, Excel High School, Fenway High School, John D. O’Bryant School of Math and … Continue reading

Mission Hill School Out in the World

There has been a great deal of buzz about MHS lately. Books have been written about us, our teacher leadership model has been highlighted on several occasions, and a four-year long film project will culminate in a nationally-aired documentary in the fall.

Please read more…

New England Cable News Network (NECN) met up with our two grade 3/4 classrooms last week, on their annual visit to The Farm School. The segment focused on the deep relationship MHS shares with The Farm School and aired on television Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

Learning Matters, an organization who airs news stories on PBS News Hour, spent the day filming and speaking with Ayla and MHS teachers about teacher leadership for a new campaign Teacher Powered Schools. The piece will be aired nationally during the last week of May (date and time TBA).

Jenerra Williams, Kathy D'Andrea, and Nakia Keizer are interviewed by John Tulenko of Learning Matters for PBS News Hour.

Jenerra Williams, Kathy D’Andrea, and Nakia Keizer are interviewed by John Tulenko of Learning Matters for PBS News Hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Morning Mission Hill (GMMH) was recently accepted as a submission to the National Education Television Association. The hour-long documentary about MHS was created by filmmakers Tom and Amy Valens.  Based on the year that Tom and Amy spent filming the school, GMMH picks up where the ten-part video series, A Year at Mission Hill, left off. GMMH will air on a variety of PBS stations, nationwide in the fall of 2014.

Democracy & Education, an education journal, recently published a favorable review of former MHS teacher Matthew Knoester’s book, Democratic Education in Practice: Inside the Mission Hill School.

 

Carrot Soup from the Farm School!

Last week, The Farm School joined forces with Boston Public Schools Food & Nutrition Services to serve up fresh and delicious carrot soup for MHS students! Students from the Margarita Muñez Academy helped dish out the soup, which was created by The Farm School’s chef, Cristina Garcia. Classes did taste tests and posted results.

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Most students tried the unfamiliar carrot soup. Many discovered that they liked it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many thanks to our Cafeteria Manager, Chris Whitley and staff for supporting this fun and nutritious event!

Here is the recipe:

The Farm School Carrot Soup
Serves 10-12.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cups Yellow onions, chopped (2 medium)
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced (4 cloves)
5 cups Carrots, diced (2 lbs)
3 cups Potatoes, diced (3/4 lbs)
3 cups Turnips, diced (3/4 lbs)
5 tsp Cumin, ground
2 tsp Salt (to taste)
10 cups Water
4 tsp Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Honey
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp Pepper (to taste)

Directions:
1. In a large pot melt butter over medium heat.
2. Add onions, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes or until translucent.
3. Add garlic, continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.
4. Stir in carrots, potatoes, turnips, cumin, salt and water.
5. Simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are easily pierced with a knife.
6. Puree soup with an immersion blender. Or carefully blend in small batches in a regular blender.
7. Pour soup back into large pot. Whisk in lime juice, honey and heavy cream.
8. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Optional Toppings: chopped cilantro, crema, toasted pepitas.

Learning with Legos

On Tuesday afternoons the Mission Hill staff participates in professional development meetings. This week, the focus was on learning with Legos. Many thanks to parent, Steve Banzaert, who helped facilitate.

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MHS parent Steve Banzaert works with K1/K2 teacher Liz Borson and art teacher Jeanne Rachko.

Teachers investigated Duplo kits with simple machines and structures, by following designs. These are a great way for young children to get their hands on materials and start to think about coding.

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Principal Ayla Gavins and Grade 1/2 teacher Jenerra Williams study a design map while building with Duplo Tubes.

Duplo tubes were also used.  Here pre-made designs were followed and then teachers created their own. One challenge was to make a structure that would allow a ball to travel a distance and hit a wall.

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Grade 7/8 teacher Khury Petersen, tests out a Duplo Tube structure with KO paraprofessional Donna Winder and K1/K2 teacher Jada Brown.

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7/8 grade teacher Ann Ruggiero and K0 teacher Geralyn McLaughlin build an EV3 robot.

WeDo is another kit that was examined.  Staff built robots and programmed them, while also teaching themselves new programming techniques.

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Descriptive Inquiry Conference at MHS

On Saturday, a group of 25 educators from over seven states gathered together to exercise the power of collective work to see children more fully and examine school environments. The Prospect Descriptive Review Processes, which provide a unique perspective for thinking about children and their work, were used to deepen that knowledge.

A fall conference for Descriptive Inquiry was traditionally held at the Prospect Archive and Center for Education and Research, which closed in 2010. The Mission Hill School hopes that this conference will continue in the spirit of Prospect’s Fall Conferences.

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A New Schoolyard and a Visit from Mayor Menino

On Friday, the entire MHS community celebrated our two new outdoor play spaces. We also had a special visitor: Mayor Menino! Wearing new green MHS t-shirts, students, staff, families, and visitors sang songs and enjoyed the beautiful warm weather. Special guests from BPS and the Boston Schoolyard Initiative joined the Mayor as he cut the red ribbon (held by two MHS students) with a pair of gold scissors!

Mayor Menino cuts the ribbon!

Mayor Menino cuts the ribbon!

Many thanks go to the Boston Schoolyard Initiative and the teams that designed these spaces. James Sessum and Nancy Leask from the City, Kathy D’Andrea, Jenerra Williams and Ayla Gavins as school staff members, and parents Jessica Parsons, Diane Abrams, and Deborah Gregson.

Families are fundraising to complete the project with an Outlast Block set for children to explore and play with. Donate to the project by visiting tinyurl.com/MHSyard. Thank you!

The Boston Neighborhood Network News reported about the event:

A Conference at Mission Hill School!

Descriptive Review: The Power of Collective Work

Join us as we examine and exercise the power of collective work to see children more fully and examine school environments. The basic content of this conference is the Prospect Descriptive Processes* and the unique perspective they provide for thinking about children and their work.

Saturday, November 23, 2013
8:30 am – 4:30 pm

This one day conference will be held at the Mission Hill K-8 School and lead by MHS staff.

Free for Boston Public School teachers
$25.00 for non-BPS teachers.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE!

Conference Resources

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*With the closing of the Prospect Archive and Center for Education and Research, the institutes formerly known as the Prospect Summer Institutes will be carried forward by a new organization, The Institute on Descriptive Inquiry Inc. There will continue to be two institutes, the Institute on Descriptive Process and the Institute on Descriptive Inquiry, and,as in the recent past, they will be collaboratively planned and facilitated by participants of the Institute on Descriptive Inquiry.

Email info@missionhillschool.org with questions or concerns.

 

How Wonderful to Feel Appreciated!

The following is from this week’s Room 105 newsletter column:

Wednesday was Teacher Appreciation Day! This is one of the only times during the year that all MHS adults stop collectively at lunchtime to sit, eat, chat and dare to relax for an hour. Families organize lunch fixings, which include main dishes, side dishes, various salads, fruits, drinks and the coveted desserts!

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Teachers and staff have an opportunity to sit and eat together. Tables are thoughtfully decorated with flower arrangements AND families take over lunch and recess duties so that everyone may enjoy the amazing meal!

The variety of dishes was incredible. There was even a separate dessert table!

The variety of dishes was incredible. There was even a separate dessert table!

 

Families ALSO provide everyone on staff with a beautiful handmade gift. This year's was a handpainted cookie jar!

Families ALSO provide everyone on staff with a beautiful handmade gift. This year’s was a handpainted cookie jar!

Complete with cookies from our dear neighbors at Fiore's Bakery!

Complete with cookies from our dear neighbors at Fiore’s Bakery!

This year, more than most, it was awesome to have a few moments to stop, reflect and celebrate all that we have accomplished thus far. We have had a tremendous school year. We have successfully settled into our new home. We have welcomed new members- staff, students and families into our community. We have begun to establish new relationships with members of our surrounding community. Our moments of celebration on Wednesday were much appreciated yet there is a lot still to be done. There are curricula to be wrapped up and assessments to be made. Portfolios for 7th and 8th graders are about to begin. We have field trips planned and more end-of-the-year celebrations will take place. Report cards need to be written and rooms need to be packed up. As we move closer to the last day of school, our moments of celebration and appreciation push us on.

Thank you Mission Hill Families for the splendid Teacher Appreciation Day!