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5 Magazines to Use in History Class

Authored by Ian Rusten, History Teacher

As a social studies teacher, I feel a critical need to instill in my students a desire to learn about and read about the world around us—whether current events, long term economic trends, or archeological digs. In my Government and elective classes, students often have to find and bring to class current news stories that catch their eye so we can discuss them.  Most students turn to The New York Times to find articles.  But there are other publications worth investigating to learn about the past and present.  I have selected five publications that I think are first-rate: ·      Archaeology Magazine - This is a great magazine that provides interesting articles on archeological subjects ranging from the history of the Incas in Peru to information on a Roman fort uncovered in Morocco.  ·      Harpers Monthly - This publication features short fiction stories by top writers, as well as in-depth articles on relevant subjects like the Iraq conflict. ·      The Atlantic - This moderate...read more

Topics: magazines, history, Ian Rusten

What It Takes to Learn Your Way: Flexibility

Authored by Michelle Koza, English Teacher

This post is part of a series inspired by Dream School: NYC, a SundanceTV docu-series that follows 15 New York City teenagers who left high school and are now trying to get back on track to graduate. The Beekman School partnered with the show to help customize the learning experience for the students. Follow this blog to learn more and participate in the social media conversations using the hashtag #LearnYourWay.  Personal growth requires curiosity and a variety of experiences. I remember being encouraged as a student to explore all opportunities presented to me and discover myself. However, every time I heard that advice I recall thinking “I can’t wait to graduate high-school and start my exploration phase.” As if, somehow, it was implied that the recommendation was to be followed only once I graduate and I have the time. Looking back, I realize that I felt this way because of the constraints of my school schedule. It is true that not all activities require a lot of effort or time....read more

Topics: Learn Your Way, Dream School, New York, Beekman School, high school, personalized education, personalized learning, flexible schedules, Michelle Koza

Bullying: What Can You Do Now (Not Years From Now)?

Authored by George Higgins, Headmaster

If you’ve ever been the brunt of bullying (and most people have at some point), knowing that it’s just a passing phase and will eventually stop doesn’t really help getting through tomorrow.  The biggest immediate question is: how do you deal with it right now? The most important thing is communication.  Tell people!  Parents need to know who the bullies are and where the bullying is taking place.  Often times, parents can address the problem among themselves.  Since most everyone knows what it feels like to be bullied, no one wants to ignore it if they feel they can do something to prevent it.  Let parents talk to each other and see if they are able to resolve the situation. If the bullying is happening in the classroom, talk to the teacher.  He or she may not be aware of what’s happening since students are adept at hiding this from adults; also, anyone being bullied is probably too afraid to speak up because “snitching” will only make things worse. An experienced teacher with good...read more

Topics: bullying, George Higgins

What It Takes to Learn Your Way: A Sense of Community

Authored by The Beekman School

This post is part of a series inspired by Dream School: NYC, a SundanceTV docu-series that follows 15 New York City teenagers who left high school and are now trying to get back on track to graduate. The Beekman School partnered with the show to help customize the learning experience for the students. Follow this blog to learn more and participate in the social media conversations using the hashtag #LearnYourWay Inclusion: a word you may often hear as a goal for a variety of institutions (schools, private companies, government organizations) that strive to create welcoming and productive communities. Diversity is seen as key. But the road from diversity to inclusion can be a challenging one. Diversity is a complex issue that blends a multitude of factors including ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, language, religion, sexual orientation, geography, and personality (introverts vs. extraverts, for example). How do you bring together such a diverse group of individuals and...read more

Topics: Learn Your Way, Dream School, bullying, diversity, inclusion, high school, personalized education, personalized learning

What to Do About Plagiarism

Authored by Michelle Koza, English Teacher

Plagiarism is one of those things kids know of, but are not sure about. They read something on the Internet and think, “Yes, that’s exactly what I want to say. This person said it better than I ever could,” and then they don’t know what to do. I put a note on a student’s assignment that said we need to chat about plagiarism. This particular student had been having trouble with this consistently the previous year. Because I would be teaching him again, I decided that I would begin a discussion of plagiarism right away. That would give us an opportunity to discuss it throughout the school year. Plagiarism is tricky. I know teachers who have an absolutely virulent attitude towards plagiarism. From that perspective, it is always malicious: the student is trying to pull one over on me! But what is plagiarism, exactly? ·      Using another writer’s words without quoting and citing ·      Paraphrasing or summarizing without citing ·      Copying so many words and ideas that the majority of...read more

Topics: Plagiarism, English, writing, Michelle Koza

What it Takes to Learn Your Way: Getting To Know You

Authored by Maren Holmen, Academic Liaison

This post is part of a series inspired by Dream School: NYC, a SundanceTV docu-series that follows 15 New York City teenagers who left high school and are now trying to get back on track to graduate. The Beekman School partnered with the show to help customize the learning experience for the students. Follow this blog to learn more and participate in the social media conversations using the hashtag #LearnYourWay.  I grew up in a small town; the kind that New Yorkers think is slightly mythical. The kind of town where everyone shows up for basketball games, school concerts, and graduation.  Academic achievements are shared in the local newspaper, and students are celebrated for the ways that they excel both in and outside the classroom.  Small communities allow for the opportunity to know the individual, not just the student.  When your teachers know you, they can help you better understand material that may otherwise present challenges. When your teachers know your strengths, they can...read more

Topics: Learn Your Way, Dream School, New York City private schools, high school, personalized education, personalized learning, career coaching, mentoring, Tutoring School, Maren Holmen

March On?

Authored by Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez, Science Teacher

Last week, more than 300,000 people descended on Manhattan for The People’s Climate March.  Bill DeBlasio, the New York mayor who does not take the subway to work; Leonardo DiCaprio, who often parties on yachts in the south of France; Al Gore, who left in a rather large SUV; and several Californians, who flew 3000 miles, marched with paper signs and coffee cups which they left littered along the route to proclaim their anger at the politicians and people of the world who they feel are not doing enough to help stop the increasing problem of climate change.  Hmmm.  Does anyone else see a problem with this picture? Many of us aren’t ready to give up our high pressure showers and power flush toilets, or to compost our garbage and to use recycled toilet paper, but if we’re going to try to save the planet, instead of just marching, let’s try doing a few small things that could actually make an impact.  Turning off the water while brushing your teeth, for example, is a great place to start...read more

Topics: ecology, Green Mountain Energy, Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez

What it Takes to Learn Your Way: Mentoring

Authored by Anastasia Georgoulis, History Teacher

This post is part of a series inspired by Dream School: NYC, a SundanceTV docu-series co-executive produced by 50 Cent, Chuck D, and Jamie Oliver that follows 15 New York City teenagers who left high school and are now trying to get back on track to graduate. The Beekman School partnered with the show to help customize the learning experience for the students. Follow this blog to learn more and participate in the social media conversations using the hashtag #LearnYourWay To the outside world, I am a history teacher, but I don't think that accurately describes me. I like to think of myself as a mentor who happens to teach history.  I don't just teach events, I educate individuals. I help them discover and understand the material taught in my classroom in a way that is personal to them. The classroom is just one part of each student’s life and his/her school learning experience is heavily influenced by what is going on outside the classroom. Connecting those dots is vital to my success...read more

Topics: Learn Your Way, Dream School, New York, mentoring, personalized education, personalized learning, Anastasia Georgoulis, Vanilla Macias-Rodriguez

Learn Your Way: What it Takes to Build a Dream School

Authored by The Beekman School

This post introduces a series inspired by Dream School: NYC, a SundanceTV docu-series that follows 15 New York City teenagers who left high school and are now trying to get back on track to graduate. Follow this blog to learn more and participate in the social media conversation using the hashtag #LearnYourWay.  When the producers of “Dream School: NYC” called us about partnering with them this season, we were initially surprised. “Working with students who have dropped out of school is not our focus,” we thought. “Why us?” They noted that they had been referred to us because of our ability to create a unique program that could fit the needs of this unusual group of kids. It made perfect sense. This was a great opportunity for Beekman to share the expertise we built in personalized education. After all, we pioneered this movement before there even was such a thing. Most schools look for students who fit their program. However, we make sure the program is designed to fit the student....read more

Topics: Learn Your Way, Dream School, personalized education, personalized learning

5 Reasons Why Teens Should Create Their Own Epic Rap Battle of History

Authored by Anastasia Georgoulis, History Teacher

If you’ve been on the subway recently, you may have noticed ads plastered across the trains for Epic Rap Battles of History. My students introduced me to them last year, and anytime we studied a featured character they’d immediately request to watch the video. Given the enthusiasm my students showed as an audience, I came up with a list of 5 reasons why they should create their own rap battle videos. We all want to be the reason over a million people do something, like watch a video. Most people, as themselves, would be criticized for rapping. Everyone enjoys when Abraham Lincoln raps. Explaining history to someone else is the most effective way to study history. Writing a historically accurate rhyme is a great literacy project. You can propose it as an extra credit project to your history teacher (hint hint, wink wink). Bonus Reason: Ladies, the number of videos featuring female characters from history is seriously lacking. If you need some inspiration, check out this link. My...read more

Topics: rap battles, history, Anastasia Georgoulis

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