Bi-Annual Newsletter

District Connection Masthead

Developing growth mindset & perseverance

Lessons of grit 

Helping students to build grit through carefully planned lessons has become a goal of many educators in District 230. 
“Helping to foster a lifelong passion for learning by building perseverance and long-term goal planning is no small task,” said Sandburg Teacher Desi Vuillaume. “By leveraging technology in the classroom, teachers now have the ability to teach, measure, and foster grit in their classroom.”  
The weaving of Chromebooks into the fiber of the daily classroom has allowed teachers to challenge students with more authentic learning opportunities.  These opportunities challenge students to problem solve their way towards a goal, creating a more college/career focused curriculum.
Psych Fair Blog LogoOne such example would be the annual AP Psychology Fair. Students create a psychology related experiment, research the topic, create a hypothesis, and then design the experiment.  Ultimately, the students will test this experiment on as many Sandburg students as possible.  During this time they are receiving feedback from not only their teacher, but experts in the field of psychology throughout the nation through the use of classroom blogs and email.  
The last part of fostering grit in students is by celebrating the successes of our students accomplishments in class.  The use of tools like Canvas allow students to set goals and track the progress of those goals from assignment to assignment helps to keep them directed and driven.
Learn more about the Psych Fair in this presentation made to the School Board.

Embracing creativity

District 230 has embraced the concept of Makerspace, a collaborative work environment for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech and no tech tools. In these spaces, students are free to explore a new skill, be creative and boost their confidence.
Students holding signs they made in MakerspaceFor example, the Makerspace at Sandburg High School welcomed 17 girls to the school’s woodshop with lunch in hand to sit in on a three day digital manufacturing workshop held by Applied Technology Teacher Mark Diorio. This optional makerspace event was a collaboration between Diorio and Media Specialist Suzanne Hegeman showcasing the current need for women in manufacturing.  
The students learned about various job opportunities, were introduced to numerous machines in the woodshop and were able to have their last names programmed into the Shop Bot machine.  In the end, each student took home a personalized wooden name sign  and an abundance of knowledge of manufacturing.

Breaking out of the box

Teachers from multiple disciplines are creating and having students participate in Breakout Edu games.  These activities require students to think critically and work collaboratively in order to solve a series of content-specific puzzles and “break into” a locked box.  
“Some of the great things about these activities, and why I love to do them in my classes, is that they require students to practice positive communication skills and perseverance,” said Andrew High School Teacher Tracy Sukalo. “Students must learn to work together, tackle problems creatively and not give up.”
To see breakout in action, as well as coding classes and Chromebooks in the classroom, check out the video D230 Innovative Instruction.

close (X)