JMSG Faculty/Staff attend conferences and workshops throughout the summer and school year to enhance their curriculum and expertise.
This was one of the most rewarding professional development experiences I have ever had. The opportunity to put our learning into practice with kids right away was so powerful. 

List of 5 items.

  • Annual Convention for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

    Caro and Juanita joined 6,000 language teachers in San Antonio on November 21-23 to attend various professional development sessions on language teaching. The theme for the year was "Reaching Global Competence." They chose to attend the convention because of the organization's leadership in establishing proficiency guidelines and because its membership and speakers use a broad array of teaching methodologies beyond their own training.

    Between the two teachers, they attending roughly 20 workshops on topics ranging from useful language resources on Pinterest, to choice homework systems, to using memes and humor to creating lesson plans that involve food authentically. Additionally, the experience bolstered their dedication to eliciting authentic output from students and inspired them with new ideas for encouraging whole-class engagement and conversation.
  • California Math Council

    Corinne has attended two California Mathematics Council conferences (the South chapter conference in October and the North chapter conference in December) and has come away from both experiences *very* excited about current trends in Mathematics instruction!

    She's been thrilled to hear so many educators presenting and sharing about the strong movement around growth mindset and mistake resiliency in the Math community right now, which validates what we emphasize at JMSG starting in 6th grade--making mistakes is important and having the confidence to delve into your errors with your peers builds real-world skills around problem solving.

    She has also been learning more about various ways that teachers are implementing the problem solving and modeling aspects of the new Common Core standards and how classroom activities and discussion can help students gain a strong conceptual understanding of Math concepts instead of simply practicing rote memorization of formulas and rules.

    Corinne is excited to be learning more ways to engage students and encourage them to apply their multiple intelligences and to continue supporting girls to build their confidence and enthusiasm for Math!
  • Inquiry Through Science & Engineering Practices

    This course provides a focus on inquiry instruction through the use of Science and Engineering Practices for grade K to 16 teachers in science education. Students will identify the components of inquiry in the context of Science and Engineering Practices as described in the National Research Council (NRC) Framework for K-12 Science Education.
  • Perception and the Brain at The Exploratorium

    In this workshop, participants are challenged to experiment with their brain. Looking at visual illusions using Exploratorium exhibits, using online interactive material, and also using “Snacks,” teachers create simple versions of these exhibits. These illusions help teachers understand how neurons work and how they communicate. They also made models of neurons, exploring how neurons can have excitatory and inhibitory interactions and then saw how such interactions produce common visual perceptions. 
  • Spiro Inquiry

    Spiro Inquiry is a digital design fabrication-based investigation using an app that was created for exploring the properties of “spirograph” geometry. The designs and properties of spirograph patterns are explored in two ways: hands-on with digitally designed, physically fabricated gears and also on-screen with the free app. This workshop focuses on an inquiry approach to math and science education, an established approach to learning STEM content that is embedded within Exploratorium exhibits and programs. Participants experience the inquiry as learners by investigating mathematical ideas while making beautiful patterns that are designed virtually and then made into real objects using a craft cutter and a laser cutter. The workshop culminates in a discussion on how a pedagogical structure for inquiry can support learning math and science content in the context of these new forms of making. 

Book Corner

In considering the recent national conversations about character, confidence, and different cultural approaches to education, as well as our own ongoing work around equity and inclusion and research-based pedagogy, Head of School Sandra Luna chose the following summer reading offerings (click below to read Goodreads reviews) for JMSG Faculty/Staff. The goal is that the books will help our professional community engage in a fruitful dialogue about our core JMSG values, which will be the lens through which we make decisions about curriculum, homework, and standardized testing.

List of 4 items.

  • "A Whole New Mind" by Daniel Pink

    "The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't.

    Drawing on research from around the world, Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment--and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that's already here."
  • "How Children Succeed" by Paul Tough

     "The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: Success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs.

    But in "How Children Succeed," Paul Tough argues for a very different understanding of what makes a successful child. Drawing on groundbreaking research in neuroscience, economics, and psychology, Tough shows that the qualities that matter most have less to do with IQ and more to do with character: skills like grit, curiosity, conscientiousness, and optimism.

    "How Children Succeed" introduces us to a new generation of scientists and educators who are radically changing our understanding of how children develop character, how they learn to think, and how they overcome adversity. It tells the personal stories of young people struggling to stay on the right side of the line between success and failure. And it argues for a new way of thinking about how best to steer an individual child – or a whole generation of children – toward a successful future.

    This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers; it will also change our understanding of childhood itself."
  • "The Confidence Code" by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

    "Is confidence hardwired into the DNA of a lucky few—or can anyone learn it? Is it best expressed by bravado, or is there another way to show confidence? Which is more important: confidence or competence? Why do so many women, even the most successful, struggle with feelings of self-doubt? Is there a secret to channeling our inner confidence?

    In The Confidence Code, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman travel to the frontiers of neuroscience on a hunt for the confidence gene and reveal surprising new research on its roots in our brains. They visit the world's leading psychologists who explain how we can all chose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They interview women leaders from the worlds of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. They examine how a lack of confidence impacts our leadership, success, and fulfillment.

    Ultimately, they argue, while confidence is partly influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state. That's the good news. You won't discover it by thinking positive thoughts or by telling yourself (or your children) that you are perfect as you are. You also won't find it by simply squaring your shoulders and faking it. But it does require a choice: less people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking, and fast failure.

    Inspiring, insightful, and persuasive, The Confidence Code shows that by acting on our best instincts and by daring to be authentic, women can feel the transformative power of a life on confidence."
  • "The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way" by Amanda Ripley

    "America has long compared its students to top-performing kids of other nations. But how do the world’s education superpowers look through the eyes of an American high school student? Author Amanda Ripley follows three teenagers who chose to spend one school year living and learning in Finland, South Korea, and Poland. Through their adventures, Ripley discovers startling truths about how attitudes, parenting, and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries’ education results.

    In The Smartest Kids in the World, Ripley’s astonishing new insights reveal that top-performing countries have achieved greatness only in the past several decades; that the kids who live there are learning to think for themselves, partly through failing early and often; and that persistence, hard work, and resilience matter more to our children’s life chances than self-esteem or sports.

    Ripley’s investigative work seamlessly weaves narrative and research, providing in-depth analysis and gripping details that will keep you turning the pages. Written in a clear and engaging style, The Smartest Kids in the World will enliven public as well as dinner table debates over what makes for brighter and better students"