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Showing posts from 2016

Being a Learner During an Election Season

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By Mr. Hussey, American Studies (US History) Facilitator 
For a myriad of reasons, the 2016 election has captured the interest and passions of the nation. If one follows the expansive coverage of it on social media, television, or radio, they will soon encounter commentators using a style of combative, polarizing, and absolutist rhetoric that impels readers and listeners to take a stand. For high school learners closely following their first election, this type of rhetoric can be difficult to navigate. Young people have been thrown into this unique political moment, and tasked with not only their understanding of elections and politics, but also the social act of “talking politics.” Learners, however, are resilient, and throughout this election they have found ways to express themselves.
Three New Tech High @ Coppell juniors shared their reflections on what it is like to be a learner during the 2016 election.

Carson Winnecker
This election is arguably the most controversial election in U…

Senior vs Facilitator Games: Culture Through Competition

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Senior-Facilitator Games at NTH@C By Luke Armstrong, Emily Petty, and Zane Porter Texas is known for football and Friday Night Lights. The players and coaches prepare for the weekly battle and the cheerleaders, bands, students, parents, and fans ready themselves to cheer on their team and occasionally talk trash to (and about) the opposing team. New Tech High @ Coppell has a tradition of encouraging the senior class and the facilitators to field teams for multiple athletic events throughout the year. The senior class is responsible for planning and getting approval for the games. Last Wednesday, the games began with the first of many competitions—football. While the game is seven-on-seven, one-hand touch football, the game is no less intense than tackle football and requires passionate, athletic play. The facilitators got the best of the seniors this year, but that only motivates the seniors to work together to try and beat the facilitators in the basketball game this December. Facilitat…

Punkin' Chunkin': Learning in the Classroom and Teaching in the Community

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The fall season captivates us:  cooler temperatures, falling leaves, shorter days, and flying pumpkins. Well, maybe flying pumpkins aren’t the norm everywhere but on the New Tech High @ Coppell campus, this season elicits the excitement that partners with the physics legacyproject Punkin’ Chunkin’.

NTH@C hosts a Fall Festival each year highlighting the launch of pumpkins across the school’s back lawn. Punkin’ Chunkin’ is a project in which the learners choose to create a trebuchet or a catapult that will launch a pumpkin a predetermined distance and land in a 55 gallon bucket. Learners must stay within a specific budget, show mathematical understanding of the angular launch, and actually build the catapult or trebuchet.

At New Tech, learners aren’t told what they have to learn - they are dropped into projects that make them ask for content. In this project, learners request workshops from their facilitator, Mr. Hesse, about mathematics, design, and construction in order to create these…

Design Your Future: Senior Capstone Projects

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Recently, one of our graduates was mentioned in an article about a local company called Gemmy that is bringing innovation to our community. You can see the article at http://www.coppellcitizensadvocate.com/
Or here: 


After reading it, I was reminded that we have learners every year who are able to go off to college or careers with a vast toolbox for success. Senior Capstone Projects hone skills and knowledge while also allowing our learners to make an impact on the world. The professionalism that our learners demonstrate in the process and come to embody is heavily embedded in our system. Read below for thoughts about the benefit of Capstone and an overview of the process. 
A short interview about the benefits of Capstone:With Malcolm Smith, NTH@C graduate and current Gemmy employee
Q1: Can you think of a project/class that directly helped you with what you are doing at Gemmy?
A1: I don’t think any one class or project can be credited for what I am doing at Gemmy. It was the overall work …

Networking Olympics: Creating Family and Building A Positive School Culture

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For the last couple of years, New Tech High @ Coppell has held various Wonderful Wednesday events that promote a positive school culture and build a sense of family and shared community. Our campus is split into 20+ teams of learners that are comprised of learners 9-12. The learners choose their own team names, design a t-shirt and develop their own chants/cheers or other methods of group affiliation.
Days like this are important to our school because our school doesn't offer traditional forms of involvement like band, choir, athletics, etc. Our learners are able to participate in those things by busing to the larger high school campus, but it is also important for us to have a shared identity around school events.
Networking Olympics took place on September 21st and as the new principal of the campus, I feel that I really got to see what makes this place home. The day began with an opening ceremony followed by the playing of various athletic (think big kid field day) and intellectu…

In Praise of Collaboration

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At NTH@C our work focuses on five learner outcomes: agency, collaboration, knowledge and thinking, oral communication, and written communication. The outcome that has most struck me in the last week is that of collaboration. From the moment learners arrive at school in the morning, to the moment they leave, they are challenged to engage in learning through various methods. At the heart of a number of these methods is the use of collaborative learning structures to strengthen the learning experience.

Cornell University explains collaborative learning:  "Collaborative learning is based on the view that knowledge is a social construct. Collaborative activities are most often based on four principles:The learner or student is the primary focus of instruction.Interaction and "doing" are of primary importanceWorking in groups is an important mode of learning.Structured approaches to developing solutions to real-world problems should be incorporated into learning."
For more …

Empowering Learners with First Week Projects

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At New Tech High @ Coppell, the school year begins with a sort of induction period for our learners. During this time, learners are put in grade level groups for first week projects and they also spend time in what will become their networking groups for the year. Networking groups are comprised of students from all grade levels and help to create the unique family atmosphere that exists at NTH@C. This week's blog spotlight is about our first week projects from two perspectives. Next week, we will feature some of our seniors and their community partner projects.
The Facilitator Perspectiveby Mr. Kolby Kerr, Senior English Facilitator, NTH@C
Senior year is special—it’s the year when it’s finally all about you.  At NTH@C, learners hear a different message.  During the first three days of school, learners participate in a first week project before diving into their content courses.  It’s a way to re-engage in our project-based process and start the year by making a real impact in the c…