Showing posts from December, 2017

#HollistonInnovates Teaches that “It Takes a Village…”

If you’re ever walking the halls of Holliston High School, I encourage you to visit Studio370, a remarkable space tucked behind the cafeteria where student art work is always being displayed.  This year, the space has been devoted to the construction of the project “It Takes a Village”, an art community project where students from Placentino, Miller
, Adams and HHS are working together to create a city solely from cardboard.  Students work independently or in small groups to design and build a dwelling, office building, person, animal or object that they believe exists or should exist in a community.  Teachers and parents are also helping out by supplying recyclable cardboard that serves as the raw materials for this ambitious project.                 While many parents recognize the role that the fine arts can play in developing a student’s creativity, projects like this go further – encouraging students to collaborate in small and large groups to build a cohesive vil…

5th Graders learn about Ancient Civilizations through Project-Based Learning

Two of Holliston's earliest adopters, Miller School 5th grade teachers Sara Peters and Ashley DeRoy have already been featured once in this blog.  In my October 5th entry, I highlighted the Longitude/Latitude unit they redesigned, experimenting with a different way for students to highlight their learning -- an "Amazing Race" inspired group "competition" for students to follow longitude and latitude clues to find their way to their final destination.  What I didn't highlight in that description was my wonder at the courage that Ms. Peters and Ms. DeRoy showed during the development of that lesson.  Unsure of the outcome and whether or not the unit was going to be successful, they bravely invited me to observe the students as part of their public exhibition.  That takes a lot of guts.

I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me then, that I received another invitation to visit their classes -- this time to view their students' presentations on their Pre…

Educators across Mass and US react to #HollistonInnovates News Story

On Thursday, November 9, a story appeared on a local Boston television station highlighting Holliston innovative approach to classroom instruction. For those of you who may have missed it, the link to the broadcast story is

Over the course of the next several days educators shared this story across social media. Reactions to the story we’re both strong and immediate and, in testimony to the power of social media, came from as far away as Hawaii. I thought my readers might find both the content and the strength of the reactions noteworthy.

One Massachusetts educator wrote: “Someone once gave me a plaque that read: ‘All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men/women to do nothing.’ Congratulations [to Holliston] on your MCAS stance! The policy makers in [community name deleted] haven’t a clue regarding what’s involved in the testing process: computers for all, classr…