Friday, September 24, 2010

Visible Thinking from Project Zero from Harvard Graduate School

We have spent a great deal of time looking at thinking in the 21st century and the connection to literacy strategies.  Project Zero, from Harvard Graduate School, has researched strategies and the impact on thinking.  

Here are some links to provide information on this topic.

Visible Thinking

Project Zero Research

Please try to take a look before our next meeting.

Free Webinar by ISTE - Please note a discussion on project-based learning in the digital age. Enjoy!

Dear ISTE Friends:

This month, ISTE SIGMS is hosting a very special event for our inaugural webinar of the school year.  “Meet the ISTE Authors” will bring to you the authors of three popular and well-known ISTE publications.  James Lerman, author of Retool Your Schools: The Educator’s Essential Guide to Google’s Free Power Apps will highlight the most powerful Google tools to impact teaching and learning in your schools.  Christopher Shamburg, the author of Student-Powered Podcasting: Teaching for 21st Century Literacy will provide practical tips and examples of student-created podcasts that are directly tied to instruction.  The authors of Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age, Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss, will bring to you a wealth of ideas for PBL projects that you can successfully implement with your students.

Jumpstart your school year with fresh ideas that will engage and energize your students!  This webinar will take place on Tuesday, Sept 28th at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT.  See for more information and the link to log onto the webinar.  All educators, librarians, and administrators are welcome to this free webinar, so please forward this invitation to other listservs.


Lisa E. Perez
Chicago Public Schools Dept of Libraries
Area Library Coordinator (HS)
CPS Professional Librarian
Medill Training Center
1326 W. 14th Pl, Rm 216
Chicago, Illinois  60608
773-553-6212 (ph), 773-553-6211 (fax)
ISTE Media Specialists SIG Chair (SIGMS)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodbye to Jakarta

Today is my final day in Jakarta.  I met with an assembly of parents this morning and reviewed the literacy assessment information they will be receiving as well as what they can do to help their students with literacy - in their mother tongue and in English.  We had an excellent turn out.

Following are some more pictures of the staff and students in the academy.  Note that the layout of the school is purposefully designed to promote conversation and collaboration.  

Classes are small ranging from 7-23.  

Most students are non-English speakers.  

Indonesian teachers teach alongside English speaking teachers and special classes for Chinese are offered. 

Children learn to speak, read, and write - Chinese, English, and Balinese.

Part of performing arts center -

art, dance, music, and drama are important elements of the school curriculum.

Second Graders

Second Grade Reading Assessment - in English

"Cafeteria" - here it is referred to as the piazza - Montessori's influence

Small group interaction ...
the beginning of collaboration!

Collaboration between adults and students...eye to eye and knee to knee.

Children everywhere ...

regardless of age...

and language...

Love Stories!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sinamars World Academy

Sinamars World Academy is owned and funded by the Sina Mars company.   

It is located in BSD City, a city built and owned by the Sina Mars corporation.

The Sinamars World Academy campus is still under construction.

Bruce Ashton is the principal of the elementary schools on the campus.

The buildings were designed by an architectural firm out of Boston, Massachusetts.  The focus of the design was to create an open feeling where students can flow from one place to another.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday, Here.

I apologize to my readers for being tardy with my posts.  This week has been hectic, but rewarding.  I have learned a great deal from students and teachers alike.  

Today, I spent time at the new school that is being opened in down town Jakarta.  I would like to share today with you and create a lengthier post this weekend on the week at the Sinarmas Academy in BSD City.

The new school opened this year and is located on the 8th floor of a business building.  It was begun as a request from parents to create a branch of the Sinarmas Academy closer to their homes.  This is understandable when you consider the traffic situation here.  It sometimes takes 4 hours to go 15 miles during the rush hours.


The school itself is located on the main street of Jakarta in a fairly affluent area.

Like all of Indonesia, the affluent is alongside the poverty stricken.

As always,  security is tight.

Because of the location of the school, students have recess outside on a balcony fenced in with plexi-glass.            

 The students begin here in the toddler session - 16 months - for half days. 

Students are then grouped, 3/4 and 4/5 - all half days.

Some come to school with their Nannies.

This is my bud, Albert. 

He is shy and hesitant to talk -

but he loves to sing:)

Students then go to first grade - the last grade in the building.

There are 13 in this grade.  

The other grades have about 5-8.

The school is all about language.  

Children learn to speak:  Indonesian, English, and Chinese!

Here are some of the resources available to teachers and students alike.

Discovery Tunnel


 Today I worked with teachers on literacy assessment.  
We had readers early 5's and on.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Arrival in Jakarta

I arrived in Jakarta on September 11 - 10 back in the states.  We had mechanical difficulties that delayed the flight for two days and resulted in an overnight in Hong Kong.  As I stepped off of the plane, I reminded myself, I needed to observe with an open mind.  My prior knowledge of Jakarta is based solely on news casts in the U.S. - mostly in relation to 9/11.  I was in D.C. the day the Pentagon was hit and I carry that experience with me.  The sadness is overwhelming - personal.
Following is a journal of my trip.  I will try to post daily.

  1. The wait at immigration was lengthy, but pleasant.  There was a noticeable lack of a military presence.  Immigration officials all spoke English and were personable.  Signs were written using the Dutch (same as ours) alphabet, with a minimum of what appeared to be Arabic?  
  2. Bruce met the plane with his driver.  In general, people appeared happy - and met us in a polite manner, appearing glad to see us.  
  3. The security began as we left the airport and drove to the hotel.  Everywhere we have gone in the last few days - including Giant (AKA Walmart in the states) - there has been security to examine the car.  All parking lots and communities are gated.  Everyone appears to accept this - the process is smooth and efficient.
  4. The utter poverty and incredible affluence live side by side.  
  5. Traffic is the same as China.  No police - everyone for himself - including pedestrians.  I have heart failure at least once every 5 minutes, but everyone else seems casual about this.  Motor bikes, very common here, zip in and out with no fear - whole families on board (2 adults and 1 or 2 small children0 - and sometimes (I think) no vision!
  6. Street vendors are interspersed between huge malls - some have stalls and some work the meager traffic lights.
  7. This is a country of religions.  The population is mixed - Muslims being dominant and Christian and Catholic (these two are separated) being the two runner ups.  You are greeted with what is your religion, not what is your job. 
  8. The population's dress reflects this mix of religions - mostly among the women.  So far, the Muslim dress for women I have seen consists of a head - not face - covering, trousers, and long sleeve tunics.  The material varies.  The majority of the population I have seen so far, dresses with a western influence - jeans, shorts, t-shirts, etc. - men, women, and children.
  9. Almost everyone speaks 2 languages - some three.  Even the children.
  10. Families are everywhere.  Men appear to take a role in child care.
  11. Morning prayer is broadcast throughout the city about 4:30 AM.  Here in the hotel, I listen as devotees rise and join in.
  12. I have not heard evening prayer.  Jet lag?
  13. Muslims have just finished Ramadan.  Everywhere you go, you see green and yellow decorations to celebrate.  The schools have been on break for a week.-More Tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Collaboration Between Cultures

We will be looking at collaboration first hand during the upcoming year.  Teachers from the Sinarmas World Academy in Jakarta, Indonesia and our literacy/technology committee will begin their plans this week on collaborative projects between the two schools.  Some will be at the pupil level and some at the teacher level.

The teachers will follow the process with reflections that will help us to fine tune the rubric we are building to assess collaboration in the classroom.

We are all eager to explore this avenue during the 2010-2011 year.  

Please follow us as we record our journey on this blog.

Following is some information on the academy that will be teaming with us.  Enjoy!

The Sinarmas World Academy is located in downtown Jakarta, Indonesia - a large, modern, industrial city.   Here it is at rush hour.

The school is a new and has recently been expanded, incorporating all of the most up to date technology available.

Here are photos of the new library followed by an article from the Jakarta Post written by Bruce Ashton, Elementary Principal of the Sinarmas World Academy.  He will be our contact for our literacy and technology pilot.

The Jakarta Post Logo


Quality education must be relevant to today

Bruce Ashton, Contributor, Jakarta | Sun, 05/02/2010 9:42 AM | Focus
A | A | A |
As a society our basis for what quality is always falls close to home as the style in which we learned was such that we achieved success. This in most cases is because our learning style enabled us to read, write, comprehend, retain facts and formulas and regurgitate them back upon demand. Our learning style was one where we showed strength logically and linguistically and fortunately for us our society valued schools set up to support children with these strengths. Unfortunately this type of thinking has a glitch, and as time and technology have moved forward we have begun to question why some of the world’s most successful businesspeople, such as Bill Gates or Richard Branson, never completed higher level mathematics, or even graduated from high school. Surely their success must be an anomaly or perhaps a freak of nature? Their inability to succeed in a traditional way was in fact their greatest asset as their learning in a different way provided opportunities to succeed. In 1983 Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University came forward with eight different intelligences to account for a broader ranger of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences were Linguistic (“word smart”): Logical-mathematical (“number/reasoning smart”) Spatial (“picture smart”) Bodily-Kinesthetic (“body smart”) Musical (“music smart”) Interpersonal (“people smart”) Intrapersonal (“self smart”) Naturalist (“nature smart”). Dr. Gardner’s multiple intelligences provided eight different potential pathways to learning. Suddenly educators were having ‘Aha’ moments as this really made sense. Forward thinking schools that were having difficulty reaching students in the more traditional or logical ways of instruction began to apply the theory of multiple intelligences using several means in which the material presented made learning possible and more effective. Quality schools that believe in what is best for student learning seized this opportunity to better meet the needs of all children, examining all potentials and developing all opportunities for success. With the knowledge explosion growing at an exponential rate our need for a multi-talented workforce increases. No longer do we require an employee who can do just one thing, but rather a person who can operate in a variety of ways in a multitude of situations. Quality schools focus on producing 21st century learners that are internationally minded, multi-lingual, collaborative, knowledgeable, risk takers, creative and problem solvers. Wealth creation today is all about being creative, collaborating and the communicating of new ideas or products, not just reproducing or copying the same old things from days gone by. The challenges of today’s global society demand that quality schools provide opportunities to learn in way that best utilizes how students learn. These opportunities must be relevant and meaningful and in an environment that not only challenges but also stimulates. Quality education must be relevant to today and not follow the model of the past based on testing, retention of knowledge or ranking. By continuing to do this, our children and our societies will be left behind while others who have embraced change forge ahead. We must let go of our old beliefs of what quality is and begin challenging our education systems to develop quality schools that best meet the needs of all learners for the 21st century. The writer is elementary principal of Sinarmas World Academy. For more information you can go to these websites on the academy:
Over the next two weeks, I will be working at the school and posting on a daily basis.  Please join in and feel free to comment and ask questions.  Darlene