After attending a four day summer conference in Boston on “Technology in the World Language Classroom,” RCS World Language Facilitator, Kathy Perry, returned to school with a mission: to bring iPads into our French, Spanish, and Latin classrooms. “There are so many exciting ways that iPads are being used in language classrooms across the country,” Mrs. Perry explained. “The nimbleness and flexibility of the iPad makes it a great tool for the modern world language classroom. Bringing iPads into my 7th, 8th, and 9th grade Spanish classes has allowed me to engage with students in a new and dynamic way.”
Currently, iPads are being used to enhance classroom learning at RCS in both French and Spanish. Mrs. Perry's fellow language teachers - Mrs. Pleitez, Mrs. Englis, and Mrs. Lespes - also report that integrating iPads into their classrooms has increased students’ engagement in lessons and given them a new way to interact with, and immerse themselves in, the language and culture they are studying.
A sample of the applications currently being tested as part of this pilot program include:
Kahoot! -- Kahoot! is a student response system for creating and administering unique, game-like quizzes. Questions, along with answer choices, are projected onto the classroom SmartBoard while students submit responses from an iPad. It is a compelling and easy way to engage students in pre-assessment activities that give students immediate feedback and allows the teacher to see which material requires extra review before a formal assessment. It is so motivating that students can't wait to play.
ThingLink -- ThingLink for iPad lets you create interactive images instantly. It is a great alternative method of presenting information on a topic. Students can link text, audio clips, video clips, photos, maps, and other information to a single picture, organizing their references. These “ThingLinks” can be created by the teacher ahead of time and uploaded to the homework portal as well. They can also be displayed and shown on the classroom SmartBoard.
Sphere -- Sphere allows students to look at photographs taken in a 360 degree fashion. As they turn right with the iPad, they look to the right in the photo. As they tilt it up, they see the sky. Sphere allows students to feel transported to just about anywhere in the world. Through Sphere, students can visit a street in Paris, a castle in Madrid, a sunny beach in Mexico, or a snow covered bridge in Belgium. This allows for a fantastic new way to teach the prepositions of location, and the language of weather, time of day, and descriptions. The iPad can be linked to the classroom’s SmartBoard so that, as a single student tilts and rotates the iPad, the whole class "sees" the changing view displayed.
Tagul -- Tagul is a word cloud app that allows students to choose a silhouette of a picture and then input related words to create the image. This can be created by the teacher and used by the students to categorize the words or created by the students and used as a visual in a display where they talk about their interests.
In addition, our French and Spanish textbooks have many digital listening, reading comprehension, mapping, and grammar review activities. Bringing iPads into the classroom means that these activities can be done in class, allowing the teacher to circulate and give individual attention and address the areas that each student is struggling to learn, or to individualize review time and activities in class. iPads are also being used as an alternative method of assessing listening skills, and to enhance students’ research and presentation skills.
Mr. Lillis is currently researching a dictionary app that he believes wil
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk is a Success!
RCS Announces New Head of School
Thank you to everyone who supported RCS in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Manhattanville on Sunday, October 19th.
We raised over $1,000 for this great cause and we had a great time walking. We could feel all of the positive energy around us!
Thank you again for your donations and for supporting our team!
Rippowam Cisqua School is pleased to announce the appointment of Colm MacMahon as its 17th Head of School. To read the announcement from Kirtley Cameron, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Will McLanahan, Chair of the Search Committee, please click HERE. We look forward to welcoming Colm and his family to RCS in July 2015!
Homecoming is Coming!
It couldn’t have been a more perfect day for a community-wide celebration on Saturday, September 27th. The sun was shining and the excitement in the air was contagious as hundreds of parents, students, alumni, parents of alumni, and faculty and staff joined together on Meyers Fields for the All School Picnic and Homecoming 2014.
The children enjoyed lots of activities including water balloon toss, bouncy castles, face painting, and tug of war as many of the adults, older students, and alums watched the football game. The Varsity Football team emerged triumphant again this year, beating Iona Prep 32-8.
The perfect ending to a perfect day came in the form of a great barbecue lunch as the RCS Community came together for another successful Homecoming Day.
Check out some great photos from the event! And click HERE
to view the upcoming athletics schedule. All RCS Community members are encouraged to come out to the beautiful playing fields on the Upper Campus to watch the games!
Parents, students, alumni, parents of alumni, and all faculty and staff are invited to the All School Picnic and Homecoming 2014 on Saturday, September 27th!
Ninth Graders Experience the Institute of Culinary Education
Meyers Fields - Upper Campus
439 Cantitoe Street, Bedford
10:30am - childrens' activities begin
11:00am - kick off
Lunch to follow
The RCS Varsity Football team is ready to take on Iona Prep!
School Spirit will be in full effect on the Lower Campus on Friday as students kick off the Homecoming festivities with a great Pep Rally led by the 9th Grade Red and Blue Team Captains! And on Saturday, alumni from the classes of 1963 and 1964 will return to the Upper Campus for their 50th Reunion!
Hope to see everyone at Homecoming on Saturday!
School is Back in Session at RCS!
An Unexpected Surprise
On Thursday morning, September 18th, as the ninth graders began to settle into Mrs. Stern’s history class, Mr. Barrett came in wearing a serious expression on his face. The ninth graders thought they were in trouble for something but then he asked a student to read a note that said “You are all going to NYC for a surprise.” The students looked confused. Then Mrs. Stern shouted "surprise!" and everyone started to cheer and smile.
Mr. Barrett said "The bus is waiting for you next to the swings. Let's go!" Like honeybees to the hive, students ran out the door toward the bus. After a quick ride to NYC and a screening of Dead Poets Society, we arrived at ICE (the Institute of Culinary Education). Students wore smiles from ear to ear as they entered the lobby of ICE. Almost immediately the discussion turned to food and they began chattering about what they might eat.
Our mouths watered as we were greeted by the scrumptious fragrance of fresh basil, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese that teased our taste buds. Black and white uniformed waiters greeted us with trays decorated with picturesque butler-style Italian hors d'oeuvres such as arrancini and bruschetta. Students were divided into three groups and each cooked one course under the direction of a chef. The appetizer group prepared fresh ricotta, spinach, and herb ravioli with parmesan and lemon broth; the main course group prepared hanger steak with salsa verde, chanterelle mushrooms, bacon, and creamy potatoes; and the dessert group prepared molten chocolate cake with cinnamon crème anglaise. After much hard work, many giggles, and numerous tastes of delicious ingredients in the kitchen, the students had worked up an appetite.
It was time to sit and break bread for lunch. We feasted our eyes and our taste buds on the plates that were placed before us on elegant tables set for a fine dining experience. Students scarfed down the ravioli and devoured the steak and delicate chanterelle mushrooms, which the chef had told them cost $40 per pound. The finale was the chocolate cake as each student had his or her own small individual cake. Plates looked as though they had been licked clean as dessert was the clear winner. Afterwards, the ninth graders quickly fell into a blissful “food coma” as we boarded the bus back home and watched the movie “Freaky Friday.” Toward the end of the ride, the students happily erupted into song. It was truly a day none of us would ever forget.
"Surprise days" such as this one are part of the larger program provided in Rippowam Cisqua's ninth grade Capstone Year
Congratulations to the Class of 2014!!
On a beautiful, sunny September morning, students, families, and teachers across both campuses celebrated the start of a new school year. With the "shorts clause" in full effect (that welcome wrinkle in the School uniform policy that kicks in when the weather forecast calls for temperatures of 75 degrees or more), both campuses came to life this morning as friends reconnected with each other and teachers welcomed their eager and excited new students. Parents gathered on the Lower Campus for a Welcome Back Coffee and Parents Association meeting, where they were welcomed by Head of School Matthew Nespole and other members of the School community. It was an exciting day for the entire RCS community! The 97th year of teaching and learning at Rippowam Cisqua School has officially begun!
RCS Receives Green Award
Congratulations to the ninth grade graduates (class of 2014) and to the departing eighth graders (class of 2015). Have a wonderful summer!!
Kindling the Torches of a New Generation of Activists
On Tuesday, June 3rd, the Town of Bedford Conservation Board presented their annual Green Awards, and Rippowam Cisqua School was honored to be among the recipients. The Green Awards were presented to those organizations that work to protect and preserve the Town of Bedford's environment, and RCS was highlighted for its commitment to environmental sustainability in all aspects of school life. The Conservation Board particularly highlighted Rippowam Cisqua School's use of the Rocket Composter, the community garden on the Upper Campus, the School's water conservation efforts, and the School's energy conservation efforts--including the installation and use of solar panels.
The award was presented to Head of School Matthew Nespole at Bedford Town Hall and, in his acceptance remarks, Matthew thanked the Town of Bedford, the Conservation Board, and all of the members of the RCS community--the faculty, staff, parents, students, and parents of alumni--who implement and support the School's sustainability efforts each and every day. Matthew also thanked and acknowledged Director of Buildings and Grounds John Della Vecchia and the entire Buildings and Grounds team for all that they do each day to advance the School's sustainability initiatives.
Congratulations to the entire RCS community on this award! Sustainability is a community-wide effort at Rippowam Cisqua School, and this award is shared by all who work each day to advance the School's mission. Special thanks to the Town of Bedford and the Conservation Board for supporting and acknowledging these efforts through this wonderful awards program! For more on Rippowam Cisqua School's commitment to sustainability, please click HERE
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“To whom will you pass the torch that you have carried for years?” When this question was posed in the past, Gloria Steinem’s answer was, “We all have our own torches to carry through life. All I can do is help spark your torch so you can light the way for others.” On Thursday, May 22nd, the RCS ninth grade class, along with faculty chaperones Kate Daly and Mike Kober, had the opportunity to meet Ms. Steinem at her apartment in New York City. Arrangements for this meeting were made through RCS parent Greg Fleming.
Ms. Steinem graciously opened her home to the class and discussed her experiences; more importantly, she carefully listened to the thoughtful questions our students had about justice and freedom of expression in society. Ms. Steinem’s livingroom was alive with insightful dialogue between her and the students, and she pointed out that the ninth graders were now part of the history of the room where she and others had created Ms. Magazine, as well as the Women’s Action Alliance and the National Women’s Political Caucus.
Some of the discussion centered on women who inspired Ms. Steinem, many of whom are not recognized for their achievements. Among those women are Radia Perlman, whose work made the Internet possible, and Inez Jessie Baskin, who inspired a young Baptist minister by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. to support the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. These women contributed to American history, but they are never mentioned in our history books.
Many poignant questions were raised, including those that dealt with rules and regulations in society. Ms. Steinem’s responses were focused on respect and equality. Rules that are directed against a specific group, and not equally applied to all members of a society, are oppressive for the targeted group and are therefore unjust. Ms. Steinem’s responses to the questions about the future of people who are marginalized by society were hopeful. She pointed out the progress that has been made with respect to the Marriage Equality Act in New York and other states.
Ms. Steinem spoke about how a single gender college was very beneficial to her. At the time she was in college (in the 1950s), women in coeducational institutions were pushed to the side but, at Smith College, she felt important and had equal opportunities.
There were quite a few lessons that the ninth graders learned, including: be true to yourself and strive for equality and respect in the world. Although the struggle may be difficult, and protests seem unproductive, it is worth the effort if it brings about meaningful change for all people; understand the importance of empathizing with people who struggle and face obstacles every day.
Ms. Steinem sparked something within all of the students, and she taught them a great deal about justice and equality in a short amount of time. Truly, Gloria Steinem has kindled the torches of a new generation to take action for social equality and respect.