The Way We Teach

Innovations & Initiatives - Fall 2015

As we prepare to open the 2015-16 academic year, a few updates and notes on innovations and initiatives in the MHS  curriculum.
 
Digital History — Taught by History Department Chair Matt Rutledge, this one-semester department elective offers students the chance to work as documentary historians in a creative context. This project-oriented course begins with an exploration of our personal pasts and expands to encompass subjects of local, regional, national, and/or global interest.
 
“Be The Historian” — Taught by History Teacher Molly Stevenson, this course allows a student to combine a personal passion with building skills needed for advanced work in the humanities. The course will combine whole group instruction with individual pursuit of a particular topic in the humanities field. In addition, there will be one weekly whole class instruction session and online instruction.
 
In the Science Department, Chair Sue Lovell will lead a Robotics Team and an Independent Study in Physics will be offered this year.
 
Instrumental Music Instructor Rob Sanzone will offer Songwriting and Production, a full-year credited course in which the student will gain knowledge and experience in the processes of songwriting, ensemble collaboration/direction, studio recording to produce their own recorded works, and live sound engineering to enhance their live performance experience.
 
Twelve students will be taking courses through the Online School for Girls and John’s Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Students are enrolled in in AP Psychology, AP Music Theory, Multivariable Calculus, AP Art History and AP Macroeconomics.
 
Interdisciplinary Collaborations:

English Teacher Rebecca Cook-Dubin will teach Digital Storytelling in collaboration with Horizons. This class will examine and document girls' perspectives on relevant and current topics of girlhood: race, body image, gender and sexuality, education, etc. Students will then go through the design process to produce a series of digital audio narratives that vocalize what girls have to say about important topics. Throughout the first semester, girls will use GLP competencies of voice, vision, interpersonal efficacy, and gumption to take the lead in the classroom; ultimately, the students will collaborate, interview, write, produce and curate a digital exhibition for the MHS community and beyond. This course will count toward both academic credit and as a Horizons placement.
 
History Teacher Molly Stevenson and Science Teacher Donna Daigle will collaborate in AP Human Geography and AP Environmental Science to examine many of the same issues through different lenses. A number of MHS students elected to take both courses last year. To enhance student learning for those taking both classes or just one, we are beginning to develop some cross-curricular collaborative activities. These include: aligning course of study when logical as well as creating joint film discussions, guest speaker events and field studies.
 
Ms. Stevenson’s Women’s History class will include cross-curricular collaboration with Ms. Daigle’s Women’s Health and Global Issues class. This will include guest speakers on gender, stemming from the MAPS (Un)Conference last spring, work in the MHS archives, and two field study trips to Lowell Mills and Val-Kill Estate of Eleanor Roosevelt.

The class “New Orleans: Past, Present, Future” offers students the opportunity to integrate the study of literature, art, environmental science, government, sociology, and geography into the study of the city’s history from the colonial period to the present.
492 Holmes Road • Pittsfield, MA 01201  (413) 443-6401

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Located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Miss Hall's School is an all girls private, college preparatory boarding and day high school for grades 9-12.
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