Capital City Middle School students know one thing is always true about Spanish. You always have to conjugate! Conjugation can often be a difficult concept for students to understand and retain, but Ms. Allyson Griffith, Middle School Spanish teacher, found a way that helped students to grasp this concept and have fun in the process.
“I sometimes use songs in instruction,” says Ms. Griffith, “because kids like to listen to music and it’s effective.” But, how, she wondered, could she use the tool of music to engage students in conjugating verbs? In traditional structures, students learn to conjugate developing a chart with six boxes, placing the verb endings in the appropriate section, and practicing that format over and over.
However, this method doesn’t always work for every student. “If students aren’t understanding something, I feel like I need to attack it from a different angle,” says Ms. Griffith. So, she got to work and found a rap about conjugating verbs created by students of Mr. Pereira’s Spanish 2 class from the B.E.S.T. Academy High School in Atlanta, Georgia. “I thought it would be a good one-day activity, but I had no idea how great it [the rap] could be.” says Ms. Griffith.
Once Ms. Griffith introduced the conjugation rap to students, their level of excitement drove her planning, “I let their excitement dictate what we would do with it,” says Ms. Griffith. “They got excited about it, and thus, I got excited about it.” As 7th grader Ethan notes, “I think of the song and I remember what to do when I’m working.”
Our Black History Month Celebration will now be held this Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 6-7:30pm.
The event will feature music and performances from all three campuses. Food will be served promptly at 6. We will not serve food during the performances. Families are encourage, but not required, to bring a dish to share. Reminder: No nuts or blueberries.
Our next Open House will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 9-10:30am.
The event will start promptly at 9AM. Hear directly from teachers, staff, and current students about the quality education program that Capital City provides to students in grades PreK through 12th grade.
Inspired Teachers: Changemakers in classrooms, schools, and society.
Apply now for the 2014 Inspired Teacher Certification Program.
The Inspired Teacher Certification Program is a 24-month residency program. Residents have a full year to develop the skills of engaging diverse students, managing a classroom, and planning effective lessons. Residents are simultaneously enrolled in an alternative certification program and are able to use their in-class experience to frame their coursework in light of their real-world experience. The teachers who enter the classroom at the end of the Residency are well-prepared for the challenges of teaching in an urban, high-poverty classroom, decreasing the likelihood that they will leave the profession after a few years. The priority deadline for the application is February 7 and a final deadline of March 14, 2104.
Since 2010, Capital City has partnered with the Center for Inspired Teaching as a host site for their teaching fellows. Please note that accepted applicants to this program are not automatically placed at Capital City.
The high school program of Capital City Public Charter School was recognized as a Tier 1 high performing school on the Performance Management Framework (PMF) in a public ceremony held by the DC Public Charter School Board on November 8, 2013. It was one of six public charter schools to receive such designation. The designation follows large gains in the high school’s DC-CAS scores. Capital City high school scores increased 26-percentage points in reading and 25-percentage points in math from 2012.
“We are extremely proud of this award; it reflects the hard work of our teachers and administrators to increase academic rigor and improve instruction while staying true to our mission and model,” commented Karen Dresden, Head of School For the 2012 – 2013 school year, the high school added an additional period to the schedule so that students needing extra support could take numeracy and literacy courses in addition to their regular math and English courses. There was also an increased focus on involving students in assessing their own leaning. Students analyzed their own data and identifying areas of strength and for improvement. Within the advisory structure, students shared results and goals with their peers and teachers.
“I’m most proud of the student ownership of their data and the team approach that the faculty took to make this happen as a whole,” said Belicia Reaves High School Principal, “Each student felt empowered and part of the process.”
“We are [also] proud of the increase in 9th grade on track, which was supported by the new schedule, our orientation process, and our personalized approach to learning,” said Dresden. Ninth graders on-track to graduate is a key indicator that students will eventually graduate from high school and is one of the metrics on the high school PMF.
The Tier 1 designation follows two successful years of 100% of the school’s graduates being accepted to college, beginning with its first graduating class of 2012.
Sixty brave high school students and nine adult instructors/chaperones headed to Assateague Island for an overnight fieldwork experience from Oct. 17-18, 2013. The trip, part of the Environmental Science course led by Ms. Ellen Royse, offered students an in-depth learning experience of the effects of climate change. On a very early morning, students headed out with their science books, camping gear, and food not knowing what lay ahead for them on the island known for its wild ponies.