A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

All-Lower School Read, The Circles Around Us
This fall, every lower school classroom received a copy of The Circles All Around Us by Brad Montague for the all-Lower School Read. The book is about understanding and expanding our circles of friendship, family, and community and was selected with our theme of #RomansTogether in mind.

On October 7, lower school students came together for an assembly to celebrate The Circles All Around Us. Students and teachers reflected on the circles of care that begin with our personal circles and extend out to our classroom and school communities. During the assembly, students participated in a mindful meditation exercise, tried a circle challenge with their grade level, and sang a heartwarming song about our circles of care led by the talented lower school music teachers.

Students and teachers reflected on the circles of care that begin with our personal circles and extend out to our classroom and school communities.The assembly wrapped up with a Circles Challenge, an invitation for the lower school community to continue creating both small and big moments of filling their circles with kindness. Some examples were offered to inspire the students such as singing, making art, and spending time with loved ones. And two examples of caring for our community circles were highlighted: (1) a “greeting committee”, initiated by the leadership of a current fourth and third grader, that welcomes fellow students as they enter the lower school in the mornings (2) Socktober, an invitation to participate in a drive to collect socks for people in the Chicago community during the month of October.
 
Learn more and experience the impact of The Circles All Around Us! Please enjoy this read aloud of the full book, these slides from the assembly, and the video below of our lower school singing The Circles song.

 

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All-Lower School Read, The Circles Around Us
This fall, every lower school classroom received a copy of The Circles All Around Us by Brad Montague for the all-Lower School Read. The book is about understanding and expanding our circles of friendship, family, and community and was selected with our theme of #RomansTogether in mind.

On October 7, lower school students came together for an assembly to celebrate The Circles All Around Us. Students and teachers reflected on the circles of care that begin with our personal circles and extend out to our classroom and school communities. During the assembly, students participated in a mindful meditation exercise, tried a circle challenge with their grade level, and sang a heartwarming song about our circles of care led by the talented lower school music teachers.

Students and teachers reflected on the circles of care that begin with our personal circles and extend out to our classroom and school communities.The assembly wrapped up with a Circles Challenge, an invitation for the lower school community to continue creating both small and big moments of filling their circles with kindness. Some examples were offered to inspire the students such as singing, making art, and spending time with loved ones. And two examples of caring for our community circles were highlighted: (1) a “greeting committee”, initiated by the leadership of a current fourth and third grader, that welcomes fellow students as they enter the lower school in the mornings (2) Socktober, an invitation to participate in a drive to collect socks for people in the Chicago community during the month of October.
 
Learn more and experience the impact of The Circles All Around Us! Please enjoy this read aloud of the full book, these slides from the assembly, and the video below of our lower school singing The Circles song.

 

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lower school student, faculty and staff at The Circles Assembly on October 7, 2022
This fall, every lower school classroom received a copy of The Circles All Around Us by Brad Montague for the all-Lower School Read. The book is about understanding and expanding our circles of friendship, family, and community and was selected with our theme of #RomansTogether in mind.

On October 7, lower school students came together for an assembly to celebrate The Circles All Around Us. Students and teachers reflected on the circles of care that begin with our personal circles and extend out to our classroom and school communities. During the assembly, students participated in a mindful meditation exercise, tried a circle challenge with their grade level, and sang a heartwarming song about our circles of care led by the talented lower school music teachers.

Students and teachers reflected on the circles of care that begin with our personal circles and extend out to our classroom and school communities.The assembly wrapped up with a Circles Challenge, an invitation for the lower school community to continue creating both small and big moments of filling their circles with kindness. Some examples were offered to inspire the students such as singing, making art, and spending time with loved ones. And two examples of caring for our community circles were highlighted: (1) a “greeting committee”, initiated by the leadership of a current fourth and third grader, that welcomes fellow students as they enter the lower school in the mornings (2) Socktober, an invitation to participate in a drive to collect socks for people in the Chicago community during the month of October.
 
Learn more and experience the impact of The Circles All Around Us! Please enjoy this read aloud of the full book, these slides from the assembly, and the video below of our lower school singing The Circles song.

 

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Join upper school students Molly and Ella and Ms. Merrell, science teacher and Global Online Academy site director at Latin, to learn more about the GOA offerings and the benefits of taking a GOA class.

TRANSCRIPT

Amy Merrell  0:15  
Besides being exposed to a topic that isn't offered at Latin, so just exposure to different things, taking courses from teachers from different schools and with students from different schools, I think opens your eyes to different viewpoints, increases your collaboration, because you have to collaborate with people in different time zones and different schedules. And I think that's a skill that will help students even after Latin.

Molly 0:41  
The favorite part of my class was, you know, of course, the different community of GOA. I got to meet so many different people. But I also really enjoyed getting to take more control over my learning. And I think it helped me build more skills.

Ella  0:57  
So my class, because it was about specifically medical problem solving, we did a lot of kind of patient presentations where you would do some research into the symptoms and then present a possible diagnosis. And then also some group projects that we do a similar concept, but with people from around the country.

Amy Merrell  1:16  
Hi, my name is Amy Merrell. I am a science teacher and the site director for Global Online Academy here at Latin.

Ella 1:20  
I'm Ella Reese-Clauson. I'm a senior.

Molly 1:22  
And I'm Molly McKee, and I'm a junior.

Amy Merrell  1:23  
So Global Online Academy or GOA is a consortium of about 120 schools from around the world that offer a variety of online classes to students. And so the classes are taught by teachers from those 120 schools. So Latin students have the opportunity to take these courses, and learn from teachers from all over the world. And with students from schools all over the world. These courses are counted just like Latin courses are so they go for a grade and are on transcripts. GOA is started in 2012. And when it started, we had less than 15 students enroll. And we have just it has gotten progressively bigger interest has grown as GOA has gotten bigger. And so we are now at total for this year we have 62 students enrolled for both semesters. And so I think it's grown quite a lot. They've also opened summer opportunities as well. So that is another place that GOA has grown. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can take classes. And there is a wide variety of classes. So I'm not going to go over all of them. But they're some of the most popular ones are the psych classes. So Neuro Psych, Abnormal Psych and Positive Psychology. Prisons and criminal law is another really popular one, as well as there's a variety of computer science classes that students decide to take. And some new ones that students are in there's been growing interest in are Intro to Investments, and also Entrepreneurship, which are two kind of newer additions that students have taken.

Molly  3:14  
So I considered taking a GOA class just because well, first of all, I liked all the options, and after sophomore year, I wanted to pursue a similar topic, because I took Nazi Mind the first semester. And I was really interested in like everything that we learned about in that class. But I think the main thing that pushed me to taking a GOA was a COVID and the pandemic because it opened up so much free time in my schedule, and I thought GOA would be a great way to fill it.

Ella  3:44  
Adding on to that, I think that also like Ms. Merrell mentioned, the specificity of the courses was really appealing to me because I think that at Latin we have some really great general courses whereas GOA helps you to go kind of into more niche subject areas. I took Medical Problem Solving one which ended up coincidentally having Ms. Merrell as a teacher.

Molly 4:06  
I took Introduction to Legal Thinking, and I'm signed up for a criminal law one next semester because I liked the first one so much. GOA classes can fit into my schedule a lot and really nicely just because it's not as rigid of a structure like normal classes. It has a lot more independent learning and a self-regulated working pace, I guess. So it was like really easy to fit it into whenever I had free time.

Ella 4:33  
So my class, because it was about specifically medical problem solving, we did a lot of kind of patient presentations where you would do some research into the symptoms and then present a possible diagnosis. And then also some group projects that we do a similar concept, but with people from around the country.

Molly 4:53  
I think with GOA you get a much wider variety of project types than you would in normal classes. I had debates with other students or wrote example legal documents. And I feel like I never actually wrote an actual essay, which is something you would expect to do in a typical class. So it's nice to get a different variety. The favorite part of my class was, of course, the different community of GOA. I got to meet so many different people. And, I think it was also, at least in my class, it was everyone's first time taking a GOA. So, everyone was kind of like in the same boat and we were all experiencing the thing, this class for the first time. But I also really enjoyed getting to take more control over my learning. And I think it helped me build more skills.

Ella 5:44  
I really enjoyed the class I took. And I, like, Molly, really enjoyed the aspect of collaboration, especially with people from other time zones, which was very difficult to navigate, because we all had very different schedules. But it was really cool to meet people who had different kinds of work styles and schedules and being able to learn to collaborate. And then also, I was really interested in the course material. So I loved all these kinds of diagnostic presentations. I think that if you have a specific interest in one kind of genre, or subject, then I would absolutely recommend taking a GOA because it helps you to go much more in-depth into that one topic. And, it's just an all-around really great way to have a much more flexible class. And to learn that kind of whole new skill set.

Unknown Speaker  6:38  
The only challenging part of GOA I found was the time differences. I think everything else was really great. Especially with the material that I was learning about, I got to hear a lot of different perspectives and I feel learning with other people from different countries, you get a lot more out of it than you would with just taking the class with people from the US. Definitely agree with what Ella said, I think it's a great way to explore your interests further.

 

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