All News

So What is the Nueva Middle School Tutorial?
Judith Worrall, middle school writing teacher & communications team member

Nueva middle school teachers are excited about student-led tutorial sessions this year. Introduced last fall to help students to get caught up after absences, ask questions about assignments, and ask for more challenging extensions on their work, tutorial has expanded to offer far more during remote learning.

“What we saw in the spring during RLP 2.0 was that tutorials took on a much greater importance,” said Karen Tiegel, interim middle school division head. “It is a time when students and teachers can connect one-to-one, for teachers to evaluate the understanding of the students, and offers a chance for students and teachers to build trust and support when we cannot be in the classroom together. As a result, we added more tutorial time this fall so we could continue to develop these self-advocacy skills.”

This program was introduced last fall in order for students. They can also reach out to their teachers to get to know each other better. More important, tutorials give students a chance to practice self-advocacy so that when it really matters, they are used to reaching out for support.

Launched by our very own Lelia Youn, tutorials began before remote learning and they are a bit different now. Interim Middle School Head Karen Tiegel put together a video for advisors to share in advisory sessions this week.

The advisors and the middle school students reflected on these changes, and the students had a chance to ask questions, recall useful sessions in the past, and to book time with their teachers in Monday advisory sessions.

“I like having tutorials with my teachers for many reasons,” said eighth grader Rohan T. “It allows me to catch up on topics I did not understand in class, and it gives me an opportunity to get help on homework assigned in class that I would not have gotten another way. I can even learn more about a specific area of interest to me. It also helps me get to know my teachers better.“

Another eighth grader, Terry D. shared, “Tutorial time has been a huge help to me when I've needed to reach out to teachers for help or questions about the homework. It's a great asset for students to communicate with their teachers.”

Eighth grade writing teacher Alexa Hart added, “The tutorial program is perfect for those one-to-one check-ins, more personalized instruction, clarifying goals, and relationship building that’s so vital to the Nueva way.”

Click here to view the video that Karen made and advisors shared with the students—and find out more about tutorials the Nueva way!

Read More

Remotely Together: Sharkbytes Build a Robot in a Remote Environment

While FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team captain Lucy D. was building the chassis, build team lead James T. was working on the flywheel launcher, Jason C. was busy creating the intake, and Howard L. and Anton P. were building the wobble arm. This was life for the Sharkbytes, who worked together remotely to design, build, and program a robot for the 2020–21 FTC competition.

Colors of Nature: An Eye-Opening Course—Or, How Environmentalism & Racism Are Intertwined

In the new fall 2020 elective “Colors of Nature,” seventh- and eighth-grade students explored the notion that people of color have different access to and privileges in the natural world. Through class discussions and creative journals, students reflected on how environmentalism and racism are intertwined. Eighth-grader Jax C. shares an introduction, and three students—Anika G., Kayla L., and Anjuli M.—reflect on their experience in this course. 

Catching Up with . . . Christine Braun

Viewing the world with an artist’s eye. Creating projects rooted in empathy. Empowering students with iteration and innovation. 

Throughout the past year, I-Lab engineer and Hillsborough shop manager Christine Braun has been a fixture on the Hillsborough campus, using the I-Lab as her home base while teaching, leading, and planning for design thinking-related initiatives. She is also a lit club facilitator for a seventh- and eighth-grade lit club.

Fifth Grade Earth Science “Rocks” in Remote Setting!

Toward the end of October, fifth-grade Earth Science classes completed the fall study of Earth’s composition and the rock cycle. To help students solidify their learning and set it in stone, students created models of the rock cycle using upcycled or ephemeral materials found in their homes. 

“Poem-Worthy Noodles” Connect Community to History and Each Other: Jennifer Lin-Liu, Author of On the Noodle Road ‘Visits’ Nueva

After school on Thursday, October 21, about 40 students and teachers gathered on Zoom to enrich and extend their current interdisciplinary study of the Silk Road. They were participating in a noodle-making workshop by author and restauranteur Jennifer Lin-Liu that covered centuries of history and was generations of cross-continental journeys in the making. Organized by Jennifer Paull in conjunction with the seventh- and eighth-grade humanities teachers, this event is one of many the new Humanities Center will showcase in the years to come.

Catching Up with . . . Sarah Powell

We sat down with Sarah Powell, middle school student support specialist, to hear about her passion for supporting gifted students, particularly during this challenging time. In this interview, Sarah shares how she helps to create pathways for students’ academic development, and she provides insight into the importance of relationships between parents, teachers, and students—and superpowers!—in our middle school support program at Nueva.  

Nueva Students Welcome Families to the Mid-Autumn Festival

This month, students in Weixia’s class celebrated 中秋节 or zhōng qiū jié (the Mid-Autumn Festival), a traditional event celebrated by many East and Southeast Asian people. With their parents, students watched the full moon, recited an ancient poem, and gave their parents a handmade card of appreciation. These activities were part of their process of immersing themselves in Chinese culture, an important part of learning the language, and they also offered an opportunity for students to share their learning with their families.