Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Helps Students Connect English to Careers (Part 4)!

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into how English can be used in future endeavors. On Tuesday, over the course of two hours, students worked with acclaimed authors, poets, directors and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in activities that simply cannot be done during a regular class period.

The Midterm experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Secondary English Chair, Mr. Steve Collier and our Librarian, Mrs. Jo Beth Roberts. Our incredible English teachers provide crucial support, leading many of the workshops. Finally, we are thankful for the many talented professionals who spent the morning with our terrific students!

I have shared information about some of the workshops in this previous post and this previous post and this previous post.


Some of the other workshops given include:

Writing About You: Exploring Memoir and Creative Nonfiction

Rick Wilson (Wheatley English Teacher)

Workshop Description:

In this workshop, we will use the senses to recall, craft, explore, structure, and write about memories which might grow into compelling pieces of writing.  Whether you are an experienced writer or someone just beginning to think about writing about yourself and what you know, you’ll love this option. Through journal writing, mindfulness meditation, creative exercises, and work on the Chromebook, we will start many pieces which might fit together or stand alone.  Flash Creative Nonfiction will be discussed and read, as well as exposure to longer forms of memoir. All participants are encouraged to bring five to ten random texts found in their houses, two-three pens, perhaps some earbuds or headphones, and a readiness to churn out as many words as possible in two hours time!  All participants will be encouraged to submit a piece to be considered for publication in Vintage.  

 


Make Your Own Superhero Origin Story!

Todd Henao (Wheatley English Teacher)

Workshop Description:

Have you ever wondered how Batman became the world’s greatest detective? Or why Captain America refused to sign the Sokovia accords in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War? Or why superheroes often have a secret identity? In this midterm experience, we’ll read, watch, and explore various superhero origin stories, and examine what defines a superhero. Then, we’ll work on creating an original superhero!

 


Improvisation for the Theatre

Dr. Elaine Kanas (Superintendent of Schools)

Workshop Description:

Unlock  your creative side!  No scripts necessary here.  Explore the elements of theatre…..character, setting and action by getting up on your feet and creating original monologues and mini plays, letting inspiration guide the way.  Through fun theatre games and skits you never know what seeds you might sow for a future work of art.  

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Helps Students Connect English to Careers (Part 3)!

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into how English can be used in future endeavors. On Tuesday, over the course of two hours, students worked with acclaimed authors, poets, directors and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in activities that simply cannot be done during a regular class period.

The Midterm experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Secondary English Chair, Mr. Steve Collier and our Librarian, Mrs. Jo Beth Roberts. Our incredible English teachers provide crucial support, leading many of the workshops. Finally, we are thankful for the many talented professionals who spent the morning with our terrific students!

I have shared information about some of the workshops in this previous post and this previous post.


Some of the other workshops given include:

Writing as Mind Control

Valerie San Filippo (poet and writer, recipient of the George R.R. Martin Scholarship for Horror Writing; instructor of Creative Writing at Stony Brook University)

Workshop Description

The best writing doesn’t just transport a reader to new worlds; it makes a reader feel what others are feeling. How do writers evoke emotions in their readers? Why do some books suck us into their pages, while other books fall flat? In this workshop, we will explore how small things like description, sound, detail, and sentence structure have the power to influence a reader’s thoughts and emotions.


What Can We Learn from a Turtle?  Analyzing and Creating Children’s Literature  

Lauren Walbroehl (Wheatley English Teacher)

Workshop Description:

The best children’s stories help us understand how to accept each other’s differences and cope with difficult thoughts and emotions. Many books use animals to do this. In this workshop, we will not only explore the effectiveness of this technique in various children’s books like But Not the Hippopotamus, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, but also create our own fiction featuring animals.


Tell Your True Story

Jude Treder-Wolff (writer/performer, Social Worker and creative arts therapist;  host/creator of (mostly) TRUE THINGS, a live show that features true stories – with a twist!)

Workshop Description:

The ability to tell a great story is one of the most effective ways to connect with and have a positive impact on others. In fact, research shows that people who tell stories well are seen as more likeable and trustworthy, and that anyone can develop the skills to discover and develop stories that maximize their awesomeness. This workshop will use interactive experience to explore some of the basics of great storytelling about personal experiences, which involves using words, ideas and story structure to carry a listener along an emotional and imaginative journey. We will discuss ways to choose experiences from one’s own life and some skills for transforming true events into artistic, compelling stories.


Will Write for Food

Mike Dunn (Wheatley English Teacher)

Workshop Description:

Do you love food?  Not just eating it but the creation, the look, the all out pleasure barrage on the senses? If so, this is the workshop for you.  In this workshop we will be: Blogging and creating a food website, reading and writing about food and the culture of food, recipe construction, food tasting, cooking demonstration, reviewing cooking shows.  Remember, as Franz Kafka so wisely pronounced, “So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.”

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Helps Students Connect English to Careers (Part 2)!

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into how English can be used in future endeavors. On Tuesday, over the course of two hours, students worked with acclaimed authors, poets, directors and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in activities that simply cannot be done during a regular class period.

The Midterm experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Secondary English Chair, Mr. Steve Collier and our Librarian, Mrs. Jo Beth Roberts. Our incredible English teachers provide crucial support, leading many of the workshops. Finally, we are thankful for the many talented professionals who spent the morning with our terrific students!

I have shared information about some of the workshops in this previous post


Some of the other workshops given include:

Lyric Writing: Lessons in Framing the Sentiment

Alan Semerdjian (poet,​ ​songwriter,​ ​and​ ​educator)

Workshop Description:

Alan Semerdjian returns to facilitate a presentation/workshop on the basics of songwriting.  Students should be prepared to hear and conduct short studies of live and recorded music, review fundamental aspects of songwriting and some of the language associated with the process, and do some writing themselves mostly in the form of lyrics.  Students who play guitar or some other kind of easily transportable chordal instrument are welcome to bring it to the session.


Your Voice, Your Choice: Public Speaking for Everyone 

Elise May (performer, teaching artist, elocution and dialect coach, winner 2017 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award)

Can’t get enough of that Ted talk?  Be the inspirational speaker you know you can be!  Using short personal writing, this workshop will incorporate theater voice games and techniques to give you the confidence to boldly go where you haven’t gone before. Your words have power – learn to let your voice have power, too!


Thinking Like a Writer

Todd Strasser (author, Summer of ‘69, The Wave, Give a Boy a Gun, No Home, Wheatley Graduate)

Workshop Description:

Many films, plays, and novels share common story elements, such as exposition, conflict, rising action, crisis, climax, and resolution. In the first part of the workshop, we identify these elements in popular films and novels. In the second, highly interactive, part of the workshop, students will discover why these elements are essential by creating a story of their own. In the process we will examine character and plot development, theme, back story, foreshadowing, subplot, and many other aspects of creative writing. By the end students not only have a greater understanding of story structure, but have experienced “thinking like a writer” as well.  

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Helps Students Connect English to Careers (Part 1)!

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into how English can be used in future endeavors. On Tuesday, over the course of two hours, students worked with acclaimed authors, poets, directors and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in activities that simply cannot be done during a regular class period.

The Midterm experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Secondary English Chair, Mr. Steve Collier and our Librarian, Mrs. Jo Beth Roberts. Our incredible English teachers provide crucial support, leading many of the workshops. Finally, we are thankful for the many talented professionals who spent the morning with our terrific students!

Some of the workshops given include:

Children’s Literature:  Cute or Controversial?

Mary Beth Collins Cook (Willets Road English teacher)

Workshop Description:

Have you ever been offended by a picture book? It sounds silly, doesn’t it?  However, in this workshop, we are going to explore children’s books that have caused controversy for some parents, teachers or librarians. These include titles such as Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Pinkerton Behave!, Little Red Riding Hood, Goodnight, Moon, The Stupids Die, and Where’s Waldo?  After we examine some published books, we will create a piece of writing suitable for sharing with children.


Tackling Social Issues through Character Driven Documentaries

Margaret Galbraith (Documentary filmmaker, Fulbright Scholar)

Workshop Description:

Watching real people living their lives—witnessing their struggles and dreams—can teach us so much about the social issues of our time, not just in the abstract but in their full complexity.  Character driven documentaries allow the audience to identify with the character, feeling their humanity and empathize with their struggles. In this workshop, we will discuss social issue that you would like to focus on in a video that you would like to make, and explore ways for you to find character(s) that bring these issues to life.  We will focus on the groundwork of making a documentary—the research. It is in the research you begin to lay out your story, find characters, begin to lay out scenes, figure out the visual style, and creatively problem solve. This workshop will help give you direction and ideas for how to tackle your next video project.


How to Become a Comics Superstar

Drew Dernavich (Cartoonist)

Workshop Description:

Words plus pictures: what could be better? Comics are a medium that combine the best of both worlds. Contrary to popular opinion, one doesn’t need to be a Picasso with a pen to draw comics. It’s not the ink, it’s the think! There are no rules, but there are principles behind making great comics and cartoons. In this class we’ll look at the unique visual language of comics, and we’ll jump right into exercises to help unlock your artistic imagination and unleash your voice. Whether you want to make drawings that make people laugh, cry, or tell graphic stories which will have a powerful impact, this class will inspire you to be the comics superstar that only you can uniquely be.

Curriculum and Activities Fair Highlights Student Opportunities and Offerings!

As parents of our incoming 8th Graders (the Class of 2024) were learning more about their child’s first year at Wheatley, parents of current Wheatley students were learning more about the many offerings, programs and opportunities in grades 9-12 through our Curriculum and Activities Fair.

Over the course of the evening, parents were able to attend sessions on the following specific topics:

  • 10th Grade English Offerings (SWS/English 10/English 10H)
  • College-level Course Offerings (AP courses, Dual Enrollment courses, AP Capstone, alternative diploma pathways)
  • STEM Overview (including PLTW, Computer Science, Mathematics and Science offerings)

Parents also had an opportunity to learn about our co-curricular offerings, including our many clubs and activities. It was an evening of information and activity! A huge “Thank You” to the department supervisors, club advisors, and classroom teachers who helped make this night both informative and exciting!

You can download some of the information distributed through the following links:

9th grade parent presentation 2019.pptx

college-level course offerings

8th-9th curriculum night presentation 2019ew

 

 

Orientation for Parents of Incoming 8th Graders!

On Thursday evening, we welcomed parents of incoming 8th Graders (the Class of 2024) to Wheatley so they could learn more about our school, its many offerings and our ongoing support of all of our students. After providing parents with a varied overview of Wheatley, we turned the program over to a panel of wonderful students who answered questions from parents.

The 8th grade student panelists were:

  • Emma Azevedo
  • Mahdi Bhalloo
  • Sonia Patel
  • Evan Sheinman
  • Alex Wigginton

Thanks to our Director of Guidance, Mrs. Janna Varela, for moderating the student panel! Thank you as well to our leadership team for assisting with the evening:

  • Dr. Klapper (Assistant Principal)
  • Mrs. Anderson (World Language Chair)
  • Mr. Collier (English Chair)
  • Dr. Eckers (Social Studies Chair)
  • Mr. Kemnitzer (Director of Technology)
  • Mrs. Pace (Science Director)
  • Dr. Teseo (Mathematics and Business)
  • Mrs. Varela (Guidance Director)

Handouts from the evening included:

wheatley preview jan19 cover.001

English TenP Talks Highlight Student Passions!

On Wednesday, 6 June1 May, students in our English 10P Honors courses invited friends, family and special guests to the second annual “Ten P Talks.” Modeled after the well-known Ted Talks, these student presentations aimed to answer the question, “What Matters?” Students chose topics that reflected their passions and interests, aiming to educate and inform the audience in under ten minutes.

The topics and presenters were quite impressive! Congratulations to the students, and thank you to Vanessa Mahnkens and Stephen Collier, who organized and helped the students through their presentations!

My one regret was that the format of the evening prevented me from seeing more than nine presentations!

The students and topics presented include:

  • Rahul Ajmera: LMFAO: Why It’s imperative that we laugh
  • Alison Amarain: Punch Stress in the Face
  • Kaya Amin: The Simple Step to Dealing with Stress: Mastering your Mindset
  • Kavina Amin: Listening and Learning from the Other Side
  • Zach Azevado: How Bad Decisions Lead to the Greatest Life Lessons
  • Alyssa Belle: Are Doctors Killing Us?
  • Robert Boubour: Observe, Question, Analyze, Reflect: Getting More Out of Less
  • Patrick Brady: Lost in Translation
  • Maggie Caroddo: Surfing Your Stress Away
  • Eric Chu: The Influence of Cinema
  • Matthew Cornacchia: A Thermostat for the Earth
  • Aidan Cozzolino: The Beauty of Video Games
  • Peter Cuomo: Memes: Ubiquitous and Potent
  • Deana Druz: My Anxiety Gives me Anxiety
  • Kaitlyn Ducroiset: Unequal Education is Barbarous
  • Sofia Fuertes: The Inspiring Power of Dance
  • Derek Gilbert: What Diseases Can You Smell on your Breath?
  • Mariam Goher: Let me sleep just 5 more minutes
  • Katie Gold: How Physical Activity Affects Stress
  • Elizabeth Ho: Hey Moms! Don’t Ban Me from Fortnit
  • Alex Horowitz: The Power of Words
  • Eileen Huerta: Should the Private lives of Famous People be off limits
  • Hitangee Jain: The Misconceptions of the Vegetarian Diet
  • Ansh Jhaveri: Why I’m Brown
  • Megan Kaye: The Dangers of Initiation
  • Sanjana Khanna: What the US could learn about learning
  • Teddy Koutsoftas: Riddle Me This
  • Hema Kumar: Are You Self-Diagnosed with Mental Illness?
  • Rachel Lee: Let’s Celebrate Procrastination…Later
  • Eliana Li: Feigned Ignorance is Bliss
  • Karen Li: How Are You?  I’m Busy!
  • Ilana Nimkoff: Food Allergies:  The effect they can have on people
  • Natalia Potrapeluk: The Power of Color
  • Madison Ramos: Why You should and shouldn’t be a Hermione Granger
  • Orell Rayhan: Seeking Discomfort
  • Brenden Resnick: Human Transit: Change Your Perception of Public Transportation
  • Diya Shah: So, You Think You Can’t Dance
  • Kiran Shaikh: Small Hands, Big Responsibilities
  • Dean Sheinman: The Power of Superstitions
  • Rebecca Sparacio: Does Starbucks Make Star Students?  The Coffee Diploma
  • Amanda Ustick: Striding for Success
  • Ashley Vincenzo: I Swear I’m Normal:  Only Child Syndrome
  • Aidan Wong: Play With a Purpose
  • Trenton Wong: College Applications: Are they too competitive
  • Erin Wu: The Key to Happiness
  • Emily Yagoda: How to Change the World with a Single Dollar
  • Alia Yamin: Why We should turn back time
  • Aaron Zachariah: Internet of Things and Future of Technology
  • Becca Zeltsman: We are More than just a number
  • Allison Zheng: Art’s Life Lessons
  • Brenda Zhong: Post-Colonial Obsession: America’s Fascination with the British Royal Family
  • Sharon Zhong: Community of the Not-So-Future