Crane School Blog: Focus on Learning

Featuring articles written by Crane Staffulty

For more information about Crane Country Day School, please contact admission@craneschool.org or call 805-969-7732 x127.

It is Never Too Late to Learn a New Skill
Alexis Fischer

At this time a year ago, I was in the midst of my sabbatical--I did some traveling, writing, and tackling a new skill: sewing. For many years I have watched seventh graders embark on QED in January and then I am amazed when they present their own personal project at the end of the school year. Crane’s QED (Quests, Explorations, Discoveries) projects are inspiring...

At this time a year ago, I was in the midst of my sabbatical--I did some traveling, writing, and tackling a new skill: sewing. For many years I have watched seventh graders embark on QED in January and then I am amazed when they present their own personal project at the end of the school year. Crane’s QED (Quests, Explorations, Discoveries) projects are inspiring.

QED was started in 2002 by former science and service learning teacher Janey Cohen. Luckily, I have maintained a friendship with Janey since she retired in 2014. As Crane’s founder of QED, she was the perfect person to be my mentor. I have always wanted to learn how to sew, but found the idea daunting. My sabbatical provided the perfect opportunity for me to devote the time and energy to learn how to sew on a sewing machine.

I followed the QED model with setting goals and outlining what I hoped to learn. I accomplished the basics of threading a bobbin, replacing a broken needle, measuring patterns, and more with the help and patience of my mentor. By December, I had visited the fabric warehouses of Los Angeles Fashion District and I had sewed pillow covers, tissue-package covers, and place mats. From my own QED process, I learned simple projects can take a long time, especially at the beginning when you are learning so many steps. Creating something on the sewing machine and having a finished project is quite fulfilling, but I realized there are many small details like the precise measuring and ironing that require serious focus.

Each day Crane students are learning new skills, whether it be second language acquisition, scientific processes, mathematical concepts, or navigating social situations. Acquiring a new skill can be both exhilarating and exhausting. Working in education you are surrounded by a community of learners from students to adults, and what I realized is that it’s never too late to learn a new skill. I challenge you to learn a new skill or take on a challenge as a family. And, I can’t wait until QED night in May when seventh graders share their projects and shine!

Alexis Fischer
Spanish Teacher

Most Recent Posts

Outdoor Learning Space

Crane School’s 11-acre campus is most definitely a highlight for those who visit. The balance of nature and buildings, and the natural flow as one moves through campus is welcoming and enchanting. Students, parents, and Staffulty (staff and faculty) can all agree that the campus is thoughtfully designed and carefully maintained. When asking Staffulty about their favorite spot on campus, the vast majority name an outdoor space, but as there are so many to choose from, they don’t all share the same favorite. They can all pinpoint just what it is that makes it their favorite:

“Walking through Crane’s amazing garden is the best way to start my day. It’s a beautiful reminder to take in the beauty that’s all around us.

“Our fields are really magical spaces...”

Choice Voice Image

Choice at Crane School is seen at each grade level in varying forms and amounts. It could be Choice Time at the end of the day in kindergarten, Choice Boards in first grade for extra learning opportunities, Passion Projects in fourth grade, the seventh grade mentor project (QED), or an eighth grader’s public speaking topic. No matter what age, choice brings excitement. Choice is like the shiny, colorful bait that lures the fish and reels it in toward the ultimate goal - in this case, learning. When it comes to our Crane motto of rigor and joy, choice is the joy piece that makes deep, meaningful learning so much fun and memorable...

2020-09-15-FonLGoal

The beginning of the school year brings excitement, stirs up nerves, and offers a fresh start. There is anticipation of the new possibilities and seeing familiar faces again. Some nerves in the form of butterflies appear as students wonder about the unknowns. It is certainly a new beginning for all, which can be recognized by a pristine white school planner, the colorful stylus in a school supplies case, or a new name tag to make a student’s learning space their own...

Reinhart Koselleck

Of the many odd things that I studied in graduate school, none was more engaging to me than the intersections between the history of medicine and the history of political thought. At the time I thought this was interesting on its own merits. I could never have guessed that in 2020, the politics of medicine would become critically relevant. I should like to reflect one those intersections and to explain how they inform my instruction of students in United States history...