Crane Country Day School Established 1928

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

 Focus on Learning-Logos Pathos Ethos

Crane's seventh grade English students found out that the simple question, "What is your favorite sandwich?" isn't actually as simple as they had originally believed. Little did they know that this question would lead them to the theory of persuasion and the study of Aristotle's three modes - logos, ethos, and pathos.

As English teacher Mrs. Lombardi shared with seventh grade parents, "Understanding how to persuade others and also how one is persuaded by others are both important tools to have in one's kit"...

Its just middle school photo

This image is prominently displayed on our seventh grade dean’s website. It’s a bit of comic relief to combat the bad rap that the middle school years get. And it is a perfect example of one of the goals of the new Grade Level Dean program in the Upper School (sixth-eighth grades) at Crane School - to add an element of fun to the social lives of middle school students.

The Grade Level Dean program focuses on the social aspect of the middle school experience at Crane. As a school we are constantly assessing what changes we can make...

Focus on Learning Gratitude

While gratitude may be a buzzword, especially in the month of November, we believe it is much more than a popular hashtag (#grateful) or a fleeting trend. Gratitude is a powerful tool that has proven to positively affect individuals and communities.

In an article titled, What is Gratitude and Why Is It So Important? from positivepsychology.com, Courtney E. Ackerman, MSc states, “Effectively gratitude can create social networks and help individuals work towards goals and challenges, and overall, simply have stronger coping skills for life’s hardships.”

At Crane it has been inspiring and heart-warming to see students of all ages learning the independent practice of gratitude...

Blog Image: How was your day?

In the past seven months, most parents have been more involved in their children’s academic lives than ever before. We know what sight words they have been working on, what the all-school art project is, and who presented in the Friday assembly video.

However, as Crane School students in all nine grades now have the option to learn on campus, the majority of parents are once again receiving less information about the day-to-day activities both in the classroom and on the playground.

We have all asked the question and gotten the dreaded answer. You know the one. Parents enthusiastically ask, “How was your day!?!” The response is an annoyed or indifferent, “Fine,” “Okay,” or possibly just an undecipherable grunt...