PRIED’s Year at a Glance

As PRIED’s first school year comes to a close, I wanted to take some time to reflect on our successes both inside and outside of the classroom.  Inside the classroom, PRIED students had tremendous academic growth in all areas.  While working at their own pace and level, students were able to gain a deeper understanding of all presented material and push themselves to achieve the highest level of academic excellence in all subjects.  

In math, the flipped method made the students more responsible for their own learning and gave them a huge boost in their confidence as it relates to mathematics.  In science, students learned about the Earth and its amazing features! They completed a plethora of hands-on experiments and incorporated many of their math skills into their analysis of experimental results.  In culture, students stayed up to date with the world around them through the reading and discussion of current events.  They also studied many important historical events and people such as European exploration, Native Americans, genocides, and immigration.  They read, annotated, and discussed twelve novels that related to the aforementioned topics.  Writing was also a huge focus during our school year.  PRIED students wrote many essays including persuasive, argument, and narrative.  These essays related to topics learned in other subject areas which allowed the students to draw upon background knowledge and other classroom materials to write high quality pieces.  Additionally, students engaged in daily blog writing, journal writing, and creative writing.

In addition to the core subjects, PRIED students also participated in art, music, yoga, computer science, and technology.  In art, the students designed and built a memorial for victims of the Holocaust.  It was a lengthy project that required a variety of critical-thinking skills and teamwork!  In music, the students learned solo pieces so that they could start to build a portfolio in the event that they would like to try out for a play or choir in high school.  They also learned group pieces and perfected their choral skills through taping and critiquing their performances, creating their own warm-up drills, and practicing outside of their music lessons.  Yoga taught the students how to breathe correctly, manage stress, and strengthen their flexibility.  Computer science focused on learning the basics of coding and designing and creating a game through coding in Alice.  Students learned the important vocabulary and skills used in the world of computer science, and creating the game allowed them to put these things to use in a hands-on way.  Technology focused on teaching the students how to successfully navigate the computer and use the applications available to them.  Students attended classes at the Apple store and learned how to create beautiful Key Note presentations, flawless movies in I-Movie, useful spreadsheets and graphs in Numbers, and proper papers in Pages.  

A unique feature of PRIED is that we are able to bring the curriculum to life through our expeditionary learning trips.  Students went on trips to The Franklin Institute, Ashland Nature Center, Chester County Landfill, National Museum of the American Indian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 911 Memorial and Museum, Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, and American Museum of Natural History.  Not only did PRIED students learn a great deal on these trips and connect their visits to the classroom curriculum, they also learned how to navigate cities through the use of trains, subways, and taxis.  These trips are so valuable and bring a whole new level of learning!

PRIED students also designed an implemented a recycling campaign for the Unless contest sponsored by the Philadelphia Zoo.  Through this project, students were able to practice many classroom skills such as reading, writing, creating presentations, public speaking, and data collection and analysis.  In addition to classroom skills, students also practiced being good citizens and doing something to help their community and the world.  The students were able to collect over 1,600 pounds of clothing and impress the judging committee enough to earn second place in their age group!  Community service projects will continue to be a big part of PRIED!

Overall, our first year at PRIED was a huge success!  The students grew tremendously as learners, friends, and most importantly, citizens.  I am excited to see what next year brings, and even more excited to continue to watch PRIED’s first year students flourish as I teach them again next year!

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Today I visited pried. It was a great experience. I did yoga in the morning, then spanish and then two step equations in math where I took 3,2,1 notes (really fun by the way). We also did some grammar. At recess we played badminton, and that was very very fun. At the end of the day we had some coding where we created games with a coding program called Alice. That was really cool. All the teachers were very nice to me and the other students. Overall it was a great day and I’m glad that I went. Lots and lots of fun! I can’t say I had a favorite part because it was ALL so amazing.

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Unless Contest Results

I am proud to announce that PRIED earned a 2nd place finish in the 6-8 grade category of the Unless Contest through the Philadelphia Zoo!  I am so proud of the students as they worked extremely hard to plan and implement a recycling program!  They continue to use the t-shirts they collected during their recycling clothing drive to make and sell Turtle Totes so that they can save plastic bags from entering the ocean and raise money for endangered sea turtles.  The students are planning to put the money they won from the contest towards a volunteer trip to work with sea turtles and their hatchlings.  I am amazed at the passion PRIED students have!  They are always looking for ways to improve their communities and the lives of other humans and animals.  Way to go!

unless 1 Unless 2

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I visited PRIED today. I got to learn new math, do yoga, learn some spanish, watch some funny writing videos, and play badminton. I had a great day,  and I like this school a lot. 

I had been multiplying integers and now I can also divide them. I like the flipped math and 3, 2, 1, math.

Yoga was great, and I don’t think I’ve ever done real, good yoga. I liked the yoga teacher and how we got to choose some poses.

The yoga teacher also teaches spanish. I had never used spanish books, and it really helped me understand.

The writing videos were a great way to keep me interested. I normally get bored with my teacher talking and talking, but this is hilarious.

Playing badminton was awesome because we rotated partners. We played four games and the same person won each time. 

This place is cool, and I would like to go here someday!

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What’s Happening at PRIED

PRIED continues to foster a very exciting learning environment for its students!  The students are finishing up a unit on Genocide where they have learned about 5 different genocides around the world including the Armenian, Rwandan, Holocaust, Bosnian, and Cambodian.  They are working on a virtual museum to summarize what they have learned, and they are also creating a Holocaust memorial in Art class to honor those who were lost during such a terrible time in history.  

We have started to study immigration and Ellis Island.  We are currently reading a novel called Island of Hope which describes experiences of people who entered America through Ellis Island.  We will also be reading Immigrant Kids and watching a variety of videos and documentaries on the subject.  To bring the topic to life, we will be taking an expeditionary learning trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in May.

We attended an expeditionary learning trip in NYC last thursday in which we went to the 911 Memorial Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.  The students have read about 911 numerous times during current events, and they asked if they could attend the museum so that they could recognize all the lives lost in the terrible tragedy.  They have also been reading many articles about ISIS and other terrorist groups so attending the museum was a great way to show how hard the U.S. fights against terrorism.  NY 1

Last week we took a walk to a local park and stream during recess.  While we were there, we noticed an abundance of trash in both the stream and the surrounding park.  The students asked if they could go back and clean up the area, and we decided to do it today since it is Earth Day.  They collected two bags of trash and even found a bike tire!  They only finished a small portion of the stream so we will be returning during recess over the next few weeks to continue our efforts

!Earth Day 1 Earth Day 2


Lastly, PRIED has been chosen as a finalist for the UNLESS contest through the Philadelphia Zoo!  I am so proud of the students as they worked extremely hard to create and manage their recycling campaign.  We will attend a celebration at the zoo on May 12th to hear about the work of other schools and find out the winners.

As always, exciting things are happening at PRIED!


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Expeditionary Learning Trips

At PRIED, the learning and excitement continues!  In culture, the students have been studying Genocide.  In particular, they are looking at 5 different case studies:  Armenian, Bosnian, Rwandan, Cambodian, and the Holocaust.  In order to study the Holocaust more closely, they have read a novel titled Destined to Live and are currently reading Anne Frank:  The Diary of a Young Girl.  They also attended two expeditionary learning trips that focus on the Holocaust.

The first trip was to listen to a talk at Winterthur by Jane Klinger who is the head conservator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Her talk focused on categorizing artifacts that are in a museum into three categories:  Trauma, Pride, and Hope.  After the talk was finished, the students approached Jane to ask her questions about their upcoming trip to the USHMM.  She told them some of her favorite exhibits, and then she offered to give them a tour of the conservation area of the museum!  

Yesterday, we took our trip to the USHMM.  We took the train into DC and then used the Metro to navigate our way to the museum.  The students learned how to navigate the Metro system and were in charge of reading the maps and figuring out our route.  This learning experience is invaluable and just one of the many reasons that I love our expeditionary learning trips!  Once at the museum, we met with Jane first who gave us our tour of the conservation area.  It was so interesting to see the “underground” work of the museum and to be able to learn how the conservators restore and preserve museum artifacts.

Following our tour of the conservation area, we did the tour of the museum.  The USHMM is so powerful, and the students took in every bit of knowledge that they could.  They read everything that was presented to them and made thoughtful connections to what they have learned thus far.  They also took photos of artifacts throughout the museum so that they can do a writing piece that relates back to Jane’s talk.  They are going to categorize the artifacts into the categories that Jane presented and explain why they feel that they belong in each category.  We offered to share their work with Jane, and she is excited to have the possibility to read their thoughts.  

I continue to be amazed by how much children can learn when they are interested in the topics that they are learning about and provided with hands-on projects and experiences!

Photo with JaneHere are PRIED students with Jane Klinger from the USHMM!

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Expeditionary Learning Trip to the Philadelphia Zoo

Yesterday we went to the Philadelphia Zoo for an expeditionary learning trip that correlates to the Unless Project that the students have been working on.  While there, we attended a presentation that focused on how climate change and deforestation are endangering many species.  The presentation focused on gorillas, but we also discussed other animal populations such as sea turtles and monarch butterflies.  The students learned many interesting facts about gorillas, and they also discussed how recycling can help to slow down climate change.

After the presentation, they were able to talk to the presenter about their project and ask any questions that they had.  They presented that they were collecting clothing and that they have already collected about 600 pounds.  The zoo presenter loved their idea as most people are focusing on recycling paper and plastic, and they are thinking a bit more outside the box.  They asked questions about data collection and analysis and told the presenter their recycling campaign slogan.

Following the presentation, we found the gorillas so that we could examine the traits that were talked about in the presentation.  They really are amazing creatures!  Seeing them in person also pushes you to want to help them, and other endangered species, more.  

We took the train to Philadelphia and then hailed a cab to the zoo.  I love that the expeditionary learning trips continue to strengthen both academic and life skills!

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What’s new at PRIED!

Many new and exciting things are happening at PRIED!  The students continue to work at their own pace in Math using the Flipped method, and I am amazed with how much they have learned and how deeply they understand algebraic concepts.  They also continue to flourish in their foreign languages with their language immersion instructors and DuoLingo.  They are now able to hold small conversations in their chosen languages and write sentences and small paragraphs!

In culture, we are beginning a unit on Genocide.  The students asked to learn about the Holocaust, and I wanted to expand that concept to include other genocides so that they can have a much better understanding of the underlying concepts of the Holocaust.  They will be working through multiple case studies of genocides around the World and creating a culminating project that focuses on building memorials for the lives lost as a result of genocide.  They are also going to read several novels including Anne Frank:  The Diary of a Young Girl, Reflections of a Childhood Friend:  Memories of Anne Frank, and Destined to Live:  A True Story of a Child in the Holocaust.

The students are also working on a computer science project.  The project comes from and focuses on students finding a problem in society and creating a technological solution.  They have sent a survey out to family members and friends asking them for problems in their occupations.  They are using those suggestions, as well as their own ideas, to determine a problem that they would like to help solve.  I love that we are able to incorporate these types of projects into our curriculum as they incorporate so many different skills and allow the students to be creative!

The students are still working on the Unless Project though the Philadelphia Zoo, and they have collected over 500 pounds of clothing!  They continue to collect data and find ways to reach out to the community.  They have presented to a local school and synagogue and have written articles to be published in bulletins and newsletters.  We will be visiting the zoo on 1/28 so that the students can learn more about how their project is helping to save animals!  

We are at the mid-point of the year, and I could not be happier with what the students have accomplished thus far!  There is always room for improvement, but I think that we are doing a great job of creating a learning environment that is both rigorous and innovative!



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Hi I am Mavis, and today in current events I learned about a new species of fish called the Black Devil, or the angler fish. The fish was found at monterey canyon. After that we did something called flipped math. Flipped math is when the student watches a video and then the teacher gives the kid some work to do instead of the other way around. With a flipped class room the student can get a answer to a question because the teacher will be there to give the answer. We also watched some cover story videos. The teacher in the video was instructive and funny because he did small funny parts in the beginning of each video. After lunch we played kick ball and then we worked on a quilting project. I learned about different native tribes and the different types of quilting patterns. I enjoyed the day very much, and I would like to come to PRIED.

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Hello, I am Calvin and I am visiting PRIED.  Today in Current Events, I picked an article about the new flying car.  We then went over the math league problems.  It seems like a pretty good school.  In math, I did problems on inequalities.  Recess was fun and we played kickball and our team demolished, 20-3.  PRIED has 3 rooms, one for cooking and playing, one for science, once for the main classes.  In science, we looked at the different temperatures at the different places in the room.  PRIED is a very fun and great school, and I might go there for the next half of the year.

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