Archives for posts with tag: Baltimore charter schools

Well, Happy New School Year!  We thought we better update the story of The Big Move at City Neighbors Charter School.  Lets start with the teacher who decided to try getting rid of all her traditional desks and chairs and create what she likes to call, “Giovanni’s Cafe” for teaching Language Arts in middle school.  If you recall back in #1 of this series we introduced the ideas of Ms. Sajida Davis:

First, Ms. Davis talked about her teaching.  She would need space for the classroom library, small meeting spaces, and a spot for her desk (could it be near a window?). Next she imagined a big whiteboard – a whole wall – from floor to ceiling so groups of students could be coming up with ideas together at the same time. She mentioned quiet spaces (and we looked out in the hallway and decided it was great and she would feel comfortable sending kids out there too). And when we began to talk about her tables and chairs that were being moved up here she said, “What I really wish is that I didn’t have to have tables and chairs.” Cool! What would you have? “You know, I want my classroom to be like a big coffee shop, with couches and comfy chairs, coffee tables, and some kind of stage area.”

 After a long summer of first relocating the library, then insulating the attic, then searching for and finding used furniture from hotel liquidators in the area, we spent $900 to create an entirely new classroom.  Here are some of the pictures from her space on the first day of school (some with students!):

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And now the most important question must be posed.  Will the physical environment impact the practice of the teacher?  How about the work of the students?  What does this new space create that works?  How about what doesn’t work?  These questions and more will be considered as we continue to check in with Ms. Davis this year in her new space.

Well, we made it.  Today is day 3 of a new school year.  More pictures and thoughts on the physical environment coming soon.

Just a few more pictures of the new space in use with our students:

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Happy New Year, Baltimore!

This month we are looking forward to the 6th Annual Progressive Ed Summit at City Neighbors on January 23rd. This year along with the exciting focus on progressive practices we are excited to be celebrating the arts at the Summit with you. You will have access with two fabulous keynote speakers, an arts fair, a wide variety of workshops that share best practices and offer arts experiences, and the usual atmosphere of networking, good food, fun, and love for the work we all do together working with children, teachers, and families.

This year we are celebrating the ARTS in Education!

Time to Register!
Seats are limited!


January 23, 2016
8:45 AM – 3:15 PM

City Neighbors Hamilton Campus

Join us!

Want to know more?  Check out the information on our website.

A word from our 2016 Keynote Speakers:

“Every child needs to have space for them to create. I decided we need to be the ones to put paintbrushes in the hands of kids.”  -Adarsh Alphons

“Good questions peel back surfaces, push past pat answers ensconced in yesterday’s certainty; they create paths of inquiry into the I-don’t-known.”  – Dr. Eric Booth

See you at the Summit!

Jason Botel  gets us thinking at Ignite Education!

Jason Botel gets us thinking at Ignite Education!

As we head off to the holiday weekend, we wanted to send out a quick note of thanks.  Last Thursday we gathered at City Neighbors Auditorium for a great night of passionate speakers. Our event, Ignite Education was great fun. Check out the link to see pictures from our event HERE.

Thank you to the Kim Lane for coordinating the event!  Thanks to the many parents and board members who volunteered to help the night run smoothly.  Thank you to Hamilton Bank for being our signature sponsor, and to the many Baltimore Foundations that support the City Neighbors Foundation.

We believe in the children of Baltimore, and the grown ups who love them and care for them.  Baltimore, thank you, for being a place where we can dream together, and make our dreams come true.

Alright, on to Thanksgiving, can’t wait for the sweet potatoes!

Bobbi Macdonald & Mike Chalupa


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