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On The Point blog
from Rock Point School

The Value of Play for Teenagers

In the field of education, there has been a lot of research about the benefits of play-based education for preschool and elementary school students. It is accepted that young children learn everything from social skills to reasoning to math through play. As students get older, however, the benefits of play are emphasized less and academic pressure increases. But for high school students, play can be just as valuable to their learning as it is for elementary school learners.
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Art, Motivation, and Resilience

As students get to high school, many are forced to make the choice to give up taking an art class in order to make room in their schedule for other academic classes seen as more essential for college or careers. While it’s true that high school students should not be expected to overfill their schedules, the value of studying and creating art translates not only into the workplace, but also into emotional and social health. This is one of the reasons that at Rock Point School, we continue to put the arts at the center of our curriculum. Whether students are collaborating on a mosaic or doing a photoshoot in the woods, the skills they gain in the process are essential to becoming successful in school and beyond.
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Teaching Teens Three Life Skills that Last

on July 27, 2017 By CJ Spirito | Motivation
At graduation, our long-time History teacher, Gus Buchanan, has a sweet tradition of reading from  All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. The line that usually gets us all to tear up a little, comes at the end of the first chapter, “And it’s still true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.” We hope that as our graduates leave, they keep that lesson in their heart, to look out for one another, and stay connected. Of course we also hope they have learned some tangible life skills to take with them when they move on.
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Setting Goals to Stay Motivated in the New Year

on January 9, 2017 By CJ Spirito | Motivation high school life skills
It’s the start of a new year and everyone, it seems, is making resolutions and setting goals. While many people are unable to maintain their resolutions beyond the first few months, there are ways to help make them stick. At Rock Point, we love helping our students set and achieve their personal goals. One way we are doing this, is through Personal Learning Plans, where each student outlines their long term and short term goals, with the steps required to achieve them along the way.
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Nurturing Grit and Resilience for Better Learning

If you’ve been paying attention to the educational landscape in the past few years, you’ve probably heard the terms “Social and Emotional Learning,” “Grit,” “Resilience,” “Life Skills,” or “Soft Skills” being thrown around. While it is clear that these skills are extremely important to our young people and can be a large factor in determining success, it can be difficult to sort out which specific skills fall into these categories and how to teach them. At Rock Point School, we refer to teaching these skills as educating the “whole person.”
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Supporting Your Teen During School Vacation

on February 19, 2016 By CJ Spirito | Motivation school vacation
                          As we are heading into our vacation, I am thinking about a student at Rock Point from many years ago who really struggled to get back into the school schedule when she returned from vacation. It was impossible to get her downstairs for breakfast before her first class of the day. Jokingly, we made the first day back from vacation “Tara clause” - making breakfast optional that first Monday morning to help students ease back into school. To this day, some students still use the “Tara clause” on the first morning back from break!
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Motivating Teenagers in Summer? Impossible (Not)

on September 8, 2015 By CJ Spirito | Motivation
As the bounty in our garden grows, I have been reflecting on our summer program. It was such a sincere pleasure to see our students working hard in the garden and savoring the literal “fruits of their labors” throughout the summer. Students had ownership of their own raised garden beds and learned a lot about growing food, wildcrafting, and stewardship. As we head into a new school year, I want to share a few examples of what I know many of you, as parents and teachers, observe or struggle with daily about how to get (and keep) adolescents motivated.
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