Today in advisory, the students worked in pairs to solve  a variety of Tangrams. Tangram, an ancient Chinese puzzle, is sometimes called "seven pieces of cleverness." The object of the puzzle is to rearrange the pieces of a square (the puzzle pieces) to form figures (like the ones below) using the tangram pieces.

The students had an amazing time rearranging their puzzle pieces in an attempt to solve the problem.  Here are some of the comments from the students:
  • "When I worked with Henrik, he had done some of these before and he would tell me how to start" 
  • "We worked better if we treat each other the same way, neither one took the lead.. just worked together to figure it out"
  • Trial and error... "Maybe this goes here",  "A lot of YES", & "A lot of NO that won't work"

Check out the website and try them out.  The more you practice, the easier it gets.

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. For its second observance, this year’s Day will focus on “Innovating for Girls’ Education”.

The fulfilment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is also overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves: it is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization.

While there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls, particularly the most marginalized, continue to be deprived of this basic right. Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers. Even when girls are in school, perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations, or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes. The transformative potential for girls and societies promised through girls’ education is yet to be realized.

Recognizing the need for fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward, the 2013 International Day of the Girl Child will address the importance of new technology, but also innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves.


In observance of the International Day of the Girl Child, my advisory (along with Mr. Freeman's) shared the courageous story of Malala Yousafzai.  We then watched her speech to the United Nations.

Malala Yousafzai

A year ago Wednesday, Malala Yousafzai was riding the bus home from school when a Taliban gunman climbed aboard and shot her in the head. She nearly died.

Now, the 16-year-old advocate for girls' education is a popular favorite for the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded Friday.

To mark the anniversary of the shooting, her memoir, "I am Malala," came out Tuesday. The phrase has become a battle cry for the right to an education around the world.

The memoir follows her odyssey from near-death to global fame in just a year's time. It also gives a vivid account of her everyday life in Pakistan's Swat Valley and how she developed a love for education.

Her public fight to get that education and for the right of girls to get one, too, is what put her at odds with the Pakistani Taliban. (from an article published by CNN on Wednesday October 9, 2013)

On Monday, September 30th the group shared cookies and donuts in celebration of John's 11th birthday (September 29th). Coincidentally, it was my birthday as well.