Grade Level Programming: Ignite
Tilton School

At Tilton School, our goal to ignite a lifelong passion for learning within our students is supported by Grade Level Programming. This integrated teaching approach is cross-discipline and grade-specific. Grade Level Programming brings teams of faculty together with students to solve problems, think deeply and work together to navigate their world.

Grade level teams have been established with the goal of providing consistent, effective planning and operational vehicles for faculty who work with students at various developmental levels within the school. Each grade level culminates with a significant performance moment in which students demonstrate the skills and knowledge that they have mastered during the course of the year.

Tilton sophomores are members of the Ignite program, headed by Ellissa Popoff, Social Science Teacher. The theme of the 10th-grade program is “navigating uncharted territory drives deep personal and universal discovery.” When designing programming, the Ignite team outlines four main goals:

  • For students to take on different roles within their groups.

  • Work on their collaborative skills.

  • Reflect on their own participation within the group.

  • An opportunity for fun!

To achieve these goals, sophomores must use and strengthen these five essential skills:

  • Critical Thinking

  • Mindfulness

  • Innovation and Design Thinking

  • Creative Engagement

  • Communication

"The theme of our 10th grade or Ignite program is cause and effect relationships and group building. So, what role do you play in groups and how does what you contribute or not contribute to the group affect the outcome?” Popoff says. 

We want to give students opportunities to try a lot of new things, see how they function, and then, more importantly, reflect on how they do so they can really learn about themselves and how they work.

These goals and essential skills are supported by a number of projects throughout the year that allows students to challenge themselves in different roles and groups. Last month, sophomores were placed in small groups and tasked with completing a short film (2-5 minutes).  After submitting scripts and shot lists in one of three categories for approval (Comedy, Drama, PSA, Action, Science Fiction), students filmed and edited during a Grade Level Programming day. All films were shown after Formal Dinner on Monday, November 18. In January, students will be constructing cardboard sleds in teams and racing down Tilton Hill. 

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