Last Thursday fourth grade teacher, Ms. Nichols, attended a lecture by Daniel Coyle, the author of The Talent Code.
Coyle visited nine “talent hotbeds”, places (sometimes small and unlikely places) that produce great talent. In his talk, Coyle gave the example of one small Russian tennis club, Spartak, which has produced more top 20 women players than the entire U.S.
Coyle has observed common patterns – methods of teaching, motivation, and coaching. His research distilled the essentials of how talent is made, or as the title of his book states, “The Talent Code.”
According to Ms. Nichols, “he assured us talent IS made – it’s not simply present at birth.”
Ms. Nichols noted what Coyle presents as the ingredients for talent:
Talent ingredient 1: Deep practice. “Deep practice is built on a paradox: struggling in certain targeted ways – operating at the edges of your ability, where you make mistakes – makes you smarter.” … “The best way to build a good circuit is to fire it, attend to mistakes, then fire it again, over and over. Struggle is not an option: it’s a biological requirement.”
Talent ingredient 2: Passion. Energy. It takes tremendous energy and time to stick with deep practice for the amount of time needed to develop talent.
Talent ingredient 3: Environment. Where does the passion come from? It comes from one’s environment. How someone sees himself or herself makes a difference in how much they learn. It’s important to see someone you want to become – to have someone in your windshield.
Just mix those ingredients together and voila, talent!
Mr. Coyle said the biological basis for why deep practice works is the building of myelin insulation that wraps around nerve fibers. The more a circuit is fired, the more layers of myelin and the faster and more efficient the firing gets.
He also said that as a teacher or a parent you can’t force talent on a child, but you can look for it and encourage it. He specified that kids need private space to ignite ideas, experiment and develop obsessions that lead them to develop talents.
This year’s musical is Alice in Wonderland, Directed by Shea Salyer with Music Direction by Jean Johnson.
Join Alice’s madcap adventures in Wonderland as she chases the White Rabbit, races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with the Tweedles, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game! Roles are plentiful, including three Cheshire Cats and dozens of other wonderfully wacky characters.
This fast-paced stage adaptation of Alice in Wonderland features updated dialogue and new arrangements of such classic Disney songs as “I’m Late,” “The Un-birthday Song” and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.”
First Cast Meeting*: Tuesday, November 30, 3:15-5:30pm in the Rainbow Theater
Callbacks for lead roles: Thursday, December 2, 3:15-5:30pm in the Rainbow Theater
Performance dates: March 10th & 11th.
Rehearsal days: Mondays and Wednesdays after school until 5:30pm
* You must be registered to attend the First Cast Meeting on November 30.
Click below to register; the Alice in Wonderland Musical is the 8th entry in the list.
Don’t be afraid to brag, if you know a family that might be interested in learning more about Villa Academy invite them to open house THIS Sunday at 1:00pm.
Villa Academy Fall Open House
Sunday November 21, 2010
1:00-3:30 p.m. (program begins at 1:00 p.m.)
Joe S. class of ’09 was named the 2010 U.S. Junior Solo Bagpiping Champion this weekend at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg.
The competition is open to all pipers and snare drummers younger than 18.
Joe clinched the title of Champion with a solo performance of “Too Long in this Condition” on a set of Inveran bagpipes. His prize: the Ralph Murray Memorial Scholarship for room, board and tuition for two weeks at the Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming.
This year the second grade raised a total of $963.00 for UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.
In the spirit of service, the Villa Academy second grade teamed up with the UNICEF Trick-or-Treat program and turned this Halloween into a service opportunity.
The UNICEF Halloween tradition started over 60 years ago, when Mary Emma Allison and her children followed a parade of costumed children down the street and inside a downtown Philadelphia department store. At a booth inside, donations were being collected for UNICEF’s powdered-milk programs. After this experience, Mary Emma and her family started a local grassroots campaign using a nationwide network of churches and community groups to expand the fundraising efforts for UNICEF by combining collections with the tradition of trick-or-treating.
The second grade continued the tradition this year by coordinating the UNICEF trick-or-treat collections for the entire Lower School. They passed out the collection boxes, made posters for the hallways, visited classrooms to explain the charity, gathered the donations, and count the money (as part of a coin counting curriculum.)
Michael L. is one of 24 winners in last year’s Holy Childhood Association’s Christmas Artwork Contest. On Saturday, Dec. 11, Michael will be honored at a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., where the artwork will be displayed during Advent and Christmas.
See the article in the Catholic NW Progress.
Today, in rainy 40 degree weather, Mrs. O’Neil and the 2nd grade tackled a forest of overgrown rhododendrons with hand-held pruners and work gloves.
Their mission: to reveal the historic Sacred Heart Villa Academy marquee at the original main entrance.
Each year Mrs. O’Neil finds a project that highlights Villa’s history. Computer lab studies are integrated with community curriculum in the classroom, and students have the opportunity to examine elements of the school that are original to Villa from 1924.
This year students were excited to uncover a buried treasure beneath years of overgrowth!
Look for the display of this project in progress on the main bulletin board outside the computer lab!