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Deep Days: How NEIA’s Innovative Schedule Changes the Game

Deep Days are a NEIA staple. Here, at the end of the semester, this schedule gives each class a two-hour block for deep work; this could be an assessment, a project, an activity, or an intentional cross-subject-areas integration. Hear from our teachers about how they utilized this unique opportunity. 

Melissa B., Laboratory Skills and Experimentation: “12th graders performed a redox titration, an analytical technique used to accurately determine the concentration of a solution (in this case, hydrogen peroxide, a common household cleaner). Having a longer class period allowed students to get a more complete lab experience, including lab set-up and proper waste disposal. The longer block also allowed time to perform multiple trials of the same experiment. Students will use their own numerical results from these trials in class next week to talk about data analysis, statistics, and reporting numerical data in scientific research.”

Sara, MS Spanish 2: “Deep Days allowed MS Spanish 2 to work collaboratively to create a giant city map with newly learned vocabulary and language skills. The extended timeframe allowed the students to complete the entire design and implementation process from start to finish, and find the rhythm of working together to create their masterpiece. In subsequent classes, students will use their map to demonstrate understanding of this topical language.”

Tamara, Theater 1: “It was just awesome to have the time that didn’t disrupt anything else to be able to then take them to Jaworeck Elementary and have my class perform for 60 fourth graders. I think they were super nervous about it to start with and they didn’t know what to expect, but what was beautiful about it was that these fourth graders reacted in the way kids do: they laughed and they interacted and they called out. There was all this joy, it was really cool.”

Francisco, Innovation Studio 9-11: “In 9th grade, teams of students started designing and coding a videogame that raises awareness about an environmental issue. They’ll be working on it in the following day’s sessions, and, hopefully, we’ll provide a way for the whole NEIA community and the world to play these games soon. In 10th grade, we learned how to extract a topographic map with elevation using Blender and Google Earth. 11th-grade students worked on their gingerbread houses. They prototyped with cardboard, and then laser-cut the gingerbread. Now, they get to build it.”

Deep Days will return in May, from Monday, May 20, through Thursday, May 23.

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On Tuesday, 9th-grade Visual Arts embarked on a real-world exploration. The students visited the New England Aquarium, immersing themselves in the vibrant marine environment where they were inspired and tasked to translate their experiences onto paper.

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