In their Own Words: Students Reflect on the Milton Experience
October 1, 2022 by
Milton eighth grade students wrote reflections in Hebrew and English about the learning experiences they found most impactful over the years. Their writings capture the depth and breadth of our academic program, and the myriad ways Milton teachers engage students in learning that is purposeful, challenging, relevant, and enduring. Some students wrote about the experience of being part of a warm, vibrant pluralistic Jewish community, and the way that Jewish values and peoplehood have shaped their identity. Others highlighted opportunities to express their creativity, critical thinking, and writing skills in connection with literature studies; examples include creating a Macomb County Newspaper as an examination of racism and discrimination in connection with their study of To Kill a Mockingbird; writing a rap retelling the story of The Odyssey; writing a political speech from the perspective of a character in Animal Farm; making board games connected to a work of literature or social studies projects; and multiple ways they honed their writing skills, resulting in published pieces in national publications. Reflecting on our STEM programs, students wrote about developing their own inventions and presenting them at national conferences; the in-depth study of space in second grade; the third grade egg drop challenge; conducting experiments as part of their independent scientific inquiry projects; and building model homes that reflect geography and climate challenges in connection with their country and climate study. Other students chose to write about their yearlong country project in fourth grade, and the ways their in depth learning about geography, climate, culture and government served as a foundation for the model United Nations project in eighth grade, in which students research and apply design thinking skills to address a real world problem. A number of students reflected on the third grade U.S. states project and their research and writing about Native Americans as formative, giving them an opportunity to broaden their perspective and engage in meaningful research and writing. Considering their broader Milton experience, many students shared the importance of extracurricular sports, theater productions, and clubs, and their growth through collaboration, competition, and teamwork. These theme of community connections was also present in the many reflections about the capstone trip to Israel, shabbatonim, and field trips.
Enjoy reading the reflections by Milton’s class of 2022.