Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Saturday School Helps Students Prepare for Finals

Social Studies Teacher Joshua Biederman shares his experience teaching Saturday School to help students prepare for end-of-school year exams.


Teachers at TMA put in an incredible amount of time, thought, and action into preparing students for exams. Our students are dedicated and aim to be better, especially during this time of the year. TMA students take a GREAT DEAL of exams and even though students essentially earn the test scores, we, as teachers, play a crucial role in this process.

As an educator, I take pride in going the extra mile to prepare students for the slew of exams that they are required to take in order to advance to the next grade or be accepted into college. In addition to passing content specific exams in all their classes, students must take PARCC assessments in English, Math, and Biology, the SAT, the ACT, SAT II content exams, and AP exams. It’s no joke, and requires massive preparation.

So what do we do at TMA?  

We offer Saturday School and give students time outside of the traditional classroom setting to prepare for exams.

While this does require teachers to prepare additional lessons for an additional day of work, TMA teachers still put forth the extra effort. It is easy to do when you have an administration that supports you and students who are willing to study hard. Thanks to the support that TMA provides, including free lunch for students on these days, it is productive to work with students outside of the barriers and structure of traditional class.

What students and teachers look forward to most is the freedom that we can take advantage of on a weekend day. There’s no need to grade student work and students have the room to shout out answers and other fragments of information as it comes to mind. The beauty is not worrying about disrupting other classrooms and being surrounded by enthusiastic young people who gave up their Saturday because they are eager to learn.

Getting any student to school six days a week could be a struggle, but I have always found it easy to work with students on Saturdays. TMA offers incentives – a fabulous field trip to King’s Dominion amusement park – for students who improve their scores and attend Saturday sessions. So really, students have nothing to lose.






Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hosts of TMA’s Job Shadow Day Are Inspired by Students’ Enthusiasm and Willingness to Learn


This year’s Job Shadow Day was an amazing opportunity for students in the sophomore class to explore careers and make professional connections.

Students look forward Job Shadow Day, an opportunity to travel to a job placement site and swap their school uniform for business attire. But the hosts, many of whom are experts in their line of work, are just as eager to mentor students and introduce them to typical work day activities. Job Shadow Day gives hosts a chance to experience, first-hand, the drive and hunger that TMA students continue to put forth in an effort to learn more about their future crafts.

Below are testimonials from this year’s hosts:

The company loved having DeAndre around. He got to meet with folks in several departments, do an energy efficiency walk-through of a commercial building, and visit the Earth Conservation Corps’ historic pump house on the Anacostia to learn about their programs.” Cory, DC Sustainable Energy Utility

The students are very outgoing and friendly. One of them, who expressed interest in being a lawyer, asked great questions after reading some case-related materials. Overall, they led educated discussions and are great students who are very intelligent and were very helpful.” Inez, Williams & Connolly, LLP

Christina was a pleasure to have at the office. She spent the day with FHH attorneys, watching us work, asking questions, and sharing her interest in going to law school one day. We even had a chance to treat her to a viewing spot on the rooftop patio, where we saw the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover in honor of the 70th anniversary of the V-E Day. It was definitely a perfect time for her to visit.” Jonathan, Fletcher Heald & Hildreth

Tayanna and Tiffany are a bit worn out, but we had fun! We walked the campus quite a bit and saw key areas of the schools. I was sure to take them on a tour of the engineering school and the medical school. Before they left, we presented them with emergency kits that will keep them informed about occupational health.  I think they've learned a lot about how we keep students, staff, and faculty of the university safe.” Naomi, George Washington University

TMA partners with a number of career professionals throughout the DC Metro area who host students at their respective place of work and offer advice on professionalism, new careers, and the necessary academic steps and skills required to become leaders in their field of choice.

If you want to introduce TMA students to a career you’re passionate about and host a Job Shadow Day in the future, please email Molly Rothschild: mrothschild@tmapchs.org


Participating Job Placements include:


Monday, June 3, 2013

The Warrior Review Launch Party



Thurgood Marshall Academy's student authors and artists attended the launch party for the school's first annual literary journal, The Warrior Review, this past Friday in the courtyard. Students signed copies of The Warrior Review and read their work at an open mic!


Music teacher Mr. Van Siclen played original compositions that students created in Music Club, and unveiled the TMA sound cloud page: https://soundcloud.com/pvansiclen.

The Warrior Review is now available for purchase: $3 with a TMA student ID, and $5 without. You can buy them in the Programs Office, or by emailing Mr. Corcoran: acorcoran@tmapchs.org.

If you see any of our 38 contributors out and about, congratulate them on their achievements!

Darricka Allen

Te’Asia Capies
Beverly Carpenter
Cheyonne Dickens
Amani Dunn
Japaira Ellison
DeLanté Fludd
Monee Ford
Stewart Gray
Daymoni Guyton
Lexis Harkum
Rebecca Holloway
Demetria House
Kaneshia House
Elcid Johnson, Jr.
Kadeejah Johnson
Marquett Jones
Destiny Long
Roneisha Mason
Kennika Massie
Malachi McCAskill
Carlos McKnight
D’ionni Michals-Phillips
Mario Munroe
Marissa Munroe
Marcelus Newell
Earica Parrish
Aaron Parrish-Dean
Brian Reid
Lawrence Rosemond
Khalia Scott
Raven Smith
Jordan Taylor
Cornell Thorndyke
Cer’cia Wallace
Kenyana Williams
Gregory Wilson 
Michelle Wright




Friday, March 22, 2013

March Mentor Day!

The March Mentor Day was spent with the wonderful team at the Capital Area Food Bank in Northeast Washington DC. Students and Mentors participated in a cooking demonstration with Chef Grace Lichaa, where each team made BBQ Turkey Mini Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Smoothies and Salads.

We would like to give a very special THANK YOU to mentor Stephanie Sneed for organizing this wonderful event! You are amazing, Stephanie!!!!

Take a look at March's Mentor Day:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

TMA Senior Wins GW Tractenberg Scholarship!



On Wednesday, March 20th, Thurgood Marshall Academy senior DeLanté Fludd was awarded the George Washington University S. J. Tractenberg Scholarship, becoming TMA's fourth Tractenberg Scholar. 

The scholarship, which is valued at $200,000, is awarded to exemplary students graduating from an accredited DC public or public charter high school, and covers four years of expenses at GW.  

The announcement was made by GW President Steven Knapp and Karen Felton, GW's Director of Admissions, in front of the entire 11th and 12th grade classes. TMA alumni and GW students (and current Tractenberg scholars) Markus Batchelor and Moo Bae, as well as a representative from Councilmember Marion Barry's office, were on hand for the announcement.  We are so proud of DeLanté!
 

Monday, March 4, 2013

SGA Buddy System off and running

 
The Buddy System's first meeting!
Student Government has been hard at work running the Buddy System, in which underclassmen are partnered with upperclassmen peer mentors. This student-run program aims to help students connect with one another and use each other as a resource. Each meeting is designed with a different theme or activity to get students excited to work with their buddy, including icebreakers, movie days, scavenger hunts, trivia, and portfolio prep days. 

Junior Markel Lucas and his buddy, Freshman Amon Sutton participate in an icebreaker at the first buddy system meeting.

Rigbsy Law Camp Begins


Thurgood Marshall Academy Students Carlos Mcknight, Sakina Musa, LaDawn Curley, and Sydni Foshee are participating in the Law and Government Explorers’ Law Camp, which offers high school students mentoring relationships with professionals in the legal field. The program is designed to expose students to law and government career choices, as well as address issues relevant to student’s lives. 

Over the next few months, our students will learn about case strategy, direct and cross examination, and opening and closing statements in order to eventually participate in a Mock Trial competition in June. TMA students are very excited to learn more about the law and connect their experiences at school with the outside world. 

Green Club Shakes it Up


With all the great fruit and veggies from the Great Garden of Anacostia, the TMA Green club served up a variety of tasty shakes last week. Combinations of carrots, beets, celery, grapefruit, oranges, apples and ginger created delicious and healthy treats. Look out for more great food from Green Club this semester!


Monday, February 11, 2013

The Clubs Showcase



Nachos, anyone?

TMA had our first annual Clubs Showcase after school this past Thursday, February 7th. It was a huge success, with over 15 clubs in attendance. Debate showed off their recent trophies, Green Club made very tasty nachos, IT Wiz Kids took apart and rebuilt computers, Book Club passed out this month’s book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Robotics ended the Showcase with their robot attempting to untie Mr. Corcoran's shoe.  More photos from the Showcase are below this post!

Debate shows off their recent trophies!

THANK YOU to all the clubs in attendance:

Debate
Connections
Book Club
The TMA Robot!
Music
Green
Media
Writing Center
Wilderness
SGA/ADL
Robotics
HERO
VYBE
IT Wiz Kids
Teen Action

 TMA students: are you looking to join a club? Did you miss the showcase? Stop by the Programs Office (Room 210) for information on which clubs are accepting new members! 


IT Wiz Kids show off their skills. 

Ms. Horn plugs the great outdoors!

Green Club hands out nachos!

Ms. Williams, Robotics advisor, with Robotics members!

Book Club recruits new members!

HERO Club handed out free hats! 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thurgood Marshall Academy hosted our 5th Annual Scholarship Day


Thurgood Marshall Academy hosted our 5th Annual Scholarship Day for seniors on Saturday, January 26th.  About 35 seniors attended and worked one-on-one with volunteers on scholarship applications.  About 35 volunteers also attended, many of whom are TMA mentors in the Mentor Program, TMA teachers, or tutors with the Law Firm Tutoring Program.

Seniors are required to complete five scholarship applications as part of their Senior Seminar course, and many of them were able to complete some if not all their applications during Scholarship Day. Hopefully all their hard work will pay off and they will receive money for college!



Students Plan Their Summers at the Summer Programs Fair


Thurgood Marshall Academy held our first annual Summer Programs Fair today after school on the half day. 

Students interested in applying for summer jobs, internships, and other programs came to the library to learn more about which programs were available.


Fifteen students from all grade levels attended the fair, including seniors Daymoni Guyton and Imani Scriber, who picked up applications for summer internships through Urban Alliance, the National Institutes of Health, and Smithsonian’s Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) program.

Did you miss the Summer Programs Fair? You can find out about all of our programs online at www.tmasummerprograms.blogspot.com or by picking up a Summer Programs Manual in the Programs Office (Room 210). 

January Law Day

On Friday, January 25th, students attended their third Law Day program, in which 9th grade students travel to local law firms and learn about legal concepts from practicing attorneys! Half of the 9th grade class went to Hogan Lovells and the remaining students were split between Latham & Watkins and Foley & Lardner.

Students left TMA for their respective law firms at 12:30. Once they arrived at the law firms, students split into smaller groups and participated in a discussion on individual rights led by a few attorneys. The students learned how to discuss the basic individual rights protected by our legal system and understood that individual rights can come into conflict. For example, students were tasked with narrowing down the many rights afforded Americans and protected by the Constitution to the three rights that they believe are the most fundamental. Many groups agreed that the right not to be made a slave, the freedom of speech, and freedom of religion are some of our most important individual rights. Students also engaged in a role playing exercise, based off of an actually Supreme Court case, about protests at military funerals. Our students left this exercise with a strong knowledge of how the right to privacy, freedom of religion, right to peaceably assemble, and freedom of speech can sometimes come in conflict with one another.

Despite the cold and snow, the third law day was a great success. A special thanks to the chaperones and volunteers at the firms of Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins and Foley & Lardner!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The RoboWarriors Finish Strong in First Round of Competition!


The Thurgood Marshall Academy Robotics Team, the RoboWarriors, have completed their first round of qualifying matches.

 

Last Saturday, the team embarked on a journey that began with a 5:30am meeting in room 103. The few, the proud, and the brave (Demetria House, Kaneshia House, Stewart Gray, and Keneon Williams) walked in the dense morning fog to make it to TMA before heading to the US Naval Academy for robot inspection, panel presentations, robot re-inspection, and qualifying matches, accompanied by Vee Nguyen and LaRita Williams, team advisers.  

 
(The following students were not on the competition team but have worked to create the robot.

1. Jordan Morrison
2. Darren Moore
3. Eric Izzard
4. Carlos McKnight
5. Chris Ridout
6. Jasmin Thomas)
Please congratulate our Robotics team for winning 3 of 6 qualifying matches.  The final rank for the day was 10 out of 27, where those teams ahead of us were previous champions, including last year's world champions.  Our competition team remained strong even in the face of a 14 hour day (including traveling).  We walked in with a deficit as we were not prepared to have our robot run autonomously, but the team worked together between matches to make changes and improve the robot.  The students were in awe of the beauty of Annapolis and took some amazing pictures. 


Thanks to all who've supported our team this year!

Please congratulate our RoboWarriors for a job well done and stay tuned for details of the next competition on February 9, 2013.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

TMA Students Earn Summer Program Scholarships


This past semester, over 30 Thurgood Marshall Academy 10th and 11th grade students applied for OSSE Scholars, a free summer program sponsored by the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education. OSSE Scholars helps high-achieving high school sophomores and juniors to attend summer academic enrichment programs at some of the top-tier colleges in the country, including Boston University, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania.

TMA had over 2/3 of our eligible sophomores and juniors apply to OSSE Scholars this fall. Students submitted online applications, including a list of their classes, resume, and current transcripts, and interviewed with OSSE.

This year, Thurgood Marshall Academy had the highest number of applicants to OSSE Scholars out of all DC Public and Public Charter High Schools, and we were tied for the most acceptances (seven) out of any school. All seven TMA OSSE Scholars will receive free application help from OSSE, fee waivers for their summer programs, and have their program travel and housing covered through the program.

TMA’s OSSE Scholars are hard at work completing their final applications for these summer programs, which include writing personal statements, gathering recommendations from faculty, and choosing the courses they’ll take this summer! We wish them all the best as they get ready for their summers! 

Our 2013 OSSE Scholars are:

Lucas Dabney, 11th grade, who will be attending Syracuse University’s Summer College

Antione Fenwick, 11th grade, attending Cornell’s Summer College for High School Students

Stewart Gray, 11th grade, Stanford’s Summer at Stanford High School Summer College

Tanazia Matthews, 11th grade, attending Boston University’s Summer Challenge Program

Rushawna May, 10th grade, attending University of Pennsylvania’s Summer Academy

Sakina Musa, 10th grade, Northwestern University’s College Prep IN FOCUS Seminars

Cer'cia Wallace, 10th grade, attending Barnard College’s Summer in the City

December Mentor Day Recap



Our December Mentor Day was spent serving the community and reflecting on the things in our lives that we are most grateful for. To prepare for this mentor day, the students at Thurgood Marshall Academy participated in a school wide competition where students were encouraged to bring in donations of toiletries, socks, underwear, hats, scarves and similar items. In just two short weeks, the students at Thurgood Marshall Academy showed their spirit of giving by donating over 800 items to the Shoebox Gift Drive to be donated to the organization S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat). Of course we have to give special congratulations to the Senior Class for bringing in the most items for the drive!

The following Saturday, the Mentors and Mentees showed up with EVEN MORE items for the drive and prepared to get to work! Each team worked together to wrap, label and decorate shoeboxes, filled with essentials for a man, woman, or child. Teams also worked together to create Peppermint Christmas Tree centerpieces and snowflake wreaths to bring some holiday cheer to the Homeless Shelter at S.O.M.E.  Mentor teams posed for the camera at our Holiday Photo Booth and they also created picture frames using old school Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s Glue. The day was truly filled with holiday cheer, hard work and gratitude for all that we have and are able to do.


In total, we donated 77 Holiday Shoe Boxes, 23 Peppermint Christmas Tree Centerpieces and 20 Snowflake wreathes. We also donated 4 large bags of clothes, several bags of extra toiletries and supplies, but most of all, we delivered the message that people care about the Homeless in our city.  Thurgood Marshall Academy and the Mentor Program definitely made a tremendous impact this holiday season!