Freshmen Create Open Windows

Over the course of the full academic year in English 9: Encountering The Other, students study a variety of media and literature, exploring and analyzing how the material can be framed as either: a mirror, reflecting some aspect of an individual’s identity; or, a window, providing insight into an identity or culture that is different from their own. Through this process, students strengthen the essential, spiraling skills outlined by the English department, with special focus on collaboration, discussion, critical thinking, literacy, and writing.

For their first assignment, students used Google slides to create personalized ‘open windows’ that introduced themselves to their classmates and to their teacher Sari Rotskoff ’00. In doing so, each student provided a window into their identity--sharing their interests, values, personality traits and unique attributes. 

“I think that they really took the idea and ran with it,” said Ms. Rotskoff. “I love that the open window slides are an insight into what each individual student values in terms of their beliefs but also the things that are important to them in their lives.”

Each slide had to contain specific visual elements including: the student’s name and photo, a six-word memoir, and representations of people, ideas, and things that are unique to them.  Each student recorded a video explaining the components they chose to include on their slide. Students had the opportunity to watch each other’s videos.

“Their ‘open window’ slides are a nice reflection of each student. It’s really cool to open yourself up in that way; to say ‘this is who I am, these are parts of my identity, this is what I value’. I think it sets a jumping off point for the year,” said Ms. Rotskoff.