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By Stacey Anderson, Littleton Head of School

Our campus is moving and grooving even during these chilly, snowy days!  There is great interest in our school and we are enjoying an influx of referral meetings this month.  I am excited about the great fit students and families who are investigating our community.  The reasons for the increased interest relate directly to our recent marketing efforts, our current parents sharing how pleased they are with their children’s education and experience at Mackintosh, and our ability to create highly engaging communities within our classrooms.


You may remember I spoke about conditions of “Powerful Learning” in our Holiday Virtual Toast. The concept of “Powerful Learning” is derived from an article in Educational Leadership by Karen Cushman called, Minds on Fire.  The conditions are linked and connective, contributing to motivation in a classroom, as well.  Research has long linked learners’ motivation with both the value learners place on the task and their expectation of success.  Cushman created a motivation equation, value x expectation = motivation.  Both pieces (value and expectation) are integral to the student’s motivation, if either is zero, motivation is also zero.

Our teachers rely on creating classrooms with the following conditions, which Cushman says increase motivation and powerful learning.

For a quick review, here are the reasons our classrooms are in the forefront of engaged learning.   Some relate to value and others to expectation.

  • Students feel safe.
  • The learning matters.
  • The experiences are active.
  • The questions and discussion stretch the students.
  • Teachers are coaches.
  • The learning will be used.
  • Students are expected to reflect on learning.
  • Students plan next steps are in relation to what they have learned.

Please keep sharing the good word and we will keep educating well.

Stacey Anderson, Head of School

Mackintosh Academy Littleton