It’s Fearless Friday, and this week, AC Lunch Lady in Chief Laura Reynolds-Gorsuch and four students try Super Chef Yessie Roman’s AC Rainbow Carrot Salad. It’s a vegan recipe, made with orange, yellow, and purple carrots.
At Allendale Columbia School, Fearless Friday is when Lower School students join Laura, who admits she doesn’t usually like vegetables, in trying one of Super Chef’s veggie concoctions.
And the verdicts? “I love it!”, “It was delicious!”, “My favorite food”, and “Amazing!” It looks like this is one you’ll want to try at home.
Recipe: AC Rainbow Carrot Salad (6-8 servings)
- 6 cups shaved rainbow carrots
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup green onions, sliced
- Using short strokes with a vegetable peeler, shave carrots into thin shavings about 2 inches long.
- Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and spices in a bowl; pour over carrots and toss gently. Season carrots with salt and pepper; sprinkle with green onions.
Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches
Annie King and Linsay Alexander, 1st grade teachers
What happens when you combine children’s love for animals, fascination with buying and selling, and treats? Authentic, project-based learning – this week in the form of a social entrepreneurship venture making and selling dog biscuits to raise money for a local animal shelter.As we approached ways to make our math money unit a more practical, authentic learning opportunity, we revived an idea from Annie’s first year at AC. What is the most realistic way of obtaining and counting change? Selling a product!
If you’ve seen our classroom, with our resident rabbit, bearded dragon and array of bird feeders, it is evident that our children love animals. Several of our students have a passion for pet dogs, so we decided to make dog biscuits to sell. We spent our Monday morning in the Rainbow Room café baking biscuits (see recipe below). The baking process alone is rich in authentic learning, with students engaged in hands-on counting, simple fractions, units of measure, proportions, temperature, time, texture, shapes, material reuse, germs and cleanliness; in addition to digestion and allergy issues (since many dogs, like many people, do not tolerate wheat).
Once the baking was complete, students focused on marketing, which included making posters to advertise around AC and handouts to take home. This process involves writing, spelling, drawing, penmanship, spatial relations, and design. Sales teams interacted with customers on Tuesday and Wednesday morning from 8:00 to 8:20 a.m.: greeting guests, making eye contact, explaining the process and purpose of their project, practicing persuasion, answering questions, and expressing gratitude.
Out of the kindness and generosity of our students, when discussing where proceeds should be donated, they decided “To help poor animals who don’t have a family,” as one child stated. Students used their computers to research three local animal shelters, advancing their skills in internet searching, typing, reading, listening, and fact-finding. They each submitted a ballot, so, as one student explains, “If Lollypop Farm gets nine votes and the other shelters get seven votes, then we would give the money to Lollypop Farm, because it got the most votes.”
Students weighed the total change earned and made estimates based on their knowledge of coin values thus far in our money unit. Earlier in the week, we worked with a group of students proficient in counting mixed coins, coaching them on how to count large amounts of coins. They, in turn, taught their classmates how to count our sum of money received on Tuesday and Wednesday. When students are involved in helping to teach their peers, everyone wins.
In the end, we raised $181.87, and first graders decided to split the donations between Lollypop Farm, Verona Street Shelter, and Animal Service League. In turn, students developed a variety of foundational skills that will stick with them, as they utilized a variety of their senses to make learning more tangible. Throughout the process, first graders didn’t just learn about baking and business; they experienced what it was to be a baker, marketer, salesperson, accountant, and social entrepreneur.
After totaling the change and voting on which shelters to donate to, we asked our first graders what they enjoyed most about this venture, with Callahan summing it up best: “Everything – I loved everything about this project!”
Recipe: Cleo’s Dog Biscuits
Preheat oven to 350.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (if using, optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (can use the brown rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.
Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending on your dog’s chew preferences, ask first – and use biscuit or other shape cutter to punch shapes, gathering and re-rolling scraps as you go. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack before feeding to dog.
Makes up to 75 small (1″) biscuits or 50 medium biscuits
* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people we know, tolerate wheat.
Ann KingAfter pursing her passion for teaching, Ann became a long-term substitute at Allendale Columbia before beginning to teach first grade full-time at AC. Prior to beginning her teaching career, Ann was in the financial industry as an Assistant Vice President, Financial Analyst, and Corporate Trainer at two different regional banks. Ann earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Penn State College and her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Roberts Wesleyan College.
Linsay AlexanderLinsay is an educator with a Master of Science for Teachers degree in Art Education from Rochester Institute of Technology and has nearly 10 years experience in the field. She has taught in both large classrooms and small studio settings and has successfully created arts curricula for students in both public and private schools. As a member of the Rainbow Room team, Linsay works with both Pre-Primary and Lower School students at AC. Linsay has also filled in admirably as a long-term sub in first grade this year.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, First Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches
Allendale Columbia students present their sixth-annual TEDx event on Saturday, February 3rd, organized by youth for youth. The independently organized event, licensed by TED, is built around the theme of CTRL + ALT + DEL, leading to the question of “How and what do you reset, or reboot?”
This year’s event has nine speakers scheduled to take the stage, including:
- Sam Thomson, Student, Boston University, and CEO, Bluum
- 17 School 17 Student Council
- Alan Raskin, Student, Calkins Road Middle School
- Anderson Allen, Assistant Educational Coordinator, Boys and Girls Club of Rochester
- Natalie Northrup, Student, Honeoye Falls-Lima High School
- Andrew Brady, President & Chief Evolutionary Officer, The XLR8 Team, Inc. and Conscious Capitalism ROC
- Emily Atieh, Senior, Allendale Columbia School
- Brian Roets, Practice Lead: Infrastructure and End-User Computing, SMP Corp
- Carmen Gumina, Superintendent, Webster School District
Organized by the TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool class and club, the event aims to create dialogue, as well as give people a forum to share their passions, ideas and experiences. This will be one of only three TEDx events scheduled in Rochester this year.
The class and club are advised by Amy Oliveri, Director of the AC Center for Entrepreneurship, and Tony Tepedino, AC Hybrid Learning Coordinator and Entrepreneurship teacher.
For more information on the event and to view the full speaker lineup, visit tedxallendalecolumbiaschool.org. Registration is closed for the event, but you can follow the event on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Invent, LS Birches, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
Three of Allendale Columbia School’s 5th grade Robotics teams advanced to the Northern New York State Championship in the VEX-IQ Challenge Qualifier on Saturday, January 27th, in Buffalo. They also brought home several awards, for a total of eight awards for 5th grade teams over just the past three years.
Team 1250A, with Ethan, Lizzie, Jack, and Jerry, and Coach Truong and Coach Diehl, took home the Excellence Award, the highest award presented in the VEX IQ Program. The awardee exemplifies overall excellence, dedication, devotion, hard work, and teamwork. They also won the Teamwork Champion Award with their alliance partners from iCanCode for the highest score in the Teamwork Challenge Finals matches.
Coach Klinkbeil and Coach Cooper led Mollie, Oliver, Ariela, and Marina on Team 1250D to the Design Award, given to the team that produced a clear and complete Engineering Notebook that documents and demonstrates organization and effectiveness in the team’s robot design process.
The coveted Judges Award was awarded to Team 1250C, with Ella, Gwen, Victoria, and Maya, with Coach Herberger and Coach Timpani. The Judges Award is presented to a team deserving of special recognition for effort, perseverance, and accomplishments that may not fall under existing awards but are still deserving of recognition.
Team 1250B also enjoyed the competition, with Coach Reece and Eric, Carater, Priya, and Audriana.
The faculty advisor for the 5th grade VEX-IQ program, Lower School STEM teacher Donna Chaback, also won the Volunteer of the Year Award for the region.
The next time to see the AC teams compete will be…at AC, as Allendale Columbia hosts the VEX-IQ Northern New York State Championship on Sunday, March 4th, from 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches
Four Allendale Columbia School students have been selected to display their art at START HERE, an invitational exhibition from students in the Middle School and High School art programs of the Rochester and Finger Lakes region at RIT’s Bevier Gallery.
Desk by Madison DeCory ’18, Andrew by Yiming Tang ’20, Envy by Marlin Bassett ’21, and Dark Portrait by Adrian Fuller ’21 were chosen for the exhibit by art teachers Amy Oliveri and Lori Wun. Middle and High School teachers from the region were allowed to each select and submit a piece from two students for the show.
The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, January 26th, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Awards will be presented to selected students at 5:30 p.m. in the Webb Auditorium. The exhibit runs through February 10th. (Click for directions.)
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Kid Kudos, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
by Tina Duver
Adolescence is a time where teenagers can struggle with the navigation through the rough waters of social interactions, academics, independence, and self-doubt. Here at Allendale Columbia, we are a responsive community who constantly engages our students in dialogue around topics of community and inclusivity. That dialogue in middle school has led to our participation in the KIND Schools Challenge.
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert defines happiness as “frequent positive feelings accompanied by an overall sense that one’s life has meaning.” In the Leadership and Experience Lab elective, students clued into this and spent some time discussing what it meant to be happy while being a middle school student at Allendale Columbia. They learned that psychology research has shown a very strong connection between happiness and success in the workplace for adults. Why couldn’t this apply to life as a student, and what would that look like? For our students, words such as belonging, inclusivity, connection, respect, understanding, and relationships came up repeatedly.
When the students in the Leadership and Experience Lab elective came across the KIND Schools Challenge, they sensed an opportunity to create dialogue to continue discussion and for students to truly think about inclusivity and happiness within the middle school and actually put it into action. Knowing that kindness has the power to unite school communities and undermine common issues such as bullying and harassment, Making Caring Common was created. It’s a joint project from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and The KIND Foundation who have partnered to launch the KIND Schools Challenge. Students across the country were invited to envision a project which brought kindness and inclusivity into their schools, budget for it, and have a plan to put it into action.
The Leadership elective went to work and submitted three separate projects. In the end, one project, entitled, B.R.I.C.K., caught the attention of the KIND Schools Challenge organizers and was selected as a top 10 finalist from over 200 approved applications. The concept behind B.R.I.C.K. was the fact that walls are often symbols or barriers or exclusion. For the students in the B.R.I.C.K. group (Josh Nozik, Joelle Blankenship, Sean Li, Keria Donnelly, and Chris Smoker), it meant something much more. Walls can be built to protect and to keep things in, such as along a river or to protect wildlife. B.R.I.C.K. stands for Building Respect, Inclusivity, Community, and Kindness), and their idea was for every student in our community to paint a brick that represents them. The bricks would be discussed in advisory, and students would learn more about each other and encourage a feeling of inclusivity. Then, the bricks would be assembled together in the middle school hallway to represent that every brick of a wall is important, and if one of the students were not part of a community, an empty place would be left behind, making the wall weaker.
Through the generosity of the KIND Foundation and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the project is being funded and supported to be considered for completion to be considered for the grand prize. The students have been engaged in check-in calls with Harvard and The KIND Foundation to make sure they feel supported and to answer any questions. Students are currently working on painting bricks with not only the middle school community, but staff, faculty, and Upper and Lower School students as well. In April, they will submit their impact report to the Foundation.
Tina DuverAt Allendale Columbia, Tina serves as the Head of Middle School. She has taught Science and Leadership at AC for over 15 years. Tina earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She brings her natural curiosity, energy, and excitement to education. Tina is also a die-hard Red Sox fan.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, The Birches, US Birches