Seeing Injustice Through the Eyes of Children

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

No one points out injustice quite like a child does. And no one gives us more hope than our children do.

Beginning with their preparations for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and their annual Kindergarten Breakfast, Allendale Columbia Kindergarten students learned about the life and legacy of Dr. King and the outstanding contributions of African American authors, artists, statesman, and scientists.

But while their research told them about these great people in our history and of today, the most difficult questions began with “why.”

(more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School

Six AC Students Receive 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Posted on February 8th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

By Lori Kimbrough Wun

Ava Gouvernet ’20 and Gabe Rosen ’19 received coveted Gold Key Awards in The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Allendale Columbia students Ava Gouvernet ’20 and Gabe Rosen ’19 received coveted Gold Key Awards in The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition conducted by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, with four additional students also getting awards.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is one of the country’s longest running and largest juried art exhibitions for visual art students in grades 7-12. The Awards have an impressive legacy dating back to 1923 and a noteworthy roster of past award winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford, Zac Posen, Ken Burns, and Joyce Carol Oates. (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Ukuleles Build Connection, Creativity, and Resilience

Posted on February 1st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

By Rachael Sanguinetti

Happy National Ukulele Day!

If you’ve visited the AC chorus room in the last two years, you probably noticed a huge addition to the decor of the room: 22 concert-size ukuleles on the back walls. They are a point of conversation on many tours of the music building and have become an important part of the AC Middle School music offerings.

We use these instruments in 6th Grade Foundational Music and in Ukulele Electives offered each semester. They are also used in Lower School General Music classes and for Upper School clubs. Over the past few years they have been used by many students across divisions for composition, performance, and group music making. (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School

Robotics Teams Win Design, Amaze, and Research Awards

Posted on January 31st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

by Donna Chaback

AC’s Gia helps direct the MAGMA team’s driver Amora in a Teamwork Challenge.

Allendale Columbia School teams brought home three awards at the VEX IQ Robotics Qualifier, and at least two teams, VEX Chargers and MAGMAS, will be going on to the State Championships.

The Qualifier was held Saturday, January 26th, at the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse. A total of 38 VEX IQ Robotics teams of students in Grades 4-8 participated. AC’s teams were all composed of 5th-graders. The State VEX IQ Championship will be held at the MOST on March 9th. AC has had teams go on to the World Championships in each of the last two years, with last year’s team winning one of the Sportsmanship awards. (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School

AC Seniors Selected for “Start Here” Exhibition at RIT

Posted on January 31st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Allendale Columbia seniors Misha Zain and Tsioianiio Galban were selected to exhibit their artwork in the invitational “Start Here” exhibition at RIT, which runs through Saturday, February 2nd. At the exhibition Misha was presented with the Advertising Award for Excellence and Creativity from RIT’s faculty for her untitled portrait photograph. (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Young Soloists Turn Butterflies Into Bravado

Posted on January 24th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Yes, there were a few butterflies in the stomachs of Lower School students who had signed up for the annual Solo Performance Night held January 18th. But once they got started, the young students turned those butterflies into brave and beautiful notes that floated to the receptive ears of a welcoming audience.  (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

AC Science Students Challenged with a Different Kind of Midterm

Posted on January 24th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

By Maya Crosby

It’s midterm week at Allendale Columbia School, but around here you will see a different kind of test. End-of-semester exams measure Upper School science students’ understanding of concepts through more authentic, challenge-based assessments.

As a part of his analytical chemistry final, sophomore Spencer Dworkin determines the type of chemical reaction occurring in the test tube.

In Analytical Chemistry, a required science course, students take part of their exam in the lab, discovering the identity of an unknown. They answer questions about each reaction, focusing on “why did this reaction occur” and “what does it mean?”. In Forensics, they take on a case-based challenge, trying to understand the nature of a crime using clues provided to them and the tools in the lab. Using this kind of assessment requires much more work on the part of faculty than a traditional multiple-choice exam. However, it’s worth the extra effort in terms of the quality of the learning that the students can demonstrate and the lasting understanding that a student takes with them after the course. (more…)

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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

MLK-inspired Dreams to Rhombicuboctahedrons: Celebrating Learning in Lower School

Posted on January 18th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

From Kindergarteners’ dreams inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech to rhombicuboctahedrons made by fifth-graders, students in AC’s Lower School demonstrated some of their recent work in a Celebration of Learning assembly.

After reciting the “I Have a Dream” Poem in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, each Kindergarten student read a dream they have for the future. These kind-hearted children included dreams for everyone to have a house and car, food, water, give to others, take care of children, keep the world clean, help other people, and for everyone to be loved.

First-graders recalled facts they learned about local animals, with masks they had made with Ms. Alexander. They also performed a rap song they wrote with Mrs. Grossman about recycling:

Save the Earth, Recycling Wins!
By the First-Grade Rock Band

We want to help you know,
where all the trash should go.
If you have a piece of toast,
Where to put it? The compost!

Plastic, paper, cardboard, cans
If you recycle, you protect our lands.
Put them all in the big blue bin!
Do this now, and you will win!

Dirty wrappers, broken toys,
Listen up, girls and boys!
Don’t put things in the wrong space,
it makes our earth a stinky place.

CHORUS:
Recycling! Recycling!
Just as fun as playing!
Recycling! Recycling!
Saving our earth is thrilling!

Recycling! Recycling!
Just as fun as playing!
Recycling! Recycling!
Saving our earth is thrilling!

“Bee Kind” was the second-graders’ motto and recent project, with its bee mascot, Zinger, whose voice made everyone giggle. They presented different ways people could add kindness in their daily lives. They also performed a regal “Kings and Queens” folk dance.

What strategies can be used to multiply numbers? Third-graders performed a skit to demonstrate multiplication strategies they’ve learned, including skip counting by threes, the sevens distributive property, halving the fives, and using solvemojis to “crack the code” of symbols representing numbers in multiple operations, and having an “ice cream party” treasure hunt after solving their 1,000th math problem of the year.

AC fourth-graders presented part two of their Zero Hunger project, explaining how wasting food also wastes money, labor, fuel, water, and time, and giving tips on how to reduce food waste with waste monsters:

  1. Take smaller portions!
  2. Eat all your crusts!
  3. Plan ahead to buy food you will actually use!
  4. Use up leftovers. Make a soup or an omelette. Just use them up!
  5. Clean out your pantry. Use up food close to expiration or donate. Preserve, pickle, or can food!

They also wrote and recited a food waste reduction pledge:

As an Allendale Columbia school student, I pledge to do the following.

    • I pledge to be mindful about food during lunch.
    • I pledge to ask about portions when getting more food.
    • I pledge to waste as little food as possible by taking only what I will eat from the salad bar.
    • I pledge to try and drink all of my milk, juice, or water each day.
    • I pledge to be appreciative of the hard work our lunch staff does on a daily basis.
    • I pledge to be courteous when informing others about the importance of curbing food waste.
    • If I am out to eat and there are leftovers, I will bring it home in a box.

How many books have you read since September? Fifth-graders updated everyone on their 40 Book Challenge, where each student is challenged to read 40 books from a variety of genres. They’ve read a total of 239 books this school year, and since their last Celebration of Learning in November, they’ve read 102 books. They explained how to make polyhedrons (many-sided objects), starting with “nets,” which are flat shapes that can be folded into 3-D objects; rhombicuboctahedrons, objects made by folding paper into 6 triangles and 18 squares; and stellated (star-shaped) rhombicuboctahedrons with 18 folded pyramids. They also watched the documentary, “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” which inspired the students to write letters to the film’s creators.

There’s a whole lot of learning going on in Lower School!

 

Kristin Cocquyt

John Palomaki

After working at a small college in California and some early tech companies, John spent a stimulating 10 years at Microsoft through the 90s as a systems engineer and managing executive relations programs. Since then, John has worked with non-profit organizations and has held leadership roles in independent schools in New Jersey and Connecticut in development, communications, and technology. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences (Biology) from Colgate University.
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Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade