Fearless Friday: Sweet Potato Throwdown

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Super Chef Yessie Roman and Chief Chef Laura Reynolds-Gorsuch faced off on Fearless Friday in a Sweet Potato Throwdown! Usually on Fearless Friday at Lower School lunch, Super Chef makes a vegetable dish for Chef Laura (who doesn’t typically like vegetables) and some student volunteers to try.

This time, the two chefs did a throwdown using sweet potatoes as the main vegetable ingredient. Super Chef made Sweet Potato Fries (no recipe, just sweet potatoes, olive oil, and seasoning), and Chef Laura made a Vegan Sweet Potato Bread. Students were the judges in the taste test, and the winner was…Chef Laura’s Sweet Potato Bread! (It’s difficult to compete with sugar.)

Recipe: Vegan Sweet Potato Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 mashed, ripe bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (or canned sweet potatoes)

Directions

  1. Combine sugar and oil; beat well. Add eggs and sweet potatoes and beat. In a
    separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir flour
    mixture into egg mixture with the water.
  2. Pour batter into greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350
    degrees for about one hour.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches

LS Students Wake Audience with “I’m Not Sleepy…Yet!”

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Lower School students in Grades 1-5 should rest well now, having thrilled audiences with their musical, “I’m Not Sleepy…Yet!” Last performed when this year’s seniors were in 5th grade, this home-grown story mixes popular lullabies and a theme song written by an alumnus with the background of a sleepover at school and students’ playful attempts to resist the teachers’ plans to have them get to sleep.

Students acted, sang, played instruments, and even became puppeteers for memorable songs like “Puff the Magic Dragon” and a spectacular black-light rendition of “All the Pretty Little Horses”. And what’s a sleepover without a pillow fight?

Click to open 2018 Lower School Musical Program“Sleepy” was written and directed by 5th grade teacher and Artistic Director Randy Northrup, with musical direction from music teachers Lynn Grossman and Rachael Sanguinetti and assistance from all of the Lower School faculty. The main song was composed by AC alumnus Carson Cooman ’00! A professional composer now, he is a graduate of Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon University and currently serves as the Composer in Residence at the Memorial Church at Harvard.

Students also conducted a pajama drive, collecting 100 pairs of PJs that will be delivered to the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN)!

Click here for a Google Photos album with song videos and more pictures.

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Posted in: Alumni News, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade

Fearless Friday: Caramelized Turnips

Posted on February 9th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Today’s Fearless Friday vegetable preparation in Lower School is Caramelized Turnips. AC Lunch Lady Patty Babcock did the honors with Super Chef Yessie Roman. Did everyone like it? Watch the video, then try the recipe for yourself!

Recipe: Caramelized Turnips

Ingredients:

3 cups small diced peeled turnips
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of veggie broth
1 Tbs butter, or more as needed
 1 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
2 Tbs sugar

Preparation:

  1. Place Turnips into skillet with water and broth over medium heat, and simmer until the water evaporated and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the oil, and sprinkle on the sugar.
  3. Gently cook the turnips they are a little brown and sticky coating on the turnips, about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot. Enjoy.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches

“Sleepy” Students Start Pajama Drive

Posted on February 8th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Lower School students in grades one through five are bringing community service into their annual musical, which will take place on Thursday, February 15th, at 7:00 p.m. This year’s show, I’m Not Sleepy…Yet, tells the story of a large sleepover party in the Lower School, where the teachers try desperately to get the students to fall asleep. Needless to say, they are not terribly successful.

Students start pajama driveWe always look for opportunities for our students to develop a sense of responsibility to self and others and to engage globally and in the community around us to make a positive impact, key elements of our mission and vision statements. So, fitting with the sleepover theme, the cast and production team are excited to host a pajama drive in conjunction with the show to support the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN).  

The Lower School will be collecting new pajamas of any type and for any age. All pajama donations can be placed in collection boxes throughout the Lower School, in the dining commons, near the front desk, and by the Allendale entrance. Pajamas will be collected February 8th through February 15th. We will then take all the PJs collected to the RAIHN Day Center, which is the central location for the organization and for homeless families.

RAIHN serves homeless families in Rochester by organizing temporary shelters and meals all across the region and by assisting families in finding permanent homes in the Rochester area. In 2017, RAIHN served over 100 individuals including 57 children. Since all families entering the RAIHN program receive a free pair of pajamas upon their arrival, we thought Allendale Columbia students and their families could help make a positive impact on this incredibly important organization serving youth and their families. 

If you have questions, please contact Rachael Sanguinetti at rsanguinetti@allendalecolumbia.org.

Kristin Cocquyt

Rachael Sanguinetti

Rachael is in her second year teaching music at AC. A recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music with majors in Music Education and Musical Arts with a minor in Psychology and an Arts Leadership Certificate, she's working toward a masters degree at Ithaca College. She brings experience teaching kindergarten-8th grade music in Rochester, 6th-8th grade general music and choir at Burger Middle School, and 2-3 year olds as part of the Eastman Community School Early Childhood Music Program.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches

Fearless Friday: AC Rainbow Carrot Salad

Posted on February 2nd, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

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)

Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
  1. Using short strokes with a vegetable peeler, shave carrots into thin shavings about 2 inches long.
  2. 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.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches

1st Grade Social Entrepreneurs Learn While Helping

Posted on February 2nd, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

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.

Students sold dog biscuits they had made to learn to count change.

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

2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour *
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)

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.

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Ann King

After 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.
Kristin Cocquyt

Linsay Alexander

Linsay 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.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, First Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches