How do you help students understand multiplication and division of fractions? Eat them! (The fractions, not the students.)
Beth Guzzetta’s fun approach involved having each of her sixth grade math students bring in a family recipe or researched recipe, nut-free, of course, with several students using recipes with other allergy-friendly foods. She then had them calculate the quantities of the ingredients needed to make 23 servings, the number of students in the class, using multiplication and division to reach the appropriate ratios. Then, after that in-class exercise, the students made their recipes at home and shared them at school. (In a concession to practicality, they could round up the quantities for actual baking, since it’s somewhat difficult to accurately divide some ingredients, like eggs, into twenty-thirds.)
We didn’t interview the teachers of the classes that came after math, but we’re pretty sure the students bounced in from Ms. Guzzetta’s class with a new appreciation for fractions (though some were discovering the potential benefits of moderation).
Posted in: Middle School, MS Birches, Sixth Grade, 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
This week, Cloverwood Senior Living was alive with the Sound of Music. On January 9th, a select group of cast members made a trip to visit the residents and share some selections from Allendale Columbia School’s Fall Upper School musical. Cast members included Catherine Kennedy (Maria), Gabe Rosen (Captain von Trapp), Rebecca McQuilken (Mother Abbess), and almost all of the children, played by Ella Hocker, Maya and Mark Voloshin, Lilah and Thea Costanzo, and Luca Palomaki. While visiting, students performed favorite songs such as “Do Re Mi” and “Edelweiss”, and shared some special treats made by our AC Kitchen team. This trip, organized by the Development Office and the Music Team, is hopefully the first of many. We hope to organize future trips to help bring our wonderful AC Theater productions to those who cannot make it to campus.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Invent, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
Allendale Columbia has deepened its global impact in Nicaragua by initiating a relationship with the 2 Wheels Bike Project. The project’s founder, Alejandro Solano, believes that every child should have the chance for an education to help them break out of the cycle of poverty. Therefore, he provides bikes to children in need to help them get to school and assist their families with daily life.
AC middle schooler Keira Donnelly led the initiative to sell hand-made Nicaraguan bracelets to students in order to support the project. Due to her efforts and the generosity of the Middle School students, AC raised and donated $100 to the project. This means that two young children in El Sauce, Nicaragua, won’t have to walk over an hour to school any more. They will be able to use their new bikes to arrive safely and quickly to school.
This partnership will come full circle in May when a group of AC students will go to El Sauce to build two homes for families in need and visit a rural school. While experiencing this, our students will see how much of an impact they have made with their humble donation of two bikes.
We hope to make this an annual tradition. If you would like to support this initiative, please visit www.2wheelsproject.org.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, The Birches