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
At this week’s PACK (Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids) Coffee Connection, Amy Oliveri, Director of the new AC Center for Entrepreneurship, discussed her vision for the Center. Though she was only hired for the position at the beginning of this school year, she’s making good progress in helping students not only learn about entrepreneurism but actually become entrepreneurs.
The vision for the new Center is for it to be “a hub for entrepreneurship that will create opportunities for our students/participants to make an impact on the world at an unprecedented level by learning to adapt to a constantly evolving world, connecting globally, and carving their own path. This authentic way of thinking and working develops a universally applicable and transferable mindset and skill set.”
One of the visible changes she’s brought forward is having students run the AC school store, the Wolf Den. Students manage inventory, do marketing, and work as clerks, having learned the Square point-of-sale system that they use in the store and in the new online store at wolfden.allendalecolumbia.org.
Another effort is engaging with the AC Center for Global Engagement on such things as the Senegal trip that has students partnering with an organization to solve real-world problems in Senegal, and with the AC Invent Center on things like TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool. There are also connections to local businesses, such as the Mindset to Skillset program where students pitch ideas to local entrepreneur judges.
Of course, there are many curricular impacts. Lower School offers Junior Achievement and Innovation Day. Middle School students can take such classes as Business and the Entrepreneurial Mind; Entrepreneurship: Makers and Problem Solving; Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, and B Corps; and Modes of Persuasion. And Upper School has a huge range of opportunities, including courses in Behavioral Science, Social Innovation, and the Act of Solving Problems and Having Influence; Innovation and Design; Professional Writing; Financial Literacy: Personal and Business Finance; and Digital Design and Illustration.
If you missed the talk, you can take a look at the slides by clicking on the image, and contact Amy Oliveri with any questions, comments, or opportunities.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, The Birches, Upper School, US Birches
Learning occurred on multiple levels at TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool on February 3rd. You may already be familiar with TED talks, and TEDx events are local versions of those talks. What makes this TEDx event different from most is that it was planned and produced from start to finish by AC students.
TED events are all about sharing ideas, and, as one would expect, the sold-out audience gained a lot of insights from a stellar selection of presenters:
- 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
But the learning behind the scenes by students in the TEDx class and club that produced the event will probably have the biggest, longest impacts, according to faculty advisors Amy Oliveri and Tony Tepedino. We posed some questions to three of the students who led the effort, Rachel Sherin ’19, Marissa Frenett ’19, and Fiona Lutz ’20.
Q: What were some of your objectives for this year’s TEDx event? Did you meet those objectives?
Rachel: For this year’s TEDx event, we wanted it more geared towards kids. In the past, more of the older community was present at the event. This year we had one speaker from Allendale and two other students from different schools present at the event. We also had a good turnout of student attendees and volunteers.
Marissa: One of our very most important objectives was to get many sponsors from local people. We tried to get all dinner items from local restaurants. With plenty of work, we successfully got a salad from Headwater Food Hub, pizza from Salvatore’s, and mac and cheese from Macarollin!
Q: TEDx is about ideas worth spreading. Does that stop with the event, or how do you plan to continue spreading the ideas presented going forward?
Fiona: Because our event brings in a lot of members from outside the Allendale community, the goal for our TEDx is to leave people thinking about new ideas they might not have considering before and to share them with their peers. Especially with this year’s theme about restarting, we hope that people can apply the topics presented to their everyday life. Not only do we hope that our event’s talks and topics will inspire others in the community, but these talks are also shared online as well which can then be seen by virtually anyone.
Q: How has your experience with TEDx impacted you, either with the ideas presented or in the production of the event?
Marissa: TEDx has impacted me a lot. I think specifically the last speaker was very inspiring. He helped me realize that finding a good combination between academics and happiness is very important and should be done. That talk sort of changed the way I approach things now.
Fiona: Before becoming a part of the TEDx class, I attended the event for several years prior, but this year when I joined the class and actually got to work hands on with something I was genuinely interested in, it was very rewarding. As a part of the class, I was able to be a speaker coach for Samuel Thompson, who spoke about striving for progress over perfection. Seeing Sam’s talk come together over the few months I worked with him and then actually being able to see his talk live on the TEDx stage was great because not only had we both worked so hard on preparing him for the event, but Sam’s talk was personally relatable to me, since even during the semester, I struggled on working towards my goals and often times wanted perfection so badly, but was disappointed when things didn’t work as planned. His talk gave me a different perspective.
Q: What one thing do you want to carry forward from the event?
Rachel: Everyone worked so hard together to put the event together. I would like to carry that passion and positive energy throughout life.
Marissa: I thought that teamwork played a huge role in the success of this event. We all had to find speakers, sponsors, and a bunch of other stuff. That is what made our event as great as it was. I want to carry that, being open to work with people I wouldn’t usually.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
February is Jump Rope for Heart month dedicated to victims affected by heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) runs a program that AC has participated in for the past several years called Jump Rope for Heart. Our students participate by raising money for a great foundation while also jumping their way through the month for exercise and fun!
I’ve received some questions about the process of Jump Rope for Heart and when money students raise is due as well as when fundraising prizes from the American Heart Association are distributed so I wanted to share the details of this process.
If your child is fundraising using the packet he/she received, he/she should hold onto the money raised until the end of the event. If your student has registered online or has handed in the $5 cut out, he/she will be given one of the instant prizes provided by the American Heart Association on Friday in PE class. At the end of the event, the American Heart Association then orders all other prizes based on the amount the student has raised and the prize level earned.
Packets will be collected on Tuesday, February 27th, and Wednesday, February 28th, during PE class. If you have any questions, please email me. Thank you for your donations, and Happy Jump Rope for Heart month!
Kate SullivanKate holds teaching certifications in both Physical Education and Health Education, having earned an Associate's Degree in Physical Education Studies from Monroe Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and Health Education from the SUNY College at Brockport. She student taught in the Spencerport School District, where she worked with students in kindergarten through 8th grade, and brings experience serving as a lead counselor at Creative Themes Day Camp. At AC, Kate teaches Physical Education to Lower and Middle School students as well as a few sections of Health to Upper School students.
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
- 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)
- 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.
- Pour batter into greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350
degrees for about one hour.
Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, US Birches
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?
“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)!
Posted in: Alumni News, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, MS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade