Wall to Wall Walls

Posted on January 12th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Walls from history to the present day and walls from around town and around the world stretched wall-to-wall in 4th grade on Friday, as students presented their learning to parents and peers. The Great Wall of China, Walls of Troy, the Berlin Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, and even Seattle’s Bubble Gum Wall made impressions on students as they did their research, built their projects, and discussed their findings. Fourth graders also learned about Wall Therapy, distilling the meanings from many wall art projects they visited in the City of Rochester, and exploring how wall art often relates to social justice.

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Posted in: Fourth Grade, Lower School, MS Birches, The Birches

AC Fourth Grade Studies Biodiversity in STEM PBL

Posted on October 26th, 2017 by Allendale Columbia School

Fourth graders at Allendale Columbia School spent a couple of days in Allens Creek as part of their study of ecological biodiversity, their latest Project-Based Learning (PBL) unit in the Lower School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program.

While some students scoop, Ms. Russell brings a rock to shore that is harboring several small stream creatures.

While some students scoop, Ms. Russell brings a rock to shore that is harboring several small stream creatures.

Working with visiting expert Maureen Dunphy Russell, a STEM/AG Educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County, students learned how to stir up the creek bottom and harvest the biological samples with downstream nets. They then separated the critters for identification, with crayfish attracting their enthusiasm the most. The students also found snails, mayflies, aquatic flies, scuds, minnows and an aquatic worm. “I love working outside and learning all about the nature that is around our campus,” declared student Jordyn Ahl.

“Students crave outdoor education,” STEM teacher Donna Chaback says. “While ecological biodiversity is usually an older student topic, our fourth graders have been doing a great job on it.” The creek study complemented walking studies of the AC campus’s forest, grassland, and freshwater ecosystems, during which they collected and preserved leaves and took photos of trees, plants, leaves, and signs of animal life. “So far, they have done an initial tree survey, performed soil tests, and worked in the creek,” Mrs. Chaback added. “Next, they will begin researching their findings and interviewing some key personnel.”

These hands-on studies helped reinforce the importance of biodiversity, and how each species, no matter how big or small, plays a role in the overall health and sustainability of the local and broader ecosystem.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, Partnerships

AC Students Host Annual Nearby History Fest

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by klapa

Over a period of six weeks, fourth grade students in Stephanie DePaul-Pragel’s class chose a local place, business, organization, or landmark that’s been in Rochester for some time to research, experience, and put together a presentation on.  Chosen historical topics included Kodak, Abbotts, Pittsford Dairy, Morse Lumber, Browncroft Historical Neighborhood, Rochester Royals, Bristol Mountain, Jonathan Child, Letchworth State Park, and more!

In late March, the students displayed their work at AC’s Nearby History Fest in the Dining Commons.  Parents, AC students from all grades, as well as faculty and staff were invited to learn about our local history, taught by our students.

The project drew upon students’ written and oral communication skills as well as critical thinking.  Students took what they learned and found a way to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise on their chosen subject.  Some students chose to share then and now photos of their subjects, others put together interactive presentations on the computer, and some even built examples of what structures or parks looked like.  Student presentations also included hands-on skill demonstrations like making applesauce from Hurd Orchards, building a bench with Morse Lumber, and photography and maps from historical homes in the Browncroft Neighborhood.

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Posted in: Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School

Mrs. Ellmaker’s Class Visits Wegmans

Posted on February 10th, 2014 by Tony Tepedino

Post written by Health and Physical Education teacher Erin Conway

Mrs. Ellmaker’s 4th grade class went on a field trip to the Pittsford Wegmans to participate in the store’s “Eat Well, Live Well Fourth Grade Tour” program! This in-store tour focused on giving the students the knowledge and skills that motivate children to make healthy food choices. Children learned about the benefits of whole grains, healthy fats, and calcium-rich foods that give them energy to learn, play, and grow. We are very excited to bring this tour to our health education program!

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Posted in: Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School

4th Grade Field Trips

Posted on August 4th, 2013 by Tony Tepedino

4th graders end the school year going on 4 different field trips. The Genesee Country Village and Museum, a Rochester Downtown Walking Tour,  and the Charlotte Lighthouse and Ontario Beach Park.

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Posted in: Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School

Fourth Graders Making a Difference

Posted on May 16th, 2013 by Tony Tepedino

Guest post written by Allendale Columbia School 4th grade teacher Stephanie DePaul-Pragel.

Learning about making a difference in this world and experiencing it are two totally different experiences.  In fourth grade, we study the life of Susan B. Anthony and the difference she has made for us today.  In her honor, the students reach out to make a difference here at school first, and then try to connect to the community.  Two activities, collecting tabs for Ronald McDonald House and collecting books for the Children’s Center at the Hall of Justice, were community outreach projects.  The students felt limited in the audience they could reach by using posters and making lunch announcements.  That is when social media and technology came into play.  The students created two commercials appealing to a broader group of people.  The commercials had their initial viewing by Lower School and had a second viewing by Upper School before going to the web.  We are excited to see where this will take the message and what support we will receive for the two causes. The bigger excitement for me as a teacher was watching my students take a project and produce commercials that send a clear message to the greater community…we can make a difference!

Ronald McDonald House of Rochester
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_8Dp1po0gg&w=560&h=315]

Children’s Center
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N32SVuzmKJc&w=560&h=315]

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Posted in: Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School