8th Graders Welcome Honor Flight Veterans

Posted on April 20th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Members of the 8th grade greeted veterans from Honor Flight Mission 58 at Rochester International Airport last Sunday, part of a collaborative Capstone Project between History, English, and Science centered on World War II.

Honor Flight is a non-profit organization that flies WWII and now Korean and Vietnam vets to Washington, D.C., to see the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and other memorials. For many of these vets, now in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, this will be the last opportunity to see the memorials built in their honor.

(Photos by Andrew Ragan et al. Additional photos and video are available in this Google Photos album.)

Our students wrote over 120 personalized letters to the more than 50 Honor Flight Mission 58 vets. When the flight reaches 20,000 feet, the vets will experience their first “mail call” since their service days. According to Honor Flight representatives who have spoken to our students, the reading of students’ letters is one of the most emotional times of the trip for our veterans.

Honor Flight Rochester invited our eighth graders to a “Welcome Home” celebration at Rochester International Airport on Sunday, April 15th. Our students joined hundreds of people cheering on the returning vets and met and took photos with the recipients of their letters. It was a great way to show these military members of the “Greatest Generation,” the “Forgotten War” (Korea), the Cold War, and Vietnam how much we appreciate their service. They are “living history” that we must embrace while we can.

According to the Honor Flight Rochester website, this is the Rochester hub’s 10th year. AC has been involved since their second year, making this our 9th year of writing letters. We started after Juliana Levinson ’14 volunteered with Honor Flight back when she was in Upper School and asked if 8th graders could write letters. The Capstone Project combines 8th grade History, English, and Science and explores how the science and technology of World War II influences our lives today. It culminates in a science-fair-style Exhibition Night on May 14th with formal presentations to share their research paper findings.

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Andrew Ragan

Andrew came to teach Middle School History at Allendale Columbia School after 20 years in educational publishing and living in Pittsburgh, New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, and the Adirondacks. He began writing for young people at Junior Scholastic magazine and has since published hundreds of articles in such magazines as JS, Scholastic News, Disney Adventures, Creative Classroom, and more. After teaching freshman composition at the University of Southern California for several years, Andrew served as the Senior Editor for Disney Adventures Magazine. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications, with honors, from Carnegie Mellon University and his master's degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.
Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Partnerships, The Birches, Uncategorized

Game of Empire Immerses 7th Graders in Colonial Economics

Posted on April 13th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Andrew Ragan, Middle School History Teacher

Seventh Graders recently tackled the “Game of Empire” to immerse themselves in the economics of Colonial America. Imitating Europe’s mercantile system of the 18th century, teams of students representing the Southern Planters, New England Merchants, European Merchants, Colonial Farmers, and British West Indian Planters competed to gain the largest percentage of goods they needed to prosper. Students checked their inventories, bargained with traders from other groups, procured shipping, and sailed loaded ships across the sea to deliver their goods.

Ship journeys were not always successful, however: storms sank ships, pirates seized cargo, and the British Navy stopped many vessels to check whether goods were being smuggled. Apparently, the Navy was open to bribery, as it ended the game with an inexplicably large amount of hard cash. Some teams made a killing when they realized that they held monopolies on certain goods that other teams had to have. Students raced around the room in great bursts of energy during four trading rounds, each begun and ended with a “royal flourish” from a tuba and trumpet player.

After the last round, each team tabulated its purchases and sales and calculated what percentage of goods they had acquired. All the seventh graders “won” in the end by learning just how complicated the mercantile trading system was in the Colonial Age and how much fun it is to simulate that in the “Game of Empire.”

Click here for more photos and video of the action.

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Andrew Ragan

Andrew came to teach Middle School History at Allendale Columbia School after 20 years in educational publishing and living in Pittsburgh, New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto, and the Adirondacks. He began writing for young people at Junior Scholastic magazine and has since published hundreds of articles in such magazines as JS, Scholastic News, Disney Adventures, Creative Classroom, and more. After teaching freshman composition at the University of Southern California for several years, Andrew served as the Senior Editor for Disney Adventures Magazine. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications, with honors, from Carnegie Mellon University and his master's degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.
Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, The Birches

Are You Smarter Than an AC Student?

Posted on March 20th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Ted Hunt

How is your knowledge of current events? Take our 2018 Current Events Test, and measure your results. Even though you’re downloading the test on a connected device, you may not consult any sources other than your own memory while you take the test.

2018 Current Events
Test Questions (PDF)
(open this for the questions)
2018 Current Events Test
2018 Current Events
Answer Sheet (PDF)
(mark your answers)
2018 Current Events Answer-Sheet (PDF)
2018 Current Events
Answer Key
(print to check your answers)
2018 Current Events Answer-Sheet (PDF)

(more…)

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in: Alumni News, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Wax Museum Portrays African American Historical Figures

Posted on March 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Arielle Gillman and Shari Ellmaker

On Tuesday, March 13th, AC 3rd grade students commemorated African American historical figures with a Wax Museum exhibit.

Click here for more photos and videos from the Wax Museum.

To give a bit of background, we started this project in early February with a discussion about African Americans and their contributions. We gave the students a wide spread of nonfiction books and biographies to explore and read. From there, they chose one person to research further. We supported their learning with whole group instruction on nonfiction text features so they could dig deeper and navigate through headings, bolded text, glossaries, and other research-based features. Students used appropriate-level articles and books to find details pertaining to their person and compiled them on a rough draft.

From there, they conferenced with teachers and peers to collaborate on editing and expanding. Once each student had a wealth of knowledge about their figure, they typed up a final report on Google Docs (check out our “Wax Museum of African American History” bulletin board in the third grade staircase to see their reports).

To prepare for the presentation part of the project, we demonstrated what a “living wax museum” was like, showing them plenty of examples on Youtube and modeling how to freeze like a wax figure before someone comes up to “press play.” At home, students completed displays to go along with their learning and also prepared a thoughtful costume to represent their person.

We are continually impressed with our class’s abilities. They really took the expectations of the project and made them their own. The students really dug deep to find personal details and displayed empathy while learning about African American History. They asked thoughtful questions, made connections, and showed us their growing academic skills throughout the whole project.

Kristin Cocquyt

Sharon Ellmaker

Shari has been an educator for over 26 years, and teaching at Allendale Columbia for 19. She has taught second, third, and fourth grade with experience in public school, suburban, inner-city, independent, and college-level settings. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Bluffton University.
Kristin Cocquyt

Arielle Gillman

Arielle has been involved in the field of education, either through volunteering, as a college student, or as a teacher, since she was 14 years old. She has taught students in multiple grades in Penfield, Fairport, Webster, and Newark and has also worked at the Mary Cariola Children's Center and The Community Place of Greater Rochester. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Childhood Education from SUNY Fredonia and her Master of Science Degree in Literacy Education from SUNY Geneseo.
Tagged with: ,
Posted in: Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches, Third Grade

7th Grade Colonists Promote Advantages

Posted on March 2nd, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

If you lived in the 17th-18th century, in which colony would you like to settle? Teams of  students in Andy Ragan’s 7th Grade History class tried to convince the fifth graders that their colony was the most advantageous spot to settle. They promoted their economies, crops, lifestyles, and physical environments through posters, statistics, verbal pitches, food, and even musical jingles. The fifth graders voted for their top three picks after reading brochures and listening to the pitches and jingles.

See more photos and videos of the jingles in this Google Photos album.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in: Fifth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, The Birches

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.

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