Students throughout Allendale Columbia School don’t just learn about other parts of the world, they become global citizens, learning alongside their peers in other parts of the world. That’s just as true in Lower School.
Last year, AC first-graders explored the Amazon rainforest and ran a successful fundraising campaign to become stewards of a section of the rainforest equal to the size of AC’s campus. Building on that experience, AC’s Head of Lower School, Michelle Feiss, brought in Paul Hurteau, Executive Director of OneWorld Classrooms and a former Upstate New York teacher, who thrilled current first- and second-graders with stories of his experiences teaching students in Ecuador, complete with photos of the people and wildlife, poems, and artifacts from that rainforest community.
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Yes, there were a few butterflies in the stomachs of Lower School students who had signed up for the annual Solo Performance Night held January 18th. But once they got started, the young students turned those butterflies into brave and beautiful notes that floated to the receptive ears of a welcoming audience. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade
From Kindergarteners’ dreams inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech to rhombicuboctahedrons made by fifth-graders, students in AC’s Lower School demonstrated some of their recent work in a Celebration of Learning assembly.
After reciting the “I Have a Dream” Poem in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, each Kindergarten student read a dream they have for the future. These kind-hearted children included dreams for everyone to have a house and car, food, water, give to others, take care of children, keep the world clean, help other people, and for everyone to be loved.
First-graders recalled facts they learned about local animals, with masks they had made with Ms. Alexander. They also performed a rap song they wrote with Mrs. Grossman about recycling:
Save the Earth, Recycling Wins!
By the First-Grade Rock Band
We want to help you know,
where all the trash should go.
If you have a piece of toast,
Where to put it? The compost!
Plastic, paper, cardboard, cans
If you recycle, you protect our lands.
Put them all in the big blue bin!
Do this now, and you will win!
Dirty wrappers, broken toys,
Listen up, girls and boys!
Don’t put things in the wrong space,
it makes our earth a stinky place.
Just as fun as playing!
Saving our earth is thrilling!
Just as fun as playing!
Saving our earth is thrilling!
“Bee Kind” was the second-graders’ motto and recent project, with its bee mascot, Zinger, whose voice made everyone giggle. They presented different ways people could add kindness in their daily lives. They also performed a regal “Kings and Queens” folk dance.
What strategies can be used to multiply numbers? Third-graders performed a skit to demonstrate multiplication strategies they’ve learned, including skip counting by threes, the sevens distributive property, halving the fives, and using solvemojis to “crack the code” of symbols representing numbers in multiple operations, and having an “ice cream party” treasure hunt after solving their 1,000th math problem of the year.
AC fourth-graders presented part two of their Zero Hunger project, explaining how wasting food also wastes money, labor, fuel, water, and time, and giving tips on how to reduce food waste with waste monsters:
- Take smaller portions!
- Eat all your crusts!
- Plan ahead to buy food you will actually use!
- Use up leftovers. Make a soup or an omelette. Just use them up!
- Clean out your pantry. Use up food close to expiration or donate. Preserve, pickle, or can food!
They also wrote and recited a food waste reduction pledge:
As an Allendale Columbia school student, I pledge to do the following.
- I pledge to be mindful about food during lunch.
- I pledge to ask about portions when getting more food.
- I pledge to waste as little food as possible by taking only what I will eat from the salad bar.
- I pledge to try and drink all of my milk, juice, or water each day.
- I pledge to be appreciative of the hard work our lunch staff does on a daily basis.
- I pledge to be courteous when informing others about the importance of curbing food waste.
- If I am out to eat and there are leftovers, I will bring it home in a box.
How many books have you read since September? Fifth-graders updated everyone on their 40 Book Challenge, where each student is challenged to read 40 books from a variety of genres. They’ve read a total of 239 books this school year, and since their last Celebration of Learning in November, they’ve read 102 books. They explained how to make polyhedrons (many-sided objects), starting with “nets,” which are flat shapes that can be folded into 3-D objects; rhombicuboctahedrons, objects made by folding paper into 6 triangles and 18 squares; and stellated (star-shaped) rhombicuboctahedrons with 18 folded pyramids. They also watched the documentary, “The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm,” which inspired the students to write letters to the film’s creators.
There’s a whole lot of learning going on in Lower School!
John PalomakiJohn is a parent of twin boys in Middle School at AC, an active volunteer, and occasional contributor of stories and photos. John spent a stimulating 10 years at Microsoft through the 90s as a systems engineer and managing executive relations programs. Since then, John has worked with non-profit organizations and has held leadership roles in independent schools in New Jersey and Connecticut in development, communications, and technology. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences (Biology) from Colgate University.
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade
Lower School families, don’t forget! Solo Performance Night for students in grades K through 5 is Friday, January 18th, starting at 7:00 p.m. With 28 performers and musical selections ranging from Johnny Cash to Antonio Vivaldi, you don’t want to miss it! Whether you are performing or in the audience to support your friends, all are invited to an ice cream social at the conclusion of the event. Performances will take place in the CPC, with ice cream in the Dining Commons.
Students are invited to perform a vocal or instrumental solo or duet for the audience. Any level of performance is welcome! If students are in need of an accompanist, one can be provided. Students should arrive no later than 6:45.
Please join us after the performance for a celebratory ice cream social!
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches
Creativity knows no bounds, as Allendale Columbia School students demonstrated at the biennial Evening of the Arts event on Friday, March 23rd. The exhibition featured over a hundred works of art from students in grades N – 12 displayed throughout the school. This year’s theme was “Art Around the World”.
Honors and Portfolio Seminar Art students plied their craft in the Bruce B. Bates Design and Innovation Lab, previewing their work for the upcoming spring thesis exhibition in April. Senior Madison DeCory appreciated the opportunity to help stimulate artistic creativity in younger students, as she mentioned in an interview with News 8 Rochester: “What we want to do tonight is showcase what we’ve been doing, showcase our talents, and get other students interested in the artwork that we’re doing.”
“It’s a variety of work all the way from photography — we have a black and white darkroom which is incredible for our students to have that experience — to printmaking, painting, drawing, design, digital work, and hands on work,” said Amy Oliveri, AC art teacher and Director of the AC Center for Entrepreneurship. A group of 5th graders even demonstrated their “crankie” from the Lower School musical, “I’m Not Sleepy…Yet!”.
Students working in the Global Engagement Diploma program also participated in a bit of social entrepreneurism, selling handmade baskets from a women’s collective and shade-grown coffee to benefit the program’s partners in El Sauce, Nicaragua.
News 8 Rochester summarized the event on their evening news show.
Posted in: AC in the News, Alumni News, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Partnerships, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper 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.
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.
Sharon EllmakerShari 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.
Arielle GillmanArielle 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.