6th Graders Make Fractions Edible

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

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).

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Posted in: Middle School, MS Birches, Sixth Grade, The Birches

AC Student-run TEDx Brings Ideas, Learning

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

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.

You can see more photos from TEDx on Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr.

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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

AC Teams Win Awards at VEX Robotics Qualifiers

Posted on February 1st, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Three of Allendale Columbia School’s 5th grade Robotics teams advanced to the Northern New York State Championship in the VEX-IQ Challenge Qualifier on Saturday, January 27th, in Buffalo. They also brought home several awards, for a total of eight awards for 5th grade teams over just the past three years.

Team 1250A, with Ethan, Lizzie, Jack, and Jerry, and Coach Truong and Coach Diehl, took home the Excellence Award, the highest award presented in the VEX IQ Program. The awardee exemplifies overall excellence, dedication, devotion, hard work, and teamwork. They also won the Teamwork Champion Award with their alliance partners from iCanCode for the highest score in the Teamwork Challenge Finals matches.

Coach Klinkbeil and Coach Cooper led Mollie, Oliver, Ariela, and Marina on Team 1250D to the Design Award, given to the team that produced a clear and complete Engineering Notebook that documents and demonstrates organization and effectiveness in the team’s robot design process.

The coveted Judges Award was awarded to Team 1250C, with Ella, Gwen, Victoria, and Maya, with Coach Herberger and Coach Timpani. The Judges Award is presented to a team deserving of special recognition for effort, perseverance, and accomplishments that may not fall under existing awards but are still deserving of recognition.

Team 1250B also enjoyed the competition, with Coach Reece and Eric, Carater, Priya, and Audriana.

The faculty advisor for the 5th grade VEX-IQ program, Lower School STEM teacher Donna Chaback, also won the Volunteer of the Year Award for the region.

The next time to see the AC teams compete will be…at AC, as Allendale Columbia hosts the VEX-IQ Northern New York State Championship on Sunday, March 4th, from 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches

Kindergarteners Present MLK, Oceans at Performance and Art Show

Posted on January 25th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School
Kindergarten students put on a small Ocean Performance and Art Show on Thursday, Januaary 25th. In the Curtis Performance Center, the children sang some ocean songs they were taught in music class with Lynn Grossman. They also sang a few songs inspired by their study of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that they were taught by their Kindergarten teachers Amy Mealey and Barbie King, including a recitation of a portion of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the song “We Shall Overcome” with sign language (see the video below). Then the children took their parents on an ocean scavenger hunt to find all their wonderful ocean creature art projects from their Ocean Adventure Project Based Learning unit.
Kindergarten MLK/Oceans Collage
Additional photos and videos are available in this Google Photos Album.
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Posted in: Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, The Birches

AC Aces Robotics Team Featured as 13WHAM Bright Spot

Posted on January 24th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

13WHAM logo

Bright Spot: AC Aces

Channel 13 WHAM featured the AC Aces robotics team on their Bright Spot on January 23rd. The Aces placed second in the Excelsior District Finals, earned the Finalist Team Alliance Trophy, and was a finalist for the Promote Video Award.

(You can read more about the AC Aces in the blog post AC Aces Make Finals at Excelsior Championships by team member Matt Duver ’20.)

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Posted in: AC in the News, Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Physics of Sledding

Posted on January 19th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Teresa Parsons

We’ve seen many Lower School students sledding on AC’s slopes during recess, but 8th grade classes? With snow still covering the campus, my 8th grade science class took learning outside the classroom by studying the physics of sledding this past week.  Going outdoors and studying real-life scenarios can make Newton’s laws of physics come alive much more solidly than studying them in a textbook.

As the class transitioned between a unit on forces and their next unit on energy, this activity was a perfect fit to reflect on the forces present, see the relationship between potential and kinetic energy, and learn how to use a new app that will be utilized for future labs.

Students took videos of their sledding in the Playground Physics app developed by the New York Hall of Science. Back in the classroom, students used the app to trace their path of motion. By inputting the mass of the sledder and a known distance, the app calculates the potential energy, kinetic energy, and speed as they sled down the hill. Do these values make sense? How do they compare to the problems we solve as homework? How does the speed of two people on one sled compare to the speed of just one person? Ask an 8th grader to find out!

Kristin Cocquyt

Teresa Parsons

Teresa joined the Allendale Columbia team as a Middle School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) teacher after spending 15 years in the engineering industry. She was a product engineer, then she transitioned into marketing and business development. As a business development manager, she created and provided product training, and it was in that role that she discovered her passion for teaching. Teresa earned a Master of Science Degree in Education from Nazareth College, and also holds two bachelor's degrees in Interdisciplinary Engineering/Management from Clarkson University and in Physics from the State University of New York College at Geneseo.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Invent, Middle School, MS Birches, The Birches