Fourth graders went to Longwood Gardens last week in preparation for their next topic in Art. This unit’s objective is to highlight impressionist painting through a study of Claude Monet. By starting this unit with a visit to Longwood, students embarked on an artistic voyage as they learned about the impressionist movement and explored the world of garden-inspired art.
While Longwood Gardens is a treat under any circumstances, this visit benefitted from perfect weather and lighting. In Longwood’s gorgeous conservatory the plants were in full bloom, and students could see for themselves how light and distance impact and change what they are seeing. Students then had their own “plein air” experience, creating garden-inspired work using oil pastels.
It was an incredible introduction to creating art in nature!
We will continue the unit in the art room where students will select a Monet painting to recreate using oil pastels. Be sure to check the hallways for the work of our newest impressionists in the weeks to come!
How I have changed as a teacher as a result of teaching Singapore Math
Ashley Hartshorn has been an associate teacher at St. Anne’s in Preschool, First Grade, and now Kindergarten. She is not only a talented teacher, she is also a gifted writer!
This is the first of a series of articles on her observations about Singapore Math from the viewpoint of a teacher who has observed student growth at different grade levels. Below she reflects on how she has changed as a teacher as a result of teaching Singapore Math.
Associate Teacher, Kindergarten
St. Anne’s Episcopal School
St. Anne’s is becoming certified as a Model School for the newly published Singapore Math textbook, “think!Mathematics.”
I feel that my teaching, as a whole, has changed and become more flexible as a result of learning the Singapore Math approach. Since learning the Singapore Math approach, I am more willing to listen and to be patient in getting to the answers, and focus more attention on the "how" than the "what."
I look at the students as individuals who see things through different lenses, and who can "teach" me every day by sharing their own perspectives. It is a challenge for both the children and myself to constantly try and come up with new ways to solve a problem or ways to arrive at a conclusion, and I truly enjoy this “competition” between us.
One of the best parts of the Singapore Math program is getting to know the children in a more comprehensive way, by learning more about their thought processes and how they arrive at an answer. With traditional math programs, there are few opportunities to really get to know the children as individuals, and they are often grouped by ability. The Singapore method, however, allows children who may have otherwise struggled with mathematical concepts, to share their thoughts and ideas in a free and meaningful way, and to use the many manipulatives and strategies available to them, to arrive at their conclusion.
Rather than providing them with a set framework with which to complete a task, we demonstrate a variety of theories and ideas and invite them to use one that best fits their learning style and preference. The end result may not always look the same, but this approach allows us, as teachers, to gain a more comprehensive look at the students as a whole and to see how they come up with their answers. It is wonderful to be able to provide the children with a choice in their learning and the tools they need to discover an answer, rather than telling them what to do or use to arrive at that endpoint.
The Singapore Math program creates many opportunities for students of varying perspectives to help one another, by giving them the tools to express their ideas and show how their minds think about math.
It has been my experience that students gather and retain information best when they are an active part of the learning process and are engaged in the material being taught. The Singapore math approach requires that students be the “teachers” in a sense, and learn to verbalize their thinking and explain it to their cohorts. Collaboration is the linchpin of Singapore math and is something that allows students the freedom to express themselves and provide a glimpse into the inner workings of their clever minds. Absent criticism or critique, it is incredible what the mind of a child can accomplish!
In making my thinking more flexible, helping me get to know my students better, and giving me an approach that rewards collaboration and different ways of thinking, Singapore Math has shifted what I am emphasizing as a teacher. Although the end result is important, it is equally important that teachers acknowledge their students’ hard work and perseverance throughout the process.
Employing the “growth mindset” is something that both teachers and students must do in a successful Singapore classroom, as the fluidity of learning is experienced through collaboration and acceptance of varying points of view.
As fellow teacher, Alexandra K. Trenfor once said, “the best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” I feel this is the perfect way to describe a Singapore math-trained teacher, and I love that this program has made me a more flexible, well-rounded and patient teacher who truly enjoys being a part of the learning process.
Would you like to participate in Culture Day? It's Easy!
We invite your family to participate in Culture Day!
Wednesday, May 8th, from 11am-3pm
Let us know if you would like to create a display and share your family's culture and traditions.
In the past, our Culture Day has been AMAZING with over 20 countries represented! This year we have extended the time giving students and families time to visit all of the countries.
Mr. and Mrs. Onsomu visited 3rd grade to talk about Kenya. They spoke about their personal experiences while growing up and compared it to today's children in America. They also brought wooden animal carvings, artwork, instruments, and the Kenyan flag.
One Book, One School, One Mission
One Book, One School, One Mission
St. Anne’s is embarking on an initiative to further connect our students, teachers, and families through literature by having everyone in the community read the same book on the same day, once a month. Each selection is a picture book that can be simplified or extended to meet the needs and abilities of our full body of students. The books will focus on a beautiful array of topics that highlight equity, inclusion, and justice through a diverse cast of characters and situations.
Stories that are informative and inspiring were carefully selected by our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team. This initiative aligns with our core values of respect, responsibility, and compassion, and supports our mission to enhance the intellectual, spiritual, and social growth of our students so that they may realize their potential for good as citizens of local and world communities.
Our first book will be Maddi’s Fridge, written by Lois Brandt and illustrated by Vin Vogel. It is a story of friendship that raises awareness about poverty and hunger in a warm and lightly humorous manner.
***Resources for the book from the author/publisher:
At the end of February, we were so pleased to welcome Dr. and Mrs. Viswanathan to second-grade to teach students about sound. During his presentation, the children learned about sound as a form of energy, how sound travels down the ear, the parts of the ear, and how to protect their hearing.
Dr. Viswanathan used many demonstration activities to help students see and feel how sound travels. For example, he used ping pong balls on strings and tuning forks so that students could see the balls bounce from the sound vibrations. He brought in a model of an ear, helped students to hear various sounds normally and with hearing loss, and even had students become a living model of the ear!
Students received pipe cleaner "stereocilia" to see what they look like when they are normal and protected versus damaged by a loud noise and also brought home a chart of how many decibels various sounds make, from a whisper to a jet taking off.
We thank Dr. Viswanathan for sharing his expertise in hearing and for making learning so much fun, and Mrs. Viswanathan for helping to organize our activities!
Calling All Used Book Donations for the 2nd Grade Book Store!
QUALITY, USED CHILDREN’S BOOK DONATIONS NOW ACCEPTED
The second grade is gearing up for its annual Bookstore/Service Project and would like your help. We are seeking donations of quality, used or new children’s books to sell in our bookstore, which runs from April 30, 2019- May 3, 2019. This project is owned and operated by second graders; they will be researching, planning, and implementing the entire project. It enables them to learn many skills and to give not only their time and talent, but also their treasure.
All proceeds will go to a charity of their choosing. So, if your child has some books she/he has outgrown that are gathering dust and taking up space, please drop the books off under the benches of the Lower School lobby.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Please help us Change the World!
BOOK DONATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED FROM MONDAY, MARCH 25TH UNTIL
THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019.
Looking Ahead - Mark Your Calendars!
Looking Ahead - Mark Your Calendars!
Please mark your calendars for the following upcoming events: