Reach for Reading Kicks-off at Long Branch
Long Branch’s Reach for Reading team kicked off their back to school meeting with over 120 students and their families on Sept. 19. The night was all about the ABCs, as students played an alphabet game, did hopscotch with letters, and cut and pasted the alphabet in order. Led by Lee Ayoub, Greg D’Addario, and Meryluz Molina, the night was a success thanks to the support of 15 additional staff members. Students went home with their own ABC book, Walk and See ABC, and their own pencil box full of school supplies. Reach for Reading is a monthly, family literacy program for English Learners (ELs) and their families. Through Reach for Reading, Long Branch is striving to provide a more equitable opportunity for EL students by helping their parents create a stimulating cognitive environment at home. Follow them on Twitter @ReachForReading.
Who says kids only want to play video games?!
The Williamsburg Library hosted its first Teen Advisory Board (TAB) meeting of the year on Tue, Sept. 25—and they needed to bring in a few extra tables! Nearly 100 students representing all three grade-levels packed into the library for their lunch period, all clamoring to share their favorite books of the summer. Williamsburg’s librarian Sherry Lord, has been running this program in cooperation with the Arlington Public Library for the past three years, and in that time she has seen it grow into one of the most popular clubs on campus. “TAB is just such a great opportunity for these kids,” Lord said. “They can make a genuine connection between their school and their public library, and it opens up a wealth of resources for them to enjoy.” Genelle Schuler of Arlington Public Library is liaising with WMS this year. She and Lord will be facilitating a number of highly anticipated programs, such as: field trips, books talks with award-winning children’s authors, and many other free offerings at public libraries throughout Arlington County.
YHS Freshman Engage in Team Building Activities
Yorktown Freshmen participated in the annual Freshmen Team Building Day on Fri, Sept. 21, as part of the Freshmen Orientation Program. All freshmen students engaged in activities that involved team building skills, leadership skills, and skills that can be applied in the classroom such as working together, decision making and planning. Upper-class students who serve as mentors to freshmen students guided students through these activities. This program is coordinated by YHS faculty Stephanie Meadows, Claire Shreeve, Christina Smith-Gajadhar, and Chrissy Wiedemann.
Flexible Seating Comes to Barrett
After attending the Personalized Learning professional development session last year, Barrett second grade teacher Christina Torres began to research flexible seating. Torres read on several teacher blogs that after implementing it, teachers noticed an improvement in student engagement during independent activities since it allows students to be more comfortable while sitting or standing. In addition, professional development sessions have compared yesterday’s classroom with today’s classroom, so she thought it was time to change. Torres started a DonorsChoose project this summer for flexible seating that was fully funded during the first week of school. The majority of donors were friends and family. Torres will be sharing with other educators her experience bringing flexible seating to her classroom. You may follow Christina on Twitter at @KWBcTorres.
Children’s Science Lab Field Trip Provides STEM Opportunities
On Sept. 25, Hoffman-Boston fifth graders traveled to the Children’s Science Center Lab. While there, the students focused on various STEM activities ranging from creating magnetic slime to building an art robot. The students also had time to explore the Inspiration Hub, which allowed them to complete hands on activities and problem solve. This field trip inspired the students to be innovative and instilled in them an excitement for learning.
Jamestown Nurse Helps Hurricane Florence Victims in North Carolina
Jamestown nurse Holly Vernau volunteered last week to respond to the hurricane emergency in North Carolina. She traveled to Raleigh on Sept. 16 along with other Arlington-area nurses. They were ultimately assigned to New Bern, N.C., where they slept and worked in a Red Cross-sponsored shelter until returning home today. In addition, Vernau brought children’s books to give to children living in the shelter.
Arlington County Firefighters Head Back to First Grade
Firefighters from Arlington Fire Station 1 have partnered up with Henry Elementary School to work with Amanda Murray’s first graders on a variety of classroom activities. During their first visit to the class, the fireman took turns reading to students and at the end enjoyed eating lunch with them in the cafeteria. The partnership will last through the school year.
Jefferson’s Back-to-School Night Festival
Jefferson didn’t let construction or humidity stop them from Back-to-School Night on Thu, Sept. 20. Families and teachers gathered for fellowship and dinner, provided by local food trucks, before the PTA Meeting that preceded Back to School Night.
Boxing and Food Drive Combine to Help AFAC
This week at Washington-Lee, Health & PE teachers Sarah Spicer and Kyle Petty held their first Annual “I Can” Boxing Challenge. Their students went head-to-head in a challenge where they were asked to bring in one to two cans of food and held those cans as their “weights” while completing different boxing drills as their work out for the day. All cans brought in by the students will be donated to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) which distributes groceries to over 2,000 families every week—free of charge. Many W-L also volunteer their time at AFAC to help distribute food to families.
Core Values & the Monarch Butterfly Garden
Both the Career Center’s Core Value theme of “Feeding the Soil” and project-based learned emphasis are evident in the school’s monarch butterfly garden. Groundbreaking on the monarch butterfly garden occurred in September of 2014. Since then, staff and volunteers have worked to create a space for monarchs to nectar and lay their eggs. Partnerships with local native plant nurseries allowed the Career Center to purchase a variety of plants which would nourish and sustain all types of native wildlife in the little garden. Students collaborated on the project through project-based learning activities, which included: planning the garden, building a fence, planting the garden, creating signage, and raising monarch caterpillars in their classrooms. In the project’s fourth year, the school is excited to find lots of monarch butterflies and their larva. Several classrooms, including environmental science and early childhood classrooms, are hosting monarch caterpillars once again this fall.
Drew Model Celebrates International Day of Peace
APS encourages student social awareness. On Sept. 21, Drew teachers and students observed International Day of Peace—also known as World Peace Day. At the agreed time, participants stepped outside of their classrooms, formed a hand holding human chain that extended around the school and sang Light a Candle for Peace.
EyeBombing Comes to Henry
#EYEBOMBING is an international sensation that is meant to be a fun way to bring joy to others lives. When you look up and see a face on inanimate object you can’t help but smile. Henry’s fourth grade students are eyebombing the school to bring happiness to the community. In addition, they are using this exercise to review the writing process. Students are giving voices to these otherwise voiceless objects by writing perspective pieces.
Kenmore Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, world language teacher Jose Sanchez borrowed items from the National Museum of Language to create a display of items from many different Spanish speaking countries entitled “Diferentes Somos Iquales.” Sanchez along with other Kenmore staff member including Noemi Yerovi, Judyt Herrera, Sandy Beltran and Sair Suarez added to the collection to ensure as many different countries as possible were represented. Sr. Sanchez created an activity so to encourage students to interact with and learn from the display as part of their world language studies. Kenmore will host its annual Hispanic Heritage celebration on Nov. 2.