# ALPHA - Bits for Teachers

## Hard At Work

ALPHA students have been working diligently on their future innovations for the upcoming Toshiba Exploravision Competition.  Teams of designers are working to research past and current technologies related to their future invention during this project-based learning opportunity.  They have investigated the scientific principles behind how their invention will function and have projected the scientific breakthroughs that will be required in order for their inventions to one day become a reality.  The design teams are typing their eleven-page STEM projects, digitally drawing their design prototypes, as well as designing their five sample web pages to be submitted as to the contest in January.  We are very proud of their dedication, teamwork, research, scientific understanding, expository writing, and creativity as they have done an outstanding job so far.

## "Two sorts of writers possess genius: those who think, and those who cause others to think." - R.W. Emerson

ALPHA students recently competed in their first mathematical problem solving competition of this school year.  Students have been very focused on improving their mental math fluency, flexibility, and the ability to determine the best route when problem solving particularly when working with abstract concepts.   Example problems that the fourth and fifth grade students are solving are as follows: Kayla and Lin start with the same number of bracelets.  After Kayla gives 12 of her bracelets to Lin, Lin then has two times as many bracelets as Kayla does.  How many bracelets did Kayla have at the start? (5 minute time limit)   If 16 is added to one-third of a number, the result is three times the number.  What is the number? (4 minute limit)    What is the value of the whole number Y, if: Y=1/2 of 2/3 of 3/4 of 4/5 of 100? (3 minutes)

## Memorable Memoirs

ALPHA students have shown their writing talents and deep reflective thinking once again as they recently completed their first lengthy memoir.  Memoirs included their thoughts about growing up, change, family moments, the passage of time, and so much more.  Students articulated truisms that resonated with their audience and brought their pieces to life.  A "Gallery Walk" was held so that the papers could be shared with a wider audience and the audience was given the opportunity to give positive feedback to the authors about their writing.