ACADEMY ADVENTURES MIDTOWN
Building on Strengths and Filling Buckets!
The first quarter of the school year has flown by! Students have been actively engaged in learning and filling buckets! The last month has been really busy at Academy Adventures Midtown. Thank you to all the parents who attended parent/teacher conferences! Teachers were so excited to be able to meet face to face with parents and discuss each child's progress. We are thankful for such supportive families!
We had our first family event!! It was so much fun to be able to host an in-person event at the school. Thank you to all the families who took time out of their busy schedules to come to the school on a Saturday morning to participate in our Go Bananas Unruly Splats Stomping fest! Speaking of Go Bananas and Unruly Splats, the students are participating in an International Competition to see how much computer block coding and stomps they can do with Unruly Splats! See below for all the details and how we placed!
Fall Break is just around the corner! We will be hosting a "Come Back for S'MORE Learning Camp"! Details below. Students must register to attend and be a current student at Academy Adventures Midtown. Mrs. Gilbert and Ms Emily have a great schedule planned that will be interactive and full of fun, engaging learning! We highly recommend all students attend!
We are seeing progress in each child through our weekly "Show Us What You Know" Friday assessment days! These assessments are not for grades, but enable teachers and interventionists to see where children still need help. Please help us with encouraging your child to do their best on these short 10 question quizzes.
Thank you for your continued support! We wish all of our families a safe Fall Break and we hope that we see many of our students at S'MORE Learning Camp!
A "thank you" is due to all of the parents who have been supporting their child's learning at home. One mom told me she commits just 10 minutes each night with her child to do an activity that might involve reading, drawing, solving puzzles or story telling. Just 10 minutes of individual positive attention. Once they started mom and child looked forward to that 10 minutes. By the way, after a while she noticed her child improved in her school work. Give it a try!!
Just to let you know, increases in federal funding have allowed us to purchase new library books for the classrooms and great kid magazines like Hi-Lites and Scholastics. Your child will be bringing them home. Great material for your 10 minutes!
MANDATORY FACE MASKS REQUIRED
Many people may have heard or seen the ruling by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge that ruled GOP lawmakers violated Arizona's constitution when it passed significant new policies, specifically the ban on masks, in the budget this past June.
As of September 27, 2021, the ban on mask mandates in school was ruled unconstitutional. Based on this decision, Academy Adventures Midtown will continue to require masks at the school for students, staff and visitors (including parents/guardians). We are keeping a close eye on the developing changes and will continue to keep families updated.
Our first and foremost responsibility is to continue to do everything we can to keep everyone safe and healthy. In addition to the mask requirements, we will continue to practice social distancing, sanitizing & washing hands regularly, requirement of being out of school for 72 hours after recovering from illnesses and thoroughly cleaning/sanitizing frequently touched areas throughout the day with deep cleaning/sanitizing at night.
If you have any questions, please contact the school at 520-777-3757 and speak with your child's teacher, Mrs. Angela or Mr. Jack.
Thank you for your cooperation and continued support in keeping everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
OCTOBER 12, 13 & 14, 2021
We are excited to be able to offer a Fall Break Camp to all students enrolled at Academy Adventures Midtown! It is FREE and will be three (3) days long! Students must register to attend.
Camp will run 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Students may start arriving at 7:30 AM for breakfast.
Snack and lunch will be served daily to all students. Students must be on time and stay the entire day or they may not be able to participate. Behavior expectations will be the same as in school, even a little stricter since participation is not mandatory.
Students will be doing STEM projects/experiments and other fun creative projects. It is meant to be fun as well as an engaging learning experience
If you have any questions, please speak with your child's teacher!
For families who are not familiar with what an Unruly Splat is, it is a very durable plastic square that the students write code for in their computer. They can have it light up, make noise, count, and so much more! Students stomp on them to make them light up, play sounds, count steps/stomps, etc. This is our third year using the Splats and the students love it!
This year, Unruly Splats had a back to school Go Bananas International competition (United States and Canada). The goal was to see how many blocks of codes could be coded and/or how many "yellow" stomps could be accomplished. There was a chance to win first place by either having the most "Yellow Stomps" or the "Most Block Coding". Each first place winner would get a Yellow Banana Trophy and a limited edition yellow Splat (the regular Splats are blue). The competition ran from September 6-30, 2021. Due to the holiday, we got a little bit of a late start, so we started focusing on the coding but then we saw a school with over 50,000 steps and we decided we were going to take the challenge and start stomping! In just a few weeks, we gradually crept up on them! The last day, for a good hour, we were even ahead of them! Fun fact...the other school has over 600 students, we have 36 and we still caught up and passed them! That is dedication on our students part! We were super proud of them!
On Saturday, September 24th, we had a family stomping event and invited students and parents to come stomp and eat donuts! It was a great success and we were so impressed with the turnout! It was heartwarming to hear the students and parents cheering each other on! We hope you had as much fun as we did! Check out some pictures from the event below!
A side note...Unruly Splats unofficially renamed the event: "Go Bananas: Angela Edition"! This is because Mrs. Angela is our Splats representative and the school who was leading in stomps also was Mrs. Angela!
So...how did we place......DRUM ROLL PLEASE....
Academy Adventures Midtown Placed 1st in the Block Coding! We had over 8600 blocks of code! AND...we placed 2nd in the Yellow Stomps with over 168000 stomps! That comes out to over 3700 steps per child! WOW!!
The students earned a surprise Eegee's party on Friday, October 1st and a Banana Split Ice Cream Cake Party on Thursday, October 7th to celebrate their win and their hard work!
Way to go Academy Adventure Splatters!!!!
Every Friday (or if a short week, the last day of the school week) students are learning test taking skills and applying them to short 5 question assessments in ELA and Math. These assessments are a way for teachers to find out what concepts the students need help with. After each test, teachers meet individually with every child and go over their assessment. Depending on their knowledge, some students receive extra re-teaching in small groups. This is helping to bridge the learning gaps that were caused during distance learning.
Since we do not have a choice when it comes to state testing, our goal is to make it less daunting and scary for our students. We want them to be confident and comfortable when testing and the more low pressure exposure they have the more confident they will become! These tests do not affect your child's grades. It is simply to help them be more comfortable and confident when taking a test and help teachers to know what concepts your child may still be struggling with.
You can help your child by encouraging them to "show what they know" when taking these assessments, help them understand that they do not affect their grades, make sure they have a good night sleep, arrive to school on time and have a good breakfast (or be to school by 7:55 for breakfast). Your encouragement makes a big difference for your child!
These weekly assessment results are available to parents/guardians. If you would like to see how your child is progressing, please contact their homeroom teacher for information. We are happy to share the data with you and answer any questions you may have.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22 @ 7:00 PM
Are you ready for our next Title I Family Event! We have had many request from families to do a Family Movie Night. We are excited that our families want to participate! We are planning our first in-person Family Movie Night!! We had a few Zoom Family Movie Nights last year, but in-person is so much more fun!!
To make it a safe event, it will be a movie under the stars! The movie will be outside so people can space out. We will have some chairs but encourage you to bring your own chairs and blankets. We ask that you properly distance your family from other families. We also ask when around other families, going to the rest room or snack bar area that you have your mask on.
Watch for specific information on tickets. We will have a snack bar open with food and drinks and some specials for those who purchase their tickets before the movie night.
To tie in the family night with the play the students are working on, we will be showing The Nightmare Before Christmas!
Attendance is very important. Just arriving a few minutes late can throw off a child's day. Please have your child at school by 8:00 AM.
Gates open at 7:30 AM for breakfast. Please make sure your child arrives before 7:55 AM if you want them to eat breakfast.
Let's work together to have perfect attendance for all of our students!
Academy Adventures Midtown students have made it a September to remember! This past month has felt like two blinks and we are heading into October. Though October has some amazing events planned, September was a blast!
One of the most memorable points that will stay in my heart is the Go Bananas Unruly Splat Challenge! I watched the entire school, students and staff, band together and become motivated as a whole to not only accept an international challenge, but EXCEL in it. From kindergarten to fifth, coding and physical activity has brought out so much in our school. Wherever we land in the ranking, our students have earned "FIRST PLACE" in my book!
Kindergarten has worked endlessly on learning the alphabet through Individual Instruction as we work through our Student Interactive! During that time, we have perfected the letters C, A, and S phonemes. We have taken these letters and identified the begging sounds to many words! When your Kinders are in Homeroom, they receive daily letter/alphabet tracing, matching capital and lowercase letters, as well as daily name tracing. This continuous repetition and exposure is a sure way to boost our reading skills! The laughs and routine shared watching the Kinders learn English Language Arts, as well as being in a classroom has definitely been ingrained in my heart.
The First Grade class may be small, but they are "MIGHTY"! Everyday after lunch, we have our Individual Instruction where we work through specific parts of our Student Interactive where they have become professionals at identifying medial vowel sounds. We have begun to read through our Decodables Books, where we SHARE read short stories made up of the High frequency words and short vowel words. By decoding these sounds, confidence and fluency are right around the corner! During Homeroom, the First Graders get hHigh frequency word practice, spelling, and Read and Seek pictures. The amount of pride that I have for first grade and their effort is truly amazing.
Our Second Graders are truly inspirational! In our student interactives, we are using highlighters throughout each informational text and realistic fiction to dive into a deeper understanding. By highlighting throughout the text during SHARE reading, our second graders have been able to understand the need for text evidence when answering comprehension questions, as well as keeping engagement to look for context clues and vocabulary words as we read together. During homeroom, each second grade student gets spelling practice worksheets, additional short passages to enhance their reading fluency, as well as “Secret Sentences” where they continue to practice decoding words to make new sentences.
The third grade class has been killing it in ELA! We have covered so much from informational texts about the desert landscape to myths about how water had formed on earth. During these texts, we have looked closer at vocabulary words and how to use them in everyday language and dialogue. During SHARE read and CLOSE read, these third graders have absorbed so much that the recall on stories are SPOT ON! The internal motivation and competition this grade has taken on to become better spellers has been quite the show! This has become so apparent as we learned to identify base words and as we have mastered common and proper nouns!
During fourth grade Individual Instruction, we have met and conquered so much in the range of informational texts about Kenya to realistic fiction about baseball! During these times, we narrow our focus to use text evidence support to have a stronger understanding of the stories. We use time in Individual Instruction to deconstruct words to find root words to increase our spelling and reading fluency. Throughout this time, we have spent time on the grammatical side of ELA to identify the difference of a complete and fragmented sentence. In efforts to continue to look for increased understanding, we are exploring chronological order in texts. The fourth grade students have made posters using chronological steps using great detail to explain how to make pineapple pizzas and tacos!
At this point in time, we should rename the fifth graders as "POETS"! The poetry unit really resonated with this amazing class. We have greeted many different kinds of poetry with a high focus on figurative language. As we read through many different forms of poetry, to understand them at their meaning, we needed to conquer concepts of rhyming, rhythm, similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia and personification. In doing so, we have created poems of each! I truly think the similes and the personification poems they have created were my favorite! The fifth grade students have caught on to the poetry as fast as cheetahs!
As always, I am blessed everyday to be a teacher at Academy Adventures Midtown. The magic this school holds is one I am positive I may never find the right words for. The students have made this a place we look forward to showing up and motivated to be our best. Thank you to the amazing parents and your constant communication and participation in your students' education. Thank you for the "INCREDIBLE" turn out for parent teacher conferences! Thank you to the staff for supporting each child as a whole child and I cannot wait to share the outcome of each month of the 2021-2022 school year.
It has been another amazing month at Academy Adventures Midtown with the students getting more and more familiar with their schedules and daily routines. As the 3-5 homeroom teacher and the K-5 math teacher, I want to thank the parents for supporting your kids with their growing confidence and enthusiasm, it is definitely showing and continuing to show as the school year goes on.
Fifth grade has been working with division and transitioning into fractions. The past two weeks, we’ve focused a lot on fractions and the different ways they can be interpreted and manipulated to help better our understanding. Our main focus with fractions has been making sure that the denominators match so that we can then carry out operations such as adding two unlike fractions, subtracting two unlike fractions and even converting improper fractions to mixed numbers. Not only have these kids been willing to learn but have been extremely cooperative, patient, and positive when the problems get tough.
Fourth grade has been working with multiplication and division, mainly focusing on division. We’ve been talking about how the two are connected by being opposites of one another and have been figuring out different strategies we can use to approach and conquer these types of problems. Our biggest achievement so far has been the ability to find what strategy works best for us individually to help us solve the problems, so that we feel confident and capable of answering these difficult questions.
Third grade has been progressing in their addition facts with numbers up to 4-digits. We have figured out what place value to start at when we add numbers this large, how to “carry” our numbers to the next place value, and even found mistakes in problems and corrected them so that the answer made sense. We’ve found strategies such as “making 5”, and “making 10” to help make the mental math a little easier, but most importantly they’ve been enthusiastic and always willing to learn.
Second grade has been working on their addition skills also, but with numbers up to 3-digits. We have been learning the process of regrouping and the different ways we can represent it, whether that be with “carrying”, base-ten blocks, or keeping track of our place values. Whatever it may be, these second graders are hard at work and are constantly bringing their eagerness, laughter and perseverance to the classroom.
First grade has been working on the concepts of addition and subtraction, the ways we can represent those operations and strategies we can use to help us figure out what we need to do. A big factor to understanding what the difference between addition and subtraction is, is the vocabulary and wording we use when describing these types of problems. Knowing the difference between “more” and “less” and “all together” and “take away” is something these fantastic first graders have been working hard on and have been showing amazing improvement!
Kindergarten has been working on a lot of concepts regarding the numbers 0 through 10. We have talked about how when you have two sets of objects, and you count them together, those two numbers make what the total objects are all together, almost like an introduction to addition. We’ve also introduced the concept of ordinal positions, such as first, second, third, etc. and measurement. My goal for our outstanding kindergarteners is to be able to build off what they know, so that we can connect each of the concepts and continue to grow our strengths. So even though we’re working on measurement and describing similarities and differences between objects of different length, we’re still incorporating counting to 10 and writing our numbers.
One of my biggest focuses in class is being able to make our lessons fun, interactive and engaging for all students during our time together so that they get the most out of their learning, not only as mathematicians but as individuals as well. I am having such an amazing time learning more about your outstanding children, and am eager to see what the future has in store for all of us! If you have any questions or need to get a hold of me, please feel free to message me on Class Dojo!
The After School Enrichment Program is going great! Thank you to Mr. Gilbert, Ms. Lia, Mr. Dan and Miss Kailey for the great job they are doing in keeping the children engaged!
A few reminders:
- Behavior expectations are the same after school as they are during school
- The after school program ends at 5:00 PM. Please make sure you are picking up your child(ren) on time
- There is no after school program on early release days
If you have any questions regarding the after school program, please check with your child's teacher.
We know that the more involvement parents have in their child's education, the more successful the child will be! We are always encouraging parents to be involved. Some of the ways that you can be involved include but is not limited to:
- Reading with your child nightly
- Keeping in contact with your child's teacher regarding their progress
- Attending family events
- Volunteering at events
- Asking your child specific questions about their day (see picture)
- Encourage your child to always do their best