March 2016 Newsletter

for Archer & Allen Jay Elementary

LEGO Showcase Event Register IMMEDIATELY!!!

The LEGO Showcase event that will be held in April at High Point University is now open for registration. If you want your child to attend this AMAZING, FREE event it is important that you sign up IMMMEDIATELY. I attend this event last year with a friend of mine and her sons. We had a blast! Students get to use a variety of LEGO kits, Little Bits, and more! The event WILL fill up REALLY, REALLY quickly once people realize that registration is open, so don't hesitate! My guess is that it will be full by the end of the week!

Here is the blurb from the HPU website:

This Showcase event held twice a year on Saturday in November and April draws in more than 800 people each date. The entire School of Education is transformed into a giant LEGO Learning Lab! Parents go online to register their children for this free event that takes place from 1:00-6:00. Engineering competitions, machine building, robotics, free build and story telling with LEGO are just a few of the many activities that occur during this wonderful event. Online registration begins in September for the November event and in February for the April event. These events fill up quickly!

Who Are Our Neighbors? (3rd ELA)

We are currently reading a variety of literature pieces to help us understand the issues that affect immigrants both in the past and current day. Students will become experts on their pieces of literature and share the experiences that the people they read about have had. We will begin brainstorming what type of service project we can complete to help our school and community understand and respect the diversity around us!

The Power of Literate People (4th Grade ELA)

We will continue to explore a variety of literary and informational texts that will help students become empathetic for those who face barriers to literacy. Students will become experts on their pieces of literature and share the experiences that the people they read about have had. We will begin brainstorming what type of service project we can complete to help our school and community become more literate!

The Arts: Wherefore Art They? (5th Grade ELA)

We will continue to explore a variety of literary and informational texts as well as multi-media to help students understand the importance of The Arts in our everyday world, school, and society. Students will become experts on their pieces of literature and share what they have read. We will begin brainstorming what type of service project we can complete to help our school and community become more aware of the importance and significance of The Arts!

Math Quest (3rd Grade Math)

We will finish our travels through an imaginary land where they are learning how to work cooperatively to solve math problems using different strategies.

We will be working on the last 3 Problem Solving Strategies:

  • Look for a Pattern
  • Work Backwards
  • Act It Out

Students are trying to earn the most points (by correctly solving word problems) and collect the most gold to be the victors!

Rates, Ratios, and Proportions (4th Grade Math)

Students will become proficient in using ratios, rates, and proportions to solve problems routinely faced in daily life. Students may practice comparison shopping to make budgetary or dietary decisions and may apply their learning to an analysis of sports statistics.

Think Like a Scientist (5th Grade Math)

Students will participate in an authentic scenario where they have been invited to join an international think tank studying a group of unusual and often misunderstood creatures - kids. Students will determine a plan of action and necessary data. Students will learn to collect, display, and analyze data to conduct an investigation with the same strategies used by scientists and statisticians.

2nd Grade Talent Development

2nd Grade TD pullout students are finishing up our work on Henry and the Kite Dragon. We will take the decision making skills and apply them to other stories and our everyday lives. We will be working on math analogies, reading comprehension, and critical thinking skills! We meet for 30 minutes once a week.

Social/Emotional Corner from the AG Department

Adapted from: “Why Understanding These Four Types of Mistakes Can Help Us Learn”

by Eduardo Briceño

We can deepen our own and our students’ understanding of mistakes, which are not all created equal, and are not always desirable. After all, our ability to manage and learn from mistakes is not fixed. We can improve it. An appreciation of mistakes helps us overcome our fear of making them, enabling us to take risks. But we also want students to understand what kinds of mistakes are most useful and how to most learn from them.

Types of mistakes

The stretch mistakes

Stretch mistakes happen when we’re working to expand our current abilities. Stretch mistakes are positive. If we never made stretch mistakes, it would mean that we never truly challenged ourselves to learn new knowledge or skills. We want to make stretch mistakes! We want to do so not by trying to do things incorrectly, but by trying to do things that are challenging. When we make stretch mistakes we want to reflect, identify what we can learn, and then adjust our approach to practice, until we master the new level of ability. Then we want to identify a new area of challenge and continue stretching ourselves.

The aha-moment mistakes

Another positive type of mistake, but one that is harder to strive or plan for, is the aha-moment mistake. This happens when we achieve what we intend to do, but then realize that it was a mistake to do so because of some knowledge we lacked which is now becoming apparent. We can gain more aha moments from mistakes by being reflective. We can ask ourselves “What was unexpected? Why did that result occur? What went well and what didn’t? Is there anything I could try differently next time?” We can also ask people around us for information we may not be aware of, or for ideas for improvement.

The sloppy mistakes

Sloppy mistakes happen when we’re doing something we already know how to do, but we do it incorrectly because we lose concentration. We all make sloppy mistakes occasionally because we’re human. However, when we make too many of these mistakes, especially on a task that we intend to focus on at the time, it signals an opportunity to enhance our focus, processes, environment, or habits.

Sometimes sloppy mistakes can be turned into aha moments. If we make a mistake because we’re not focused on the task at hand, or we’re too tired, or something distracted us, upon reflection we can gain aha-moments on how to improve, such as realizing we’re better at certain tasks after a good night’s sleep, or that if we silence our gadgets or close our doors we can focus better.

The high-stakes mistakes

Sometimes we don’t want to make a mistake because it would be catastrophic. Aside from life-threatening situations, we can sometimes consider performance situations to be high-stakes. For example, if going to a prestigious college is important to someone, taking the SAT could be a high-stakes event because the performance in that assessment has important ramifications. It is okay to see these events as performance events rather than as learning events, and to seek to minimize mistakes and maximize performance in these events. We’re putting our best foot forward, trying to perform as best as we can. How we do in these events gives us information about how effective we have become through our hard work and effort. In a high-stakes event, if we don’t achieve our goal, let’s reflect on the progress we’ve made through time, on the approaches that have and haven’t helped us grow, and on what we can do to grow more effectively. Then let’s go back to spending most of our time practicing, challenging ourselves, and seeking stretch mistakes and learning from those mistakes.

Let’s be clear

Mistakes are not all created equal, and they are not always desirable. In addition, learning from mistakes is not all automatic. In order to learn from them the most we need to reflect on our errors and extract lessons from them.

If we’re more precise in our own understanding of mistakes and in our communication with students, it will increase their understanding, buy-in, and efficacy as learners.

Briceno, E. (2015, November). Mind/Shifts. Retrieved February 8, 2016, from This article was first published in the Mindset Works newsletter.

Guilford County PAGE Information

Click here to find out more about Guilford County PAGE and how to become a member.

AG Schedule

Click here to view the full schedule

Contact Information and Websites

I enjoy working with your children to help them reach their potential. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

My email is

Allen Jay (AJE) phone # 336-434-8490 (voicemails left from this number come to my email)

Archer phone #336-294-7335

My Class Website:


GCS AG Website:

On the GCS AG website be sure to check out the tab called Elementary Curriculum for a variety of different sites dealing with the units we are currently teaching.