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Ann Arbor City Councilman Stephen Kunselman sits down with a Scarlett Middle School eighth grader, looks him in the eyes, and shakes his hand.
“So, where do you see yourself in four years?” he asks.
“That’s a good question,” the boy answers nervously as he opens his portfolio and begins talking about where he might like to go to college.
Conversations like this took place throughout the school on May 15 during the 19th annual Portfolio Day. Business professionals from the community volunteered to conduct one-on-one mock interviews with eighth graders, and the students showed off their new portfolios and best professional demeanors.
The event is an opportunity for local professionals from a variety of fields –– finance, medicine, media, technology and more –– to pass on their wisdom, and for the students to begin shaping their careers. Continue reading →
After three months of writing letters back and forth, Pittsfield fifth graders finally got a chance to meet their pen pals on the University of Michigan women’s rowing team this week. Continue reading →
When Tahani Othman’s fifth grade class at Lakewood showed off their balloon-powered cars last week, they could not have been more proud.
Each car was a simple chassis with four wheels and was connected to a balloon. Designing them took weeks of testing and research.
Luckily the students had help from two Toyota engineers, who participated in the company’s World of Motion program.
World of Motion is a program created by the Society of Automotive Engineers, and Toyota (and other auto companies) take part. Employees volunteer to spend 1-2 hours a week for 6-8 weeks teaching students SAE science and technology curriculum. This year five AAPS elementary schools –– Thurston, Logan, Burns Park, Pittsfield and Lakewood –– benefitted from the free program. Continue reading →
As Carpenter Elementary fifth graders toured the University of Michigan Museum of Art, they learned about more than sculptures and paintings. They also learned about science, culture and history.
UMMA recently unveiled curricular art tours inspired by Ann Arbor Public Schools’ elementary humanities curriculum. Elementary and secondary teachers, including Carpenter art teacher Meredith Giltner, Mitchell art teacher Sarah Winter and Burns Park art teacher Kate Higgins, helped UMMA create the tours.
The humanities curriculum in the AAPS elementary schools is unique. AAPS Fine Arts Coordinator Robin Bailey worked on creating the new humanities curriculum three years ago, along with a committee of principals and teachers. At the time, the concern was college readiness as well as science and social studies scores. Continue reading →
The University of Michigan softball team is pretty busy these days. The team just won another Big Ten Title, their sixth in a row, and are set to play at the next Big Ten Tournament in Nebraska this weekend.
But today the players took the time to visit their pen pals in two fifth grade classes at Abbot Elementary and to do some community service cleanup together on school grounds.
U-M softball player Brandi Virgil helps clean up the school grounds at Abbot.
Crafting a beautiful Motawi Tileworks tile is a painstaking process, with each step demanding perfection. Crafting an economic model that supports the nationally-known business is just as tricky.
A class of Lakewood third graders learned about both the art and economics of the Ann Arbor-based company on a field trip earlier this week.
The field trip is just one example of how the Ann Arbor Public Schools’ humanities curriculum for elementary students works. Art teachers plan with classroom teachers to create lessons that combine art with social studies, writing and science. The result is curriculum that leaves a lasting impression on students, showing them that the world is an interconnected and interdisciplinary place. Continue reading →
Bryant Elementary’s International Night on April 18 had it all. A fashion show featured dozens of students in traditional clothing that represented their cultures. Classrooms became interactive museums, with information and cultural artifacts filling the rooms from floor to ceiling. Most students were in some kind of costume, and many parents were too. All enjoyed an evening filled with art, music, fun and food. Continue reading →
Logan Elementary students got quite the treat on Monday when six members of the University of Michigan Women’s Basketball team visited for the afternoon.
Cyesha Goree, Nicole Elmblad, Madison Ristovski, Rebecca Lyttle, Val Driscoll and Kendra Seto first participated in a Q & A session with the kids. They answered students’ probing questions (such as “Who’s your biggest rival?” and “What’s your favorite food?”) and also talked about competition and teamwork. “We even compete with each other in practice,” said Nicole Elmblad. “But the second we walk off the court, it stops.” Continue reading →
At Dicken Elementary’s Community of Cultures event on Friday, it was clear that dance is an international language spoken around the world.
From Ireland to Indonesia, Dicken students showed off the dances, desserts and traditional dress that makes their culture proud.
“One of the many great things about Dicken Elementary is that we have families from all over the world as part of our community,” said Dicken Principal Mike Madison. “And when I say all over the world, I’m not exaggerating. We have just about every continent represented here. Continue reading →
An Northside third grader is crashing to the ground in a melodramatic fashion, splintering her voice like a lightning bolt.
And she’s not going to get in trouble. Just the opposite: she’ll get praised by her teacher JT Quon.
Quon teaches elementary yoga once a week at Northside. The class is one of Rec&Ed’s youth yoga classes, which are offered to elementary and middle school students.
The middle school class is similar to adult yoga, but the elementary yoga class is much different. “We kind of co-create the class together,” Quon said. “I get input from them about their energy level and what kind of game they want to do.”
Quon said students don’t stay on the mat the entire class. “They like to run, so they might crawl like a crab for a minute, and then come into a yoga pose.”
The eclectic elementary class appeals to multiple learning styles, added Quon, who is a certified elementary school teacher and a certified yoga teacher. Students learn the poses by moving their bodies, making sounds and watching one another. Continue reading →
Eating a healthy breakfast is important –– and it’s pretty easy, too!
Logan Elementary teacher Emily Fairless led her third grade class in an interactive lesson that they won’t soon forget. The students learned about the importance of protein, the effects of too much sugar, breakfast foods to avoid, and a fast and healthy breakfast recipe. (Check out the video above for snippets of her lesson.)
A typical cereal contains a lot of sugar and not much protein, which means kids can feel hungry and sluggish way before lunchtime, Fairless told her class. She brought a box of sugary cereal and had students read the nutrition label, which showed it had 11 grams of sugar and just one gram of protein per 1-cup serving.
A good alternative is a cereal with added protein, such as a specially formulated Special K cereal, which has 10 grams of protein per 3/4-cup serving, along with five grams of fiber. Continue reading →
Stevie Wonder. Lily Tomlin. Tom Brady. Did you know these people are all from Michigan?
Famous Michiganders were the feature of a wax museum project courtesy of Kristal Verlee’s fourth grade class at Lakewood on March 21. Students performed factual and entertaining monologues about their famous Michigander that they wrote themselves. Continue reading →
The Festifools parade today was lead by Clague eighth graders working together in a wonderful artistic collaboration.
Clague’s choir and drumming teacher Dianna Hochella and Clague art teacher Kay Pentzienjoined joined forces this past quarter with two of their eighth grade classes. The art students designed and created a 40 foot serpent, which “devoured and spit out” an entire drumming ensemble of 11 “zombie drummers.” Once outside “The Beast,” the drummers (wearing costumes and masks also designed by the art students) performed a well choreographed number — while a 6-foot zombie owl and 14-foot zombie cat danced alongside and taunt the creature. Continue reading →