Posts filed under ‘Equinox’
by Emma Anderson, Alexa Butler and Amy Garrison
Ms. Schoolcraft’s class – Equinox
Here’s a bit of history…
by Emma and Alexa
The Old Williston Schools
Up until 1940 there were a dozen one-room school houses. Albert D. Lawton said in 1935, “We need one school with more than one room.” Why did he say that? Transportation and maintenance at the old school houses cost too much. In 1949 the old village school house burned and collapsed.
The First Addition
By early October 1950 WCS was ready. But it only had 8 classrooms. The school’s population was growing rapidly. The addition was under construction from 1954–1955. The addition had an assembly room used for Physical Education, it involved a Cafeteria and a stage and 2 new classrooms. Now, those 2 classrooms are combined to make the Mansfield art room.
The Second Addition
At the end of the 1950s the school needed EVEN MORE space. They needed more space for two classrooms and then six classrooms. Mr. Hazen Wood said two additional teachers would be needed right away. He thought there should be more classrooms now instead of waiting until the next year. The theory came from the town saving money for the following years.
The Third Addition
Soon, they needed EVEN MORE classrooms and a new gym and and a cafeteria. There was The Williston School Planning Group. They prepared for the next addition. The sewer system was bad and needed to be bigger. And they needed more classrooms for foreign language.
The Fourth Addition
In 1968-1990 there was a construction break, a BIG break! Soon, that came to an end. The town demanded an addition. The school had to handle 250 students in the new space. The town said every 4 classrooms should have a kiva, a teacher space and a project room and outside should have a greenhouse. What was surprising was the school board wanted a pool but that’s where the town put their foot down.
Life As A Teacher
The life of a teacher was hard. S/he would live close to the school and would earn $900 a year.
All kids walked to school and helped clean the school house. The first student to school would build a fire for warmth and to bake lunch. All students brought a potato to bake for lunch. The little kids went to recess @ 2:00 to 3:00 because big kids go out at exactly 3:00. All anybody would say is life as a teacher was hard, very hard.
And. now for the big news…
My Interview with Mr. Robert Mitchell (Former Administrator)
In my interview with Mr. Mitchell I learned about two very interesting things, the canopy and the pool. There was a pool included in the fourth addition plans. Mr. Mitchell didn’t think that the town would approve it. When he told me about the pool, I was mad at first because it would have been awesome to have a pool. But I finally agreed with his reasons for not wanting to include it in the addition.
He told me a story about a canopy over the old entrance where all the kids entered and exited the school. One day, there was a noise. “It was so loud!” Robert Mitchell said. Part of the canopy had collapsed. There was no spot to let the kids out. “It was a very challenging day for everybody in the school.”
As Mr. Mitchell looks back he realized that he really enjoyed being a classroom teacher and he would have been happy being in the classroom his whole life. He had been a teacher in Burlington where he taught science and health and then was assistant and co-principal in Williston.
All I really want to say is thank you Mr. Mitchell and thank you for your time and the history of Williston Central School.
About The Authors
EMMA- I am a third grader in Equinox House and I have Sarah Schoolcraft as a teacher. She is very supportive about my group’s writing.
AMY- I am a student also in Sarah Schoolcraft’s class and I joined the group late but still participated by writing the section about the teachers.
ALEXA- I love to write as well and am glad to have participated in this article.
Source: The History of Williston Central School, 1950 to 2000 by Richard H. Allen
The Grade Four First Place winner is Julia! Aidan and Rylee are two of the three winners tied for second place. Shown above with Mrs. Poirot.
Shown left to right: CML Coordinator Mrs. Poirot, second place medal winner Erik Schneider and first place winner Matteo.
Congratulations to all of our medal winners and to over eighty other third and fourth graders who participated in the Continental Mathematics League this year.
by Rory Anderson and Peyton Jones
Do you know that there is something called Math Enrichment?
Math Enrichment is extra math for kids who need an extended challenge. The Enrichment room is located in between Ms.Kennedy’s music room and the tech lab. Its always serious topics that we have conversations about and you only have one chance to bring your folder and homework in or you have to talk with your teacher. Then, next time you forget it, you have to talk with your parents.
In the Enrichment room, when you are working on an exit task or homework that you are just getting started on, it is very silent. There are different sessions. At the beginning of each session if you’re new in the group you can pick a folder that is red, clear, black or blue. There are eight weeks in every session.
A lot of the problems we do are exciting and challenging. Some of the problems involve fractions. Fractions are when you divide a certain amount of space into smaller sections. Betty Poirot runs math Enrichment for grades K-4.
One part of Math Enrichment is the Continental Mathematics League Program. The Enrichment teachers purchase materials from the company and then provide a training for interested volunteers. Volunteers teach small groups of kids who want an extra math challenge. This year about one hundred kids participated.
Lastly, we have an example of a problem for you to solve, have fun doing it. Good luck!
Find two consecutive counting #’s that add to each of the following sums. ( Consecutive counting #’s are those that you say in order when you are counting. The smallest counting # is 1.)
15=___+ ___ 18=___ + ___
57=___+ ___ 58=___+___
229=___ + ___ 228=___+ ___
What did you notice about all of the sums above? Were all of them possible to solve? Why or why not?
Now try the same thing for three consecutive counting numbers.
15=__ + __ + __ 18=__ + __ + __
57=__ +__+ __ 58=__+ __
229=__ + __ + __ 228=__ + __ + __
(This problem is from Extending the Challenge in Mathematics.)
by Rory and Peyton
In third and fourth grade, we learn lots of different kinds of writing. One of the things we have been writing about is a small moment. The way of remembering easily is that they are a seed of a watermelon. A watermelon is a big story. For example, the time you went on a vacation. A seed is a small story like the first plane you went on for that vacation.
Small moments aren’t just something random or untrue. A small moment is a true story that you love or don’t feel good about. But, it has to be something that happened to you.
When you hear the word small it means not a huge amount of time, but the writing can still be long. One part of small moments is you have to extend and expand your writing. How you do that is adding power words. Power words are long or important words.
You have to include every single detail for a small moment to be true. Lastly, we are going to give you two examples small moments. We hope you learned a lot about small moments! We hope you enjoy reading them, too!
Here are the examples:
“Good luck,” said Peyton. Every Friday I have a spelling assessment, except our words are so hard it seems as if rocks are getting shoved into your back.
I am a very great speller, but I have never scored 100%. I have wished to for so long that it would be a huge accomplishment. I always get a high score but suddenly out of nowhere I saw my test and it said 100%. This is the first awesome moment that this has ever happened! What I did was this. I only had one word left and had all the other words correct. I was almost positive I knew all of the words. Then, I heard it. The word was xylophone and I spelled it correctly just like this
X-Y-L-O-P-H-O-N-E. It felt so good!
Finally, I can prove I’m not a bad speller!
Getting A kitten
One fall day, in the afternoon, my brother went to the store with my dad. Then, when my brother left with my dad, my mom told me that a kitten that my aunt found was coming over so we could find it a home. When I heard that I was super excited! My mom also told me that my friend was coming over. So I had a super busy day!
My aunt did not arrive as quickly as I thought she would. But then a couple of minutes later she finally arrived. I was super excited!! I couldn’t wait until I got to see the kitten! But when I got to see it, it was so adorable I knew right away that I did not want to give it away! The kitten had dark orange stripes and an orange body. I asked my mom if I could take the kitten upstairs so I could play with it. She said, “yes.” I quickly ran up the stairs with the kitten in my hands and I tried not to drop it and I didn’t drop it at all. When I got to the top of the stairs I gently put the kitten down and ran to grab a pompom. When I came back from getting the pompom I threw it and the kitten ran after it and the kitten looked faster than my brother. Then, I ran downstairs and asked my mom,”Can we keep the kitten?” Then my mom said, “Maybe.” I hoped that I could keep the kitten!
My friend, Sydney, finally arrived but before she stepped into the door I grabbed the kitten and ran down the stairs but I only got halfway when she stepped in the door. When she saw the kitten she thought it looked so cute! Then we both ran up the stairs and we both started to play with it right away! We never wanted to stop playing with it. Then we finally decided to go downstairs and make a list of names for the kitten. We ended up with a whole list of names. We had to choose one of our very favorite names and it was a hard choice to make. But then we finally made a choice and it was Stripes. My mom really liked the name too. Sydney did not stay for long. When her dad came she did not want to leave at all so we just ran outside and started playing. When Sydney left my brother and I came back inside. When we back in, the kitten was fast asleep and it was so cute!
Student of The Week
In Mrs. Wirsing’s class, every week we vote for student of the week. First, Mrs. Wirsing passes out some little slips of paper (like a secret ballet). Then we write somebody’s name that we think has been S.M.A.R.T. (Safe, Mindful, Accepting, Respectful, and Truthful). Somebody might get voted for because they made good decisions on being S.M.A.R.T. in the classroom or being S.M.A.R.T. anywhere else in the school. Everyone should be watching their classmates to see if they are being S.M.A.R.T. so they will be ready to vote.
At snack time on Thursday or Friday you fold your piece of paper one time and put it into the student of the week box. When everyone has put the name of the person that they would want to be S.O.T.W. (student of the week). Mrs. Wirsing looks at all the secret ballots and puts them into piles while counting them up. She later puts the three highest votes onto the board, and then it is time for the second part of voting.
We put our heads down on our desk with our eyes closed. Mrs. Wirsing calls out one of the three nominees, and whoever wants to vote for that particular person raises their hand. Whoever has the most hands raised gets to be student of the week for the next week. They get the privilege of getting to pour the smart cells into the jar, sitting on the blue stool, relaxing in the bean bag chair, or bouncing on the blue ball. You can use all of those privileges all week.
You are Student of the Week starting on Monday and ending on Friday.
Eventually, everybody gets a chance being S.O.T.W., and some even get to do it two times or even three times.
We think that it’s a great honor to be Student of the Week and to show people how you’ve been SMART.
Peyton and Rory stand by the behavior chart in Ms. Fisher’s classroom.
By Peyton and Rory
A lot goes on in Equinox house that parents may not know about. One thing that we have is Behavior Cards. The reason we do behavior cards is to remind ourselves and the teacher how the day has been going with our behavior.
There are four cards. The first card is green. That means perfect. The next card is yellow. That means you just got a little bit goofy. Third is the orange card that is a very firm reminder. When you get a red card, things get serious. That means you have to write a behavior plan.
Sometimes, kids have bad behavior in our class such at talking when the teacher is talking or talking back. Then you have to flip your behavior card.
A plan is a very strict punishment. You have to write what you did and why. There is a teacher there to help you if you need it. Depending on what you did there might be a in-school suspension. This is a good way to help teachers keep track of your behavior.
( Check the Blue&Gold to see more of our posts!)
Coming to the Big School
By Emma Anderson
A lot of second graders wonder what it’s like being a third grader. Well, I am here to tell you. I am your reliable 3rd grade reporter, Emma Anderson. Read the Blue&Gold often and look for my articles. I am at the big school and I think it’s awesome over here.
So on to the BIG news. You still have Ms.TH for a music teacher. There are two gyms and the so called “New gym” has been around for 44YEARS! That’s really it. See you around!
Equinox’s First Field Trip 2012
For Equinox students’ first field trip they went to Mt. Philo. By the look on the teachers’ faces I think they were having a great time. It looked like summer vacation on the top of Mt. Philo on September 14, 2012.
Students saw ospreys, broad-winged hawks and many other species. Ms. Schoolcraft says she was pleased to see everybody so happy. The hike down was peaceful and when they got back they were glad to say their first field trip was a complete success!
By Lily and Jacob
We were wondering about WCS Technology. We went around the school talking to teachers and students about Technology. We asked what their favorite programs are, how they use them, how it helps them learn, and how many computers they have.
I (Lily) interviewed Ms. Baker (one of the school’s art teachers). She does Exploratory Arts Technology in the Technology lab. In this class, we go on the computer and go to the WCS website, Curriculum and then click on Art. Next, we click on Ms. Baker’s art room. A list of appropriate art websites show up. You can use any of them! I asked,” How did you find these websites?” She said, ”A lot of research on the computer.” A few websites she likes are thisissand, Jackson Pollock splatter painting, and Explore Museums.
We also do a portrait of ourselves in Adobe Photoshop. Her goals for the portrait activity are to teach us about contour lines. I asked,” What is your favorite thing to do with the kids?” She told me, “Everything! I LOVE the energy that the kids bring!” She said, ”I have a surprise… at the end of exploratory on the last week, we have an online study of Henry Moore and make soap sculptures!”
Ms. Birdsall, (Technology Integration Specialist) and I met for a interview. I asked her, “How many computers we have in the WCS tech lab?” She answered, “We have 26 computers in the lab.” I asked,” What benefits does technology give us?” She told me, “It lets us research, type, communicate, collaborate, work together, share and show our work.” She also said, “ We use these different types of technology in our school: projectors, document cameras, digital cameras, video, webcams, and more.” I asked, “What are some of the best websites?” She said, “Well there are a lot but some of the most important are the WCS website, such as using our email and Google tools, and library resources.” I asked,” How much do teachers and students use technology? Do they use it safely?” She answered, ”Teachers and students use technology all the time, and they use it very safely. Technology helps us learn, connect, share, and have fun!”
Ms.Weegar (Grade 4 Teacher in Mosaic) and I sat down and had a talk about the technology she uses in her class. I asked, ”What are some of the types of technology you use in the classroom? And what are the benefits of technology?” She said, “We use a projector, document camera, laptops, Flip cameras, camera, and computers. The benefits are that the kids can learn at their own speed, that means it helps kids differentiate! It also makes the lessons more exciting and help them collaborate.” I asked, ”What are some of the best websites you use?” She said, “We like Edublogs where we create our own blogs. With Twitter we tweet about what we learn in our class and follow other classes and famous people, and we call ourselves wcsweeones.” She told me, “Something exciting that we did was an online study of the Titanic.” I asked, “How often do you use Technology? Do you use it safely?” She answered. “We use it every day and we spend a lot of time talking about how to be safe. Technology helps learning come alive!”
In my class, (Jacob’s) we do lots of things with our Smartboard. It helps us in many ways. Last year in math we used it to show diagrams, do counting and to show our work. This year, I have a Smartboard in my classroom, but I don’t have one for math which is in another room. I have noticed it has been different.
A Smartboard is basically a big computer; it’s also like a whiteboard. Every morning in our classroom we have a sign-in on our Smartboard. We have a document camera hooked up to the Smartboard so we project our work onto the smartboard.
I interviewed a few teachers from different 3rd and 4th grade Houses about Technology. I asked my teacher, Ms. Schoolcraft, “How do Smartboards help students learn?” She said, “One way is being able to see what’s happening using photos and videos.” I asked Mr Willis some questions too. He said that his Smartboard gets used throughout the day. In math class, students use the Smartboard to show their thinking. He also said that kids can interact with the Smartboard and it helps to visualize the learning.
Ms Medved says they use their Smartboard everyday just like Mr Willis. They use their Smartboard the most for students showing their work on the board. I asked Ms. Medved, “How do Smartboards help students learn the most?” She said, “They can move things around easily and they can interact with the Smartboard.”
Now that you have heard some things about Smartboards you can see that Smartboards are a big help to us, and to teachers, too. Our school has eleven Smartboards. I think having a Smartboard and not having one is a big difference. I hope you get the chance to use a Smartboard and that you can see why Smartboards are important in our school! (Jacob)
Since these interviews, my ideas about technology have changed. My new thoughts are, “What is the newest technology that has entered the school? Who teaches the teachers how to use it? How do kids feel about using technology?” I know that I like it but what do other kids think? I hope you are as interested in technology as I am! (Lily)