Entering Lower Division represents many things for children, but at Avenues it is all summed up by their first step on the “big stairs.” The big stairs that students climb each morning from the main entrance on Tenth Avenue up to Food on the third floor parallel the learning and growth of their five-year journey in the Lower Division. At first they will need an adult, someone to coach them and hold their hands on the 8:15 a.m. climb. That same adult will then escort their child to her teacher, and the adult will need to announce the child’s arrival to her teacher. However, only days later, this same child will no longer need such an announcement but will announce herself by launching straight into a conversation with her peers. Faster than the adult can comprehend, the child that clung to his hand each morning up the steps will request to go up on her own. This declaration will only be hard on the adult; but he too can appreciate the growing confidence and independence of his child.
The Lower Division is a time when children will surprise themselves and their parents. Things that felt out of reach and meant for big kids become doable. Besides academic milestones like learning to read and mastering those pesky multiplication facts, students will learn about themselves and what it means to be scholars. They will learn the value of friendship and how to be part of a larger community. Welcome, safety and respect are the words that guide the Lower Division. Our goal is that our students feel welcomed every morning at the bottom and top of those stairs by friendly faces; feel safe to take risks both academic and emotional; and have respect for themselves and for others.
I look forward to being the friendly face that welcomes your child at the bottom of the stairs.
- Abby Brody
December 8, 2017
Yayoi Kusama Festival of Life show was such a special experience for our pre-K students as they wandered through her “infinity rooms.” The first room in the show is an immersive experience for everyone who visits, and our 4 and 5-year-olds really seemed to connect with it.
December 5, 2017
Last week, having almost completed all high school math curriculum, a group of 12th graders set foot to find beauty outside the classroom. This time, they looked for patterns not in a sequence of math problems, but ones hidden in the works of artists. As a prelude to their yearlong math-art project, students visited galleries in Chelsea. One of the stops was home to works by artist Ruth Asawa.
December 1, 2017
In 5th grade, students take a weekly one-hour class called Fab Five. The Fab Five classes consist of Drama, Journalism, Public Speaking, Creative Computing and Wellness. In the Creative Computation class, students learned to build a computer from scratch.
November 29, 2017
We asked the kids to share what they know about emotions, and then generated a list of all the feelings we know. One child made a quick connection and said, “Hey! Emojis, emotions. They’re like the same thing!” We used this observation to help us draw facial expressions for our own class emojis and then thought about how and why we feel the ways we do.
November 28, 2017
In Spanish class with Profesora Valeria, 8th-grade students are working on the topic “City Life.” Through language study, they make connections with other content areas; compare the language and culture studied with their own; and participate in home and global communities.