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
October 17, 2017
During the first few weeks of Gender, Sexuality, and Race, 11th and 12th grade students examined their own identity and how it may affect the way the learn, think, and speak about gender, sexuality, race and socioeconomic class
October 12, 2017
“I can’t do this...yet!” and “My math brain just grew!” were just a few comments made during our math mindset activities in 4th grade. All students in the Lower Division spent the first two weeks of school building and strengthening their math mindsets. The purpose behind this important work was to establish a supportive math community that encourages all learners and to build upon the belief that everyone can do math at a high level.
October 10, 2017
Empathy—putting oneself in the shoes of another—is the ability that allows us to really get in touch with other people. The good news is that this important ability can be developed from an early age. In the Early Learning Center at Avenues, nursery and pre-K teachers are working with children to help them get in touch with their feelings and the feelings of others.
October 6, 2017
A temperature-changing jacket? A backpack that transforms into a hammock? These are just a couple of the inventions that 6th graders created as part of a math unit on statistics.
October 3, 2017
This past year's Global Journeys Taiwan program was focused on culture and climate change.