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
January 5, 2018
This year we are introducing a new math tool to be used in our kindergarten and 1st grade curriculum—rekenreks. Rekenreks are used for students to understand numbers in a multi-sensory way.
January 3, 2018
At the end of the school day, I change from my work clothes into stretchy pants and a t-shirt, and make the transformation from Chinese teacher back to the fire-and-brimstone martial arts instructor I once was. Students come into my class with varied motivation; some come to become physically fit, some to learn to defend themselves and some to connect themselves to an unbroken line of an old tradition
December 21, 2017
During a child’s development it is essential to build and maintain routines. Having consistent routines and knowing what to expect creates a predictable and safe environment for children. One of the first goals for children when starting pre-school is to internalize the daily routine.
December 20, 2017
This year, our middle grades students set a new record in our young history. Seventy-four students from grades 6 through 8 participated in one of the most prestigious math contests in the world, American Mathematics Competition 8.
December 18, 2017
This fall, 5th graders from Avenues traveled about two hours out of the city to Black Rock Forest for an educational and recreational day trip. The Black Rock Forest Consortium is a “living laboratory for field-based research and education, encompassing native terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that are increasingly rare in the region.”