As usual I went to the wrong door. The main entry is so beautiful that I was certain it was my entrance. Instead, I ended up walking around by myself until I found the front office. The good news about that is that it means I get to see the school with my own eyes without a lot of structure or guidance. I was pleasantly surprised by natural flow of the building and general feeling of peace and happiness at Young Middle School.
We visited the 7th grade classroom of Ms. Ashley Gladden. Ms. Gladden was using the novel “The Hunger Games” to teach a lesson on point of view. Some members of today’s class were asked to rewrite the reaping scene from the Hunger Games from the character Prim’s point of view. There was plenty of healthy conversation taking place. I enjoyed listening to the students bounce ideas off of one another and it was great to see a student teacher from Georgia State University assisting students with their writing. I worked with a student who was using this summer’s World Cup photos to write in third person…and given my interest in the summer soccer frenzy of the World Cup, I was a very enthusiastic participant in the lesson.
Ms. Bradley’s science students were learning about the organs in the digestive system. Lots of saliva and intestinal talk (yuck). I liked that Ms. Bradley was willing to incorporate a lesson due Friday into her afterschool tutorial time. Ms. Byrd-Troup’s science class was also studying the digestive system – they were utilizing their iPads and building their interactive notebooks. The kids seemed to enjoy the hands on activities.
In Ms. Conyer’s 6th grade math class, a student was reading the novel “Secrets, Lies and Algebra” by Wendy Lichtman. This was a text used a few years ago as a part of the state’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl competition. The lead character Tess uses mathematical concepts to help her understand things taking place in her life. Using literature to teach math is always a win-win. Mr. Julien Siah, the school’s teacher of the year, was knee-deep into the lesson well before the bell rang. Geez, I am so happy I’m not in 6th grade as a student or a teacher. Mr. Siah’s English class was challenging and he is obviously pushing his kids to be the best students possible.
We dropped in on Ms. Crump’s art class. The kids were learning about oil pastels. She told them “Art is always best when it is messy.” She seemed like a really cool instructor who could relate to her students. Now, that I’m back at the office I finally had time to see the school’s new art wing that is being designed. Sweet!
As I was leaving, I ran into Ms. West who I met some months ago at a community center event. She’s awesome and we appreciate her efforts in APS as a mentor principal who lends extra support to a few of our schools.
Thank you principal Nelson for the great tour and wonderful experience!