11 Year Old APS Student Edith Stubbs is Publishing Her First Children’s Book

AmeliaWe have so many talented students in our district, and I am proud to recognize this particular young lady for such a spectacular achievement. 11-year-old, Edith Stubbs “Speedy” McGruffin of Mary Lin Elementary School is publishing her first book “Amelia – The Crazy Jumping Hedgehog.”

Edith says it was right before her 10th birthday and she was on vacation with her family. The weather was ugly, she was sitting in the rain with nothing to do and she became bored. After a suggestion from her father to use her imagination, her book character, Amelia, was born!

Amelia is a hedgehog that lives in a pet store but dreams of being taken home to a house with a nice hedge. While she is at the pet store dreaming, she has a series of capers and discovers what makes her special.

Edith is currently raising money for the printing of the book with a Kickstarter campaign she set up with the help of her father. It also includes a really cool video about the book where you can hear from the young author herself.

Check it out here!

<https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/10486027/amelia-the-crazy-jumping-hedgehog-a-book-by-speedy>

You can also follow Amelia on Facebook:<https://www.facebook.com/Ameliathehedgehogbook>
and Twitter<https://twitter.com/Amelia_Hedgehog>.

Edith says that “Amelia – The Crazy Jumping Hedgehog” is just the first of a five-book series.

Congratulations Speedy! I look forward to reading your books and following the professional writing adventure of Speedy McGruffin!

Celebrate Mathematics Awareness and Education Month!

Students in Ms. Bringslid's fourth grade math class at Mary Lin Elementary School.

Students in Ms. Bringslid’s fourth grade math class at Mary Lin Elementary School.

The month of April is Mathematics Awareness and Education Month, and I don’t think math education has ever been as important for our students’ success in college, career and life as it is right now.  I’m so proud that APS was represented at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ annual conference in Boston. These people are passionate about math, and they will tell you it’s not just about numbers, it’s about problem solving and critical thinking.

This year’s theme is “Math Drives Careers.” That has never been truer than it is today.

Through the course of an APS student’s education, the math curriculum is designed to build upon itself and become more challenging as the child progresses through school. As part of our measurements of success, that student by third grade should be able to multiply and divide with any number up to 100 and work with fractions.

Denise Bringslid, a fourth grade math teacher at Mary Lin Elementary, joined her peers at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference. She finds puzzles and problem-solving motivates her students. Recently, she videotaped the principal asking students for help with a backyard fence he was building for his dog. She played the tape for students at the start of class. In order to solve the principal’s problem students had to apply various skills they had learned about area, perimeter multiplication, division and conversion. “I find they are most engaged when you give them a problem to solve like a puzzle, something that is real and applicable to their lives,” Ms. Bringslid.”  She adds that students get additional fulfillment by accomplishing a task for someone else.

By fifth grade, a student should understand place values, use equivalent fractions and relate volume to multiplication and addition.

In eighth grade, a successful math student can work with ratios and proportions, hold a solid understanding of algebraic principles; understand the basics of geometry and apply data and statistics. By the time a student graduates from APS, he or she should have enough knowledge of algebra, geometry, trigonometry and statistics to be successful in college-level mathematics courses.

Dr. Porsha Denson (l),  math instructor at Maynard H. Jackson High School, was awarded the 2015 "My Favorite Teacher" Award from the Barnes and Nobles “Prize Patrol”.

Dr. Porsha Denson,
math instructor at Maynard H. Jackson High School, was awarded the 2015 “My Favorite Teacher” Award from the Barnes and Nobles “Prize Patrol”.

Dr. Porsha Denson teaches Analytical Geometry Honors and Advanced Algebra Honors courses at Maynard H. Jackson High School. She incorporates a variety of teaching strategies and student learning styles into her instruction. “I instill the passion and motivation for the course content by making the subject matter relevant to the student’s life,” said Dr. Denson.

Her students certainly appreciate her hard work. Their entries led to her winning the 2015 “My Favorite Teacher” Award from the Barnes and Nobles “Prize Patrol.” Dr. Denson stresses, “Math doesn’t have to be difficult; taking the time to practice previous and current concepts will allow you to master understanding.”

It is my hope that every APS student reaches their full potential in math.  I want to see our kiddos taking AP Calculus, Statistics and other rigorous courses in high school and excelling not only during Mathematics Awareness and Education Month, but all year long.

Watch Now: Inside look of APS construction projects

Facilities matter, and I’m a big believer in creating dynamic, open and creative learning spaces which foster great teaching and learning.  APS continues to work to ensure that all students have an enriched learning experience. Often that begins with a working space that can comfortably accommodate our growing student population.

I would like to share with you an update on the current construction and renovation projects in progress across the district.

We currently have four active construction projects in the works— E. Rivers Elementary, Bunche Middle School, Sylvan Hills Middle School and Mary Lin Elementary.

Watch this video to hear from builders at three of the current construction sites.  This is such a great first-hand look inside the building and designing of our schools.

VIDEO: