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Math Madness Takes Over Harley Avenue

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Practicing addition and building fact fluency recently got a lot more exciting for the second graders at Elwood’s Harley Avenue Primary School, as math teacher Jill Greenblatt hosted Harley’s first annual Math Madness bracket-style tournament. To tie it in with the NCAA’s March Madness basketball contest, each student was “drafted” onto one of six teams named after colleges: Arizona Wildcats, Florida Gators, Michigan Wolverines, Ohio State Buckeyes, Syracuse Orange and Wisconsin Badgers.

Round one took place on March 9, when four teams faced off in the cafetorium in front of their grade-level peers. It was followed by round two on March 15 and the championship game on March 23, which was won by the Badgers.

“As I went into each second-grade classroom to teach the students and teachers how to play the fact fluency game that they would play during the tournament, I could feel the excitement,” Greenblatt said. “Fun events like this really motivate the students to learn their math facts. They also loved hearing about different colleges, had a chance to bond with teammates from the other classes and practiced good sportsmanship.”

Date Added: 3/28/2023

A Week of Reading at Harley Avenue

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During Read Across America week at Harley Avenue, students enjoyed celebrating their love of reading all week, beginning with Read a Shirt Day on Monday. Secret readers and other teachers and staff read books to students. On Tuesday, Harley students participated in a Reading Camp Out in their classrooms while reading some of their favorite books. On Wednesday, students and staff dressed up as their favorite characters and marched in a parade throughout the school so that they could see each other’s costumes. Students wore college sweatshirts on Thursday, and the week ended with teachers swapping classrooms so that they could read a book to another class.

Date Added: 3/15/2023

Harley Avenue Celebrates Mathematician Katherine Johnson for Black History Month

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Harley Avenue Primary School recently celebrated Black History Month with a STEM activity focused on pioneering African American NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.

Beginning with a reading of the Helaine Becker book “Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13,” classes then discussed Johnson's determination to become a mathematician despite many obstacles, including segregation and limited career opportunities for women in the 1960s.

“We were surprised and excited to learn that John Glenn would only agree to fly in any of the Apollo missions if the calculations were determined by Ms. Johnson,” teacher Christine Shay said. “He trusted her more than any computer.”

The next day, the students were provided with a variety of materials including tissue paper, paper cups, pipe cleaners, coffee filters and string. They worked in pairs to create a “rocket” with a parachute that could safely land back on Earth.  

Date Added: 2/28/2023

Watch Harley Avenue's 100th Day of School Celebration!

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Date Added: 2/16/2023

Elwood Students Explore the Sights and Sounds of STEAM

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At the district’s annual STEAM Night, held at Elwood Middle School on Jan. 24, the fine arts were integrated into the thematic activities, reflected in this year’s fair’s title, “Exploring the Sights and Sounds of STEAM.” Through art and music, students from kindergarten through eighth grade explored sound, amplitude, frequency, the Fibonacci sequence, coding and the force of gravity.

“Simple experiments and activities help children to develop big ideas and problem solve, helping them to make sense of the world around them all while having fun,” said Dawn Valle, Elwood’s director of math, science, technology and federal grants.

Date Added: 1/31/2023