As Director of Teaching and Learning, Karen Boyle manages the day-to-day operations that relate to teaching and learning at Science & Arts Academy. For nearly 25 years, Karen has been working as a teacher and administrator in independent schools. Her belief that relationships are critical to a child's ability to learn guides her approach to education. “Our best learning occurs when we step outside of our comfort zone, challenge ourselves, and accept the risk of making a mistake. When children feel connected to their teachers, they are more apt to do these things."
By Science & Arts Academy
The 1st and 2nd grade students are embarking on an exciting Social Emotional Learning (SEL) unit. Learning the skills and concepts of good character education often requires direct instruction. Their SEL unit, CHARACTER QUEST is an excellent opportunity for the 1st and 2nd grade students to focus on appropriate values and behaviors in an imaginative and challenging simulation. The students will take a fun-filled simulated bus journey through an imaginary country called Goodland. As the students travel the Character Causeway, they make stops at Trustworthy Town, Respectville, Responsibility City, Carington, and Citizenship Junction. They learn the essentials of good character and are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge in varied and thought-provoking activities.
After the wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at SAA, the 5th grade students talked about "greatness" and what it takes to be truly great. During advisory, they talked about the characteristics that make someone a great person, recognizing that each and every one of us has the potential for greatness by living a life of kindness, compassion and integrity. They discussed the following quotes in relation to "greatness":
I'm sure you heard the announcement of Monday's trash collection of 24 kilograms (52.8 pounds) and that was JUST the lunch room. Yesterday, we reduced the total weight of trash at lunch by 11.22 pounds. Everyday, 7th and 8th grade students will be measuring the amount of trash in the lunchroom with the hopes of reducing the amount of trash collected on a daily basis. A chart has been made and will be hung in the lunch room!
Later this week, 7th and 8th grade students will be going out into the neighborhood to pick up trash. Last year, we filled an entire dumpster with collected trash just from around the Des Plaines River area.
SAA has recently "adopted a highway" which our students will be responsible for keeping clean, starting this week.
Mr. Bonecutter's Sixth grade students have been working on a sustainability unit. They are preparing a class trifold on Biogeochemical Cycles and one that describes related design considerations for a long-range spacecraft. They are also recording one-minute presentations to go along with the trifolds that they will share with our students.
Fifth Grade students will be working on an oil spill experiment and on water conservation throughout the week with Mrs. Maliwanag.
1st - 4th grade classes will be making their own recycled paper and looking at recycled plastics during their classes with Mr. Linder.
Kindergarten classes will be planting flowers along with discussing the importance of reducing trash, electricity usage, and water.
The Science Department has also ordered a composting unit for the entire school to start using that will accept any raw fruits and vegetables.
Please remind your advisory students to pack lunch carefully and THINK before they pack. Remind them to use cloth napkins rather than paper, reusable plastic containers for snacks and sandwiches rather than baggies, and to turn off lights when they're leaving a room at home.
Together, we can help this planet stay beautiful!
Happy Earth Week,
On Saturday, March 7th, the SAA Science Olympiad Team successfully defended their first place title at the Neuqua Valley High School Science Olympiad Regional Competition. This first place finish earned them a bid to the Science Olympiad State Competition, which takes place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Saturday, April 18th. The Neuqua Valley Regional was such a great experience," shared 7th grader Isabella. "It was so exciting to receive first place, and I really believe that we are on a great trajectory for State!"
Twenty-eight fifth through eighth grade students from Science & Arts Academy competed against students from eleven other schools in twenty-three events, ranging from Green Generation to Air Trajectory. Events included both study events as well as student-build events, such as Bottle Rockets, Gliders, and Wheeled Vehicles. The SAA Varsity team placed first in thirteen of the twenty-three events, and placed second in seven events. The SAA Junior Varsity team placed either first or second in every event offered. "We are extremely proud of our team's effort all season. We could not accomplish this level of success without our parents, coaches, and students," said Coach Barbara Goldstein.