Eighth Graders Teach Kindergarteners ABCs Using Binominals
Mr. Steven Brelsford’s eighth grade Honors Geometry class has been immersed in a challenging unit on Logic. To help his students have a thorough understanding of biconditional statements, Mr. Brelsford asked the class to create alphabet books. He explained that these books were a good vehicle for learning how biconditional statements differ from conditional statements. This week his students traveled to Siesta Key to share their books and what they have learned with our kindergarten students.
The students began working on their books, focusing on writing a statement for every letter of the alphabet. They were encouraged to think about their language choices, and to consider their audience as they wrote. “I asked the class to keep the language they used simple – to write as if the books were going to be read by kindergarteners. Then I thought, we have kindergarteners, we should have them read the books,” said Mr. Brelsford.
The Middle School students traveled to the Historic Siesta Key Campus where they sat in small groups with the kindergarteners in the Kozel Family Amphitheater. Each took their time reading the books, frequently stopping to ask, and answer, questions. “Water is melted ice,” “A Dime is worth 10 cents,” and “There are 12 months in one Year” were a few of the statements that the 8th graders included. Some students wrote books around themes, such as countries or animals, while others included a variety of topics including statements about planets (“Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system”), currency (“A Quarter is worth 25 cents”), ice cream (“Ice cream is a frozen dessert”) and absolutes (“Up is the opposite of down”).
After each group heard all of the books, the kindergarteners commented on what they liked about each one. “I liked the ‘S’ page, and learning that vipers are the 24th most deadly snake,” said Ethan Gabrici ‘31, while Francesca Disilvio ‘31 said “my favorite was a ‘D’ page because it said that dolphins scare predators by jumping high out of the water.”
Mr. Brelsford’s tactic of simplifying a challenging concept may help his students to better comprehend and apply it in their geometry class. This out-of-the-box style of teaching new skills is an excellent example of just one of the many ways Out-of-Door distinguishes itself and coordinates the efforts across our varying age groups.