Posts in Lower School

  1. Lower School Celebrates U.N. Day/Food Day

    [ November 01, 2013 ]

    The River Campus recently celebrated the diversity of the Lower School community and broadened students’ global perspective with a combined United Nations Day/Food Day. Sponsored by the Parents Association’s International Parents and Sustainability committees, the event was designed to offer Lower School students “an amazing opportunity to try foods from all over the world that are culturally significant, many of which will also be sustainable,” according to organizers. The children were invited to participate in two ways. First, children were encouraged to wear a traditional costume from a familial country of origin, a vacation, or a place of interest. Second, parent volunteers enticed the students to try global finger foods from around the globe, explaining their origin and cultural significance to the ...

    continue reading…

  2. Students, Faculty from All Three Divisions Team Up to Beautify Local Community Garden

    [ November 01, 2013 ]

    Students and faculty from both campuses recently joined together to clean up the Endor Community Garden, located just across the street from the Hill Campus. Lower School Service Learning Coordinators Erin Constabile and Maryanne Fraleigh, Middle School Service Learning Coordinator Rachel Klein, and Upper School Service Learning Coordinator Emily Schorr Lesnick led a team of dedicated faculty and students of all ages. Everyone got their hands dirty, raking leaves, pulling weeds, and picking up garbage. “The pictures tell the tale,” says Maryanne. “It was an awesome experience and really reinforced the value in ‘hands on’.” Students from Riverdale have been involved in Endor Community Garden cleanups for several years. Last spring, the local community board recognized a number of Riverdale students for their ...

    continue reading…

  3. Riverdale Collaborator Named MacArthur Fellow

    [ September 25, 2013 ]

    Angela Duckworth, Riverdale's longtime colleague on character skills work, has won a MacArthur Fellowship for 2013. For details, see the front page article in the September 25, 2013 edition of The New York Times. Angela will be presenting her findings during the faculty professional development day in October and will be helping the school run the next version of the Character Growth Card with our students in grades 5-8 this year, according to Dominic A.A. Randolph, Head of School. "I am proud to have worked over the years with Angela on character work. What an amazing and well-deserved honor for her," said Dominic.

    continue reading…

  4. Co-Teaching Comes to All Lower School Grades

    [ September 10, 2013 ]

    For many years, children in the lower elementary grades—Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Grade 1, and more recently, Grade 2—have benefited from having two teachers in the room. Now, the co-teaching model has expanded at the Lower School to include all classes in all grades. Fran Giallorenzi, a Grade 4 teacher who has been involved with co-teaching at Riverdale, says there are several advantages to having two teachers in the room. “The main advantage is that you are able to do so much more in the course of the day. This includes better teacher/student time and better teacher/teacher time. You can reach so many more students and their needs by having a co-teacher.” Jessica Pak, a co-teacher in Grade 5 ...

    continue reading…

  5. Lower School Teachers Write Chapter for S.T.E.M. Monograph

    [ September 10, 2013 ]

    Lower School teachers Jyoti Gopal and Ella Pastor have written a chapter in an upcoming S.T.E.M. Monograph compiled by Dr. Robert Yager, a University of Iowa Professor of Science Education. Joyti and Ella were asked by Dr. Yager to contribute a chapter to his S.T.E.M. Monograph after he had read their article in Science and Children journal and contacted the National Science Teachers Association (publisher of the journal) about having them write a chapter in his S.T.E.M. Monograph. The chapter is an expansion of the article Jyoti and Ella had published earlier in the year. Over the summer the pair wrote a chapter they entitled "Science in Our Backyard: How a School is Turning Its Grounds into a Living Lab." According to Ella, "Each chapter in ...

    continue reading…

  6. First Graders Share a Book Reading with Costa Rican School Via Skype

    [ May 30, 2013 ]

    Class 1S recently shared a book-reading of The Umbrella by Jan Brett with the (MFS) in Costa Rica via Skype. The Umbrella was chosen because the author wrote the book while visiting The Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica. When Beth Quinn and Melody Guindon, two MFS teachers who visited the Lower School in October, came to RCS, they talked about a possible book-share between Class 1S and an MFS class of combined first and second graders of this book since it features so much of the rich Cloud Forest in Monteverde, through Ms. Brett's wonderful illustrations and text. “We had hoped reading the book would create a context for discussion about the similarities and differences in ...

    continue reading…

  7. Holocaust Survivor Shares Her Story with Grade 5 Students

    [ May 14, 2013 ]

    As part of their social studies curriculum, the fifth graders investigate the concept of activism through the lens of the Holocaust. This unit asks students essential questions: Where did hatred come from and how does it grow? What makes someone decide to act (activist) and what keeps someone from acting (bystander)? How can people make a difference in the world? Although it is easier to stay quiet, history teaches us to take a stance on injustice. To bring this point home in a real-life way, one Holocaust survivor, Sylvie Lednicer, visited Riverdale recently and shared her experiences during and following the Holocaust. Sylvie Lednicer was born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1939, just prior to the Germans invading Belgium ...

    continue reading…

  8. Lower School Project-Based Learning Week Offers Hands-On Opportunities for Discovery

    [ May 09, 2013 ]

    Students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5 enjoyed getting their hands dirty—and not just figuratively speaking—as they explored new ways of learning through a variety of hands-on projects during the Lower School’s Project-Based Learning Week (PBLW). Our youngest students (PK & K) spent the week exploring rivers and water flow. First, they read the classic story, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, and discussed its connection to the Hudson River. Students shared what they knew about rivers and brainstormed questions they had before visiting the actual Little Red Lighthouse by the Hudson River in Ft. Washington Park, near the George Washington Bridge. Climbing to the top of the lighthouse invited students to experience the river from another perspective and see firsthand its width and ...

    continue reading…

  9. Lower School Educators Attend National Conference for Science Teachers

    [ April 23, 2013 ]

    Kindergarten head teacher Jyoti Gopal and Educational Environmental Facilitator Ella Pastor showcased the Lower School's indoor-outdoor science curriculum at the National Science Teachers Association's 2013 National Conference in San Antonio, TX, recently. Jyoti and Ella shared with elementary school teachers from all over the world elements of the multidisciplinary nature of their work. “We were also able to get some great ideas from other teachers and are hoping to incorporate some of the inspiring lessons into our work,” Jyoti notes. Jyoti and Ella had previously co-written an article, "Indoor-Outdoor Science," that was published in the February issue of Science and Children magazine, a publication of the National Science Teachers Association. The theme of the four-day conference ...

    continue reading…

  10. Gospel for Teens Rocks the House at All-School Assembly

    [ April 10, 2013 ]

    Vy Higginsen’s Gospel for Teens choir had the students and faculty clapping and moving to the music at a recent all-school assembly on the Hill. Before the choir performed, Vy Higginsen explained that she and gospel legend Dr. Emily “Cissy” Houston joined forces in 2006 to form Gospel for Teens to teach aspiring teenagers about the importance of gospel music as an art form. Ms. Higginsen says she hopes the teens pass the music on from generation to generation. The choir then performed a number of rousing selections, including “Go Down, Moses” and “Amazing Grace.” Several Riverdale students were chosen to sing and dance with the group during “This Little Light of Mine,” with some of our youngest students proving they have the ...

    continue reading…