December 18th Ralph Fletcher Read Aloud #AESlovesRalphFletcher

In connection with popular author Ralph Fletcher’s visit to AES in February, our Middle School literacy coach, Courtney Al Moreno, organized a Ralph Fletcher read aloud. Teachers brought their classes for hot chocolate , homemade cookies and a story from Ralph Fletcher. A huge success!  Our goal is to have every Middle School student and every Middle School faculty member read a book by Ralph Fletcher before his arrival…we are well on our way!  Looking for a good winter holiday idea? Buy or check out from the library a Ralph Fletcher book!

Grade 6 gets a visit from their Grade 1 Reading Buddies

Our 6th grade Humanities classes are joining with the first grade to form reading buddies. The excitement of the first graders coming down the hall and the excitement of the sixth graders ready to read was great to see.  We have some pretty wonderful 6th graders who loved reading to and being read to by their adorable first grade buddies. Check out the photos below!

Population Project: Creative Expression

After so much learning with the Population Project all spring, 8th grade students then shared their learning through a Creative Expression project. Students chose one of the options below in order to present their expertise to a target audience as a way of raising awareness of their topic.

Check out these amazing, impressive posters:

[slideshow_deploy id=’1876’]

And enjoy these great performance and “Ted” style talks.

8th Grade Humanities Guilds

In the last 6 weeks of the year, 8th grade humanities students engaged in writing guild work once a week. It was very open-ended and didn’t receive a grade, however as a whole, the students were highly engaged. All 8th grade students presented their work at the end of May, and it was very impressive. Enjoy these amazing presentations below.

William, Karthik and Peter:

Georgia, Imaya, Neha:

Emma W, Kaitlin, Emma H., Emma C.:

Ellis Island

This week in eighth grade, students participated in an Ellis Island immigration simulation through humanities classes. Prior to the simulation, students were assigned a role and a country from which they were emigrating. Students researched about the country’s economic conditions, political conditions, general health of people in that country, why people left that country, what sorts of jobs people had and where people settled as they moved to the new country. Students then dressed up in appropriate costumes for the time period and went through the process of what it was like to immigrate to the United States.

Check out the photos below from this incredible learning experience. Photos compliments of Yearbook students.

Poetry Posts

When people want to find the words to express the most felt experiences of life, they look to poetry. Poetry was a regular part of my life while growing up. My father used to recite poems while cooking breakfast on Saturday mornings, and he wrote poems for me as a child. I learned to love poetry for its rhythms, sounds, and the way it uses words to ask questions and makes us wonder, how it helps us see the world anew, and for how it can restore us.

For a long time I’ve had the idea to put poems out and about campus for people to read on posts. Through former AES student Michelle Zabinsky, and Kathy Zabinsky, former AES faculty member, I learned this past summer about the poetry posts that citizens are putting up in their yards in Portland, Oregon, and decided it would be wonderful if we had our own poetry posts here on campus.

What is a poetry post? It is a pole or post that faces passers by. Attached to the post is a clear box for placing poems. Poems are shared this way with those walking by, and from time to time, the poems are changed. The posts are a wonderful way of sharing creativity and of adding to other people’s lives through words.

We have two poetry posts on the AES campus now, thanks to the work and help of Sarabjeet and FMO. One of the posts is by the bench in front of the Tiger’s Den. The other is in the rock garden in front of the HOP near the benches there. Every few weeks the poems will change. Some poems will be from published authors and some will be students’ poems. People can submit poems they have written or favorite poems by sending them to this e-mail: address:

Stop by and read the poems. If you want a copy, take one. There will be several in the box, so go ahead and take one if the poem speaks to you.

In Hard Times, Dickens wrote, “There is a wisdom of the Head, and…there is a wisdom of the Heart.” Poetry is not only an expression of the mind, it educates the heart. Stop by one of the AES poetry posts now and then and see what words poets might have in store for you.

photo 3 (2) photo 2 (4) photo 1 (4)