• Learning & Sharing About Our Community

    Posted by Brooke Stidham on 12/5/2018 5:00:00 PM

    A2 STEAM offers a variety of unique and engaging ways for all students to “Engage, Communicate, Collaborate, Create, and Think Critically” as they learn to navigate the world around them. As you wander the hallways, you will see and hear our students presenting their theories, ideas or innovative solutions to real-world, authentic problems as they prepared for annual K-5 Expo. Last week, several students presented at the Michigan Theater for the STEAM “Rosie Revere, Engineer” performance. This casual student presentation and showcase gave our students the opportunity to share their work in a meaningful, authentic way with community guests that were blown away by the vocabulary our students used and ease in which they could speak about their schooling experiences. This is due in part to the amazing work A2 STEAM teachers do each and every day to make meaningful connections to the grade-level appropriate content. They ensure all students have a voice and their opinions are valued, encouraging them to be architects, engineers, scientists, artists, civic activist, and much more! Please join us next Thursday evening, December 13th for the fall Expo, as the students will share their deep understanding of such things as light & sound, the economy, Michigan tourism, and how the brain works.

    Thank you for entrusting your children to us,

    Meg Fenech & Brooke Stidham

    A2 STEAM Administrators

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  • Cultivating Kindness & Gratitude

    Posted by Meg Fenech on 11/14/2018 5:00:00 PM

    Heading into the Thanksgiving break we want to invite our community to collectively take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the many things for which we have to be thankful.  For many, families and friends are high on the list as things for which are we grateful. Many of us are also grateful for this wonderful school community that we share. We are appreciative of our partnerships with parents, students, and one another, and we are working to spread acts of kindness throughout the school.

    Research supports that engaging in kindness and gratitude practices can have a remarkably positive impact.  Gratitude activities can enhance positive emotions by both the person receiving and expressing the words of appreciation.  When our staff and students feel appreciated, trust is fostered, which can facilitate engagement, creativity, and effective collaboration.  These attributes are particularly important in a project-based learning environment, but more importantly, we want each and every person at school to know they are valued.

    We foster kindness at the start of each student’s day with a kind welcome into the classroom.  Simple things, like making eye contact, smiling, and acknowledging one another by name can make a positive difference in a school setting and workplace.  The morning meeting that kicks off every school day is also a time that teachers and students can share gratitude and words of appreciation. And during the last two weeks students have been invited to share acts of kindness that they experienced at school.  These examples, written on paper links, will be strung together in a kindness chain reminding students that acts of kindness can cause a chain reaction. We have also encouraged our staff to write notes of gratitude to one another, because feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. (William Arthur Ward)

    This time of the year can be particularly taxing for teachers given the lack of breaks, extensive report writing, and impending Expo Night.  To remind teachers that their efforts aren’t overlooked, we invite parents to show their appreciation throughout the remainder of November. Please consider giving thanks by bringing something small to the staff lounge like a card, flowers, or edible treat.

    Looking for ways to increase gratitude in your life or workplace? Consider borrowing ideas from the University of Michigan’s Be Kind Be Well campaign or utilize a monthly gratitude calendar.   As AESOP is quoted, no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  A smile goes a long way!  

    Smiles are certain to abound at our upcoming Thanksgiving Assembly.  Our K-5 students will attend an assembly next Monday at 9:30am to foster the spirit of Thanksgiving and showcase many student performers.  Parents are welcome to join us. We hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving Break and relish time spent with family and friends reflecting upon the many reasons we have to give thanks.   “Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” -Hausa Proverb

    Thank you for entrusting your children to us,

    Meg Fenech & Brooke Stidham

    A2 STEAM Principals

     



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  • #A2gether at A2 STEAM

    Posted by Brooke Stidham on 10/31/2018 3:00:00 PM

    In light of our the tragic events in Pittsburgh, we feel that it is more important than ever for us to come together, to care for ourselves and each other, and to reach out to those who are hurting. These are challenging times, and in response we must deepen our commitment to the core values of welcome, respect and embrace for ALL among us, care for each other and for this Ann Arbor community we share together. Last week’s A2 STEAM’s Celebration of Culture and Heritage was a beautiful evening for our school community to come together through storytelling, sharing artifacts and games, and food, we connected and celebrated what makes us unique and similar. Inspired by our own A2 STEAM middle school students after the viewing of the TedTalk  “I am more than a single story” by Chimamanda Adichie, this year’s annual fall festival transitioned into a new event that we hope to continue to grow and expand in future years.

    On Monday evening, several Middle School students will also be embracing our #A2gether theme, as they present their Project-Based Learning curricular units at their first MS “work in progress” Expo! The 6th grade students are answering the Driving Question “How can we provide healthy food to people in our community?” The students have grown food, created food items that can be delivered to people that need healthy food, and delivered them in a way that is standardized, efficient and sustainable. Likewise, the 8th grade students are trying to solve “How can we make change happen in our community?” They have focused on learning more about local government and the political process. Leveraging the passion and ideas of young people, this project empowers students to actively engage in issues facing their community through avenues of civic action open to all concerned individuals. We hope you can join us on November 5th from 5:30-7:15pm for the MS Expo. Please remember that there is No School on Tuesday, November 6th due to Election Day and polling locations at the AAPS school buildings, but we encourage you to get out and vote as well!

    If you have resources, ideas, or time to support school-wide inclusion effors, don’t hesitate to reach out.  

    Thank you for entrusting your children to us,

    Meg Fenech & Brooke Stidham

    A2 STEAM Principals

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