"A beautiful, late October day. I had to take advantage of it!"
Park's campus provides many opportunities to use nature for educational purposes.
Monday, October 28 was a sunny and warm day in Western New York, one that makes the Park community grateful to be on a campus that allows us to be outdoors. Grade 4 teacher Monica Padmanabha took her students outside for Math and a lesson that perfectly demonstrates Park’s STEAM curriculum - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
Mrs. Padmanabha said, “I have been intrigued by that particular tree this fall since it seems to ‘glow’." I wanted the class to appreciate its beauty but also recognize how math is truly everywhere. We estimate in our class daily and I am consistently speaking about logical reasoning. Do our answers make sense? Are we thinking logically before we answer a question?”
On Monday I reviewed how to read a ruler in inches down to the sixteenth of an inch. We used a tape measure to measure three locations on the trunk and noted their differences. After they examined the tree, I then had them use logical reasoning to estimate the number of leaves on the tree as well as the height, using me as a guide ("I am 5'7", so keep that in mind when estimating"). We then discussed the different colors of leaves and how the inner leaves were still yellowish/green and the leaves closest to the sun were turning much darker, and why we think that is. After the data was recorded, they then sketched the tree from different perspectives.”
The students will chart their estimates, note trends and patterns in the data within the class, and culminate the project by painting a sketch with watercolors, which will be shared with the community on the next Grade 4 bulletin board in the Helen Long building.
Founded in 1912, The Park School of Buffalo has the distinction of being one of the oldest Progressive schools in the country. Park is an independent, co-educational school serving approximately 300 students enrolled in prekindergarten (3 and 4 year olds), lower school (kindergarten through grade 4), middle school (grades 5 through 8), and upper school (grades 9 through 12). Park is uniquely situated on 34 beautiful acres in Amherst, New York. The School’s campus – formerly a farm – includes a pond, marsh, gardens, and a greenhouse while being located just minutes from downtown Buffalo and easily accessible from many communities throughout Western New York. Park’s educational philosophy embraces active, student-centered learning, delivered by exceptional teachers who design and continuously update a robust curriculum. Faculty members approach each student as an individual within the context of a kind and respectful community. From the preschool years through college preparation, The Park School of Buffalo helps learners realize their own unique potentials and prepares them to be confident, successful, life-long learners.