News & Events
Exploring the National Holocaust Memorial Museum
After months of anticipation and hard work, Ms. Errico’s 11th grade class finally had the opportunity to go back into Washington, D.C. to visit the National Holocaust Memorial Museum. Being the first visit for many of the students, it truly was quite an eye opener for them. At the beginning of the self guided tour, each of the students received their own passport. Each passport was linked to a specific individual that was effected by the events of the Holocaust. One of the students received someone who was not Jewish and they were very surprised that the Concentration Camps were filled with people other than those of Jewish decent. “I couldn’t believe the amount of different people that were forced to go into those horrible death camps.” one student exclaimed. Then, on the top level of the museum, when looking at pictures and models of devices used to torture and kill people who were determined to be the “lesser race,” the students were disgusted. “I felt mentally exhausted after seeing all those pictures,” admitted one student after finishing the top level. “I was surprised at the student’s response to the atrocities of the Holocaust,” admitted Ms. Errico. “But it is such a needed area to study in order to not repeat the horrific events of the past.” Even though it was an emotionally difficult museum, the students really seemed to enjoy their learning experience.
What Are You Thankful For?
Almost the entire school, students and staff, helped create a beautiful “What Are You Thankful for?” Thanksgiving themed bulletin board that hung in the front lobby of our school. Each person traced their hand, cut their hand out, and then wrote and/or decorated their hand print with what they were thankful for. The hand prints were then used to create the feathers of the turkey. Mrs. Silverman Kline says she got the idea off of Pinterest, and that she was truly amazed and humbled by what everyone wrote. “It was very touching to read students notes when they mentioned that they were thankful for our school or their teachers or other staff members at High Road Academy. We were also touched by the strong foundation many have for appreciating the truly basic and important things in life like food, good health, family, friends”.” Mrs. Silverman Kline is already working on a new Winter themed bulletin board and hoping to get everyone to help make snowmen, snowflakes or penguins to contribute to the Winter Theme idea she wants to do. Keep an eye out for the bulletin board when you come to the school, because we are sure the next one will be just as awesome as the Thanksgiving one.
Students in Occupational Therapy enjoyed a special spooky treat this month. They made bloody eyeballs and creepy spiders during their occupational therapy sessions. This complex and fun task targeted fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, and executive functioning skills. Manipulating the materials was a fun way to practice fine motor and visual perceptual skills. Executive functioning skills were challenged regarding: problem solving, visual memory, sequencing, planning, organization, time management and self-regulation.
Given support, all of these skills came together in order to complete the activity successfully.
Chemistry and Physics Fun
Learning should be fun! After completing assigned readings and questions, the seniors in the Introduction to Chemistry and Physics class worked with computer simulations building atomic models as they explored the Periodic Table of Elements. Students first learned about different atoms and where they fit on the periodic table with the assistance of PhET Interactive Simulations from the University of Colorado. They went online and played with the ‘Build an Atom Lab’ and learned how atoms get their atomic number and atomic weight, how they can be ions, how they are different from stable atoms and how the Periodic Table of Elements is arranged. After the computer lab, students participated in a hands-on project using Styrofoam, craft sticks, paint and skewers to build their own model of one of the atoms that they made with the PhET software. Students ended up with very colorful atoms and a better understanding of what they had read about earlier. They used their models to write about an atom that they had created, describing what someone would need to know. Writing was easy after building the models! Great job seniors!
Word to Live By
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.” Ms. Errico’s 11th grade class worked extremely hard the past few weeks in order to live up to this quote. “The students put so much effort into being the very best version of themselves the past few weeks, they really did deserve to go on this fun outing, explains Ms. Errico. “And they were so excited to go!” So where was this great excursion? Ms. Errico’s 11th grade class had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and attend a performance of “Death of a Salesman” at the historic Ford’s Theater. “It was really cool to be in the same place that a great president was shot!” explained one student after seeing the Abraham Lincoln’s box seat. With a smile and a quick picture, the lights dimmed and performance began! The play is a required read on the 11th grade book list, but, as one student said, “it is so much more fun seeing the play than reading it!” After the final bows were taken, the student’s grabbed a bite and Shake Shack and headed back to school. Ms. Errico stated as they walked off the bus, “I just hope the students remember that they can do amazing things when they work hard being the very best they can be.”
6th & 7th Grade Teacher Highlights
Laura Davis is in her 13th year at High Road Academy, and has served in both teacher and assistant teacher positions over the years. She is currently teaching 6th and 7th graders, but has mostly taught 6th grade. She particularly enjoys teaching earth science and ancient civilizations in the 6th grade curriculum, especially Ancient Egypt. She likes to include as many hands-on activities when teaching as possible and is a believer in the power of field trips to reinforce classroom learning. Ms. Davis has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and made the switch into teaching after a first career of working in the corporate and non-profit worlds. She appreciates the fact that there is never a dull moment in teaching, and loves that her job has sometimes involved playing laser tag or glow-in-the-dark mini golf with her students. In her spare time, Ms. Davis enjoys being outdoors, seeing a good movie, bargain hunting, reading, and escaping to the mountains or beach whenever possible when the weather gets warm. Her favorite teaching quote: “Children need to think that you care before they care what you think.”
Although not living in DC currently, Barbara Hill is proud to say she is a native Washingtonian. She as been teaching and tutoring for 20 years. Barbara graduated
from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a bachelors in Human Development. While she always knew she wanted to be a teacher, it was not until she had an
internship at the Lab School of Washington that she decided to work with small groups of students with special needs. Barbara then went on to earn a masters degree in Special Education: Learning Disabilities at American University. Barbara has taught at three private schools for students with special needs and taught in a a county public school. Now she is happy to be at High Road Academy working as an assistant teacher with Ms. Davis in the 6th/7th grade classroom. Barbara finds that some of the best parts of teaching are being able to reach students through creative and hands-on lessons as well as using as many methods needed to find, and then teach, to each child’s learning style. When she’s not teaching, you can find Barbara cheering on the Washington Nationals, traveling, taking photos, and keeping up with her passion for giant pandas.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Ms. Errico’s 11th grade English class is at it again! After reading Shirley Jackson’s mystery thriller, “We Have Always Lived in the Castle,” this group of creative young minds built their own model of the castle depicted in the novel. After finding details of this run-down mansion scattered throughout the novel, the group of excited 11th graders set out to work on their masterpieces! They each put together lists of supplies they needed for their models and spent the next several days cutting, gluing and putting together, piece by piece, their own perspective of what the “castle” in the book may look like. “Most of the students put a lot of thought and effort into their models,” explained Ms. Errico. “They cut out so many little pieces to have it be realistic and extremely detailed.” Through this project, the students were able to learn about how different characters in a book can shape the perspective of the reader. “The so-called “castle” was really an old run down house. The main character really had us fooled!, said one student. “I thought a castle meant a rich place full of gold, and the castle ended up being just a house that was old and falling apart.” This 11th grade project was definitely full of surprises! A great learning experience for all!