Friday, August 31, 2012

Alex And Origami / Parent - Teacher Night

Song:  What A Wonderful World

Rendition:  Calikokat

Alex, and I, going over his future projects for all of his classes.

During the first week of classes...
I looked at the various syllabi to prioritize his projects by due date 
and by difficulty.  I had to ensure we had enough time allotted to comfortably
complete the long term projects without unduly impacting his shorter term projects...
while leaving plenty of time to adapt to later assigned projects.


In Alex's Geometry class last week...
he was assigned to make an Origami Crane.

(precision folding of a medium...usually a bright colored paper or foil...
to make 3 dimensional shapes)...
is very good practice for spatial relationship skills.

Alex had some difficulty with the assignment.
Alex's teacher advised him to look it up on YouTube.

Alex learning how to make an Origami Crane on YouTube.

Alex made mistakes in the folding at first.
He had to keep replaying the portion of the video which had shown 
the correct folding.


Alex writing his name of the crane...
as he had to turn it in to his teacher the next day.


Last night...
Alex's school had hosted a 7th grade Parent - Teacher get together.

It was held in the school's gymnasium.

The teachers had a beef and lamb mixture on a vertical skewer being slowly roasted
just outside the gym.  The school staff had provided a Turkish ethnic meal for all in 
attendance.  There were tables and chairs set up.  Parents got to meet parents...
and their children's teachers.

The teachers had a slide presentation prepared.

The Dean of Academics for the High School gave a presentation
on the goals of Coral Academy Of Science
(College preparatory school)...
and how they are achieving their goals through their advanced courses...
and their student support system.

As Alex's school is moderately sized
(in comparison to public schools)...
the Dean of Academics had shown how they track each child's
progress in each subject so they may provide early intervention...
 to either supply tutoring or to give them more advanced options (AP courses).

He also explained how they continue tracking (through a national data base)
their graduates' progression through their completion of University.
This provides them the feedback they need to ensure they are providing the 
best college prep for their students.

each of the 7th grade teachers introduced him/herself...
gave a brief list of expectations and told us of ways 
the parents could keep track of the assignments online.

Although I was already impressed with Alex's school and his teachers...
I was particularly impressed with his Advanced Math teacher and with his
Social Studies teacher.

Both are new to Coral Academy this year.

The advanced math teacher is originally from Turkey...
and her area of expertise is in Physics.

She seemed to be in her late 20s or early 30s...
and so, had a very vibrant and energetic enthusiasm about her.

She is the new math team coach
(Mr. Gul moved to a whole new position in a testing center).

Her goal for the math of course...Gold.
Her goal for her other math classes is to develop their ability
 to apply their knowledge of math...
and so, to develop a deep respect and love for it.

Alex's Social Studies teacher is also young (about the same age as the math teacher)...
and he also displayed the same youthful exuberance and love for his subject.

He had lain out his very high expectations.
He stresses the writing of papers and everyday assignments.
He stated that it would be difficult to get an A in his class
because he expects initiative and participation...
along with excellent test and assigned reports results.

Alex, and I, will be kept quite busy by this particular teacher... I am sure :) 

At the conclusion of their presentation...
all of the teachers made themselves available for one on one discussion
with the parents.

I had spoken with each of Alex's teachers. 

I was most concerned because many teachers emphasize 
class participation...some base part of their grade on it.

I introduced myself to them and let them know I was Alex's father.

I was greeted with a smile and with enthusiasm.
I told them of my worry that perhaps Alex was not participating much in class.
Each of them said that there was no worry...Alex was very much participating in class...
and in his math classes...he was enthusiastically participating.
Alex's math teacher got bright eyed when she spoke of how Alex 
loves to talk about math problems in class.

With my greatest school worry greatly alleviated
(a general shyness and lack of social interaction)...
I was further relieved to hear how Alex is talking more with his peers...
from a mother of a classmate of Alex.

She said her son had noticed that Alex has greatly improved in his
interaction with his peers on the playground over last year.

I was so glad to hear this.

Each time I see, or hear, how much Alex is progressing in life...
the more I think...
what a wonderful world it is.


  1. While Alex's progress in academics is easy to see, I'm sure it was very encouraging to find out that he is also making great progress in areas that you thought might be of greater difficulty for him. That speaks to the added value of having him attend this school.

    So nice to meet all of his teachers, and to find out that they are so impressive.

  2. Yes, I was afraid he was not participating in his classes verbally. I know how much class participation is valued in many courses...especially the higher you go. I thought that was his weakest point. It seems he has really started opening up lately. It seems the lower his voice becomes...the higher his confidence :)

  3. You must be feeling so proud!
    I love the use of You Tube for activities like the origami cranes! Your pictures always do such a nice job of bringing your words to life! Here's to a great year with continued participation and success!

  4. Yes, I am very proud of Alex's behavior in class. All of his teachers seem to really like him. He is very well behaved and he is involved in each class.


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