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Mrs. Beverly Brown

Email: 
bbrown@amherst.k12.va.us
Phone: 
434-528-6499 ext26804
Classes Taught: 
TAG

Welcome to the 2016 -2017 school year!  I am excited to return for my second year as an enrichment specialist.  My current schedule is:

Monday - Madison Heights Elementary (morning); Elon Elementary (afternoon)

Tuesday - Central Elementary

Wednesday - Amherst County High School (enrichment block); Temperance Elementary (9:45); Pleasant View Elementary (afternoon)

Thursday - Amelon Elementary

Friday - Amherst Elementary

Please contact me at your child's school or bbrown@amherst.k12.va.us if you have questions or concerns. 

Beverly Brown

Weeks of May 8 -19, 2017

If your child is a TAG student, an end of the year growth assessment will be included in his/her report card.  Please remember that this assessment follows the student to middle school.  The goal is to achieve mastery in these high level skills by the end of eighth grade.  Enrichment students will not receive this formal assessment.

It's hard to believe the school year is ending in a few weeks.  I have enjoyed every minute with the students.  I look forward to seeing many of them next year and hearing about the future achievements of the fifth grade students.

I hope you have a wonderful summer!

Beverly

Weeks of April 24 - May 5, 2017

Ask your child about the math magic "tricks" we have tackled.  After the solution is determined, I challenge the students to tell me why the "trick" occurs.  I then encourage them to create an original math trick.  It is a good way to review computation while challenging them to use higher level thinking skills.

The students are embracing the STEM/STEAM challenges.  Building transportation devices for lost creatures and constructing bridges are examples of these challenges.  It is fascinating to observe the varied and creative solutions to these tasks.

The SOL testing window has opened, and I am scheduling my classes around these sessions.  

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

Week of April 17 - 21. 2017

I hope all of you had a wonderful spring break!  The children have returned to school refreshed and energized, and it has been a great week for learning!

I began most sessions with a math strategy game involving 20 items.  The children had to observe closely and determine how I won every time.  They quickly determined the solution, and many children challenged themselves to create variations on the challenge.  

The Heads of History for third and fourth grade students have been a great success. The symbols the children have used to represent their historical figures are creative and different.  They will bring them home soon.

Enjoy your weekend and try to stay dry!

Beverly

 

Week of April 3- 7, 2017

The ACPS District Science Fair was a huge success and a great learning experience for the fourth grade judges and the fifth grade stars.  Ten fifth grade projects were selected by the Randolph College judges to proceed to the regional level for demonstrations.  Our county will be well represented for the competition at the next level for older students.

As SOL testing begins, I will make every effort to keep as normal a schedule as possible.  I rearrange the schedule whenver possible to take the children after they have finished testing.  

I hope you have a great Spring Break!

Beverly

 

Weeks of March 13 - 31, 2017

School science fairs are complete, and it has been an exciting experience to see the projects!  Their topics are creative and answer interesting questions.  Thank you for supporting your child with this endeavor.

To support the curriculum and to extend the essential knowledge, science has been the topic of our sessions.  I am in the process of making elephant toothpaste with the children, creating rainstorms, and experiencing the principles of force and motion with catapults.  In our discussions it is obvious that the children understand the scientific method.

Many of our schools have Red Emperor tulips blooming as part of our Journey North project.  We will chart the blooming dates and share with the program.  It is fun watching the tulips bloom at various locations in North America.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend!

Beverly

 

 

 

Weeks of February 27 - March 10, 2017

Several TAG/Enrichment classes will begin a special project called the Heads of History next week.  I am asking the children to choose an historical figure from Virginia history (grade 4) or the person from a biography that have read (grade 3).   They will decorate their heads with items that symbolically represent the significance of the people.  I am looking forward to their creativity.

This week many of the students were presented with the challenge of crossing the room while standing on newspapers.  It was interesting to observe the different methods to solve this problem by working cooperatively.  

The weather changes are interesting, and I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Beverly

Week of February 20 - 24, 2017

This week many of the TAG/Enrichment classes planted red emperor tulips as part of the Journey North Tulip Test Garden project.  We hope for at least a few more cool days to give the tulips a chance to "chill" before they bloom.  We will document the growth on a website comparing different areas in North America.  We will take pictures as this project develops.

The children participating in the school Science Fairs are excitedly discussing their projects.  I am eager to see them!

Enjoy the weekend!

Beverly

 

Week of February 13-17, 2017

The Rubik cubes arrived, and the children had fun learning the vocabulary and steps that will help solve the challenge.  Although no one, including me, has been successful yet, we are looking forward to spending a few minutes of our sessions learning together.  We may start lunch clubs for those children who enjoy the challenge.  

On Thursday, February 23 at 5:00 Monelison Middle School is hosting the Math 24 Middle School Competition.  The middle school students use the integer sets of Math 24 cards.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

I am receiving information from area colleges about summer enrichment opportunities.  Please refer to their websites for further information.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful weekend!

Beverly

Week of February 6-10, 2017

Next week I am expecting a shipment of Rubik cubes from a lending library program. Included in this shipment is a flash drive explaining the solution to this challenging puzzle.  I will introduce the activity and provide guided practice.  Unfortunately I cannot let the children take them home since I am responsible for returning them in six weeks, but they may practice in my room each week as part of our time together. If we have enough children willing to participate we will have a timed competition in the spring. 

Please check the gifted calendar on the Amherst County website for opportunities for your children.  It is updated frequently.

Enjoy your weekend!

Beverly

 

 

Week of January 30 - February 3, 2017

I am writing this update after a "lunch bunch" session with a group of TAG/Enrichment students.  After working diligently on the Word Master Challenge, I offered them the opportunity to bring their lunches to my room and choose an activity.  Their laughter and enjoyment of challenges was uplifting.  I am reminded of how fortunate I am to work as a gifted enrichment teacher in Amherst County.

I have a few groups who will complete the Word Master Challenge next week, and then I will share the results with the children.  They will bring home a copy of the challenge for you to see.

For the next few weeks I will be presenting the children instant challenges from the Destination Imagination program.  I hope to participate in this problem solving program next year with a team from each school.  Parental involvement is crucial to the implentation of this program.  

Thank you for your continued support!

Beverly

 

Weeks of January 17-27, 2017

The Word Master program has kept us very busy for the past two weeks.  The children have completed several activities to familiarize themselves with the multiple definitions.  I have observed their creativity and problem solving skills as they demonstrate mastery of analogies and increase their vocabulary.  I will administer the first challenge next week.

Many students will be involved with science projects in the upcoming weeks.  I hope to attend the science fairs at all schools.  The children are excited when they discuss their projects.  This activity is an excellent way for the students to utilize the scientific method.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

Week of January 3 - 6, 2017

Happy New Year!  It was wonderful seeing the children again as we begin 2017. 

The Word Master Challenge 1 lists were distributed to students in grades 3-5.  We pronounced the words, played games to become familiar with the definitions, and discussed the importance of enhancing our vocabularies and using the words in writing.  I predict that the first challenge will be the last week in January.

I hope you have a good weekend and enjoy the snow!

Beverly

Week of December 12 - 16, 2016

The children have been working hard completing important benchmark tests so this week I decided to challenge the students with a hands-on design task.  Working in groups, the children constructed ping pong ball launchers and catchers.  Their designs were interesting.  Some were successful, and some were not.  They analyzed their results and determined what they would construct differently next time.  I was impressed by their cooperative learning skills as they shared ideas and praised each other.  

I told the children this week that I appreciate what they give me each time I meet with them. They are enthusiastic and willing to accepet challenges.  I am fortunate to have a job that I love and look forward to every day.  I hope you and your families have a wonderful winter break!

With appreciation,

Beverly

Week of December 5 -9, 2016

From brain teasers to Kakooma to principles of electricity, my students continue to accept challenges in our sessions.  They challenge themselves to create unique solutions to tasks.  

Kakooma is a fun way to promote fact fluency and mental math skills.  I modeled the program with a worksheet and demonstrated the online game.  The website is:

http://gtm.com.blossom.arvixe.com/strict_Kakooma/Kakooma?gameType=Times

I hope you can enjoy this game with your child.

Many times when we are following directions to assemble a circuit or performing a science experiment the students will ask questions such as:

"What would happen if . . ."

"Why?"

These are great questions, and I want to encourage you to continue fostering this type of inquiry learning.  

I hope you have a great weekend and keep warm!

Beverly

 

Week of November 30 - December 2, 2016

This week your child was a Jamestown settler, a lunar explorer, or a scientist-in-training.  These integrated activites sparked interesting conversations, creative thinking, and gasps of wonderment.

Fourth and fifth grade students were assigned roles of Jamestown settlers or lunar explorers and ranked items necessary for survival.  The children discovered new uses for artifacts and utilized cooperative learning skills to complete the activity.  

The younger children were introduced to the Experimentation Station and performed several experiments such as "The Amazing Breathing Marshmallow" and "The Great Pressure Machine."  They wore safety goggles to simulate a lab and learned why safety rules are important.  I am looking forward to their participation in future experiments.

At the end of the second grading period, I will send home an update on your child's growth in the gifted program.  A letter of explanation will be attached.  Please look for it in your child's report card.

Enjoy your weekend!

Beverly

Weeks of November 7 - 18, 2016

Our TAG and Enrichment students in grades 3-5 are becoming excellent wordsmiths!  For the past few weeks they have been studying 16 types of analogies and identifying examples of these anaologies.  After the Thanksgiving break, they will receive their first list of official Word Master words.  I know they will perform well on the first competition test.

During this time of year when we are thankful for many things, I want to express to you how much I apprectiate the opportunity to teach your children.  I often tell them that I am fortunate to come to school every day and work with them.  Their enthusiasm and creativity inspire me daily.  I hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Beverly

Week of October 31-November 4, 2016

The dolphins have returned!  The fifth grade classes throughout the county are enhancing the study of oceans by participating in a dolphin stranding simulation. Children use the actual stranding forms to record internal and external data which the fifth grade TAG/Enrichment students will analyze.  I have worked with two schools and am looking forward to scheduling the others.

This week I introduced the Word Masters program and discussed the different types of analogies with the students.  I anticipate the first Word Master Challenge to be scheduled before the winter break.  

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

 

Week of October 24-28, 2016

Vocabulary enhancement is an important aspect of the TAG/Enrichment program. Next week the Word Masters program will begin with a study of the 16 types of analogies.  The childern will analyze word relationships and increase their vocabulary with this program.  I plan to give each student a blue Word Master folder which will contain the practice analogies along with an explanation of the different types of analogies.  It is important that the children bring this folder with them each time we meet.

For several classes I introduced a game called "BUG".  Ask your child to teach it to you.  It's a great game to play on car trips.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

 

Week of October 18-21, 2016

Brain teasers are great to begin each of our TAG/Enrichment session.  Martin Gardner, who is known for his "Mathematical Games" columns in Scientific American, challenges children (and adults) with many of these puzzles.  This week we began our TAG/Enrichment classes with a brain teaser, and the children participated enthusiastically!

Can you beat the Quiddler?  This is the website for this challenging, fun activity:

www.setgame.com

Set is a fun game too!

Enjoy the weekend!

Beverly

 

Week of October 3-7, 2016

This week I attended the STEM Conference at VMI and had the opportunity to listen to two excellent speakers.  The recurring theme of their talks and the breakout sessions was the importance of integrating the curriculum.  During our TAG and Enrichment sessions I stress the importance of accepting challenges and thinking of unique solutions.  We discuss how what they are learning in school has meaning in the real world.  

In the upcoming weeks we will begin the Word Master program, Mystery Bag Challenges, and a study of different types of writing.  We are continuing to practice the Math 24 game.  School teams will be chosen to participate in the Math 24 competition on November 15.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

Week of September 26-30, 2016

New vocabulary and logic skills were emphasized this week as the children began a program called "Deducibles".  I was proud of their efforts as they accepted the challenge and worked hard to solve the mystery words.  

Next week we will begin a study of the anniversary of our National Parks.  The students will obtain background knowledge to prepare for entering in a competition. If you have visited a national park, please talk to your child about your adventure.

On October 4-5 I am attending a STEM conference at VMI.  I hope to bring back new ideas and activities for the children.  

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

Week of September 19-23, 2016

Our study of the Constitution concluded this week as the children completed their design challenge.  They made a sculpture which symbollically represented this important document.  Their designs had several requriements, and it was fascinating to see how they completed their tasks.

Next week we will begin our study of Greek and Latin root words.  We will learn two a week and look for examples of words that have the root words we are studying. Increasing your child's vocabulary will benefit his/her reading and writing skills.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

Week of September 12-16, 2016

The integrated lessons continue in the TAG/Enrichment programs!  This week the older children examined the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution by participating in the "Preamble Scramble".  Each school participated in the recognition of the signing of the Constitution.  The importance of this document was discussed and how the principles of the government make a difference in our country and the world.  A design challenge was given to the students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts.

Students are participating in the Math 24 game as we prepare for the county tournament on November 15.  Please encourage your child to practice in class and try out for the school team.  The younger students are using the primary edition to practice their math facts.

Thank you for supporting your child as he/she thinks critically and tackles problem solving activities.  It is a pleasure serving as the TAG teacher and working with your children.

Beverly

Week of September 6-9, 2016

The theme for the 2016-2017 elementary TAG program is "Making a Difference in the World."  This week we discussed ways people make differences in personal relationships, the community, and the world.  I am encouraging the children to share how they make differences each week and share pictures if possible.

The Parent Advisory Council for Gifted Education in Amherst County is meeting for the first time on September 19, 2016.  Each school has one representative, but you are welcome to share any ideas to address the needs of gifted students.

This week has been a busy one with math logic puzzles, construction activities, and completing archaeology digs.  Upcoming events include the Journey North Tulip Garden Project, a study of the history of the electoral college, and exploring ways of making a difference in our world.

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

 

Week of August 29-September 2, 2016

We shifted our focus this week from design challenges to performance challenges. Students were asked to create unusual animals and perform a skit within a time limit. Cooperative learning strategies were used to complete the group task.  The children learned how to complete a task and to use the time wisely.  

The fourth grade students participated in an archaeological dig simulation.  They examined artifacts and used scientific skills to to complete data collection sheets that are used by archaeologists.  Their comments during the activity were insightful. Perhaps we have some future archaeologists in Amherst County.

Enjoy your weekend!

Beverly

 

Week of August 22-26, 2016

A design challenge was presented for many of the students as we began our sessions this week.  Given a variety of materials, children were asked to create a structure that fit on top of a brick and projected to a line on the table.  No part of the structure could touch the table which required the children to use critical thinking skills to complete the task.  Measurements were taken to determine the longest projection past the line.  The designs were varied and unique.  I am constantly amazed by their creativity!

If you received a TAG information form, please return it as soon as possible.  If you need another form, please let me know.  

If you need to contact me, please email me or call your child's school and leave a message for me.  My email address is:

bbrown@amherst.k12.va.us

Thank you for your support!

Beverly Brown

 

 

 

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