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Mrs. Beverly Brown

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

April 14, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you and your families are well during this time.  As we adjust to this new way of learning, I will support your child in any way possible.  I am making phone calls to each home to check in, but please feel free to contact me by email at any time.  My email is:

bbrown@amherst.k12.va.us.

I will also participate in as many online class sessions as possible.  Please tell the children I miss them!

Stay safe,

Beverly

 

 

March 6, 2020

This week we had a challenge called "Blowing in the Wind".  The children constructed a vessel that would glide forward powered by a fan.  They used several concepts from previous challenges and worked well with partners.  

There are several informational brochures being created for the TAG program.  These brochures will convey general information about the TAG program, a Math Pathways diagram, a list of available local programs,  and revisions to the gifted plan.  I will inform you when these items are posted on the website.  Of course, you can always contact me with any questions or concerns.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

Beverly

  

February 28, 2020

As the month of February draws to a close, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to students and parents who make my job a pleasure to go to every day.  I often tell the students that my wish for them is that they enjoy their future jobs as much as I enjoy mine.  

This week our challenge was called "Quacky Structures."  It was challenging and at times frustrating, but the children worked hard with partners to solve the problem.  I have observed tremedous growth with their cooperative learning skills.   We debriefed after the  activity and I shared a solution with them.  Many of them commented they would remember how to solve similar challenges in the future.  

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

 

February 21, 2020

This week I asked the children to solve challenges that have time limits.  We discussed how to manage time constraints to complete tasks.  Initially the challenges appeared to be simple, but as they began the construction with the requirements and the additional factor of a time limit, they realized the importance of following instructions and thinking differently.  Some were successful and some were not, but the creativity, laughter, and willingness to try multiple solutions were great to observe.

Please remember the Family Challenge from last week is due on February 28.  Also, the Amherst County Public Schools Science Fair is April 7th at Randolph College.  The fifth grade winnners and fourth grade TAG students will attend.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Beverly

February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day!  Last week I attended the Virginia Children's Engineering Conference in Roanoke.  I am excited about implementing new programs and lessons.  One program is a STEAM Home Challenge.  Students and parents participate in this challenge and we will display them in the schools.  The first one is:     

     What can you do with a paper towel/toilet paper tube?

To participate in this home challenge, you will need to make something, anything, using a paper tube.  You can use additional materials in your creation.  The only rule is to be creative!

Bring your creations in before February 28, 2020.  

(From:  STEAM - Henrico County Public Schools) 

I have been adminstering make-up tests this past week.  I hope to be back on a normal schedule next week!

Have a great weekend!

Beverly        

January 31, 2020

The science fairs are approaching at our elementary schoolsI.  At many schools teachers are reviewing the scientific process and asking students to choose projects.  I encourage students to think about real life issues when they are choosing their projects.  The students in each school who earn the top 5 scores will have the opportunity to go to Randolph College on April 7 to display their projects.  Fourth grade TAG students will also attend to be judges for the Kid's Choice Awards.

Next week I am attending the Virginia Children's Engineering Conference in Roanoke.  I hope to return  with new ideas and strategies to incoroporate in our TAG/Enrichment sessions.  

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

January 23, 2020

The students have been busy since returning to school!  By using the squiggle art idea, I have observed their creativity when they draw pictures from random lines.  We can identify some pictures when they share, but many times they explain their creations and we see another thing entirely.  It has been fun!

For the past few weeks, the children have explored the world of coding using the Dash robots.  They have discovered the detailed work involved in programming robots to do specific tasks.  We discussed the different ways these skills are used in real life, and I think they have developed a great respect for professional coders!

The Stanford Achievement tests will be administered to all second graders during the week of February 3.  My schedule may be altered as I help to administer these important tests.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Week of December 2-6, 2019

I was proud of the children who competed at the school or district level for the Math 24 Tournament.  Many comments were made at the tournament about how quickly the children solved the challenge.  In middle school the students compete using integers.  We will continue practicing throughout the year to improve the skills of all children.

Building towers on balls was the challenge this week.  Using a variety of materials, the children built towers on top of playground balls.  There were many creative, successful solutions to this challenge.  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Beverly 

 

Weeks of November 11 - 26, 2019

I apologize for not posting for the last few weeks.  I have been supporting the second grade teachers with testing.  On Friday, November 22 I attended a Gifted Plan Technical Review Committee meeting.  In addition to evaluating plans from other counties, I add the opportunity to network with other gifted specialists.  It was interesting and informative.

Children participated in a Thanksgiving Escape Room activity which was challenging.  The answers to the different activities revealed the code needed to open the locks.  Some students created representations  from the Kinex and straws to depict some unusual scenarios.  For example, one group created a scorpion eating popsickles on the moon.  Their performances were creative and entertaining.

If your child is participating in the Math 24 competition, please remember it is Tuesday, December 3 at 6:00 PM at Amherst Elementary.  Students should try to be there by 5:30 PM.

I am thankful to be one of your child's teachers.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Beverly

 

 

Week of November 4 - 8, 2019

I presented the children with an advanced challenge, and they were surprised when a simple solution completed the task.  The children were asked to build 3 structures using certain materials.  Each structure had certain specifications.  One structure had to be 6 inches off the table and hold a tennis ball.  A simple solution was to roll up a piece of paper, tape it, and place the tennis ball on top.  Several groups used this method.   They evaluated the activity and learned what was successful and will  apply this knowledge to future activities.  

Our schedule may be altered during the next few weeks as testing begins for all second grade students.  I will adhere to the schedule as much as possible.

Thank you for your support!

Beverly

 

Week of October 28 - November 1, 2019

This week the students went fishing.  Using their critical thinking and problem solving skills, the children constructed a fishing pole that projected 12 inches from the edge of the table.  They caught "fish" (wooden clothespins) until the pole broke or the fish touched the floor.  Interesting designs were created from straws, toothpicks, spaghetti, paper, and a mailing label.  Several groups were able to catch the maximum of 25 fish.  An extra benefit to this activity was the collaboration aspect of their solutions. 

The University of Virginia offers a Saturday Enrichment Program beginning in January.  More information is available at www.curry.virginia.edu/sep.

It is a pleasure teaching your children.  Have a great weekend!

Beverly

Weeks of October 14-25, 2019

I hope everyone enjoyed Fall Break!  Our focus for TAG/Enrichment classes switched to the creative sides of our brains for the last few weeks.  After examining examples of unusual art sculptures, the children created their own art pieces.  During our museum walks, they explained their creations.  The symbolism and depth of their thinking was amazing!  

I continue to support and enrich the curriculum in math with Proof games and Math 24 challenges.   A solid knowledge of math facts enables a child to grasp higher math concepts.  

Enjoy your weekend!

Beverly

October 11, 2019

Students in grades 3-5 enjoyed breakout boxes this week.  They were given a packet of higher level reading passages to complete and discover codes to open locks.  Once the codes were identified, they opened locks to treasure boxes.  Since this was an introductory activity, I helped them with the more difficult clues but now they are ready to complete future breakout activities on their own.  I am looking forward to more of these sessions.

The Math 24 tournament for elementary students is December 3.  I am working with children in grade 4 and 5 to prepare them for this event.  Each school will have a team of 5 with one alternate.  I hope your child will consider trying out for the teams.

I hope you have a great weekend enjoying this beautiful fall weather!

Beverly

October 4, 2019

On Monday and Tuesday of this week I attended a STEM conference at VMI.  The speakers were excellent, and I enjoyed networking with other teachers and getting new ideas.  Reprensentatives from the Virginia Department of Education updated us on their efforts to provide a unified approach to STEM in schools.  They shared with us that according to a recent news poll, Virginia is ranked #1 in providing STEM opportunities.  This is exciting news!

We continued building challenges this week.  The children analyzed pictures and diagrams to construct spaceships, houses, and hot air balloons.  Although some were difficult to finish in our alllotted time, their conversations reflected their growing confidence with these skills.

Enjoy the cooler weather this weekend!

Beverly

 

September 27, 2019

This week we examined the details in bridge construction.  The children attempted to construct bridges following specific sets of instructions.   By using materials from K'Nex kits the children  understood the principles involved with solid bridge construction.  We will continue the constructions next week with several groups.

I have been granted professional leave to attend a STEM conference on Monday and Tuesday next week.  It is a great opportunity to learn about new programs from other teachers.  Plans are being made for a STEAM Night for the county in March.  I hope you will be able to attend.  I'll send further details when they are avaible.  

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend!

Beverly

 

September 20, 2019

Your child may have mentioned a game called "Flip and Slide".  It is a fast-paced logical thinking activity which requires great concentration to complete the matching challenges.  The children are having fun and I see them improving every week.  

I presented the children with a construction challenge this week.  They were given items to construct a tower.  I was amazed by some of the structures.  Several groups used plastic spoons and forks to give their structures support.  Internal "beams" were constructed by some children to provide additional support.  I was especially pleased that they worked well in a team.  

Enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!

Beverly

September 13, 2019

A few weeks ago I gave many students math puzzles called "Inkies."  I realize they have many tasks to complete, but I told them it was something they could work on when their classroom work was finished.  I am very impressed with the number of children who are working on them diligently.  Accepting these extra challenges demonstrate their eagerness to learn.

Amherst County is offering a STEAM night in the spring.  Many schools are having a STEAM night, but this one will be for everyone.  I will give further details as they are published.  The Math 24 tournament for elementary students is scheduled for December 3. I hope your children can participate in these wonderful activities.

Have a great weekend!

Beverly

September 6, 2019

This week we have been exercising our brains!  We discussed the different ways we learn and have worked with strategy and critical thinking activities.  I like listening to their reasoning as they explain the different solutions to the scenarios.  At times they  said the challenges were difficult, but they when they accomplish the tasks, they are proud of their efforts.  

Thank you for returning the TAG/Enrichment forms promptly.  

Enjoy your weekend!

Beverly

August 30, 2019

It's been a whirlwind but a great start to our school year!  Students have returned to TAG/Enrichment classes willing to accept challenges and learn new things.  

Many classes began the year with an "Inside the Box" activity which displayed their creativity and helped me know them better.  Math activities such as "Proof" and KrazyDad puzzles have challenged them to use their math reasoning skills.  I hope to begin a before school Math 24 club after Labor Day.  Permission slips will be sent home to interested students.

If your child is a TAG student, he/she will receive a letter next week with the IGP.  Please sign and return.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

It is a pleasure teaching your children.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Beverly

 

August 8, 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!  I am excited to return for my fifth year as a gifted education specialist.  Your child will be involved with critical thinking and problem solving activities which support the ACPS curriculum.  My current schedule is:

Monday - Madison Heights Elementary

Tuesday - Central Elementary 

Wednesday - Temperance Elementary (morning); Elon Elementary (afternoon

Thursday - Amelon

Friday - Amherst Elementary.

I will send a letter home on August with details about the development of your child's Individual Gifted Plan (IGP). 

Please  contact me at any time if you have a question or concern.  You can leave a message for me at your child's school or email me at bbrown@amherst.k12.va.

It's going to be a great year!

Beverly Brown

 

 

 

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