2019 Summer Fairs

This year marks the 5thanniversary of our Summer Opportunities, Activities & Resources (SOAR) fairs, featuring summer camps and programs for families with kids in pre-k through 12th grade.

Sure, you can look for summer programs online, but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation directly with camp directors who want nothing more than to answer your questions and provide information about their programs. SOAR fairs bring together multiple programs and parents all under one roof in fun, easily accessible environment. We’re your one-stop-shop for summer fun.

 Register now to attend our Upper West Side or Harlem fair. If you're a vendor interested in participating, register here 

Attending camps include:
92Y Camps
ACT Programs at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Bank Street Summer Camp
Breezemont Day Camp
Brooklyn Game Lab
Camp Twelve Trails
The Cathedral School Summer STEAM Camp
Cooper Hewitt Design Camp
Columbia Little Lions
Day Camp in the Park
Deer Mountain Day Camp
The Fresh Air Fund
Gate Hill Day Camp
Harlem YMCA Summer Day Camp
HYPOTHEkids Summer STEAM
Camp Settoga + JCC Manhattan Day Camps
MakerState Summer Camp
Parkour Adventure Camp
Play On! Studios
Pocono Springs Camp
Riverside Park Conservancy Multi-Sport Summer Camp
Robofun
The Nature Place
Writopia Lab

Not all camps will be at every fair.

 

2018 Summer Opportunities, Activities and Resources (SOAR) Fairs

Summer Fairs Featuring Camps and Programs for Kids & Teens

Our popular summer fairs are back with a new name, Summer Opportunities, Activities & Resources (SOAR) but the same quality events you've grown to love. This is our 4th year hosting fairs featuring summer camps and programs for families with kids in pre-k through 12th grade.

Sure, you can look for summer programs online but nothing beats a face-to-face conversation directly with camp directors who want nothing more than to answer your questions and provide information about their programs. SOAR fairs bring together programs and parents, add a sprinkle of giveaway goodies, and a raffle. For free!! What are you waiting for?? Register now to attend our Upper West Side or Harlem fair. If you're a vendor interested in participating, register here

Attending camps include:
92Y Camps
Bank Street Summer Camp
Brooklyn Game Lab
Camp Twelve Trails
The Cathedral School Summer STEAM Camp
Challenge Camp
Cooper Hewitt Design Camp
City Sail Summer Camp
Columbia Little Lions
Cooper Union Summer Art Intensive
Corbin Crusaders Day Camp
Day Camp in the Park
Deer Mountain Day Camp
The Fresh Air Fund
Gate Hill Day Camp
Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program
Harlem YMCA Summer Day Camp
Hk Summer Steam
Kids in the Game
iD Tech Camp
Independent Lake Camp
Camp Settoga + JCC Manhattan Day Camps
Ma He Tu
MakerState Summer Camp
Play On! Studios
Pocono Springs Camp
Pono
Riverside Park Conservancy Multi-Sport Summer Camp
Robofun
Steve & Kate's Camp
Summer at Speyer
Summerscape at The CENTER
Tech Kids Unlimited
The Experiment in International Living
The Nature Place Day Camp
Valley Hill Summer Camp
Writopia Lab

Not all camps will be at every fair.

 

Getting started with 2018 Hunter & independent schools admissions

As the end of summer 2017 draws near it's time to think about school admission for the 2018 school year. In New York City, school choice programs provide alternatives to parents who do not wish to send their children to the local public schools to which they are assigned. The day after Labor day is the traditional start to admission season, the time of year when parents exercise their school choice rights in a chaotic ritual of applications, school tours, open houses and interviews.

For families considering independent schools (those that independently set their own missions and curriculum), kindergarten is the largest entry point and one of only two times that kids can enter Hunter College Elementary School. If you have a four year old (born in 2013) this fall is the time to apply for kindergarten.

The independent school application process is no walk in the park. Before even getting started with an application to any individual school there are many factors to consider - school type (co-ed, single sex), location, size, educational philosophy, community, faculty, facilities - to name a few. Then there's the multi-step application process which involves tours, financial forms (if requesting tuition assistance), testing and meetings for both parents and children.

Summer is a great time to review and research school websites to determine ones that might be a good fit for your family. The Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY) is a terrific resource for learning about independent schools and their application process. On Tuesday, August 29, 2017 from 6-8:30 pm we'll be hosting our 7th Annual Independent School Admission Panel and School Fair. This is a unique opportunity to meet admission decision makers from many schools and receive tools to help you conquer the application process.

Participating Schools include:
Bank Street School for Children
Basis Independent School
The Brearley School
The Browning School
The Buckley School
The Calhoun School
The Cathedral School
The Chapin School
Collegiate School
Convent of the Sacred Heart
Corlears School
The Hewitt School
Hunter College Elementary School
Marymount School
Metropolitan Montessori School
Riverdale Country School
Spence Schooll
St. Bernard's School
St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's
The Elisabeth Morrow School
The Nightingale-Bamford School
The Town School
Trevor Day School
Trinity School

2017 Summer Camp Fairs Coming to UWS & Harlem


The best summer camp fair uptown is back! This year, in cooperation with the Bank Street School for Children, we have expanded and will be hosting camp fairs in two locations:

Upper West Side - Sunday, February 12, 2017, 12-3pm
The Bank Street School for Children
610 W 112th Street

Central Harlem - Sunday, March 19, 2017, 12-3pm
Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church
101 W 123rd Street
Register to attend Central Harlem Summer Camp Fair

If you’re anything like me, you are overwhelmed with all of the camp options available and unsure about what program will be a good fit for your child. Camp fairs bring camps straight to parents allowing them to have face-to-face conversations with many camp directors in one place, within a short period of time.

If you'd like to register your camp to participate in the fair you can do so here.

Hear what neighborhood parents have to say about our camp fairs
Let's Talk Schools Camp Fair video

Confirmed attendees include:
92nd Street Y Camp Yomi
HSA ARTScape Summer Camp
Bank Street Summer Camp
BEE in the City
Breakaway Hoops
Calhoun Summer Camps
Camp Dunnabeck at Kildonan
Camp Intrepid
Camp Kinderland
Camp MSM (Manhattan School of Music)
Camp Northwood
Camp Twelve Trails
Columbia University Little Lions Camp
Corbin's Crusaders
Day Camp in the Park
Deer Mountain Day Camp
Fresh Air Fund
Frost Valley YMCA
Gate Hill Day Camp
Girl Scouts Urban Day Camp
Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program
Harlem YMCA
HypotheKids
Hollingworth Science Camp
HudsonWay Immersion School Summer Camp
JCC Manhattan Summer Camps
Kids in the Game
Camp Ma He Tu
Play On Studios
Pocono Springs Camp
Pouncing Tigers Summer Programs
Project Performing Arts
Spring Lake Day Camp
Tech Kids Unlimited
The Fresh Air Fund
The Nature Place Day Camp
Wildlife Conservation Society Zoos and Aquarium
Woodmont Day Camp

Not all camps listed above will be at every fair. More to come. Stay tuned!

Value-Added: Single -Sex Education for Girls

ipad photo By Kelly Bird Pierre

Kelly Bird Pierre is the former Director of Enrollment and Admissions, K–12  at The Hewitt School and current Lower School Principal at Friends' Central School She taught in co-ed lower school classrooms for 13 years before working in admissions at a single-sex school.  

What is the value-added in a girls’ school?  It is an intentional commitment to expand the range of what is possible for a girl.  The gift that a single sex school gives a girl is space; space to explore, to experiment, to speak, to believe, to strengthen and to see herself reflected in the larger world.  Our girls are prepared to do anything, but told that they need not do everything.

Our kindergarten girls walk into classrooms where each lesson and space is designed with their success in mind.  The range of possibilities for the girls is immediately greater. As a former colleague observed, “At Hewitt, the block area is always open for girls.” Although many teachers in co-ed classrooms are careful to make things equitable, there are gender differences in how children play.  The guideline that, “There must be two girls and two boys in the block area” may still not encourage girls to join because they don’t like the way the boys play with the blocks.  There is a joy in building something as big as you can and knocking it down that is fun for some boys and not fun for some girls.  Having spaces that are solely for them allows girls to move freely within their classroom and the school and to experiment more broadly within the program.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world in which voices of female leadership are scarce.  In 2012 only 14.3% of women held Executive Officer positions in Fortune 500 companies.1  In my own classroom, I observed that boys will generally raise their hand before they think of their answer and girls often  think of their answer before they raise their hand.  Inherently, this is going to lead to more boys being called on unless a teacher waits…and waits.  This only intensifies in co-ed settings as girls become more self-conscious of their changing bodies and sense of themselves, and, consequently, sometimes defer to boys even when they have the answer.  Next time you are in a classroom, I encourage you to look at whose hands are in the air and who is talking.  In a single sex school there is less competition for airspace, and quieter girls know there is room for their voices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf course, many of our daughters will gravitate toward pink and Barbies no matter how hard we try to fight the gender stereotypes because we are immersed in a culture where gender stereotypes still thrive.  The same is true for the subjects towards which girls and boys gravitate.  We can look at how many women are represented in the STE2M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Environmental Sustainability and Math) fields to see this is true.  Many boys expect to be good at math, which is half the battle of success.  As my own second graders matured throughout the year, the girls would watch more boys join the enrichment math work at lunchtime, and my strongest girls would start to shy away from the work time.  I worked hard to counteract girls’ too often tacit assumption that they should not be good at math.  At a girls’ school, girls are the best at everything.

The voices and roles of women are at the forefront of the experience in an all-girls school, and our students have the chance to see strong women in action today and in history.  When third graders study biographies they are asked to choose an influential woman to read about, write about and then come alive as at a Living Museum.  In high school, eleventh and twelfth graders choose from electives such as “Searching for Self” in which the girls read literature including Nadeem Aslam’s Maps for Lost Lovers and examine the unity of women in a hostile and repressive culture.  Co-ed schools examine such texts as well, but in our AP English class the girls can question and debate sexuality, sexism and repression without having to defend their feelings and experiences. We provide them with the room to make sense of the world that they are on the brink of taking on as young women.

RAMSA 1

At Hewitt, we are not only providing many opportunities for our girls to study within the STE2M subjects, but we are constantly engaged in a dialogue about how girls learn these subjects best.  80% percent of wiring in the brain in gender-specific.  And although one in five girls do not follow the research patterns, we need to acknowledge there are gender differences in the way girls and boys process information.2  Various studies, including one out of the University of Chicago, indicate differences in spatial skills, beginning as early as kindergarten.3  One of the hallmarks of our STE2M program is hands-on-learning that features these skills.  Students are constantly given opportunities to build and design in three dimensions, to use carpentry tools, and to develop mechanical sense.   And, as we move into the middle and upper school, the sophistication of these activities increases with the use of 3-D design programs, robotics, and collaborative work with experts in fields like architecture and engineering.

More importantly, girls are not just being immersed in every subject; they are working side-by-side with women in the STE2M fields.  Before building bridges in class, our students tour the George Washington Bridge towers with female engineers.  We are not just telling the girls you can do this; we are showing them they can do it.  It gives the work our students are doing value and helps each girl imagine a possible future for herself.  The assignment becomes a step toward something greater.  This type of imprint is sure to change the number of women represented in the STE2M fields.

I have been asked, often by fathers, “Isn’t a girls’ school like going to school in a bubble?” “Yes,” I respond, “It is.  It is a bubble that benefits girls tremendously.  Girls leave Hewitt to go to mostly co-ed colleges and universities, lifted by that spacious bubble and emboldened to challenge assumptions that anything is out of reach for them.”  I’ll never forget a Hewitt alumna telling me about raising her hand in a 300 freshman lecture class and a friend turning to her to say ‘How can you raise your hand?’”  Her response?  “Why wouldn’t I raise my hand?”

 

1 "Statistical Overview of Women in the Workplace." Catalyst. March 13, 2013. http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/statistical-overview-women-workplace

2 "Understanding and Raising Girls." PBSParents. http://www.pbs.org/parents/raisinggirls/brains/nature.html

3 Harms, Bill. "Study Shows Early Sex Differences in Spatial-Learning Skills." The University of Chicago. November 18, 1999.  <http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/991118/spatial.shtml>

Subtract vs. Minus–The Language of Math

Success!

Here's an equation:  8-2=6

Conventionally we would say, "Eight minus two equals six."

Is it incorrect to say "Eight subtract two equals six?"
My son said the latter at school, as I have done while working with him, and was told that it is incorrect by his teacher.
Is it?  Is it also wrong to say "Eight add two equals ten"?  Are the words minus/subtract or add/plus interchangeable when we read equations or is it wrong to say anything but plus or minus?
I posed that question to a math discussion group and got a range of responses.  Some people said that it's grammatically incorrect to say subtract because it's a verb and minus is not and there is already one verb, equals, in the sentence.
Others said that either is correct but subtract is more precise and that mathematical expressions don't have to conform to english grammatical structure.  It was quite a lively debate.
The clearest most concise response I received came from Alison Coates of the Middle School Mathematics Institute.  Here's what she had to say:

Perhaps this is a quibble, but math is not easily discussed in lay language properly.   That is the reason we use symbols for math: the symbols of math are the "language" of math, and our collective unwillingness in the US to prepare students for symbolic manipulation is a big reason that they have more and more errors, until their errors in reasoning swamp truth.

Without any verbalization, 8 - 2 = 6 is precise, succinct, and correct. It is distinct from 2 - 8 = -6.

It is only when we try to verbalize this that we get into trouble.

There are a couple related issues here worth teasing out:

1. We should teach children to "read" the above equation as a transliteration of the symbols, so someone on hearing the verbalization of the equation writes down the correct one.

In English, we verbalize the above as "eight minus 2 equals 6".  While we may wish to discuss or explain sums, differences, etc., in the end, a student must know how to name these symbols properly so they can write down the appropriate expression correctly without confusion.  That symbol is a minus (sign), and + is a plus (sign). We read 3 x 4 = 12 as "three times four equals 12."  This is separate from how we converse about these concepts.

2.  Precision matters.  The problem with various English expressions and their inexactness as a substitute for mathematical precision is often only seen over time, far too late to fix misconceptions.

I have met many 7th graders who do not know decimals are fractions.  They have never been told "a decimal is a fraction with a power of ten as the denominator".  They almost always, to a one, verbalize the symbol 4.56 as "four point five six".  They have no idea that .56 is the fraction fifty-six hundredths.  Being forced to say it properly until absolute demonstration of mastery of place value in decimals and of recognition of decimal as fraction is critical.

Likewise, I have met many second graders who can not solve, “Anne has two more cars than her brother Charlie.  Anne has 8.  How many does Charlie have?” because they have been taught that subtract is "take away".  But there is nothing here being taken away in their view.

I'm sure most members here have thoroughly hashed out the errors in "a fraction is a part of a whole"--and you may think this is a different kind of language error, but to most teachers, it isn't.  If you as a teacher are afraid to introduce the definitions of equality or commutative properties, you aren't going to be comfortable with a fraction defined on a number line precisely.  (For those who don't know what's wrong with "a fraction is part of a whole", incredibly short answer: it leads student to think that all fractions are less than 1.  Because how can more than a whole be part of a whole?   What's 9/8--what's the part, what's the whole?   Most students will answer "it's really 1 1/8", and they think only 1/8 is the fraction.)

My "favorite" example of how misuse of language completely ruins a child's understanding of math is of a 6 yr old girl in a (nominally?) Montessori program who was bringing home page after page of 3 digit by 3 digit vertical algorithm addition problems, and doing them correctly.  But then her mother asked her to solve (horizontally) 9 + 2 = ?

and she said (yes, direct quote): "Eleven, but the answer can't be greater than 9."

She could explain place value exchanges at "the bead store", and she could compute with carrying correctly, but when the teacher taught her about adding, the teacher failed to distinguish between *we only have 10 digits to write with" and "the total number of allowed objects can never be greater than nine".

So the girl went about adding e.g.

372

+159

correctly

and simultaneously thought 9 + 2 = 11 was illegal.

Getting these details right for a child is difficult work, but they matter very much.

 

Allison Coates

Middle School Mathematics Institute

www.msmi-mn.org

Public Pre-K Spots Still Available For September 2013

LeeCMOM2There is still time to apply to free community-based organizations (CBOs) pre-k programs for September but spots are limited.  CBO programs are publicly funded (free) but are not in schools.  All info and application are available online at the DOE Website.

Understanding Speech and Language Development and When You Should Seek Help For Your Child

bigstock-Child-speaking-and-alphabet-le-18001274In this 1st of a 2 part series on speech and language development, Speech Language Pathologist Timberly Leite of  Innovative Therapy Solutions, a full-service pediatric speech and occupational therapy facility in Harlem, gives an in-depth review of speech and language development and the age which most monolingual speaking children with accomplish speaking and hearing milestones.  Part 2 will follow next week with details of the procedure for obtaining early intervention for your children. Continue reading "Understanding Speech and Language Development and When You Should Seek Help For Your Child"

NYC 2012 Pre-Kindergarten Admissions Period Begins

Application season for the 2012/2013 school year is in full swing.  Kindergarten admission ended on Friday, and today, the month-long pre-kindergarten session begins.

The NYC Department of Education offers Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) programs for eligible 4 year olds who reside in New York City.  UPK programs

provide a nurturing environment where children’s natural curiosity is used as a springboard to learn skills that are necessary for success in school.  In pre-kindergarten, children learn how to share, take turns and work in groups.  They also develop the skills that form the foundation for reading, writing, and mathematics.

All UPK programs are free of charge.  Programs can be half-day or full-day; half-day programs may take place in the morning or afternoon.  Programs are available at select public schools and at many community-based organizations (CBOs).  CBOs are independent groups that contract with the Department of Education to provide pre-kindergarten programs and other services to families. 


Starting today, March 5, you can submit a pre-k application in person at an Enrollment Office or online.  Applications  deadline for public school programs is Thursday, April 5.  The Pre-Kindergarten Directory is available at your local borough enrollment office and at the DOE  pre-k webpage.

Before you begin the application, review the Pre-K directory  and brochure and become familiar with the Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs in your community.  Take time to gather as much information as possible; visit schools and attend open house events or tours.

New York's Universal Pre-K program facts:

- All universal pre-k programs are free of charge for children born in 2008 who reside in New York City

- Even though all 4 year olds are eligible, a seat in a public universal pre-k program is not guaranteed

- Programs can be half day (two and a half hours, AM/morning or PM/afternoon) or full day (six hours and twenty minutes)

- Programs are housed in public schools or in community based organizations, and each has their own separate application process.  You can find the CBO application directory online here.  To apply, contact each site directly to obtain specific information.

- Admissions are NOT first come first serve.  Placement offers are made based on standardized admission priorities.

- Public school spots are given by lottery.  First preference is given to Zoned students with a verified sibling who will be in grades K-5 in the school in September 2012.  Additional admission priorities are detailed in the Pre-K Brochure.

- Applications available online or at a borough enrollment office only.  Do not apply by mail.  You may apply for a number of schools in one submission and rank those schools by order of preference.

There are information sessions in each borough starting next week.  Representatives from the Office of Student Enrollment and the Office of Early Childhood Education will be available at the sessions to answer your questions.  The sessions are often crowded so be sure to arrive early.

Pre-Kindergarten Information Sessions

All sessions will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

 

Brooklyn

March 12, 2012

Sunset Park High School

153 35th Street

 

Manhattan

March 15, 2012

The High School of Fashion Industries

225 West 24th Street

 

Queens

March 19, 2012

Flushing High School

35-01 Union Street

 

Bronx

March 20, 2012

P.S. 121 Throop

2750 Throop Avenue

 

Staten Island

March 22, 2012

P.S. 69 Daniel D. Tompkins

144 Keating Place

Once your application is complete the waiting begins.  Notifications are not sent out until early June.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day For Preschoolers

Painting courtesey of BRUNI Sablan BRUNI Gallery http://www.brunijazzart.com

Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday observed by all states.  This means your little one has the day off school.  While this is a major holiday, Lee's class didn't do anything special to celebrate and I'm not sure if he learned anything about who Dr. King is (at least that's what he told me.   I'll have to double check with his teacher). Continue reading "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day For Preschoolers"