"Achieving Equity and Excellence"

In an interview, Douglas Reeves acknowledges decades of scholarship on various successful schools where poverty is high. Looking at the research, Reeves finds that there are systemic elements throughout these excellent schools: nonfiction writing and collaborative assessment. These are strongly correlated with mathematics achievement, reading comprehension, and science and social studies scores. When students are given the opportunity to write, they achieve greater learning. When teachers work together to decide what students should be learning, it also leads to better outcomes. These elements are likewise present in high performing educational systems in the world. Take away the wealth, take away resources, what is common across these successful schools is effective teaching and learning. Reeves says we need to treat each child as "rich". Only with such perspective, do we remove all assumptions that deter us from teaching each child. Looking at a mountain of data is research. It is not simply an anecdote, but seeing this in real action in my daughter's school simply reinforces what Reeves has found.

Frogs cycle

By:Amelia de Dios, 5th grader at Mason Crest

A dark blue place, with what seems to be just lilypads, is actually a body of water. Lily pads float at the top of the swamp. Little eggs that look like black bubbles float in the swamp. So many just floating, you would think it is impossible to count. Slowly, one egg starts to hatch. A slimy tadpole struggles to burst out of the egg. The egg breaks apart and a tadpole zooms out. The tadpole swims so fast. Its tail helps it steer the way the tadpole desires to go. It curves and goes between rocks. Once in a while the tadpole needs to stop and eat. While swimming, it comes across a lilypad, because the lilypad is wet, the lily droops down so the tip of its petals are under water. Luckily, that is all the tadpole needs, it starts nibbling on the petal. It takes super small bites that once it is done eating, you can barely see the bite mark. Then once again the tadpole swims,glides,and curves away through the water.💚

Weeks go by, the tadpole starts to grow legs. It is not a tadpole anymore. It is now a froglet! Still, it swims in the water. The water smoothly goes over the flat skull of the froglet, allowing it to swim faster. Again the froglet swims, glides, and curves away. Soon enough, the froglet’s tail disappears like an old memory. In its place now are lungs. It can still swim but not forever, for now, it has to go up for air. Now that it is a froglet, it eats different foods. one of the most popular things it eats are BUGS. The froglet zooms, jumping from lily pad to lily pad, it’s webbed feet help it to keep balance, without falling into the swamp. It jumps so fast, you will never be able to catch it. Then it sees a tiny fly in the air. Now it is in a hunting mode. It waits for the fly to come to the perfect spot then once the fly does, the froglet wastes no time, it leaps into the air so high with it’s powerful legs, then reaches its long sticky tongue out and swallows the fly. Then it lands right back on the lily pad and start jumping away.💚

More time goes by , the froglet has grown into an adult. It is no longer a froglet, now, it is a full grown frog! The frog spends most of its time exploring the land. It looks and hunts for the food on land. the frog searches, its big eyes spread as it looks. then from the corner of its eye, it spots a slimy little worm! The frog wastes no time, and in a second, the worm is being slurped up. The frog pulls the worm into its mouth, then, the worm… is gone.💚

The frog has become older. It still jumps around, always looking out, in case danger comes by. The frog after all is a prey for other animals. A slithery snake comes by spotting the frog. The frog sees it. Quickly, the frog jumps away thinking it is now safe. But it does not know that the snake is still lurking near the swamp. The snake slithers to where the frog is. The frog leaps away again! But is no match for the serpent. The battle is fierce. But the frog cannot take it anymore! Then it spots a BIG pile of leaves. Then an idea sparks! The frog takes all the energy it has left and leaps to the leaves. Then it seems like magic! You don’t see the frog! All you see is a pile of leaves! The snake looks at the leaves… It scans every inch of the pile. Then after a little time passes, the snake moves on to find a different prey to eat.💚

A week has gone by, the frog has come to a spot that just feels right. Within a few seconds it spots another frog. They know what is going to happen… After a minute, it is done. The frogs go swim back in the swamp probably never to see each other again. At the top of the swamp thousands of little eggs are now floating, looking like black bubbles. You would think it is impossible to count. Slowly, one egg starts to hatch. A slimy tadpole struggles to burst out of the egg. The egg breaks apart and a tadpole zooms out. It swims far away into its own adventure. All you can say is… “Get ready for a rollercoaster!”💚

The End