Thursday, January 19, 2017

Student of the Week 01/16/2017

It's week three of student appreciation!  Introducing Raymair, from the 2nd & 3rd grade classroom, and Edwin, from the 4th & 5th grade classroom...

My name is: Raymair
I am: 8 Years Old
My favorite color is: Blue 
I was born on: March 2008
I live in: Pittsburgh
My favorite number is: 1,000 
My favorite animal is: Cat
My favorite food is: Pizza
I like to: Play
When I grow up I want to be: in the military


My name is: Edwin
I am: 12 years old
My favorite color is: red 
I was born in:  2004
I live in: Allentown
My favorite number is: 71
My favorite animal is: turtle
My favorite food is: pizza
I like to: play games
When I grow up I want to be a: bread winner!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Let Freedom Ring

Martin Luther King Jr. was integral in the fight against inequality in America.  Dr. King's nonviolent resistance regarded him as one of our world's greatest leaders.  Here at ALEC, civic engagement is a key component in learning.  Brashear Kids learn how they can make a difference in their community and the world at large.  Last week we honored Dr. King's legacy by discussing the movement he bravely led, listened to his "I have a dream" speech, and discussed the dreams we have for the future.

After watching Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream speech", students were asked to trace their hand, cut it out, and write their dream on the paper.  Dreams ranged from "I want kids to have fresh food" to "I want to be President some day".  We were inspired and delighted that students shared their dreams with us.

Honoring Martin Luther King's legacy continued Saturday, 01/14/17, with clay crafts and a writing prompt.  Sevon enjoyed hanging out with us and discussing what this holiday means to him!

Left: Sevon creates a peaceful symbol out of clay.  Right: Sevon writes his own dream (to help people) & how he will make it come true (become a scientist).

In service,

Friday, January 13, 2017

Chemistry with Balloons!

Hello, all. We had a wonderful Day of Science this week learning all about chemical reactions. We had a special guest in the classroom to teach us the lesson... Dr. ALEC, the mad scientist!

 Dr. Alec was unaware that his glasses were askew in this picture! 
His mind is simply too consumed with science. 

This put a fun spin on our science lesson, as it got more students engaged and curious about the "evil scientist" and his plans for our lessons.

Dr. ALEC explained that he had come all the way from his evil lair to experiment with two top-secret ingredients, baking soda and vinegar. He believed something interesting would occur when these substances were combined in a confined space, such as in a beaker covered by a balloon.

Our guest then asked the students to get into (three) groups and hypothesize what would happen when 60ml of vinegar (the controlled amount) were combined with varying amounts of the baking soda. Each group would decide on different amounts of baking soda.

Dr. ALEC graciously allowed a person with arms to conduct the experiments while he observed. Student helpers from each group put the vinegar and baking soda together.

The three groups used 1, 2, and 3 teaspoons of baking soda, respectively. One of our balloons ended up having a hole in it, an unexpected variable- so the reaction became quite messy! Nonetheless, we were able to deduce that the more baking soda, the stronger the reaction. 

The student's hypotheses were very intelligent predictions, Dr. ALEC mused- but now it is time to explain the science behind our evil experiments! The gases released from this acid-base reaction , carbon dioxide to be precise, try to escape from the beaker but have nowhere to go with the balloon in the way! Thus, the balloon expands. How fascinating!

As always, thank you for reading-

Dr. ALEC and Alyce 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Student of the Week: 01/09/2017

It's week number two of our Student of the Week appreciation! This week, we are proud to introduce... 

My name is: Damari
I am: 9 years old
My favorite color is: Red 
I was born on: December 10, 2007
I live in: Allentown
My favorite number is: 100
My favorite animal is: Lion
My favorite food is: Pizza
I like to: Play board games
When I grow up I want to be a: Football Player  


My name is: Keliyah
I am: 11 years old
My favorite color is: yellow 
I was born on: July 6, 2005
I live in: the Allentown area
My favorite number is: 7
My favorite animal is: zebra or giraffe
My favorite food is: greens, ribs & potato salad
I like to: eat & play minecraft
When I grow up I want to be a: lawyer (prosecutor) 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Printmaking on a Saturday

Hello blog enthusiasts- hope you are gearing up for the strange weather this week will bring!

Over the weekend, we had the privilege of doing some relief printmaking during our Saturday programming. One of our fifth graders and her younger cousin came down to spend the afternoon learning a new skill.

Image example of student printmaking courtesy of Cassie Stephens 

Printmaking, which Ms. Alyce studied in college, takes many forms- and is a wonderful way to come up with an image that may be reproduced many times. 

Students participating in this lesson learned concepts around mirror image in printing, negative and positive space, transferring a drawing to a plate, and how to print without a printing press! 

 Our student works on her design 

 We use the newsprint and graphite to transfer the design onto the plate 

 Once transferred, the design gets pressed into or carved out of the plate 

We roll the ink onto the plate to prepare it for the final print!  

One of the final prints, ready to dry! Go, ALEC! 

We hope you've enjoyed this lesson, and keep on creating! 


Alyce & Anna 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Student of the Week- 01/03/2017

This week we began our Student of the Week, in an effort to acknowledge the great personalities in our subsequent classrooms. Each week, a new student is featured on the bookshelf in each 2nd-3rd and 4th-5th classroom. 

In addition to being shown appreciation for their hard work, the Student of the Week is responsible for choosing a "featured book", and helping with other classroom activities. 

In our 2nd and 3rd grade classroom, the first young scholar to be chosen for this honor is Mr. C.J.! C.J. has a wonderful presence in our after school program, and is accompanied by his three siblings here. As the youngest of four, he shines by helping clean up everyday and getting excited about reading comic books. 

My name is: C.J.!
I am: 7 years old.
My favorite color is: red & blue
I was born on: August 
I live in: a home
My favorite number is: 100
My favorite animal is: bird
My favorite food is: chicken 
I like to: play a game
When I grow up I want to be a: Teacher!


In the 4th and 5th grade classroom, Davon is our first student of the week!  Davon is a great asset to our classroom and program.  His hard work and helpful attitude never go unnoticed.  We appreciate Davon's introspection and the positive energy he brings to Brashear Kids!

My name is: Davon
I am: 11 years old.
My favorite color is: red, green, & orange
I was born on: November 2nd
I live in: Southside
My favorite number is: 4, 7
My favorite animal is: lion
My favorite food is: apples
I like to: play video games
When I grow up I want to be: someone who owns their own business!

Alyce & Anna

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Looking forward- 2017

We at Brashear hope you had a wonderful holiday, and wish you a happy New Year! 2017 is now upon us, and as our kids enjoyed their break and time with family, we were busy planning for an exciting new adventure.

Our space at ALEC has so much to offer, which at times can feel overwhelming. In 2016, we were incredibly grateful for the partnerships we could lean on for programming, enriching lessons, and engaging material for our students. Going into this new year, we will still maintain the majority of this programming- but things will look at bit different as we take the lead more in S.T.E.A.M.

In order to meet this goal, we began by meeting the challenge of confronting our supply closet. This was no small feat, as we have so much that has generously been donated and supplied to our center over the years. We needed to familiarize ourselves with all our materials, and organize accordingly! Over the course of three days, we did just that.

See what we've done with the space, below!

 Our new, shiny and organized supply closet! 

Additionally, we have further designed structural tools for positive reinforcement, including a rewards system that will be more visually comprehensible for students, complete with coupons and tokens for being a "classroom helper" and "role model of learning". We will begin instituting a Student of the Week, who will be responsible for choosing our featured books, quotes and more. 

Please stay tuned for these featured young folks, as well as lesson plans that we could not be more excited for! 
Ms. Negrete, Education Coordinator at ALEC, puts the final touches on our black board. 

Some new decor adorning our walls.

We cannot wait to give our kids more reasons to say, AFTER SCHOOL RULES!

Thanks for reading,

Anna & Alyce 


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