A.M. Pate Elementary School hosted its first Summer Academy from June 6 - June 27, 2012. The Project-Based Learning Academy provided students from grade levels Pre-K through Fifth the opportunity to strengthen development in Mathematics, Reading, Writing, Technology and Art. According to the Summer Academy’s Director, Datasha Dukes, the teachers followed the core principles of Professional Learning Communities: Focus on Learning, Build a Collaborative Culture, and Focus on Results.
The teachers were given the challenge to create hands-on activities that focused on the most challenging Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS) while incorporating mastered skills. The teachers used ingenious methods of instruction to focus student learning and knowledge retention. Students learned multiplication and division by developing unique PowerPoint presentations, some classes learned parts of speech and sentence structure by writing sonnets. Another project allowed students to use their creative expression to develop artistic biographical poem books. The summer program was characterized by many projects that combine multiple teaching techniques to stimulate learning. Each grade level was given computer access to supplement learning activities and reinforce math, reading and computer skills.
On Wednesday, June 27th the Summer Academy concluded with a showcase finale for the parents. Students displayed their acquired knowledge by presenting parents with elegant presentations. Afterwards, parents gathered in the cafeteria to receive “Learning at Home Achievement Kits” to help close the summer academic gap. The kits contained a six-week lesson plan to assist with the preparation for the upcoming grade in math and reading.
The Summer Academy had the privilege of several prestigious visitors ranging from district personnel to community leaders. During one visit Ms. Sarah Cooper, 1st grade Teacher, demonstrated how she effectively incorporates “istation” in her small group rotation to educators from the American Samoa. Additionally, Thirty-seven 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students attended a week-long Summer Challenge camp focused on building social, emotional, and teamwork skills. This camp was directed by Kathy Cash and Kristen Nethers.
The Summer Academy was a collaboration between 21st Century Learning, which allowed students to stay until 3:30 p.m. to receive Character Education and academic enrichment. The Summer Academy was funded by the TTIPS.
Mrs. Datasha J. Dukes, M.Ed
A.M. Pate Elementary School