NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
June 21, 2012 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Keeping Kids First!
Summer School Begins in Walnut Valley
WALNUT, CA—Over 3,000 students are benefitting from a wide variety of summer school courses offered in the Walnut Valley Unified School District.
Classes for elementary, middle, and high school students began on June 11 and will run through July 19.
About 140 students attend the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation’s Summer Enrichment Program held at Westhoff Elementary. The objective of the program is to help students better retain what they have learned in a fun-filled education setting while gaining confidence in their abilities.
Classes reinforce academic skills in core subject areas such as Math, Language Arts, and Science while preparing students academically and socially for the next grade level. This year, the program is also offering a Spanish Language class to introduce students to the language and cultures of Spanish speaking countries. Teacher Natalie Lawrence is working with grades 3-5 and makes the learning fun with games like Spanish Bingo.
Students from Chaparral, South Pointe, and Chaparral Middle Schools are attending summer school at Suzanne Middle School. Courses range from Comic Art and Cartooning, Algebra Readiness, to Jane Shaffer Writing class, and PSAT prep.
Suzanne 7th grade math teachers Amy Erickson and Larry Pinto created and are team teaching two new summer courses– Geometry Readiness and MATHCOUNTS Academy.
“We invented these classes this year because there was a strong interest,” Erickson said. Students are learning with geoboards and interactive manipulatives in the Geometry Readiness class targeted for incoming 8th graders. There are a lot of algebra readiness classes – but never a geometry preparedness class, she explained.
“This gives them hands-on experience and a head start into geometry,” she added. Students are learning geometric concepts and applications through logic and thinking strategies that can be directly applied to a comprehensive geometry course. They will develop their deductive reasoning skills through constructing proofs, problem solving, strategic planning, and creative methodologies.
“I’m looking for a shape that has four sides and it has two pairs of congruent adjacent sides,” said Erickson during a recent lesson. Pinto simultaneously wrote out the problem on the whiteboard during the Period 2 class.
Learning geometry principals is fun as the 35 students bend the rubber bands into specific shapes. Both teachers walk around the classroom to check each student’s geoboard and answer questions before going on to the next problem.
Cathy Chang, an incoming 8th grader at Chaparral Middle School, said she enjoys the class and likes to hear the snap when the geobands break. And of course when time permits the kids make their own rubber band creations including initials and silly square-featured faces.
The second new class - MATHCOUNTS Academy is primarily for incoming 6th graders transitioning from elementary to middle school and 7th and 8th graders round out the class designed to help promote a stronger interest in mathematics.
MATHCOUNTS competitions are national middle school competitive math programs that promote achievement through a series of fun and engaging contests.
During the Period 1 class, students work to become Mathletes by participating in high-end, interactive mathematical problem-solving individual and team competitions. And these math wizs enjoy challenges in number sense, probability, statistics, patterns, Pythagorean theorem, area, 3D Geometry, equations, and number theory.
“Hopefully, when they get to 6th grade, they’ll be more likely to join the clubs,” Erickson said. The veteran teachers also coach 80 students in the school’s MATHCOUNTS Club that promotes higher-level math skills and teamwork.
High School Summer School programs offer credit recovery, enrichment, and advancement courses. Some of the courses offered at Diamond Bar and Walnut High Schools include World History, Algebra, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Civics, Computer Systems, Digital Photography, Physics Honors, SAT Prep, and SRC- Health and Driver’s Ed.
Teacher Larry Pinto answers a question from Jason Lam, a South Pointe 7th grader.
Chaparral 8th grader Cathy Chang solves a geometry problem.
Suzanne math teacher Larry Pinto goes over a new geometry concept.
Teachers Amy Erickson and Larry Pinto check student work on the geoboards before going on to next problem.