Principal Mike Martindale welcomed me to his amazing school. Anderson Elementary School is a neighborhood school where all students walk to the school site. My first impression of the school was great. The grounds are beautiful and this was confirmed as we toured the school. Site Facility Coordinator, Raul Almaraz, does an amazing job keeping the school and grounds in immaculate shape. I especially enjoyed the small tree garden tucked at the back of the school.
Anderson ES has over 450 students and has experienced growth in enrollment since Spring Break. I spent time at Anderson ES on the first day of school, so I was happy to return now that I had more time to visit with Principal Martindale. The students and staff were very warm and welcoming.
I spent some time visiting with the students in Jane Cashell’s fourth grade classroom. The students were “designing a zoo.” The students were using math concepts such as area and perimeter to build the zoo. They were creating buildings and exhibits of varying sizes. The students explained how they were using math concepts to design their zoo. They were drawing pictures of the animals and making posters. The students used a zoo planning sheet to keep track of all of the details for this big project. All of the posters, drawings, and zoo designs were very impressive. I really enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm and engagement of all the students.
Quinn Wilcher’s kindergarten students were working on a math lesson in the computer lab. Jenny Montrose, computer teacher, and Ms. Wilcher were helping the students who were quite competent on the computers. The students were doing counting exercises and having a lot of fun. I was impressed with their concentration. I could tell that these students were used to following a routine and were comfortable following instruction to complete their work.
The students in Pati Maloy’s first grade class were transitioning to reading centers when I arrived. The chimes rang and all the students automatically cleaned up their desk and started at their assigned center. Some of the students were reading with the teacher and one student was working with a volunteer. A group of students were working independently on iPads doing a reading comprehension lesson. I sat with a group of students who were writing stories and making a book. They were thrilled to tell me all about the story they were writing. Students were also using block and magnetic letters to make works and sentences. These students were excited readers, writers, and story-tellers. I loved their excitement!
In Beth Martin’s third grade classroom, the students were working in groups on a multiplication and division project. They were using poster sized graph paper to draw groups of numbers to solve the problems. This visual, hands-on lesson really resonated with the students. They were able to not only show me but explain how they solved the math problems.
I had a great time at Anderson Elementary School. All of the Anderson Aces were working hard and I enjoyed spending time with them. Principal Martindale told me that his first year as principal at Anderson has gone by quickly. He also told me that he is excited for his second year in the role. My thanks to him and his team for hosting me for a special visit.