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IDENTIFYING MATH IN THE NATURAL WORLD
In the beginning of their eighth grade year, Ridgefield Academy students begin to learn the basic concepts of geometry, including points, planes, and lines. The learning does not end once the concepts are mastered inside the classroom. Upper School Math teacher Adele Dominicus encourages students to step outside the classroom to identify and recognize the significance of math in the world around them.
 

Photographing the Outdoor Campus Center, a "geometric wonder"!

Dominicus recently led her Grade 8 class outside to identify geometry concepts on campus and photograph them. This is a lesson she has conducted previously, but this year provided a notable new addition to explore - the Outdoor Campus Center! Dominicus describes the OCC, a bi-level playscape for students constructed over the summer of 2021, as a “geometric wonder”.
 

                Photos captured by Grade 8 students

While enjoying time spent outdoors, students discovered math in the manmade structures on campus - such as in drains and windchimes - as well as in nature. In addition to reinforcing geometry concepts, students examined an environment they see every day through a different lens - one that highlights the importance of math, Dominicus says.
“Our natural world provides us with so much math and we don't take enough advantage of it."
When the outdoor portion of the lesson concluded and students returned to the classroom, an opportunity for demonstrating community leadership began. After capturing these photos, students selected their best photographs and edited them to clearly identify the geometric concept. These photographs will be compiled into a book identifying geometric shapes to be given to and used by Landmark Preschool students.
 
In a school that is preschool - Grade 8 by design, Ridgefield Academy eighth graders are empowered to rise to leadership roles. Programs such as the Kindergarten/Grade 8 Buddy program offer our oldest students the opportunity to experience responsibility and inspired leadership, while contributing to the connected Ridgefield Academy/Landmark Preschool community. With Grade 8 as the culmination of the RA/LP academic journey, these leadership roles are authentic, recognized, and valued within the school.