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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Activities to Learn at Home!

This week as you work with your child on their curriculum, you may want to focus on your child’s ability to think critically.  Critical thinking is important in each area of the curriculum, whether your child is working on mathematics, science, language arts, history, physical education, foreign language, or fine arts.  Here are some ideas to help you work with your child to improve his or her critical thinking skills.

Ask your child to identify similarities in various objects in the room.  Take turns choosing two or three objects in the room. The items may not appear to have anything in common, like a picture and a tennis shoe.   Your child could say that both the picture and the shoe have body parts: the people in the picture have heads, arms, legs and more, while the shoe has a heel and tongue.  Your child may focus on the colors in the picture and in the shoe, for example, the people in the picture all have something white on and the shoe has white stripes.  You may include preschoolers in this critical thinking activity.

Children like learning from fairy tales.  Whether your child is able to read a fairy tale, or she listens to you read, she can increase her ability to think critically through this activity.  Motivate your child to edit a well-known fairy tale through the opinion or voice of another individual’s view.  For example, in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, your child could tell the story through the voice of the wolf.  He or she could give various details and new information that would help the wolf look like the good guy, rather than the big bad wolf.

Most of us have played Connect Four, Risk, checkers, chess, Chinese checkers, or other strategic games.  These games are not only challenging, but they build critical thinking skills.  When you play these games with your child you can help them process some of the thinking skills they are learning.  You may help them learn to look two or three moves ahead.  You may also want to introduce your child to singular strategy games, like solitaire, Rubik’s Cube, and Sudoku.

By supporting your child as he or she builds his or her critical thinking skills, your child will become more successful in his or her core curricular areas.  As you help your child work on academics, make sure to check in regularly with their teacher’s websites, the Columbia School District Live Feed on the website, and your individual school site.  If you have questions about Columbia School District, email me at or call 5162905747.

Monday, March 16, 2020

STEM at Columbia School District!

Although none of our students were born in 1992, most of our community members, teachers and parents remember the incredible devastation that Hurricane Andrew caused in Florida.  The hurricane came ashore a category 5 level storm and damaged many homes and businesses.  Following the storm, 1.4 million were without electricity and 150,000 lost their telephone service (

As the community struggled to rebuild itself, scientists and researchers focused on determining and analyzing the effects of the storm on the ecological continuity and natural surroundings.  Researchers were excited about having a living laboratory to examine the recovery of the tropical fish population in the area and the destructive forces impact on the reefs and sea grass.  In addition, researchers worked to determine the psychological impact on the children who were affected by the storm, while forensic analysts with the police departments studied the increased lawlessness in the form of theft and criminal price overcharging.

In the Columbia School District our students receive the basics so that they can become individuals who have the ability to research, analyze, and measure or determine changes things have on their environment.  Beginning in kindergarten, the students work with their teachers to observe and graph changes in the state of water from solid to liquid.  As our students grow, they learn more about scientific facts and natural effects of weather.  Combined with our Columbia Central High School teachers, our students have the opportunity to take advanced courses in chemistry, biology, anatomy, engineering, and psychology. 

For example, in anatomy our students recently cooperatively and collaboratively worked together to dissect and examine minks.  As they studied the skeletons and musculature structure they could understand the connection to other mammals, including humans.  Much like the scientists who studied the psychological effects of the storm on children, our introductory and advanced psychology courses give our students an opportunity to learn the techniques of research and investigation into how the human mind works and processes information. 

As an extension of the scientific learning activities at Columbia, our students have the advantage that they can access college courses through the Jackson County Early College.  Many of our Columbia Central students are taking free classes at Jackson College.  Other students are taking dual enrollment classes at no cost at Baker College or Adrian College.  At Columbia our students are being prepared to make a difference in their community and in the world around them so that when the next scientific event such as a hurricane like Andrew happens, they can make a difference!  Interested in learning more about Columbia Schools?  Email me at or call 5175926641.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Many website designers are innovative and creative.  Customers who want to have the best website, want to work with the best designer.  The website designers focus on marketing with an analytical flair.    The websites may link to others, keep track of information, and have detailed analytics for their customers.

As their customers focus on checking the analytics, they gain a snapshot of their website users.  Those snapshots tell a story and show patterns.  What themes will be evident from the analytics?  Will patterns emerge?  Just like the website analytics creates a picture, Columbia families think about the mosaic of their lives, see small snapshots of their families, their children, and their lifestyles. 

At Columbia School District we care about our students and their families.  In the mosaics of our  
lives, the time we are living in is unique and hopefully we will never have to repeat this intense concern for the health of our loved ones. As we work to support each other throughout the next weeks and months, please know that Columbia School District will continue to care for our students and their families.

Our teachers and staff members have prepared child friendly educational resources that may be accessed through the school’s website.  Our custodians are working to sanitize all of our buildings while our children and staff members are out.  Our food service staff members are preparing meals for all area youth (ages 18 and under) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Columbia Elementary School.  Those arriving to pick up the meals will not have to exit their vehicles, but will need to give the names of the youth the food will be going to.  The food backpack program will be provided to families on Friday, March 20th at the Columbia Elementary meal distribution between 9 am and 11 am.

During the Corona Virus concern the Brooklyn Food Bank will be providing extra food for our families on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm behind ReMax at 131 N. Main Street.  This extra food will not count in the regular six times per year distribution. Families from the area may come one time per week and must bring a picture ID and a piece of mail with their name and address printed on the envelope.  Families will drive up and not exit their vehicle.  The bonus food and forms will be brought directly to the family vehicle.  This plan will remain in effect until the Corona Virus situation comes to a close.  Food donations can be dropped off at the Village Peddler, downtown Brooklyn, Tuesdays through Saturdays.

As we continue to move through this new piece of the mosaic of our lives, we will learn and grow from the challenges.  Continuing to support each other through tough times can bring us closer.  Just like the best web designers, our community is innovative, creative and cares about excellence.  If you have questions about Columbia School District, please email me at or call 5175926641.