Summer SPARK Program – Manchester Public Schools

Welcome to the SPARK Summer Program! The Manchester program will take place from July 10-28.


Friday, July 28th:

  • Eagleson: Today was the last day of our SPARK summer program.  I enjoyed having your children and watching them discover and explore 2-D shapes.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today was the last day of our SPARK program.  What a fun 3 weeks of learning!  We enjoyed working with your students and hope you have a wonderful rest of your summer!
  • Kantrow/Kolek: We had a fantastic last day of SPARK! We had fun exploring symmetry using mirrors. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
  • Rubino: Today was the last day of the SPARK summer program. What a wonderful 3 weeks of learning it has been! Mrs. Good and I have enjoyed watching your children learn and become more confident in their geometry knowledge. Have a fun and safe rest of your summer!

Thursday, July 27th:

  • Eagleson:  We continued to explore symmetry.  We are learning how to draw a line of symmetry to help us decide if two shapes are symmetrical.  Students also folded shapes diagonally, vertically and horizontally to find lines of symmetry.  Mathematicians were excited to have their families take part in our learning about 2-D shapes!  Thank you for joining us.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we practiced playing all of our games to prepare for Spark Open House. We enjoyed having families play Lingo, Grupo, What Happened, Match It Up, One Loop, Two Loop, and Three Loop with us! Thank you for coming!
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we continued to review symmetry, tessellations, and 3-Dimensional shapes in order to prepare for Open House.  We were very excited to have families visit so we can teach you what we’ve learned!

Wednesday, July 26th:

  • Family Open House Tomorrow at 10:15 a.m.!
  • Eagleson: Today we received another letter from Imi and Zani.  Imi had disappeared and we needed to use mirrors to help find Zani.  We used mirrors to look at different shapes and pictures.  We held the mirrors in different positions and talked with our partner to explain what happened to the picture.  We shared a story called, Let’s Fly a Kite.  All of this was our introduction to symmetry.  I look forward to seeing families tomorrow (7/27) at 10:15 a.m. to join in our math learning and fun!
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we challenged ourselves to use the Carroll diagram in a different way. We also learned that congruent shapes are the same size and shape. We learned how to play a new game called Match It Up and look forward to playing this game, and others, tomorrow during our family open house day. We can’t wait to see you at 10:15 tomorrow to share our SPARK learning with you!
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we looked at the different viewpoints of our playground equipment and drew the different viewpoints to send to Dru and Teller.  We also reviewed activities we have done in the program to prepare for our Open House tomorrow!
  • Rubino: Today we reviewed the definition of congruent shapes and played a memory game called “Match It Up!” In this game students were expected to flip two matching congruent cards and defend their reasoning about why they were congruent. We completed as a class the Think Deeply question from Imi and Zani. Our new letter told us to find Imi using mirrors and pieces of Imi in our journals. We explored with mirrors and reflections in preparation for tomorrow’s learning about symmetry.  We can’t wait to see you at 10:15 tomorrow to share our SPARK learning with you!

Tuesday, July 25th:

  • Eagleson – Today we explored Carroll diagrams using negations.  For example, a row or column could be labelled not squares. Imi and Zani sent us an email and asked us to begin our exploration of congruence and symmetry.  We are discovering that shapes are congruent if they are the same shape and size. Even if shapes are flipped or rotated, they will still be congruent.  Geometry is great!
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we learned about two diagrams that can be used to sort shapes: the Tree diagram and the Carroll Diagram. Then, we sorted shapes according to their attributes.
  • Magnotta/Milton:  Today we finished our playground designs and sent them over to Dru and Teller for the SMILE Gallery.  We drew the different views of the playground equipment that we would like to see in the gallery playground.
  • Rubino: Today we completed two more Carroll diagrams with partners; we had great math discussions about attributes that matched both the column and the row. We learned a new game called “Yes or No”.  In this game pairs of students made a Carroll diagram using negations, then turned the labels over, and challenged another pair of students to guess the labels. We also began to learn about congruent shapes. Imi and Zani have challenged us to play a new game called “Match It Up” which we will play tomorrow!

Monday, July 24th:

  • Eagleson: Today we continued to compare and sort 2-D shapes based on their attributes.  We played games from Imi and Zani that used tree diagrams to help us sort.  Mathematicians were also introduced to Carroll diagrams as another way to classify and sort shapes.  Carroll diagrams arrange shapes into rows and columns and students have to use their observational skills and pattern recognition to find the missing shapes in the diagram.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we played the 3-Loop game and classified shapes into 3 attributes. Then, we explored the concepts of symmetry and congruency using the Let’s Fly a Kite book. We then used our shapes to draw lines of symmetry.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we learned how to build rectangular and triangular prisms using 3-Dimensional tangram shapes.  We continued to design our playground climbing equipment for the Shape Gallery.
  • Rubino: Today we completed Imi and Zani’s Think Deeply puzzle about loops. We got an email from Imi and Zani filled with many new classifying learning challenges! We loved climbing tree diagrams to hang shapes from branches with Ooboo (Imi and Zani’s monkey friend); we also began to group shapes into Carroll Diagrams in our journals.


Friday, July 21st:

  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we added on to our One Loop game from yesterday by playing the Two Loop Game. Students used a Venn Diagram to sort shapes based on two attributes, with shapes having both attributes in the middle and shapes with neither attribute being placed outside of both circles.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we worked to create a floor model of a playground for the SMILE Gallery for Dru and Teller.  We used the 3-Dimensional tangram blocks to imagine slides and other playground equipment that could be included in the playground design.
  • Rubino: Today we finished up our loop games to classify shapes into categories. We got really good at labeling loops and using attribute words to classify shapes. Have a wonderful weekend SPARK friends!

Thursday, July 20:

  • Eagleson: Student mathematicians learned about sorting and classifying.  They made observations based on properties, or attributes, of 2-D shapes.  First, we played the One Loop Game using our bodies.  Next, we played using 2-D shapes to see how shapes are the same and different based on their properties.  Students used their math vocabulary to tell the sorting rule.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we learned about the attributes of shapes and played the One Loop Game. Students chose a secret attribute and then sorted shapes according to that attribute. Their partner then had to guess what the secret attribute was.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we learned about 3-Dimensional tangram shapes.  We reviewed edges, faces, and vertex of these shapes.  We are getting ready to help Dru and Teller to design the playground at the SMILE Gallery!
  • Rubino: Our new task from Imi and Zani was to think about sorting and classifying groups. We played one loop and two loop games with our bodies. Then, we thought about grouping colored 2-D shapes into loops, as well as noticing the need for a middle group in our loops.

Wednesday, July 19:

  • Eagleson: We explored angles and learned that there are different names for angles based on the size of the angle.  We learned the terms: acute, right and obtuse angles.  Students used straws to make an instrument called a protractor.  They had fun using their protractors to measure angles around the room.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we used bendable straws to help us measure angles. Mathematicians enjoyed our scavenger hunt around the room finding acute, right, and obtuse angles. By popular demand, we finished the day by playing Lingo! Tomorrow we will continue looking at the different angles polygons have.
  • Magnotta/Milton:  Today we finished experimenting with the 3-Dimensional shapes and tested them in our bubble solution.  We also compared 2-Dimensional shapes to 3-Dimensional shapes to see the similarities and differences in their attributes.
  • Rubino: Today we began the introduction lesson to our chapter on angles. We learned that there are different names for angles related to their size. We created straw protractors and went on an angle hunt around the room.

Tuesday, July 18:

  • Eagleson: Today mathematicians did a written assessment to show us how much they have learned about 2-D shapes.  We also reviewed all of our math vocabulary and added a new word to the word wall.  The word is angle.  Students will continue to explore angles tomorrow.  Lots of great learning is happening at SPARK!
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we played “What Happened?” with an extra challenge. We challenged students to make a guess about what happened when two shapes were moved or removed from the original shape.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we learned the attributes of 3-Dimensional shapes.  We learned that when we talk about these shapes, we describe the number of edges, faces, and vertices.  We built these shapes using straws and pipe cleaners, and then used a bubble solution to help us see the different attributes of these shapes!
  • Rubino: Today answered a “Think Deeply” question in our math journals from Zani. We also took our Chapter 1 check-up assessment. We spent time after the assessment exploring and creating with pattern block shapes.

Monday, July 17:

  • Eagleson: Today we learned to play a game called, “What Happened?”  Students played in teams.  After seeing a shape, they had to guess what happened to the shape.  They had to figure out: did the other team take away one shape, move a shape, or do nothing to the shape?  Students had to talk with their teammates and use their math vocabulary to figure out what happened.  Mathematicians also wrote about the strategies they used to play the game.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we finished reading The Greedy Triangle and played Grupo with a twist to challenge us. We received another letter from Imi and Zani inviting us to play a game called “What Happened?” In this game, the guessing team builds a shape. Then, the spinning team either moves a piece, takes a piece away, or does nothing. The guessing team then has to figure out what happened to the original shape.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we finished creating our tessellations and recreated them in our journals to submit to Dru and Teller for the SMILE Gallery.  We reviewed 2-Dimensional shapes and created them out of straws and pipe cleaners.  We dipped them in bubbles to see how the bubbles cover the area.
  • Rubino: Today we received another letter from our Amazon bird friends, Imi and Zani. This letter challenged us to play a game called “What Happened?” In this game, one team recreates a Grupo shape, while another spins a spinner indicating what needs to happen to that shape (take one shape away, move a shape, or do nothing). The team that built the shape the answers the question “What Happened?” to the shape. This game became a quick favorite!


Friday, July 14:

  • Eagleson: Wow! What a great week of learning we’ve had.  We used the large shapes we made yesterday to play a game called Grupo.  Students are becoming good at using their math vocabulary to compare and describe attributes of shapes.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we learned how to play Grupo, a game that requires matching shape cards based on their attributes. Mathematicians also enjoyed reading the beginning of a story called The Greedy Triangle. We will finish reading the book on Monday. Have a great weekend, SPARK friends!
  • Magnotta/Milton:  Today we received another letter from Dru and Teller!  They asked us to work on creating wall murals for the Shape Gallery.  The designs we will be learning to make are called tessellations.  We also learned how to slide, flip, and turn shapes to make new designs.
  • Rubino: It has been a GREAT week of learning and discovery so far! Today we got a letter from Imi and Zani with the Grupo cards they created (overnight!) for us. We played Grupo in two teams; we worked together and had great discussions about shapes that match and those that don’t. Have a wonderful weekend, SPARK friends!

Thursday, July 13th:

  • Eagleson: Today we used the squares, rectangles, small triangles and large triangles that we made yesterday to create a larger shape.  Students had to follow Zani’s rules as they created their new shape. Mathematicians had to describe and name their new shape using our math vocabulary.  We also played a guessing game as we shared our new shapes with the group.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we learned about acute, right, and obtuse angles. We had fun exploring different angles by standing on jumbo shapes taped to the floor. We also combined some of the shapes we made yesterday to make new shapes and define their attributes.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we reviewed different polygons in order to help us create polygons with triangles.  Polygons are closed shapes with three or more sides.  We finished our last day of lines of symmetry for different polygons.
  • Rubino: Today we reviewed sides and vertices of various polygons. We made large shapes on the tile floor which allowed us to walk the sides and hop the vertices. We finished the day compiling as many shapes made of smaller shapes as we could; we will use these tomorrow to learn the rules of Grupo!

Wednesday, July 12th:

  • Eagleson: We are continuing our exploration of shapes.  Students created rectangles and triangles by folding and cutting paper squares.  We will use these to create other shapes.  As we work, we will identify the attributes of the shapes and identify similarities and differences among the shapes.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we helped Zani figure out how to win LINGO by thinking deeply about math strategies. We also learned what polygons are and created some of our own to be used in shape games tomorrow.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we continued to explore lines of symmetry with shapes.  We used triangles to create designs and used our mirrors to determine whether or not our designs had lines of symmetry.
  • Rubino: Today we continued our discovery of shapes with Imi and Zani! We made shapes from paper, then cut those shapes to make smaller shapes, and finally used the shapes we created to make Grupo cards for Zani. We identified the number of sides and vertices of these new shapes in our math journals.

Tuesday, July 11th:

  • *Highland Park School is air conditioned.  Your child may want a sweatshirt to keep in their backpack.
  • Eagleson – Today we explored polygons such as triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons and hexagons.  Working with partners and in groups, we discovered what was the same about these shapes. We also learned about our mathematician roles as speakers, listeners and writers.
  • Kantrow/Kolek: Today we learned how to play a new shape game called LINGO. We explored new Geometry vocabulary and learned about the kind of birds Imi and Zani are: macaws.
  • Magnotta/Milton: Today we reviewed what a line of symmetry is.  We learned how to use mirrors to find the line of symmetry of a shape.
  • Rubino- Today we discovered that polygons have special names. We developed rules for the number of sides and vertices of the following shapes: pentagons, quadrilaterals, triangles, and hexagons. Working in partner groups we played a game called Zani Lingo using our new shape knowledge!

Monday, July 10th:

  • Eagleson – Today we were excited to receive a special package from Imi and Zani, our bird friends from South America, who will help us explore Geometry.
  • Kantrow/Kolek-Today we received a special package from Imi and Zani, two birds from the Amazon Birds Consulting in South America. We learned about the roles speakers and listeners have as part of a mathematician community. We also discovered we are going to be learning about Geometry this summer!
  • Magnotta/Milton- Today we received a package from Dru and Teller, our Detective Duo, who will be helping us investigate Geometry this summer.
  • Rubino – Today we were excited to receive a special package from two Amazon birds Imi and Zani. Inside were many materials and a letter sent to help us explore and learn about Geometry!