Home Connections: SMALLab at O’Hara

Curious about the SMALLab at O’Hara?  O’Hara teacher Katelyn Deet, who has been instrumental with the implementation, shares more information.  What have your students told you about SMALLab?

New S.T.E.A.M. Curriculum

Along with National Geographic, SMALLab Learning is part of Fox Chapel Area School District’s new Elementary S.T.E.A.M. Curriculum for the 2017-2018 school year. This curriculum involves four strands of science: life, physical, earth, and engineering.

Embodied Learning

SMALLab learning emphasizes embodied learning. Students are learning and reviewing science concepts while collaborating with their peers during hands-on activities!

The SMALLab is designed for students to be moving around and collaborating with others. In the SMALLab, a projector is mounted to the ceiling and shows an image of the presented scenario on the floor. Students then use wands that have sensors connected to twelve motion cameras mounted around the room on the ceiling to control the activity.

All elementary students have the opportunity to work in the SMALLab during science class throughout the year. Depending on the grade level and activity, the students will work together on scenarios that involve specific science concepts and different strategies.

Pages from SMALLab Article (002)

SMALLab Article (002)_Page_2


Home Connections: Books to Read for Black History Month

O’Hara Librarian Karen Fornari shares her picks to read at home for Black History Month (or throughout the year). All of these books are available in the O’Hara library!

Kindergarten and First Grade

  • Alice Coachman, Olympic High Jumper by Anna Malaspina
  • Dave the Potter Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill
  • Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
  • Tea cakes for Tosh by Kelly Starling Lyons (former Pittsburgher)

Second Grade and Third Grade:

  • Henry’s Freedom Box A True Story of the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine Ticktock
  • Banneker’s Clock by Shana Keller (O’Hara parent)
  • Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
  • Take a Picture of Me, James Vanderzee by Andrea J. Loney
  • Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
  • Between the lines : how Ernie Barnes went from the football field to the art gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace
  • Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom by Steven Sellers Lapham
  • Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford

Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade

  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper (Mrs. Fornari: I really like how sensitive issues are handled in this book)
  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis (Newbery Honor)
  • Bud, Not Buddy (Newbery Award)  by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods
  • A Spy Called James The True Story of James Lafayette Revolutionary War Double Agent by Anne Rockwell
  • Bad News for Outlaws The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy US Marshall by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (former Pittsburgher)
  • Fifty Cents and a Dream Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim

What books would you add to the list?  Share in the comments!