Harrison Avenue and Ballard Elementary Schools

Scissors face

I write a lot of entries about school visits that I do, and I’m always a little afraid I’m going to run out of things to say. Yet somehow, in every school I seem to find something unique and surprising. This past week I visited Harrison Avenue and Ballard Elementary Schools in South Glens Falls. They were great visits: the kids were terrific, the teachers enthusiastic, and I felt really welcome both days. It was clear an awful lot of effort had gone into the preparation.

One thing that really struck me at Harrison Avenue were the cool projects the teachers came up with. One group did a variation on the scissors project, creating a wall full of cool drawings, each one of which contained a pair of scissors hidden somewhere inside. Another group created actual paperdolls for color photocopies they made of Backbeard on the cover. They were absolutely hillarious.

At Ballard we were in the cafeteria, which can often be a bit difficult. It’s tough for the kids to sit for a long time on the floor, and the acoustics can make it difficult to be heard. I have to say, though, that the time just flew by and these kids were fantastic. Check out the image below. I think they were trying to figure out one of the upside-down pictures, although I’m not entirely sure.

To give you an idea how engaged the kids at both schools were, take a look at this. As part of my talk on Absolutely not, I spoke a bit about optical illusions and gave this brief example. I doubt I spent more than thirty seconds on it.

After the presentation, the kids went back to their rooms and wrote in their journals. A little later, I got a quick tour of one of the classrooms and took a look at their entries. Here’s a sample:

I mean, holy cow, this kid even remembered the illusion and drew it from memory! I’m impressed.

See why I love my job? Thanks especially to Laurie Alden and all the teachers and staff for a great couple of days.