I attended two great back-to-back events last night at Portage Middle School. The first event was a Math event for current Portage students. By using Legos as manipulatives, we found the perimeter, area, and volume of various Lego creations. Because I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader, I needed a little assistance. While I know the “math” side of those concepts, I found it interesting that my old school brain had difficulty with using the manipulatives. In reality, that is probably a more important concept to grasp. Thanks to Mr. Christner, the principal, and the dad sitting next to me, I had guidance and was able to complete each task. It certainly was a wonderful turn out with a packed cafeteria. The highlight for me was talking to the family of six that sat with me. One child attended Portage and the other 3 were at Lindley, the elementary school next door. They only had positive things to say about both schools. I felt fortunate that I was able to talk to them about our 5 high schools and all the unique programs each one offers. They were anxious to hear and explore when they take the next move in that direction.
The next activity was for 4th and 5th graders from the Portage feeder schools. Who wouldn’t want to go to Portage for middle school after this fabulous event? The families gathered in the gym while Mr. Christner talked about the expectations of a Portage Ram – RAMS – Respectful, Accountable, Motivated, Safe. Then Mrs. Sandoval explained the Percy Jackson Scavenger Hunt. We were given a list of places to find throughout the building. At each location was a hands-on activity including Percy Jackson trivia via Kahoot, Avoiding Light Beams (climbing through strings on the wall!), Shrinky Dinks of the characters and symbols in the book, a Photo Booth with Percy Jackson props, Archery, and Spear Throwing (all simulations, of course! What a great way to get kids throughout the entire building to learn how to maneuver through a middle school! The children had a great time moving from activity to activity. I only participated in the trivia, proving that watching the movie instead of reading the book does NOT work…probably the reason for my 3 out of 26 score.
All in all, I was super impressed with the staff and the school. They were happy to be there, interacted positively and enthusiastically with the families, and made Portage a welcoming and warm place to be!