Lakewood Elementary Advanced Academics


We are so glad you're here. 

At Lakewood Elementary, students who demonstrate a need for advanced academics are served in a variety of ways. All students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade participate in the Investigations in STEM program, practicing critical and creative thinking skills tied to the core curriculum. In addition, K-2 students who are performing above grade level in reading or math receive small  group instruction with Ms. Miles. Through data collection and teacher observation, third through fifth graders who demonstrate a need for extension are served by their classroom teacher through differentiation and participate in small, pull-out reading and math groups with Ms. Riley.  We also recognize potential in Kindergarten through fifth grade students and provide enrichment opportunities throughout the year. 

Check out the posts below to see extensions and enrichment happening at Lakewood! 


Uncovering Roots

4th graders uncovered the meaning of commonly used Greek & Latin root words. First, students sorted words based on a shared letter pattern consisting of 3 or more letters. Then, using the definitions of each word in the group, students inferred the meaning of the root word sometimes debating what the best possible definition would be.


Fractions in the Kitchen

Fourth graders recently took to the kitchen to put their fraction skills to the test. In a scenario where they had to prepare to host a cooking show, students perfected a recipe for sprinkle chow, shopped for ingredients making sure they got the best deal, and answered viewer questions! After all that work, students made the recipe measuring out ingredients with limited measuring tools and enjoyed their hard-earned snack of sprinkle chow. Yum! 😋 This activity was an extension of 4th grade standards because students had to add and subtract mixed numbers with unlike denominators.

Second Grade School Clean Up!

As an introduction to our environmental engineering unit, for Quarter Four, second graders engaged in divergent thinking by brainstorming problems facing the earth. For example, sea turtles eating plastic bags because they look like jelly fish, pollution from cars, and littering. As a way to give students ownership over taking care of our earth we engaged in a school grounds clean up the week before Earth Day. After each of the classes cleaned the school we discussed things that we found and noticed that plastic straw wrappers, chip bags, straws, and small pieces of plastic were most commonly found. As a challenge to all the students we talked about how when we see trash we pick it up even if it isn't ours (except of course if it is sharp, then we ask for help!)

Scroll through the photos to the left to see the second graders hard at work cleaning Lakewood!

Same & Different: Prism Problem 

To deepen students' thinking about volume, 5th graders analyzed two rectangular prisms for similarities & differences relating to volume creating this list.  

Then, students created their own rectangular prisms that had to have 1-2 similarities with both prisms and 1-2 differences with both prisms. This is what they came up with. 

🎥 Poem Movies 🎬

3rd graders studied types of figurative language and applied their learning to a mentor poem, “Eating While Reading” by Gary Soto. After analyzing the poem, students set out to become poets themselves by writing a poem inspired by the mentor poem. Students had to use figurative language and draw connections between the joy they feel when doing their favorite activity to the joy of reading. As poets, students created imagery for their reader and then made a movie to go along with their poems. Watch the movies below and listen to the author read it!

Symphony of Color with The Phantom Tollbooth

In the classic novel, The Phantom Tollbooth, Chroma is the conductor of the color orchestra and his job is to conduct sunrise and sunset. Students tried their hand at being maestros like Chroma the Great and composed a symphony of color. While listening to the classical piece Farandole by Georges Bizet, students used color, line, and shading to represent the music they heard. Then, students explained their reasoning for some of the choices they made. These colorful symphonies do not disappoint. 

Check out VIDEO of the process of composing here and here

STEM through the Seasons with Kindergarten!

In Quarter three, kindergarteners explored the four seasons through STEM. Students started each season unit by learning about the weather and how it impacted people and animals. As a culminating project, students completed various STEM challenges to go along with each season. Check them out below!

After looking at the weather that happens in winter as well as making observations about snowflakes, students used visual-spatial thinking to create symmetrical snowflakes out of various materials. Check out the pictures to the left to see their beautiful creations. 😍 

For this unit, students learned about how the temperatures begin to change in spring, how many animals are born, and how plants are blooming. They also read about how seed dispersal works by looking at how animals and the wind interact with seeds! Then they created their own seeds using various materials. Students then tested their seeds against the "wind" (a fan) to see how far their seeds would spread. Through this experiment, students learned that the lighter the seed, the further it spread!

For this unit, we learned about how summer brings things like thunderstorms and tornadoes! Coincidentally, we had our state-wide tornado drill this week and were able to talk about the safest places to be in a tornado and why we stay away from windows! This led to our STEM project where students used ONLY index cards to create a strong tornado structure that could hold as many pencil boxes/books as possible! 

Odyssey of the Mind
Lakewood's newest after-school club!

This last Thursday 28 students in 3rd thru 5th started our weekly after-school club called Odyssey of the Mind. In this club, students will be working in teams of seven to solve a problem using creative and out-of-the-box thinking! They will then present their solution at the competition on March 4th! We are so grateful to our four coaches who stepped up to help lead the four teams! Thank you; Delaney, Arton, Bri, and Nesh!

Exploring Soil with First Grade

During Quarter three, students in First Grade learned about types of soil, but most importantly how much we need WORMS in our soil! As a way to understand how many different types of soil their are and how worms help soil students got to get their hands a little dirty by getting an up close look at clay, sand, hummus, and compost! The compost had LOTS of worms in it that students got to hold. Check out the book we read called "We Dig Worms" by Kevin McCloskey to see just how important worms are to humans and many animals!

Visual Spatial Brainteasers

Students learning about visual-spatial reasoning and how we utilize it in our lives everyday (e.g. packing a suitcase, putting together furniture, thinking about where an object is before going to get it, etc.). Then, we did several visual spatial challenges where students had to reason about shapes, their size, and position in relation to other shapes and mentally and physically manipulate to achieve a goal. 

Investigations in STEM with 2nd Grade

Check out the photos above to see some students in action! Plus you may spot some of the many volunteers that made this STEM project possible! THANK YOU so much for helping all of us!!

In quarter one second graders learned about severe weather and the impacts it has on people, animals, and our environment. Students first learned about different types (tornaodes, floods, hurricanes, hail, blizzards, drought, and lightning storms) and then researched more about them including their impact on our communities. Students then had to make a plan for building a prototype severe weather shelter that they would be testing against the severe weather of their choice.  For example, if they chose hurricane their shelter had to withstand wind (blow dryer), rain (spray bottle) and debris (pieces of legos). In order to see if they were successful they put tissue paper inside their shelter to represent people and if it stayed dry and safe, their shelter worked! 

Paper Clip Aliens

In this activity, students put on their anthropology hats to study a new form of life found on another planet. They observed the aliens in their natural habitats, made inferences about what they thought might be happening, and justified their thinking with evidence or reasoning. Students were asked to sketch the aliens and answer two questions: What are the aliens doing? and What makes you think that? The goal of this activity was for students to understand that sometimes there are no right answers and, in those cases, we have to justify our thinking. 

Investigations in STEM with Kindergarten

In quarter one Kindergartners learned about materials and their properties through our Three Little Tamales STEM challenge. After being read the book "The Three Little Tamales" by Eric Kimmel students learned about different properties of materials through exploration of various objects. We talked about size, weight, color, texture, flexibility, and shape. After exploring with items students then decided which out of three materials they would like to use to build their little tamale a home that would be able to stay standing against Señor Lobo (aka the blow dryer or fan). They could choose between pipe cleaners, straws, or popsicle sticks. Next they made a plan for building their house and finally they created and tested it! Check out the photos to the right to see some students in action! Finally, thank you to all the volunteers who made this STEM project possible!


Students used their visual spatial reasoning skills along with some creativity to come up with unique and interesting ideas that turned a squiggle into a creative drawing. Check out what they came up with below! 


A Pelican Who Was in an Accident

A Bat

An Elf's Shoe


Someone with a Mitten on Their Hand

The Feathered Swan

A Snake


Weird Bird

3 // Swan


A Ninja with a Throwing Star

A Bee

The Weird Snake Fish Head Thingy with Fangs & Scales

Eli the Elephant

Investigations in STEM with First Grade

In quarter one first graders learned all about simple machines and the concept of gravity among other forces in order to complete their STEM challenge: try to lift a "lion". In the pictures to the right you will see students engaged in simple machine stations and our final STEM project. They explored with catapults to understand levers, created paper airplanes to see a wedge in action, built inclined planes for cars (wheel and axel) to zoom down, and explored with pulleys. Finally, students applied what they learned about simple machines to plan and create their own ways to lift their "lions" (small magnets/toy lions) from the floor to the table! Check out the photos to the left to see some students in action! Lastly, thank you to all the volunteers who made this project possible!

Metaphorically Thinking...About Me

To start off the year, students spend time getting to know each other through games and "About Me" presentations. Instead of hearing the same old thing about every student, students stretched their thinking to create metaphors about who they are, their summer, and their brain. Check out their creative connections below.