One-on-All: Setting the Tone in the First Five Minutes
At Rochester Prep Elementary, Fridays mean a morning meeting. Principal Stacey Shells leads the student body in a 30-minute assembly centered on the school's core values: integrity, courage, and determination. Yet this is no mere “pep rally.” Instead, for the bulk of the half-hour students are given an intense—and joyful—intellectual workout. Stacey starts with arithmetic.
“Ms. Shells went to the store with some coins. She had three quarters,” … the students gasp, “five dimes,” … a dramatic pause, … “and four pennies. What was the total that Ms. Shells had?”
After hesitating a beat, Stacey calls on Tariq, a first grader:
“Tariq, show us all how strong you are!” ...