Advanced Academics in Action, 05/11/2020

Advanced Academics in Action


Dear Crossfield Families:

Your child(ren) will tell you that I frequently remind them to stretch their thinking and look at things in a different way. Well, finishing up third quarter and moving into fourth quarter during this unprecedented time has certainly made that phrase come to life not only for our students and families, but for our teachers and staff! Since March 16, the teachers have embraced new and different uses of technology, different pathways to instruction, and multiple ways to communicate with students and colleagues. Please know that Crossfield teachers are completely dedicated to providing meaningful learning opportunities for our students. All Crossfield Rockets are definitely stretching their thinking and looking at things in different ways.

We are at different places in our Distance Learning journey and this AAP newsletter is not meant to be “one more thing.” Rather, it might serve as a reference for you as you assist with your child’s online and at-home learning experience.

While you are on the academic periphery with your child, remember don’t steal the struggle. Allow your child to try to figure out things on his or her own. Instead, you might help your child develop a series of probing questions and come to an answer on his or own. Questioning is one of the nine Critical and Creative Thinking Skills that is explicitly taught in our classrooms. This a great opportunity for you to help with problem solving skills. It might be difficult at first but demonstrating that you will “think it through” together may be a great step toward independent, thoughtful learners.

The Advanced Academic Programs office has put together excellent resources for developing critical and creative thinking at home. You can access them HERE. If you have questions or would like to discuss any of these resources, please feel free to contact me (

I have created a Stretch Your Thinking Google Site for learning extension opportunities. This site is also accessible through the Crossfield Specialists' Distance Learning Site. Students must be logged in to their Google account for access.


Try this at home:

Decisions and Outcomes

Decisions and outcomes are important to practice. Students must develop an understanding that choosing from alternatives affects events which follow.

  • Playing strategy games can be a fun way to practice decisions and outcomes. Choosing to make a certain “play” will perhaps determine how many points will be earned, or how the next turn will be set.
  • Talk with your child about a character in a book he is reading. How did the decisions that the character made affect an outcome? Would your child change the decision the character made? Why?
  • Play a game of “Would You Rather,” and make sure everyone follows up with a valid reason for the decision. Here’s a start:
    • Would you rather have a flashlight or a candle?
    • Would your rather be a question or an answer?
    • Would you rather go to the beach or the mountains?
    • Would you rather be a cloud or the sun?
    • Would you rather learn in your own home or at school?

If you are interested in learning more about the Advanced Academic Programs, feel free to contact Crossfield’s Advanced Academic Resource Teacher, Melissa Graham ( or go to FCPS Advanced Academic Programs.