SAGA-UCW The first semester

Hello there!

We're glad you're here to join us for an up-close look at a day in the life of our team at the University of Chicago Charter School - Woodlawn (that's UCW for short).

Well, don't be shy! Keep scrolling and we'll show you around.

Our mornings all begin in separate corners of Chicago as we travel from far and wide to make it to room 317 by 7:55 a.m.

Meet our team!

From top left: Ms. Cartman (Dalesha), Ms. Houston (Liz), Mr. Geaman (Fil), Ms. O'Donnell (Eileen), Ms. Hottel (Kay), Ms. Bryant (Haley), Mr. Chestleigh (Bernard), Mr. Roberts (Surain), Ms. McKennie (Taryn), and Ms. Petrassi (Alana).

And our Site Director, Joey--the guy who always makes sure "everything is awesome!"

On the daily, we mostly get to hang around and watch as our awesome kids do their thing...

...and we don't mean to brag, but our kids are particularly awesome.

When we're not cheesin' for the camera, hourly schooling on Algebra 1 and the ways of the world takes place during individual sessions where tutors work with students mostly two at a time.

Who's being schooled, you ask? Well that, almost always, would be us tutors.

If you were to do the math (math puns always intended), the time we spend with each of our students adds up to five hours a week.

So we know our students pretty well. Definitely well enough to know that when they give us looks like this...'s either because we've just asked them to find the prime factorization of a four-digit number OR because they're practicing their game faces, readying themselves to take on another mathematical challenge.

And they've gotten quite good at conquering those challenges.


we wouldn't want to give you the impression that every single minute is picture perfect or that math is at the top of every student's priority list. The relationships we've built with our students have taken time.

And for the trickier days we each have our own ways of coping.

And if even coffee fails, we always have each other.

Most of us would probably tell you that even on the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, we still relish the time that we get to spend with our kiddos hanging out and doing math.

And we have a sneaking suspicion that our kids feel the same way.

Especially when our most difficult students show up one day and say something like:

"I skipped school all morning to play Call of Duty, but I made sure to be here on time for Math Lab." -Jakar (Ms. O'Donnell)

And there's not much more to it than that; keep scrolling to check out some more snapshots from our first semester.

All of us working hard dreaming up lessons during planning period.

Mr. C. heading up the Island of Polynomials during Around the World.

Some super star ladies rockin' some independent work. (And just in case you were curious, all four of them have an 80% or above in their algebra class. Kaila (on the left) may or may not have an A+)

A student tackles some tricky conceptual questions during an activity.

An example? "Verbally or visually explain a method for using mental math to multiply a one-digit number by a two-digit number."

Another one? "Explain either verbally or visually what it means for an equation to have a restriction."

We have a nice corner of the room saved to honor some awesome kids and SUPER STARS.

They missed us so much they stopped to chat while we got gas :')

UCW does the SAGA holiday party!

Ms. Bryant's rainbow ladders activity keeps students busy thinking and creating.

Yulia seeking growth both inside and outside of Math Lab.

Ms. O'Donnell feeling festive a few days before Fall Break.

Ms. Yuan and Ms. Cartman make sure no FOILing goes on at the adding and subtracting polynomials station.

Team Pretty N' Pink demonstrates some perfectly pink PEMDAS!

Mr. C. sits back while a student takes over tutorial.

A student shows off her clever way of circumventing the limitations of the school uniform.

Math Lab Store co-chairs Mr. Roberts and Ms. O'Donnell pose with their set-up on opening day.

And that's a wrap!

We're so glad you could join us! We love nothing more than to share with the world the many, many ways our kids grow and shine everyday.

So until next time, as Mr. C. might say: "Shout-out to the sun. Shout-out to the kids. Shout-out to the team. Shout-out to the day!"

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