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Calculating and Counting with Miles: A Day in the Life of an SA 4th Grader

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SA Upper West scholar Miles loves to think about the world in terms of numbers and mathematical relationships. His conversation is often peppered with potential calculations that pop into his mind: How many words per minute can a speed reader achieve? What percentage of his friends participate in sports electives? Luckily, his teachers celebrate this obsession with science and math — they’re certain he’s destined to be a future scientist.

But Miles has also cultivated a wide range of interests throughout his time at Success Academy — he has been here since kindergarten — participating in theater tech and art, as well as volleyball. Full of energy and precocious observations about the world that he does not hesitate to share, Miles clearly has confidence. This year he heads to middle school more than ready for the new adventure! Before he waved goodbye to his elementary years, we had a chance to join Miles in his daily adventures in calculating, reading, and playing. You can follow along below:


miles1My dad and I take a city bus to school every day. It only takes about 30 seconds each block — so 15 minutes total to get to school!

I like shaking hands with my principal to show her that I’m confident. I also like coming to school because I learn something new each day. The world is infinite, so there’s a lot to learn!


miles2I’m part of the Class of 2031. That’s the year I’ll graduate from college. I plan to be either an astronomer or a computer scientist.

In the morning we do a few warm-up math problems to remind ourselves about mixed numbers and improper fractions. I like the challenge — I’m really good at math!


miles3Since we’re fourth graders, our work is getting more difficult. We read about three times the amount of texts as in third grade. We have to find similarities between the problems Henry Ford and Thomas Edison faced with their inventions. I like getting a chance to revise my work and think about how I can make it better. 


miles4Shared text is when we read together to learn about a new topic. Today we are reading about cars and pollution. Reading together helps kids who are a little less strong at reading get stronger, and kids who are great readers get even better. It’s all about setting goals. 


miles5I like to talk a lot. My mom says it’s because I’m a big thinker, so I have a lot of ideas to share. Luckily I have friends who also like to listen.  


miles6I’m happy when my teacher calls on me to share my mathematical strategies. I like number stories, but I prefer Math Olympiad because it’s harder. 

Kids who are in Math Olympiad are really the top of the crop. You have to answer five really complex questions. My teacher, who majored in math, runs Math Olympiad. Each year we compete to be number one. Last year that was me! 


miles7Today we are learning all about line plots. Our teacher really made us think about the different parts of a line plot. What’s on the horizontal axis?  Why is it important to have a title? It’s pretty interesting to see the different ways that you can show information.

11:50am –12:15pm

miles8My school has a lot of books for us to choose from, but I still like to go to the library near my house and see what I can find. Right now I’m reading a spy series that the librarian recommended to me.


miles9There are usually interesting things in the science classroom to investigate. My favorite unit was both interesting and delicious. We learned about the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies. We had to eat the frosting to show the different phases. That was a great class! 


miles10I usually play the same thing at recess each day. We have these giant Imagination Playground foam blocks that you can create shields and build forts with — and I always strategize offense and defense with my friends.  


miles11We have a lot of choices as fourth-graders. We get to choose two electives! Today my sports elective was also awesome — we played a game where the point is to knock the other team’s pins down. I knocked down two pins! 


miles12We read a lot at school because it’s also a great way to learn. I usually try to pair up with a friend to share interesting books — it’s even more fun when you are learning together.


miles14Today my mom is picking me up. I get pretty excited to go home and talk about my day, but I have to remind myself to pack up my bag carefully so I don’t forget any homework!

Written by Success Academy August 5, 2019

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