Every Friday at Classroom on Carpenter Lane was Pizza Day. Children brought $1 per pizza slice they wanted. Each child in turn placed their money in the pizza box, and selected one plastic “slice” per dollar. They would put their piece into the pie labeled with their choice of topping. (In the photo below, the choices were plain and mushroom.) Then came the trades! Sometimes a pizza could be ordered with a different topping on each half. How many eighths (slices) would the class need to make a half pizza? It was a conversation in which children had a personal stake! “Pizza Day was a 4th grade arithmetic lesson that Dee was giving to 5 year olds!” according to “mathemagician” Bob Pollack, Dee’s husband.
Walking around downtown Mt. Airy putting up fliers for the Saturday May 18 screening of Empress of Everything: Messages from a Master Teacher, I stopped in to Fino’s Pizza . When I was the assistant teacher at Classroom on Carpenter Lane, one of my jobs was walking to Fino’s on Fridays to pick up the pizza for Pizza Day. The proprietor of Fino’s has been in this location for 33 years, and I saw him every Friday for two years, many years ago. He didn’t really remember me, but he was delighted to be reminded about his good neighbor Denise Dee Haines. He showed me the two pies on his wall, each with a slice made by a different child at Classroom on Carpenter Lane, in art class in the studio of Karen Singer.