Students Who Excel: In Pursuit of Academic Excellence (Alexei K.)


Students Who Excel

One of the few things Alexei K. thinks people don’t know about him is that he likes to play games like Geographic and MineCraft, which enable him to build items.

The fourth-grader sid enjoys the challenges in those games, as much as he enjoys the challenges he uncovers in math.

“I like to do math ~ I like really challenging myself to do new things,” Alexei said.

He’s proud that one of his friends ~ also a Student Who Excels ~ taught him a complicated math equation.

He talked about the Math City that he and fellow students created in Lewis’ AT class, by plotting and marking prime and composite numbers with either the letter ‘P’ or ‘U’ on a 100-number grid.  Students highlighted prime numbers in one color and then those that were divisible by two, three and so forth in different colors.

Alexei said he’s also an avid reader who likes fantasy books, such as “Inheritance” series of books, particularly “Eragon,” Otis” and “Brisingr;” Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series; and Gordon Korman’s “Underworld” series.

“After class, I usually try to read an hour a day, three to four hours on the weekend, five if I find the time,” Alexei said.

One of the best pieces of advice from this straight-A student is to focus and “always listen” in class. “Your face says [you’re listening]; your eyes don’t.”

At school, he plays the cello with the orchestra and is a member of the Student Council; he also takes Tae Kwon Do and enjoys playing tennis and swimming.

He lives with his parents, a biochemistry professor and a biochemistry scientist, both at SIU.

Alexei’s Tips for Achieving Academic Excellence

  • Study for tests.
  • Listen and participate in class, which can help your memory of information.
  • If you don’t know something, ask your teacher.  Go home and look it up and start practicing it.
  • Use programs, like Prodigy, a math game that can make the topic fun for you.