Gardiners Avenue School Newsletter

L e vi t tow n Pu bli c Sc ho ol s
Gardiners Avenue School Newsletter
610 Gardiners Ave
Levittown, NY
Dear Parents,
General MusicInstrumental /Chorus
Physical Education
Welcome to the winter chill!
We are keeping warm and dry at
Gardiners as we move past the holidays. Our students are working hard
at becoming better readers and writers. Children in Grades Two through
Five are learning to respond to
prompts in extended responses in
relation to the stories in the Journeys
program. They work in groups, recording text-based evidence on
graphic organizers, and create a wellstructured essay. We are so very
proud of the progress they are making. Our Grade Five classes are taking
trips this month to the science laboratory at McArthur High School. They
participate in the use of microscopes
and in a number of science experiments. This is a great experience for
our almost middle school students!
First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Back Page News
From Ms. Hendler’s Desk...
Principal’s Message
Our ELA and Math Academies will be beginning shortly. Letters
will be going out to parents next
week. With the State tests on the horizon, we would like to provide our children with an extra boost. If you receive
notification, please get it back to us
promptly so that we can plan accordingly.
If it’s January, it must be Winter Concerts at Gardiners Avenue!
Please join us on the evening of January
29th at Salk Middle School! I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Finally, No-Name Calling Week
is coming up during the week of January 19th. Watch out for some special
We look forward to the next
few months as a busy time for all.
Thank you for all you do to help us
educate your children. Your effort is
greatly appreciated!
With best regards,
Susan Hendler
Pa ge 2
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
General Music/Instrumental Music/Chorus—
Mr. E. Martinez, Mrs. L. Koski
Dr. Martinez: Vocal and
Instrumental Music—
This month in Dr. M’s
music class, students reviewed
musical notation by figuring out
the notes to either Jingle Bells or
Jingle Bell Rock then playing the
tune on our class glockenspiels!
We spoke about musical contour
(“skips and steps,” or how notes
ascend, descend, or stay the
We continued our exploration of layers as some classes
performed Mbira Jam, a threelayer song for metallophone/
xylophone. We also performed a
multi-layer work for drums and
the students had a blast fitting
their rhythms together on our
class djembes, tubanos, and
rhythm sticks!
December wouldn’t be
complete without some fun winter songs and carols! We had a
great time singing Winter Wonderland, The Twelve Days of Christmas, O Hanukkah, and other seasonal favorites! Happy holidays
to all!
Grade Chorus
Instrumental students continue to do great work! All brass,
woodwind, and percussionists
should be up to about page ten or
eleven in their Accent on Achievement method books. We have
been discussing tonguing and breath
support, and our advancing instrumentalists have been exploring
slurs. We welcomed several new
band members and our band has
nearly mastered our winter concert music!
Our 5th grade chorus members continue to make progress in
memorizing our three concert selections. We’ve worked hard on
our two- and three-part harmonies!
Please note that our winter
concert will take place at Salk Middle School on Thursday, January
29th, 2015.
Mrs. Koski: General Music
and Strings
In December Mrs. Koski’s
music classes worked on holiday
music, adding movement to show
the “form” of the music, or adding
instruments to keep the beat! The
kindergarten classes added hand
drums and a circle dance to My
Dreydl, and the first graders played
tambourines and did a circle dance
with Joyous Chanukah. Then we
played the jingle bells on the
steady beat with Rudolph and Jingle
Bells! Ms. Phelan’s and Ms. Lynch’s
second graders learned Hot
Chocolate, from the movie Polar
Express, and then had fun adding
some choreography ( movement)! Ms. Poulos’ fourth graders moved to show “ABA form”
by acting out the “soldier music”
and the “mice music” in the
March from The Nutcracker!
The 3rd & 4th Grade Chorus is making good progress in
memorizing their concert selections! We have learned the
“codas” (endings), and our twopart singing is getting stronger!
The beginner string players are learning to read and play
G, F sharp, and E, and their
bowing is improving nicely. The
orchestra members worked on
“sightreading” some new holiday
music, Ukrainian Bell Carol. They
had to apply what they had
learned through our concert
music, counting eighth notes,
dotted quarter notes, and long
rests. They had to stick to their
own independent parts, and use
F naturals and C naturals too.
Nice work reading new music!
Pa ge 3
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Physical Education—Ms. R. Casey, Ms. Paprocky
During the month of December, all grade levels have been
participating in a developmental
Gymnastics unit. Students are using the balance beam, climbing
ropes, low balance beam, vaulting
mat, rings, balance boards and
tumbling mats. Each week, additional gymnastics skills and stunts
to developmental level. This unit
is highly anticipated throughout
the year by all students!! They
love it!! Wishing everyone a
merry, happy, healthy and fit
holiday season!!!
Reading – Ms. K. Quinlan, Ms. M. Aramini, Ms. M. Sullivan, Ms. J. Montoro
Ms. B. Goldstein, Ms. M. Eagle, Ms. W. Briller
The month of December
quite naturally brings excitement
and anticipation for the preparation of the holidays. With all the
connections to our current lives,
the students were able, through
reading, to make pertinent connections in order to fully realize
just how fortunate they are. One
such obvious lesson was demonstrated by reading the book, The
Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco.
Third graders were introduced to the concept of immigration in The Keeping Quilt. This
story is a non- fiction picture
book that incorporates the
themes of family, culture and tra-
quilt is passed along to following
dition. The Keeping Quilt guides
the readers through four generations of Patricia Polacco’s family
beginning with her great grandmother, Anna. Anna immigrates
to America from Russia with her
family. Her mother makes a quilt
out of scrapes of clothing from
various family members, and this
The students then shared
their background knowledge of
stories they heard from their
families. They were delighted to
share pieces of their culture. No
matter what their background,
students recognized that there is
a commonality that binds us together, regardless of religion,
race, or creed. By using graphic
organizers, students learned that
immigrants came to this country
by boat, left many family members behind in the old country,
and were poor. In addition to
classroom writing, the bulletin
Pa ge 4
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Reading – continued
boards depict not only the essence of the story, but the students’ personal interpretation on
just how difficult it was for the
immigrants to make their transition to America.
The upper grades
non-fiction stories as well.
book Jose, Born to Dance is
ography by Susana Reich
a bithat
traces the life of a Mexican
named Jose Limon. Jose was
born in a Mexican village in 1908
and had a love for drawing, playing the piano and dancing. Jose
eventually makes his way to New
York City where he can make his
fantasy of dancing a reality. The
students concentrated on text
evidence and supporting details
as well as the rich vocabulary that
enhances the story. Focusing on
these strategies not only aids in
their comprehension, but sharpens their writing skills in order to
create interesting and engaging
writing pieces. By reading several
non-fiction books, the students
then had a library of stories to
compare and contrast. As a matter of fact, Jose, Born to Dance
and The Keeping Quilt share the
idea of peoples’ hopes and desires and the steps they took to
fulfill their dreams.
Reading is a journey of
enlightenment. With the New
Year around the corner, let’s
hope that peace abides throughout the world and that our children continue to be enlightened
by stories that will never grow
Speech-Language Therapy—Ms. S. Weller, Ms. J. Whitcomb
This month in speechlanguage therapy, students working on their articulation skills read
a winter story and practiced producing their targeted speech
sounds at the sentence level. Seasonal games and worksheets were
utilized to improve speech intelligibility and auditory discrimination
skills. Our language students focused on improving their vocabulary skills, auditory comprehension
skills, sentence structure, and
pragmatic language skills. Many of
our students worked on story
predictions, sentence building and
cause and effect relationships.
Activities included:
games, language worksheets, and
various winter activities that targeted grade-level vocabulary and
language processing skills. Language games such as: Pirate Talk,
Go for the Dough, Look Who’s
Listening and “Wh”Bingo were
also utilized to further enhance
receptive and expressive language skills.
Pa ge 5
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Art—Ms. K. Fuoco
Happy New Year! New
Year's Creativity & Fun from the
Art Room!!!!
dars. With printed copies of a
monthly page students can create
calendars that last all year long.
They could mark family birthdays
Grades K-5
and holidays. To make them extra
The holiday season during -special and long lasting, we lamithe school year is always fun in nate them!
the art room. Some of the most
festive and easy crafts that our
New Year’s Noisemakstudents make are Paper ers are a bright and festive art
Chains. Whether they are hung project for all classes just leaving
from the ceiling or stapled to a or returning from winter break.
bulletin board, these colorful This project provides practice
decorations catch the eye and lift with cutting and pasting small
the spirit.
pieces of paper in a random patThis is the season of giving, and some of your most treasured gifts are probably handmade
items from former students or
children of your own. Pop-Up
Holiday Cards are a special
craft for students to create and
give to their parent or loved ones.
Students give the New
Year a twist with Cool Calen-
Kindergarten—Ms. J. Margolis, Ms. M. Boneillo, Ms. J. Minogue,
Ms.V. Netti, Ms. J. Zayas
been a very festive and productive
time for our kindergarten children. In reading, the children
have focused on themes such as
weather, the seasons, and animals.
They were introduced to several
texts in the Journeys program including Jump into January, Snow,
and What Do You Do With a Tail
Like This? In conjunction with
these texts, the children covered
skills such as comparing and contrasting, visualization, and classifying and categorizing. In addition,
science and social studies lessons
regarding the seasons, clothing
that is worn during various times
of the year, and animal habitats
were interwoven with these
reading themes.
Pa ge 6
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
In math, the children
read and wrote numbers
through ten, were asked to order and compare numbers, and
were introduced to the concepts of greater than and less
than. They also used manipulatives and patterns to solve problems.
The children enjoyed
working on many crafts, including
dreidels, stockings, and reindeer
projects and had a wonderful
time when family members came
in to help them make and decorate their gingerbread houses. In
kindergarten, December really is
the most wonderful time of the
Finally, the students discussed the holidays that people
celebrate during the month of
December. A variety of literature was read to the students in
addition to an issue of their
Scholastic News magazine which
explained how lights are a part
of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Las Posadas celebra-
First Grade—Ms. P. Caputo, Ms. J. Donnelly, Ms. M. Bergersen,
Dr. M. Nakelski, Ms. C. Tripp
The month of the December was filled with many exciting activities. The students
began the month making preparation for the upcoming holidays. They created budgets to
purchase holiday gifts for family
members and had the chance to
shop at the school’s Holiday
Boutique. The next big event
was also a PTA sponsored activity which was a science assembly
for all to enjoy. This assembly
helped to engage the students
for their upcoming Journeys’
unit on ocean life. The first graders completed research reports
and short answer responses
based on assigned ocean animals.
This unit of study was very exciting for all the children and their
families. They were so motivated
that it was decided to extend the
unit into the New Year!
In addition, the students
read books and wrote responses
about the holidays that they cele-
brate in their homes. Students
compared holiday traditions from
their own personal families to
those of their classmates and children around the world. They
wrote poetry about winter, Hanukkah, Christmas, Santa Claus,
and Gingerbread Boys and Girls
along with art projects. The stu-
Pa ge 7
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
First Grade—continued
dents even had the opportunity to
On the first day of Deuse Venn Diagrams to compare cember our First Graders gave
and contrast holiday books and to us:
movies. It was a festive month
12 Children thinking
that culminated with joyful gather11 Children laughing
ings organized by the class par10 Problems solving
ents. Many thanks to all of our
9 Books opening
first grade families who contrib8 pencils sharpening
uted and helped to make all the
7 crayons coloring
class parties so enjoyable.
6 minds thinking
5 text evidence post its!
4 writers writing
3 buddies reading
2 friends sharing
And a classroom filled
with peace and joy!
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Second Grade—Ms. J. Schadt, Ms. T. Lynch, Ms. E. Cariddi,
Ms. S. Phelan, Ms. S. Bartlein
Our second grade students worked diligently through
the month of December.
reading the students focused on
identifying main idea and supporting details, understanding
character traits and distinguishing between fact and opinion.
These skills were reinforced and
strengthened through the following stories: Super Storms,
How Chipmunk Got His Stripes,
and Jellies: The Life of a Jellyfish.
In math, the children are
learning alternative strategies to
add and subtract. They are utilizing mental math, hundreds
charts and manipulative. The students worked on problem solving
and had to determine whether
the problem contained extraneous or missing information. They
continued to review basic addition and subtraction facts as well.
The students have been
introduced to the RACER strategy. They are using it to construct more thoughtful and thorough responses. This strategy
has been modified to meet the
needs of our students.
RACER strategy, or tool, was
utilized to help the children to
complete a reading response for,
How Chipmunk Got His Stripes.
The students will continue to
practice this strategy in the coming months.
In celebration of the holiday season, the children were
asked to reflect upon the many
natural gifts that surround them.
In doing this, second grade cre-
ated a bulletin board entitled
“One Thousand Gifts.”
child was asked to write about
three gifts they were grateful for.
The students were encouraged
to think about the “gifts” that are
right before their eyes, rather
than those gifts that are bought.
Our second graders impressed us
once again with their creations.
Some students found gifts in the
sky, sun and trees while others
found gifts in teachers, secretaries and Ms.Hendler! We are all
so very thankful for the gifts that
surround us!
Pa ge 8
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Third Grade—Ms. D. Dunn, Ms. T.Vining, Ms. D. Furlong,
Ms. N. Alt, Ms. P. Porr, Ms. M. Madigan
For the third graders of
Gardiners Avenue School, December was a month of many
exciting learning experiences.
In our Journeys Common
Core Reading program, students
explored the nonfiction genres of
biography and informational text.
Students read and learned about
the inventor Thomas Edison.
They also learned about how
technology is constantly being
used in sports to improve athletes’ performance and safety.
Students investigated the essential questions, “What important
traits must an inventor have?”
and “How do inventions help athletes?” Students used text-based
evidence to write constructed
and extended responses to these
Students learned the concept of division in Topics 7 and 8
in our EnVision Common Core
Math program. Students learned
how to split big groups of objects
into smaller groups using a fair
share model, as well as division
through repeated subtraction.
Students applied these skills to
real world problem solving using
the four operations (addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and
In science, students continue to be immersed in the
study of living things. This month
students learned about environments that surround living things.
Students also learned about various ecosystems including desert
ecosystems, grassland ecosystems, saltwater ecosystems,
freshwater ecosystems, and forest ecosystems including the
populations that live there. We
are focusing on the adaptations
animals use in order to survive in
the wild and how humans impact
animal habitats. The students
also had the wonderful experience of learning about animals
first hand. The P.T.A. sponsored
the assembly “Nature Nick”.
The students learned about and
met a variety of interesting and
exotic animals.
As the month of December comes to a close, our students enjoyed celebrating with
our class parents at our winter
parties. As you sip your hot
chocolate or nibble on a candy
cane, we hope you and your family enjoy the holidays and appreciate all of the work our third
graders have done this year. We
look forward to a busy and productive 2015.
Fourth Grade—Ms. B. Meltzer, Ms. A. Poulos, Ms. K. Ulmschneider,
Ms. J. O’Connell, Ms. C. Penna, Ms. D. Dunleavy
During the month of December, the fourth graders continued to apply their reading skills
and strategies in their guided reading groups. Focus skills include the
following: sequencing, making gen-
eralizations, author’s purpose,
and using context clues. The students have been reading a variety
of genres during class read-alouds
and shared reading experiences.
Critical thinking questions have
been introduced to the students
to broaden their exposure to a
higher level of understanding.
Students have explored
the multiplication of whole num-
Pa ge 9
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Fourth Grade—continued
bers and have learned several
strategies to solve these equations. They have estimated
products and used compatible
numbers to help them compute
multiplication problems accurately. Multi-step word problems continue to be explored
We are reading about
current issues, which appear in
Time for Kids articles and Storyworks magazine. Groups of Native Americans were compared
and contrasted and some classes
discussed European explorers.
In science, various topics
have been taught, which include
animal adaptations and life cycles. The PTA sponsored an
interactive assembly entitled
“Mad Science” which engaged
students in a variety of experiments. A good time was had by
This month there have
been numerous creative writing
council collected cards made by
our fourth grade students to
send to a child in need this holiday season. The students were
asked to brainstorm ideas about
gifts that come from the heart.
After utilizing the writing process, they published a writing
piece that included the gifts that
they would give to their family
and friends for the holidays.
The fourth grade team
wishes everyone a happy and
healthy holiday season!
Fifth Grade—Ms. A. Fermature, Ms. N. Corron, Mr. J. Centonze
In December, the Gardiners Avenue Student Council officers participated in meetings and
began planning and executing community service activities. Events
included collecting hats, scarves,
and gloves for the annual Giving
Tree as well as leading a school
wide effort to create holiday
cards for a child in need.
the Cradle of Aviation where
they viewed a scientific filmed
titled, The Unseen World and participated in a guided tour about
Long Island’s history of aviation.
The fifth grade students
continued their study of life science throughout the month of
December by deepening their
explorations of the plant and animal kingdoms. In addition, some
students previewed the scientific
concepts related to matter in
preparation for the next ESP Kit
(Powders and Crystals), which
will begin Winter 2015. Finally,
the fifth graders enjoyed a trip to
In literacy, the reading
comprehension skills and strategies, vocabulary, grammar, and
Pa ge 1 0
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Fifth Grade—continued
writing have been emphasized
through the use of the Journey’s
textbook, workbook, guided
reading books, and related writing assignments. Literal and inferential reading skills and strategies were practiced utilizing a
variety of text genres. Time for
Kids and Storyworks were also
analyzed to supplement and extend topics.
Writing assignments included Journey’s extended responses, creative writing pieces about the animal kingdom, persuasive essays and business letters. Some children con-
ducted research about companies in order to formulate the
business letters.
The mathematics curriculum included the on-going
study of multiplication/division of
decimals by estimating products/
quotients using rounding and
compatible numbers. Students
also applied mathematical concepts by writing and solving multi
-step word problems as well as
using visual models to deepen
their understanding of decimal
Back page news
Mad Scientist Visits Gardiners Avenue Elementary School
During the month of December, Gardiners Avenue got a visit from a “Mad Scientist.” He entertained the students with a unique hands-on experience. He encouraged them to discover the world
around them and to pursue careers in science.
Pa ge 1 1
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Gardiners gazette
Articles written by and for our students
Current Events
by Priya Dubey - Grade 5
A current news report that interests me is when an off-duty volunteer firefighter heard screams
from his next door neighbor’s house and run to help. This incident happened on December 16, 2014 at
10:16 pm, in Brentwood, New York. The victim was a lady in her bedroom. She was blocked by the fire
and was unable to escape. While she was yelling, a man named Marshall, who is a volunteer firefighter,
heard her screams and came outside to see what was going on. He saw smoke coming out of the house
and came to the rescue by going into the house (no gear on!). He tried to climb into the basement but
the smoke was unbearable. The Brentwood firefighters came to the scene to remove the lady from the
house while the other two residents of the house escaped on their own. The lady was treated for
smoke inhalation. Marshall was honored and the Brentwood firefighters were as well. This is the second
rescue by the Brentwood firefighter sin three weeks. They also rescued a resident from a burning home
on Carrol Street before Thanksgiving day.
In my opinion, I think that Marshall is a very caring, Brentwood volunteer firefighter. He was also
off-duty at that point. Marshall could have died without any gear on. Still, he ran into the house with
smoke and fire and tried to get the lady out of the house. Marshall stated that the smoke was too much
to endure. Therefore, in my opinion, I think that Marshall is a very caring and brave Brentwood volunteer firefighter.
Pa ge 1 2
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Gardiners gazette
The Harry Potter Report
by Jenna Giwner - Grade 3
I recently read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. It all started when we met
the Dursley family. Harry Potter lives with the Dursleys because a bad wizard named Voldemort killed
Harry’s parents. Voldemort tried to kill Harry but he couldn’t and so Harry lives with the Dursleys: his
aunt Petunia (his mother’s sister), his uncle Vernon and his cousin Dudley. The Dursleys are not nice to
Harry. They make him live in a cupboard under the stairs.
Just before Harry’s 11th birthday, Harry began to get letters but Uncle Vernon would not give the
letters to Harry. The more letters that Uncle Vernon threw away, the more letters arrived. Uncle
Vernon moved his family and Harry away from their house so they wouldn’t get any more letters. On
Harry’s 11th birthday, a giant named Hagrid found Harry and the Dursleys and gave Harry his letter. It
was an acceptance to Hogwarts, the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hagrid took Harry to the bank
where Harry was given a package.
Harry took the Hogwarts Express, a train, to get to Hogwarts. On the train he met Ron
Weasley, Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom. Once they got to Hogwarts, they had to get
sorted into their houses. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville all were sent to Gryffindor house. Harry
learned a lot at Hogwarts. He and his friends learned Potions, Herbology, Charms and Flying. Harry didn’t know he was going to be a Quidditch player but one day during a flying lesson, he learned that he was
great at flying on a broomstick. Quidditch is like soccer in the air.
Harry and his friends discovered that the package that
Hagrid got from Gringott’s Bank was the Sorcerer’s Stone. The
Sorcerer’s Stone is magic; it contains a magic liquid that will keep
the person who drinks it alive forever. The Sorcerer’s Stone was
hidden on the third floor hallway in Hogwarts. It was guarded by
a three-headed dog named Fluffy who belonged to Hagrid. It was
also guarded by magic spells. Harry, Ron and Hermione found out
that someone wanted to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone. They went in
the dungeon to get it. They went through a series of challenges in
order to get the stone. FINALLY, when Harry got in the next
room he saw Professor Quirrell, one of this teachers. Voldemort
was in Quirrell’s body. Quirrell tried to kill Harry but could not!
At the end of the story, Harry and his friends and the rest of the
students and teachers at Hogwarts went to the end of year feast.
At the feast, Professor Dumbledore said that Gryffindor won the
House Cup.
That is the story of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!!
Pa ge 1 3
VO L UM E 11 , IS S UE 4
Thomas Edison
by Gia Bergonzi - Grade 5
“Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure” were Thomas Edison’s words.
This quote means more than what it says. It taught Edison and may teach us a very valuable lesson or
The quote means that when a person feels satisfied you are really just failing. And vice-versa.
When a person comes to the point when they are satisfied, they discontinue what they are doing which
makes them a failure. When you are thoroughly satisfied, you don’t feel the need to go further, so nothing will push you to do more. On the other hand, a failure is a person who has a passion to do something. You want to do and learn more so it pushes you to do and learn more.
Thomas Edison’s life can relate to this quote. Thomas Edison didn’t succeed making the light bulb
so quickly. He persevered and persevered until he made the light bulb. He didn’t just fail the first 1,000
times. He found out how not to make the light bulb and found out how he could do better until he
made the first light bulb.