VOLUME 11, ISSUE 4 L e vi t tow n Pu bli c Sc ho ol s DECEMBER 2014-JANUARY 2015 Gardiners Avenue School Newsletter 610 Gardiners Ave INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Levittown, NY 1 Dear Parents, General MusicInstrumental /Chorus 2 Physical Education 3 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! 3-4 Speech-Language 4 Art 5 Kindergarten 5-6 First Grade 6-7 Second Grade 7 Third Grade 8 Fourth Grade 8-9 Fifth Grade 9-10 Back Page News Gazette 10 11-13 516-520-8485 From Ms. Hendler’s Desk... Principal’s Message Reading 11756 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 activities! 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 same). 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! Instrumental/Fifth 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 are added according 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 generations. 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 read The 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 old. 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: Barrier 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. tern. 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 December has 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 Kindergarten—continued 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. tions. 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 year! 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. In 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. The 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.” Each 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 questions. 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 division). 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 daily. 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 all! This month there have been numerous creative writing opportunities. The student 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 division. 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 Gardiners gazette BACK PAGE NEWS 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 two. 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.
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