Letter from Claire - Feb 9

February 9, 2015


Dear Families,


Our School Leadership team met this week and finished planning for our curriculum workshop, which is based on questions you have about the curriculum.  The event is happening on Wednesday, February 10th @ 6:00 pm in the Auditorium.  We are so excited for our talented teachers facilitating workshops and Shael Suransky, President of Bank Street College, is opening the event. It is going to be very informative and our teachers have worked very hard preparing.  Please come!


Due to the construction on 92nd and the Trinity construction on 93rd Street, we have been informed that we will not be able to have outdoor events in the spring.   Due to safety reasons, we cannot close the street, or use our yards to hold events.  Until the school construction is finished, we are not going to hold any events outside, and that includes the Spring Fair.  I know it’s disappointing, but we have asked the PTA to come up with alternative spring community event, something fun and offsite that the entire school community can safely enjoy. Please reach out to our PTA presidents if you would like to get involved in the planning. 


Our Second Annual Arts Festival was a huge success!  Our robust arts program was showcased and spotlighted. I attended the dance performances where Elizabeth’s class performed the battle between the mice and toy soldiers, Madelene’s class danced a scene from firebirds story, Patti/Fara's class put on a happy face, Eunice's class danced 7 1/2 Cents from the play the Pajama Game and Kristin's class performed “There is no business like show business.”  Bernard’s art installation in lobby included "My Wacky Head Adventure" animal habitats and masks.  Mary Ann’s 3rd grade class told their folktale stories to kindergartners, Erin’s class shared their original plays and Megan’s glee classes sang with such beauty. 


Thank you to all families and students who came out to our Arts Evening Workshops: Drama warm up & directing, Line dancing, Storytelling and an Art class.  Big shout out to Ana, Bernard, Erin, Mary Ann and Megan for planning such an extraordinary event where we had two glorious days of arts celebrations!


From the Classroom

In Nicki’s 7th grade History publishing celebration, students published the formal position letters they wrote to our District 10 Representative, Jerry Nadler.  Students used the skills of inferring within text/cohesion, analyzing perspective, reading cross texts and synthesis to write these passionate and strong pieces. Some topics students wrote on were: hate crimes towards Sikh-Americans, assault weapons ban of 2015, raise the wage act, minority diabetes initiative act, American Anti-Torture Act, and runaway and homeless youth and trafficking prevention act.


In Erica's first grade class publishing celebration of their all about non fiction books, students taught me about horses, shells, insects, Dolphins, turtles, apples and so much more.  This week I also joined Lynn's kindergarten class sing. We sang Lean on Me and Waltzing Matilda. Students used their songbooks and followed with their fingers while Lynn played the piano. There was great harmony. 


Our 7th and 8th grade after school club, Mathcounts, competed at Stuyvesant high school on Saturday! This club is an additional way for our students who have a talent and passion for math to be challenged. Students competed alongside students from around the city completing problems and working together as a team. Big shout out to Jeff and our 7th and 8th grade mathematicians who attended.


Meghan from TC was on site this past week. All 3-5 teachers looked closely at reading learning progressions and how teachers can use them to support small reading strategy groups. 


3rd Grade: Teachers planned a small strategy group on character response, change, retelling/summary/synthesis and analyzing perspective to try in their classrooms using the narrative reading learning progressions. Megan led a mini lesson in the lab site. She modeled how to use the reading learning progressions as a gamers guide to reading. In a small strategy group, Megan modeled giving students the reading progression: inferring about characters and other story elements with the exemplar dots. She set up partnerships in a small group strategy group. Then teachers tried teaching a small group strategy group using a reading learning progression that they planned in the planning session. 


4th grade: Megan modeled and coached into small strategy main idea group work. She modeled how the reading learning progressions are used as a powerful tool for students, then teachers tried teaching a small group strategy group using a reading learning progression that they planned in the planning session. 


5th Grade: Students are reading many informational articles. Megan modeled a small group strategy group with student partner talk and more opportunities for students to talk and work together. Next step is to increase engagement by working with one or more small groups daily with partner work.