On December 13, 2018, Ms. Koatz, assistant principal, gave a workshop for upper-grade parents on the upcoming Math and ELA (English Language Arts) exams. You can see a copy of her PowerPoint presentation here: ELA Math Parent Workshop December 2018-28i66ee The sample questions in the presentation are taken from the 2017 New York State exams (https://bit.ly/2yyWVN6). To get a better idea of the structure of the tests and the difficulty of the questions, Ms. Koatz suggests looking at the released questions from previous years (https://www.engageny.org/3-8).
Third, fourth and fifth grade students will be taking these exams on:
April 2 & 3 for ELA
May 1 & 2 for Math
If you have questions about the exams, please feel free to reach out to Ms. Koatz (firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-263-9770, ext. 1240).
She will also be giving another workshop on the 2019 exams in February or March.
Building teacher capacity in designing rigorous tiered tasks to engage all students in learning, in order to develop their conceptual understanding in math, resulting in an increase in student progress.
This year, we reinstated our Book-of-the-Month practice. Throughout the school year, every class will be reading a common book, so that we can have conversations across classes and grades. The theme of our books for the 2018-2019 school year, will be aligned with one of our schoolwide goals—creating inclusive and equitable learning environments for all children. Our message is simple: EVERYONE is welcome.
September–Red: A Crayon’s Story–Our first book is Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall. Some of you are already familiar with the tale of Red, the crayon who, notwithstanding his name, is clearly blue. Though he tries to draw cherries and hearts and the other crayons cheer him on in well-meaning ways, everything he draws comes out blue. Infused with emotional smarts and empathy, this story celebrates diversity and difference in all its forms. Central Themes include: Being true to yourself; appreciating differences; the value of friendship
October–We’re All Wonders–This month’s book is We Are All Wonders by A.J Palacio, which introduces young readers to Auggie, a boy whose face doesn’t look ordinary, but he likes to do the same things that the other kids do. Just as in Palacio’s Award Winning Book Wonder (and the movie of the same name), the other kids don’t see past Auggie’s facial difference. They don’t invite him to play, and they point at him and call him names. This is when he is feeling especially lonely. But with the help of those who love him, Auggie realizes that he is a “Wonder” regardless of the physical differences among friends. Central Themes include: Physical Differences, Bullying, and Friendship
November–I am Human–Susan Verde is the author of other books such as I Am Yoga, I Am Peace and The Museum. I Am Human is the story of what it means to be a human being as both an individual and within our worldwide human community. This book recognizes that as humans we make mistakes, but that also means we have the ability to choose how we respond to our mistakes. The focus of this book is having empathy for others and ourselves. We can do this by learning from our mistakes and making a change. For example, we can be kind to one another, even when it is difficult. We can choose love and compassion and celebrate the “human-ness” in all of us. Central Themes include: Empathy, Self-Awareness, Self-Reliance and Being Unique
December–A Family is a Family is a Family–Our selection this month is the book A Family is a Family is a Family, by Sara O’Leary. This is a story that showcases the beautiful variety in family compositions. A Family is a Family is a Family recognizes that although families can be configured in many different ways, all families are composed of love. What a beautiful message, indeed. Central Themes include: Families are Different, Appreciating Diversity, Pride in One’s Heritage/Background
January–Rescue and Jessica–Based on a true story, Rescue thought he’d grow up to be a guide dog—it’s the family business, after all. But when he gets news that he’s better suited to being an assistance dog, he’s worried that he’s not up the task. Then he meets Jessica, a girl whose life is turning out differently than the way she imagined it, too. Now Jessica needs Rescue by her side to help her accomplish everyday tasks. And it turns out that Rescue can help Jessica see after all: a way forward, together, one step at a time. Central Themes include: Special Needs, Disabilities, Understanding, Inclusion, Acceptance, Collaboration, Determination, Friendship, Courage
Applying to kindergarten is an exciting first step in your child’s elementary school journey. New York City students apply to kindergarten in the year they turn five. Between late November 2018 and January 14, 2019, apply to kindergarten by submitting a kindergarten application. You can apply to up to 12 kindergarten programs. Go to the DOE web site (https://www.schools.nyc.gov/enrollment/enroll-grade-by-grade/kindergarten) for information.
We will be having TWO open houses for prospective kindergarten students—November 29th and December 18th, both at 9:15 a.m. We look forward to seeing you.
Congratulations to Ananya K., for being selected as one of the top 20 students in the nationwide Time for Kids Reporter Talent Search. Her article on mental health services in New York (AK TFK Submission-1r5o9ce) earned her the coveted spot, among hundreds of entries.
Her final submission (TIME FOR KIDS-wm5kie) was a moving profile of hometown hero Mary Six Rupert, who has helped people who cannot use their legs, find the joy in tap dancing with their hands.
Unfortunately, Ananya did not make it to the final 10 to become a TFK reporter for the year, but we think she proved beyond a doubt that she has impressive writing skills! Way to go, Ananya!