North Arlington High School January, 2009 Highlights I. Curriculum and Instruction and Implementation of Objectives: English Department Mrs. Albuquerque’s students participated in “No Name Calling” week by engaging in a lesson adapted and implemented from the website: http://partnersagainsthate.org . Juniors and seniors had an opportunity to work cooperatively for evaluating the repercussions of stereotypical labels and discuss plausible forms of intervening when name-calling takes place in any setting. Mrs. Albuquerque’s English IV Regular and Honor students viewed the Italian film Life is Beautiful with subtitles in order to fulfill the foreign films‟ requirement of the curriculum. Students discussed how the events of the holocaust were portrayed in the film and the producer‟s decision to juxtapose them with the primary theme of celebrating life. Mrs. Albuquerque’s English III students viewed the 1991 production of the film Robin Hood and compared/contrasted the similarities and differences existent between the film and the ballad. This served as a culminating activity for the unit on medieval literature. Students were capable of viewing some aspects of medieval life, society, and values. Some of the most notable factors were the significant differences present among all social classes. Miss Katierose Augustine’s English I: Honors students finished the short story unit. Students sketched an additional daydream style comic strip based on “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Students applied their knowledge of the elements of a short story to create an original short story. Miss Augustine’s English I and English II students finished the poetry unit. The students created an array of original poems and compiled them in a poetry book. One example was the Headline Poem in which students cut out words and/or phrases from magazines and newspapers to construct a poem made of headlines. Miss Augustine’s HSPA Review students finished the HSPA pre-test and are now identifying the differences between different types of writing such as Persuasive, Entertaining, Informative, Instructive, and Giving Directions. They also utilized Study Island Computer Lab every Monday. In addition, all of Miss Augustine’s students participated in “No Name Calling Week” by acting out plays, creating song lyrics, writing dear diary entries and sketching comic strips. These activities taught the students about the hardships of bullying while promoting positive ways to treat fellow students. Students continue to work on their vocabulary building, grammar, and reading skills in Jeannine Burns’ SAT Preview Class. Students use the SAT Online course to practice test taking skills as well as classroom activities which use learned concepts in context. Students from Jeannine Burns’ second cycle of Visual and Performing Arts are about to perform their final projects, dialogues from famous plays such as Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, as well as, many others. They have used a rubric to assess each other‟s performances and provide formative peer assessments. Students have also viewed and listened to examples of professional actors performing, using the SmartBoard with internet resources. In English 3 Honors students have been reading the poetry of the Metaphysical and Puritan writers of the 17th and 18th century. Jeannine Burns uses the SmartBoard to model how to close read and analyze the poems. Students then work in small groups to use the same skills on other poems and share their work with the class. In preparation for the Midterm Exam Jeannine Burns created a Jeopardy style game that can be displayed on the SmartBoard and it is posted on the internet so that after the game students can use it to study at home. In Propaganda of Genocide and Oppression, Jeannine Burns has been guiding the students through a detailed discussion of The Holocaust. Using the SmartBoard to display historical maps, the class has discovered how geography played a large role in World War II. In recognition of No Name Calling Week, students have paid special attention to the propaganda methods used by the Nazis to vilify Jews, Gypsies, and Poles during Hitler‟s rise to power. The class has also taken a close look at how the Einsatzgruppen functioned and the psychology of the perpetrators, as well as bystanders, as Germany progressed along the continuum of destruction. Ms. Ingannamorte’s Creative Writing class has been completing their memoirs. Students enjoyed sharing childhood pictures and memories with each other. Ms. Ingannamorte’s English III classes enjoyed reading the adventure of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The class had very interesting discussions about chivalry and compared the roles of men and women during the Middle Ages and now. The period 9 English class was visited by Kaitlin Dembowski, sister of present student Alex Dembowski. Kaitlin is a proud member of the United States Marine Corp and is waiting to deploy to Iraq. She shared her experiences and expectations with the class. The class had many interesting questions to which some surprising answers were given. She stressed team work and perseverance were a must. They made comparisons between today‟s military and the Knights of the Round Table. Mrs. Kaufman’s Strategies for Improving Reading used the on-line Study Island to prepare for the state test given in March. Students were provided with study questions, study sheets and opportunities to study with a partner prior to their exams. Students were asked to identify safe and empowering ways to cope with and respond to name-calling and bullying in their lives. Mrs. Kaufman’s SRA students read articles in The Bergen Record that related to the events prior to the inauguration. Students watched the inauguration from television screens inside their classroom and took notes. Mrs. Kaufman’s Pass students worked on poetry and math projects. Mrs. Nichols’ Journalism students have been working on articles for the February issue of the Viking Saga. Students have been learning more about headlines and are reading newspapers to see exactly how the headline identifies the story. Students are looking forward to applying their new skills in the next issue of the Viking Saga. Mrs. Nichols’ English II students have completed the poetry unit. They have written and presented their original poetry to the class implementing the poetic devices they have learned about. Mrs. Nichols’ English III Honors students have worked diligently on a “No Name Calling Week” project. They each chose someone from history that they felt would be a spokesperson to promote the week. Students then wrote a public service message that they felt the person they chose would have written. Holly Singler’s AP English class is continuing to write a class novel. There have been some spirited discussions on the plot; however, the novel does seem to have been written by one author rather than eight different authors. The English AP and English IV Honors classes read After the Fire by Robin Gaby Fisher, a book written about the fire at the freshmen dorm at Seton Hall in 2000. The author is going to come to school on either January 30th or February 2nd to speak with the students about the writing process. The students are also going to the North Arlington Public Library on January 29th, at night, to meet the two young men about whom the book is based. The English IV classes have finished reading, discussing, and writing about Richard Wright‟s Native Son in preparation for Black History Month. Ms. Turner’s classes have been working on poetry as well as studying novels outside of class. They have been analyzing poems as well as writing their own. English I classes also participated in a project called “Poetry Survivor.” The classes were divided into groups and each group chose their own poet. Each day was given a particular theme and groups were responsible for presenting a poem by their chosen poet following that theme. Each day one group was voted off Poetry Island and a prize was given to the winner at the end of the week. English II and II Honors classes also completed a poetry project. Students in these classes had the option of either choosing a theme and analyzing a set of poems based on that theme, or writing their own poems on topics of their choosing. All English classes also read and discussed several articles involving bullying in honor of “No Name Calling Week” in the last week of January. Social Studies Department Ms. Ingannamorte’s AP European History class enjoyed meeting Mr. Mohamed el Filali. They found his presentation to be informative and very candid. The students were able to ask questions and were impressed how clear and relative Mr. Filali‟s answers were. He made a real connection with the students. All classes will be addressing the issue of bullying this month. Students will work in groups to identify types of bullying taking place in schools and on the internet, along with solutions and ways to address and stop these actions. Students will then make posters highlighting solutions. All classes have been diligently preparing for midterm exams. Ms. Jimenez’s USII classes observed No-Name Calling Week by engaging in role-playing activities that explore the effects of using unkind language toward others. A thoughtful class discussion followed on how what we say can affect our peers and our society. Ms. Jimenez’s PEG classes viewed a film clip that also presented the effects of name calling. Students were asked to reflect on how they would feel in the shoes of the people they saw on screen and what they can do to make sure they do not fall into the trap of unkind behavior. Mrs. Kusher’s U.S. History I students read a primary source document about the experiences of George Washington and his soldiers at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War. Students were surprised by the hardships endured by Washington and his troops. They couldn‟t believe that the only food the soldiers had was “fire cake.” Fire cake was a flour and water mixture baked over the fire. In Mrs. Kusher’s US History I Honors classes, students learned about the Boston Massacre. Students then completed a project that required them to write a story about the event as it would have been told in a colonial newspaper and a British newspaper. Students had to include a headline for each story and a hand- drawn picture. Students in Mrs. Kusher’s Economics class created and performed holiday economics songs. The lyrics were based on concepts that they learned in class and were sung to familiar holiday tunes. Students did an outstanding job, had fun, and reviewed many concepts learned thus far this year. Ms. O’Brien’s A.P. U.S. History class and U.S. History II classes analyzed primary source documents from the World War I era. The Zimmermann Note was one of the factors that led to American involvement in WWI and the students were able to see the proposition that Germany made to Mexico. In addition, Ms. O’Brien’s A.P. students analyzed a political cartoon from the Prohibition era and worked on writing responses to document based questions. These document based questions will appear on the Advanced Placement exam in May. Ms. O’Brien’s Sociology classes continued using total physical response. The students created skits to explain the concept of deviance. All of Ms. O’Brien’s classes used paired learning when reviewing for their midterm exams. Ms. Smith’s US I class read an excerpt from the diary of a soldier in the Continental Army training at Valley Forge under the command of George Washington. Based on the soldier‟s accounts, students created illustrations of a soldier‟s life at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778. After presenting their illustrations to the class, students compared their visions of Valley Forge with actual pictures of the camp site. Ms. Smith’s Sociology students wrote skits that illustrated deviant behavior. Students worked in groups to act out the skits in front of their classmates. Discussions on role playing, deviance and the positive/negative consequences of deviance ensued. Ms. Smith’s US II Honors students watched the A&E Biography on Theodore Roosevelt and wrote an essay on whether they would have supported Theodore Roosevelt as president if they were alive during his time in office. Ms. Smith’s US II students investigated the impact of yellow journalism during the late 19th century by analyzing Spanish American War headlines and political cartoons from the New York World and New York Journal. Students either wrote an article or created an illustration that might have been found on the front cover of a yellow journalist‟s newspaper during the time of the Spanish American War. World Languages Department Mrs. de Diego’s Spanish classes have been working on the past tense in Spanish. They have also discussed the Christmas celebrations and the Three Kings Day in the different Spanish-speaking countries. The students had the opportunity to bring in the special cake that is traditional to have for the Three Kings Day morning, which is on January 6th. A few students in each class brought a cake for their classmates to enjoy and to allow the class to experience this tradition first hand. To create awareness during No Name Calling week, Mrs. McNerney’s Spanish classes reviewed Spanish vocabulary, often used loosely, to address peers and other people. These are words that may be hurtful and have negative connotations when used insensitively or out of context. Spanish I students wrote encouraging notes to a classmate they may not have a close relationship with, acknowledging something positive, a special talent or ability that other ways may not be recognized due to lack of communication. To that end, they used the specific vocabulary learned in class, along with the grammar and other vocabulary previously mastered. Mrs. McNerney’s Spanish I Honors students discovered the power of words to build self-esteem, by role playing in a similar manner, all in the target language. Jean McKeown’s French I students will be studying adjectives this week. The emphasis will be kindness and opposites. Il n‟est pas égoïste. Il est généreux. (He isn‟t selfish. He is generous.) It will be part of a previous project, the family tree. Students will increase their vocabulary while describing their family members, real or imaginary. Mrs. Murad’s Spanish I students have been working on foods. Mrs. Murad gave the students supermarket circulars and the students brought in pictures of foods also. The students made a collage using the photos of the foods and they labeled the foods in Spanish. Mrs. Murad “gave” the students $100.00 to spend in the supermarket to “buy” foods. The students had to tell the class what they bought and how much the items cost in Spanish. Mrs. Murad’s Spanish III Honors students read an excerpt of the Spanish classic, DonQuijote de la Mancha. To review the sequence of events; the students retold the story in Spanish. The first student began retelling the story, a second student continued the sequence by stating what happened next, and the rest of the students followed and continued retelling the story to its end. Ms. Sanabria’s Spanish II Honors and Spanish II students participated in a spelling bee game that was both educational and exciting for the students. The students had to spell learned vocabulary in the target language using the Spanish alphabet. The sense of competition proved to be an added motivation to learn. This month the students will learn and practice “no name calling” in the target language. Mathematics ● Mr. Nazi’s AP Calculus students realized that there are two main branches of calculus: Differential Calculus and Integral Calculus. They successfully completed part I: Differential Calculus, which determines the rate of change of a quantity. Students now are ready to explore part II Integral Calculus which finds the quantity where the rate of change is known. ● Mr. Nazi’s Statistics computed the odds of winning the lottery. They designed different lottery experiments and decided how many correct numbers you must choose in order to win. They performed all necessary computations and compared the results from different groups. ● Mr. Nazi’s Algebra II-A students are working with graphing non linear functions. They are comparing the graphs of linear and non linear functions and studding the effect of the leading term on the shape of the curve. ● Mr. Nazi’s HSPA class is heavily involved with problems related to probability and its applications. They are practicing challenging HSPA sample problems related to these topics. Mrs. Maresca’s Precalculus classes applied their knowledge of right triangle trigonometry to solving real-world problems, such as finding the heights of tall buildings by using the angle of elevation or depression. Mrs. Maresca’s Algebra 2 classes were introduced to the “completing the square” method of solving quadratic equations by using algebra tiles on the overhead projector. The students found various configurations which demonstrated the concept. Mrs. Maresca’s SAT Preview class has been focusing on the areas of algebra and functions as well as data analysis. They continue to use the SAT Online Course program to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Mr. Capriola’s Geometry Basic Classes completed an activity that involved real life identification of geometric figures. Students had to find examples of triangular structures in the real world. Students were then asked if they could identify medians, altitudes, and perpendicular bisectors within the triangular structures. Students were then asked to explain the architectural importance of these segments. This activity helped give students a better understanding of the real life applications of triangular segments. Mr. Capriola’s Algebra I Classes completed a real-world project involving functions. Students were given two sets of real-world data, student enrollment and number of students per computer, and asked to create tables and graphs based on that data. The students were then asked to make predictions based on their graphs and explain the methods used to make these predictions. This project helped give students a better understanding of how linear functions relate to everyday life. Miss Fash’s Pre Algebra students worked at completing the 4th Benchmark and have completed their mid-term exam review in preparation for their exams. Miss Fash’s Algebra II-A students worked at completing the 4th Benchmark and have completed their mid-term exam review in preparation for their exams. Miss Fash’s Algebra II-B classes worked at completing the 4th Benchmark and have completed their mid-term exam review in preparation for their exams. Miss Fash’s SRA students received their results for the October administration of the HSPA. She is proud to announce that 85% of the seniors in the SRA Math class passed the test. Only four students out of twenty six remain in the course. These students will complete the SRA process to be approved for graduation. ● Mr. Dembowski’s Geometry and Geometry honors classes completed their projects for the second marking period. Each classmate created a story that would interest them or related to subject matter from another class. They then incorporated triangle congruency problems into the story that can be solved on a map created by the students. The project demonstrated their knowledge of using congruent triangles, geometry tools such as protractors, and units of measure. Students also presented their projects for the class to observe and try to solve during the class. ● Mr. Dembowski’s Algebra 1B classes have completed their projects for the second marking period. The project used the material from Chapter 7, Systems of Equations, to compare prices of two competitive companies. Students needed to research two companies and create an equation to represent their payment plans. Then, the plans were graphed to show a point of intersection and how the plans differ over time. All students also had to use the elimination and substitution method to compare the data collected. The project was summed up with a two page essay discussing the methods and their findings. All students presented their projects to inform the classes of their discoveries. ● Mr. Dembowski’s HSPA Review class is working on cluster IV probability. To aid the students working on probability, as a class, the students used dice and cards to learn material. Students were given points to wager on the probably of a certain card being pulled. First they needed to solve the probability, and then the student drew a card. Through the lesson, students learned probability as well as probability without replacement. ● Ms. Meichenbaum’s Algebra I students recently completed a unit about graphing relations and functions. Students learned the different forms of a linear equation and were comfortable enough with the material to switch from one form to another. ● Ms. Meichenbaum’s HSPA students completed their note-taking of the entire HSPA review book they have been working with since September. Now the students will be focusing on the exams as a whole and the sub-topics they are not yet understanding. HSPA students will also continue to use the Study Island program to increase their practice with multiple choice questions. ● Students in Ms. Meichenbaum’s Math Technology classes completed a unit on central measures of tendency. Students readily prepared for their midterms through a review packet that was assigned as homework, and reviewed in class. ● Students in Ms. Meichenbaum’s Algebra II Honors class quickly and easily learned the concept of synthetic division, through the application of the process as an alternative to long polynomial division. ● Mr. Zukatus’s Algebra I and Algebra I-A Mr. Zukatus’ Algebra I classes worked with graphing linear equations, functions, and arithmetic sequences. Students struggled at first with graphing linear equations, but soon became accustomed the equation into y-intercept form and then plugging in points. From there, functions came quite easily to the classes. Students worked to see if mappings, ordered pairs, tables, or graphs were functions, and learned how to tell for each type if it will be a function or not. Arithmetic sequences came easily to the students, and they had fun figuring out certain numbers within each sequence. ● Mr. Zukatus’s Algebra 1A classes worked along with solving equations for given variables as well as solving weighted average problems. Students took a liking to solving for a given variable, even though they were hesitant at first on how to solve when there was more than a single variable. Students struggled with weighted averages, but once they realized the formulas to solve them, they were able to work through without issue. ● Mr. Zukatus’s Geometry class worked along with mid-segments in triangles as well as bisectors in triangles. Students learned how to construct a mid-segment, as well as find the length of a mid-segment. Students also worked along with perpendicular bisectors, medians, and altitudes to construct circumcenters, incenters, centroids, and orthocenters of triangles. Mrs. Maresca’s Algebra 2 classes completed several units on solving quadratic equations. These methods included factoring, completing the square, and the quadratic formula. Mr. Dembowski’s students are actively participating in class as well as regularly attending pass period for extra help. Pass period has also been used to work on projects and ask any questions that occur while completing the project. Mr. Zukatus’ Algebra-I and Algebra-IA classes have completed a project involving ratios and proportions dealing with cooking. Students took recipes and converted them to feed a certain number of people that they were assigned. Students were enthusiastic about the project and filled them with many details and pictures to go along with the mathematics portion of the project. Mr. Zukatus’ Geometry class has completed a project involving congruent triangles. Students used stories involving a pirate map to determine if they could find buried treasure. They then made their own stories involving congruent triangles, and made their own maps to go along with their stories. Business Education Mrs. Tomko’s and Mr. Kenny’s Computer Applications II students completed a unit on creating and formatting tables in Microsoft Word. They have begun formatting research papers based on the format detailed in the NAHS Research Paper Design Booklet published by the English Department. Mrs. Tomko’s and Mr. Kenny’s Computer Applications I students have completed PowerPoint with a presentation project and comprehensive exam. The students will be moving on to Excel. Mrs. Tomko’s Introduction to Business class has been busy working through marketing and advertising. Students will be completing a project in which they will create an original cereal and cereal box complete with slogan, trade character and nutritional panel. Mrs. Tomko’s Wall Street class has completed the course content and is preparing for the midterm/final for this half-year class. Mr. Kenny’s Accounting 1 students are journalizing (general journal) after analyzing transactions. After journalizing, students posted to the general ledger and prepared a trial balance and financial statements based on a general ledger. Ms. Rosolen’s Multimedia class worked on a comprehensive multimedia project that was presented on the exam date. This project consisted of all the skills previously learned in this half-year course. Ms. Rosolen’s Desktop Publishing class is continuing work on their design portfolios, which include a number of projects. This month each student created a CD/DVD label and jewel case cover and a tri-fold brochure. Family and Consumer Science Mrs. Comer’s Culinary Arts students have been working on recipe costing. As a kitchen group, students were required to find a recipe to feed twenty people for $20.00 or less. Math played a vital role in the completion of this project. Figuring how much a cup of flour costs from a five pound bag was challenging and rewarding, as the students analyzed a variety of data. As a reward for their efforts, we will be preparing four recipes selected from each period. Mrs. Comer’s Child Development students have been analyzing data they collected throughout the fall, through textbook work. Understanding of physical, social-emotional, and intellectual development has been gained through classroom discussion, anecdotal stories, and student feedback. Art Ms. DuJack’s Art classes completed one-point perspective cubes and one-point perspective buildings. Advanced students completed two-point perspective buildings and perspective paintings in acrylic. Mrs. Branco’s Art class students have worked for the entire month of January on portraiture. They have explored the „idealized‟ portrait, sketched different shape eyes, ears, noses, hair etc. They then began the project that will not only be their Mid Term project, but also their benchmark. They are creating a self portrait. They are required to bring in a photo of themselves and draw from that image. They will use value, color and line to create this work. This project was involved and the students used their own faces as inspiration for their work. The students who require special help did very well on these projects; they were encouraged to look closely at their faces and used line techniques to create a realistic self portrait. They had great pride in their work. Mrs. Branco’s Art Cycle students did a project involving linear perspective. They created a series of boxes, gave them simulated depth and used patterns to give the work interest. This work used the technique of OpArt like the work of artist Victor Vasarely. They then create a street in perspective, giving the buildings interest, such as signs, windows and they also included people. This busy street scene creates a sense of movement in the work of art. Music Mr. Kastner’s Instrumental classes have been introduced to the Auralia Ear Training Program to improve skills. All students are working for improvement in their technique on their individual instruments specific to their needs. II. Workshops Attended: Literature Circles: All English teachers attended a “Literature Circles” in- service workshop on January 8, 2009 at NAHS presented by Ms. Rose McCauley. In this professional learning community, Ms. McCauley introduced the implementation of Literature Circles into the classroom, and showed the many varied ways that this strategy can be used. All staff are expected to utilize this new strategy once or twice before Ms. McCauley‟s return on March 31st, for the follow-up and completion of the workshop series. Small Group Learning and TPR (Total Physical Response): The Social Studies and World Languages Teachers also attended a professional learning community workshop on January 8, 2009. Humanities supervisor, Nancy LoPresti conducted this workshop which provided information, strategies and role-playing opportunities for staff to learn the benefits of each. Teachers have been asked to implement small group learning and TPR activities throughout the remainder of the year. This training also provided support to the thematic goals outlined in this year‟s teacher PDP. Mrs. Albuquerque and Mrs. Murad attended the BCEA “Money for Kids” workshop on January 21, 2009 at the Glenpointe Marriott Hotel in Teaneck. This was the second workshop in a series of four. Although this workshop was primarily for teachers of mathematics, it provided excellent ideas for creating authentic-based performance tasks that may be adapted and implemented for any discipline. The concepts reviewed and modeled are universal in the field of pedagogy. Mrs. Kusher and Ms. O’Brien attended an after school workshop presented by the Bergen County Education Association on January 21, 2009. This workshop was about authentic assessment and evaluation. It was the second workshop in a series of four presented by the BCEA. The first one attended by Mrs. Kusher was in the Fall and related to school safety. Mr. Abu-Hakmeh and Mr. Dembowski attended the “Innovative Mathematics Intervention Consortium II Workshop” on January 22 presented by the New Jersey Department of Education. The workshop informed participants of a revised New Jersey core curriculum standard that is web based. The speaker also prepared the audience for the new assessments that will take place in the math classroom. Mrs. Maresca attended a very informative workshop on January 21 at the Glenpointe Marriott in Teaneck, NJ. The program, presented by Dr. Jim Gamble of the Madison Institute focused on authentic-based mathematical performance tasks. Ms. Meichenbaum and Mr. Nazi attended a professional workshop about dealing with difficult and non-compliant students in January. The workshop was very helpful and both teachers were able to use some of the strategies the very next day. All Department Staff attended the Thursday, January 8, Professional Learning Community Meeting where we discussed the Standards Clarification Project and how the Benchmark Assessments need to be in alignment with the Standards. Everyone then reviewed their Benchmarks and updated them as necessary. III. Student Recognition: The student members of the Spanish Honor Society, under the supervision of Olivia de Diego, collected approximately 150 warm, winter coats for the homeless of our county. The coats were delivered by Ms. de Diego and Mrs. LoPresti to St. John‟s Church in Newark; a reputable facility known for it‟s outreach in our and neighboring communities. Daniel Griffiths, a student in Miss Fash’s Algebra II-B and SRA Math class achieved an Advanced Proficient score on his October HSPA test. ● Mr. Dembowski’s students effectively completed their projects by the due dates. All the projects demonstrated hard work and a great deal of creativity. ● Students in Mr. Capriola’s Algebra I Classes voluntarily created study partner groups outside the classroom. This allows students to confer and help one another when more difficult concepts are introduced. The students were very proud of their initiative. ● Students in Ms. Meichenbaum’s classes are generally working very hard and the results have become clear as several students received perfect scores on writing assignments and/or in-class assessments. Artwork by Ms. DuJack’s and Mrs. Branco’s students is on display in the school‟s main hallway and in the Superintendent‟s hallway. IV. Accomplishments: Mrs. Albuquerque successfully completed six graduate credits towards her Master‟s of Science in Education and Learning. Jeannine Burns has begun preparation for Shakespeare Day at Mahwah High School on April 23, 2009. Auditions for the play All’s Well That Ends Well were held by Jeannine Burns and a cast has been selected. Mrs. Burns has now begun the process of abridging this 2 hour play into a 45-60 minute performance that can be taken up to Mahwah High School. If all goes well, the group plans to do an encore performance in October for the public schools of North Arlington. Students are enthusiastic and would like to start their own chapter of the Thespian Club, a nationally recognized honor society for actors. Mrs. de Diego’s Spanish III and IV students worked on a Power Point Presentation about the highlights in their lives. The Power Point had to include pictures on each slide and a verb in the infinitive form. This project will be presented after the Mid-term exams and will be graded as an Oral Test. Students will present and explain their lives to their classmates in the target language. All members of the department of mathematics attended a two-hour professional learning community meeting with the middle school math teachers. Similarities and differences in students‟ basic skills and performance were discussed, as well as strategies to help improve student achievement. The National Honor Society, under the direction of Mrs. Maresca, conducted a Computer Match program. Each student in the high school completed a questionnaire which will be used to find their most compatible matches. The results will be received just in time for Valentine‟s Day. Many faculty and staff members also participated in the program. Mr. Dembowski and the sophomore class are meeting weekly to plan and prepare for the sophomore semiformal on February 26th. Mr. Kenny has continued as the Junior Lady Vikings Basketball coach. The team is in the process of a very successful season! Mr. Kenny and the Student Council is teaming up with the Interact Club to plan a “Community Service” open house on January 27. V. Special Programs Mohamed el Filali, presenter and motivational speaker, was sent a large envelope filled with thank you notes from the students who enjoyed his touching and informative presentation in December. We look forward to his return appearance at NAHS next year. ● Mr. Dembowski and Coach Marcantuono are having a t-shirt fundraiser to support the North Arlington baseball team. All Algebra 1B and Geometry projects are displayed in classroom 207. VI. Press Releases: Registration for Nursery School Program VII. Field Trips: French III and IV students are making final preparations for their trip to Paris and Normandy Beach February 10 –February 16, 2009 January Athletic Highlights Boys Basketball: The Boy‟s basketball team has a 1-11 record so far this year. The team has been competitive in most games falling short at the end in several contests. The team is lead by Junior Peter Santos who is averaging 18 points per game. Girls Basketball: The Girl‟s basketball team has a 10-2 record and has qualified to compete in the Bergen County Tournament. The girls are presently in second place in the league behind St. Mary‟s. Tara Fisher leads the team in scoring, averaging 17 points per game. Bowling: Our Bowling team is in first place in the league and ranked 1st in Bergen County. Ashley Johnson, Matt Priore and Sean McDonald lead a strong Viking team. Several bowlers will be competing in the state tournament next weekend. Wrestling: Our wrestling team has a 7-6 record so far this year. The team is lead by Jason Viana (215 pounds), and Nick Tanelli (135). We close our league schedule against Weehawken and before competing in District 15. Cheering: Our girls qualified once again for Nationals, which will be held in Orlando, Florida in late March. The Girls will continue competing throughout the winter season, as well as perform at all home basketball games. Special Honors: Girls’ Basketball Team is ranked 17 in the Bergen Record. Bowling Team is ranked 1st in the Bergen Record. MONTH: ____January_____ MIDDLE SCHOOL Mathematics Miss Thomas‟ Algebra students spent time learning everyday math skills. From proportions to percents, students learned the concept behind many familiar words and solved everyday math problems. They learned about scale models and the concept of reading a map, even with a navigation system! Students also learned how to find a percent of a number, find the sales tax, found tricks to leaving a 10%, 15%, and 20% tip, and how to set up proportions. Upon completing the first half of the unit and before preparing for the midterms, students spent a day working together to solve a multi-step problem about an oversize hand found on the blackboard when students entered the classroom. This problem was taken from the New Jersey Department of Education website. The problem involved concepts from all four content standards. Students in Mr. Bernstein's sixth and seventh grade Math classes investigated fractional equivalents while creating tangrams. Scissors, crayons, and construction paper were the materials used, as students created art while seeing first hand relationships between area and various geometric shapes. After learning about mean, median, and mode, Mrs. Califano‟s students created a survey of appropriate questions to ask fellow students in the class, e.g. height in inches, hours per week doing homework, slices of pizza you eat in a week, and children in each family. After taking the survey, students gathered with their partners to find the mean, median, mode, and range of the data for their particular survey question. They compiled the data into a frequency table and also created a bar graph to display their findings. Finally, all completed work was placed on chart paper. Miss Neubauer's Math classes played fraction bingo to review simplifying fractions. They also created their own review questions to help each other study for the chapter test. Ms. Maucione‟s Math classes prepared for the NJ ASK. They completed worksheets that contain open ended problems. The students were required to solve each problem and provide an explanation of their work. In order to help them prepare for the NJ ASK, the students also used Study Island. In addition, they prepared for their midterm through review sheets and many practice problems. Language Arts Miss Thomas‟ Writing students took the mysterious “hand” problem to a whole new level and wrote descriptive stories about it. They wrote about ways the hand could have reached the third floor and the probability of it appearing in a math classroom. They then gave character to this creature using many descriptive words. Upon completing their stories, the students drew a scaled down picture of this creature to match the character in their stories. Mrs. Roller's ESL students took time to have a current events discussion the day after a plane made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. The students, who watched this news at home, sometimes in their first language, were eager to converse about it in English. Even the most reluctant students were engaged, willing to take risks and to accept help from fellow students in order to share, in English, what they had seen and heard. After the discussion, each wrote a news article about the incident. “Work … toil … labor.” For the month of January, Ms. Demetroules‟ Writing class focused on verbs and building their vocabulary. Students were given the challenge of finding synonyms for common verbs that they use in writing, e.g. do, make, see, and walk. This was done in effort to help students vary their vocabulary in writing pieces. Mrs. Kowalczyk's Writing 6 started to learn about explanatory writing. They were given some quotes to interpret this process in preparation for the NJ ASK 6 test in May. In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr., the students were given one of his great inspirational quotes. The quote was "Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service." The students wrote their own interpretation of the quote and then the class discussed everyone's response. Mrs. Duff‟s sixth grade has been working on and completing their Literature Circles. Each small group had jobs to complete about the book. The final project will be to create T-shirts about the story with some type of creative picture, as well as a saying or writing about the books content. Mrs. Scerbo‟s Writing class students began to learn about the art of persuasion. The class studied commercials and advertisements and learned how persuasion is used in the media. Students also typed a letter to their parents persuading them to buy them something they really wanted. Mrs. Callahan‟s and Ms. Tzakis‟s 8th graders were recently treated to a guest speaker. Richard Van Dien, a former NAMS and NAHS student, returned to speak to the students about life after middle school. The areas Rich spoke about included maintaining a positive attitude towards school, utilizing available resources, and effective study habits. In response to Rich‟s inspirational discussion, the students wrote letters thanking him for taking the time to speak to them and encouraging them to reach for their goals. o Mrs. Callahan‟s 7th grade Reading class read several short stories during the month of January. The students also compared the elements of a short story to the elements of a novel. Class discussions were centered on character development, conflict and story resolution. Mrs. Boyd‟s students were formally immersed in skill work to help them prepare for the NJ ASK Test. Inference, fact and opinion and making predictions were just some of the skills students reviewed to help them practice. The students used Study Island as a tool independently at home and in school as a class with the use of the SmartBoard. Midterm reviews and exams were also a focus this month. Miss Keeler‟s Writing class worked collaboratively in groups of three and created the foundations of their own countries. This lesson successfully integrated NJCCCS from several subject areas including Reading, Writing, and Social Studies. The seven groups of students each creatively designed a flag, drafted a Bill of Rights, and composed a National Anthem. To conclude the lesson, each group sharpened their public speaking skills by presenting the proposed country to the class. Flags were displayed, Bills of Rights were read and explained, and the National Anthems were sung to popular tunes. This cooperative learning activity provided an opportunity to learn what coincides with all eight areas of Gardener‟s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Ms. Neubauer‟s Writing class wrote "Who/What am I?" paragraphs about different items for their classmates to guess what they wrote about. In 1922, the Newbery Award became the first children's book award in the world. Every year the American Library Association awards the Newbery Metal for the most distinguished American children‟s book published the previous year. During the month of January, the students in Mrs. Helms‟ reading classes chose an award book to read and then wrote a book report. In the report, students were given an opportunity to write themselves into the novel as a new character. Their final project resembled the actual Newbery Award. Mrs. Coughlin‟s grade 6 Reading classes compared the book, James and the Giant Peach, to the movie version. The students took notes and then created a Venn diagram that showed the differences and similarities between the book and movie versions. World Languages Mrs. Marchese‟s sixth graders learned about going to school and school activities. They also learned about Central and South America. o The seventh graders learned to talk about their family in Spanish. They also learned how to describe their homes or apartments. o The eighth graders learned about "el futbol," "el baloncesto y el beisbol." They also learned about team sports and all the physical activities that are involved in them. They then compared the different sports on a Venn diagram. To create awareness during “No Name Calling Week”, Mrs. McNerney‟s Spanish classes reviewed vocabulary that is often used loosely to address peers and other people, in manners that may be hurtful and have negative connotations. The students came in contact with the power of words to build self-steam, to release stress and tension, and to effectively communicate with each other. o The seventh and eight graders wrote small notes to a friend, acknowledging something positive, as well as a special talent or ability that others may not recognize on a regular basis. They used the specific vocabulary learned in class, along with the grammar and other vocabulary that was previously mastered. Social Studies Ms. Demetroules‟ Social Studies classes took a step back away from geography and into history. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.‟s birthday, the 6th grade examined issues surrounding the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960‟s, and King‟s birthday as a Federal holiday. Different pictures from the era were presented to give the students a closer look into the controversial times. The students in Mrs. Fisher's classes learned about the early Hebrews. Posters on the Four Central Beliefs of Judaism were created. The students also learned about Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah and other important holy days. Mid-term exam preparation was also done throughout the month of January. The students were given a review sheet and a review game was also played in order to refresh lessons that have been taught. Mr. Wolowitz's 8th grade Social Studies classes learned about how the forefathers created the first government of the United States. The students learned about how and why The Articles of Confederation failed and why a new constitution was needed. The students spent a good part of the month learning about the United States Constitution and how it has survived for over 200 years. As an added bonus, a few students ate lunch in Mr. Wolowitz‟s room to watch the inauguration of the 44th President, Barack Obama. It was a very historic day that Mr. Wolowitz wanted every one to witness. Science Mrs. Galante‟s students completed their study of weather by researching hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and snowstorms. Using a graphic organizer, the students compared the four types of storms, the damages they cause, and safety precautions that should be taken. As a result of their research, the students designed a storm collage using newspapers, magazines, internet, and personal photographs of a specific storm. The students designed the collages on a storm of their choice based on the information they learned in the chapter. The collages were displayed in the hallways and classroom for all to see. Ms. Scerbo‟s 6th grade students learned about mollusks, arthropods, insects, and echinoderms. The students began to observe tadpoles and are anxiously awaiting their change into a frog. They also completed a web quest on both arthropods and insects through the use of laptops and were then assigned an insect project. This project gave students the opportunity to build a model of an insect and to label all of its important parts, as well as learn about survival and adaptation. Mr. Haines‟ students studied waves and how they traveled through the use of two different types of springs to simulate transverse and longitudinal waves. A second activity was to make a “human wave” using simple materials. They next hung the constructed wave across the entire classroom to demonstrate wave motion and the transportation of energy from one location to another. The students also prepared for mid-term examinations and brought in musical instruments they constructed. Art Mrs. Branco‟s students had a very creative January. o The 6th grade created a mural full of tropical fish and mammals. o The 7th grade is well on their way to a fun mask project. They even have Teletubbies this time!! o The 8th grade completed a project based on the Randy Pausch "Last Lecture." They created a cartoon character which was inspirational. They also had to create a name for the character using positive words. Comprehensive Health & Physical Education Ms. DeBlasio‟s students finished up the second marking period of Physical Education with a "Wild-n-Wacky" games unit. The students played a variety of cooperative games that focused on cardiovascular fitness. They enjoyed 'Speedball' the most because it‟s a combination of traditional soccer, basketball, and football. Each grade also worked on a final marking period project in Health class. o The 8th graders worked on posters about infectious disease. o The 7th grade students created comic strips about their changing minds. o The 6th graders designed their own family, home-emergency kits. Computers Mr. Guanci showed all of his computer classes an Internet Safety Power Point Presentation. The classes later discussed what they learned from the videos, as well as true stories of what happened to kids their own age. All of the students were shocked at what could happen if you use the internet incorrectly. Upon the conclusion of the discussion, the students all completed a writing assignment based on internet safety with their writing teachers. Guidance This month, when meeting with counselees, Mrs. Bacek focused on mid-term exams, good study habits and projecting strategies for success for the second half of the year. Special Ed Ms. Janczak‟s 6th grade Science class explored the life cycle of a frog. They created their own individual life cycle to help them remember each phase. Like Ms. Scerbo‟s students, they are too awaiting the transformation of their tadpoles into frogs. Workshop Attendance Mr. Haines attended the Theater Day Workshop at Montclair State University and gained useful knowledge for both NAMS Shakespeare and Drama programs. Mr. Haines and Ms. Keeler also successfully wrote a third grant for the Shakespeare Program. Student Recognitions Catrin Janczak.................... Matthew Smykowski Persa Tzakis....................... Kiana Ortega Grade 6............................... Conrad Malinowski Waqas Azhar Alexis Rosko Giuseppe Gugliuzza Grade 7............................... Kaitlyn Pichardo Nick Martin Andrew Hays Nicole Moncayo Grade 8................................ Sumanth Karasala Michael Stringham Stephanie Cervino Michael Brandao School Accomplishments The 6th grade student council collected 19,145 soda tabs that will be donated to the Ronald McDonald house through Laurinda Pereira. Mr. Nicolle began a candy fundraiser to assist in cost for the spring festivities. Mrs. Galante began final preparations for the yearbook set up. The Middle School conducted a school-wide Holistic Writing Day assignment. The results of the scores will be compared to another writing day to be held in March. Saturday school began to assist students with academics. Mandatory extra help also began for all students below academic levels with their respective teachers. HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY 2009 JEFFERSON SCHOOL Kindergarten Ms. McCrea‟s kindergarten class celebrated Black History Month by reading: Young Jackie Robinson by Edward Farrell (1992) Wilma Unlimited : How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull (1996) Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes (2002) They also discussed segregation and the Civil Rights movement for Martin Luther King Day, and the abolition of slavery for Abraham Lincoln's Birthday. Mrs. Northrop‟s kindergarten class is presently engaged in: Science- The study of Winter, Water Changes, Hibernation Social Studies- Transportation Language- High Frequency Words, Robust Vocabulary, Comprehension Math- Geometric Shapes Writing- Story writing with illustrations, sharing stories with class First Grade Mrs. Pereira & Mrs. Paglucci's first grade classes have been working diligently to write and illustrate a class book, entitled Snowed In. Once completed, the book will be sent to a publishing company where it will be bound, duplicated, and a hard cover will be created. This project was a collaborative effort by all of the first grade students. A tremendous amount of time and effort went into this book. The students learned a great deal about the publishing process while they improved their vocabulary and writing skills. Being a young published author gives our students a sense of pride and accomplishment. Also, we completed our Mid-Year Benchmark Assessment in Reading and Math. Second Grade Mrs. Nolan‟s second practiced counting collections of coins up to a half dollar. They used manipulative coins and the Smartboard to practice the concept. Students also learned about different types of land and water habitats. They discussed the differences between fiction and nonfiction writing. Mrs. Nolan‟s second graders have read over 2,800 books thus far this school year. Mrs. Korycinski‟s second grade students engaged in the following activities during the month of January: Learning about the leaders of our local, state, and federal government. Learning about the process in which our leaders are chosen. Discussing the responsibilities of the President of the United States. Labeling countries and oceans on a map of North America. Learning the words and the meaning of The Star Spangled Banner. Reading a biography about Martin Luther King Jr. and discussing the meaning of equal rights. Counting coins and completing a variety of problem solving activities by using manipulatives and real money. Third Grade Mrs. Harte and Mrs. Keogh‟s third grade activities included: Reading- Readers‟ Theater used for a story Math- Challenge and extra support work for differentiation Science- Ocean Zone charts created by class and use of graphic organizer sheets to study the unit NJ ASK3 practice in math and LAL Continued use of Study Island for various lesson skills Testing using benchmarks for reading and math They have also been very busy reviewing for the NJASK. Fourth Grade Mrs. Rotondo‟s fourth grade students created and illustrated unique New Year resolutions. Students engaged in oral activity in which children complimented another peer. A self-esteem boosting short story was read by students. No Name Calling Week was acknowledged with a writing prompt of how other students‟ feelings get hurt from name calling, etc. A read aloud of Martin Luther King Jr.‟s biography was conducted. Students shared what they felt was most memorable about MLK. Students also engaged in a graphing activity derived from MLK data. President Obama‟s inauguration was viewed, discussed in detail, and a writing assignment was conducted to mark this historical event. Children expressed their utmost enthusiasm for this memorable event. Mrs. Rotondo‟s class is continuing weekly open-ended word problem solving strategy assignments and daily practice during P.A.S.S. from Harcourt NJ ASK Test book. Students are continuing weekly speculative and explanatory timed prompt writing assignments Mrs. Herrmann‟s fourth grade read four short stories and a chapter book entitled Class President which they read independently and created a book report that included developing their own marketing strategy to promote the sale of the book. Reading skills taught and reinforced this month included cause and effect, drawing conclusions, predicting outcomes, and using reference sources. Students continue to learn new weekly robust vocabulary words to enhance their reading and writing skills in preparation for the upcoming NJASK4 in May. Mrs. Herrmann‟s fourth grade Social Studies classes learned and discussed how New Jersey was affected during the Civil War, World War I, The Great Depression, and World War II. In addition, the class honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by performing a Readers Theater script which showed the challenging times King faced a as teenager in our society. Students also read biographies about King and wrote their own biographies. On Inauguration Day, students watched history being made as they witnessed our President being sworn into office and participated in many Inauguration Day activities. Fifth Grade Miss Jacobson‟s 5th Grade engaged in Black History Month Classes were provided with copies of The Record which contains special NIE Black History Month activities to read and do activities with students Packets containing information on notable African-Americans are provided to read, study, and do related activities Video on African- American experience, followed by an essay with personal reaction to the African-American experience to the present. Mrs. Applegate‟s 5th grade Reading classes continued using the Harcourt Reading series, Storytown, Students successfully accessed their reading texts from home. Emphasis was placed on the focus skill of generalization, compare and contrast, cause and effects, robust vocabulary, and reading comprehension strategies. Leveled readers were used by students to reinforce skills from their text. Students reviewed strategies for Readers Theater and continued to work on lessons related to Study Island in Reading. The Smartboard was frequently used to review stories and workbook pages. Fiction book reports were completed by all students. Assessment tests were given to all students. Mrs. Applegate‟s 5th grade Social Studies classes studied early explorers from European countries. Studies focused on economic reasons for the European explorations and early settlement of the Americas. Students watched videos of notable European explorers, completed related map activities, and completed a comprehensive packet on examining primary source documents examining various aspects of early European exploration. The Smartboard was used to enhance text assignments. Mrs. Applegate‟s 5th grade writing class continued to work on Study Island lessons and began completing activities for the program. Writing skills focused on speculative writing and personal essays. Students continued to work on grammar activities. Art Ms. Cronk‟s art classes are engaged in many and varied activities including: Creation of silhouette collages, using black paper for their main object and a torn tissue paper background to add contrast and color. Maintaining personnel sketchbooks which they use to express themselves, and solve creative problems. Sketchbooks will be kept at school and used throughout the year in conjunction with selected projects. Students learn about the world‟s first artists and create their own “cave paintings.” English Language Learners Mrs. Nouravai‟s English Language Learners continue to engage in activities designed to increase robust vocabulary, character analysis and comprehension. Speech Mrs. Hale‟s students receiving speech and language services have made progress towards mastery of the goals set forth in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs). Goals have been addressed in the context of the general curriculum and/or NJCCS when appropriate. Music Preparation has begun for the annual Spring concert. Instrumental students continue to advance their skill level and are being challenged with new and exciting musical pieces. Comprehensive Health & Physical Education Ms. Doreen Terletzky, reports: Registering new students-formulating health charts. Monitoring flu vaccine requirement for PK students-2nd and 3rd notices sent to parents. Tuberculosis state reports completed and mailed. Obesity presentation. Revised Individualized Healthcare Plan for diabetic student. Screenings conducted: height/weight, audio. Ordered supplies for the 2009-2010 school year. Conducted CST evaluations. Reviewing grade 5 charts. Notice to grade 5 parents-grade 6 immunization requirements. Basic Skills Mrs. Osinski’s and Mrs. Young’s reading groups are practicing reading fluency and working on their critical thinking skills. Mrs. Osinski’s math classes are practicing addition, subtraction and multiplication skills. Special Ed Mrs. Volpe‟s Resource Class is successfully achieving the goals and objectives set forth in each student‟s Individual Education Program (IEP). The class enjoyed writing poems related to the year 2009. They used rhyming words to expand their vocabulary and to improve their internet, thesaurus, and dictionary skills. Workshop Attendance Staff members attended grade level articulation meetings dedicated to common benchmark assessment goals. Student Recognitions Each month one child is selected from each class as the Student of the Month. The decision process is a difficult one as many students regularly demonstrate extra-ordinary effort, cooperation, kindness, a positive work ethic and learning attitude. North Arlington‟s Jefferson School teaching family is pleased to proclaim the following children as Students of the Month of January Angela Lin, Aashvi Manakiwala, Andrea Shafrin, Ellen Villapando, Serena Pagan, Yomna Ahmed, Jessica Graci, Enzo, Correa, Billy Addeo, Andres Baez, Antonio Monahan, Michael Paolello, Luke O'Donnell, Andrea Shafrin, Saisuki Putumbaka, Rahul Patel. School Accomplishments Mrs. Applegate reports: Peer Mediation Skits and/or stories were presented to Grades K, 2 and 4. Students will and set up activities and skits for Grades 1, 3, and 5 to be given in February. Had peer mediations for a number of students in upper grades at lunchtime. Mrs. Keogh reports: Discussed various terms related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Viewed the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and students wrote one thing they learned Viewed a Character Ed. Video on “respect” Mrs. Dennison read to the class (NAWC) Special Programs Identification, discussion and celebration of noteworthy people is a year-long endeavor. It is not limited solely to the month of February and it encompasses folks of all ethnic backgrounds. Teachers of all grades engage their students in various activities including: Ms. McCrea‟s kindergarten class celebrated Black History Month by reading: o Young Jackie Robinson by Edward Farrell (1992) o Wilma Unlimited : How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull (1996) o Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes (2002) o They also discussed segregation and the Civil Rights movement for Martin Luther King Day, and the abolition of slavery for Abraham Lincoln's Birthday. Mrs. Herrmann's Social Studies classes are celebrating Black History month by reading and discussing reader's theater scripts focused on Harriet Tubman and Jackie Robinson. In addition, students will utilize the Smartboard technology to view and engage in activities highlighting the top ten African-American Inventors in American History. Mrs. Rotondo‟s fourth grade students 1. Read articles and or books which follow: Teammates (Jackie Robinson) Great Black Heroes: Five Brave Explorers 1. Esteban Dorantes (discovered territories known as Arizona and New Mexico) 2. Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable (founded city now known as Chicago) 3. James Beckwourth (helped develop the American West) 4. Matthew Henson (reached the North Pole) 5. Mae C. Jemison (traveled in space) 2. Read and discuss African Americans who changed the world. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/history/us/aframer 3. View and discuss website on The Underground Railroad: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/railroad 5A and 5J Black History Month Activities o Classes are provided with copies of The Record which contains special NIE Black History Month activities to read and do activities with students o Packets containing information on notable African-Americans are provided to read, study, and do related activities o Video on African- American experience, followed by an essay with personal reaction to the African-American experience to the present. MONTH: JANUARY, 2009 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: ROOSEVELT Pre-Kindergarten Mrs. Mack’s pre-kindergarten class learned about Martin Luther King, Jr., who he was and for what he stood. Several stories will be read about friendship, being kind to each other and treating each other fairly. The class created a class book about types of clothing worn in winter and snowy weather. Each student created one page of the book and, on completion of the book, it will be placed in the class library for all to enjoy. Kindergarten Mrs. Malanga’s kindergarten class practices their Robust Vocabulary words in a fun way. Two teams compete in a “Vocabulary Game”. One person from each team plays as definitions are provided by Mrs. Malanga. The two players then call out the corresponding vocabulary word. Points are awarded to teams with correct answers. The children are highly motivated and love this way of practicing their robust vocabulary. Mrs. DiTommaso’s kindergarten class learned high frequency words and geometric shapes. To reinforce their learning, students cut out snowflakes and drew one geometric shape per flake and labeled it. Children then wrote sentences about what they have learned. On completion of their works of art, snowflakes were hung from the ceiling in the hallway. First Grade Mrs. Arena’s first grade children are learning about sequence and order. Students have been discussing life cycles. Children created a chain reflecting the life cycle of a frog. The frog‟s life stages are displayed on each link of the chain in the correct order. Second Grade Mrs. Phalon’s class continues to use Enchanted Learning to do research on the computer. This month students researched rain forest animals and wrote an informative paragraph about the animal of their choice. Mrs. Torsiello visited the classroom and read a story about a snowman. She then helped the students make a candy snowman. Third Grade Mrs. Giuffre’s third grade class is going to write pen letters with third grade students in Rockaway, N.J. Mrs. Giuffre‟s students wrote their first letters this week and included a photo of themselves. They are waiting anxiously for responses from their new “friends”. Fourth Grade Ms. Jaume’s grade 4 has been hit by Planet Madness. Dioramas were produced to represent each of the planets. The students‟ oral presentations not only included details about their planets, but how their dioramas were constructed as well. Next, small groups created scale models of distances between planets. Math was an integral part of their investigations as they estimated the conversion of astronomical units (AU) to cm. Critical thinking completed the project as they individually had to draw conclusions about the solar system. Mrs. Crismale’s 4th graders’ dioramas are on display in the classroom. Students selected a planet to study and present in a diorama. Dioramas had to contain information on the planet‟s size and the planet‟s moons. Dioramas had to be constructed with size to scale. Five interesting and researched facts had to be included with the project. Fifth Grade Mrs. Badiola’s fifth grade, in preparation for the NJ ASK5, has begun speculative writing. In keeping with the recent presidential election, the class brainstormed items that they believed were important issues that President Barack H. Obama would address. Each child chose one of the items, the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the environment and speculated what our newly elected commander –in-chief would do. As is the classroom custom, Mrs. Crismale and Ms. Jaume‟s fourth grades joined with the fifth grade on the third Wednesday of the month for Mix-It-Up Day. This ongoing program helps to combat bullying and harassment. Art Ms. Cronk’s kindergarten art classes learned about Native American artwork and created painted blanket pictures. Mrs. Cronk’s 1st grade art classes learned about neon colors, and created fluorescent fish collages and paintings. These are spectacular and hanging in the corridors. Ms. Cronk’s 2nd grade classes traveled back in time to study the cave art of Lascaux, France. Third grade art classes studied Gustav Klimt and created metallic pattern collages inspired by his intricate paintings. Ms. Cronk’s fourth grade art classes studied silhouettes and created their own silhouette scenes while fifth grade art classes crafted unique handmade books. Fifth grade art classes crafted unique handmade books. ESL Mrs. Stringham’s ESL kindergarten students learned how to categorize groups of items using realia (real objects) in the classroom. Picture Cards were used in a game in which students matched group of items that are alike. Students also participated in an interactive game on the Smart Board in which they grouped small and large animals, fruits, vegetables, and dinner and breakfast foods. BSI Miss Kleber’s BSI reading students are continuing to develop a Robust Vocabulary through exploration of meanings and by using words in conversation. First and second grades have been giving their own examples by incorporating actions or drawings into their explanations. Second and Third grade BSI math students have been using coin manipulatives to reinforce counting money, comparing amounts and giving change. World Language Mrs. Gonzalez Spanish language students in grade five are learning rules of Spanish grammar such as gender and number agreement of articles, nouns and adjectives. Under Mrs. Gonzalez supervision, students are working to build a strong foundation for future Spanish classes at NAMS. School Nurse Ms. Terletzky, school nurse, reports the following activities during January: - Registering new students – formulating health charts - Monitoring flu vaccine requirement for Pre-K through Grade 3 students with notices sent to parents - Tuberculosis state reports completed and mailed - Obesity presentation - Revised Individualized Healthcare Plan for diabetic student - Screenings conducted – height / weight, audio - Ordered supplies for the 2009-2010 school year - Conducted CST evaluations - Reviewing grade 5 charts. Notice to grade 5 parents-grade 6 immunization requirements. Computer Miss Tokarz, as part of the expectations of the Technology Standards, has raised her expectations on student use of computer terminology and vocabulary, keyboarding skills, shift keys and saving to back-up folders. Kindergartners are learning to shutdown the computers correctly and appropriately. Individual teacher requests for students or staff assistance are supplied. The technology program is adjusted where necessary in order to assist teacher(s) requests for cross curriculum projects. Speech Mrs. Hale’s students receiving speech and language services have made progress towards mastery of the goals set forth in their Individual Education Plans (IEPS). Services have been delivered through inclusion and pull-out programs. Computer software has been integrated into therapy. Resource Room / Special Ed Mrs. McKenna’s grades 3, 4, and 5 Language Arts students were assigned a project entitled “My Personality Bag”. The purpose of this activity was for students to choose five objects that described them in some way and put these items inside a brown bag. Next, they gave an oral presentation and told about themselves using the objects in the bag as a springboard for their presentation. Many students brought in family photos, trophies, ribbons, examples of their hobbies, etc. for the presentation. Students gave excellent and interesting presentations. Mrs. Whelan’s third and fourth graders learned about the Chinese New Year. They figured out their animal signs and they are born under and what they are supposed to be like when born under that sign. Mrs. Whelan’s students studied the food pyramid. They learned what foods belong in each category and the quantities of healthy food to eat. They also studied the importance of exercise for a healthy heart. Students learned to take their pulse when their bodies are at rest and then after jogging in place to see how their heartbeats changed. Special Programs Ms. Cronk and Mrs. DiTommaso completed the RAINBOWS Program Facilitator training. Mrs. Greene attended the Bergen County Vicinage training program regarding Adoption versus Kinship Legal Guardianship. Mrs. Greene attended an annual meeting between Child Placement Review Board members and Superior Court Judge Mizdol regarding needs of children and teenagers in foster care placement. MONTH: January 2009 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: WASHINGTON Pre-K Mrs. Johnson’s – Pre-K class This month we’ve been studying the winter season. We discussed cold weather, made lists of cold things, and conducted an experiment using ice and snow. We collected ice chunks from outside, placed them in various places in our class, made predictions about what would happen and then observed the results. The children were excited to check the trays as they came in to class in the morning and throughout the day as they worked in centers. Almost all predicted that the ice would melt, but some were amazed that a few students correctly predicted that the ice would dry up. This led to a discussion about evaporation and the water cycle. It was a simple little activity but a great way for kids to come to some understanding of a pretty complex process! We’re also discussing hibernation and completing a unit of study about bears. We’re reading lots of stories about bears. We’re bringing in bears from home and counting, sorting, classifying and making graphs of types of bears. Pre-K Mrs. Luciano’s – Pre-K class We are “Looking A Head” in 2009. We made hats for our self portrait and shared something we want to do in the New Year. For example: “I want to learn how to play soccer”. After reading Lois Ehlert’s book Snowballs, we created snow people using a variety of materials. Each one is so unique. We are reading and comparing different Gingerbread stories. Gingerbread Baby, Gingerbread Boy, Gingerbread Girl, The Gingerbread Man and Jan Brett’s newest story Gingerbread Friends. Kindergarten Mrs. Haag – Kindergarten class Social Studies – The Kindergarten class rang in the New Year by decorating festive party hats, which are hanging in our room; we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday by listening to a story about his life. Reading – We focused on medial short /i/ and short /o/ sounds;. Mid-year benchmark assessments are being administered the week of l/19 – 1/23. Math – We just completed our geometry and fractions theme book. We are now starting to learn about numbers 10 – 30 and are working on ten-frames. Mid-year Benchmark assessments are being administered the week of 1/19 – 1/23. Kindergarten Miss Pusaver’s –Kindergarten class Miss Pusaver’s Kindergarten is learning about all kinds of shapes in Math. We made pictures using only circles, squares, triangles and rectangles! We also used paint to make “Snowflake Symmetry”! In Reading, we learned about animals that hibernate and different seasons. In Science, we are currently learning about different kinds of body coverings on animals. First Grade Mrs. Dillon – First Grade In January, the first grade learned how to interpret many different types of graphs. In Science, they learned about how animals need plants for shelter and food. We wished our classmate Kate A. well in her move to Australia. We will miss her and communicate via e-mail. We are thankful for our new classroom rug – we love it! Second Grade Ms. Mielke’s – Second Grade This month, Ms. Mielke’s second graders enjoyed sharing our Poster Book Reports with the class. We learned how to subtract using regrouping in Math class. We started our letters in cursive handwriting and wrote winter stories and acrostic poems in Language Arts. Third Grade Miss Maier’s – Third Grade Math – Subtraction of 3- and 4- numbers with regrouping and across zeroes. Social Studies – Communities and Geography Recognize different communites have different landforms and bodies of water Identify physical features of a community. Use map and globe skills to locate relative and absolute locations. Received a personal letter from National Director of Communications for the Disabled American Veterans thanking the students for their photos, letters, banner, and Thanksgiving Day VA hospital decorations and monetary contribution in the sum of $32.75 for all the disabled American veterans. Science – Soils How soils form The different types of soils Conserving soils Literacy – Theme 2 – Together We Can Focus skill – Main Idea and Details Robust Vocabulary Grammar – Simple and compound sentences Writing – Form: Summary; Trait: Sentence Fluency Third Grade Miss O’Connell’s – Third Grade Students in Miss O’Connell’s third grade class, investigated and created a projects based on a Community Helper. The students interviewed friends, family members, and fellow citizens to gain an understanding of specific careers. They gathered information, and presented it to the class using their poster boards which were decorated with pictures from their interviews. After having discussed various careers in Social Studies including our thematic unit project, we hosted our first CAREER DAY. Parents and family friends were invited to come into our class, and speak about their careers. Career Day had several valuable benefits. First and foremost, it provided students with an up-close and personal view of a wide variety of jobs. In addition, it offered parents an opportunity be active in their child's school. As a result, Career Day allowed students to take pride in their parents and their parents' support. Once again I thank all of our parent volunteers; this truly was an incredible experience for all involved! Fourth Grade Ms. Verrier – Fourth Grade Reading/Writing: students wrote a 5 paragraph Literature Review of the book Felicia the Critic Science: to follow up on last month’s investigation, the students are researching bird adaptations using the laptops. Research reports will be written and illustrated Social Studies: in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, the class listened to his "I Have a Dream" speech on the smart board and discussed the importance of social tolerance and the changes that have taken place in our country's history. Students also watched the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20th. Science: the class will attend a field trip to The Meadowlands Environmental Center on Fri. Jan. 23rd. to further investigate animal adaptations (this is a continuation from November and December Highlights) Fifth Grade Ms. Lonergan – Fifth Grade Students worked on creating expository essays about Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately, our class trip was cancelled due to snow. Pre-K 3 Miss Kenny’s – Pre-K 3 class We read the story, Just a Snowy Day and Winter Time. Students created snow, using Insta-snow. I measured out the water, students requested to pour the water and then to put the “magic” powder in the bowl. They watched as snow was created. Students then made letters, shapes and other objects as they played with the (fake) snow on the table. Students sorted clothing (i.e. winter and summer) and talked about why you wouldn’t wear shorts or a bathing suit in the winter. We played the snowman game. Each student dressed up in a hat, scarf and mittens. The other students closed their eyes. I removed one article of clothing and asked the students, “What’s missing?” Kindergarten Mrs. Kosiakowski’s – Kindergarten class This month, Mrs. Kosiakowski’s Math class learned how to add three numbers. All of the students used the number line to figure out the answers to many addition problems. They learned that you can add any two numbers first and then add on to the third one to get the correct answer. Second Grade and Third Grade Mrs. Cutruzzula Mrs. Cutruzzula’s Grade 2 – 3 wrote Winter Haiku Poems. Each student typed their poem on the computer and printed them on snowman paper. Fifth Grade Mrs. Keegan’s – Fifth Grade Mrs. Keegan’s fifth graders have been busy finishing their posters for the Elks contest. They have also been busy reading and working on Martin Luther King, Jr. essays.