Weissman's Window

Discovery and a Passion for Excellence

Dazzled by Discovery; Excited by Exploration

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Welcome to Exploration and Discovery, 2019-2020!

Our New Revamped Programs

Our programming continues to evolve to preserve the integrity of our identification process and best meet the needs of our highly able students.

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Learn More

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November 4, 5 and 6

I will be offering informal Back to School Night style presentations during Parent Conference periods so that parents can learn more about our class format, program expectations, the importance of wonders, and the directions we are following. These sessions will be offered at Washington School in room 220 so as not to interfere with other shared classroom spaces. Feel free to stop by at any time during your child's grade designated times so I can provide a brief overviews, answer your questions, and listen to any feedback you may have. I would like to establish an open relationship in which we all work together to provide enriching opportunities for your children.

Please see the following times for specific grade levels:

Monday, November 4

Grade 5: 1 to 2

Grade 4: 2 to 3

Grade 3: 4 to 5

Grades 1/2: 6 to 7

Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 6

Grade 5: 1:10 to 1:40

Grade 4: 1:45 to 2:15

Grade 3: 2:20 to 2:50

Grades 1/2: 2:55 to 3:20


First/Second grade Exploration students meet for an hour each week in a multiage class setting. They have completed self-portraits that consider their interests and what they would like to learn in our classes. I have piggybacked off their ideas with a hands-on investigation of fungi, which are neither plants nor animals. We will be learning about yeast and demonstrating how yeast can actually blow up balloons. One class will be creating their own electronic color wheels as I strive to follow where their passions lead. Student voice and choice are crucial to the success of our studies. The curriculum will continue to develop as I learn more about student interests. We look forward to inventing products to help our favorite characters when we transition to novel engineering in the near future.

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Digital Snapshots of Microscopic Views of our Fungi

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Our year began with a cross-grade, cross-school challenge to see which pair of students could create a gumdrop/toothpick structure strong enough to support a heavy college dictionary. In the process we learned the power of triangles to support, stiffen and stabilize.

Two lucky classes were able to attend real-time digital conference with experts in a celebration of World Space Week. One class met NASA structure engineer Craig Merritt while another conversed with University of Nebraska scientist Jocelyn Bodley.

Third, fourth, and fifth grade students are working both independently and collaboratively in their chosen academies. This year's options are paleoclimatology, biodiversity and extinction, trees, myths from many lands, rocks, minerals and gemstones, and interstellar colonization. Student should be exploring and helping build their academies at home. Please contact me if your child is having trouble accessing his or her academy at home. Here is a basic review of steps students should follow:

Accessing Chosen Academy at Home

  1. Sign into Google.

  2. Go to Gmail.

  3. Login using student school email address and password.

  4. Use the “waffle” in the upper right hand corner to go to Classroom.

  5. Student Academy will appear.

Students are also considering criteria for the Discovery program--what is valid, what needs to change, and what would they do as Discovery teachers.

Our Curiosity Convention this year will take a digital form. Links to student projects will be offered at the end of the year in a format yet to be determined so that parents and students can take the time to really appreciate all the fruits of their efforts.

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Food for Thought

June Sklar Weissman

Teacher, Gifted and Talented

Wyckoff Schools

Director, Summer Institute for the Gifted

Montclair State University