Tuxedo Happenings

Winter 2019


Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall?! What is your favorite season? Kindergarten students have a love for all the seasons! We are learning all about the four seasons and the weather that comes with the seasons! Snow in the Winter and in the Fall?!?! We learned all about how it can snow in the Fall – remember our November snow storm??!! We do! We are learning about why it can snow when it isn’t winter and that sunshine doesn’t mean that it’s the summer time – the sun can shine all year! Kindergarten is taking the steps talking about adaptations and how we adapt to the weather – what do we do in different weather? What do we wear? We have begun to talk about lots of different activities to do during each season and how the weather can be fun for indoor and outdoor activities. We will continue to learn all about the greatness of our Earth and the weather that we have!

Kindergarten is adding up! We are adding and counting on all around! Our newest chapter in math includes adding and counting objects up to ten. We have been turning it around and learning about turn around facts and no matter which addend comes first in an addition sentence the sum is the same! Kindergarten makes this look easy! So easy that we are soon on our way to tackle subtraction!

Kindergarten continues to learn every single day! We are continuing to learn about the rules and expectations of the classroom, school, and our community. In Science, the students have been working on using their fine motor skills, writing skills, and reading skills to make My Five Senses books. Students have been looking through magazines and cutting out pictures of things they can feel, see, hear, smell, and taste. Kindergarteners are using their skills to cut, glue, find pictures, and read the words in their books.

It’s Rhyming Time with Kindergarten Enrichment Students. Students learned that although rhyming words sound alike, they do not have to look alike. After matching rhyming word puzzles, the students were asked to sort words into two groups. It wasn’t long before they noticed some rhyming words have the same spelling patterns at the end and some do not. The rhyming words with the same spelling patterns not only help us to read but to spell and spell is what we did!

Students in Kindergarten continue to learn each and every day! In ELA, students have been very busy learning all about how to be actors and actresses. Students have been practicing and rehearsing their very own lines for their upcoming production of The Little Red Hen. Students are not only learning to read their lines, and how to act out their parts; they are learning how to be a part of a team and what it means to be a teammate. Students are working together to make their production and their daily lives successful! They are hard at work learning and embracing what it means to be a part of a team; be it on the playground, in the classroom, in the gym or on stage!

First Grade

First grade just started our unit on community helpers. We are exploring all of the amazing possibilities of careers that we can have when we grow up. There are so many occupations to choose from, that some of us have chosen more than one! We are writing books about our future jobs. So far, we are explaining why we chose the job that we chose. That is giving us a chance to practice writing our first grade sight word-because.

Students in first grade are studying place value. We are working with manipulatives while solving problems. This helps us to better understand one, tens, and hundreds in relation to each other. We are showing what two digit numbers look like using base ten blocks. As an added challenge, we are “exchanging” tens for ones in order to show one number in several different ways. This is both challenging and fun!

Second Grade


In ELA we continue to learn about the plot in a story and we also have added looking for the beginning and the end of a story. This helps us to understand the plot better after we read the story. We are also discussing character and setting of a story. We have re-read the story Click Clack Moo. The students were then required to answer the text-dependent questions. These questions require the students to go back into the story to find not just the answers but also supporting details that support their answer. We continue to discuss main idea of a story because it is easier to find the plot of a story when you know the main idea. The students are learning that a story needs all these components to be complete. We are applying this thinking to our writing. Hence we are writing and re-writing short stories and paragraphs we have written in the past and using our editing skills as we rewrite.


We are working on chapter 4. We are learning how to add two-digit numbers that need regrouping. The students are loving it! At first, they learned the concept through pictures they drew in their math journals. Later they used manipulatives that helped solidify the concept in their minds. Now they are adding two-digit numbers with regrouping without having to draw pictures. They continue to use manipulatives when they are stuck and this is great! It's another strategy they have available to them if they need it! We are also learning to add multiple two-digit numbers. They love the challenge! For example: 23+32+12+21=. It's awesome to watch their minds grow mathematically! They are really enjoying this chapter. It's challenging and fun!


In science for the next few weeks, we will be working on our animal project. The projects were due on the 30th of January. The children have begun by looking up their animal and writing 10 descriptive traits about their animal. The next piece of their research has to do with the animal's diet and habitat. By the time the students complete their project they will have turned in a book, poster board and animal model. When the students turn in their project they will share their findings with the rest of the class. When all the projects have been turned in we will have a gallery walk so the parents can come to see the beautiful animal models the students will have made. January is a fun month for second grade! :)

Social Studies

In social studies, we are learning about our government and how it is run. We have been talking and writing about the three branches of government. The three branches are the executive, legislative and judicial branch. The students are learning about the role of each branch. Later we will learn about our voting rights and our responsibilities as Americans. We will also be organizing a mock government of our own. We are going to have our three branches of government and attempt to pass a law. Later we will vote in a class president and vice president. The candidates will have debates and we will have an open question forum. The class is super excited.

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Third Grade

January is perfect for beginning new units and learning new skills. Third graders are focusing their reading on thinking about the characters in our stories and their traits, both in fiction stories and non-fiction. We've used picture book characters from Kevin Henkes books and also biographies. We read an article about Jane Goodall, Roald Dahl and Albert Einstein. In science, third graders are reading and learning about what mechanical engineers do and will soon plan, design and create a sailboat.

Third graders have enjoyed spending time working on their reading fluency through Reader’s Theater. Reader’s Theater enables students to reread parts in a play multiple times to increase their expression skills and their fluency. The students work together to choose parts, read through the play independently and then practice throughout the week as a group. On Friday, they have the opportunity to share their play with the class! It is fun to watch and to also have a role in the play!

Third graders continue to focus on working as mechanical engineers by exploring wind as energy. The students have begun to work through the Engineering Design Process. They have brainstormed ideas and have begun to plan with a partner the design for the blades of a windmill. Their windmill should spin and work to pick up weight. We will be using a fan as the source of wind. Fortunately the Engineering Design Process allows for modifications and improvement so we can all learn from each other if necessary!

Fourth Grade

We had a very busy month - students were diligently working on their International Day projects. In Fourth Grade students each selected a New York State Landmark to research. They were looking for information like - when it was built, annual number of visitors, reasons why it was built, identifying who was involved in the construction process, fun facts, etc. Once they gathered all of their information, they put it in a Google Slides Presentation. Students took the time to add backgrounds and animation to their slide shows -they did a great job!! Presenting their finished projects during International Day was a great finish to the week!

Students in Fourth Grade welcomed in the New Year by working on their own goals for this coming year. This is a great time for self reflection and looking ahead! Students were asked to identify 2 school related goals and 1 thing they want to stop doing. In addition, they had to come up with 9 adjectives to describe themselves. Finally, they identified one classmate that they want to get to know better over the course of the year. We are looking forward to working on our goals and being the best we can be in 2019!!

Our class, along with First Grade, visited the Katonah Museum of Art. We were able to view the Extreme Jewelry Exhibit, and it was beautiful!! It was an exhibit that featured jewelry designed and created by various artists. This wasn’t just any jewelry - it was, in some instances, life size! One piece was more creative than the next. After viewing the exhibit, the students went to the Art Room and designed and created something they could wear. To cap off our field trip, we stopped at Chili’s for lunch. A good time was had by all!! This trip would not have been possible without the support of our PTO - thank you so much for making this happen! This week Fourth Grade the class began studying the Iroquois. For an opening activity, the students each came up with their own Iroquois name. In order to help in the naming process, students used their own life experiences, character qualities, and interests. Once they chose their names, we had a naming ceremony to celebrate their new names. Over the course of the next week, the students will be charged with coming up with a tribe name for the class. We are looking forward to learning more about the Iroquois and their impact on history in NY.

Fourth Grade continued to learn about the different stages of the water cycle. We are learning new vocabulary and some very interesting facts about water on planet Earth. Students put their knowledge of the new vocabulary to the test this week. Each student had to pick a different stage of the water cycle and then instead of defining the term, they painted what it looks like. We used shaving cream, glue, and food coloring for painting. The textured designs look great! The students were able to capture the meaning in pictures.

We continued our exploration of the Water Cycle in Science. Students created their own Water Cycle in a bag! Each student drew the sun, clouds, and the ocean on their bags - we then filled the bags with water and taped them to the windows. When we checked on them the next day, we could see the Water Cycle at work in each bag. Students were able to see evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. Each student drew a picture of their water cycle and labeled the appropriate stage. It was fun to be able to create what we have been discussing so the students could actually see it!! This activity gave them a clearer picture of the Science we have been working on.

Fifth Grade

This week in class, the students were able to experience the engineer design process. Not only did they have the chance to have STEM Enrichment, where they worked with the merge cube, but they also got to work in their own STEM Groups. Students were divided into small groups and were presented with the Groundhog challenge: design a free-standing groundhog that casts the largest shadow. Students had to not only design and create, but they had to use their math skills to measure as well as position the light to cast the largest shadow.

Students had the opportunity to collaborate with their peers in the 6th grade. The students learned about the difference between endangered and extinct species, as well as what causes problems for a specific species. After becoming informed, our class has decided to “adopt” the koalas and will be fundraising money for them!

In Science, students explored the skeletal system. After discussing how many bones adults have and the various purpose of bones, the students began to research different bone in the body. After identifying and locating different bones, the students assembled their own skeleton with moveable parts. The students had several opportunities to test their knowledge. One way the students showed what they learned was by completing a skeleton escape room. Students searched for clues and cracked puzzles! They also practiced their skills by playing Jeopardy. Students worked together to answer questions, but team phalanges won it all!

In math, the students continued to explore the topic of decimals. We specifically started to study the process of dividing decimals. To start, the students learned how to represent their division problems visually. The students were able to use their Chromebooks to decompose numbers in a way that they were able to create equal groups. Students will build upon this knowledge by exploring decimal division with the standard algorithm.

In ELA, students worked hard to determine the theme in various pieces of literature. An identifying theme can be difficult because it is not something stated overtly. Instead, the theme or central message of a story is something that needs to be determined through inferencing. It is a life lesson that can be applied outside the story. The main character is very important in analyzing theme. Understanding the lessons learned by the main character is usually the key to figuring out the theme.

Sixth Grade

In ELA, we worked on text structure and point of view as reading strategies that should be used to analyze text.

In Math, students worked on finding percents in math and used them to create our own problems.

In Science, we “adopted” the northern white rhino as there are only 2 left on the planet. We will be fundraising next week to assist in research and conservation efforts by the World Wildlife Fund. To make connections in ELA, we are creating presentations of our hand-picked endangered animal, and we will be presenting them to the lower grades during the last week of January.

In social studies, we are learning about ancient Egyptians. We have each chosen a pharaoh to research. We are developing monologues based on our research and will “reincarnate” as our pharaoh during our presentations next week. In science, we learned the parts of the plant and animal cell and created models of cells

This week, the 6th grade practiced analyzing primary and secondary sources in ELA, and then students synthesized their own in our writing class.

In Math, students worked on measurement conversions that included both customary and metric units.

In Science, we discovered how substances travel in, out, and throughout cells. We conducted an experiment using an egg to demonstrate the process of osmosis.

In Social Studies we focused on the economy of ancient Egypt. Each student was assigned a pharaoh to research. Students used their research to create a monologue which they will present to the class. The students will then determine which pharaohs were successful in their reign of Egypt and which were not.

Our endangered animal unit is ongoing this month. Students created slide shows and models that will be presented to the lower grade students in an effort to enhance awareness of the plight of an increasing number of animal species. All classes will be encouraged to “adopt” an animal and raise funds to assist the World Wildlife Federation in its efforts to save our endangered animals.

ELA: We analyzed historical text, summarizing selections and identifying text structure characteristics of the historical text. We also reviewed the central idea and finding evidence to support it.

Math: We are learning how to evaluate algebraic expressions by substituting numbers for variables and then applying the order of operations to solve.

Science: We studied cell division this week which includes the processes of mitosis and meiosis.

Social Studies: We completed our analysis of the most successful pharaoh in ancient Egyptian basing our decision on pharaoh behavior to characteristics of a successful pharaoh that we developed based on our study of ancient Egyptian geography, beliefs, economy, and culture.

And the winner is…..

Update: We raised a total of $466.20 for the protection of endangered animals through the World Wildlife Fund!! Great job,



Elementary Multi-Subject

In ELA, our OG center focused on the Th- digraph. In our book club center, they read chapter four of the Magic Tree House. Students began their dinosaur research project, and are providing cited evidence in their drafted research reports. In spelling, all students scored 100% or higher on their spelling test. In math, students got a 100% on their 5 x time tables quiz. Currently, students are studying place value. We are using the base ten blocks, and math comics to better understand place value. This will eventually aid us while solving long division equations using the partial quotient model.

In ELA, our OG center we worked on the SH- digraph. In our book club center, they read chapters two and three, while applying different strategies. Students compared the two different settings and partook in a word study. In math, students took their math multiplication test and their 4x tables quiz. This week we have made a short pit stop in fact families, in order to develop our understanding of division facts. Next week, we will begin long division. It is imperative that our students know their multiplication and division facts. Therefore, we will continue practicing at home, and in school!

In our class students have completed Level 1 of Fry’s spelling words. This week in order to conclude this level we had a unit test and a spelling bee. In ELA, we have begun our Magic Tree House book club center, and are pairing literacy and writing strategies with the text. In our Orton Gillingham Center, students have learned the Wh- digraph. In math, we completed our multiplication unit, and are progressing toward division. Our class has worked extremely hard academically and behaviorally. Therefore they have earned 500 Dojo points as a class. Students celebrated this profound milestone last week with a pizza party. We look forward to reaching our next goal of 1,000 Dojo points.

This week in ELA, we focused on the Qu- digraph in the Orton Gillingham Center. In the book club center, the class read chapter five and completed the essential literacy skill questions. Students then continued to conduct their research on their dinosaur and cited evidence from the text. In math, students have begun long division through the use of the box method. Students also have been studying their 6 times tables. This months life skills are, “ Think Win-Win”. In essence, this life skill supports the concept that as individuals it is critical to view life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. This mindset helps individuals to seek mutual benefit in all human interactions.

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Elementary STEM

Kindergarten STEM used tens and hundreds of counter blocks to construct towers of different heights. Students could only use 8 tens blocks and 4 hundred blocks to make their towers. This was a challenge that took a lot of determination from the students as they had to use steady hands to balance their blocks to prevent their structures from falling.

Kindergarteners created a ramp using only four pattern blocks and a note card. Each block was a different shape and size. The students had to figure out if the ramp was more stable if the blocks were standing up or laying flat. Each time the students rolled the ball they recorded how far the ball went using a different color crayon.

First Grade STEM learned about thrust force when they created balloon rockets. Thrust comes from the energy of the balloon forcing the air out. Students were given one balloon, one straw and tape. Students used the materials to fasten the balloon to the straw. Each balloon rocket was filled with air, placed on a string and flown across the room. Some of our rockets made it all the way from the back of the room to the whiteboard!

Second Grade Stem planted sunflower seeds in their biodegradable planters. Students also demonstrated their knowledge of the plant life by labeling and sorting pictures of each step of the plant life cycle and placing them in the correct sequence.

Second Grade STEM began constructing straw rockets. The students sketched their rockets in their STEM journals before moving on to their final copy. Each student uniquely designed a paper rocket that they attached to a straw using tape. The students had to pay close attention to how they attached the straw to the rocket. Each straw had to be bend so that air could not escape when it was placed inside a bigger straw and launched from a balloon pump.

Fourth and Fifth Grade STEM classes used iPads and Merge Cubes to explore augmented and virtual reality. The groups of students worked in pairs to race against the clock to solve the problem of how to defuse a holographic cube. The students had to carefully follow the instructions on how to activate switches and push specific buttons on the cube before time runs out.

Sixth Grade STEM began sketching and labeling blueprint rough drafts for making a model tiny house. The students have to make a small scale of 400 square foot home. Each home must include in its floorplan the necessary things that people need inside homes, such as doors, windows, lights, sinks, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a bed.

In the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grade STEM classes, students visited the reflect and improve part of the STEM design process. Students discussed with their peers how they could fix the projects they have completed over the past week. Students in each class worked in their groups to collaborate on how they could improve their designs if they had to repeat their project in the future. Students answered what worked or did not work within their project and how they could modify their project to make it work better.

Kindergarten STEM explored why when using the slide at recess our hair can sometimes stick up, or why we can get a shock when we touch a doorknob or other metal objects. The students created static electricity by rubbing balloons against their shirts. Rubbing the surface of the balloon against their shirt builds up a charge allowing the balloon to stick to surfaces. The students tested several different items in the classroom and recorded on their data sheet whether or not the balloon was able to stick to the items listed.

Kindergarten also worked on coding this week. The students were able to move about the room and hold up signs of different code commands to direct one of their classmates to turn on the classroom lights. After the students completed this activity they coded the same commands on the Lightbot Hour app on their iPads.

First Grade STEM had previously been working on creating 2-D shapes with toothpicks and Play-Doh. The students improved their models by constructing the 2-D shapes into 3-D models. The students also created characters on the Scratch Junior app. The students designed their characters and programmed the character to move across the stage they designed for their project.

Second Grade STEM completed constructing straw and balloon rockets. Originally the students placed the rockets in straws that were attached to water bottles and squeezed their water bottles to force the air through the straw to get their rocket to fly. The students improved their design by eliminating the water bottle from the design and replacing it with a wider straw. This allowed the air to launch the rockets further. The students did several different trials and recorded the distance of each launch. 127 inches was farthest one of our rockets traveled!

Third Grade STEM created pattern block bridges. The students were given five minutes to plan and sketch a bridge made out of only 4 hexagon, 6 square, and 8 trapezoid pattern blocks and 10 popsicle sticks. The students had to get a marble or ping pong ball to roll across the top of their bridge. Each student did an excellent job with being very creative in making their designs!

Fourth and Fifth Grade STEM began using Google Draw to design their own Ozobot courses. The students had to use specific tools and pixel sizes to make course lines think enough for the Ozobot to recognize. Each student was required to place seven different Ozobot codes on their course.

Sixth Grade STEM continued to work on their tiny model homes. Students began adding color and more intricate details to the interior designs of their homes. Some students have even begun constructing small models of furniture to place inside the homes. In future classes, the students will cut out parts of their paper walls to construct the windows and doors of their homes.

Elementary Art and Mindfulness

Our mindfulness exercises are focusing on increasing positive energy with the way we use our breath. Combined with these exercises, we are using forward folds to calm the mind. Warrior Three and King Dancer are poses that help to improve focus, balance, and concentration, and Chair pose twists assist in digestion. At the end of all of this, we are working toward an amount of time where students sit quietly with their eyes closed or their head down for a guided meditation. Our older students are up to 2 minutes and our younger students are able to stay focused on this process for about one minute.

Mindfulness exercises we are concentrating on this week include Boat pose on a chair, standing twists, Crossbody coordination, Triangle and Tree. We are working with Bumblebee breath and Countdown to Calm. If time permits, we are working on maintaining quiet breathing exercises for one to two minutes. Research cited below details the emotional benefits of mindfulness practice for students.

Emotion Regulation

Mindfulness is associated with emotion regulation across a number of studies 3. Mindfulness creates changes in the brain that correspond to less reactivity 4, and better able to engage in tasks even when emotions are activated.5

3 Roemer, L., Williston, S. K., & Rollins, L. G. (2015). Mindfulness and emotion regulation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 3, 52–57.

4 Goldin, P. R., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Effects of mindfulness-­based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion, 10(1), 83.

5 Ortner, C. N., Kilner, S. J., & Zelazo, P. D. (2007). Mindfulness meditation and reduced emotional interference on a cognitive task. Motivation and Emotion, 31(4), 271–283.

In Art we are continuing to finish work for our fundraiser, Art To Remember.


We are working on Art to Remember in some of our classes and hope to be sending the artworks home soon.

High School Math


We have spent the past several weeks investigating the properties of triangles and the triangle congruence theorems. Students worked first with compass and straight-edge constructions and have since moved on to writing formal proofs. We learned different methods of proof-writing (e.g. two-column and flow chart) and worked collaboratively to support our understanding of the logical flow of proofs. Emphasis has been placed on the visual understanding of proof through properly marked diagrams. Students have been able to make conjectures and write their own proofs for theorems such as the triangle sum theorem and the isosceles triangle theorem. We look forward to using these theorems to acquire a deeper understanding of quadrilateral properties in January.

AP Calculus

The Advanced Placement Calculus Class has started working with integrals (area under the curve). We are currently going over rules for finding Indefinite Integrals using the power rule and substitution. The class is also working on corrections for their midterm exams. Next week we will start finding the value of definite integral using the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. This will allow the students to calculate areas under curves, between curves as well as finding volumes of solids when areas are rotated around the x or y-axis.

AP Statistics

This month we have investigated the distributions of discrete random variables, connecting the concepts of probability and statistics. Students learned about binomial and geometric distributions and applied this knowledge to a real-world example: Each student has selected a quarterback from those in the NFC and AFC championships and will use these statistics to predict and analyze quarterback performance.

This month we have investigated the distributions of discrete random variables, connecting the concepts of probability and statistics. Students learned about binomial and geometric distributions and applied this knowledge to a real-world example: Each student has selected a quarterback from those in the NFC and AFC championships and will use these statistics to predict and analyze quarterback performance.

Algebra 1

This week in Algebra 1 we have been investigating piecewise-defined, step and absolute value functions. Students learned how to write function rules and graph these functions as well as how to use them to model real-life situations. In our work with absolute value functions, we began a preliminary investigation of function transformations. This study lays the groundwork for the deeper study of transformations that takes place in Geometry and Algebra 2.

Algebra 2

This week in Algebra 2 we completed our study of rational exponent and solving radical equations. Students worked a mastery of the exponent properties they learned first in Algebra 1. Then we worked on radical equations understanding how the process of solving such equations can generate extraneous solutions.

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High School Science

In Mrs.McGowan's class for a lab, we had trimmed a small piece of our hair and put it on a slide and looked at it under a microscope in all powers. After that, we had looked at them and determined our characteristics. Once we had finished that we had taken other classmates slides. Some people had different color hair and it showed that most blonde hairs turned out to be clear. Also, you can tell with hair that they have characteristics in their hair! This week was such a fun week to have a lab and use the microscopes!

In AP Chemistry, we've been learning about how to predict whether a reaction will occur and how much heat it'll absorb or release. We're currently working on a lab in which we decide which substance(s) would work well for making a hand warming pack.

In Chemistry, we've been learning about solutions. We did a lab where we dissolved different substances in water and observed how that changed the boiling point of water. We've learned about why different substances change the boiling point and freezing point of water different amounts, and why we use road salt when it's snowy or icy.

in Materials Science, we've been learning about metals, ceramics, glasses, and polymers, and some of their properties -- like how they stand up to heating, or how well they conduct electricity. We've also been learning about some properties of different elements, such as how they respond to being hit with a hammer, or whether they react with acid.

High School Social Studies

AP Psychology kicked off Sensation and perception with two activities. One was smelling scents and seeing what memories the scents evoked. The other was throwing a ball using perception altering goggles that alter perception by 30 degrees. Fun was had by all as we learned about senses and their link to perception.

Sociology brainstormed and presented their lists of what each student believed was the fabric of American Culture for our unit on Culture.

In Mr. Stover’s and Mr. Reilly’s Economics class, seniors are being introduced to concepts of capitalism, supply and demand, and opportunity cost. The class will also be exposed to the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Discussions and activities will be had on how individuals and societies make decisions based on their limited resources to satisfy their needs and wants. Notable people such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and Jerome Powell will also be explored and how each influenced the economic structure of their time.

Food and Cultures of the World began in the 2nd Semester with learning about the regions of the world, how to say hello in different languages, and decorating the kitchen. This week we made French Madeleine cookies, Italian "Rosebud" cookies, and American chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. It was fun exploring baking. We are cooking Chinese food next to celebrate the Chinese New Year! We have a family style table in Room 220 and will be learning how to set a proper table.

We are looking for recipes and guest chefs if anyone is interested.

Mr. Stover's 8th Grade Social Studies class will be starting a family immigration project. Students will interview older family members, discuss family traditions, and bring into school traditional foods from the country of their migration to America. Hopefully, the students will gain an appreciation for their family background and the hardships their ancestors endured before and after coming to America.

High School English

ELA 9/10

This week, ELA 9/10 students have started working on individual projects upon finishing the play A Streetcar Named Desire. Students chose project options based on their interests and skills, taking on the roles of casting directors, set designers, costume designers, and advertising executives for a new stage or film version of the play. As casting directors, students select the ideal actors to portray characters, justifying their decisions with descriptions of the actors and citing specific elements of the play that suit actors’ qualifications. The set designers are using Tennessee Williams’ stage directions and descriptions to create three-dimensional models of the New Orleans apartment in which the play is set. Costume designers are creating costume sketches for the characters, and advertising executives are considering target audiences in their creation of campaign elements, such as television ads and billboards. All students will consider the thematic and symbolic elements of the play.

AP Language

To wrap up our study of rhetoric in speeches, students worked on their 2nd quarter presentation in small groups. Each group chose a famous speech to analyze and deliver to the class. Speeches include Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech and Malala Yousafzai’s speech to the United Nations. Students analyzed the rhetorical techniques and effectiveness of these speeches, made decisions regarding speech delivery (eye contact, body language, dramatic pauses, emphasis, changes in volume, pronunciation, visible emotion, etc), and delivered their speeches to the class at the end of the week.


In the two novels, the 7th graders have read this year, characters identify problems in their societies and work hard to find solutions. This week we started working on individual inquiry projects inspired by these activists, who were based on real people in history. Students started the project by brainstorming in small groups, thinking about problems that need to be solved in our school, the town of Tuxedo, New York state, the United States, and the world. Individually, students began research topics of particular interest to them, such as animal rights, pollution, homelessness, and poverty. Ms. Fox will be helping us narrow down topics and use online resources, including the ABC-CLIO and TUFSD Library research databases. The final projects will have a visual (poster, slideshow, or video), written, and verbal (presentation) components.

9/10 Honors:

The Honors class just finished watching Schindler's List, in conjunction with our unit on I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson and our Holocaust projects. Students were very intrigued by Schindler's life as well as how well the directing of Steven Spielberg brought the time period to life. Now we are moving on to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and the juxtaposition of mental health diagnosis and treatment of the 1950's vs. today.


The juniors are in the middle of The Great Gatsby unit. It is an interesting time period to explore, the "Roaring 20's" and all the wastefulness that plagues the wealthy of that era. The atmosphere that F. Scott Fitzgerald generates epitomizes a materialistic mind and gives our student readers a glimpse of that lifestyle, teaching the importance of human interactions and their possible repercussions. They will also be doing projects based on that era near the end of the book.


The seniors just finished a major project where students formed groups and researched different aspects and connections to Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. Presentations averaged 20 minutes, and each group taught their peer's extensive information on their respective topics. These presentations ranged from learning about CERN to famous scientists (Copernicus, Edwin Hubble, etc.), to the Big Bang Theory all the way to famous architects/artists (Michelangelo, John Milton, Bernini) in Rome.

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High School Guidance

Attention Seniors! We have a few scholarships that have been posted to our website under the “Guidance and Pupil Services” link which is found on the dropdown under District Services on the menu bar. Please check back every 2-3 weeks throughout the Spring Semester to see if there is something that you or your child might be eligible for. **We may also mail home any applications that are specific to our students only so that all students have a chance to apply.

**As a reminder, Ms. Oliva will automatically send out a mid-year grade report to the colleges and universities that have yet to release a decision out to your child.

Attention Juniors! Over the next few weeks, I will present information to you on planning for college and post-high school options. I am available during the months of February and March for College Planning appointments. Please call the Guidance Office at ext. 2101 to set up a planning appointment with your child and me. Over the next few months, I will be working with your children exploring various post-high school pathways depending upon your child’s future plans. Our school-based system, Naviance, can be used for career searches and college major explorations. I have introduced the program to students and have taken them through some of what Naviance can do!

Please see the helpful attachments and links below:

Some exciting news for this year’s Juniors nation-wide is the start of a new CollegeBoard initiative where schools have the option to give an actual SAT during the school day to students. We feel that doing so will help to alleviate the stress that kids have when arriving at a school district and environment that they are unfamiliar with on their test date. Students will have the option to elect to take the test here with us on Tuesday, April 9th @ 8 am. You will receive a mailing home shortly with further details about the day and a payment request.

For further information about School Day Testing: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/k12-educators/sat-school-day/about

Click here for updated college acceptances! http://tuxedoufsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_1210127/File/Guidance/18-19%20College%20acceptances.pdf

Click here for our postgraduate planning guide: http://tuxedoufsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_1210127/File/Guidance/College%20Info/Post%20graduate%20planning%20guide%20for%20web.pdf

Mrs. Oliva spoke to Cheryl O’Brien who is a test prep specialist based out of Suffern, N.Y. She has worked with a number of our students in the past and has also taught test prep classes at TPS in Tuxedo. She has offered our families a group test prep session and she is also available for individual tutoring.

The group test prep information is as follows:

Please choose a group session time and day: Either 9-11 am on Saturday morning or 4-6 pm on Sunday evening. Both classes start the weekend of February 16th/17th and it is a pay as you go program. The sessions would take place every weekend leading up to our April 9th SAT test date. Students would meet at her office location, 85 Lafayette Avenue, next to the movie theatre. Each hour is $ 45.00 with a total of $ 90.00 per 2-hour session (cash or check accepted). For the groups to run, there must be a minimum of 4 students per time slot listed above. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please call 845-369-7287 to register. ** All materials will be provided to you during your session, you will just need to bring a pen/pencil and your school calculator.

Individual Tutoring information is as follows:

A private tutoring session is $ 130.00 an hour and a semi-private session is $100.00 per hour. All materials will be provided to you during your session. Please reach out to Cheryl at 845-369-7287 to discuss a time/day that works for you.

For more information please visit the test prep website at http://www.cherylobrientestprep.com

Be on the lookout next week, we will send out the SAT School Day test letter requesting payment along with further information about the actual test day. I will register the students for the exam, there is nothing more you will need to do on your end except sending in payment to the school.

Thanks again and as always, please let me know if you have any questions.

Christine Oliva

Physical and Health Education

Students have returned from break and the students in the 8th-grade health class have started working on a brochure for a chosen STD. Students will then do research on their chosen STD and figure out the risk factors, sign and symptoms, and treatments for their STD and will be done in brochure form, like one that someone would see in a doctor’s office.

In Project Adventure, students have begun to play a game called Tchoukball. Tchoukball is a game that is found mainly in Europe that involves a ball and two rebounders. The idea of the game is that there are 2 teams, with 2 rebounders. Either team can go to either rebounder, the team will throw the ball off one of them, if the ball is caught the game continues, however, if the ball hits the ground then the team that threw the ball will get a point. Some rules are consistent with ultimate frisbee in the sense that if you have the ball you are only allowed to take 2 steps. So far the students have been having a great time with it in class.

In 7th-grade Physical Education I did a round of “Basketball Golf”. It was a way for me to gauge the students shooting technique and ability. The way it worked is the students got into groups of 3 and they were given a scoresheet that looks like a mini-golf scoresheet. There were 18 spots spread out throughout the gym. The students would write down how many shots it took them to make it in the basket from that particular “hole”. It also gave the students a bit of competition to see who has the best shot in class.

In 3rd-grade Physical Education the students have started their basketball unit. We have begun with the chest pass, bounce pass, and dribbling. The game the students love is where half the class will have a ball and begin dribbling around the gym. On my go, the other half of the class has to run out there and try to steal the ball from someone that is dribbling. The idea is to get the students to get used to dribbling low and close to their body so that the ball is not stolen from them.

The 4th, 5th and 6th grades are just finishing up with a Basketball unit. They worked on developing and improving their dribbling, passing and shooting skills. This unit will be followed by a week of Cooperative Games, working on cooperation and teamwork. K, 1st and 2nd grades will be working on Manipulative skills. Tossing and catching to themselves in place then moving and finally with a partner.

Library Media

K - We learned about Eric Carle and how he makes pictures using different materials. We know all the different parts of a book including the author, illustrator, cover, spine, bar code, spine label, and title page!

1 - We started our Internet Safety unit and learned how to safely visit online. We know to ask a grownup for permission before going online, to stay on sites that are appropriate for us, and to only talk to people we know in real life.

2 - We are working on Internet Safety and learned how to safely go online and what responsibilities we have when we are online. We know how to create safe passwords!

3 - We learned how to create strong passwords for our accounts. We know that we should share our passwords with a grownup (but not a sibling or friend!) and that our passwords should not be a dictionary word, but a phrase.

4/5 - We reviewed how to make strong passwords and began to discuss what kind of information our usernames should have and what we should avoid. We talked about how much we use different kinds of media and are learning what healthy media use looks like (which may be different for each person).

6 - We reviewed how to make strong passwords and usernames and then began discussing how to make good choices online. We are keeping track of when we use media, for how long, and at what time of day so that we can learn to make healthy media choices. We learned about “blue light” that screens emit and what it can do to our brains.

8 - We talked about healthy study skills and how much screen time we should have each day.

GGM Winter Reading Challenge Update: We have read 37,814 minutes as a building so far!
We’re trying to reach 1,000,000 by the end of March.

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High School STEM

High School STEM has all classes using various software to design, present and program. Each group is designing, presenting and problem-solving. The STEM 7 class has learned to create a series of 3d shapes in tinkercad and Vectary two web-based software programs. STEM 8 is using Autodesk Inventor, a different type of 3d modeling tool, to redesign and create new shapes and components. STEM Applications is learning how to maximize the use of Home Designer, an architectural program, that will show a layout of a home with rendered drawings. The Design and Drawing Class is working on creating 3D layouts using Fusion360 a CAD program that will generate a programming code for use with the HAAS milling machine. Finally, the STEM job shadowing has students preparing portfolios for the careers and jobs of interests.


Tuxedo Music Department:

The TUFSD will be performing Catch Me if You Can for this year’s spring musical! Catch Me if You Can is a musical, movie, book, and best of all, true story about a teenager who scams and cons his way to the top. The story, set in 1964, follows 16-year-old Frank William Abagnale Jr. (John Castricone) who runs away from his picturesque home in New Rochelle after realizing his parents, Frank Abagnale Sr (Thomas Iazzetti) and Paula Abagnale (Cristal Pichardo) are getting a divorce. He forges checks from his newly opened bank account, under aliases, and once the first 50 run out he simply buys a MICR encoder and makes his own. He fibs his way into being a bartender, a pilot for Pan Am, a Secret Service agent, and a doctor for the state of Georgia, where he falls in love with nurse Brenda Strong (Madison Spivak), all while on the run. However, things aren’t all perfect for Frank - FBI agent Carla Hanratty (Catherine Heavner), is on his case, waiting for him to slip so she can catch up to him. Will Hanratty find Frank, or will he always stay one step ahead? Come to the show and find out!

The director and music director of the show is Clayton Chan. For anyone unaware of who Clayton Chan is, he has been the music teacher at George F Baker since 2016. He has taught the music to the actors as well as conducting the orchestra for Beauty and The Beast in 2017 and The Little Mermaid in 2018, and he has recently taken over the role of director since Carol Marash retired last year. This year for the show, art teacher Mark Stankiewicz has constructed three different platforms that come out from the stage - one long runway in the middle that goes into the aisle, and two smaller platforms on either side of this runway, where the actors can perform. He has also been designing elaborate

sets and props for the musical, that we couldn’t go on without! Chloe Coté is the choreographer for the show, and she has been with us since The Little Mermaid last year. She combines traditional and contemporary dance styles to give the musical numbers life. These three, along with parent volunteers and student actors, have helped turn this musical from just an idea, into a sparkling reality. The dates for the performances are February 22, 23, and 24. You can buy tickets on the Tuxedo Union Free School District website. Come and support local, aspiring actors, and enjoy the show!

Mrs. Kurian is back in the classroom! We are planning some exciting pieces for the Spring concert- including a French piece for 4th-6th grade. Students in KG and 1 are mastering their C-major scale on boomwhackers. 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades all have a ‘double this, double that’ challenge which involves performing quarter and eighth notes. Orchestra lessons 4th -10th grade will start within the next 2 weeks.

Language Other than English (LOTE)

Spanish 8: Oh, the Places You'll Go! Ir is to go (clap, clap) Ir is to go (clap, clap) Ir is to go, Ir is to go, Ir is to go (clap, clap) (sung to the Adam's Family tune). This week we are working on the verb ir. We are talking about the places that we go to in the community and next week we will be talking about the activities that we do there.

Spanish 4 students participated in a cultural cooking class. On the menu were quesadillas, homemade guacamole, & homemade salsa. ¡Qué delicioso!

1st grade is working on learning how to say different foods in Spanish. They have been working hard with lots of different interactive activities in class. This unit is making us hungry... so we may have to bring in our favorite foods to share with our classmates and talk about it in Spanish. What better way to learn than to fully engage with the material?!

Kinder- has really settled into Spanish class. We have mastered our vowels, moved onto colors and now our numbers. Wow! This week we combined both by counting balloons and then saying what color they are.

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