Curriculum Chronicle

May 2016

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Thank You

There aren't enough words to truly express the appreciation we have for you! The time and energy you spend in planning lessons, teaching our students, and expressing interest in the students' lives outside of school is to be commended. Everyone works tirelessly and gives their best everyday to help shape the young minds in our classrooms. So our message to you this month is to :

Live, Laugh, Learn, Inspire

To teach is to touch lives, and we can't thank you enough for touching the lives of our Westampton students.

Inventing! by Megan Jedwabny

Thomas Edison on said, “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” That’s just what the 4th grade Reading Enrichment did this past year! Through the EIRC’s Gifted & Talented Service we implemented a program called SITE (Student Inventions Through Education) in the Holly Hills REP classroom. Students worked to solve some of their biggest problems and frustrations in everyday life. Does it bother you that things are constantly falling out of your desk? Or, that a melting popsicle makes your hands all sticky? How about cleaning all of that hair out of your brush? This group of nine and ten year olds was determined to try and solve these problems, as well as several others. The students brainstormed, sketched and designed their products to prepare for our school’s local contest. Students presented their inventions to a panel of judges. The top three inventions are heading to a Regional Competition at Rowan’s BCC campus in June to compete against other aspiring inventors from across the state.

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Holly Hills Art Room is participating in Artsonia this year. Artsonia is the largest online student art museum! Every child in grades 2-4 at Holly Hills has their artwork featured in a private online art gallery that their families can access to view their work and purchase items featuring their artwork. A percentage of proceeds from the sale of HHS student artwork goes back to the HHS Art room! As of the beginning of April, here are some stats about Artsonia at HHS:

  • We have 71% of the 2nd-4th grade parents connected with accounts
  • Mrs. McCarty has uploaded 1,467 pieces of artwork
  • We've had 5,556 visitors to our gallery
  • 694 parents/families/friends of students have left comments for our artists
  • Sales in the gift shop have earned a little over $400 for the HHS Art room account

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month

Please click on the link below about protecting your educator voice! Thank you to our speech therapists for the resource!

Performing Arts at WMS by Julia Beekman

There are many events and honors taking place at Westampton Middle School that highlight the talents of our students:

West Burlington County Honors Band:

7th and 8th grade middle school students in the West Burlington County area are nominated by their teachers and then selected to participate in the WBC Honors Band. We had 11 students chosen! Two of them made first chair!

-Jasmine Harmon: Tenor Saxophone

-Gloria Ibidapo: Bartione

-Elizabeth Laflotte: Trombone

-Aryana Mahammadi: Mallet Percussion

-Kaitlyn Oliveri: First Chair Alto Saxophone

-Brinda Patel: First Chair Flute

-Vivian Rudolph: Trumpet

-Isabella Santos: Trombone

-Collin Smith: French Horn

-Hannah Trepper: Bass Clarinet

-Gabriella Wilson: Flute

South Jersey Elementary Honors Band

Over 500 students in grades 4th, 5th, and 6th that go to school in the south jersey area were nominated by their teachers. We had three students selected to be a part of one of the three bands that perform!

-Avery Hannon: Trombone

-Aleksandra Kimball: Clarinet

-Aaliyah Thompson: French Horn

Other events occurring:

-Open-Mic Nite on Friday April 29 that also featured select artists from Ms. Norcross' art class.

-The Westampton School District will be singing at the Trenton Thunder Game on Friday May 13th.

-WMS Spring Concert is May 31st and the theme is Out of This World

ESL Students' ART OF STORIES by Jennifer Pena-Jedwabny

Mrs. Peña-Jedwabny’s 3rd and 4th grade ESL students studied the Art of Stories. They learned about story elements, story writing, illustration, and storyboarding. Mrs. Peña-Jedwabny guided the students through the story-making process from start to finish. As a class, the students brainstormed on an idea for a story, wrote the story, and then illustrated the story. They used a website,, a wonderful resource for digital storytelling to help bring books to life.

Upon completing the class’s story, each student then created their own stories. Boy were they creative!

After the stories were finalized, the student’s asked if they could donate a copy to the library at Holly Hills Elementary. Mrs. Murphy was very excited and said, “You know the kids here will definitely be checking these books out!”

The ESL student’s we able to study the story-making process, practice writing in a fun and creative way, and leave a little piece of themselves behind for future Holly Hills students to enjoy.

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WMS Library Revitalized! by Doneanne Soult

The library is home to more than just books and research materials -- we also offer several enrichment programs to our WMS students. Some outstanding achievements by our students this year include:

Our 7th and 8th grade Battle of the Books students competed at the regional level against 17 area schools and placed 7th. Our 5th and 6th grade students placed 4th against 9 area schools. Students answer difficult trivia questions on 15 titles (the lists change each year). Reading lists are released in June of each year, and students are encouraged to begin reading over the summer.

Our 7th and 8th grade ROGATE students have been busy researching critical issues facing today's society. These students not only completed extensive primary and secondary source research, but also interviewed experts in their field of research, created 10-12 minute speeches, and will be presenting their findings at a regional exposition in May at Camden County College . Some of our ROGATE students also participated in the SATs as well as the Johns Hopkins Gifted and Talented Youth programs.

Our 5th and 6th grade STREAM (science, technology, research, engineering, the arts, and math) students love coming to the "liboratory" to engage in our weekly activities. Most recently, our students participated in the Smithsonian Ready, Set, Design challenge, which asks students to think critically and engineer answers to various problems, such as "“I need to create a safe way to cook in a home with no electricity.” Students built prototypes with limited materials and time before presenting their solution to the class. We had many very creative answers to our problems!

See the links below for more information about each program.

Google Earth at Holly Hills, By Marc Krisch

For those not familiar, Google Earth is virtual mapping tool that allows everyone to view the world and historical places from aerial and street level views. Satellite and ground mapping provides a 3D like view not possible with usual 2D maps.

Students in both Second and Third Grades have been learning about the use of coordinate mapping and lines of longitude and latitude to explore famous locations thought the world or view African Animals in their native habitats.

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