Curriculum & Instruction Newsletter

Fair Haven Public Schools

June 2022 - Volume 4, Issue 4

Dear Fair Haven Families,

As our current school year comes to a close, I look back upon how far we've come since September. We have remarkable families, students, and staff who have joined together to make this a great year! From newly formed traditions to those we've come to love from year's past, I have enjoyed every minute of being a part of this amazing community! To have to opportunity to see students learn and grow, to see their resilience and hope, and to witness the joy and happiness in each school, every day, my heart is full. I can go into the summer with fond memories and look forward to a new year, where I will continue to fill my mental scrapbook with new pictures of what's to come.

Have a safe, fun, and relaxing summer, Fair Haven!


Cheryl Romano

Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Twitter: @FHCurriculum

"One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” Jeannette Walls

Shakespeare Brought to Life

In Mrs. Illiano’s and Ms. Dalmedo’s 8th grade literacy classes, students look at literature through a variety of lenses. Here, they take the lead role in acting out Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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Bugs on the Go!

On May 6th, our preschool and second grade students got to see some bugs up close, bringing their insect studies to life! Sickles had a very special visitor, Taylor, from Insectropolis. She shared her passion for a variety of insects and the students had the opportunity to not only ask her all the questions they had on their minds, but they also got to touch three of the four live specimens that she brought.

During the presentation, students learned that bugs are Arthropods, they have legs and an exoskeleton. They also learned about characteristics of insects, which included that they have 6 legs, 3 body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and they have 2 antennae. Students got to meet a live insect, a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach named Spike. Spike loves dog food and he also hisses to stay safe.

The next insect that students learned about is called a myriapod. Pepper, the Giant African Black Millipede, was ready to meet the students as she walked across Taylor's hands and arms, her legs moving in an awesome wavelike pattern. Pepper currently has 256, but is not full grown yet. As she grows, she will get more body segments, increasing her number of legs. Each body segment has 4 legs. Pepper is a detritivore because she likes to eat rotten things, like dead wood. To stay safe, she curls up into a ball.

Students then learned about a classification of insects called Arachnids. Arachnids are carnivorous bugs that eat meat. They have 8 legs and no antennae. Tarantulas and scorpions are considered Arachnids, as well as ticks and dust mites.

The first Arachnid that students met was an Emperor Scorpion named Julius. Since Julius has big claws, his sting isn't very potent. This is true of all scorpions, the bigger the claws, the less powerful the sting. The reverse is also true, the smaller the claws, the more powerful the sting. Students learned many interesting facts about scorpions, for example, they glow under a black light and have been on earth since the dinosaurs. They haven’t changed much at all, but their size has changed. 30 million years ago, scorpions were 3 feet long! Now they’re about 6 inches long.

The last Arachnid that students met was a Chilean Rose Haired Tarantula named Rosie. Tarantulas spin webs in the ground to create a den and spend most of their life there. They inject bugs with venom. To stay safe, tarantulas have urticating hairs that they can flick off their abdomen using their back legs. These hairs make other predators itchy or can even blind them. Rosie has a bite as strong as a bee sting, so her venom is relatively weak. Since she doesn't see well, even with 8 eyes, the hairs on her body pick up vibrations and that is how she gets around. Rosie was very sweet and our students had an opportunity to touch one of her legs, which was as soft as a kitten!

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Ellis Island

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This year students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade had the opportunity to visit Ellis Island. To gear up for this experience, students read texts about Ellis Island, providing them background before their big trip. Students read stories like At Ellis Island: A History in Many Voices, to hear about the different experiences people had when they arrived at Ellis Island.

Stock Market Club

Congratulations to our 4th grade students, Kevin Griffin and Soren de Bruijn, for placing 2nd in the New Jersey South 2022 Spring Competitive Session! Mrs. Dougherty heads up the Stock Market Club for students and works with them to understand how to build their portfolios. We are so proud of Kevin and Soren! They worked really hard to have one of the top portfolios in our region of NJ.

These students and their families were invited to “attend” the National Stock Market Game Virtual Awards Ceremony in May.

Kindergarten Orientation

On May 18, 2022, Mrs. Schwartz welcomed families who have students that will be joining the Sickles family for kindergarten in the fall. Mrs. Schwartz, Ms. Romano, and Mr. McNeil shared information with families about what to expect when their children start their kindergarten year and mapped out what a full day of kindergarten looks like. From mindfulness and lunch in the APR, to curriculum and tradition, they spoke about all many of the elements that make Sickles special. Below, please find a link to the presentation shared with families:

Kindergarten Orientation

Transition Day

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Bringing back the tradition of our 3rd grade show was nothing short of spectacular! As families took a seat in the Sickles APR, our amazing students filed in, took their places on the risers, and began to serenade the crowd with some amazing songs, solos, and quotes. Led by our very own, Mr. Mottern, the students sang Secrets, Waves, When the Saints Go Marching In, Friction, and Cai Cai Baloa. This program was just good for the soul!

The students then got in gear to ride their bikes down 3rd Street, with Mrs. Schwartz and Mr. McNeil at the helm! What a heartwarming sight! At Knollwood, students got to hear from their soon to be teachers and enjoyed an afternoon learning about the specials they get to take part in. I love this day!

Black Out Poetry

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As part of their study of Dystopian Literature, students in Mrs. Schiano's and Mrs. Bielska's 6th grade literacy classes read The Giver. The Giver is a dystopian novel by Lois Lowry that explores themes such as diversity of thought and freedom of expression. Blackout poems use a text written by another author. The “new writer” takes a writing implement, commonly a black marker, and blacks out sections of the text, leaving only a few remaining words. Students used pages out of The Giver to make their own blackout poems.

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Fair Haven Field Days

We had two great days of weather for our annual Field Day festivities at Sickles and Knollwood!
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Taking Advantage of the Great Weather

With these warm summer days arriving in early June, what better way to take advantage than use our outdoor spaces for class! Students in Mrs. Bufano's class enjoy literacy time outside by reading and writing poetry.

Postal Service Pals

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On Monday, June 20th, students in 3rd and 4th grade got together at Sportsman's Field for the first ever Knights Postal Service Pen Pal Meet Up!

Throughout the year, students in 3rd and 4th grade wrote friendly letters to each other using Google Docs, our "Knights Postal Service." In order to ease the transition from Sickles to Knollwood and ensure that each current 3rd grader has a built-in buddy, this postal service was created. Our 3rd graders had the opportunity to ask 4th graders questions about Knollwood and started to become acquainted with the building before even stepping a foot in their 4th grade classrooms.

To make this connection more personal this year, Ms. Cheryl Romano, with the help of many others, put together the Pen Pal Meet Up. Students from Sickles walked to Knollwood to meet their pen pal, enjoyed a snack together, and saw how much they really knew about their pen pal based on the letters they shared over the course of the year. Then each class participated in a variety of fun, team building activities. From a blindfolded obstacle course, to a "Titanic Challenge'," students had to work together to accomplish all of the stations.

Our Pen Pal Meet Up was a great day of fun and friendship! I look forward to our Knights Postal Service and Pen Pal Meet Ups in the coming years.

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Sleeping Out to Support Homeless Teens

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Last year, we began working with students in our Gifted Education Program under the theme of "Impact." Students learned about a variety of organizations that support communities and one that the students gravitated to was The Covenant House. This organization is the only one of its kind to support homeless youth between the ages of 18-24. Through a combination of support strategies, including educational programs, job training and placement, medical services, mental health and substance abuse counseling, legal aid and beyond, The Covenant House helps young people embrace the great promise of their lives, overcome steep barriers to independence and strive to achieve their aspirations. Students participated in a virtual sleep out last year to raise funds and awareness for this cause.

In this new school year, students still had the same passion for this organization and wanted to take it to the next level. This year, students in our Gifted Education Program, along with some of their friends, joined Dr. Sara Marino, Ms. Cheryl Romano, and Mrs. Lauren Ganley for a sleep out at school. On Friday, June 10th, 15 students slept at Knollwood School. Students participating in the sleep out raised funds again, this time amounting over $5,000!! They participated in onsite activities with AJ, a representative from The Covenant House, where students learned about causes of youth homelessness, the supports that The Covenant House provides, and how to spread the word about this amazing organization. Students engaged in activities, asked thoughtful questions, and learned how to empathize with those who may be experiencing homelessness. We are so proud of our students and their passion to learn about and support a great cause!

Kindergarten WOW Experiences

As our kindergarten classes end the school year with their Sports Study, they have been very busy participating in some fantastic WOW experiences. These experiences bring in real world connections based on the study the students are currently exploring.

Mrs. Jordan Trautman, mother to one of our kindergarten students, is the current Monmouth University Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach, and she came to show all of our students how to play lacrosse. She even brought her team with her to work each class! How lucky are we to have so many opportunities for our students?

Knitting at Knollwood

Students at Knollwood have the opportunity to sign up for recess activities. Teachers get to share their talents with students and Mrs. Carpenter has brought her love of knitting to interested students. These photos are from when students got to learn how to loom knit, traditional knit, and crochet. Everyone got to try a little of everything and make some creative projects. This was a great opportunity to socialize and share ideas with other students. The kids had a great time and made amazing finished products that they can be really proud of!

Tri-District Olympics

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On June 3, several of our Knollwood students took part in the 2022 Tri-District Olympics at RFH. Our boys competed in various track events as part of the RFH team against RBR and Forrestdale. We are so proud of our students, their amazing efforts, and their positive attitudes!

Art Alive, The Fair Haven District Art Show

Art Alive, The Fair Haven District Art Show, was held on Wednesday, June 8 at Knollwood School. Two and three-dimensional art works from students at Sickles and Knollwood Schools were on view along with interactive displays. Music was provided by Knollwood students under the guidance of Mel Chayette and Sara Marino. We are grateful to The Fair Haven PTA who prepared and hung the work for all to see.

Allons en Ville

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In 8th grade French, students in Mrs. Amabile's class review the vocabulary for places in town and learn how to ask for and give directions. Then each student chooses a typical town building to create from a shoe/tissue box, researches it, and creates it. Students learn details such as all pharmacies in France are identified with a green cross on the front of the building and McDonald’s (called “McDo”) is green and yellow not red and yellow. Another group of students act as civil engineers to plan the roadways and name them with authentic French names. Finally, students pair up and ask for / give directions from Point A to Point B (they actually walk on the map!).
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Mental Health Day

To celebrate May as Mental Health Month, Knollwood Peer Leaders ran a Mental Health Day for all 4th and 5th grade students. Throughout the day, students were able to try 10 different activities to learn about or practice mental health skills. Some of these activities included making their own "calm jars," dancing, journaling, spending time with Stella the therapy dog, and Mental Health Jeopardy!
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