The Boulevard Beat

A Monthly Newsletter from SBS - January 2016 Edition

The Principal's Place

Dear SBS Community,

I hope that this message finds you dry and warm. The many puzzled faces that I saw during our 60 degree December pick-ups have turned into familiar smiles behind scarves! With January now in full swing, I want to encourage everyone to keep a watchful eye on the calendar. We have many events coming up that are definitely worth participating in! For now, I'd like to take this moment to cover a few items.

Our lost and found is growing, and it's time to for us to do some winter cleaning. From 1/27-1/29, from 8:00AM-4:00PM, we will move our lost and found outside of the K-doors. If you are missing an item and would like to look through the lost and found, you may do so at your convenience. At the end of the day on 1/29, any items that remain in the lost and found will be donated to local charities.

The colder weather brings daily decisions for me when it comes to determining whether or not we will go outside for morning lineup and lunch recess. I always make these decisions carefully, and never make them from behind a desk. I step outside each morning before school, and then again before recess, to gauge the likelihood of getting the children some needed fresh air. As is the case with every decision, one size does not fit all. Please understand that if we send the students outside for recess on a day that is cold, children who I feel are not dressed for the cold may be asked to stay inside. Know that I will use careful judgement in these cases, and will only require students to stay in when I believe it is in their best interest.

Speaking of recess, we will be pursuing a new outdoor recess option for students who would rather not play traditional recess games. Again, one size does not fit all, and there are plenty of children who have a variety of interests. During the week of 2/1, we will begin to assemble recess game kits which will include large blocks, duplo or mega block sized Legos, and other games that come in oversized varieties. For example, oversized Jenga or dominoes could be big hits! I am focusing on oversized options in order to avoid losing pieces. If there are any parents who have any of these types of games or blocks that you are finished with and would like to unload, you can drop them off in a collection box outside of the main office during the week of 2/1.

As always, I thank you for your ongoing support, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Robert Gardella

The Nurse's Nook

A few words about love and mud from the nurse……

Valentine’s Day celebrations are around the corner! Lessons about kindness and character are always a highlight and the children look forward to distributing cards to their classmates. Each year at this time, we begin to repeat this request: Please do not attach candy or other edible items to Valentine’s Day cards! Due to district regulations (specifically, 5331A), we are not allowed to send food out of the school with children. As a result we are unable to distribute cards with food attached. Your cooperation is very much appreciated!

Winter brings messy weather. Whether it is snow, melting snow or mud, we expect children to find themselves “up close and personal” with these elements. Please dress your child appropriately for outdoor play. And, please take a few minutes to pack some extra clothes (pants, socks, etc.) in their backpacks. Preparing ahead will help them and it will also help you to avoid unwanted trips to the school to provide warm, dry clothes!

Thanks for your commitment to the safety and health of everyone!

Karen Leister

School Nurse

The Library Lowdown

LET THE BATTLES BEGIN!!!.....2nd and 3rd graders have started the Battle of the Books. This is a motivational reading program at Southern Boulevard School, as well as many other schools in New Jersey. Traditionally, this program has been for third grade through middle school students. However, about 3 years ago Mr. D'Aloia created a similar experience for second graders and it was well-received. For both grades, Battle of the Books stimulates reading by getting good books into students’ hands and encourages independent reading. It gives them a common literary experience, and encourages and recognizes students’ enjoyment of reading. In addition, it provides them with a variety of authors whose other books they may enjoy reading. The titles chosen expose them to various types of literature (realistic fiction, fantasy, biography, historical fiction, etc.). These titles vary in reading level and may be read independently or at home with an adult. Third graders will use chromebooks to create summaries/memory joggers and share with other members of their team. The students have done an outstanding job delving into the numerous books. Keep up the great work!

Our first graders have been learning about folktales and fairy tales. We have explored numerous books such as Clay Boy, by Mirra Ginsburg. Students made text-to-text connections with other stories such as Porkenstein, by Kathryn Lasky.

"Run, run, as fast as you can -- Here comes the Gingerbread Man on steroids! Ginsburg's rambunctious adaptation of a Russian folktale introduces a little clay fellow who is fashioned by a lonely elderly couple, comes to life and starts wreaking havoc. "I am here! I am hungry!" the clay boy announces, and begins to devour everything in sight."

- Publisher's Weekly

Another favorite book, the fractured fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears was Somebody and the Three Blairs, by Marilyn Tolhurst.

"Humans go for a walk, and somebody looking mighty like a bear makes himself right at home in their cozy domicile. These collaborators offer a vivacious version of the classic tale." - Publisher's Weekly

Kindergarten has heard numerous stories in our lessons over the past weeks. Our most recent favorite is Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, by Jerdine Nolen.

"Harvey Potter was a very strange fellow indeed. He was a farmer but not like any farmer you've ever met. He didn't grow corn, okra, or tomatoes. Harvey Potter grew balloons. No one knew exactly how he did it, but with the help of the light of a full moon, one friendly child catches a peek of just how Harvey Potter does it." - School Library Journal

Parents- Looking for some great books for your children?

GOODREADS.COM is a great resource!

Birthday Book Donations

Alba Blanco - Rosie Revere Engineer

Emma Blanco - Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?

Grace Ritter - The World According to Humphrey

Steven Simonfay - Walter the Farting Dog

The Design Den

What has been happening in Design and Technology this month?

Kindergarten: Students are exploring how animals are engineers when they create their shelters. Ask your child to explain how a bird’s nest is built and what challenges they face as they construct their nests.

1st Grade: Students are using their knowledge of shapes and strength of materials to construct a bridge. Ask your child to share some problems they had to solve with their group during the CREATE step of the design process. Did they have to make any changes or improvements?

2nd Grade: Students are creating advertisements on Google Slides. They hope the Fourth Little Piggy will read their advertisement and be persuaded to buy their house!

Ask your child to show you some of the tools they learned how to use in the Google Slides Toolbar.

3rd Grade: Students are exploring the accessibility of different water resources on Earth.

Ask your child to list different water resources and compare the accessibility of each.

Have a Fabulous February!

Ms. Stojanov (Ms. S)

January 15th Grade 3 Strings Concert

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PTO Posts

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support the PTO at our Harlem Wizards fundraiser. It was with particular pride that I saw many familiar faces from the SBS community. Students, siblings, parents, faculty and staff were all on hand for a day filled with jokes, laughs, and a little bit of basketball, too! Special thanks go to home team players from our SBS family: Mrs. Piazza, Mr. Vogel, Mrs. Ciccone, Miss Militello, Mrs. Piccola, Ms. Killea, Ms. Flanagan and Ms. Heath.

We were certainly not idle this first month of 2016! Our programs are once again underway as we move into the new year:

* Thank you to Jinesha Siriwardana for her work on the first session of Meet the Masters: Music. Thanks too go to our parent volunteers who worked alongside Mrs. Roskam to teach the students about important composers through time.

* Thank you to Terry Cooper and her Gr 2/3 Family Fun Night committee. It was another fun-filled Family Feud-style face-off that would never be possible without the dedication of this team of volunteers. Survey says...this team rocks!

* Thank you to Laura Riso for her ongoing management of Third Grade Strings. Her expertise with this program means a smooth-running program year after year. The winter concert was held earlier this month and showcased our students' developing skills. Thanks, too, go to strings instructor, Ms. Suzanne Bass, for continuing to instill in our children a love of strings and music.

Looking ahead, please mark your calendars for these upcoming dates:
* 2/5 Pizza Parlor Day and Walk to School Day
* 2/8 Chatham Day: A full day dedicated to celebrating our town! Grade-level activities, special guests, gallery of notable Chatham residents past and present -- all capped off with an all-school pep rally for the Cougars! Volunteer opportunities still remain:

* 2/9 PTO Meeting: Come join us in the Media Center for the latest from Mr. Gardella and the goings-on around the school.

* 2/23-2/25 Book Fair: SBS' very own pop-up book shop opens its doors once again in our Media Center. Students will visit the Book Fair with their classes during the school day to make and purchase age-appropriate selections. Stay tuned for more details including parent and family shopping hours!

Thanks again for your continued support of the PTO and our school. Until next month,

Mae Hacking

SBS PTO President 2015-2016

Family Fun Night

Last Friday evening, Grade 2 squared-off against Grade 3 in SBS’s version of Family Feud.

....and then the kids favorite "parent vs. teacher" round.

Dinnertime Conversations...

Tired of the same old responses when you ask your children how their day went? Check here for some conversation starters!

Ask your kindergartner:

1. What two sounds does the letter "e" make? Is it a vowel or consonant?

2. Can you count by 10's to 100?

3. Can you name the 3 states of matter and give an example of each?

Ask your first grader:

1. What is one nonfiction text feature and how is it helpful?

2. What is a double? What is a plus 1 fact? Can you explain?

3. What makes you special when comparing yourself to your classmates?

Ask your second grader:

1. When you are adding numbers, how can you tell if you have to regroup?

2. What are some things you can do today that Martin Luther King Jr. could not do when he was a child?

3. In non-fiction books, what would readers see that they would not see in fiction books?

Ask your third grader:

1. What is the difference between multiplication and division?

2. What was life like in the 13 colonies?

3. What are nonfiction textures? How do they help us understand nonfiction text?