Icahn Charter School 4

Winter Newsletter Vol.3: November / December / January 2016

Jeffrey Litt, Superintendent

Daniel Garcia, Deputy Superintendent

Richard Santiago, Deputy Supt. of Operations & Finance

Michelle Allen, Principal

John Matula, Staff Developer

Principal's Message

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the families that were able to donate coats for our New York Cares: Share the Warmth coat drive. Families showed their appreciation for others, by donating coats and bringing hope to those in need. Thanks to your support we were able to collect a total of 123 coats for children, women and men. In addition to your kindness, our Elementary Honor Society students, under the direction of Ms. Cisneros (Guidance Counselor) were an important par of the events success. They were in charge of transporting the coats to the sorting area, counting and packing them. The students’ enthusiasm was delightful and this event provided them with an opportunity to show their appreciation, and care for others that were less fortunate during the holiday season. As we prepare for the holidays, let us remember the reason for the season. From the Icahn Family to yours we would like to thank you for continuing to be our partners in your child's educational journey and wish you all a safe, happy & healthy New Year! I am always proud and please log on to www.icahncharterschool4.org to see your children in action!

School / Community Connection

School Counselor: Ms. Cisneros (K-8)

Bullying is one of the most serious and persistent challenges facing our schools, and a worldwide problem affecting many children and teenagers. Bullying is intentional and unwanted aggressive behavior. It represents an imbalance of power. It can happen face-to-face or online, and it can be done by a single person or a group of people. Bullying behaviors include: verbal and physical attacks, emotional harassments related to self-esteem or feelings of safety and social aggression including issues of group acceptance. These bullying behaviors can be recognized by the spreading of rumors about others, writing offensive notes and messages, intentionally excluding others, taking or damaging others’ possessions, intimidating or threatening others, repeatedly teasing and mocking others, persuading peers to reject peers, sending offensive messages to others via computer, cell phone or any other device, including a game system.

Bullying is often a hidden problem because the harassment happens outside the presence of adults. The victim often fails to report bullying to adults because of the belief that the concerns will not be taken seriously or that their experiences are normal. The victim may feel embarrassed about the incident or fear retaliation. Other students that witness bullying incidents may fear that the bully will target them next. Victims of bullying may experience anxiety, low self-esteem, depression and in some cases suicidal thoughts. Bullying does not just affect the victims; it also affects the students who witness these incidents. Bullying can create a climate of fear and anxiety, distracting students from their schoolwork and impeding their ability to learn.

Cyberbullying is a fast-growing form of bullying emerging via widespread technology and internet access. Cyberbullying involves sending offensive, humiliating; or threatening messages or images. It is most predominant in middle school, but students as young as 8 years old also engage in this high-tech form of bullying. Cyberbullying can be done anytime. It is 24/7 action that can be done anywhere and by anyone with internet access. Some of the most common forms of cyberbullying are sending or spreading unpleasant jokes, hurtful comments, rumors, altered images, adding or deleting information on social network and posting personal or private information publicly. One reason why cyberbullying is so pervasive is that cyberbullies use technology such as the popular apps and websites. These are always changing, and can be difficult to keep up with. Currently, some of the most popular “Apps” (applications) that families need to know about are texting apps Kik Messenger, ooVoo, WhatsApp, the micro-blogging apps and sites Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Vine, the self-destructing/secret apps Burn Note, the Snapchat, Whisper, Yik Yak, and the chatting, meeting, dating apps and sites Meet Me, Omegle, Skout, and Tinder.

Bullying behaviors are preventable. One of the most effective strategies is raising awareness among students, families, school staff, and the community. It is also important to empower observers of bullying behavior to safely report bullying to adults (teachers, school counselor, administrators, and families members). Some approaches to prevent bullying are: encouraging and reinforcing acts of kindness, cooperation; and caring, understanding differences; learning how to agree to disagree; and accepting others. In addition, monitoring warning signs: sadness, fear of walking home, avoiding certain school areas or the school bus can allow adults to prevent or recognize bullying. Some signs to look out for are changes in behavior such as: declining in academic performance or motivation and withdrawal from peers.

To ensure the safety of all our students, everyone needs to take all reports of bullying seriously and act quickly to resolve any potential situations. Make sure to talk about the appropriate and inappropriate use of technology within your children regularly. Nurture rules regarding the use of technology and devices. Advise your child to seek help from an adult if they are being bullied and or cyberbullied. It is important that you set and explain your expectations and values consistently and begin talking about these values at a very early age. However, it is never too late to establish rules and routines. When establishing rules and routines, remember to be consistent and follow through with consequences for inappropriate behavior. Always remember to provide information on how certain behaviors may jeopardize one’s health and safety as well as the health and safety of others. Most importantly, express how you feel about bullying issues. It is okay to express disappointment; this provides opportunities for us to move forward. Even when our children do something that is unkind, we can say, “That wasn’t like you…I know you can be kind!”

As the celebration of the holidays approaches, take the opportunity to educate your child about “digital footprints” and monitor your child’s emotional well-being. If your child receives an electronic device as a gift, take the time to explain the expectations and rules for using it over the holiday break, be sure to provide a schedule and time to explore other activities beyond the use of technology such as sharing stories, reading books, playing board games and writing letters or notes. All of these activities will support your children’s healthy development and will contribute to building memories for your children’s lifetime.

Kindergarten: Luongo/Edwards & Ferdinand/Pelle

We have just started our unit on shapes in the kindergarten. Students have been learning the names of different shapes and the attributes that define those shapes. Here are Peyton and Kylie speaking about a rectangle.


Peyton and Kylie talk about rectangles

First Grade: Pagan & Shepherd / Heard

First grade explored classical composers and writing a persuasive/opinion piece. As a class we used a method called project based learning to help them learn about the topic better. Students used an acronym called O.R.E.O. to help them start writing the persuasive writing piece, they also watched videos, played fact and opinion games, and stretched out their O.R.E.O., added reasons and examples, revised and finally published published their persuasive writing piece!

Persuasive / Opinion Writing

Persuasive Writing

Second Grade: Xenos & Arvonio

Students learned about writing a friendly letter. Students brainstormed, planned and wrote many friendly letters. Next, students wrote their final friendly letter practicing their revising and editing skills. Students shared personal experiences and exciting moments with their classmates!

Friendly Letters

Friendly Letters

Third Grade: King & Rapp

In 3rd grade, we have been learning about the orchestra and the four main families. We listened to some instruments in the brass, woodwind, strings and percussion family. To celebrate all the families we have learned about and to show off our holiday spirit; we went to see the Nutcracker. Listen to find out what instruments we heard during the performance and to see which instruments were our favorite!

The Nutcracker

Live at the Nutcracker - 3rd grade

Journey to Canada

Fourth Grade: Courman & Laricchia

As part of their unit on figurative language, the fourth graders have been examining different poetic forms to identify the types of figurative language being used within each. In this video clip, we are being exposed to a type of poetry called Memory Poems. This is a free verse poem in which the poet writes about a recollected moment in time - a significant past event; a memory. Earlier our writing coach, Mr. DeLaCruz, modeled how to write a memory poem. Here, the students are about to apply that knowledge through their very own compositions.

Memory Poems

4th Grade Poetry

Fifth Grade: Davis & Green

Students were tasked to reconstruct some of da Vinci's famous art pieces. After creating these pieces students had to write a reflection of the experiences and knowledge they have gained from creating his famous art pieces. Students learned some of the different techniques associated with recreating his art.

Leonardo DaVinci

Leonardo da Vinci

University Bound

Sixth Grade: Taylor & Magiraga

The sixth grade students have been learning about Gothic Art and Gothic Architecture. Students have learned about the characteristics of Gothic Art and Gothic Architecture, which includes stained glass windows, stone walls, pointed arches and vaults, towering spires, decorative gargoyle waterspouts, and massive flying buttresses. Students were asked to demonstrate their understanding in either a drawing or a Prezi presentation. Furthermore, students virtually learned about Gothic Architecture in the gilded age and the period of railroad barons at Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown, New York. At Lyndhurst, students participated in a guided tour focusing on the architecture as well as the history of the mansion.

Gothic Art

6th Grade Gothic Art

Icahn Charter School 4's MIDDLE SCHOOL

Ms. Lestin: Math

This month, 8th grade has learned about transformation geometry using coordinate planes. Students completed a task in which they had to use all four transformations translation, rotation, dilation, and reflection.

Translations, Dilations, Rotations & Reflections

Transformations Newsletter

Mr. Betances: ELA

In middle school, we are using a new comprehension strategy called "Thinking jobs by Genre". This comprehensive strategy will help students help learn how to annotate their work in a time effective manner and develop a better understanding of the text. Indeed, the ultimate goal of "Thinking jobs by Genre" is to support students in identifying the main idea. 7th grade used the thinking job of Fiction to determine the main idea of the Greek myth, "Icarus and Daedalus". They were able to identify important characters, evaluate the problem, identify the resolution and generate a lesson that could be learned from the myth using text evidence to support their claim.

Moreover, 8th grade was able to analyze the literal and the deeper meaning of the poem "rosebushes". First, students translated the poem to its literal meaning and connected the poem to their observation of nature; then, they analyzed the poem in an abstract way to determine the deeper meaning of the poem. Hence, students were able to identify and evaluate various poetic devices to support their abstract thinking. Ultimately, they were able to generate a thought provoking main idea.

Thinking Jobs


Mr. Guttman: Social Studies

In pursuit of their study of Economics - students learned about the importance
of Economic - Regional/Sectionalism, which led, not only, to the development of the thirteen (13) Colonies, but, also, to the eventual fifty (50) states.
7A HISTORY - United States, Social Studies (Regional/Sectionalism)

American Revolution

Ms. Mejia-Sebastiani: Foreign Language

This past month, the 7th grade class has learned how to describe themselves using the verb SER, which means "to be." This month they will learn how to list their family members and describe their physical appearance using the verb TENER, which means "to have." They will be creating a family tree and a floor plan of their dream home labeled in Spanish.

Using Verbs Ser & Tener

Newsletter Espanol

Targeted Assistance Teachers

Social Studies Cluster Teacher: Mr. Guarino (1 - 6) / Ms Malota (K-2); Science Cluster Teacher: Ms. Dykstra (1-6)

Second grade has been working hard on mastering their math skills. They have been introduced to tape diagrams. Before we introduce a new topic we have a discussion first. That includes what will we be covering and why. What is a tape diagram? Tape diagrams are drawings that look like a segment of tape, used to illustrate numbers. Since they are visual model, drawing them requires attention to detail in the setup.

Why use a tape diagram? Tape diagrams allow students to approach more complex problems. This would be more difficult to solve without the use of a tape diagram, but with a tape diagram the structure of the problems can be visualized and, sometimes, the solutions are readily available. The tape diagram model opens the door to efficient problem solving. Working in a small group has encouraged the development of critical thinking skills. We have working hard together in establishing an environment of support, trust and co-operative learning. Keep up the fantastic job second grade!

Ms Malota TA Second Grade Math

Important Dates / Upcoming Events


School Closed, Friday 15th (Professional Development)

School Closed, Monday 18th (MLK Day)


Advocacy Day, Tuesday 2nd

School Closed, Monday 8th

Half Day, Friday 12th

School Closed, Mid-Winter Recess 15th -19th


Gail Golden-Icahn, Chairperson

Julie Goodyear, Secretary

Seymour Fliegel

Karen Mandelbaum

Robert Sancho

Edward Shanahan