Elementary Curriculum Newsletter

February 2016 Edition

Thoughts on Homework

This blog post from the excellent Tony Sinanis has some of the most exciting and sensible suggestions I have read. Do make the time to check it out!
Also, below is a radio article/podcast with call-ins and commentary from educators with multiple perspectives on homework. Turn it on, tidy the classroom or the kitchen, and let it make you think. The conversation, the debate, the analysis is excellent. It's a quick, 10-minute listen (click on "play episode" under Barry Saide's picture).

A Great Read

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"Warm and wise . . . " says the NY Times review. Yes, and also fun and sweet and everything we would expect of favorite author Jennifer Holm. She speaks here about her inspiration and writerly decisions while pitching this great book for middle level readers.
The Fourteenth Goldfish | Book Trailer
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Middle Grades/YA Book Club

Love middle grades/YA books? Looking to keep up with current publications? Save the date and let's join together with Oceanside educators for our first afternoon of book discussion and collegiality that will inspire and kick-start great recommendations for your students. You'll also fall in love with this new Rockville Centre book store!

Where: Turn of the Corkscrew Books

110 N. Park Ave. 1st Floor
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

When: Thursday, March 31, 2016

3:30 - 4:30pm

Stay tuned for an email with details and a book choice!

Save the date!

Math Websites for your Exploration:


zearn.org is a free resource (currently for Grades 2, 3, and 4) that takes each lesson in the Engage NY Modules (Eureka Math) and creates an interactive instructional experience for students. It’s created to be used similar to a “flipped classroom model” where teachers can focus their work on differentiated, small group work, knowing students are experiencing the standard elements in the lesson through their online experience, but the various uses of the resource are endless.

Splash Math

Splash Math is offering a special five month pilot program* for schools with more than 100 students enrolled.

It's their way of helping teachers try Splash Math with zero cost and zero commitment. The math pilot program would include:

  1. Math Curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 5
  2. Alignment with Standard’s Based Curriculum
  3. Intuitive Teacher Dashboard
  4. Home Sharing with Parent Devices (iPads, desktops, laptops)
  5. Easy to Use Principal & Administrator Dashboard

The pilot program would provide free access to Splash Math School Premium (worth $2,000+) till June 30, 2016 for all the students.

For Teachers - Mayank Jain at Splash Math will be the main contact for any questions you have regarding Splash Math School Pilot Program. All you need to do is reply with "Yes, I am interested in using the pilot program" and email SchoolPilot@splashmath.com.

Math Start Book Series

The Math Start book series by Stuart J. Murphy is a critical piece to moving our primary students from the concrete to the semi-concrete/pictorial to the abstract understanding of mathematical concepts. So often the visuals of these books will provide children with models and memory triggers that will spur deeper levels of understanding and spark classroom discussions on how and where mathematics is needed in our daily lives. This engaging math series of books has grown in popularity recently now that there is a language arts element to many of the revised math series.

Reminder: Sumdog Nassau County Contest Starting Soon

The free math contest for Nassau County elementary and middle schools will run between Friday February 26, 2016 and the following Thursday.

And the Edmodo Challenge Winner is . . .

Stephanie Mack! Stephanie joined our growing group of over 70 educators sharing ideas, resources, and inspiration through edmodo! Welcome, Stephanie, and congratulations, you won a gift card for $25 from Barnes and Noble!

If you haven't joined yet, please do! We'd love to have you and are excited about all of the great sharing ahead.

School Codes for Joining Edmodo:

School 2 -mtma03

School 3 -ys9sik

School 4 -a67vmz

School 5 -wwviub

School 6-Keab43r

School 8 -mvqyvg

School 9e- 7jfnhn

Current Edmodo Join Code for Elementary Curriculum Page: 8u862q

Think Cerca

Get access to their free library of leveled texts and close reading lessons for English language arts, science, social studies, and math.

Looking for an Unconference/Edcamp Experience to Inspire, Refresh, Connect, and Rejuvenate?

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March Residency Dates Cancelled

Because of the writing trainings scheduled for the month of March, I will not be visiting for full "residencies" in the month of March. I will be around the schools as always, though, so please do reach out should you want to meet or discuss anything at all. Thank you!

Humans of Oceanside