Icahn 5 Newsletter

Winter 2016-2017

Principal's Message

December 2016


Dear Icahn 5 families/Guardians:


I cannot believe a third of the school year is already behind us. Once again, we have gotten off to a great start. Your child, as always, has transitioned into his or her current grade very smoothly. However, it’s at this time a year when we need to kick it into high gear on all levels. We need to keep communication on-going from all stakeholders- parents, teachers, students, and administrators. With the New Year quickly approaching, your child will be preparing for state exams daily, diving head first into the curriculum, and becoming more and more familiar with the many different ways to solve problems- both in and out of the classroom. As always, we will need your 100% commitment in ensuring that your child homework is done daily, your child comes to school on time, and keeping communication with your child’s teacher on-going. We are truly grateful to be working with such amazing students along with their supportive parents.


If your child is in grades 3 through 7, and was chosen to attend Saturday Academy, he/she is expected to attend ALL sessions. Please keep in mind that we cannot teach and reach students who aren’t present in school. In addition, if selected, your child is also expected to attend our after school-tutoring program.


Please be aware that school will be closed starting on Friday, December 23rd, 2016 until Monday, January 2nd, 2017 in recognition of the winter holiday recess. All students will receive a holiday packet that MUST be completed and returned to your child’s teacher upon return. Packets will also be available online at www.icahncharterschool5.org. All staff and students return on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017.


On behalf of the entire staff at Icahn 5, we wish you and yours a very special holiday season. Be safe and we will see you in the New Year!!!


Sincerely,


Lawford Cunningham

Upcoming Events

Important Dates


  • December 19th - Progress Reports
  • December 22nd - All students dismissed at 3:45
  • December 23rd - January 2nd - Winter Recess, NO SCHOOL
  • January 3rd - School Reopens
  • January 14th - No Saturday Academy
  • January 16th - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL
  • January 27th - Half Day, all students dismissed at 12:00 PM
  • February 13th - Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • February 17th - Half Day, all students dismissed at 12:00 PM
  • Febrary 18th - No Saturday Academy
  • February 20th-24th - Mid-Winter Recess
  • February 25th - No Saturday Classes
  • February 27th - School Reopens
  • March 3rd - Half Day, all students dismissed at 12:00 PM
  • March 28th - 30th - NYS ELA Examination

Icahn 5 School Spirit Days

  • December 22nd - Pajama Day
  • January 27th - Dress Like Your Favorite Teacher Day
  • February 14th - Wear Red for Valentine's Day
  • March 17th - Wear Green for St. Patrick's Day

From the Staff Developer

Dear Icahn Families,


Happy Holidays!! I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the families who donated to the Community Service Club’s shoebox drive. With your help, we made a very generous donation of 27 shoeboxes, filled with presents for children in need. The Community Service Club worked very diligently wrapping the boxes and making sure that each one was packed with love. They also included a hand made drawing or special note for the children to receive. The experience gave the students of Icahn 5 an opportunity to help others in need and to understand the true meaning of the holiday season. Once again, thank you!

I am also excited to announce that I have begun a book club with some of the fourth grade students. We are reading the very funny and wacky stories of Wayside School. Students are enjoying the books humor while discussing characters and events throughout the book. We are very excited to continue reading the book and working on strengthening our comprehension skills.


Please remember to be as diligent as possible with your children even through the holiday season. Students are working very hard on many different levels and we would like to continue that through the New Year. Remember to check homework nightly as well as checking teacher class pages. The communication between parents and teachers needs to continue, so please reach out via email, phone or even setting up a meeting to address any concerns.


Once again thank you for your continued support.

Happy Holidays to you and your families!



Ms. Masi

Staff Developer

From the School Counselor

Hello Icahn Family,


The holiday season is upon us and I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.


The community service club had an exciting time putting together shoeboxes for children and I would like to Thank you for all the wonderful donations. Many children will have a great shoebox full of gifts this upcoming holiday! The school, facilitated by the Community Service Club is collecting foodstuffs for City Harvest until December 15th, 2016. Please donate to your child’s class for a chance to win a trip for their grade.


The 5-7th graders enjoyed a Socio-drama on bullying and conflict resolution by the NYPD School Safety Division. The drama instructed students on the positive alternatives to effectively resolve conflicts with their peers. Our vey own Essa Njie of the 7th grade joined in on the fun.


It seems as the year is flying by and it can be difficult to take time out to spend with family. The holidays are a perfect opportunity, to not only reconnect with long lost family members, but with family within our own home. Take advantage of the many FREE events available in New York City, including seeing the Tree at Rockefeller Center and ice-skating at Bryant Park.


If staying in, pose for a holiday card and make a silly one for your family, play a family game of touch football. Sort through old toys to donate and make room for the new ones. Show your child what kindness should look be by writing a letter to Santa requesting gifts for other people. It is important that your child experience the TRUE meaning of the holidays

From Our Faculty

Kindergarten

These past few months have brought about much excitement for our young learners! Can you believe we’ve already been in school for 58 days? Over the last few months we have spent a lot of time retelling stories, describing characters, and identifying the main idea and details in a story. We are continuing to push ourselves to read more and longer each day. When we are reading we make sure to use reading strategies to help decode words we may not know.


We are very proud of our kindergarteners enthusiasm with reading and we are seeing tremendous growth! In addition to our study of blending sounds to make words, the students will begin focusing more on digraphs and consonant blends, which can be tricky! In light of this, it is just as important for you to read to your child, as it is for your child to read to you. Reading to your child will ensure they hear the correct pronunciation of words and what it sounds like to read fluently. Reading daily is key in kindergarten!

Math has been super fun for us in kindergarten as well! We are continuing our shapes unit by describing different flat and solid shapes. Through hands on activities the students discovered what shapes can roll, slide and stack. They also had the opportunity to create their own shape monsters using various flat shapes.


Science is a blast in room 106 and room 107! We enjoyed learning about our 5 senses and have now started learning about different animals that live in the Polar Habitat. We are looking forward to engaging in some experiments to help encourage the children to explore the world of science! We will be exploring how animals survive during the winter, how blubber helps keep animals stay warm, and will even create our own snow during our Winter Unit.

We are looking forward to our Polar Express Pajama Party and Gingerbread House Party in the upcoming weeks! Please continue to check your child’s folder daily for important notices/ reminders. Thank you for your continuous support at home!


Ms. Roach and Ms. Withey

First Grade

December is another busy month in first grade! Our students will be busy learning about many different topics. We continue to be impressed with the progress our first graders are making this school year. In the month of December students will be learning all about germs. We have a fun glitter “germ” activity planned to teach students how easily germs can be spread around the classroom. Students will be given a chance to speak their minds with our upcoming opinion writing assignments, starting with the book Duck Rabbit and finishing with what ice cream flavor is the best.

We have been spending a lot of time using the CUBES method to solve word problems. We suggest you practice this method at home as well. (Circle the numbers, Underline the question, Boxes math vocabulary, Evaluate the steps you will take, Solve using an equation, drawing a picture, using a number line, or number bond)


On December 22nd we will be having a pajama day, which we are very excited about. Please make note that sweatpants are not allowed and all students wearing sweatpants will be sent to the office.


In LEAP students have been looking at lines in artwork. Students have learned the different types lines ranging from vertical to spiral. On January 13th we will be taking a trip to the Metropolitan Museum where we will observe famous pieces of artwork in person, discussing what they see, and what they think is happening in the painting.

Please make sure to work with your child on homework. The homework is given to reinforce strategies we are working on in school. However, they may still need some guidance and support. Students should do their own writing and thinking, but may need you to guide them in the right direction.


Thank you to those parents who provided non-perishable food to our school food drive. We are very thankful to have parents that are so willing and able to volunteer.


Thank you so much for all of your support!

Have a wonderful December!


The First Grade Team:


Ms. Gaston, Mrs. Mullins, and Ms. Blocker

Second Grade

Our 2nd graders are in full swing of our 2nd grade curriculum! Our main focus in 2nd grade is to become better listeners, readers, writers, scientist and mathematicians. We will reach these goals by being consistent, vigilant and also by stepping outside the box. We aim to make learning enthusiastic and fun. We will also be preparing our 2nd graders with the tools necessary to be successful this year and the years to come. As second grade mathematicians, we will be learning addition and subtraction strategies to assist us in solving two and three-digits addition and subtraction problems. This year, we will also be learning about place value, geometry, money and telling time.

In ELA, we will learn how to be great readers by emerging ourselves in various types of text, applying comprehension skills and strategies, and identifying text features. Please continue to read with your child at home. This school year we will also become great authors by writing in various styles and learning proper grammar and mechanics. We have just completed our personal narratives and will begin to embark on our journey, as authors, as we write friendly letters about our trip to Barton’s Orchards. Our 2nd graders really enjoyed their time on this trip picking apples, pumpkins, traveling through a corn maze and riding on a hayride. Our 2nd grade students also enjoyed the apple cider and doughnuts that they received!!

As scientists, the second graders will investigate a wide variety of topics such as the human body, simple machines, and the solar system. Throughout the school year, we will expand our cultural knowledge with studies of the arts through our returning LeAp artist Ms. Gia. Ms. Gia will incorporate the arts into students understanding of various literacy topics. We anticipate a great year and look forward to each and every day! Please visit our class webpage, it will be updated weekly and has valuable resources. Feel free to contact us regarding any comments, questions or concerns via email at ssanchez@ccics.org for Ms. Sanchez 2-202 and cgrayman@ccics.org for Ms. Grayman 2-201.

Third Grade

Where does the time go? The first 4 months of the school year have flown by in a flurry of activity. As we have told the students, they are no longer second-graders learning to be third graders, they are now third-graders starting to reach for fourth. In reflective moments we have shared with the students, we marvel at just how much progress they have made thus far! They should be very proud of what they have accomplished!


Mathematically speaking ~ I scream, you scream, we all scream our times tables! With the reward of an ice cream party each time the entire class can beat the clock on a given factors times table, its no surprise we have some very motivated mathematicians in 3rd grade. Students have taken quickly to the challenges of multiplication and division, and are excited to show what they know. Looking for a way to support your child with their multiplication facts? There are countless websites that offer flash-card multiplication support, or just get out a good old set of index cards and make them up with your son or daughter. We’re happy to aid you with these or any other methods to help develop this essential skill.

Scientifically Speaking ~ Students so enjoyed the new science/writing topic allowing them to research a renowned scientist and then create their biography. The accompanying projects that demonstrated their understanding of what that scientist was most well known for were phenomenal!


A new twist on English Language Arts testing ~ Our students are meeting the challenges of technology head on! We have introduced a cutting edge approach to our biweekly multiple-choice assessments. Students now respond to test questions using the Google Classroom application, Google Forms. Students are building technological savvy and skills that will serve them well in the classroom and beyond.

Response writing is still pencil and paper based, but we continue to work towards greater stamina and style. Students have become very efficient in responding to comprehension questions giving details and appropriately offering evidence to support their thinking.


Reminder – Homework is assigned every night in 3rd grade. Incomplete and poorly done homework is counted as not done. Homework is a vital component to your child’s success. Please encourage your child to complete all homework assignments on time and with thoughtful effort. Please remember to check your child’s homework each night and initial the homework sheet.


We are here to discuss any questions or concerns you might have about the upcoming year, the classroom, or your child in particular. We look forward to an outstanding 2017, partnering with you for your child’s success.


Wishing you the most joyous of holiday seasons.


The 3rd grade team,

Ms. Migliarini & Ms. Smith

Fourth Grade

We can’t believe how quickly fall has flown by! Our hard working fourth graders have made impressive academic gains in a short amount of time!

This Fall in ELA, fourth graders have been practicing various comprehension skills, such as problem and solution, cause and effect, point of view, and theme to help deepen their understanding of the texts they read. At this point, we are continuing to discuss theme, or the central message of a text, in class. After the winter vacation we will focus on sequence and then review the skills we have already learned. The fourth graders have been focused on responding to comprehension questions based on passages read in class. They are rock stars at restating and answering questions. At this time we are working on finding two relevant details that support their answers to enhance their responses. In addition, we have discussed strategies to tackle challenging multiple-choice questions. For example, students should read all of the choices available, eliminate answers they know are incorrect, and underline evidence in the text that supports their choice. Encourage your fourth grader to show you how it’s done at home!

In math, our students started the year by reviewing topics they covered in third grade. Next, they spent several weeks developing a deeper understanding of place value to enhance their mathematical knowledge. Fourth graders are now using this information to help them master multi-digit multiplication and division. Students are encouraged to continue practicing their multiplication facts at home, as this will help make the challenging topics covered in class a bit easier to understand.


Our fourth grade writers have completed several creative writing pieces so far this year. The first writing piece of the year had students writing personal narratives and they have just completed fabulous fractured fairy tales. This month they are reviewing their knowledge of how-to pieces. They will use their experience so far to write creative texts on how-to succeed in fourth grade.


In science, students have already explored several fascinating science topics. They started with the water cycle and have moved onto energy. The fourth grade visited the New York City Transit Museum to enhance their understanding of energy and learn about the history of our subway systems. Students have also used textbooks, videos, and online labs to help them learn about the water cycle, circuits, heat absorption, and momentum. These topics will prepare students for our trip to Camp Herrlich in the spring! The fourth grade is also looking forward to their upcoming trip to the New York Hall of Science in Queens to examine light and color through a hands-on experiment of color absorption and reflection.


In other news, fourth grade tutoring continues to be on Monday and Tuesday. If your child is in tutoring, be sure that they are available after school on these days and are picked up on time at 5:00 pm. Students in Saturday Academy should be reminded that this program is imperative for their success in the fourth grade. Please be sure your child arrives by 9:00 am and is picked up by 12:00 pm each week.


We continue to appreciate all the academic support you provide our students at home! Your assistance at home is essential to your child’s academic progress. One educational tool that should continue to be used at home is i-Ready. This program provides your child with individualized instruction to meet their specific academic needs. i-Ready is not accessible on iPads and needs an updated Adobe Flash player to run. If your computer cannot run the i-Ready program, we strongly suggest visiting a library to ensure your child gets to use this beneficial program outside of school. In addition, please be sure your child is reading different genres of books for at least 30 minutes each night!


Please continue to visit our teacher pages on the Icahn website to see updated happenings in our classroom and to check the nightly homework. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. Have a wonderful holiday and we look forward to seeing our students in the New Year!

Ms. Thoms and Ms. DeGuisto

jthoms@ccics.org/mdeguisto@ccics.org

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade has been working hard throughout December. Students have been focused and engaged on their academics. Students have been extremely involved with donating for the food drive and we want to thank our families for helping as well.


Our students created brochures on places in the Bronx- Icahn Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Fordham University, and Bronx Zoo. This group research project was a way for students to become creative and allow their minds to come together. Students had their own part in the project and researched information. As a group, they created the layout and put all their information in order. They were able to add pictures and create their own style with the brochures. Students were engaged and worked extremely hard and their effort was explicit.

In ELA, students are immersing themselves in many different fiction and nonfiction texts using Wonders. Students complete weekly packets with different graphic organizers and short response questions related to specific selection of texts. Students use the RATE method to respond to higher level thinking questions. Students are working on text structures such as problem and solution, cause and effect, the theme of a story, and main idea. Student’s work independently as well as in pairs to get a better understanding of the story they have read. Students work on weekly vocabulary by using a dictionary and context clues to support their thinking. Students are working hard and diligently to prepare for the state exam.


In math, students are working on fractions. Students have learned how to add fractions, subtract fractions, mixed numbers, improper fractions, and simplifying. Students continue working on concepts from the beginning of the year while preparing for the state test. Problem of the day is another way for students to review concepts taught from the beginning of the year as well continuing to work on problem solving strategies. Please be sure students arrive to school on time daily, to ensure they are able to complete their problem of the day and enhance their problem solving skills.

In science, students are researching extinct animals with a partner. They are to create a slideshow presentation on the animal they chose. Students discussed characteristics, habitat, when and where it became extinct, and many other features. Students were engaged and demonstrated a strong interest in the topic.


Please be reminded of the importance of Saturday Academy and tutoring. Students that are enrolled must attend all sessions. Please remember that I-Ready should be treated as homework. Students should have 30 minutes a night alternating ELA and math. Our teacher pages are updated frequently; be sure to check them regularly. As the State Test gets closer, it’s imperative to monitor your child’s homework and academic growth to ensure success. We are continuing to look forward to a successful school year.


Thank you,

Ms. Telesco & Mrs. Henninger

atelesco@ccics.org thenninger@ccics.org

Sixth Grade

December is coming to a close and the sixth grade couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming winter break! They have been working extremely hard the last few months to submit their absolute best work. We are so proud of all they have accomplished!


In math we have been focusing on using rate and ratio reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems. We put ratios to the test by using specific amounts of ingredients based on the proportions needed to create the perfect consistency for silly putty. Students understand that a ratio compares two quantities, and that by comparing proportional ratios and unit rates they can convert units of measurement. This skill is especially useful when trying to snag the best buy, or when trying to find out how many ounces of milk we will need to use in a recipe that calls for an amount in cups. By relating percent of a quantity to ratios, your children can now figure out how much to tip their waiter. So next time the check comes, let them answer the dreaded question, “How much should we tip?”.

Students have perfected the art of persuasion by learning to improve their argument instead of raising their voices! Understanding what makes a good argument and how to convince others to side with your claim is an essential skill that students will use throughout their lives. They convinced others of why Pitbulls are a good breed to have as a pet and supported their claims on an animal's ability to use and learn language. We also enjoyed writing short stories that allowed our creative side to flourish through plots full of conflict, suspense, and dialogue that brought their characters and setting to life! Our new unit on informational writing will culminate with a project where students work in groups to present a slideshow on informative details and facts of different animals studied in class!

As always, we encourage students to continue to complete all homework assignments, attend all Saturday Academy and tutoring programs, as well as use i-Ready as much as possible at home. This program assesses students’ needs and provides direct instruction on student weaknesses. The end of 2016 has been full of learning, and we are excited for it to continue in 2017. Happy holidays!


Your sixth grade teachers,

Ms. Montesano and Ms. Brancati

Sixth and Seventh Grade Science - Ms. Matthews

Sixth Grade

This past month, students have learned about waves, sounds, and light. They were able to perform in several activities and labs to display their knowledge about different wavelengths, frequency, and transparency. Students also had a new addition to their family, Little Bill. Students enjoy taking care of their class pet, which started off as a tadpole and now is an aquatic frog. Students have now been able to understand the routine of starting a new topic by making flash cards, which followed by a vocabulary quiz. These quizzes help students understand concepts used throughout the unit.

Students just start their physics unit based on Newton’s laws of motion. Students were able to participate in an activity, which helped them calculate speed, time, and distance. Furthermore, students will continue to learn about acceleration and velocity. We will learn about simple machines and how they can be used and seen every day!

Seventh Grade

The seventh graders have learned some interesting and new material. They have been introduced to the subject of Chemistry. Students understood general chemistry and learned how to read the very complicated periodic table. They were able to work with partners to create a brochure about a specific element and did a very thorough research to analyze their element’s properties and characteristics. Students are wrapping up this unit with a presentation in which they had the option to present an element of their choice by creating a poster, 3D model, slideshow presentation, or by baking! These activities are able to display their fun and creative side.

The new unit that the 7th graders will start is about different mixtures and solutions. They will learn how to determine if certain solutions are acidic or basic. They will be able to perform pH tests to check their acidic or basic level. They will be able to differentiate their properties and how they can be seen in everyday life!

Sixth and Seventh Grade Social Studies - Ms. Stanley

Grade 6

Welcome! For sixth grade, this past month we have wrapped up our third ancient civilization with the Ancient Israelites. As per usual, students learned about the group according to the G.R.A.P.E.S. outline that they have been utilizing since last month. After gaining an overall knowledge about the civilization, students were introduced to a specific character that played a major role in the foundations of said civilization. Based off of this one figure, students were given different stories and anecdotes from the character’s life. After reading the story, students (in groups) created a script for a play that depicted the story they read. Students were then required to act out their scene (welcomed to create own set and props if they wished to). After days of working on this project, students presented work that was a tremendous success and highly enjoyable to watch.


Moving forwards, the sixth graders will be learning about perhaps what is one of the most famous and popular ancient civilizations: the Ancient Greeks. Students will learn about how the people came about, why they are so popular and what type of impact they had on the course of history.

Grade 7

For the seventh grade, we learned about the 18th amendment and its relationship to our world today. Students were introduced to the topic of Prohibition and how it can be similar to the soda tax that was introduced not too long ago for NY. Then, students learned why America decided to prohibit alcohol, who some of the female activists were, why women were so involved in the Temperance movement, bootlegging, organized crime and why ultimately, Prohibition failed in the United States. The major project for this topic was students taking the lives of a female Prohibition Activist and creating a play based off of an event that took place or would take place in their lives. Student wrote their own scripts, created their own props and acted out their masterpieces.

Moving forwards, students will complete their lesson on the women’s suffrage movement that eventually led to the passing of the 19th amendment. With everything the students have learned thus far in the curriculum, we will embark on the colorful and exciting through the time period in United States history known as the 1920s.

Seventh Grade English Language Arts - Ms. Green

For the past month, we have dived into the concept of using Genre Specific Thinking Jobs to perform analysis and close reading on Collection 2. All of the pieces cover the topic of Perception vs. Reality, which we have deciphered and shown an understanding of through short response assessments. Students are continuously practicing how to use RATE to form an organized response, how to properly address the prompt, and how to discover and integrate textual evidence to support their thinking.


In addition to Collections, we have been working on Argumentative Writing. The students were give student choice and the ability to pick a topic that truly interests them. With the piece, students are required to research credible sources, draft using organizers, and actively participate in the peer editing process. Students have learned all the components of an Argumentative Essay such as stating your claim, providing reasons, posing the counterclaim, defusing it with the rebuttal, and summing up all of the most important parts in the conclusion. As we continue to write, editing will become the most important part as students participate in multiple opportunities for peer editing and teacher conferencing.

As the holidays approach, I know how eager and energetic the students, and even myself, are. I have decorated my room, in excess, and have truly gotten in the holiday spirit. With this in mind, I have been incorporating fun opportunities for students to express themselves through music, while still adhering to written comprehension. Students were required to write a remix to the classical song “Frosty The Snowman” with a alternate beat, and a newfound modern take. Students were able to showcase their creativity and to demonstrate their ability to follow the format / story of the original piece. Activities like this, and more will be part of the my class as the month progresses in order to break up the rigorous curriculum with something fun, but also educational.


In the upcoming months, we will continue with Collections and move onto Collection 3. As always, we will continue written response, weekly comprehension exams, iReady, close reading, and vocabulary instruction, which has been implemented weekly, to build the skills necessary to excel on the state exam. Make sure you are viewing the website for the homework, and feel free to contact me the moment a problem arises. Happy Holidays!

Seventh Grade Math - Ms. Reid

SInce the start of the school year, students have been building on their 6th grade Math concepts and exploring the use of rational numbers to shed light on real world problems. Students have been having fun learning various methods of representing quantities and sharpening their skills and Mathematical fluency. Moving forward, we will be exploring representational Math, using models such as algebraic expression, linear equations and inequalities to represent relationships hence developing a consistent way to solving real world problems.

Our classes are inquiry based, fun and exciting, and students have many opportunities to work together, developing problem solving and communication skills. After all, we are working on turning your scholars into real Mathematicians!

Seventh Grade Drama - Ms. Rose

Drama students have been busy preparing for and developing their final project. Students wrote and performed monologues based on famous characters and celebrity figures. The persona they created will take part in and end of the year, scripted performance that will take place on December 20th.The project reflects on middle school experiences from a character-based perspective. Students are taking initiative to think about their costume and how to creatively incorporate props into their scenes. We are looking forward to sharing an enjoyable production for some of our students and staff.

ELA Targeted Assistance - Grades 1-3, Ms. Rose

The targeted assistance program for grades 1-3 is in full swing! We have been digging deeply into a variety of texts and really using our analytical skills to pick apart the selections we read. Third grade has worked collaboratively to find the main idea by examining key details. First grade has been enhancing their writing skills by thinking of interesting ways to describe and add details to their experiences. Students will soon begin to preview chapter books for our reading club, and we will begin applying the skills and strategies we have learned in class to our chosen book. We look forward to extending this growth process into the New Year! Happy Holidays!

Math Targeted Assistance - Grades 1-3, Mr. Loughran

Our students are becoming very busy this time of the year with the hard work of learning new math concepts. The first graders in Ms. Gaston’s and Ms. Mullins’ classes have moved through basic numeracy and are beginning to tackle the idea of inverse operations with addition and subtraction. They are now quite adept at breaking whole numbers into constituent parts and reconfiguring them to create friendlier equations that they can make short work of. The first graders are proud of their new-found number knowledge and respond enthusiastically to quizzing their abilities. Go ahead, ask them to figure out an addition or subtraction problem and watch those counting fingers fly. The first graders are also experiencing the adding the solving of word problems to their skills. This takes more effort than straight computation as they try to discern what numbers they need to apply to concrete situations.


The second graders of Ms. Grayman and Ms. Sanchez are also advancing through the curriculum year. They are firming up their knowledge of number relationships as they move into place value ordering. This is often a challenge at first as they try to combine the ideas of digits and numerals into a cohesive value system upon which they will expand from tens and ones, progressing to the hundreds.

They are also working with the conventional algorithm that will allow them to perform multi-digit addition with the carrying of regrouped addend parts to the next highest value column. It is a tricky procedure for young minds whose working memory is required to decompose and redistribute two digit sums as part of the process. A little extra studying and practice will go a long way at this juncture to build fluency for equations up to 100. At home these skills can be augmented by any game that necessitates keeping track of and combining addends. My favorite is the card game Rummy, because it requires the tallying up of points while they are having fun.

Ms. Migliarini’s and Ms. Smith’s third graders are expanding their repertoire with multiplication. As they move on with skip-counting and their times tables, they are working diligently to understand how multiplication functions on a practical as well as a theoretical level. Thanks to Common Core strategies, they have the conceptual underpinning which allows them to decompose and reconfigure numbers in a sensible way. As with first graders who are applying their grasp of addition to its inverse, subtraction; the third graders are extrapolating their knowledge of multiplication to investigate its inverse, division. This time of the curriculum year, they are also firming up their concept of place value to perform regrouping in order to solve weightier equations.


Due to the spiraling nature of math instruction, similar concepts and procedures appear every year, albeit in greater depth and complexity as students rise through the grades. Ideas are blended to help students deconstruct word problems. In second and third grades, students are wrestling with the process of deciding which math to use in resolving concrete problems that increasingly resemble “real life.” While the first grade is looking at word problems that contain either addition or subtraction, second and third grade are deconstructing multi-step word problems that require more than one type of equation. It is great to talk through your budgeting decisions with your children. Even if you already know how much you spend on the shopping, ask them to figure it out with you. Even better if you have some coupons. Not only can you save money, but you can turn the budget into a multistep word problem. Other ways that one can underpin mathematical thinking are any activities that require short term memory such as Concentration or Simon.

ELA Targeted Assistance - Grades 4-5, Mr. Castaneda

Welcome back my friends! The wintry months are upon us, but that doesn’t stop our students from learning as their brains are always warmed up and ready to go!


In fourth grade, children really got into character’s heads as they absorbed on how to decipher different point of views. Not only did they learn the many ways that they can read a story, but they were also able to generate their own comic strips showing their favorite point of view along with some dialog and some fantastic artwork!


In fifth grade, they are really working diligently to expand their minds and be more expressive with their writing. In addition to simple writing prompts to get their juices flowing, the kids learned the four main types of sentences that are essential to develop any of their stories (declarative, imperative, interrogative and exclamatory). They also were engaged in solving challenging riddles, which has them into reading very carefully and helps with their understanding of text and structure.

In both 4th and 5th grade, the children have turned into investigators as they did their best to figure out the problems and solutions to many stories. They even produced their own visuals to prove that they know their stuff! Children in both grades also had to demonstrate that they knew their word wall vocabulary and could consistently work as a team as they played, Word War! This game certainly puts the children’s reflexes and recalling skills to the test.


In addition to the fantabulous work that the children have completed, the current genres of fantasies and folk tales were fascinating to them. Killing two birds with one stone, they go over various stories to try to figure out the theme and provide details in standard RATE form.


All of these activities that we do assist in preparing them for the upcoming state exams. It can sometimes be stressful, but with the right approach, success is just around the corner!

Social Studies - Grades K-2, Ms. Brown

It has been a great start to the year! So far we have been exploring many aspects of our past and present in Social Studies.


In Kindergarten, the students have learnt about the Community helpers, Columbus, Native American and the Pilgrims to name a few. We will continue to explore different continents and travel back in time to learn about holidays around the world, continents and American Symbols.


Thus far the first graders have learnt about the Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, the election process and the 1st Thanksgiving. As the year progresses we will learn how to read maps and explore past civilizations. Additionally, we will cover early civilization such as Ancient Egypt and early American history such as the 13 Colonies and Westward Expansion.


As for Second grade, we have spend the begininng of the year learning about the Branches of Government, the election process and Westward Expansion. The students will continue to expand their knowledge by exploring early/modern Asian civilizations and ancient Greece. In addition, we will learn about the Immigration, Civil Rights and much more.

I am very excited to continue the school year and I couldn’t be happier to play a role in educating your children. Over the rest of the year I will continue taking the students around the world to explore history.


Social Studies - Grades 3-5, Mr. Satalino

3rd Grade

2016 has been such a great time so far, and although it is about to come to an end we are only getting started! There is much still to do as I expand their minds in the great wide world of social studies. As we finish the Vikings and Middle Ages, we will move to the lands of the Americas and learn about the Native Americans. We will then explore the foundations of the original Thirteen Colonies and the beginning of the United States. We will work with our textbook, online resources, arts and crafts, group work, projects, and writing assignments. There is much to do to build a great foundation of history for all the students, but I am confident in their abilities and skills to accomplish this academic goal. Hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday and a happy New Year!


4th Grade

This year has been filled with great times, great discussions, and great interactions! Students have started off learning about geography and ancient civilizations, and we built upon that with the Middle Ages. Next year we will build upon these vital foundations of human advancement when we talk about the Renaissance, Exploration, and the beginnings of our great nation, America. Students will have a chance to improve their critical thinking skills, improve interactions with others through discussions and group projects, and improve their learning through differentiated instruction. There is much to do and little time to do it, so it is important for students to stay on top of assignments and remain vigilant in thinking. I am confident after seeing what all of the students are capable of that this will be an easy task. Hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday and a happy New Year!

5th Grade

Social studies this year has been fulfilling and exciting to say the least! All of the students have surprised me this year with all the discussions and interactions we had about current events and the curriculum. As we finish this year, we end with the very important Renaissance era, before that tackling the Middle Ages, Mesoamericans, and geography. After the holiday break we will work with globalization that we still live with today that started with the age of exploration. After, we will transfer to American history as I introduce the Thirteen Colonies and the foundations of the United States. Because of the pivotal election this past November, we also spent much time discussing the implications of the election results and I was surprised how detailed and passionate the students were. I hope that this will continue next year so we can continue to have great discussions. As long as the students remain vigilant both academically and behaviorally, the rest of the school year will be a great learning experience for all. Hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday and a happy New Year!

Board of Trustees

Gail Golden-Icahn - Chairperson

Julie Goodyear - Secretary

Seymour Fliegel

Karen Mandelbaum

Robert Sancho

Edward J. Shanahan

Phyllis Hall

Icahn Network Administration

Jeff Litt - Superintendent

Daniel Garcia - Deputy Superintendent

Richard Santiago - Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operation

Sheila Johnson - HR Manager