PKMS Update 1.6.20

A Close Look At How We Did & Will Do Our Work

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Good Day, PKMS Family.

Happy New Year!

Hopefully, the past two weeks were very good to you and you had an opportunity to relax, reflect, and re-energize.

We are excited about what 2020 will bring to the Peekskill Middle School as we have been awarded the Empire State Grant (Three-Year Grant). More specific information will follow.

We continue to be appreciative of your engaging learning environments, dedication, planning, collaboration, assessment of students, focus, and hard work.

This week’s quote speaks to our Social Emotional Learning Theme of Collaboration: "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." - Michael Jordan

As has become a part of the PKMS culture, please allow these words to inspire you as you design and redesign lessons, tasks, and questions, and reflect on practice.

Remember, to SMILE (Show My Infectious Lovable Energy) as it is the first thing students, families, and colleagues see.

Let's Keep These Thoughts in Mind:

  • Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.
  • Gladden the heart of a child.
  • Always operate from a honest place.
  • Give a soft answer
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Turning Up The Heat!

    • Thank you to Jose and his family for opening their lovely home again to host our PKMS Holiday Gathering

    • Thank you to the District Performance Arts Department with specific thanks to Norah Carney, Carolee Finney, and Mitchell Guido for this year's Winter Concert - Our students showcased such immense talent - hats off to these practitioners

    • Thank you to Janice Reid for organizing the Smartboard Demonstration - The District will very soon decide on the product and PKMS will receive them first

    • We thank every department member for your discussions and focus during this week's department meetings- Thank you to those who are training staff in the weekly sessions

    • Luz Gonzalez for leading the way in supporting our families this holiday season and our staff for its generosity

    • Thank you to Jonathan Harrison, Student Government, and PE Coaches (Basso, Di Cuio, Iasillo) for working on School Spirit Week & Pep Rally

    • We thank Ms. Detres, Ms. Fervan, Ms. King, Ms. Mahy, Ms. Settembre, Ms. Tual, Ms. Zupa, Mr. Harrison, Dr. Robinson, Mr. Hatch, and Mr. Coster for their work during our After School Program - We are also thankful to Andrew Weisman and Parketha Evans for providing a snack and drink (they will provide this until May 7)

    • Thank you for the RtI Meetings and Discussions this past week

    • Thank you to our security: Chemay, Nigel, Merriweather, Billy, and David for their work

    • Thank you to Tim, Mike, Mark, Kristen, Billy, Keith, and Manny for their work

    • Thank you to Parketha Evans and her Food Services Team

    • Thank you to our Clinical Team for continuing to support students, families, and staff

    • Thank you to staff for parent and family outreach and meetings conducted this week

    Talent Show

    On Friday, January 10th, we will have out grade-level Talent Shows

    Talent Shows will be 9AM - Grade 6, 10AM Grade 7, 11AM Grade 8 - We will call you down by grade around that time

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    Please note that announced and unannounced observations will resume the week of January 6. Please refer to original emails sent to you by the person or persons observing you.


    During the last two weeks in December, Student Assistance Services (SAS) worked with our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girl gym classes to educate students on National Drunk/Drugged Driving Awareness Month. - Thank you to Katie Geider and Casandra Lewis

    Students participated in four stations utilizing both alcohol and marijuana goggles to mimic the effects of substances on our vision, reflexes, and coordination. Refusal skills were developed to say no to entering a car and education was given about Leandras Law, a New York State law making it an automatic felony on the first offense to drive drunk with a person age 15 or younger inside the vehicle.

    Please click onto the SAS Parent Newsletter - It focuses, again, on the relationship between parental use and youth use. It also touches on the fact that Marijuana is the most commonly found drug in peoples system in deadly car crashes and how this drug can affect someone's ability to properly/safely drive.

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    A Humanities Lens

    Students discussing the geography in Egypt: the physical features, climate, and the importance of the Nile River - understanding the events that led to the American Revolution - understand the Progressive Era, learning and interacting with vocabulary words while classifying them as political, economic or social and exploring the impact of muckrakers on society - continuing learning about figurative language while focusing on personification - learning how characters can change due to their experiences by reading and discussing - applying understanding of memoir writing by completing graphic organizers and writing their own personal narratives - discussing the rising action with the students.Have the students fill in the events on the plot diagram focusing in on the climax of the story - beginning to work on character development using RACCEE to describe the main character

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    The Arts Live Here

    Students identifying what a coat of arms is and what it is used for, reading an article and answering questions, designing their own coat of arms shield, and sketching a design using 4 symbols that represent themselves - learning about the traditional hand building technique of coil building - creating a pinch pot that is inspired by Peekskill pride - singing at least 3 harmonies at once (Soprano, Alto, Baritone) by learning to blend with their section - identifying and performing whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes by performing rhythm activities - applying sight-reading strategies to individual and collaborative rehearsal, define key musical terms in the music, and reflect on their individual and collective progress - developing listening and critical thinking skills to apply appropriate techniques to the presentation and balance of thematic material

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    A Health-Conscious Mind & Body

    Students engaging in a series of static and dynamic stretches based on which “split” is being worked out - engaging in a workout consisting of only Lower Body exercise - identifying and explaining proper cues for successfully performing the back crawl, demonstrating ability to perform the back crawl using a flutter kick, alternating arm motion, and body roll, and reciting and showing knowledge of 2-3 water safety rules for pool and open water - completing a self-esteem All About Me project - analyzing an article analysis based on the topic students chose - partnering with Margaret’s Place in regards to healthy relationships and anti-violence/bullying - exploring communicable and non-communicable diseases

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    We Got STEM!

    Students understanding that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values - computing products of fractions and whole numbers - finding the reciprocal of a number - computing quotients of fractions - applying properties of inequality to generate equivalent inequalities - solving two‐step inequalities using the basic operations - applying two‐step inequalities to solve real‐life problems - analyzing the graph of functions in different representations (by comparing, determining linearity, and describing qualitatively) - exploring cell structures and functions: plant versus animal cells - measuring matter: using mathematics and computational thinking - exploring the seasons - design their own Game and play test each others game and give a review - demonstrating knowledge of key historical factors that have shaped manufacturing over the centuries - explaining current and emerging 3D printing applications in a variety of industries - working their way through several tutorials to learn the basics of the program - understanding that the Engineering Design Process is a method to carefully solve problems - understanding that the Engineering Design Process is a method to carefully solve problems - learning about cell structures and levels of organization while engaging in argument from evidence

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    Town Hall - Student-Building Work

    • This week’s quote speaks to our Social Emotional Learning Theme of Collaboration: "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." - Michael Jordan
    • January 6 - Town Hall for All Grades at Normal Times - New Year, New Focus, New You!
      January 13 - Dilem Valenzuela from Poison Control - All Grades
    • Please refer to the counselors' email on the Town Hall's New Format/Structure - See them for any questions for additional details
    • Tuesday - Friday (Work Completion Days – Please structure it so that students can complete homework, work on projects, and get work from other teachers - Fun Days - Students who have met behavioral expectations will enjoy recess or whatever classroom activity designed)
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    Collaborative & Department Work

    "Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." – Andrew Carnegie

    • Full Department Meetings from 3-3:40PM: 1/27, 2/10, 3/9, 4/20, 5/11, 6/8
    • January 7 - Full Department Meeting
    • January 14 - Full Department Meeting - Math & Science will meet for a Professional Development Session on Problem Attic delivered by Dr. Sobrin in Room 215
    • January 14 - Full Department Meeting - Social Studies and ELA will meet for a Professional Development Session - See Department Leader for details

    RtI Links - Thank you, Nora Sachs for providing us with these links - Very helpful!!! #excellenceincollaboration

    The information in these two sites is very useful for helping to better understand what is metacognition, how it helps students become self directed learners,and activities and strategies for helping students develop their metacognitive skills

    The following link is a collection of lessons and graphic organizers to help supplement lessons geared towards helping struggling readers, including the ENL and Sped population. There are also tips and guides on how to use scaffolding and direct explicit instruction in the lessons, as well as tips and activities to use with students in our classes that need RtI strategies.

    ENL and Culturally Responsive Work - thank you, Madeline Sanchez for this work

    Grade-Level Work

    • RtI Meetings where applicable - Leslie Detres will communicate specifics
    • January 8 - RtI Direct Tab Training in Normal Classrooms
    • January 15 - RtI Work with Sadika Clarke
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    GOT DATA???

    We thank everyone who continue to create authentic, challenging, and standards-based assessments - We thank you for the analysis and task/lesson design to enhance learning - #datadriveninstruction

    • Must ask: Are Our Students Learning

      • What do my students need to learn? Why?

      • What have my students learned? How do I know?

      • What are my next steps? Why?

    • Task Predicts Performance

    • Questioning - are we posing low-level questions that address the standard or are we challenging students to think critically while addressing the same standard


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    Work Dates

    • January 7th - Board of Education Meeting @7PM
    • January 9th - Data-Technology Meeting @7:45AM & Period 1
    • January 10th - BERT Meeting @7:45AM in Library
    • January 13th - Faculty Meeting @3PM - DASA
    • January 16th - New Teacher Meeting @7:45AM in Library
    • January 16th - Hillcrest Parent Informational (2020-2021 Program Offerings) Meeting at Hillcrest - 6:30PM
    • January 17th - Department Leader Meeting @7:45AM
    • January 20th - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • January 21st - SLT Meeting @7:45AM in Library
    • January 24th - PKMS Musical @7PM
    • January 25th - PKMS Musical @3PM
    • January 27th - Department Meetings @3PM
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    Work Reminders

    • Take attendance for each of your instructional periods
    • Ensure 504 and IEP Plans are being supported
    • Ensure grade content colleague planning - reflecting Rubicon Atlas
    • Ensure Gradebook and Teacher Webpage/Google Classroom reflect current information and assignments
    • Communicate with families and maintain that communication in PLP
    • Data Driven Instruction Model
      • Always Ask: Have They Learned? How Do You Know?
      • Training One Another
      • Discussing Student Performance Information
      • Designing Tiered Instruction
      • Reflecting on Daily Practice
      • Reviewing Assessments from All Content Areas (Formative, Summative, Interim)
      • Discussing Progress Monitoring Efforts
      • Pacing through Rubicon Atlas
    • Lesson Plans Should Be Designed with the following in Mind
      • Questions Posed - What is the level
      • Tiered Instruction
      • Guided Instruction
      • Driven By Data
      • Clear and Articulated Assessment Throughout (assessments must contain spiraling back questions)
      • Groupings (Fluid)
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    We thank you for your work in excellence and collaboration! Have a great day and take some time for YOU.