Cluster Newsletter

December 2015


Dear Parent's

It is amazing how fast time flies when you are having fun. I feel like it was just September, and I was getting to know all of the wonderful children coming in and out of my classroom. Now that December is here I am happy to say that all of the children who come to the technology room have learned the basics for using the computer and how to start a story in Microsoft Word. We are moving on to bigger and better stories, using a variety of Web. 2.0 tools to enhance our writing.

I want to thank all of you who have signed and returned your Acceptable Use Policy and Social Media Release forms. If you have not signed and returned the release form, please have your child get one the next time they are in my room. If you need help with any part of the release form please don't hesitate to ask me

Up Next in Technology

1st and 2nd Grade-Using all that you learned in Microsoft Word and building on it to write longer stories.

3-5th Grade Music in Technology, writing opinion pieces using Microsoft Word on themes and traits in the music we listen to.

Have a wonderful, happy and healthy holiday season!

Mrs. Ostrow

Technology Specialist


Dear Parents,

Students continue to participate in hands-on experiments. Kindergarten is just about finished with their unit on trees. They will begin studying the unit on fabrics over the next few weeks. Please keep an eye out after the Christmas break for the science fair packet. All students in grades 3 thru 5 are required to submit a project. K thru 2 students are doing a class project with their teacher. They are welcome to do an individual project as well. I would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Mrs. Dolan

Physical Education

Dear Parents,

As winter approaches please make every effort to keep your kids moving and active. The holiday season is a great time to try a new activity or sport as a family. I am introducing a Family Fitness Fun wall with pictures of our students being active and fit with family members. If you would like please feel free to send me a great picture of your child doing an activity or sport that they love. The pictures will not be returned so please send a copy.

As a school community we raised $2822 fot the American Diabetes Association. Great job! Thank you for your continued support.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!

Ms Novella


Dear Parents,

At this point in the year, students in art are just about to conclude their studies of the basic elements of art. Children in Pre-K through grade 3 have all mixed primary colors to create secondary colors, either using clay, marker, paint, or a combination of all three. Students in grades 4 and 5 have used primary color paint to mix secondary and intermediate colors. Color theory will wrap up with lessons on warm and cool colors, and changing the value of colors by creating hues and tints. Students will apply what they have learned to culminating projects that reflect a study of a particular artist or artistic style.

Exciting news! P.S. 52 has been awarded the Arts for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities Grant. This grant will allow us to partner with the Children's Museum of the Arts for a very special project. Selected classes will get to produce a stop-motion animation film which they will write, direct, design characters & sets for, film, and edit using editing software. This project will combine literacy, art, theater, music, film and technology, and should prove to be an amazing learning experience for the students!

I am also looking forward to sharing the artwork that your children have produced in art class so far at our Winter Arts Festival on December 17th. Artwork from each grade level will be lining the hallway as you walk to the auditorium, and display tables featuring three-dimensional sculpture projects will be set up outside of the auditorium. The students are also working hard to create a stage backdrop for the event, as well as paint winter-themed pieces for the auditorium. I hope you will be able to join us and see the amazing pieces that the students have created, and also enjoy our music and theater presentations as well!


Jennifer Gordon

Visual Arts Cluster

Helpful Links

The Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Visual Arts has been revised. Here is a link to the new version:

The NGAkids Art Zone is a website that allows children to participate in interactive drawing and painting activities online:


Dear Families,

I hope everyone had a delicious and restful Thanksgiving!

All classes are continuing to work on exploring the elements of their Actors Tool Box and using those elements to express themselves, their feelings, and eventually tell a story. Ask your young actors to show you the skills they've learned in theatre class and encourage them to tell stories using their face, voice, body, and imagination at home.

This year, 1st grade students are partnering with the New Victory Theatre to learn about and experience live theatre. Students will be attending a performance of The Velveteen Rabbit at The New Victory Theatre on Thursday, January 21st. Students will be exploring the characters in and elements of this story in theatre class and we're lucky enough to have two guest teaching artists from the New Victory coming to P.S. 52 to do a pre-show workshop with all of the 1st grade students. Please note, that due to the limited number of seats available to each school with a partnership, we will only be able to take a LIMITED number of chaperones on our trip.

2nd grade families, keep your ears open for field trip information in the near future!

3rd grade families! Your children have been working with their class ensembles to create originally devised pieces based on the beautifully written book Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Students are using elements of storytelling, soundscape, tableau, and puppetry to tell their stories. Class 3-217 (Ms. Arias) and 3-239 (Ms. Naccash) will be performing their pieces in the Winter Arts Festival on Thursday, December 17th. I will be sending home more information on this performance in the coming weeks.

4th and 5th grade families! There is some very exciting work happening with your children! Each week, your children are receiving a clue about the play they will be working on and performing at the end of the year (as the clues get more specific, please encourage your child to do some research at home to try and guess what our play will be this year!)

3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students and families, keep your eyes and ears peeled for audition announcements for our after school musical program. Audition requirements will be posted and distributed before winter break.

5th grade families interested in auditioning for Mark Twain, I will be running a series of after school workshops for students who would like help preparing their monologues and sides for the audition (as well as general audition etiquette and coaching). I will be sending information home for these workshops as soon as dates are scheduled.

Finally, 5th grade families, I wanted to share with you a incredible opportunity for a Free Summer Theatre Program from my friends at Wingspan. The program is for students entering 6th grade. The program takes place from July 5th through August 6th 9am-4pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-1pm on Friday. Interested students must fill out an online application, submit a teacher recommendation (that I would be more than happy to provide) and a personal statement. This is an audition based program and students must audition in order to be considered for the program. Auditions will consist of a vocal as well as a monologue component. Application deadline is February 4, 2016 at 6pm. Auditions will take place on March 6, 2016.

Online application ad more information available at

Also, the Center for Arts Education has released a really detailed parent advocacy toolkit.

The toolkit provides tips and strategies for educators, parents, and members of the school community, to infuse the school-day with additional arts and creative learning opportunities.

  • The toolkit sheds light on what quality arts education looks like, why it matters, and how you can collaborate with others at your schools to improve and expand what is offered.

  • You can get tips on how to engage elected officials and members of the community, as well as parents, to support your efforts.

  • You will also find helpful hints on raising money to support arts programs, getting the word out on social media, and even fostering students’ interest in the arts at home.

Find it here:

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Greetings Parents and Guardians,

I always felt that students learn best when they are having fun. That is why so much of what we do in Music Class (especially with the younger grades) is done through play.

Students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st Grade, and 2nd Grade, especially, are exploring the world of music through an approach known as the Kodaly Method. The basic idea behind the Kodaly Method is that students learn a simple song, game, or dance. This could be a simple circle game or a more complicated dance with multiple moves and choreographed actions. Once these activities have been mastered and the students are able to perform with little to no assistance, we explore the songs on a deeper level and extract the musical elements. For example, maybe a song has a specific melodic interval or rhythmic phrase that we can study. In this way, students learn so much, and best of all, end up enjoying themselves throughout the process.

Be sure to ask your son or daughter about the songs and games that we have learned in Music Class. These are not only fun and entertaining for your child, but seriously help reinforce the various topics that we cover in school. I have provided a list of a few of the games that we have covered, separated by class, so that you can try these at home:

Pre-K: "Oliver Twist", "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?"

Kindergarten: "Dina, Dina", "Peas Porridge", "Bow Wow Wow"

1st Grade: "John Kanakanaka", "Pizza Pizza Daddy-O"

2nd Grade: "Zudio", "Trata"

As always, if you have any further questions in regards to what we will be learning next, please feel free to send me an email at

Musically Yours,

Mr. Mack

Music Teacher


Dear P.S. 52 Families,

As parents I'm sure you are all aware of the importance and benefits of reading. Many studies show that students who read consistently are more likely to do well in school as reading affects all other subjects. It is our job to make sure that our children are exposed to reading every day and that we give them daily opportunity to choose the books they want to read. I am happy to say that many of our P.S. 52 students are utilizing our school library to check out their favorite books and have even begun 'Book Talks' with one another on our Destiny Library Online Automation system. It is important that our children visit our local library as well to gain access to multiple sources to promote their interest in reading.

School Chancellor Carmen Farina has announced the launch of NYC Reads 365, a new multi-year citywide literacy effort to promote reading every day, at home and in school.

Through the initiative, every city school will receive materials to promote daily reading, including new and age-appropriate reading lists, posters and bookmarks, and support and training for school staff and parents.

Families should visit the new NYC Reads 365 website to gain access to updated reading lists and reading resources.

The following are some additional resources and useful links to support at-home reading

Reading Tips for Parents in 11 Languages
Reading Rockets for Parents
US Department of Education: Help Your Child Become a Reader
Reading is Fundamental Tips & Resources
PBS Raising Readers
Reading Resources at Kids Health
Get Ready to Read – Tips for Parents
Raising Bilingual Kids & Reading

Parent Resources at the Child Research & Study Center
Start with a Book
Reading Partners/Resources for Parents

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy holiday season.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. McCabe