Brandt's Weekly Newsletter


Inside this Edition

  • Principal's Message
  • Grade Level Updates
  • Counselor's Corner
  • Specials Updates
  • Nurse's Nook

Principal's Message

Good Day Brandt Family -

I hope this message finds you all doing safe and well. We've had a fantastic week of all remote instruction, and I am pleased once again to share a glimpse of our school with you. Monday brings with it the start of the fourth and final marking period. As we enter the final quarter of a school year unlike any other, please continue to do what we've done the entire time - work together from a place of patience and understanding.

Next week I will be sharing more information about our fundraising partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Pennies for Patients program. This noble endeavor benefits pediatric cancer research, and anything we can do will go a long way to help those in need.

Additionally, please don't forget to visit the fundraising link for the Best Buddies fundraiser sponsored by Hoboken Middle School and Hoboken High School. Best Buddies is an international organization dedicated to ending the isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Best Buddies students at Hoboken Middle and Hoboken High School are walking to raise awareness and funds for Best Buddies International.

Be sure to enjoy the updates provided below. Kindness Referrals will be back next week as well.

Stay safe, keep caring for one another, practice patience and empathy, and have a great weekend!

- Mr. Bartlett


Greetings from our youngest learners!

In ELA, we are learning the letters Jj and Qq along with the Sight Words "here" and "me." In Math, we are learning about grouping objects into categories based on their attributes. In Social Studies we are learning about why it is important to help the Earth. In Science, we are learning and discussing different weather that we see each day.

First Grade

Our first graders had a busy week after spring break!

In ELA, students are working on long -e spelling patterns with -y and -ey words. Students are learning about compound words and adverbs, and continuing to practice using commas in a series. Students continue to develop comprehension skills by reading and listening to stories related to how people work with animals, and answering questions about the main idea and key details of the text.

In math, students have been working on solving story problems. Students look for key words and clues to help them determine if they need to add or subtract. They are using the information given in the story problem to write out an equation to solve the problem.

This week in science, students have learned about the life cycles of various animals.

Second Grade

It was another exciting week in Second Grade! Here are a few of the things we learned:

Language Arts

Students are continuing their review of skills learned this year. We are focusing on literary elements, main topic, main idea, using prior knowledge to help guide us in comprehension, and working on our fluency and expression.

Students worked on a new way of thinking about a Small Moment through "Exploding the Moment." They engaged in a different way of expanding a moment in order to provide all the details using sequence strategies, emotions, and all of their sensory visuals so they can slow the moment down for readers to read and give all the details that truly happened in that particular moment.


Students began Unit 6 which focuses on measurement. They identified contexts for measuring length and practiced measuring length using nonstandard and standard units.


Students read and learned about many different aspects of spring. They learned about allergies, baby animals, and the equinox. Students also conducted research on local birds and presented their findings to class.

Social Studies

This week in Social Studies students are learning all about communities! Students are using different technology tools to research our community, Hoboken, and interview family members to find out what makes our community special.

Third Grade

Third grade had a fun week of remote learning! They are practicing identifying a story’s main idea and supporting details. This week, students read many genres of literature including plays, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction articles. Students are strengthening their reading comprehension skills by analyzing short stories. Comprehension skills we are focusing on are cause and effect, comparing characters, sequencing, and identifying key details.

In math, students are brushing up on our multiplication and division skills. Multiplication automaticity (speed and accuracy) is their overall goal! Students are playing games with one another to practice their math fluency skills. A great math resource to use at home is IXL.

For social studies, we began our Lenape unit! Students have learned the Lenape were extraordinary engineers. In science, we began our Weather and Climate unit. This week our focus was on the water cycle. Congratulations to the students who were selected to participate in STEAM Tank regional competition. Those third grade students are finalizing their presentations!

Class Highlights:

Shout out to Mrs. Dickerson’s students who have answered over 5,000 math and ELA questions as a class in IXL! In Ms. Rodriguez's class, the students have done a deep dive with Move This World to learn ways to control impulse. Students created a 4-count movement and taught each other the choreography! In Ms. Kontogiannis' class, third graders started their novel study, Charlotte's Web. In Ms. James’ class, students are having fun playing Multiplication Compare and other math review games. In Ms. Tainter’s class, students are enjoying Reader’s Theater (read aloud plays) during small group instruction!

Fourth Grade

As the 4th grade returns from Spring Break remotely, we picked up where we left off and have embarked on some new topics for April.

In the area of Social Studies, students are engaged in activities related to the study of the War of 1812, and the symbolism of The Star-Spangled Banner. Text features are being discussed, as well as the similarities between the territories of Great Britain, Canada and the United States. Students are being offered many choices on how to present their understanding, whether by creating powerpoint presentations, timelines, designing posters, or by designing maps of Baltimore Harbor that specifically show Fort McHenry, the sunken American ships, and the position of the British Navy.

There is much we are doing in the area of Language Arts. We are connecting the setting of our current novel, Jim and Me, to one of our many targeted instruction strands where students are using informational text and web-based information to learn about Fenway Park, the oldest professional baseball stadium in the United States. Information found on the internet contains brief articles, statistics, photos, and videos about Fenway Park, and other baseball stadiums for students to explore. Additionally, students are researching and discussing what New York was like in 1913, and how the changes since then have contributed to the tone of the text. While completing activities, students are analyzing which source is the most helpful to find certain information, and how best to navigate to find information vital to their learning experience. They are determining how exploring external information can help them understand the fantasy element of our novel, time travel. Halfway through the text, students continue to understand ways to identify characters through their words and behaviors, and are recognizing the author's point of view as the plot thickens.

Math focus remained on fractions, decimals and estimation this week. As they review their acquired knowledge, students continue to be engaged with unit fractions, equivalent fractions, comparing fractions, as well as adding/subtracting fractions. Students use what they know about fractions to make inferences. For example, when looking at the denominator, they know that the larger the number, the smaller the piece is. When making comparisons, they have had discussions about the numerical relationships between fractions and decimals, and have applied the principles that they've already learned to make sense of each problem. Further explanation of decimals will be taking place in order for students to develop a more complete understanding of the relationship between decimal and fraction conversions. When it comes to estimation, students have been asked to make choices between best estimates shown, then write to explain why they made those choices.

New in Science, students are enjoying the fun and informative Grand Falloons video, and are also working to construct poems about Earth Day that'll be entered into a County Poetry Contest. Before the break the focus in Science was on the way water shapes the Earth's surface. As we continue with this unit, topics such as patterns about locations of earthquakes, volcanos, mountains, and ocean trenches have been embedded in instruction. Students have learned about the Grand Canyon, and the Great Rift Valley, and have found similarities and differences of earthquakes and volcanoes specifically. In addition, students have proudly, and with great enthusiasm, presented their five paragraph essays comparing the biomes of the state of New Jersey as it compares to that of a Rainforest biome. Each and every essay was proficiently written and executed, filled with extraordinary comparisons, vocabulary acquisition and photographs.

As was the case in weeks past, students continue to work on the platform to measure their levels of readiness in Math and Language Arts. Targeted practice has focused on their skills in need of improvement, which oftentimes are beyond their 4th grade levels. Utilizing this platform is not only benefitting the students, but it helps teachers to make more informed decisions about instructional direction on a daily basis, allowing teachers to zero in on problem areas and reteach more effectively.

Fifth Grade

Hello from the Brandt 5th Grade!

We are ready for the fourth quarter. We came back from Spring Break ready to focus and do our best work. In Social Studies, the fifth grade scholars have been studying notable individuals who played important roles during the United States' Civil War. This unit coincides with our study of the nonfiction novel, Chasing Lincoln's Killer. This week we began our study by discussing the Sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. We are fascinated by his interesting life and all of his accomplishments. Students have enjoyed making connections between the information learned in Social Studies class with the names and dates discussed in the novel.

In ELA, 5th graders are thoroughly involved in the study of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Students are following John Wilkes Booth as he makes his attempt to escape the North and find refuge in the South. Lessons include in depth character studies, setting investigations, timeline creations and reflective essay writing. We are very close to seeing how it all turns out and students could not be more excited about reaching the conclusion.

The 5th Grade mathematicians are getting ready to begin studying all of the numbers that lie between 0 and 1. In order to get ready for this unit, we are spending the week on a spiral review which incorporates lessons and activities from the first five units of study. We will continue to use the IXL platform in addition to challenge problems and progress monitoring assessments.

In Science, the fifth grade team has begun studying inherited traits and how we end up looking the way we do. Why is his hair curly and why are my eyes brown? We are finding out what it means to have a dominant trait and why some traits are more dominant than others. This lesson is a part of our Grade 5 Start Strong Science Curriculum. Each week we will explore new topics and find out more about the amazing world around us!

The Counselor's Corner

I hope everyone had a restful spring break. Congratulations are in order for Ms. James 3rd grade class. They had Baylor University in our March Madness bracket and Baylor played an amazing game and upset the favorite Gonzaga to win the NCAA championship game! Thank you once again to everyone who helped make our March Madness such a success. I’m already looking forward to next year.

I would also like to share that I have a wonderful addition to our School Counseling team! Ms. Gabriela Sanchez is joining us as my intern from Montclair State University. Many of you may have heard your children talking about her already. She has been joining classrooms on site and remotely to get to know our students and staff. She is off to a great start and our students look forward to seeing her everyday.

Physical Education

The return to school from Spring Break shifted us into another week of virtual learning, where we got another chance to use our online resources to run our Phys Ed classrooms. Grades 3-5 spent some time finishing up their projects for women's history month, in which they chose one female athlete and created a Google Slides presentation. Grades K-5 engaged in a workout circuit run by SworkIt, which is a great website for all ages in which you can complete various exercises. The kids section of the website is completely free for students to use and it is great because there are a variety of workouts you can choose from such as cardio, yoga, and strength exercises. You can also set the amount of time you want to work out for and listen to music as well while exercising. The students also engaged in BeWellPlayed interactive fitness videos and competed in the Tissue Paper Toss 'n Catch Challenge activity.


Kindergarten students are reviewing colors and identifying them by showing colorful items in their rooms. First to fifth graders are learning the story of Mulan, a female warrior in Chinese history.



This week we talked about the history and celebrations behind Cinco de Mayo and how we can learn and share the Mexican tradition.

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This week on virtual art, our K-1 students followed along with me doing an Ice Cream Tower or Earth Day activity! These foldable works of art open up to a big surprise!

The 3-5 students ran around their households trying to find different kinds of textures! We had as many as 30 different textured objects. The students placed their paper on top of the item they found and used their crayon to allow the texture to show on the paper, almost like magic!


This week in music our younger students learned all about dynamics by playing musical show and tell! Each student had to find 2 objects in their home that made Forte (loud) sounds and Piano (quiet) sounds. It was great to see how creative they were!

Our older students continued to broaden what we know about reading music on the staff and discussed melodic movement. We learned about the different directions our musical pitches can travel through to make a song sound the way it does

Stay musical Brandt Elementary!

Nurse's Nook

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a restful Spring Break and are recharged for the last leg of the school year. It has been a school year that none of our students will forget and probably will talk about for the rest of their lives. Despite the masks, temperature checks, distancing requirements and separation from friends that continued remote learning, I think that all of our Brandt students, remote and onsite, have handled the challenging year beautifully.

Now that we have a little over two months left, we cannot relax on the tight restrictions we have had in school and at home. Vaccine availability for adults is affording many of us more freedoms and confidence, but we always have to remember that our children are not eligible for the vaccine at this time and are still at risk for disease transmission. Even though we want you to get outside, enjoy more time with family and friends, and just smile a little more, I ask you to please continue to reinforce the preventative measures we have been taking. We will continue this teaching in school, but please talk with your children about still masking up, not touching their friends when playing, washing their hands frequently, and using the hand sanitizer stations, etc.

As the warmer weather starts to creep in, April is a common time for people to do some spring cleaning. We have all been a little cleaner these days with all those paper towels and Clorox we bought, but in addition to that, and your normal spring cleaning chores, consider adding some extra steps to make you home a little safer for your kids. Ideas can include cleaning out your medicine cabinet, checking for expiration dates on foods and medicines, cleaning out the pantry of COVID-19 lockdown impulse buys, checking product recalls, and looking for broken toys, etc.

We are going to be spending a lot more time outdoors this Spring instead of playdates and activities indoors. Remember, the sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Try your best to use SPF 15 or higher, even on cloudy days.

Seasonal Allergies and Asthma are always a challenge for school age children at this time of year. If your child has a known history of Asthma, please make sure an Asthma Action Plan is on file with me at school. If you do not have one on file, please download the link below and have your primary care physician fill it out. If the doctor indicates that your child can carry his/her own inhaler, please reinforce the importance of bringing it to school every day. Please include extra masks in your child’s backpack during this season. Runny noses make the masks wet and uncomfortable!

If your child is in 5th grade, consider making sure that they are scheduled for their annual well-visit so that they can get their TDap booster and meningitis vaccine. These are two immunizations that are required to enter 6th grade. If your child has already received these vaccines, you can submit them to me via email or hard copy. All 6th grade students (remote or onsite) will need to be immunized by September 25th, 2021. If I have reached out to you throughout the year requesting immunizations, please get them to me as soon as possible. Compliance with immunization requirements is still state mandated.

Asthma Treatment Plan

5th Grade Parents:

Email Physical Form and proof of immunizations to

Physical Form

Have a great weekend!

Nicole DeMatteo RN, BSN, CSN

Brandt Elementary School

Social and Emotional Resources for Parents...

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