Marking Period 2 Newsletter

Thomas G Connors Elementary School 2021-2022

A Message From Principal Addi

Being the Principal of T.G. Connors Elementary school is a precious gift that I appreciate everyday. Our faculty and staff put their full hearts and efforts to create an environment conducive to the growth of the whole child. Every step of the way, our faculty have focused on the health, social emotional well being, and academic growth of every child.

It is so delightful to see the happy faces of our students as they are lining up for arrival. Our children are thriving. I have never been more proud of our staff, students, PTO and Connors families. Together, as a Connors Koala family, we are able to nourish the growth of every child.

As we transition into the 3rd marking period, I would like to encourage our Connors families to continue to support our effort in making every child’s learning unique to them. Our goal will always be to focus on the centrality of the child to deliver an educational experience focused on each child’s specific needs. It is my promise that I will continue to partner with all of you as we strive for academic excellence with a continued emphasis on social and emotional growth.

As always, if you ever need anything, please don't hesitate to contact me as your partnership is golden.

All the best,

Principal Addi

A Message From Vice Principal Sorafine

As the 2nd marking period comes to a close I reflect on the gains that we have made as a school community over this past year. We have welcomed new families, embraced change, overcome adversity, and, most of all, celebrated success. In anticipation of a healthy and academically successful 3rd marking period, I would like to challenge our school community to continue to strive for excellence. In order to meet our school-wide goals, we must continue to encourage attendance, focus on reading, practice math fact fluency while encouraging every child to reach their full potential. As the vice-principal, my goal is to continue to strengthen our students' social and emotional well-being. I firmly believe that this is the center of every child's ability to succeed. We are creating learning opportunities through the present and future programs to teach our children about equity, kindness, and positive decision-making. I would like to encourage our school community to continue to partner with us to focus on our children's needs holistically. In closing, I would like to thank our entire school community for your continued support and confidence in our entire faculty.

Kindergarten Highlights


Kindergarteners have grown so much since the first marking period! The Kindergarten Team cannot believe how much learning has occurred in this second marking period. Students have been working on phonics, reading, grammar, and writing skills every day during ELA. Kindergarteners can identify the following letters: Mm Aa Ss Pp Tt Ii Nn Cc Oo Dd Hh Ee Ff Rr Bb Ll Kk and their sounds. Students can also identify the following sight words: I, can, the, we, see, a, like, to, and, go, you, do, are, my, with, he, little, is, was, & she. Wow! Kindergarteners have been adding their sight words in their superstar sentences! Students continue to tap out sounds and blend them to read a word in reading. Kindergartners can isolate beginning, middle, and ending sounds! We are so impressed with how well our students are reading. Keep reading daily at home! We love seeing our students improve. In this marking period, the Kindergarten Team introduced spelling tests. They have been doing so well on their tests! Students also learned about adjectives, which describe a noun. One of their favorite activities this marking period was drawing a self-portrait and using adjectives to describe themselves. It was awesome seeing their creativity! Students also participated in the Amistad Writing. Students wrote affirmation poems. The poems came were OUTSTANDING! Miss Fleischer, Ms. Rodriguez, Miss Watson, and Miss Layson are impressed with the learning in marking period two. We cannot wait to see all the incredible things Kindergarteners do in the third marking period!


Kindergartens have been hard at work this marking period, learning so many new mathematical concepts! The focus of Unit 3 was on identifying, describing, and comparing attributes of 2-D shapes, naming shapes, considering the features of specific shapes (e.g., a triangle has three sides and three vertices), making shapes, and composing and decomposing shapes from and into smaller shapes. Students enjoyed creating shape pictures, completing pattern blocks puzzles, making shapes on their geoboards and with play-doh, and so much more! A favorite game across all Kindergarten classes was Fill the Hexagons. Students play with a partner and try to be the first to fill in all six hexagons on their game boards. Each student gets a turn at rolling two shape dice and using trapezoid, rhombus, triangle, and hexagon pattern block to try to complete (fill in) their hexagons.

The focus of Unit 4 was counting and representing sets of up to 15 objects, applying counting skills by using multiple units to measure and compare length, decompose numbers in many different ways, and beginning to make sense of the operations of addition and subtraction. Students had a blast measuring each other's shoes using connecting cubes and recording the data in their workbooks. They also loved using popsicle sticks to measure the length of different strips of paper and other objects around the classroom. As they are beginning to learn the concept of addition, students have enjoyed playing the game Roll & Record 2, where they roll two dice and write the total on their recording sheets. The game One More, One Less helps them understand key vocabulary words such as minus, less, add, plus, more, & fewer. Students practiced adding or subtracting on to/from numbers up to 10. These are just a few of the countless fun activities students have engaged in, and we are looking forward to continuing learning and growing together!

Social Studies

This second quarter in kindergarten social studies has again been phenomenal! We started this quarter learning about different winter holidays. We learned about the Jewish holiday Hannakua. We explored and learned the diverse traditions of Hanukkah by learning through media and text. We even got to make our own menorahs! Next, we learned about Kwanzaa. We read many books about Kwanzaa traditions. We watched videos and had great classroom discussions. We made our own Kinaras as well! Lastly, we learned about Christmas. We again explored all the different traditions we have during Christmas time. We read stories and watched videos about this holiday. We created and decorated Christmas trees as well! Once the holiday season was over, we started the new year learning about New Year! We discussed that New Year is a big celebration when the year changes! We gained an understanding of New Year resolutions and goals. We made our own long-term and short-term goals for the new year. Martin Luther King Jr.'s day was next. We read the book I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer. We learned all about MLK's life, achievements, and dreams. We discussed segregation and how we overcame it. We made Martin Luther King Jr. puppets, listened to his speech "I have a dream," learned the song "This little light of mine", and wrote our own way we would make our lights shine just like MLK did. Lunar New Year was the next big holiday we discussed in class. We watched videos about the Chinese new year and all the traditions that go along with it. We learned that this year was the "year of the tiger," and we made tiger lanterns! We also made Chinese paper cuttings to go on our windows to decorate for the new year! We have now made it to the end of the second marking period, and we have just begun learning about Black History in honor of Black History Month. Each class was given an African American Visionary that helped pave the way for change in this country. We researched the life and legacy of these men and women. We then decorated our classroom doors in honor of their legacy! We cannot wait to dive deeper into the month of February and learn more about influential African Americans who created change and became role models.

We also continued to work on our social studies curriculum called "Young Citizens". The characters in our textbook live in a fictional town called Maplewood. We started up again in chapter 3, learning about what we can discover in our neighborhood vs. Maplewoods. We discussed where and how people live in Hoboken versus Maplewood. We looked at maps of Hoboken and discussed how we could find places in Hoboken on the map. We began talking about how to give someone directions to some of our favorite places in Hoboken, like our favorite parks and restaurants, which led us to start talking about all the places that we can find in a neighborhood and where those places are in Hoboken. We viewed Maplewood's places and compared them to the same places in Hoboken. We discuss how people get around in Hoboken and the traffic laws we need to follow to keep us safe. The students were so intrigued to hear that many people live in neighborhoods where they have to drive to school, parks, and restaurants like the kids in Maplewood! In chapter 4, we started to talk about money and what money is for, and how we earn money. We learned about the jobs in our area and how they help our neighborhood flourish. Chapter 5, we started learning about what was in Hoboken before people and buildings! We looked at old pictures of Hoboken before it was developed. We also talked about our town leaders and the characteristics that make up a good leader. We learned about Hoboken's Mayor and how voting for a leader like a mayor works! We can't wait to continue learning about chapter 5 in the 3rd quarter!

ILP/PGP & Celebrations

During ILP, Kindergarteners have been busy reading on Raz-Kids and iXL for ELA and Math skills.

For PGP, Kindergarten students learned about Winter Holidays and created essential elements from each holiday. Students created a menorah after learning about Hanukkah, a kinara for Kwanzaa, Christmas snow globes, made New Year’s resolutions, reflected on Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and work for equality, and asked ourselves how we can create change in the world and most recently celebrated Lunar New Year by making our own paper lanterns!

Countdown to T.G.Connors Winter Break: Teachers and students had a “9 Days of Fun” leading up to Winter Break! Classrooms were able to participate in a Door Decorating contest with winter/holiday themed doors. On another day, we wore our favorite holiday colors, and students shared their favorite color and holiday traditions during Social Studies. There was also a Santa hat day, Flannel Friday, Ugly Sweater Day, and a grade-level team gingerbread house-making competition! The Kindergarten grade level team won second place!

The Great Koala Kindness Week Challenge:

We had a school-wide challenge and learned about various ways to show kindness towards ourselves and others! We wore tie-day for Peace, Love, and Kindness; on Make a New Friend Day, we wore shirts that represented something we like and found someone who shares the same interests as us. Our favorite day was Dreaming of Kindness, where we wore our favorite PJs to school! There was also Disney Friends Day and Connors Swag, where we wore our best Connors Swag to show off our Connors Koala school spirit!

First Grade Highlights


Readers’ Workshop:

Throughout marking period 2, students worked so hard learning new phonics, grammar, reading, and writing skills. We have grown so much since marking period 1. In phonics, we have covered all long and short vowel sounds. Students loved learning about Magic E! We made magic wands to help us practice reading and spelling words with long e! Students also learned beginning and ending blends. We had a lot of practice learning soft c and g words.

Along with new phonics skills each week, students have been reading higher-level texts since they have learned many new high-frequency words and vocabulary words. We love seeing our students applying all of the skills and concepts they have learned. Students have spent a lot of time working on strategies to retell a text by including the characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end during guided reading. We also have worked on making predictions. Students have been practicing answering comprehension questions in complete sentences as well. We also focused on non-fiction texts mainly about animals, buildings, and life long ago. One comprehension strategy we learned was comparing and contrasting. We learned how to use a Venn Diagram to organize our information. First graders have also learned to use commas in dates and a series. We learned about contractions, and students dressed up as doctors to perform surgery on the words.

Writers’ Workshop:

First-grader writers have worked so hard! We started the second marking period with realistic fiction stories. We have learned the writing process and now know to create a strong introduction before leading up to the main event in the story. When writing realistic fiction stories, we need to include a problem the character faces, steps to solving the solution, and a closing. Students were able to write a short series of realistic fiction pieces that had the same character go on different adventures. Next, we moved on to opinion writing. One of our first opinion writing pieces focused on the best part of me. Students wrote an introduction to hook their readers, named the topic, and then stated their opinion. Then they all wrote at least three reasons and examples to support the best part of them. Everyone did such a fantastic job on this writing task. They will be sent home soon for all families to enjoy.


First-grade students have learned so many new things by reading an article each day. This has improved their vocabulary, reading stamina, fluency, and background knowledge. Their “Book of Knowledge” is now filled with information students want to remember about each article. We have learned about U.S. coins, presidents, African Americans, animals, transportation, and more.


During the second marking period of the 2021-2022 school year, First Grade students at Connors have enjoyed learning new skills and concepts in Math through our Investigations Program. Throughout the beginning of Marking Period 2, students learned different strategies to answer the question, How Many In All? Students used manipulatives, drawings, equations, and number lines to show their work. Students also learned that counting on from a given number is a strategy for adding two numbers. Students also learned the concept of making combinations to 10. Students found out that making an organized list will help them to prove they found all the possible combinations. During this marking period, we completed our Winter Link It Math Assessment. We saw a lot of growth and progress! In Unit 4 of Math Investigations, students used all of their measuring skills to compare the length of different objects. We used non-standard units to measure the length of objects and tell how much longer one object is from another. All throughout our math lessons, first graders continue to use math talk while working in their math workshop stations. We continuously share ideas, use different manipulatives, challenge ourselves, and explain How We Know. First-grade mathematicians are looking forward to challenging themselves in all math concepts as we review, as well as in all-new concepts introduced during the next marking period.

Social Studies

First graders have learned so much during the second marking period of Social Studies! During Unit 3, we focused on “Elements of Culture and Civic Responsibility”. In our Young Citizens curriculum, we learned about our school, how to improve our school, school rules and why they’re important, and making good choices in school! As we are finishing up Chapter 3 now, we have learned about our neighborhood. Students have differentiated between wants and needs and how needs are important for a neighborhood to run smoothly. They have also learned about places in a neighborhood and how to find them on a map using a map key and a compass. By the end of Unit 3, students will have completed their own map within their groups. Students are so excited to show what they know about maps and neighborhoods through this exciting group project!

During Social Studies, students have also had lessons focused on the topic of social justice: Racism and Discrimination. Students have begun learning about segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. This ties in with the work we are doing during mini PGP and infused in ELA and other subject lessons for Black History Month. Students are having rich discussions about how everyone should be treated equally and fairly. As we continue this work, students will learn more about the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and African American visionaries in our history.

ILP/PGP & Celebrations


During this marking period, students have completed many grade-level skills during ILP. During this time, students mastered many standards on Classworks. Students in first grade also used this time for challenges or extra reinforcement. First graders have been leveling up on Reading A-Z. During PGP, we completed an exciting project on Holidays Around the World. Students created suitcases and passports. We read and listened to videos on different countries to learn about new cultures. After each country, students completed an exit ticket to show what they learned. Another project first-grade students worked on was related to Martin Luther King Jr. Students were asked the question, “What is your dream?” Students had to write at least three school, family, and future dreams.


First Graders have had a lot to celebrate throughout the last marking period. We celebrated Thanksgiving by doing crafts and activities related to being thankful for many things and people in our lives. Throughout December, celebrations were definitely highlighted through our holidays around the world Mini PGP lessons, and we had our winter celebrations before the holiday break. These celebrations included crafting snowflakes, sock snowmen, gingerbread people, etc. Students were also excited to bring home their special holiday gifts - these were frames for their families with a beautiful picture of themselves to share. We are so excited to celebrate all the accomplishments African American activists, scientists, singers, actors, authors, etc., have contributed to our country throughout February. We can’t wait to finish up our doors that will be decorated with African American visionaries and leaders!

Second Grade Highlights


This quarter students have been learning quite a bit in ELA. In reading, second graders have been focused on practicing comprehension skills like making predictions, asking and answering questions while they read, and identifying main idea and key details. Students have been working on their reading fluency by working with a teacher in a small group and doing individualized reading at their current level.

In writing second graders worked on two different types of writing. We did explanatory writing by creating “How To” books where students taught their audience about a chosen activity. We also spent the last two months focused on persuasive writing. In this unit students learned how to write a paragraph by using details and support. We then learned how to turn that paragraph into an essay by creating introductions and conclusions. We showcased this type of writing in the Amistad writing task where students chose a topic they felt passionate about and wrote a speech to convince their audience!

Students have been working very hard in their phonics and spelling lessons. We have learned lots of spelling patterns so far like VCE, consonant blends, and starting to learn and practice with vowel blends.


Second graders have been working very hard to learn and master many new math skills during this quarter. Some of these new skills include identifying and manipulating 2D + 3D shapes, recognizing and creating fractions, using the place value model, and solving two-digit addition + subtraction problems. Students have incorporated the usage of tools to extend mathematical concepts such as Geoboards, money, strips + singles, hands-on games, and manipulatives. Look out everyone because we have a grade full of mathematicians in 2nd

Social Studies

This marking period we continued to dive into the lives of the 2nd grade children from the town of Maplewood in our Nystrom Young Citizen textbook.

First, we learned about what brings change to a neighborhood. We were able to describe different ways that people use land. These 2nd graders also became experts at using and locating places on a map grid. We were able to analyze how people use maps to make decisions concerning a neighborhood.

Next, we learned about the government of a town. We were able to define a government, as well as give examples of what a government does. 2nd graders were also able to name important positions in a town government. An important thing that we learned was how citizens can participate in government.

After that, we learned about the people of a town. We were able to recognize how towns honor important people and groups. With the use of technology, we researched the local history of our own hometown. We learned that not only can we honor important people and groups, but we can also honor arts and traditions. 2nd graders discussed and recognized holidays celebrated by different cultural groups and shared our own traditions and holiday celebrations with one another.

Last, we learned about the government of our state. We were able to list the three levels of government in the United States and give examples of different jobs done by city, state, and federal governments. We also learned about the U.S. Constitution to help us better understand the responsibilities of federal and state governments. Charts and diagrams were used to help us learn about the three branches of government and their roles.

These 2nd graders are learning so much about our town, state, and country. We are so excited to continue learning more in marking period 3!

ILP/PGP & Celebrations


This marking period second graders focused on mastering individual skills during the ILP period. Students used Classworks for ELA and Math, where they practiced their skills while playing interactive games! Students also have been practicing typing and reading during this period.


For Mini-PGP, students worked on writing collaboratively, creating and writing original plays using a graphic organizer, and then writing a script in preparation of an original play. Students were able to create scripts and props and present them to their classmates! Everyone had a great time!


Second grade classes had lots of fun celebrating winter holidays! Each class had different fun activities set up for their students. Some activities included STEM challenges, crafts, videos, escape room games, and themed parties!

Students learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with read-alouds and creating Unity Hands that were hung around the school to show how our community is connected and using powerful words to describe ourselves and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We also dove into Black History Month with each classroom researching and showcasing a famous figure on their classroom door to present to the school!

Each classroom held a classwide spelling bee. Congratulations to Maxwell Sidor, Siya Patel, Stone Duskin, and Serena Bufano. A big thank you to all students who participated and gave their best effort in this event!

Third Grade Highlights


This marking period, third graders read the informational text, Who Was Coretta Scott King? During Writers Workshop, students began crafting their first Research Analysis Task, during which they practiced gathering text evidence from informational text in order to prove their answers and expand their thinking in their writing. Students analyzed two texts, "The Survival of Tigers" and "The Snow Leopard" in order to examine the two topics and convey ideas and information clearly to write 3-4 paragraphs. As part of our Writers Workshop model, students in the third grade also had the opportunity to review grammar skills such as pronouns, adverbs and punctuating dialogue.


Third graders spent the second marking period working on new math skills such as area, perimeter, and telling time. Students also reviewed old concepts such as 3 digit addition and subtraction with regrouping. During Math centers, students put their independent practice skills to play Subtraction with Regrouping games with their peers and to complete Math craftivities involving Multiplication and Division. Students played Investigation games such as Close to 100 and Collecting Cards in small math groups.

Social Studies

This semester students explored New Jersey’s history and connection to indigenous people. Students learned all about the Lenni Lenape Indians that lived in our area and the role they played in New Jersey’s development. Students studied the Lenni Lenape culture, how geography affected their daily lives, and the traditions and ways of Lenni Lenape life. Students compared and contrasted today’s culture with Lenape culture. This transitioned into a discussion regarding the arrival of Europeans, immigration, and how American culture is based on different cultural groups.

ILP/PGP & Celebrations

This semester students continued to dedicate three periods a week to their own individualized learning pathways (ILP). These pathways involve progressive and rigorous standards-based programs that assist students with particular skills based upon their instructional needs. Students have been utilizing an online RTI program called Classworks, which pinpoints learning gaps and delivers differentiated instruction to students based upon their levels.

Students also spent two periods a week exploring project based learning during mini personal growth periods (Mini PGP). Students utilized these class periods to participate in the 2022 STEAM Tank Challenge. Students applied science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to respond to issues facing the world today. Students worked in teams to invent something new, modify an existing product, or identify a real-world problem that needs attention. Congratulations to the following third grade teams that are moving on to the regional competition: Team Cleaners, Team Air Girlz, Multi-Pencil Sharpener, Team Wet Shield Shoe, Team Anti Pellet Cleats. Students will virtually present their inventions to judges in March. We are so proud of them!

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Fourth Grade Highlights


During the 2nd Marking Period, 4th Grade Readers strengthened their skills for reading informational text with the core novel “Who Is Sonia Sotomayor?” Using the novel and supplemental texts, students learned to identify the different structures and organization of non-fiction texts, as well as compare and contrast two different points of view on the same topic. Readers are excited to begin their next novel, “Who Let the Gods Out?” Many of the characters in the novel are Greek Gods and Constellations. Students began the unit building background knowledge by researching Greek mythological characters, creating a Google Slides presentation, and then presenting the information to the class.

In Writer’s Workshop, students developed their writing skills by producing several Literary Analysis and Research Simulation essays, focused on comparing and contrasting topics such as character traits and characteristics of a hero. Writers mastered how to organize an essay, wrote strong claims, and supported their claims with relevant text evidence. Before publishing their essays, students self-evaluated their work to revise and edit. They also had an opportunity to conduct peer-conferences for valuable feedback. They also developed descriptive writing skills in December in response to the prompt, “What do the holidays mean to you?” and these essays were then proudly displayed at Hoboken’s First Annual Art and Literacy Family Day event.


During the 2nd Marking Period, 4th Grade Mathematicians worked on Unit 3 in Investigation: Multiple Towers and Cluster Problems. Students solved multiplication problems with small 2-digit numbers by breaking the numbers apart and representing their solutions with arrays. They solved and represented division problems in story contexts, including problems with remainders. Students also worked hard in mastering multiplication and division facts in order to help them solve the problems. The next unit, Unit 5 in Investigations: Large Numbers and Landmarks- Addition, Subtraction, and the Number system, students extended their knowledge in order to solve more challenging problems. Students studied place value and the operation of addition as they solved addition problems fluently. Students studied the operation of subtraction as they solved subtraction problems fluently. In both instances, students used more than one way to solve a problem as they investigated mathematical strategies. Students then extended their understanding of place value to one million, and used what they knew about place value and the operations to solve addition and subtraction problems involving 4- and 5-digit numbers.

4th Grade learners are focusing on adding and subtracting large numbers. In order to do so, students need a solid background in place value. Students worked hard to strengthen these skills as they worked with file folder games. They reviewed place value, standard and expanded form, rounding, and comparing numbers. Students worked well together and independently to complete their work.

Social Studies

Students learned about the motivations for and consequences of European exploration of the Americas. Students examined how and why Europeans tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean. They explored the Spanish exploration and colonization of the Americas. They looked into the founding of the English colony of Jamestown and analyzed the reasons for the founding of Plymouth Colony. In addition, students worked on map skills as they learned how to utilize map keys/legends and identify locations on a physical raised relief map.

4th Grade learners participated in a Digital Citizenship lesson in Social Studies. These lessons are supported by Common Sense Education as the focus was Private and Personal Information. Students watched a short video where they sorted through scenarios in order to make responsible decisions regarding internet safety. Students discussed responsibility and personal vs. private information. These lessons continue to be valuable and essential.


Students in the 4th Grade celebrated Human Rights Day. The class started out asking the question, What are human rights? The class brainstormed ideas and came up with a comprehensive list of needs and rights. The lesson continued as students learned more about the history of human rights and how the United Nations created a Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 1940's. Students discussed the importance of people making a difference on a daily basis to help change our world. Students created GIF's showing their understanding of human rights. They were very proud of their work.

Students enjoyed participating in daily themes for the Great Kindness Challenge, such as pajama day, Disney character day, and Connors swag. Students also took time each day to look at their Kindness at school checklist. Each day they reviewed the kind things they do for one another. The students were very proud of themselves and their accomplishments.

Ms. Gruber's 3rd & 4th Grade Highlights

In Ms. Gruber’s class throughout this past marking period some special things have happened! We got to celebrate 4 birthdays (Jayden, Brooklyn, Moses, and Liannah) and Moses even won district student of the month! Destiny also won our spelling bee for our classroom and got to compete against other students from Connors! During this marking period we celebrated holidays as well, got to participate in the holiday concert and learned about some great topics! We celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month. While we did the door decorating contest for the winter time we also began our door decorating for Black History Month at the end of this marking period for Jesse Jackson.

While participating in academics we also achieved a lot during this marking period. For ELA, we focused on many different spelling patterns, spelling words, writing assignments and books. We finished the core novel Wonder and began another core novel called Who is Sonia Sotomayor? During ELA we focused on the Wonders curriculum and also did guided reading in our individualized colored groups. Each of our groups focused on a different vowel sound and when we came together for Wonders we learned about our overall weekly spelling pattern(s) as a group! For writing we focused on informative/explanatory writing, opinion writing, and persuasive writing. Each month we completed a monthly writing task along with other writing tasks such as the Amistad Commission writing tasks. We focused on writing essays based on topics that meant a lot to us or that we had a lot of knowledge on. We tried to make our writing tasks fun even when we were on remote learning and incorporated different themes into our routine (free write Friday, holiday writing etc.). We’ve been practicing editing our own work and using graphic organizers to help us get our thoughts in order. In addition to all of this, we’ve been dedicating time to using the online platform Fast Forward every day!

Throughout Math this marking period we worked very hard on broadening our skills. We’ve been working on graphing/data, measurement, addition and subtraction, word problems, and geometry. We also did a lot of work with fact fluency and it’s a skill that we continuously practice each day. While performing tasks in Investigations, we also did a math journal every day and have been really progressing through IXL. We used our math journal and IXL centers to focus on those higher level tasks which we needed more practice with. We got to play a lot of games and incorporated creative tasks when we could! While we were doing remote learning we made sure to keep things interesting. We went for scavenger hunts around the house, did gross motor movement activities paired with number patterns, and continued our tradition of “fun Friday” where we would play a new math game and compete against each other! Our class has really gotten good at multiplication and using our multiplication charts to solve problems which we’re super proud of!

During Social Studies we continued to learn about the state of NJ. We spoke a lot about what it means to be a good citizen, about the government, about NJ as a state and about what problems we are facing/how to come up with solutions. We used our chromebooks to do research whenever possible and watched videos to explain topics in depth when we needed it! We also did a group project where we did research about how to help NJ based on problems we identified and recorded notes/videos of ourselves once we came up with our ideas! In addition to Social Studies, we worked very hard and loved getting started on our leggo unit through Mini-PGP! We’re learning about transportation and how to work together as a group to build and create different things which help us transport goods around the world (trucks, cars etc.).

Overall it’s been a great marking period! We’ve been pushing ourselves to achieve more and have really been working together nicely. We’re looking forward to the next marking period and to more learning!

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Fifth Grade Highlights


Since students have been reading the novel “Outcasts United” Mrs. Ortiz thought it would be great for students to learn a little more background about the refugee resettlement process. Students were able to have a Google Meet with one of Mrs. Ortiz’s friends, Stefanie. Stefanie is a resettlement caseworker who works for IRC (The International Rescue Committee) to resettle refugees from across the globe in New Jersey. Students learned about the process from airport pickup, to rent assistance, to food assistance, and job placement. Stefanie answered students questions and told them how her nonprofit company assists these families to make their transition to America as seamless as possible. The kids had the best time learning and asking questions since this ties in perfectly with our novel “Outcasts United.”

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Ms. Sogluizzo’s Fifth Graders

Ms. Sogluizzo’s fifth graders worked hard this marking period reading and analyzing their ELA novel, Outcasts United by Warren St. John. The students listened to the chapters and identified the major events from the beginning, middle, and end of each chapter to create an ongoing anchor chart. This was 28 chapters long; we had to move it into the hallway!!! The children then had to analyze the reading, apply several reading comprehension skills, and cite text evidence in order to respond to open ended questions using our R.A.C.E.S strategy. Students were engaged in this novel and were able to make connections to the characters. Great job fifth graders… keep up the hard work!


During the second marking period, the 5th grade students worked extensively with fractions. Students worked with equivalent fractions, ordering fractions, adding and subtracting unlike fractions, and adding and subtracting mixed numbers and fractions with unlike denominators. As a wrap up, students were able to solve fraction problems, and based on their correct answers had to create an elf face based on a key. Students has blast using their Math and Art skills to create adorable little elves.
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Students in Mrs. Ortiz’s 5th grade were required to use their creativity and engineering skills. Students watched videos that depicted Gingerbread Houses. Students were then given basic supplies of graham crackers, frosting, spoon, and candy and were tasked with creating gingerbread houses. Students were super creative with this project and did a wonderful job creating structures and encouraging one another through the trials and tribulations of the project.

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Science Highlights

Science with Ms. Pinkas

Kindergarten: During this marking period Kindergarten was working hard on the Science Dimensions Curriculum. Students learned about how the sun warms the Earth in different ways. Not only did they learn about the sun, Kindergartners put on their engineering hats in the lab! Students created a den for their polar bear to hibernate in the winter. They learned that polar bears do not like the warm weather. Therefore they created a shaded den for the mommy to have her babies. They did a great job!!!

Grade 1: First graders are working hard on the Project Lead the Way Curriculum. We just wrapped up learning about the Sun, Moon and the Stars. Students learned all about the sun and its importance in the solar system. They learned the sun is a star and it's visible during the day. Students were introduced to the moon and its various patterns during orbit. Therefore each student created phases of the moon out of oreo cookies. It was fun to do and yummy! After the moon students learned about the stars and constellations. They created their own constellations with their zodiac sign. As their culminating project students had to create a shaded structure for Mylo, Angelina and Suzi. Each student was given a park on card stock paper. Students were given materials such as pipe cleaners tape and clay. These materials helped them build their shade structures. I am so proud of my little science engineers!!

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Science with Mr. Donovan

2nd Grade

As the 2nd grade students prepared for the design problem, they learned about pollination, seed dispersal by animals, and seed germination. Students also learned how nature has inspired product design, including the invention of VELCRO® brand fasteners. This popular hook-and-loop fastener was developed by a Swiss engineer after observing how burrs, or tiny seeds covered in hooks, became attached to his dog while on a walk.

Students were also introduced to the design problem through the three fictional characters who are planting a wildflower garden at their school. The students are faced with the problem of how plants are already growing in the cleared area and how they will quickly and efficiently disperse wildflower seeds once the area is cleared again.

3rd Grade

In this module, 3rd grade students investigated the differences between genetic traits that are inherited and traits that are influenced by the environment. Students learned about dominant and recessive alleles, as they explored the phenomenon that offspring may express different traits than parents. Students applied this knowledge as they used a Punnett square to document possible genotypes and phenotypes of offspring.

In the problem, students selected four inherited traits for two fictitious parent animals. Students followed the design process to explore, sketch, build, and evaluate an offspring of the parent animals that’s able to survive in a specific environment. Students used data to support their explanation of the inherited traits passed from the parents to the offspring.

Science with Ms. Stinson

In Ms. Stinson’s PLTW 5th grade class we have been working on the Earth’s Spheres. We have been hard at work learning about our fascinating planet Earth ! As a culminating project students were asked to choose an area of their choice and create a diorama and oral presentation to go along with their diorama. As you can see they did a fantastic job on their dioramas along with informative and detailed presentations. Thank you Grade 5 for a job well done!

Specials Highlights

Music with Mr. Azzarto


What an amazing second marking period we have had in music class. The students have their own music room and were so excited to enjoy the world of music in the music room. While in the music room, the students are able to play percussion instruments, sing as a choir, and really enjoy working together on all the music theory activities. We are finally together in one music room!

In the kindergarten grade level, we have been learning about the notes, rests, and note values that are used in western music. From whole notes and rests to 16th notes and rests, the students are learning all about the basics of learning how to read music. In the first grade, the students have mastered note values and “Music Math” equations. It’s now onto note placement on the treble clef. This is the beginning of learning how to read music that is written for high pitched instruments. The second grade has mastered how to read the treble and bass clefs. This is no small feat and advanced placemat combined with their knowledge of note values will get them ready to play the recorders next year!


Third grade is in the process of learning all of the techniques that are used when playing the recorder. Proper posture was the focus in the beginning, e.g. “attention position” and now we are playing real songs using the B, A, and G notes. This is just the start of a full on recorder ensemble and the students could not be more excited! The fourth grade has mastered note placement on the treble clef, bass clef, and ledger lines. Knowledge of ledger line note placement has opened their eyes to new instruments that have pitch ranges beyond the two common clefs. The students have just begun dotted note values e.g. 3 beats. Every note is not worth 1, 2, and 4 beats. They use this knowledge in band and really enjoy combining what they are learning in general music with what they are learning in band. The fifth grade mastered the treble clef, bass clef, ledger lines and so much more. It is now onto learning about music history. Music did not begin with rap and rock and roll. It actually began with the Medieval period, but we are starting with the Renaissance period. The rebirth of life, music, and art. This is only the beginning. The fifth grade is about to embark on a journey like no other. Music’s life throughout time!

Lastly, all grade levels are having a great time singing various songs. Singing is such an important element to music education and especially during these challenging times it brings joy and happiness to their daily lives here at Thomas G. Connors Elementary School!

Art with Ms. Capalbo

This marking period began with 100% participation in the Winter Arts & Literacy show! This outdoor exhibit showcased painted snowmen and penguins from Kindergarten and 1st grade, watercolor origami snowflakes from 2nd and 3rd grade, and beautiful winter mountainscapes from 4th and 5th grade! We had a special collaboration project with Ms. vayda's and Ms. Sheridan's class! They combined a Starry Night inspired sky and a woven Winter Village to create a beautiful home for their self portrait ice skaters. Our art impressively filled an entire tent and I cannot wait until next year!

Throughout the marking period, all classes refined their skills and expanded on our elements of art. We took a trip to Italy and learned about our key artist, Michelangelo. During class we laid beneath our tables and stretched as far as we could to replicate Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. Their muscles ached when they were finished, so we could only imagine how Michelangelo felt after years of intense work! We also learned about another key artist named Reggie Laurent. Impressed by his DNA Series, our students created their own collage of geometric and organic shapes. We analyzed and discussed how every color in his series can coexist and maintain its individuality. Each color has their own place, space, and purpose - adding to the harmony in these artworks. Like our students, they are uniquely their own person and complement each other as a whole. We added design elements with markers to our collage to complete the finishing touch!

Moving into marking period 3, we will begin to create meaning in the choices we make in art class. Learning how to analyze and describe the work we see and give each other feedback. This will fully round out our mini artists! looking forward to more amazing things!

Physical Education with Mr. Favino

MP2 in PE was another massive success for our students. This marking period featured our team sports unit that included the sports of football, lacrosse, and volleyball. Our objectives for grades varied as K-2 students focused primarily on correct form and the positioning aspect of each sport. K-2 students did a great job focusing on the throwing and catching skill cues in both lacrosse and football and excelled in the bump, set, and serve in volleyball. Our 3-5 students focused primarily on game strategy as well as practicing proper skill cues. We were able to simulate games of football (ultimate football) and volleyball (beach and standard) and saw great progression throughout. This is one of my favorite units because our students get an opportunity learn the importance of teamwork and grow so much in each sport. So proud of our students, looking forward to more fun in MP3!

Mandarin with Ms. Jia

During the second marking period students studied three major units. They continued the topic of family. Students enforced their vocabulary of family members. Learned how to ask questions about family members and description of family members. Unit 4 is about zodiac animals, the Chinese New Year and migratory animals. Students learned the story of the zodiac animals, vocabulary, and preference of their animals. They did a variety of activities to enhance their understanding in different aspects. For Chinese New Year, students learned that one of the zodiac animals, the tiger represents 2022. Kindergarteners did a tiger worksheet while higher grade students made a red envelope. Another extended topic is migratory animals. We learned the concept of animal migration, the reasons behind, mileage and their habitat. Students of higher grades completed a worksheet listing ten migratory animals in English, Chinese character, and Pinyin. Also organized in the form are their habitat and abilities.

RTI with Ms. Cofrancesco

We had another great marking period here in the RTI Reading Room at Connors! Readers began each session with Orton Gillingham’s Three Part Drill, which is the multi-sensory review of learned phonetic concepts. The first part of the drill is the visual component where students say the sound for the letter or letters they see on the card. The second part is the auditory part where the teacher says a sound and the students must repeat the sound and draw the letter of the sound in their sand tray. In addition to sand, during this marking period students used shaving cream for this portion. (Check out the students having fun while practicing sounds with shaving cream below!) The third part is the blending component, where the teacher uses a blending board and the students blend the sounds together to make nonsense and real cvc words. Lastly to continuously review vowels, students complete a vowel intensive activity where they each have five popsicle sticks or tents (one with each vowel a,e,i,o,u). The teacher says a vowel sound and the students repeat the sound plus hold up the correct vowel popsicle stick.

On Mondays after the Three Part Drill, students in kindergarten through fifth grade learned a new concept using Orton Gillingham’s Multi-Sensory Experience. A new concept process began with showing the students the card of the new concept, the placement of the letter in the alphabet, then saying the sound the letter makes. Students would repeat after the teacher. Third through fifth grade students moved onto learning digraphs and blends for their new concept lessons. As a group, students brainstormed words that began with the letter they were learning for the week; for example while students were learning the letter j says /j/ students named items such as jelly, jam, and jar. If needed, students would learn how to write the letter by using the letter formation page. After the introduction, students were read dictation words or sentences to practice their writing skills with this new concept. The students continued to practice the learned concept throughout the week in the three part drill.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays students learned a new Red word each day. Red words are words that are not phonetic along with some high-frequency sight words; these words differ based on each groups’ needs. Just like last semester, each student used their Red Folder and Red Word Book to write their new words using the multisensory approach. Included in the multisensory approach is the arm tapping step, where students tap out each letter of the word to help them remember the spelling of the new learned words. As an extension, students created their Red words with light letter tiles, heart letter tiles, and play doh. Furthermore, students played games on Friday to continue to build their sight word knowledge.

During the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday sessions, guided reading was completed with every student. The guided reading portion remained the same for this marking period with RTI students. This portion of the session was when the students all read the same book with the teacher. Every group had a new guided reading story each week. The story was picked based on the students' needs to progress as a reader. During this time, the teacher introduced the book by completing a picture walk with the students and introducing some vocabulary words. Once the introduction was completed, the students read the book independently and the teacher whisper read with each student one at a time. During the whisper read, the teacher focused on the child’s fluency and helped each child improve their fluency skills based on their needs. After each student read the book independently, the students and the teacher have a book talk and respond to comprehension questions.

Kindergarten guided reading sessions had students read books from Raz Kids that focused on the new concept letter or sight words. Students were exposed to the literate texts on their level to build foundational literacy skills plus build each students’ printed language concepts knowledge. First and second grade guided reading sessions had students increase their fluency by reading in longer phrases plus focusing on building their retell and connection skills. Students created a retell rope or retell map of all the events in the order they occurred in the story. Since the story changed weekly, the retell activity was changed weekly as well. Third, fourth and fifth grade guided reading sessions focused on the students retelling the story, summarizing the story, and making reflections and connections after reading. This allowed students to practice their writing skills; capitalization, punctuation and complete sentences.

During Mini PGP days (Thursdays and Fridays), students completed their grade levels Mini PGP activities, focused around literacy. Kindergarten students learned about holidays around the world which included Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Years, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Chinese New Year, and Black History Month. To celebrate each of the holidays, students listened to a read aloud describing the holiday and created a grade level craft to further their learning of the holiday. First grade students celebrated holidays during Mini PGP days as well, the first graders celebrated Native American History Month, Winter Holidays Around the World, New Years, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Penguin Awareness Day, Chinese New Year, and Black History Month. During our time celebrating these holidays, students read passages or stories about the holiday and then created a craft or activity as an extension. Second grade students continued to read plays, but also had the opportunity to create their own play as a group. A popular topic amongst the second grade RTI students were animals in the jungle teaching others a lesson of kindness.Third graders were always counting down the days to Mini PGP days because they were given the opportunity to build with legos. Fourth grade students continued with their Mock Trial. Fifth grade students presented their Ted Talk presentations.

Students in kindergarten through fifth grade who receive RTI Reading services have worked very well together in the small group reading sessions this marking period!

Mini PGP with Ms. Barsukova


Holidays Around the World

During the month of December students have been learning and celebrating a variety of holidays that happen around December time. With the hands on approach, Read Aloud, and visual representations students have been creating different crafts and projects to go with each holiday. For instance, Christmas was celebrated with making the Snow Globes where students used the free choice of certain templates to put together their unique Snow Globe. They practiced their motor skills by cutting out the templates to be a let to piece together the project. In addition, the last part was to decorate their craft. We used crayons, cotton balls/pom poms, and gemstones to make our Snow Globes glow!


During the month of December students have been learning and celebrating a variety of holidays that happen around December time. With the hands on approach, Read Aloud, and visual representations students have been creating different crafts and projects to go with each holiday. For instance, we celebrated Kwanzaa by learning about the facts and background information and then created candles on the kinara and talked about what each candle means and stands for. We used paper plates and paper candles to put the project together.


During the month of December students have been learning and celebrating a variety of holidays that happen around December time. With the hands on approach, Read Aloud, and visual representations students have been creating different crafts and projects to go with each holiday. For instance, Hanukkah was celebrated by making a menorah. In addition, we watched an educational video about the holiday, did a read aloud from Get Epic! and completed various interactive activities to celebrate.

Chinese New Year

At the end of January, students learned and celebrated Chinese Lunar New Year by making Paper Lanterns with a How To Video and Red Paper Envelopes where students put a happy and kind note inside to share with someone. This was integrated with the theme of Kindness Week and students showed their acts of Kindness in different ways including a written message that they put on the handle of the Paper Lantern and inside the Red Envelope vehicle celebrating and learning about Chinese Lunar New Year!

Black History Month

Students in Kindergarten have been continuously learning about many different African American visionaries and celebrating the legacies of those that worked tirelessly to change unfair laws and bring peace and justice to the society during the months of January and February. Through the interactive approach and hands on activities they are being enriched with the history and valuable facts. For instance, students explored and used the facts from the text to construct a sentence of their own that describes the important work or action of that person in a coherent format using the given words from the text to help with the spelling of certain key vocabulary.

1st Grade

Holidays Around the World

During the entire month of December, students in the 1st Grade Enrichment Mini PGP group were learning about how different countries celebrate winter holidays. Students traveled around the globe and visited an immense amount of countries. Students had passports and suitcases that they kept with them while pretending to be on board a plane! It was so much fun!

Virtual Guest Speaker - Live Tour of Verona, Italy

December 9th, 2021 was a very special and exciting day for the 1st Graders because they got to Virtually travel to Italy LIVE in real time through the Google Meet. We had a Guest virtually joining us right from VERONA, ITALY!!! Ms. Elena, is Italian and a teacher in Italy. She lives in Verona and for our meeting she took us over the bridge of Castelvecchio where we saw the outside castle where the prince used to live many years ago. We saw a little market right on the bridge while crossing over the river. Then, we walked to the Main Plaza of Verona where Arena di Verona stands. While on the tour we learned lots of different facts about Italian culture and winter holiday traditions. Students got to ask some questions while observing the streets and surroundings of Verona Streets. It was definitely the highlight of our academic adventure this week! After the Virtual experience in Italy we continued learning about Italy by using the Holidays Around the World activities. The adventure to Italy will continue on Friday and will culminate with a Postcard to the families about Italy.

Chinese New Year in February

Over the two days designated for Mini PGP, students learned and explored the facts and traditions of Chinese Lunar New Year. Students made Paper Lanterns and Red Envelopes with happy and kind messages to celebrate the Kindness week at our school. Students used the teacher created video on How To Create a Paper Lantern to guide students through the process. For the red envelopes. Students drew a Tiger for the 2022 year, folded it up, and inserted a kind or happy note to someone. They read their notes out loud to each other.

Penguin Awareness Day

1st Graders celebrated Penguin Awareness Day by completing a Read Aloud from Get Epic!, holding a thoughtful conversation about the animal and making a Penguin Craft with an interesting fact or two they learned about the flightless bird. Students used paper plates, information from Get Epic! and other templates to create a Paper Penguin with one or more facts they have learned from the Read Aloud book on Get Epic!

2nd Grade

Write, Create, and Act - Original Fables

Over the course of the 2nd Marking Period students in 2nd Grade have been working on creating the original fables using the Google Docs to write a script and Google Slides to make it look like a theater and background. In addition, students created their own props to go with their fables and acted out their fable in front of their classmates.

The art of creative writing will come to life through the dramatic arts. Public speaking and presentation skills will be enhanced through mini-performances, first read aloud, then fully created by children. This multidisciplinary course will center around social situations that will help children solve dilemmas in a fun and productive manner. Inspiration for original work will come from the stories we read together through our reader's theater genre study as well as from fairy tales, fables, folk tales, and the students’ backgrounds

Third Grade

Engineering Design Process - LEGO Kits

Students will be introduced to the FIRST LEGO League Core Values and team. FIRST LEGO League is more than robots! The FIRST LEGO League Core Values are the cornerstones of the program. They are among the fundamental elements that distinguish FIRST LEGO League from other programs of its kind. By embracing the Core Values, participants learn that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.

Students have been eagerly and enthusiastically showing their engineering skills by using the LEGOs and Engineering Notebooks to complete interactive and hands-on activities.

Fourth Grade

Mock Trial Case - Original Case For the Trial

The 4th grade students will use the model of the mock trials introduced to develop their own unique cases, which will then be submitted for entry into the New Jersey State Bar Foundation Law Fair Competition. Students that win the competition will have the opportunity to perform their original mock trial cases at the Law Fair program in the Spring (2020) at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, NJ. The remainder of the 4th graders will hold mock trial competitions either school-wide, district-wide or against their grade-level peers.

Students acted out Humpty Dumpty vs. the King case based on the provided script. They moved the furniture around the room to make it look more like the courtroom.

Fifth Grade

Ted Talk Presentations - Sustainability Goals

In Unit 1, titled Sustainability, Rights, and the United Nations, students developed a deeper understanding of global awareness and the purpose of the United Nations goals. Unit 2, Empowering Change Through Student Activism, challenges students to select one of the eight Sustainable Development Goals they feel passionate about and work in collaboration with peers to create/construct a TED talk sharing viable action plans that all stakeholders can take to restore global balance as it pertains to their goal. Students will utilize the ongoing implementation of technological research, modeling, and guided reading of resources cited throughout this work.

Students used the Google Docs to present their speech and used Google Slides to have the visual representation to go with their talk.

In December, the entire 4th Grade collaborated to come up with a list of cases to pick for the final trial. Students thought of real life related issues in a community and contributed ideas to create a list. Then, students casted a ballot on the best option. Finally, upon the counted votes the case was chosen. Students are set to write their unique case to be included in the Law Fair.

In addition, 3rd Grade students have been diligently working on STEAM Tank presentations by using an engineering process to create and come up with an invention of their own or fix the one that can be improved. It is a great opportunity for students to practice and develop engineering and design skills in order to either solve a problem or create a new invention that would solve a particular problem.

Model UN - Frayer Model Vocabulary

Spring Semester has just recently unfolded and 5th Graders have begun exploring the Model UN through various ways. One of them is learning Vocabulary using the Frayer Model, Public Speaking Rules, Virtual Guest Speakers, and Critical Thinking Skills.

Junior Model U.N. is designed to acquaint students with the operations of the United Nations through the study of political positions of member nations. Additionally, students should achieve a level of understanding in the use of simulation activities as a means for teaching and learning about the political perspectives of different nationalities on contemporary world issues. Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

Articulate the foreign policy of the selected country. Define the structures and general procedures of the United Nations. Describe important historical issues affecting the UN and evaluate the organization’s effectiveness. Analyze an issue currently before the United Nations from the selected member nation’s perspective. Understand and competently use the rules of procedure, diplomatic protocol, and negotiating techniques common to UN delegates. Explain the rationale, format, and instructional methods of the Model United Nations simulation

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CTY with Ms. Barsukova

On Mondays - Wednesdays during the Individualized Learning Pathway (ILP) period, students who have qualified to participate in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) programming engage in a wide array of verbal course offerings that address their specific strengths and interests. Johns Hopkins CTY believes in researching and advancing ways to identify and nurture academically talented learners. CTY furthers research, guides educators and families and inspires students from diverse communities and backgrounds to pursue their intellectual passions and create the world of tomorrow. This week, we would like to highlight one of the CTY courses offered to our Hoboken students this fall:

Young Readers Series: In Search Of

Our students will embark on a profound journey through space, time, and the human spirit, considering what it means to be “in search of” one’s place in the world. Reading a well-balanced mixture of fiction and nonfiction, students will meet rebels and outsiders on personal and worldwide adventures. Through persuasive writing assignments, our students will learn to use credible evidence to support claims and engage in discussion forums with peers, allowing them to make inferences, determine character motivations, and evaluate arguments. Additionally, students will write engaging short stories that explore different points of view, fostering the improvement of critical reading skills, writing style, and more.

Young Readers Series: Mystery Stories

Become an investigator and search for clues

within each story, then try to solve the puzzle! In this course, our young detectives will uncover some of the reasons why things are not always what they seem. Our students will journey to 19th century London and to a modern African wildlife preserve while reading stories that include danger, fantasy, suspense. Sifting through these enthralling stories on the hunt for answers, we will analyze and draw inferences from clues found in the setting, plot, and characters, crafting creative writing and discussion forum posts and sharpening your critical thinking skills along the way. Practice being curious, aware, and reflective as we try to solve each mystery!

Young Readers Series: Building Blocks

Become a grammar champ! In this course, students will learn different parts of speech and explore how they function in the sentences and paragraphs of various classic autobiographies such as The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; My Inventions by Nikola Tesla; The Story of My Life by Helen Keller; and Around the World in Seventy-Two Days by Nellie Bly. Throughout the course, students will work on a story about a memorable experience, applying the grammar concepts they’ve reviewed in each unit. They will learn to develop effective patterns and rhythms in their writing, emerging with a complete personal narrative and an understanding of how grammatical choices affect the quality of any piece of writing. Students will also interact with classmates from around the globe, read their writing and share their own, participate in forums and workshops, and have fun completing automated learning checks and playing online grammar games to enrich their learning.


In conclusion of the fall semester of the CTY verbal courses, students have been working diligently to complete a course portfolio to demonstrate mastery of a variety of standards developed by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Throughout the completion of this assignment, students have been given the opportunity to create, reflect, and critique their own work in a way that was both constructive and positive. We are looking forward to sharing these presentations with parents, administrators, and classmates in the upcoming weeks.

On Mondays - Wednesdays during the Individualized Learning Pathway (ILP) period, students who have qualified to participate in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) programming engage in a wide array of math course offerings that address their specific strengths and interests. Johns Hopkins CTY believes in researching and advancing ways to identify and nurture academically talented learners. CTY furthers research, guides educators and families and inspires students from diverse communities and backgrounds to pursue their intellectual passions and create the world of tomorrow. This week, we would like to highlight one of the CTY courses offered to our Hoboken students this winter:

Accelerated Grade 3 Mathematics

Our students are taking Grade 3 math to a higher level with this accelerated online course! They begin the course reviewing foundational Grade 2 lessons and gaining early exposure to Grade 4 concepts through enrichment topics. Each chapter is paired with videos, interactive web pages, and projects to develop the students’ reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills for investigating and exploring Grade 3 math skills.

Honors Grade 4 Mathematics

This accelerated online course will challenge our mathematicians to take Grade 4 math to a higher level! Under the guidance of Johns Hopkins CTY instructors, students will investigate and explore challenging math concepts via videos, interactive web pages, and projects. They will develop mathematical reasoning, learn critical thinking skills, and acquire problem-solving techniques for Grade 4 skills and beyond.

Cryptology: Math and Codes

Mathematicians will make and break secret codes in this exciting introductory cryptology course. This course combines mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering, and is an excellent choice for those wishing to enhance their grasp of modern cryptology concepts such as ATM cards, computer passwords, and e-commerce. Students will begin with simple Caesar ciphers, learning to encrypt and decrypt messages as well as the history behind the cipher. Then move through more advanced mathematical concepts to learn substitution ciphers, Vigenère ciphers, and multiplicative and affine ciphers. All of their newly acquired knowledge will be put to the test by finishing with public key cryptography and the modern-day RSA cryptosystem.

Second Marking Period Student of the Month


Skylee Familia

Aanika Gupte

Lior Namer

Zamyiah Serette

John Smith

District SOTM: Aanika Gupte

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Lynje Murray

Gabriel Morris

Sophia Curbelo

Moses Espiritu

Liba Newfield

Siya Patel

Clara Renoni

Sophia Seto

District SOTM: Moses Espiritu

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Koalas with Character Awards!

We are so proud of our Connors Koalas, who are continually displaying wonderful character "Koalaties". A special congratulations to Quinn Carleton, Jacyeon Huggins, Bella Wong, Maya Nizgoda, Zoe Lewis, Emmelia Sidor, Charlotte Young, Kian Sankar, Ian Zimmerman, Brandyn Rivera, Loriel Wiggins, Kiran Cross, Noah Renoni, Sophia Curbelo, Ishmael Johnson, Madison McKeown, Zamyiah Serrette, Nivea Freeman, Laurielle Washington, Gabriel Broerman, Tamar Klein, Ziyah Bates, Oliver Kondili, Clara Renoni, Dylan Morissey, Lucas Zuckerman, and Lainey McLaughlin! We are so proud of you!

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UNITY to Honor the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King

As we continue to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr our students created hands that expressed characteristics of leadership. These hands were shaped to create the word UNITY to teach our students the ability we have to create change if we work together.
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The Great Kindness Challenge

This marking period, we participated in The Great Kindness Challenge, a week-long program dedicated to creating a culture of kindness and compassion in communities worldwide. To help our students practice kindness and put their compassion into action, students received a Great Kindness Challenge checklist. So many of our students completed numerous acts of kindness throughout the week! Students invited new friends to play, smiled at 25 people, complimented 5 people, said good morning to 15 people, and so much more as part of our Kindness Challenge Week! In addition, students participated in our daily kindness themes!
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Teacher of the Year, Ms. Madeleine Vayda! Congratulations to Carolyn Mussara, Educational Support Specialist of the Year

Ms. Vayda is a 1st Grade Teacher in Homeroom 210. Ms. Vayda is an exceptional teacher, teammate, and person. She is always doing what is best for her students. She comes up with exciting, engaging and rigorous lessons for all types of learners, students struggling, as well as those who need a challenge. Ms. Vayda works so well as a colleague and teammate. She is always eager to share and help other educators. She is devoted to her students and constantly tries to implement engaging lessons in her classroom. She goes above and beyond to make learning fun and cultivates positive relationships with students, parents and coworkers. Madeleine is such an asset to our Connors family and she is so deserving of this special award!

Ms. Mussara is a kindergarten paraprofessional in homeroom 201. She has been working as a paraprofessional for the past 21 year. She goes above and beyond her job description. She is amazing with the children in the classroom. She has a heart of GOLD! She is compassionate, caring and kind. She cares for each child as if they are her own. Ms. Mussara always takes the initiative and supports children during guided practice. She is truly amazing and we are so honored to have her as an incredible member of our Connors Family.

Black History Month Door Decoration Project

Across the country, teachers and students are celebrating Black History Month to shed light on important African American figures throughout history, and the challenges and triumphs they have faced in their quest for equality and justice. As a school community we will celebrate African American visionaries within our classrooms and research the life and legacy of those men and women who have paved the way for change. It is our responsibility to learn and continue to honor the visionaries by living our lives responsibly to continue the quest for equality.

Students researched African American Visionaries listed below in their classrooms.

Nurse Maddie-Dr. Charles Drew

Ms. Pokorny-Martin Luther King Jr

Mr. Favino- Tribute to African American Athletes

Science team-Tribute to African American Scientists

Ms. Fleischer-Frederick Douglas

Ms. Rodriguez-Katherine Johnson

Ms. Watson/Mrs. Layson-Hariet Tubman

Ms. Sheridan-Mary Mcleod Bethune

Ms. Vayda-Toni Morrison

Ms. White-Shirley Chisolm

Ms. Schultes-Sidney Poitier

Ms. Rinaldi-Sojourner Truth

Ms. Garcia-Madam C.J Walker

Ms Ayers-Thurgood Marshall

Ms. Johnson-Ida B. Wells

Mr. White/ CST-Malcolm X

Ms. Gruber &Ms. Jia Rm-Jesse Jackson, Mary Fields

Ms. Sivo- Ruby Bridges

Mr. Azzarto-Tribute to African American Music

Ms. Capalbo- Tribute to African American Art

Ms. Schulz-W.E.B Du Bois

Ms. Rodriguez-Booker T. Washington

Ms. Romanowski-Oprah Winfrey

Ms. Ortiz 306-Barack Obama

Ms. Cofrancesco- Tribute to African American Authors

Ms. Hall-Maya Angelou

Ms. Barsukova / Ms. Goodwin- Ella Baker

Ms. Januse-Rosa Parks

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