Marking Period 3 Newsletter

Thomas G. Connors School 2021-2022

A Message from Principal Addi

It is hard to believe that we are in the 4th Marking Period of the 2021-2022 School Year. I am so proud of our dedicated staff. They continue to teach their hearts out everyday! It is because of our teachers that our students have tremendous smiles in the morning as they line up during arrival and as they leave school in the afternoon. Our dedicated faculty continue to create an enriching learning environment where our children continue to thrive socially, emotionally and academically.

Spring is here! It is so wonderful to open up our doors and now have so many in-person events at Connors! A few weeks ago we had our Once Upon a Time at Connors Theater show on our Connors stage. For many families, it was their first time in the building in over 2 years! For some of our new families, it was their first time in the building ever! Our Connors vs. Staff PTO Basketball game was an incredible highlight. It was our first in person indoor event in over 2 years. The positive energy was contagious and our Connors Koala school spirit was so inspiring. We have so many upcoming family events and celebrations to look forward to during the 4th marking period.

3rd Marking period report cards are now available on Genesis. In addition, hard copies of the report cards were sent home with each child today in their backpacks. As we transition into the 4th 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.

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 Vice Principal of T.G Connors School, I would like to congratulate our entire school community as we wrap up marking period 3. With the warm weather upon us I am seeing a new found energy from our entire school community. We are planting gardens, planning field trips, socializing outdoors and of course actively learning each and every day in the classroom. We are truly blossoming into a wonderful community, and I look forward to watching us grow in the fourth marking period. The PTO Parent-Teacher Basketball game was the highlight of the third marking period. It was so exciting to see the entire school community come together for a fun, friendly competition. We were able to model great sportsmanship for our students, and exemplified the 6 pillars of character, which continue to be the foundation of our school community and students are continuing to develop these character traits. Each day, I look forward to reading and listening as we celebrate our student’s achievements with Koala Cards. As we enter the final marking period of the school year, I look forward to seeing the success each of our students achieve daily. Thank you to all of our staff, parents, community members, and of course our students for making my job so meaningful.

Kindergarten Highlights


Kindergarteners have made remarkable progress in ELA during the third marking period! The Kindergarten Team cannot believe how much learning has taken place. Students have been working on phonics, reading, grammar, and writing skills every day during ELA. During Readers Workshop, Kindergarteners have focused on many different comprehension strategies, such as rereading, making predictions, and visualizing. Kindergarteners' comprehension skills focused on were compare and contrasting, problem and solution, cause and effect, character, setting, plot, main topic, key details, and sequencing. Students continued to work hard during centers and showed off all of their knowledge and skills during this time. During Writers Workshop, students wrote their own stories! Students wrote a fantasy story and included characters, setting, problem, and solution. Their stories came out PHENOMENAL! Kindergartners also wrote "All About" stories. Students chose one animal to focus on in these stories and wrote what their animal could do, have, and are. After each story, students get to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments with an Author Celebration, which is always a favorite in Kindergarten!

Again, we are blown away by how amazing the Kindergarteners are working. Miss Fleischer, Ms. Decesare, Miss Watson, and Miss Layson are impressed with the learning in marking period three. We cannot wait to see all the incredible things Kindergarteners do in the final marking period!

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Kindergarten math started off marking period 3 with the study of 3 dimensional shapes! We learned how to identify a 3-D shape’s attributes (faces, vertices and sides) in order to describe a 3-D shape. We played with and combined 3-D shapes to create a larger 3-D shape, matched the faces of 3-D shapes and compared attributes of 3-D shapes. During the 3rd Marking Period we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day during math by counting and recording the number of each marshmallow shape from a box of Lucky Charms cereal! At the end we gathered our findings to see which marshmallow shape we had the most of and the least of! Turns out we had a box that had more rainbows and less shooting star marshmallows. In our following unit we focused on measuring and counting larger numbers up to 20 and were challenged to practice counting sequences that started from numbers other than 1! We learned how to count and use a number line which came in handy for learning addition in the next unit! The end of the 3rd marking period focused on the foundations of addition and strategies for solving addition problems.

Social Studies

Third quarter in kindergarten social studies has been a learning extravaganza! We started off the quarter learning about influential women. The month of March is Women's History month. We learned about many women throughout the month including Kamala Harris, Jill Biden, Michelle Obama, Amelia Earhart, Jane Goodall, and Ruby Bridges. We read books, watched videos, and completed amazing women research papers! We also dived deeper into our young citizens curriculum. Chapter 6 we started talking about the best state in America, NEW JERSEY! The students loved learning about their own state! The students learned how to locate NJ and individual states on a map. They also used language such as size, shape, and color to describe the different locations on the maps. Next the students began learning about map keys and map symbols, and how we use them on a map! We learned that map keys often showcase different landforms. We discussed all the different types of landforms such as mountains, plains, volcanos, valleys, and hills. We started to discuss the American government as well. We talked about the process of voting for a president. We discussed our president Joe Biden and what his role as president means. Joe Biden is our nation's leader. The students made a list of traits that make up a good leader so we can all be good leaders inside and outside of the school. We learned about our state’s symbols, including our state bird, flower, and flag. We also discussed the different jobs people have in New Jersey based on our natural resources. We wrapped up chapter 6 and began working on chapter 7, which is all about how people make our state special! We discussed what the word “special” means. We learned about what New Jersey looked like hundreds of years ago and what has changed since! We analyzed how changes in technology have made life different now from in the past. We began discussing cultures and the different cultures we have in our classroom. We talked about all the wonderful things different cultures bring to New Jersey. Some cultures have different languages and different traditions. We talked about the different traditions we have in our families and the different languages we can speak. We cannot wait to continue learning all about cultures, traditions, and our classroom dynamics as we dive deeper into chapter 7. Kindergarten LOVES to learn!


Kindergarteners have had a lot to celebrate throughout the last marking period! In February, we celebrated the 100th day of school. Students made posters showing 100 things such as stickers, pasta or marshmallows. We also counted 100 beads and made necklaces. In March, students were excited to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! In Math, we used lucky charms to practice sorting, graphing and counting. We also did a Lucky Charms write the room during ELA and students wrote about why they feel lucky. In April, we had a blast celebrating the Week of the Young Child! On Monday students dressed for success. Students dressed as artists, doctors, chefs, a police officer and more! Tuesday was tie-dye day! Students had so much making their shirts and learning about how to tie- dye. Wednesday was athlete day! Students wore clothing to represent their favorite sports teams and after school, many came out for the parent vs staff basketball game. Thursday was decade day, where students dressed in 70s, 80s, or 90s attire! Friday we took a trip to Madison Park where the kids got to play and eat pizza outside!

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First Grade Highlights


Throughout marking period 3, students worked so hard learning new phonics, grammar, reading, and writing skills. Students have made so much progress since the last marking period. Students have completed their spring assessments, which showed a ton of growth. In phonics, we have covered all long and short vowel sounds. We have learned different spelling patterns and rules. So far we covered diphthongs, r controlled vowels, and digraphs. Students were able to master these skills through guided reading and ELA center activities. 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. During guided reading, students have spent a lot of time working on strategies to retell a text by including the characters, setting, beginning, middle, and end. Some students have been writing summaries in their own words. Students have been practicing answering comprehension questions in complete sentences as well. We also focused on non-fiction texts mainly about objects in the sky, inventions, and sounds. Students have been reading to identify cause and effect events and problems and solutions.

Writers’ Workshop:

First grader writers have been working so hard! We started the second marking period with finishing opinion writing. Currently, we are working on how-to writing. Students took the time to brainstorm ideas on things they are experts at. Some examples include, how to make a bed, wrap a present, ride a bike, make cake, and get ready for school. Our writing checklist includes an introduction with a hook, naming the topic, and listing the materials/ingredients. Then students write the steps with lots of detail and transitional words. Finally, they add their closing sentence. Students had writing conferences with friends to discuss their books with glows and grows.


Students in first grade 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 wanted to remember about each article. We have learned about space, clouds, famous women, and water.


During the 3rd marking period, first grade students put their mathematical skills to the test by complete their third and final link it assessment. It was amazing the see all the growth our students have made since the beginning of the year. In Math Investigations, first graders worked closely with teachers during guided math groups learning about the following math skills:. Solving story problems with 3 numbers, finding out the missing addend in an equation, using various graphs to answer questions about specific data, and creating data representations by asking survey questions to peers and teachers. Students are currently working on grouping numbers together to find out the larger sum. We look forward to continuing to challenge ourselves with the last two units in our math program.

Social Studies

First graders have worked so hard during the third marking period of Social Studies! We have been working on our unit: “Depictions of Change Over Time”. In our Young Citizens curriculum we have been focusing on Chapters 1 and 7. Chapter 1 focused on families and why they are important. We discussed who makes up a family, rules and responsibilities of family members, traditions, and comparing and contrasting families today vs. in the past. As we continueChapter 7, students are learning about differences and similarities between themselves and others. Students are learning about other cultures in different places around the world, as well as the unique traditions and cultural differences among people in the US. During Social Studies, students have also completed projects from mini PGP relating to Black History Month, and Women’s History Month. Students are looking forward to learning about and celebrating neurodiversity during Autism Awareness Month. Keep up the great work, first grade!


First Graders have had a lot to celebrate throughout the last marking period. We celebrated Valentine’s Day by doing crafts and activities related to the love that surrounds us within our families, friends, and classmates. Students were so excited to bring in their very own Valentine’s Day cards to hand out to their classmates. They couldn’t wait to see what loving notes they received, and the silly little toys that may have come with the cards! When St. Patrick’s Day came along, a mischievous leprechaun visited first grade classrooms and wreaked havoc! Fortunately, our SROs were able to find some prints and send them to the lab! It turns out the leprechaun was not trying to cause any destruction, and was probably quite friendly! As Spring Break approaches, students are looking forward to the fun springtime activities that happen during this time!

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Second Grade Highlights


Reading Workshop: During the third marking period we have been reading poetry, realistic fiction stories, folktales, and dramas. We focused on summarizing, point of view, and learning the theme of a story. 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. Students also took their last Linkit! assessment of the year and had their final DRA as well. Everyone did such an amazing job!

Writing Workshop: During the third marking period we have been learning about how to write realistic fiction. We started the unit learning about plot structure. We did this by creating flip books that taught us about the different elements of plot. We learned the structure of “Plot Mountain” and all of its components like, introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. We took that information to help us write our final pieces. We added dialogue, descriptive adjectives, thoughts and feelings to our writing as well.

After we moved into our poetry unit! Students had so much fun exploring poetry during April which was also National Poetry month! We learned lots of different poetry elements like rhyme, alliteration, repetition, theme, and many more! Students wrote poems using each of the learned elements and combined at least two elements for their final piece that they read aloud to the class.


Throughout the third marking period students have been working on many skills to prepare them for the end of second grade. Students have been solving story problems with unknown changes and starts (___+35=70 and 70-___=35). In addition, students have focused on place value, time, money, measurement, addition and subtraction. During place value practice, students have been viewing base ten blocks and identifying the amount shown by the blocks and comparing numbers up to three digits. While working with money, students identified the value of each coin, solved story problems that required coins and counted coins. Students continued to practice regrouping in addition and subtraction problems of two to three digits throughout the marking period.

During this marking period, students also represented data by creating tally charts and bar graphs. The classes played a game called “Guess My Rule”

which required the students to guess what rule the teacher was thinking of based on what the students were wearing (such as stripes, plain, wearing glasses, Connor’s Swag, etc.). This data was then used by the students to make bar graphs, line plots, picture graphs and other visual representations. Students also used their graphing skills to collect and represent data about other classes’ missing teeth amounts. They really enjoyed taking on the teacher role of going into other classes, explaining their data goals and representing the data using one of the graphs that they learned during the unit.

In our current unit, second graders are exploring numbers within 1,000, which they’re very excited about!

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Social Studies

This marking period, we learned so much in social studies! We used our Young Citizens textbooks to help us learn about changes in a community. We studied about the changes that have happened in the town of Maplewood over the past 150 years. During our studies, we were able to learn about the causes and effects of natural disasters in order to describe how natural disasters can change a town. We also learned the differences between an urban, rural, and suburban community. Students were able to use their Think Books to help them by creating diagrams, charts, and time lines to see the changes that can happen to a town over time.

We also celebrated Black History Month in the month of February. Second graders learned about many important people who helped change our world. Our class studied Sojourner Truth and decorated our classroom door with facts about this influential woman.

During the month of March, we celebrated Women’s History Month. We learned about many women who made a change in our world by researching on our Chromebooks, writing a short paragraph about what we learned, and creating a stamp about each of these women. Our last day of Women’s History Month, we learned about 18 different women and were able to sort and create a

timeline of them and when in history they were alive to help make our world what we know it as today.

We’re so excited to learn more in our last marking period of 2nd grade!


There were many exciting celebrations during this marking period! In the beginning, our district acknowledged the 100th Day of School, which is a wonderful milestone for every grade. It is amazing to know that we have successfully made it more than ½ way through the school year!

In March, we also celebrated Read Across America Week, in which students were introduced to either Dr. Seuss-themed or cultural books each day. We even had a surprise for the students where they engaged in Camp Read-a-Lot and their classrooms were transformed into camping grounds! Camp Read-a-Lot was a great opportunity for students to have the opportunity to read and engage in academic activities throughout the day.

Following, students celebrated St. Patrick’s Day where themed-activities challenged their math and literacy skills throughout the day.

This marking period was also a chance for second graders to SHINE in their first on-stage performance of the year! Each class was given a different fairytale to engage with and study prior to their performance in April. The classes worked hard learning their scripts and had an awesome


Right before Spring Break, students engaged in Spring-themed activities to review their learning before decompressing and enjoying time with their loved ones. We can confidently say that we had an EGG-cellent time during the 3rd marking period!

Third Grade Highlights


The third marking period flew by for third graders! We continued to work diligently on LAT's, RST's and Narratives throughout the months, improving our writing style daily! After finishing up our Poetry unit where we mastered the use of figurative language, third graders began reading Charlotte's Web. This novel is one of our most challenging novels throughout the year and we have been analyzing story elements and practicing characterization during this time. We can't wait to continue reading our novel during the final marking period!


During the third marking period, third graders continued to master their multiplication and division skills! In Unit 5, we focused on the meaning, structure, and relationship between multiplication and division, building upon the foundation that students developed in Unit 1. Students expanded their skills by utilizing their knowledge of place value and structure of the base-10 number system to multiply multiples of 10. It was amazing to see students' fact fluency grow in this unit! As we started Unit 6, we transitioned from multiplying equal groups to understanding and representing equal parts. Students learned the meaning of fractions as equal parts of a whole, reasoned about equivalent fractions, compared fractions, and used notation to model fractions and fraction relationships.

Social Studies

During the month of February, students learned about many different influential African American leaders for Black History Month. Students were then asked to select one influential leader that we discussed in class and create a foldable presentation on them. For the month of March, students learned about influential women leaders such as Malala Yousafzai, Maya Angelou, Mae Jemison, Anne Frank, Frida Kahlo and many others!

PGP & Celebration Pictures

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Fourth Grade Highlights


During Marking Period 3, 4th Grade Readers explored the unit “Oral Tradition in Print: Uncovering the Underlying Moral, Message, and/or Lesson of Folktales, Myths and Fables.”The purpose of this unit is to enhance students’ comprehension of literature from different cultures. The goal is to teach students to compare and contrast similar themes, topics, characters and patterns of events in Greek myths. Students will use evidence and reasoning to classify characters as either good or evil. They will identify the allusion and the theme of a text. Throughout this unit, students will be reviewing and analyzing what characters say, think, and do and apply it to understand why certain events are occurring. Students need to understand that authors make specific choices when writing. Analyzing and thinking about these choices will not only aid understanding tone and point of view, but will also help students make decisions as fiction writers. The core novel for this unit is "Who Let the Gods Out?" by Maz Evans, a story about a young boy who enlists modern-day versions of the Greek Gods to solve his problem. Students participated in many learning activities during the unit, including: researching Greek Mythological characters to create a Google Slide presentation, analyzing different settings by creating posters with details from the text, analyzing character traits to write Literary Analysis essays, and writing and illustrating chapter summaries. During Writer’s Workshop, the authors enjoyed working with a partner to apply a checklist, make revisions, edit, and evaluate for “Glow” and “Grow” feedback. In addition to working with the core novel, 4th Graders strengthened their non-fiction analytical skills with texts from Reading Wonders to identify the main idea and key details, and determine text structures such as compare and contrast, problem and solution, and cause and effect.

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During Marking Period 3, 4th Grade Mathematicians explored the unit “Fractions and Decimals.” This unit focuses on understanding the meaning of fractions and decimals; comparing fractions and decimals, finding equivalents; and using visual models to add, subtract, and multiply fractions. The students worked throughout the unit and participated in activities that had students interpret the meaning of numerators and denominators of a fraction, and use hands on individual materials to compare and order fractions and decimals. They learned to add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers as well as multiply a fraction by a whole number. At the end of the unit, students were able to answer the following essential questions: How can we find fractional parts of a rectangle? How can we identify equivalent fractions? How can we decompose fractions? Students worked on a core activity which was to put fractions and decimals on a number line which used various representations. It was a challenging activity but in the end, really helped the students to understand the content. They were very proud of their work

Social Studies

During Marking Period 3, 4th Grade Historians explored the unit “American Revolution and the Establishment of the Nation.” Throughout the unit, students considered the universal theme of conflict as they began with analyzing the growing tensions over political power and economy that spark the movement for independence from Great Britain. Students then identified the hardships and sacrifices colonists faced during the many years of war as they fought for freedom. Social justice topics covered in this unit included; social action (protests, boycotts, rebellions), equality, diversity, race, social change, revolution, government, power, and law.

Students worked on the growth of the English Colonies before and changes during the Revolutionary War. Students analyzed the governments, society, and economies of the New England, Middle, and Southern colonies. They worked in groups as they shared the responsibility of learning and becoming 'experts' on topics. Students used their knowledge and research to create amazing PowerPoint presentations. Students will be presenting these to their peers. We are so proud of the work they have done!

African American History

Students in 4th grade worked on the District Amistad writing task. Students were asked to select an influential African American woman. Students referenced What Would She Do? by Kay Woodward. Students conducted research and generated a biographical piece following the same structure that Kay Woodward used. Students included a What Would She Do? inspired questions, quotes, and vibrant images that supported their research. These essays were handed in and were on display at the Hoboken High School honoring the Amistad's Commissions' work and vision. Students continued their study of African Americans as they worked on a school wide door decorating project. Students researched African American visionaries and focused on the impact they have had on society in their quest of equality and justice. The 4th grade researched W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington.

Women’s History Month

4th Grade students researched Pioneering Women in STEM in honor of Women's History Month. The classes focused on important contributions and challenges they may have faced in their careers. The 4th grade students researched the following women: Huda Zoghbi, Ruth Lehmann, Silvi Rouskin, Xiaowei Zhuang, Vivian Gradinaru, Angelika Amon, Jeanne T. Paz, Mona Hanna-Attisha, Polina Anikeeva, Alice Ting, Lily Jan, Michaela Gack, Roberta Capp, Houra Merrikh, Sun Hur, Franziska Michor, Pardis Sabeti, Joanna Wysocka, and Titia De Lange

Digital Citizenship

Students in the 4th grade were visited by our School Resource Officers, Officer Fesken and Officer Oquendo, to discuss topics on bullying and technology usage. The officers presented to the students, provided real life examples so the students could make connections, and made themselves available for questions.

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The 4th grade learners have been dedicated and hard working all year. In order to recognize their effort and improvement in reading and math prominent standards by completing IXL and LinkIt exercises, students selected rewards from Principal Addi’s Prize Cart. Students celebrated Valentine’s Day by writing Friendship grams for each other and using Sweethearts to practice writing dialogue with correct punctuation. We also continue to recognize academic achievement with 1st and 2nd Honor Roll awards and Student of the Month selections.

Fifth Grade Highlights


Students during the third marking period in 5th grade read three novels, "Outcasts United", where they learned about various refugee families from all over the world. Mrs. Ortiz is friends with someone who works with refugees and is a resettlement liaison and students were able to have a Q and A session with her through google meets and learn the ins and outs of what it’s like for refugees and those who help them. We also read the fictional novel “Coraline” where students worked on various skills such as compare and contrast, point of view, cause and effect, and a multitude of other 5th grade reading skills. Our final novel this semester was “Chasing Lincoln’s Killer” where students learned about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators. As we read, students learned how to stop and annotate the text as reading informational historical text can be overwhelming.


During our Math fact fluency that we do daily, we have been working on our multiplication facts by competing against each other as teams to solve multiplication facts quickly.Students also refreshed their multiplication skills and computer skills by incorporating their Math skills to edit Jamboards. As part of our unit graphing unit, students learned how to analyze geometric patterns on a line graph, how to interpret data to create algebraic expressions, and how to create rules that demonstrate the relationship between two sets of data point. We also did a unit on unit on decimals with comparing and ordering them, and adding and subtracting them.Students played various decimal strat

egy games using decimal cards and our Savvas online platform. We also started our measurement unit and students learned our famous mnemonic (King Henry) and (Horse to Fly) to help them convert measurements.


During the third marking period we had a lot of celebrations. We celebrated Black History Month by decorating our classroom door with all about President Barack Obama.Students researched information about Barack Obama and decorated our class door so that other students in the building could learn all about Obama’s childhood, education, impact, and famous quotes. For Saint Patrick’s Day students read a story about a criminal leprechaun who was helping the humans. Students had to create a wanted poster for the leprechaun and then had to write a journal entry from the “treacherous leprechaun’s” point of view explaining why he would help the humans. We also learned about Ireland to celebrate Irish heritage month. Students also learned about various women throughout history by listening to read alouds daily that noted the important roles women have played in history.

The biggest celebration we had was our amazing basketball team that was led by our very own Mr. Bishop (parent of Aaron Bishop) became undefeated champions at a very exciting championship game that was then followed by a parade of champions at school. Mrs. Ortiz also celebrated her birthday with her class by bringing in some delicious spring theme cupcakes.

Science Highlights

Kindergarten: We had a busy marking Period in Kindergarten. Students enjoyed learning about St. Patrick's Day. Students had to design a Leprechaun trap in order to catch the class Leprechaun. Did we catch him?...No but we had so much fun trying!! For the last few weeks students have been learning about The Human Body. Students learned various organs and parts of their body such as esophagus, small intestine, large intestine, brain, heart...and much more! Kindergartners learned about each organ and their function inside the body. As a fun project, students created life sized human bodies of themselves in groups of 4. Each group had to trace one person. Then, students had to color, cut the organs and glue them onto the life sized human bodies. They had so much fun learning about the Human Body!

Grade 1: We have been busy bees in first grade. Students enjoyed learning about St. Patrick's Day. Students had to design a Leprechaun trap in order to catch the class Leprechaun. Once the design was completed, students had to use transition words and a graphic organizer to describe how the trap works. They were graded on a rubric accordingly. Did we catch him?...No but we had so much fun trying!! Over the last few weeks students have been learning about animals and how they adapt to their environment. They learned new words such as hibernation, migration and adaptation. Students had to pick one animal of their choice and create the perfect hibernation space using the materials provided. Each student was very creative and worked super hard!

The 2nd grade students explored how the surface of the Earth is always changing. They were introduced to different kinds of maps and identified how these maps convey different kinds of information about the world we live in, including where water is found on Earth. They interpreted maps or other visual resources to communicate and use spatial information.

Students investigate the different forces that shape the surface of the Earth and design solutions to limit the impact of erosion on a fictional community. Students listed and detailed Earth’s landscape is always changing and is affected by wind, water, and natural disasters.Described with details where water is found on Earth identified where bodies of water are found in both solid and liquid states on Earth.Described how maps may be used to represent information for various purposes.Described evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

3rd grade, after reading and researching how fossils form, conducted an experiment and created two different types of fossils: a mold and cast fossil using air dry clay replica dinosaurs and glue. Students also conducted a dino dig using a dino egg and tools to carefully open a dino egg and revealing a dinosaur inside that will be used as a topic for a research project.Students Analyzed and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.

In Ms Stinson’s 5th grade PLTW class we are still working with transmission of bacteria/germs from person to person. In Activity 2 , students were asked to test 3 different types of soap to see their effectiveness in removing germs from their hands. Glow germ lotion was applied and each group was given a specific soap and asked to wash their hands with it. Look at those hands! As you can see my students had a great time working on this task and they did a tremendous job using the Scientific Inquiry Process to document it in their launch logs! Stay tuned for our next activity!



What an amazing third quarter we have had in music class. The kids are having a great time learning so much about music and all the tenets that make up the art form.

In the kindergarten grade level, we have been learning about the notes, rests, and note values that are used in western music. We just began learning about note placement on the treble clef. From whole notes / rests to 16th notes / rests and the treble clef, the students are learning all about the basics of learning how to read music.

In the first grade, the students have learned all of the notes and rests values by using the “music math” activity. Along with note values, the students have mastered reading note placement on the treble clef. These music theory concepts are the building blocks for what is to come next school year.

The second grade has moved advanced “Music Math” and having fun doing their music equations. Yes, music is based on time and how it relates to mathematical equations and the kids are having a great time learning this concept. They have also mastered note placement on the treble and bass clefs. All the instruments in the modern day orchestra use these clefs and memorizing these note placements will facilitate performance on the various instruments they will be able to play in the fourth grade.

Third grade is in the process of learning all of the techniques that are used when playing the recorder. The students have mastered the proper fingerings for various notes on the treble clef. Now that they have got the notes under their fingers, they have been playing various songs from the Essential Elements methods book and even some fun YouTube songs for the recorder.

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. They have also started their music history units. The first unit has been the Baroque period of music. Within this unit, the students identify music theory concepts that were common during the time period, famous composers, and the most common instruments used during this time period.

During the third quarter, fifth grade has spent the majority of their music class time, focusing on music history units, as well as note placement on the grand staff. They started with the Renaissance period, moved onto the Baroque period, and will quickly discover the Classical period. Understanding the history of music is extremely important when it comes to understanding the musical concepts and structure of the music that they listen to everyday.

Lastly, all grade levels are having a great time singing various songs. The Connors Choir is getting ready for the District Spring Concert. Singing is such an important element to music education and it brings joy and happiness to their daily lives here at Thomas G. Connors Elementary School!

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Physical Education

Marking Period 3 in PE was an excellent one as our students focused primarily on cardiovascular health and exercise for the first part of the quarter. Students participated in different activities that included bouts of cardiovascular exercise with the objective of students being able to compare their heart rates before and after exercise. Students learned through activities such as a track and field day where they tested their skills and used a partner assessment to see how they performed. Another one of the favorite activities we participated in was the chariot race where students had to work together to guide a teammate across the gym in a race. In grades 3-5 students tested their cardiovascular progress using the Fitnessgram PACER test and did an awesome job showing their ability to run at long distances. At the end of this marking period we have begun our tennis unit. Grades K-2 have focused on the basic skill of making contact with the ball and the ability to continue a rally. In 3-5 our students have practiced more advanced skills of serving and the forehand stroke. This was such a fun marking period and students exceeded my expectations! Let’s finish the school year strong.

RTI with Ms. Cofrancesco

It was another great marking period here in the RTI Reading Room at Connors! During the third marking period, readers continued to begin 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 gel for this portion. (Check out the students having fun while practicing sounds with gel 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 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 tent.

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 by showing the students the card of the new concept, the placement of the letter in the alphabet, then saying the sound the letter or letters make. Third through fifth grade students moved onto learning initial and consonant blends along with the three sounds of the suffix-ed. If needed, students would learn how to write the new concept 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 kindergarten, first grade, and second grade 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. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays third, fourth, and fifth grade students learned prefixes to help them define unknown vocabulary words in their reading.

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. 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 listened to each student whisper read 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 had a book talk and responded to comprehension questions.

Kindergarten guided reading sessions had students read books that included a repetition of patterns. Students were exposed to these texts 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. Third, fourth and fifth grade guided reading sessions focused on the students answering multiple choice questions and answering open ended questions using RACES.

During Mini PGP days (Thursdays and Fridays), students completed their grade levels Mini PGP activities. Kindergarten and first grade students learned about holidays around the world which included Black History Month, Read Across America, Women’s History Month, St. Patrick’s Day, and Spring/Kindness Month. To celebrate each of the holidays, students listened to a read aloud describing the holiday or learning about a famous person related to the holiday and created a grade level craft to further their learning. Second grade students had a new PGP unit which allowed students to explore the world in their “Passport to the World” unit. During this study, students learned about the seven continents, five oceans, the Great Lakes, and North America. The final goal of this study is for the students to each make a “Me on the Map” flip book. Third graders continued to work on Legos and STEAM Tank during Mini PGP days. Fourth grade students transitioned to their second PGP activity, which is Penpals. Fifth grade students changed units during the third marking period to learn about Model UN.

Students worked hard during their small group reading sessions this marking period!

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ILP 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 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:

2.28 Honors Grade 6 Mathematics

In this course, students tackle a full year of honors mathematics based on the Grade 6 curriculum that will set them up for success in Honors Pre-Algebra! Students are introduced to the theory and applications of rational numbers. Modeling and real-world problems are emphasized throughout the course as well. In addition, this course develops problem solving skills through numeric manipulation and visual representation of the topics presented, and provides ample practice through homework, videos, notes, and practice problems.

3.11 Accelerated Grade 3 Mathematics: Playground Proposal Project

This week, the students in Accelerated Grade 3 Mathematics finalized their Playground Proposal Project! Students were given the task to create a playground with a $2,000 budget that would allow as many people as possible to enjoy playing at the same time. These young project managers had to create a table or spreadsheet listing each type of equipment and the quantity of each piece, the cost of each individual piece as well as the total cost of all equipment combined, and finally the total number of

kids that would be able to play on each piece of equipment at one time and in the park altogether. They finished the project up by writing a persuasive letter to the “Board of Directors of CTYville” and compiling all of this into a Google Slideshow!

Advanced Scratch Programming

This week in Advanced Scratch Programming, students created interactive games which responded to their real-life movements picked up by the computer’s camera. The goal of the project was to create broadcasts (messages sent through code within Scratch) which would cause other events to occur during the game. Students had to create an original backdrop, a title screen, and 3 characters or objects which would appear during the game. The students enjoyed having their classmates test out their games - it was an awesome experience and the games were pretty cool!

Honors Grade 4 Math Measurement Scavenger Hunt

In Honors Grade 4 Mathematics, our CTY scholars will have the opportunity to engage in an exciting Measurement Scavenger Hunt. This engaging math project will incorporate writing skills and allow students to see the real life connection math has in our everyday lives. Students will “hunt” for objects around the house, measure them according to the given measurements such as 1 centimeter, 1 liter, 1 ounce, and then include an equivalent measurement for each. In order to showcase their learning at the end of the project, students will choose a creative way to display their work including crafting a PowerPoint presentation or poster where they can either draw or take pictures. Projects will be assessed via a CTY rubric that ensures students’ understanding of measurement.

Accelerated Grade 3 Mathematics

In Accelerated Grade 3 Mathematics, our CTY scholars are getting ready to dive into Chapter 7 where they will work on measurement. Students will be working on telling time as well as measuring volume, mass, and length. These young mathematicians will be converting both customary and metric units of capacity such as pints, cups, quarts, gallons, milliliters, and liters. They will also be

converting units of mass using grams and kilograms, and converting units of weight using ounces and pounds.

Honors Grade 4 Mathematics


Students in our Honors Grade 4 Mathematics course have been working on fractions, decimals, and converting the two types of numbers. These mathematicians have been able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions from real world application word problems. They have also been adding and subtracting decimals in the form of both money and time. The work these young scholars have been doing is very impressive!

Honors Grade 4 Mathematics

CTY City Project

For the middle of the course project, students in Honors Grade 4 Mathematics have an opportunity to take on the role of a world famous urban planner who has been hired to design a complete city. As an urban planner, the task is to create a model of their city and submit it for approval. Using the required materials, students will create 2D and 3D shapes to design the project. 2D shapes will be used to make a map of the city and 3D shapes will be used to show buildings that will be labeled and placed on the map. In addition, students can add an additional two items of their choice to complete their project and show their creativity.

PGP with Ms. Barsukova

Read Across America Week

During the first week of March students were celebrating Read Across America with the theme of diversity by creating a Diversity Hand Project. After the Read Aloud, students talked about what diversity is and how it looks like. Then, they thought of a sentence or a word to describe diversity that they wrote on the hand, colored, and put together around the paper Earth. The hands are united around the planet earth to represent diversity

Women’s HIstory Month

During the month of March, students have been exploring and learning about some of the current influential women such as Jill Biden and Kamala Harris. Students listened to the Read Aloud Books about the women and/or took turns reading the book from Get Epic! to gain more knowledge. Then, using an Amazing Woman Research Template students wrote the woman’s achievement and one fact they learned from the books. In addition, they colored a picture and put a project together.

St. Patrick’s Craftivity

To celebrate the holiday and gain information about the holiday’s history students engaged in a Whole Group Reading and the video viewing about St. Patrick’s Day. We held a discussion about the take-aways that students learned from both resources. Then, students began working on the Writing Craftivity by brainstorming ideas to include in the Shamrock template. Then, students expanded their ideas with additional words and details by putting everything into the sentences explaining why they are lucky. Finally, students colored and glued the pieces together to complete the St. Patrick’s Writing Craftivity.

Spring Theme

To mark the beginning of the spring season, students began learning everything about Spring. Through the interactive videos, read alouds, and books, students learned about what spring is. Then, together as a class, they brainstormed some of the things that they like to do during spring by writing it down on the paper rays of sun to later glue onto the cloud to create a Spring Craftivity. After writing six things they like to do during spring, students used the cloud template to draw a little picture of themselves during spring. Lastly, they attached the pieces together to complete the project.

Black History Month

Students have been exploring and learning about a variety of influential and significant African American Heroes, their work, life, and contributions. Students conducted an independent research using books from Get Epic! to deeply enrich their knowledge and understanding about each chosen individual. Upon culmination of the project students put together a Class Quilt.

Read Across America

To celebrate Read Across America Week students created a Class Diversity Chain. After learning about diversity through text and media, students used the template to create a doll that reflects their identity and culture. Upon completion, the paper dolls were put together in a chain to symbolize unity and diversity.

Women's History Month

After gaining knowledge about the history and significance of women’s history month, students began their independent research about influential women from the long list of significant individuals. To record their findings students had to fill out the template called Leaving a “Stamp” on History with all the details that are answered to include on the template. Then, students could draw a picture of that woman inside the stamp template. Students learned about many significant and important women in addition to being able to find all the necessary information independently using the text evidence to fill out the information for the project.

St. Patrick’s Craftivity

To celebrate the holiday and gain information about the holiday’s history students engaged in a Whole Group Reading and the video viewing about St. Patrick’s Day. We held a discussion about the take-aways that students learned from both resources. Then, students began working on the Writing Creativity where they had to finish a sentence with different reasons why they are lucky: I am lucky because I am, I have, I can, I go and put their reasons into a shamrock template. When the shamrock was ready, students picked one, two or more to write about by expanding on their reasons and ideas to complete the St. Patrick’s activity.

April - Poetry Month

In April students began a study on poetry. They started by writing an Acrostic Poem about Spring. An Acrostic Poem is a poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word or phrase. After learning about the season, they had to think of different things to describe spring with the first letter of the word spring. The activity incorporates knowledge about poetry writing and the season of spring. Students had fun presenting their poems in front of their classmates by practicing public speaking skills.

Passport To The World

Over the course of the 3rd Marking Period students in 2nd Grade have been diving into exploring Oceans, Continents, Maps, North America, and South America. Using the text and media, students learned how to locate the oceans and continents on the map and identify their location in their community. Students created the Me On The Map project where they wrote about the city, the state, the continent, and the planet they live with the additional facts about each subject. Moreover, students read about different landmarks of North America and learned fun facts about the continent. Next, is the continent of South America with fascinating facts about culture, history, food, and life. Students are using the provided passages, books from Get Epic and educational videos to create a Book About South America. The book will have information about the countries that make up South America, the history, culture, resources, government, influential people, and more.


Students in 3rd Grade presented their presentations about their inventions to the panel of judges. The five teams which advanced to the Regionals worked tirelessly to prepare for their presentations by conducting research, attending virtual meetings with the STEAM Tank mentors, drawing sketches of their design, and improving their Google Slides presentations to make them clear and presentable. In addition, congratulations to the two teams that have advanced to the Finals!!! They will be working on designing a prototype to present their potential final product to the panel of judges in May.

Engineering Design Process - LEGO Kits

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

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.

Mock Trial Case - Dialogue For The Trial

The 4th grade students use the case of Humpty Dumpty Vs. The King, the Steps in a Mock Trial and the Rubric to write a dialogue for their original case called The Gadgets vs. Mr. Package to potentially prepare for the trial at the court. They are learning how to successfully write a script for the case and be able to achieve so collaboratively.

Global Pen Pals

In the Spring semester 4th Grade began a new project called Global Pen Pals where they get to meet virtual pen pals throughout the world by communicating with them online and learn about different aspects of the world, cultures, traditions, places, landmarks, and more. Students enjoy sharing about their cultures and learning about cultures from other countries. During their online communication students make sure to follow the requirements of proper writing style, digital citizenship, and being respectful online. In addition, students get to complete projects related to the unit and view videos about different places by

participating in the virtual trips around countries.

Model UN- Position Paper

After getting familiar with the United Nations, public speaking, using the Frayer Model to gain understanding about the key terms of the Model UN, looking at different examples of the position papers, analyzing the papers using the rubric and learning about the fundamentals of research, students began their journey to crafting a position paper. Students filled out a survey that helped everyone to have one topic to write about in their papers. In addition, students picked the country of their choice keeping in mind the chosen topic that they will be writing about in their position paper after the research and note taking process.

Koalas with Character

Student of the Month


Congratulations to Zamora Bates, Aayan Patel, Sydnee Margolis, Sumay Ramachandran, Nivea Freeman, Yazmeayah Wheeler and Liam Evans for representing their grades as student of the month! We are so proud of you for all the your great work!

A very special congratulations to our February District Student of the Month, Zamora Bates from Ms. Fleischer's class!


Congratulations to Jasir Hart, Kiran Cross, Kayla Havens, Sienna Page and Renesmee Williams for being our March students of the month! We are so incredibly proud of all of you!

A very special congratulations to Kayla Havens for being our District student of the month for Connors! We are so proud of you!

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A very special Congratulations to Ms. Vayda and Mrs. Mussara for being our educators of the year!

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Parent Teacher Basketball Game

Congratulations to the Connors Basketball Team!

PTO Corner

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