SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:46 AM
I am sitting in my home-office with a blanket around me for warmth. It is 2 degrees outside and the winds are pushing hard. All I can think of is that in 6 months we will be in shorts and sandals - enjoying long warm summer days. I also am relieved that we are not living in the city of Boston. At this time, as in addition to the cold, they were hit with yet another foot of snow. Yikes!
Enjoy the vacation, stay warm and stay safe.
Here are a few more photos from last week:
The Fourth Graders are learning about the relationships between distance and force on a level. D x L = D x E (Distance times Load = Distance times Effort)
The Load and Efforts can be measured using spring scales. The meter sticks help us determine how far from the fulcrum that the load and effort need to be in order for the system to become balanced.
These children in the Fifth Grade completed their Model of the Fir Of Forth Bridge. It uses cantilevers to balance the materials and the loads it carries.
This model of Australia's iconic Arch Bridge shows how tension and compression effect the span.
A suspension bridge is very expensive to build, but can be used to cross great lengths. The roadway is supported by the perpendicular cables that hang from the main cable.
I will update the website again when we get back from vacation. Again, enjoy your break and stay warm!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:35 AM
Again we turn our eyes to the weather forecast and the little groundhog critter was right. More winter weather nonsense heading our way. This time in the form of freezing rain, a little snow and a lot of messy roads. Please be careful out there.
This week our Fourth Graders will continue their work on Simple Machines, the Fifth Graders will continue their Bridges unit and the Sixth Graders will delve further into robotics.
Stay warm, stay safe and have a great week!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:45 AM
At the time I am writing this, I am aware that a "Wintry mix" of nasty weather is heading our way from Sunday evening into Monday. I hope it just a minor nuisance and that we won't have to shovel any more snow until July.
If you are the parent of a Sixth Grade Student, please be on the lookout for an e-mail from me. I might need to cancel class for Tuesday, February 3 due to our next (and probably final) Kidsday trip. That trip is also dependent upon the weather.
As you can see, another bridge was finished in the Fifth Grade Class. Great job kids!
Have a great week!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 25, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:10 AM
I mentioned last week that our Explorations event will be taking place on Thursday, May 14. Explorations is a special after-school activity where the children attend special workshops and classes with their parents from a variety of enrichment offerings. Last year we had seminars about origami, robotics, stop-motion animation and planning. There is also a pizza dinner in between the workshops. Please save the date and look for more information about Explorations in the coming months.
This week my Sixth Graders interviewed author Jen Calonita in order to review her upcoming novel Flunked, which will be released in March. Flunked takes place at a fairy tale reform school and some of the instructors are villains from the world of classic fairy tales. Aside from talking about her impressive list of published books, Ms. Calonita shared some of her writing techniques with my students.
Our reporters are well prepared for their interview with Jen. Their questions were professional and relevant.
Jen was an enthusiastic interview subject. She was appreciative of her opportunity to visit with my students for her Kidsday interview. We thank everyone who helped to make this interview possible.
The Fifth Graders are continuing to work on their bridge models and their research projects.
These two gentleman are making great progress on their causeway.
The blueprints help the children build and organize their materials.
Our Construction Mantra: "NEVER SACRIFCE ACCURACY FOR SPEED!"
I should also mention that the children are enjoying this project.
The towers of most bridges are symmetrical.
Two more towers start to rise.
Have a great week!
MONDAY, JANUARY 19, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:20 AM
Quite a few exciting things are taking place in all three classes and I thought it would be a good idea to post a few photos. Here are some recent updates from the Gifted and Talented Program:
I mentioned last week that our Fourth Grade students began their unit on Not So Simple Machines & Algebra.
The children are using balance beams to measure the efforts and loads required to do a specific task. In this case they are trying to lift a load of 1000 grams.
Even though the load and the effort are now both closer to the fulcrum, the same force is needed on both sides. I wonder what will happen next week when we change the positions and use algebra to prove our findings?
The children are still enjoying The Great Books, and they look forward to defending their positions using facts from the assigned text.
Our Jumping Levels Mathematics Tournament is still taking place in all three classes.
The Fifth Grade Students are fascinated about our Bridges unit. Aside from researching, reading and writing about bridges, the children are building, testing and tweaking their bridge designs. We have quite a few K'nex sets to share and all of the parts are sorted by their sizes and colors.
"I think there are over 4,000 small silver rods."
"I think it's more like 40,000."
If you look very closely, you will see one of the bridge designs starting to collapse from the weight of the washers. By the way, congratulations to Allan and Amanda for using a total of 15 rods and 15 clips, to support a weight of over 70 metal washers!
The Sixth Graders have been working on their Robotics Unit. The children are looking for their parts which is detailed by blueprints. Once they are built, they can be modified and improved.
These boys are about to place a wheel and gear on their shaft.
Sadly, we had our final full-class Kidsday visit from our editor. Here he is questioning the children about their experiences and articles.
Each article is reviewed before it is taken to Kidsday for the final layout and publication. Working with a professional editor is a real thrill for the children.
This Wednesday, we have an interview with author Jen Calonita. The Sixth Graders who are taking part will travel to Howell with my Fourth Graders. There will be a separate bus for the reports to return to their school after the interview.
We are still working on another Kidsday experience that was delayed. I am hopeful that it will be rescheduled. Our issues will publish during the week of March 22.
On a personal note, please remember what Monday's holiday is all about. Please use the time to make it a day of peace and service to others.
SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY MAY 14 WILL BE OUR GIFTED & TALENTED EXPLORATIONS EVENT!
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 10, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:30 PM
Just a few notes this week...
My Sixth Graders are meeting with our Kidsday Editor for the last time on Tuesday, January 13. There was some speculation that we would be on a trip that day, but first it was moved to Monday and then it was sadly canceled.
When the Sixth Graders attend my class on Tuesday, they are encouraged to bring their favorite art materials. We will work on the graphics for the articles. Also the children should bring in jokes, original puzzles (Not from an internet template) and other personally crafted trivia games (on a single subject), hand-drawn mazes, and other similar activities that our readers might enjoy.
While we will no longer be seeing our editor as an entire class, the Kidsday experiences should continue. We actually have an interview set up for January 21 with author Jen Calonita which will take place at Howell Road. If other opportunities come our way throughout the year, I will gladly accept them and we will do it.
The Fourth Graders began their unit on Simple Machines and Algebra. The Fifth Graders began to build bridges and our Sixth Graders started their Robotics unit.
I hope to post a few photos about these activities soon.
Have a great week and STAY WARM!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 4, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 5:15 PM
Happy new year and welcome back!
I promised my Fourth Grade Students that I would grade their Native American Reports over the vacation and I have. They will be sent home on Wednesday. Please read them over carefully. The children will start their units on Forces and Simple Machines this week.
My Fifth Grade Students will begin their new unit on bridges as part of their new STEM unit.
My Sixth Grade Students will be meeting with our Kidsday Editor for the second time on Tuesday and begin their Robotics Unit later in the day.
It is my hope that everyone has a wonderful new year. I hope you enjoyed your vacation.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:30 AM
Here is a photo from Christmas Eve. For the last 30 years (That's not a typo) I have helped to bring Christmas morning to New York City by playing holiday music at WLTW. (LITE FM - 106.7). This is the one "selfie" that I take each year.
Happy holidays everyone!
Now back to business. This is for my Sixth Grade students:
In between playing Rudolph, Frosty Josh Groban and Mariah Carey, I put together a list of some of the things that our Kidsday editor will need for our series of articles.
I will be sending out a few e-mails over the next few days to go over the materials that I will need for Tuesday, January 6.
If we are asked to cover any celebrity events over the vacation, I will make some phone calls and we will hold our parent and planning meetings for them at the Elmont Library.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:40 AM
As is tradition...a silly song to ring in the new year. This one is a classic by Spike Jones and the City Slickers: "My New Year's Resolution." (The fidelity is pretty good for the late 1940's.)
I wish everyone peace and joy for the holidays, the new year and beyond.
Have a safe and restful vacation!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 8:50 AM
I would like to congratulate all of my Fourth Graders for doing a nice job on their Native American projects. This was their very first attempt at putting together an intensive project involving research, writing, design layouts, technology, oration and teamwork. Here are a few highlights:
This young lady is sharing her research using a poster board.
Native American deerskin pouches were used to carry small items.
This is a simulated tee pee.
These boots are made for walking... (Actually, they are moccasins.)
Lacrosse is a sport that originated from Native American culture.
This is a spear. The pointy end is the part that is supposed to land inside your potential dinner (or your enemy.)
Team Wheeler shares their impressive Native American scene.
The three sisters (Corn, squash and beans) were considered to be the children of Earth and Sky.
Corn was an essential part of the Native American diet.
Each team shared a PowerPoint slide show as part of their presentation.
An atlatl was used to launch spears.
Team Howell came dressed for the occasion.
All of the material that Native Americans used before the age of exploration came from the wild.
This young man is highlighting some of his poster graphics.
This Howell Road project gave the audience a chance to dig up their own artifacts.
The war hammer was used as a weapon. You can't buy these at Home Depot.
We learned an enormous amount of information by research, crafting and sharing our presentations.
Well done kids!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:15 PM
Kidsday Visits Make Meaning & Maker Bot
Today four of my students traveled into the city to experience a day of art, crafting, and technology...as well as journalism and article writing. It was an amazing day...
The children got to make and create several cool projects such as scented soaps, desert decorations and personalized candles. Here they are gathering materials with their new friend, Xiomara.
The girls are using an assortment of tools to create their own candles.
Each project could be scented with a variety of fragrances including; Lemon, Cantaloupe, Vanilla, Gym Sox (I made that up) and Mermaid Tears. Don't ask me how they can get mermaids to cry, I have no idea.
Here the wax is poured into the mold.
The girls are selecting the soap components. I never saw people so excited about soap before.
Here is the cooling trough. It is where candles cool down and hold their shape.
This young lady is painting her figurines using acrylic paints.
These are the soap molds. It is used for molding soap. (Sigh...) My knowledge of arts and crafts is extremely limited.
The girls also decorated their deserts using fully edible (& gluten free) decorations.
While we were at Make Meaning, the girls interviewed Manager Maria Gonzalez and enjoyed a nice lunch.
Later in the day we traveled downtown to Greenwich Village to visit Maker Bot in order to learn about 3-D Printing.
Ashley, our host is demonstrating how the plastic filament is led to the machine from the spool to the extruder.
We had a great time at Maker Bot and we thank them for hosting us.
Our Kidsday adventures will continue in January!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:45 PM
It was a pleasure to see so many parents at Parent / Teacher Conferences last Wednesday and Thursday. I hope that you didn't have to wait in line too long and I hope that you enjoyed the project displays and the photo cycles.
This week our Fourth Graders will be making their first presentations. Good Luck Everyone!
Our Sixth Grade Kidsday experiences will continue this week. We will be meeting with our editor on Tuesday and on Monday four of my students and a couple of parent chaperones and I will visit Make Meaning (An art studio in Manhattan) and also Makerbot to learn about 3-D Printing.
Last night, another set of Kidsday reporters and their parent chaperones were fortunate to attend a performance of "The Quantum Eye" in Manhattan. Mentalist, Magician and Mathematician Sam Eaton thrilled the audience with impressive feats of illusion and mental ability. After the show, we were able to have a private interview with Sam in the loft on top of Theatre 80 in the East Village. It was a night we will never forget.
The children and their parent chaperones were excited to attend the performance of "The Quantum Eye." Early in his career, Theatre 80 has an interesting history. Frank Sinatra was once a singing waiter here and Billy Crystal used to work here as an usher.
After the performance, the children had a private interview with Sam Eaton in the loft above the auditorium. The interview was intimate, interesting and informative.
This was another successful Kidsday experience. We thank Sam Eaton for hosting us!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:00 AM (We never close...)
UNDER THE SEA AND ON THE STAGE!
We recently completed two more incredible Kidsday experiences:
Three of my students learned about the world of SCUBA Diving. We were most fortunate to visit Long Island SCUBA in Lindenhurst where we learned about SCUBA equipment, interviewed two professional divers, reviewed many of the safety protocols and actually experienced breathing under water for the very first time.
This anchor was easier to sit on that it was to lift.
It is important to use equipment that fits properly when going SCUBA diving.
The pool started went from 4 to 8 feet deep. The water temperature was about 90 degrees. (Ahhhhaaaaaa.....)
The children learned how to put on and use the equipment.
This young lady is learning how to use a regulator.
The children and their instructor practiced hand signals, the buddy system and proper diving techniques.
By the time we left the pool, everyone was successful.
The staff at Long Island SCUBA hosted us with enthusiasm and kindness. We can't thank them enough for their hospitality.
On Saturday, December 12, another set of children visited the Broadway Comedy Club in Manhattan to see a performance of Improv4Kids. This show features "G" rated comedy performed by a professional cast. It also features many opportunities for audience members to participate on-stage.
We had excellent seats in the club. The children sat in the second row and our parent chaperones and a few other siblings sat right behind us.
This young lady was a willing participant on stage.
Uh Oh! This young lady better watch her back. There is a creeper at lodge.
After the show, we were fortunate to interview the entire cast. They explained why it is important for children to experience comedy and how comedy can help people feel good when the most media organizations report sad or unhappy news.
We appreciate the Broadway Comedy Club for hosting us and we thank the cast and crew of Improv4Kids for their time and talent.
Our Kidsday adventures will continue next week.
This week my Willow Road Sixth Graders will not be meeting with me due to their concert. Have fun on stage!
I will not be meeting with my Fourth and Fifth Grade Classes due to Parent / Teacher Conferences. Please scroll down this page for additional conference information.
Have a great week!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:10 PM
WE WENT TO FLIGHT SCHOOL!
Today was a fantastic day as we visited Mid Island Air Service at MacArthur Airport where we spent the day learning about flight, mechanics and the aviation industry.
In one of the hangers we learned about the operation of a plane from several pilots and flight crew members.
The foundations of flight were discussed in a classroom and the children got to see and handle the controls on a variety of planes.
This is the interior of a turbo jet owned by the Fox Television Network.
This is the cockpit of the plane. While some airplanes are very fancy, the main controls and display dials are very similar from plane to plane.
Never tell a Kidsday Reporter that an area is restricted. We have connections!
We were able to visit the control tower. The view from the top is incredible!
We got to interview the air-traffic controllers and learn about what they do and how they do it. They alone determine the final right of way for all airport traffic.
This gentleman (We are not allowed to use his real name) was in one of the Spiderman movies as an air traffic controller. He taught the actors how to act like real air traffic controllers for one of the scenes.
Remember the corporate jet that we boarded? This is it about to take off.
Here we are listening to the pilots talking with the tower. Either that or the young man on the phone is asking for help with his math homework.
We cleared this Southwest Jet to use the runway. It was the least we could do.
One of the most exciting parts of our trip was getting a chance to fly in the simulator. This young man did a nice job and landed correctly on the runway.
We can't thank Mid Island Air Service enough for hosting us and for giving us the inspiration to reach for the sky. We also want to thank the U.S. Marshalls and the air traffic controllers for their time and encouragement.
Keep checking in for more of our Kidsday adventures.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:05 PM
Well...we made it through the Thanksgiving break and by now that once delectable gravy-laden bird of wonder has become a dried-out, cold carcass that is starting to taste like sawdust. No matter what you ate or how you celebrated, I hope your holiday was fantastic.
Now we are knee deep in the report card, parent / teacher conference, concert and tree lighting season.
Oh...and in the middle of all of this we have quite a few Kidsday "off-campus" trips to experience and some projects to complete. Also, all of my Fourth Graders are getting ready for their very first presentations.
Here is my schedule for Parent Teacher Conferences:
I will be holding afternoon conferences on Wednesday, December 10 from 1 PM - 4 PM
Afternoon conferences will also take place on Thursday, December 11 from 1 PM - 4 PM.
Evening Conferences will take place on Thursday, December 11 from 5:45 PM - 8 PM.
All of the conferences will take place at the Howell Road School in Room #8.
Due to the large number of parents that I see, I am unable to grant individual appointment times on either day. In addition to the families that I see for the Gifted and Talented Program, I will also be meeting with some of my parents of the children that I see for Math Academic Intervention Services.
When you are able to visit, please sign in and wait your turn. I will do my best to keep the line moving, but traditionally I can spend more time with each family during afternoon hours. Thank you in advance for you patience.
These meetings usually work best if you can bring your child with you. This way we will all be on the same page.
I look forward to a productive set of Parent / Teacher Conferences.
Have a great week!
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:35 PM
On our very first Kidsday experience, we didn't let light rain and high winds get in our way. We headed out to Port Jefferson for a fantastic day of interactive experiences. The highlight of the trip was meeting Captain Amanda Peterson and her husband Captain James Peterson who own and run the Osprey fleet. They presented my children with a private charter.
This young lady is learning how to read the radar screen and how to steer the boat. The compass is also critical to navigation on the sea.
This young fisherwoman decided to give up on porgies. She's casting out for a marlin.
Hold on tight and turn the handle with a steady motion if you want to land a fish. These reels have a gear ratio of 4 to 1.
Though it was love at first sight...sadly they both knew that the relationship wouldn't last.
This little guy (girl) kept following us around. We threw him (her?) (it?) a piece of crab for his (her?) (its) efforts.
One of our parents is so good, she can fish and take a selfie at the same time.
Captain Amanda and Captain James were fantastic hosts. They showed us all of their equipment, they taught us how to fish and they answered all of our questions about breaking stereotypes, staying true to what you believe in and working hard to make your dreams come true.
Earlier in the day we learned some really neat strategy games and played some of the demos at Lanie's Way. We interviewed Lanie and her staff about the toy industry and how to run a successful retail operation.
Before we left Port Jefferson, we all enjoyed a light snack.
Thank you to all of our parent chaperones for making this day a HUGE success!
Our Kidsday adventures will continue next week.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:50 AM
A lot of things are going on in the Gifted and Talented Department.
The Sixth Grade students met our Kidsday editor last Tuesday. The children are beginning to work on their stories. The first of our "off-campus" adventures will begin on Monday.
In addition, the History Alteration presentations are progressing. Here were some highlights...
This young lady is discussing the importance of Apple's contributions to technology.
It's hard to believe, but at one time, hand washing was considered to be unnecessary.
Loius Pasteur's work led to many fantastic advancements in science.
Our Fifth Graders are continuing their Human Rights presentations:
This young man is sharing the importance of the Magna Carta.
Despite this young man's smile, religious persecution is both very sad and very real.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a great idea. Unfortunately, there are many countries who do not allow for these practices.
In keeping with the same theme, even in 2014 there are still places that allow slavery.
My Fourth Graders will present their projects in a couple of weeks.
On a lighter subject, when time allows I am allowing some of the children to play some of my advanced strategy games during lunch. This is an example of Four-player chess:
Have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving!
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 8:22 PM
I just wanted to mention that I posted the Gifted and Talented Class Schedule for the months of December, January, February and March.
Please note that there may be additional changes due to Kidsday events, concerts, and other circumstances.
Simply click on the "Schedule - Part 2" link on the left side of this page to see the listings.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 6:40 PM
It appears as if our E-mail system is down since earlier this afternoon. If you need to get in touch with me, please try again tomorrow. I apologize for the inconvenience.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:15 AM
I would like to start with a personal note. I cannot believe that we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in two weeks. Time is flying and my students have been very busy.
The first marking period ended on Friday, November 14 which means that I need to start creating the report cards. Remember that the grades in the Gifted and Talented Program only range from 1 to 3.
A "Grade of 1" means that your child's work in the graded area is below the Gifted and Talented expectations. A "Grade of 2" means that your child is doing everything that is expected within the graded area at a level that meets the expectations of the program. A "Grade of 3" means that your child is exceeding the expectations of the program.
I have also received a few questions about Parent / Teacher Conferences.
Due to the large number of parents that I see from all four buildings, I am unable to set up exact appointment times for each family. All of the meetings will be at Howell Road this year in Room #8.
These meetings seem to work best if you bring your child with you so that we can all be on the same page at the same time.
I will post the exact hours in December.
This year, in addition to meeting with all of my Gifted and Talented Parents, I also have quite a few Parents of the children that I see for Mathematics Academic Intervention Services. When you come to see me, please be patient. I will try to keep the line moving.
This week we start the Kidsday Project with my 6th Graders and I will let everyone know if there are any cancellations as we progress through the Journalism Unit.
My 5th grade students will continue to present their Human Rights Projects and my 4th graders will continue to prepare their Native American Projects.
Have a great week!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 8:30 PM
Today it was time for my fifth graders to showcase their talents. The children in my 5th Grade class are working on their Human Rights Projects. Here were a few of the highlights so far...
This student is discussing the history and importance of women's rights.
There are several organizations dedicated to Human Rights. This student was showcasing several of these important institutions such as the Red Cross and Amnesty International.
Sadly, in many areas of the world people are presumed guilty and can be punished without the benefit of a legal system.
Human Rights are also needed in the workplace to prevent worker exploitation and unfair working conditions.
Stay tuned for more projects from my fifth grade students.
By the way...during lunch today, some of my children began to play a brief game of Abalone.
Have a great evening!
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:25 PM
I have placed quite a bit of attention lately on my 6th Graders, and I will continue to do so, but I would like to showcase some of my Fourth Grade Students as they prepare for their first projects...
These young ladies are working on their research cards and their locus sheets.
Teamwork and planning are essential for a quality presentation.
Our laptop computers are always dependable tools.
We have eight units and a printer.
Another student is preparing her set of locus sheets.
Always check your work for capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure and ketchup stains.
Yet another productive research session in Room #8.
I can't wait to see the final presentations!
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 3:20 PM
So much is going on...or about to.
Most of my Fifth Graders will be sharing their Human Rights Projects this week. We will be starting those presentations on Thursday, November 13.
My Fourth Graders are continuing their work on the Native American Project which is due in December.
My Sixth Graders will not be meeting with me this week, (Due to the Veterans Day holiday), but I will be contacting several parents this week to set up a few Kidsday trips and experiences.
At this point I have six events booked and we haven't even started yet. Our first encounter with our editor will be on November 18. If all goes well and the weather holds - we will have the best set of Kidsday experiences that we ever had. Many of these have never been done before and those that we are repeating were exceptional. I am beyond excited! I also do not know what our editor will be offering us in addition to what I have already planned. Remember that a parent and student planning meeting is required for ALL Kidsday experiences and trips.
Please be on the lookout for the Journalism Unit Guide - which will be distributed to the children on the 18th of November. The guide is an overview of what is expected for the Kidsday Project.
November 18 is also is the due date for Sixth Grade History Alteration Project. I would like the children to share all of these presentations within two weeks.
Please remember to send in any empty printer or copier cartridges. We turn these in for new technology supplies for the district. Also, I am always collecting clear (transparent) water bottle tops. Thank you for doing so in the past.
Please share with your children that while Veteran's Day is a day off from school, it is a very important holiday. I have included a song that veterans find particularly meaningful and I hope you will give it a listen...even if you are not fond of country music.
Have a great week.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:35 AM
EVEN IF YOUR CHILD IS NOT A 6TH GRADE STUDENT, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ABOUT KIDSDAY!
I mentioned at the Open House that as soon as I had more information about Kidsday, that I would pass it along. The starting date for Kidsday is Tuesday, November 18 even though that is the due date for the Sixth Grade projects. (We can handle both items in one day).
The rest of the information will be in a Question and Answer format.
Q: What is Kidsday?
A: Kidsday is a very special project which I have tied into a Sixth Grade Journalism unit. The children will be writing stories and publishing them for an entire week in Newsday in the Kidsday section. Many of these stories will be based on events and experiences that I will lead with small groups of students. The stories are slated to publish in late March through mid April. I will know more as we get closer to the publishing date.
Events can be interviews with celebrities, product reviews and trips that could take place during school hours, weekends and vacation days. These events take place in New York City as well as various places on Long Island.
Q: How does Mr. Rosenfeld decide who goes to each event?
A: I try to place students with events that they would enjoy. The events need to enrich the students' strengths and passions.
Q: Does every Sixth Grade student get to meet a celebrity?
A: I guarantee that each student will be asked to attend at least one event, but only a few events involve celebrities. If an invitation is declined, I may not be able to insure that a child will be invited to another one...but I will try.
Q: What are some of the events that have taken place in the past?
A: My children have visited radio stations, television production facilities, "green room" reception areas, back stage areas and numerous business locations. Some previous hosts have been ABC Television, WHTZ (Z-100), WLTW (106.7 FM), WQHT (Q-104), LIttle Airplane Productions, Robofun, Scribble Press, Hostos College, The Disney Channel and Maker Bot.
Q: What events are planned for this year?
A: I am in the process of putting together an itinerary. We usually don't go anywhere until our first meeting with our editor. He provides some of the experiences and I come up with the others. Thankfully he allows and encourages me to do this. If I did not, we would only be able to provide off-campus experiences for four children. Over the years we have truly turned Kidsday into something special which is why I am selected by the newspaper to do this every other year.
Q: How does my child prepare for the events?
A: A mandatory meeting with the children and their parents will take place at Howell at a pre-arranged date and time. That is when I will go over the itinerary for each trip and we will plan our questions. In some cases we attend more than one event in a given day.
Q: What about parent chaperones?
A: At least one parent chaperone is required for each event. Please note that while parents will be accompanying us on the trips, they are NOT allowed in the interview rooms. Usually parents wait in the lobby while the children and I attend the event and interview.
Q: What are the costs involved for these events?
A: For the children attending, most of the experiences are free. The family will have to cover food and travel, which is often by the Long Island Rail Road and the MTA Subway System.
Q: What else does my child need to know about the day of the event?
A: Your child will need to dress appropriately. Usually that means ties and jackets for the boys and business suits for the girls. They will need clipboards prepared with their pre-typed questions and they will need to be well-rehearsed. Each child will need a cell phone which will be used to communicate with their parents as we progress through the day. All cell phones must be turned off when we enter an interview room.
Q: What about photos of my child taking part in these events, can he or she bring a camera?
A: Mr. Rosenfeld will take care of all photos during the trip. If a student is meeting with a celebrity, there are usually "head shots" that the artist will sign for your child.
Q: What happens after the event?
A: Your child must write an article for each event he or she attends. Each article counts for the three that are required. Your child must also write appropriate hand-written "thank you" letters to everyone that I deem necessary. That might include publicity people, event hosts, etc. I will provide the exact names and addresses for each note. I must also approve the note before it is sent, so don't seal it before I read it.
Q: Will my child be marked absent from school if an event takes place during the school day.
A: No, I will call the school and let them know that your child is attending a Gifted and Talented Kidsday Trip.
Q: If I chaperone a Kidsday trip, can I bring my other children?
A: Usually that will not be allowed. In one rare case, a parent was allowed to bring older siblings to attend a show and we were all able to sit together, but the extra tickets needed to be purchased. After the show, the parents and the siblings had to wait for us to interview the celebrity and then we traveled back to Valley Stream together.
Q: Have you ever traveled to a Kidsday event only to have it canceled at the last minute?
A: Thankfully that hasn't happened to my children, but our editor has mentioned that it has happened to other schools in the past. If that should happen I will discuss our alternatives at the planning meeting before we leave.
Q: Can events happen at the last minute?
A: Yes. I can get a call on a Wednesday and we will need to be ready for Thursday. My children are always ready to roll.
Q: Why do the parents of Fourth and Fifth Grade Students need to know about this project?
A: There might be cases where our classes get canceled for an event or two. Please forgive me. Some of these events are life-changing. I would not cancel our classes if I didn't think it was necessary or worthwhile.
Q: Why can't we do the Kidsday Project every year?
A: There many schools who want to do this and the newspaper covers all of Queens along with Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It's an honor to be chosen once. We are most fortunate to have been chosen every other year.
Q: What if I have additional questions?
A: As always, send me an e-mail.
Also note that our 6th grade classes will not be meeting on November 4 and November 11 for holidays. Schools are closed. My 5th Grade class will not be meeting on November 6 because I must attend a math meeting that is going to be held out of the district.
Have a great week!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 5:00 PM
There a few items that I would like to bring to your attention this week...
First: I wanted to mention that one of my students left a very nice light blue Lands End jacket in my classroom. It doesn't fit me at all and I am not the type who will sell these type of things on E-Bay. Your child can pick it up when he or she returns to my class this week.
Second: please remind your child to bring all of his or her material (including the homework) to class each week. I don't mind lending the children a pencil or some blank index cards, but my students really need their research material in order to make the most of our classroom sessions.
Third: in all honesty, I do not have a "number three."
Fourth: I mentioned at the Open House that I won a grant from the Interschool P.T.A. for robotics materials which will benefit my Sixth Grade students. I will be receiving this grant at the Board of Education Meeting on Wednesday evening.
I want to remind all of my parents to join the P.T.A. of your child's school. These folks do quite a bit for all of our children and they have been VERY generous to me and our program over the years. I also wanted to let you know that I joined the P.T.A. in each building, even though I am housed at Howell. There are four P.T.A 2014-2015 Membership Cards on my door to validate that. Again, they are dedicated people who really deserve your support.
Fifth: I want to direct your attention to the Halloween tips which is on the main menu of the district website. Please enjoy your Halloween activities, but be safe and be careful. And try not to scare the little children too much.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:35 PM
I have a few items to discuss this week....
First, It was a pleasure to meet many of my parents who are new to the program and to say "Hello" to some of the folks who have been with me awhile at Wednesday's "Open House." If you have any questions about the program, the projects, the qualifications please feel free to e-mail me at any time using the e-mail address I shared at the event. Remember that for extra copies of project documents and schedule information is usually available on this very website.
Here are a couple of photos from the Open House:
My students are expected to deliver quality projects and submit work that is above grade level on a regular basis. Parents can best assist their children by taking them to the library, providing "nominal" materials, helping with arrangements for group projects and by working with their children to manage their time.
Remember, your children have to do this work. NOT YOU! Please do not do it for them and please do not make excuses for a missing deadline or for less than expected quality.
If there is a passing in the family or a medical emergency - send me a note or an e-mail and I will be reasonable and as accommodating as possible.
Most of my children, especially my Fourth Graders have never had to struggle with work and deadlines of this nature before. Now they do and they will grow tremendously from meeting these challenges.
We had a nice crowd at "Open House" and again I thank everyone who was able to make it for attending. It is my hope that you found it meaningful.
There is a new schedule change for all of my Fifth Grade Students. I will be at a workshop on Thursday, November 6 with most of the members of the Mathematics Department. My Gifted and Talented Class will be canceled that day, and the due date for the assignment will be moved up one week to November 13. The bus for November 6 has been canceled and the classroom teachers will be notified.
Have a great week!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:35 PM
The Gifted and Talented Open House will be held this Wednesday evening (October 15) at 6:30 at the Howell Road School. The event will be held in the Library. You will have the chance to meet the teacher, learn about the curriculum, view projects from the past and ask any questions that you might have. This event is for parents and adults. As a final incentive to join us I am continuing the Open House tradition: "FREE PRETZELS!"
I am honored to report that I have been chosen to receive one of four Interschool PTA Mini-Grants. My grant application asked for additional materials for our Sixth Grade Robotics Unit that will begin later in the school year. I will be presented with this grant at the October 29th Board Meeting and I am ecstatic to share this news with my children and their parents.
Again, I look forward to seeing as many people as possible on Wednesday Evening.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:35 PM
If you are a parent or guardian of a Fourth Grade Gifted and Talented Student or if your child is a student who is new to the program this year, you are probably wondering how to help your child get started with his or her first main project.
The following are some tips for you to help your child:
1 - Research always comes first and is the "Hub of the wheel." Before your child starts working on a PowerPoint presentation, the formal essays or locus sheets, the poster board, replicating artifacts, etc, your child will need a collection of quality books and a list of reputable on-line sources. After borrowing books from your school libraries, try to supplement your materials by using the Elmont and Valley Stream Libraries.
2 - Remind your children to start working on their index cards. If it is a team project, the children should split up the information they are trying to find. For example, if one team member is researching "arrowheads," the other members should opt for different items to research. Remember that the index cards serve several purposes:
They help the children keep track of their sources.
They force each child to place the information that they find into his or her own words.
They can be "dealt" into related piles which will help to form the paragraphs for their written work.
They help each team create their works-cited page.
3 - Help your child arrange for all of the group members to meet outside of school to plan, research, rehearse and to "put everything together." This might have to happen more often as the deadline nears. I do understand that everyone has important after-school activities, but I do need some help from the parents in order to make this work.
4 - Remember to keep the focus on Native American tribes from New York State.
5 - The children will have some time during each class session to meet, plan, research, and compile their work. They will need to bring their research folders to and from class along with the books they are using as well as the index cards they have crafted. They will have access to our class laptops, out printer and occasionally the Howell Road Library and Computer Lab.
6 - If your or your child has any question about the project or the class, feel free to e-mail it to me AT ANY TIME! I do not want them to wait an entire week in order to ask me something. Please note that I will only accept e-mail from adults.
If your child is a new Fifth or Sixth Grade Student, their projects will be individual instead of with a group.
I will elaborate more about these tips at our Open House on Wednesday evening, 6:30 PM at Howell Road.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:00 AM
I am delighted to report that the first week of our center-based Gifted and Talented Classes was fantastic. All of the buses made their scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs on time and ordering lunch at Howell was very easy for those who chose to do so.
The Fifth and Sixth Graders have already been assigned their first projects, and my Fourth Graders will get their first long-term tasks this week.
Many of the Sixth Graders were unsure of a topic, so feel free to e-mail me with their selections for early approval. Otherwise, they will have to wait until Tuesday to give me their choices approval. All of the 5th grade topics have been assigned, although there was an incorrect due date on the original form. The actual due date for all aspects of the project is Thursday, November 6.
Please make sure that your child returns all of his or her parent and student surveys this week, and that all materials are brought to class.
Here are a few highlights from our opening week:
Our Fourth Graders were hard at work on their first day of Gifted and Talented Class.
The children have already started to participate in the Jumping Levels Math Competition.
The "Puzzle Challenge" was exciting and meaningful.
Our Fifth Graders have already started to work on their goals for the new year.
This young man upgraded his seat when Mr. Rosenfeld was conferencing with another student. He almost got away with it too. Alas, it was a short-lived victory.
This is a photo of real, authentic Gifted and Talented Children arriving at Howell Road on a genuine yellow school bus. Thanks to everyone involved for arranging our transportation.
Remember that our Gifted and Talented Open House will be held on Wednesday, October 15 at 6:30 PM at Howell. I look forward to a wonderful evening.
Have a great week!
SEPTEMBER 28, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:15 PM
I am looking forward to starting our Gifted and Talented Program this week. The bus is ready to run and the classroom and your enrichment teacher are ready to welcome your children.
When your children arrive at Howell Road, they will have the opportunity to purchase their meal from the lunchroom staff or they will be able to bring what they like from home. Please do not send lunches with breakable glass bottles or peanut products.
Some paperwork will need to be completed by parents and returned to Mr. Rosenfeld the following week. This is mostly surveys for my new students and the usual Parent Information Sheets.
Again, our Open House will be on October 15 at Howell. I encourage all of my parents to attend. At the Open House I will discuss the curriculum, the exciting changes that were made to the program and the logistics of the Kidsday Project for the Sixth Graders.
I look forward to a wonderful school year!
SEPTEMBER 9, 2014 - ON OR CLOSE TO 8:45 PM
SAVE THE DATE!
The Gifted and Talented Open House will take place on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Howell Road School.
The Gifted and Talented Open House is a great opportunity for parents and guardians to learn about the enrichment curriculum and ask questions about the program.
I look forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday, October 15 at Howell Road!
SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
WELCOME TO THE 2014 - 2015 SCHOOL YEAR!
I would like to welcome back all of my students. I also look forward to working with my new students.
This year, the Gifted and Talented Program will start on September 30.
I have created a new page on this website to help everyone remember the schedules
If you have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail.
I would like to wish everybody a wonderful and successful school year.
Gifted and Talented Teacher
Howell Road School
SAVE THE DATE(s):
If your child is interested in technology and innovation he or she might be interested in attending MakerFaire. It is a fantastic event! This year it is being held on Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21 at the New York Hall of Science. For information please refer to the official website: