TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017 - UPDATED ON OR CLOSE TO 6:00 PM
FEBRUARY VACATION UPDATEREACHING NEW HEIGHTS...
No really, we truly have. Last Wednesday, some of my students took our Kidsday Experiences to a level that has never been reached before, as part of our visit to Global Aviation at Republic Airport in Farmingdale.
One of our hosts, Sam Greenberg, was a former Navy Pilot who worked on the Lunar Module. He demonstrated the physics of flight.
This was from our visit to the Republic Airport Control Tower. The Director shared a simulation of how American aviation traffic shifts from the east coast to the middle of the country at the end of each day due to Federal Express and UPS cargo.
The view from the top of the control tower is magnificent.
Each flight needs permission from the tower to take off and land at the airport. Each flight gets a code so it can be tracked for radio communication and in case of an emergency.
Watching a plane take off from the tower was incredible.
This young man is taking some practice on the simulator.
Now it was our turn to fly. First, the mandatory pre-flight checklist. Notice that airplane fuel has a blue tint.
This young lady is preparing for her first flight.
This young man is about to take his father on a flight to Hartford, Connecticut.
Already, this young pilot has a steady hand and the confidence of a leader. (She is listening to the tower staff that she met earlier in the day.)
And the view from the left side of the cockpit is wonderful!
We celebrated our success with a visit to a private corporate jet.
We ended our day learning about vertical flight. A training helicopter weighs about as much as a motorcycle.
We had a great time with the Global Aviation Staff and we can't thank them enough for hosting us.AND SINKING TO NEW DEPTHS...
On the Friday before our break, some of my students had the opportunity to learn how to SCUBA Dive. It was yet another unique opportunity:
All SCUBA-related gear must fit properly in order to work and keep the diver safe.
Once the equipment is fitted, it needs to be tested to make sure it is working correctly. Our instructor, Linda Pratt is showing us how to use a regulator.
The next step is to learn hand signals. These signals are recognized internationally.
Linda helped the children develop their skills by playing a series of games. Some of these included using plastic spoons underwater to move a ping-pong ball and a golf ball. She also provided an under-water Frisbee. When the games were finished, the children were quite comfortable under the water.
All of my students were successful by the end of the class. Thank you Linda!
Once the children were dry, they interviewed Steve Scigliano, the owner of Swim & SCUBA. He was very entertaining and answered all of our questions in a professional manner. We will never forget our visit and our first SCUBA experience.
As of now, we have only one more interview left and it will be our "Celebrity Interview." We do not know yet who it will be and when and where it will take place.AND NOW FOR A LITTLE CONTROVERSY...
I know that every once in a while a story in the news comes up that can be dividing to people with opposing views. I realize I am taking a big risk by posting what I am about to and I want to mention that my opinions on the following topic may not necessarily reflect those of the children, the faculty and / or the administration of Valley Stream School District #13.
That being said, I offer the following:
PLEASE SAVE THE THIMBLE!
Hasbro, the corporation that sells Monopoly is planning to "retire" the Thimble token and replace it with something else. Electronic voting has ended and the replacement token will be announced in March.
I have nothing against cats, but when the Iron token was eliminated and replaced by the cat, perhaps Hasbro didn't realize that the Iron was the token that was least likely to tip over. The Shoe and the Statue were constantly knocked over by rolling dice. (Not that I want to see those eliminated either.) (Just saying.)
Now it is the Thimble's turn to become a relic.
Please save the Thimble. (It might not be too late.)
Thank you and enjoy your vacation!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2017 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:45 AMREMINDER - G&T BUS EXPECTATIONS
I spoke to all three of my classes last week as a reminder about the expectations for each student traveling to and from Howell Road by bus. The children are to use the first three double-seats on the bus and remain seated (with seatbelts) at all times. The ONLY reason for a student to get out of his or her seat is when the bus arrives at its destination. This is non-negotiable.WEDNESDAY - 4TH GRADE CLASS WILL MOST LIKLEY NEED TO BE CANCELLED
This is due to last week's Kidsday Trip to Global Aviation that was canceled due to the snow and school closing. If the weather prohibits the trip a second time and school is in session, we will meet as scheduled.
Have a great week!
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:00 PMUPDATE - KIDSDAY #2
Our most recent Kidsday experience was both unique and INCREDIBLE. We were most fortunate to visit Columbia University in Manhattan to experience a day in the life of a law school student. We attended our first period class in Constitutional Law, interviewed our hosting professor and was able to take a tour of the law library. We have been discussing many court cases in our classes over the years and it was fascinating to see how it's done at an ivy league campus.
Here were some highlights:
We arrived the same way that many commuting students do. We took the "1" Train.
The children prepared for our interview and reviewed our questions in a lounge in Lerner Hall.
Columbia University Law School is located directly across College Walk in Greene Hall.
The lecture hall was so large that the students use a microphone by their desks in order to be heard. Each seat has a nearby outlet for a laptop or tablet. Our students were recognized by Professor Mark Barenberg and despite a challenging vocabulary, one of the cases discussed involved our study of Human Rights.
The children interviewed Professor Barenberg in the private lounge on the third floor. Professor Barenberg generously answered all of our questions with thought and compassion. It was obvious that he loves his chosen profession. He also encouraged the students to learn about law to develop their critical thinking skills.
After our interview and a few snacks, the children took a tour of the law library. We learned that Columbia University has several floors and the case books, journals and volumes from foreign lands are sorted by their country of origin.
We truly had a wonderful visit and can't thank our hosts enough. It was an honor to spend a day at this prestigious institution of knowledge.
Please note that due to the upcoming storm, our Kidsday trip scheduled for this Friday, February 10 will be moved to Wednesday, February 15. The parent and planning meeting for it will take place on Tuesday, February 14.
Have a great evening.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2017 - ON OR CLOSE TO 3:51 PMKIDSDAY UPDATE #1
Our first two Kidsday trips have been a very successful. I am proud of my young reporters and I am confident that they will do a wonderful job on their articles.
Here were some highlights from Friday and Saturday:
Actually, every Kidsday adventure begins with a parent and planning meeting at Howell. The children prepare their questions and the parents complete the paperwork for the trip and learn about each itinerary. These meetings usually take place in the evening.
We often travel using the Long Island Rail Road and the MTA subway.
We ran into the same conductor on both trips. He started to give us high-fives as he went up and down the train.
Our first interview was with Mr. Vlad Smolyanskyy. Vlad created the construction toy: Pinblocks and he got a deal on television show Shark Tank a few weeks ago. The premise of Pinblocks is that aside from color - every block is identical. Vlad gave us a tour of his office studio, shared his infinity wall, answered all of our questions about starting a business and even gave the children some samples to take home. The children learned that in order to be successful you need focus and drive. Perhaps one of the highlights of our visit was testing out some of the new prototype Pinblocks that are still in development. He was very inspirational and his Brooklyn office is amazing!
After our visit with Vlad, we needed to to Manhattan. When traveling through the city, the subway is usually the fastest way to go.
We took a break for lunch at a local diner. Uh...pass the ketchup!
At Modern Pinball NYC we met Steve Zahler, the owner (Center) and Dr. Marsh who is a patent attorney and an avid pinball player. Aside from the history of pinball, we learned about the parts and how to fix and maintain the machines. If you look closely the machine next to the Star Wars game is in the "up" position so that parts can be fixed and replaced. We also learned about the importance of patents how to protect your ideas.
The children enjoyed some of the games and understood how the parts work together to make everything work.
Even some of the parent chaperones enjoyed a little "table time."
On Saturday we were fortunate to attend a performance of That Physics Show. The theater is located on West 43 Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan.
During the show, Andrew Yolleck demonstrated countless physics demonstrations including traveling smoke rings, using fire as an instrument and shooting a ping-pong ball directly through 2 soda cans. If you look closely, Andrew is lying between a sandwich of nails and even with two children standing on top of him, he is unhurt. (NOTE: He did not let Mr. Rosenfeld stand on the platform.) Our interview with Andrew after the show was professional and inspirational.
Of course no physics trip to Midtown Manhattan would be complete without a stop at the Port Authority Bus Terminal to see George Rhoads' 42nd Street Ballroom sculpture. It is a mesmerizing sample of kinetic art.
I look forward to more wonderful Kidsday adventures during the month of February.
Have a great week!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2017 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:10 AMSIXTH GRADE - KIDSDAY BEGINS
I am delighted to report that my Sixth Grade Students began their Journey into journalism this week. The children met our editor, Pat Mullooly for a fascinating look at what goes into a quality newspaper story and how to hold a reader's attention.
Aside from discussion our upcoming "off-campus" adventures, some of the children were given books to review that have not yet been released to the public.
The children are seen here with our editor. At this time we were going over story ideas.
Our "Parent and Planning Meetings" begin this week. Our series of Kidsday trips start on Friday.
Please note that I will be sending reminders to each family this week via e-mail.
On a personal note, I would like to wish all of my students and their families who celebrate a wonderful Chinese New Year.
Have a great week!
THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2017 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:20 PMEARLY EDITION
Usually I update my website during the weekend. There have been so many wonderful things going on in our classes - along with so many exciting things coming up - that I wanted to post a few things a day or two early.FIFTH GRADE BRIDGES PRESENTATIONS
The Fifth Grade Students did a very nice job on their projects. Here were a few highlights:
A cable stay bridge is a modern and cost-effective way to attach a span to its towers.
The Firth of Forth is a railway bridge in Scotland. It is one of the strongest bridges ever built and it uses a cantilever design to hold its load.
This young lady shared her model and research of England's Tower Bridge.
These gentlemen built a suspension bridge model to demonstrate how forces act on their structure.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel system is one of the few bridges that feature a gift shop, a restaurant and a fishing pier along the way.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a beautiful arch bridge. If you ever plan on visiting Australia, you can actually book a tour to climb it.FOURTH GRADE SIMPLE MACHINES
The children picked their research projects and started to gather their materials in order to build their models.
"I need one of those...and one of those...and one of those..."
We continued to learn about measuring forces using levers.
When you move a load closer to the fulcrum you can lift it with less effort.
The trade-off is that we need less effort to lift a load, but we have to move it a greater distance.
If the load in the lever moves up 5 centimeters, the effort moves up 20 centimeters because it's 4 additional measures away from the fulcrum.SIXTH GRADE ROBOTICS
This young lady is assembling the Robotics arena.
This is a test run of our upcoming Robotics Competition.
At times, robotics can be challenging. If one tiny part is in the wrong position, it could prevent the unit from working properly. Remember, it is always more important to be accurate than fast.
The small gear on the drive shaft will provide considerable torque to the robot's arm.
"Where did I put that pin...oh dang...it's got to be in here somewhere..."
Have a wonderful week!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 15, 2017 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:10 AMFOURTH GRADE - "NOT SO" SIMPLE MACHINES
The Fourth Grade Students began their Simple Machines Unit. It is a series of S.T.E.A.M. lessons and a research project and presentation.
Here were some highlights as we explored levers.
The effort and load must work together in order for the scale to balance.
Loads and efforts must be pulled at a 90 degree angle to simulate the Earth's gravity.
The pivot point in the middle of this level is called a fulcrum. It allows the lever to move when forces act and react with each other.5TH GRADE - BRIDGES
This week the Fifth Grade students completed their work on their Bridges projects.
The presentations will take place on Thursday, January 19. 6TH GRADE - ROBOTICS
Work continues on our Robotic Models.
Being organized helps you find the parts you need.
Even when something doesn't work, trying to fix it becomes a learning opportunity.
"Happiness is when your robot and controller are paired and calibrated correctly."
Sometimes, a good partner can help you when you need it most.
BE CAREFUL! Your robot might knock over your water bottle!6TH GRADE - KIDSDAY
I mentioned to the 6th Grade Parents via e-mail that our first meeting with our editor has been moved to Tuesday, January 24. This should not cause any major roadblocks to our Journalism Unit.
At this point, I was able to secure 6 different trips and experiences on 5 different days. (One trip - will have two separate locations!) One of our interviews will be with an inventor who was on Shark Tank this past Friday. (He actually got a deal from one of the sharks!) Every child will be offered to attend two trips. I will reveal what these trips are on Tuesday.
There will be a separate "celebrity" interview that our editor will put together for us. I do not know who that celebrity is and where it takes place. When I know, I will let the children and parents know.TWO SPECIAL EVENTS
One of my Fifth Grade students was involved in a very exciting "buzzer beater." He cleared the third deck of Jumping Levels with only 1 second left on the clock.
"The solution is nine. Nine times nine is 81 and nine times 6 is 54."LUCKY TRAY DAY WINNER
Every once in a while the lunchroom has a contest called "Lucky Tray Day." If your tray has a star on the bottom, the winner gets a free snack.
This young man won a bag of Doritos courtesy of "Lucky Tray Day." CONGRATULATIONS!REMEMBERING STEVEN McDONALD
Like tens of thousands of other people, I was fortunate to have met this extraordinary man many years ago. At the time I was teaching in a tough school from a neighborhood that was and still is quite needy. My students mostly came from the local housing projects and they were far from prepared for the challenges of their grade level. I reached out to Steven McDonald to see if it would be possible for him to visit my school and talk to my children. Within two weeks, he addressed the entire assembly.
After telling his story, he spoke about peace, acceptance, compassion and forgiveness. It was perhaps the most memorable school assembly I ever attended.
Some of the questions the children asked were very powerful.
"Where does violence come from?"
"Would you want your son to be a police officer?"
"Would you forgive a criminal who commits a crime a second time?"
All of Steven's answers were honest, sincere and very encouraging.
At the end of the presentation, he gave each child and teacher a pledge of non-violence. It still hangs proudly on my classroom wall. It reads:
I promise that I will do my best to refrain from participating in acts of violence in my home, in my school and in my neighborhood. I also promise to stand with other human beings who are treated unfairly. By doing this I make known how special I am. I will remember that I want to live in a peaceful world, and by taking this pledge I will be doing my part to achieve this goal.
May the messages of Steve McDonald and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior live forever.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2017 - ON OR CLOSE TO 7:00 PMIT'S JANUARY - BUNDLE UP!
I want to remind my students and their parents that it is now quite cold outside. Many of the children are leaving the G&T Bus without their coats. Please prepare for winter.FOURTH GRADE GRADING REPORTS
Last week the Fourth Graders brought home their very first Grading Reports. The report reflects the Native American Project. Please review this document with your child.6TH GRADE TELEVISION RECOMMENDATION
One of our potential Kidsday experiences is slated to be with an inventor who is scheduled to appear on Shark Tank on Friday, January 13. The show airs at 9:00 PM on ABC TV. I am not allowed to know in advance if he got a deal with any of sharks, but it should be interesting for my students to interview this interesting entrepreneur. As with all media suggestions "Kids, get your parents' permission."HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Construction continues on the 5th Grade Bridges Project.
In addition to the construction aspect, the children are required to conduct research about their chosen bridges.
The 6th Graders continue to work on their robots. Troubleshooting when something isn't working is an important step.
Our Robotitcs competition is a few weeks away. Each team will have to "battle" in our official area.FUN STUFF
If you have G&T Class on your birthday (And you can prove it) you may sit in Mr. Rosenfeld's chair. If two students have the same birthday and they both attend G&T class, they can both use the same chair...if they both can fit.
This young man actually defeated his teacher in a game of Abalone. He is holding up the winning marble. Nice going!
Exploding Kittens is turning into a lunchtime favorite.
This is another rousing rendition of Otrio.
These students are working on the Freedom Tower section of our City Puzzle. The puzzle is now complete!
Have a great week!
TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2017 - EARLY MORNING EDITION - 12:20 AM
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Classes for Gifted and Talented Class will begin today. The schedule for the next few months has been posted. To review this, please click on the 2017 link. It should appear on the upper left side of the screen.
During the vacation I was able to set up a few things for our upcoming Kidsday series for my Sixth Grade students. We will meet with our editor for the first time on January 17.
The students in my Fourth Grade class will receive their Grading Reports for their Native American Projects on Wednesday.
I look forward to a wonderful first week in 2017!
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2016 - EARLY HOLIDAY EDITION - 12:30 AMFOURTH GRADE NATIVE AMERICAN PRESENTATIONS
And it came to pass that our Fourth Graders were to present their Native American Projects on Wednesday and overall it was a very successful experience.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Each group shared a collection of slides, replicated artifacts and considerable research.
A dream catcher was supposed to block bad dreams and allow pleasant dreams to reach the person who is sleeping.
Posters were also used to display information.
This model demonstrates a typical Native American home.
This arrow actually landed in our model of the Chrysler building. Watch where you are pointing that thing!
The Native Americans used symbols to proclaim their unity.
Replicated artifacts were shared with the class.
Dolls were used to teach Native American children about their culture and roles.
Costumes added authenticity to the presentations.
The mortar and pestle were used to grind grain.
This is a tomahawk. The pointy end is supposed to go inside your enemy. It was also used as a chopping tool.
A mask was used to thwart evil spirits and over-zealous lunch ladies. They were also used in story telling.
This group worked very well together.
During our lunch break, Mr. Rosenfeld introduced us to some new classroom games. This is Otrio.
This group loved playing "Exploding Kittens." Even the Tacocat can be useful.
"...And if I aim this arrow correctly...I can take out Mr. Rosenfeld...and we won't have G&T homework for the rest of the year!"
To the Native Americans, corn was a vital crop.
This is a model of a cradle-board.
The longhouse served many Native American families.
Congratulations on completing your first presentation!FIFTH GRADE BRIDGES
This young man is working on his arch bridge.
The towers of a suspension bridge must be constructed before the cables are transported back and forth.
You can't say that we don't have enough parts.
The cantilever bridge is a challenging model to build.KIDSDAY FORMS
If your Sixth Grade student did not bring home a permission to publish form for Kidsday, please send me an E-mail and I will get you another copy. They are due on the first day after school.VACATION TIME
While I most likely won't be updating this website until the new year, feel free to e-mail me at any time should you need to get in touch with me. I will check my school e-mail throughout the week.
I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my students, their families and friends a wonderful vacation and a fantastic year in 2017.
To those of you who celebrate, have a very merry Christmas and / or a happy Chanukah. I will be grading papers in between the songs that I play at Lite FM. (Don't worry...I don't talk!)
Here is my favorite Christmas song. I have never heard it played on any radio station before. It's called, "I Need A Silent Night."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OowjEFrSWfs
May peace always find you.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:50 PMCONCERT SCHEDULES
The Winter Concerts that took place last week are now behind us. I heard that the children did a wonderful job on stage. I am glad that most of us will be able to have a regular week of classes before the vacation. (At least one school has an extra event where some of the children will be performing at a local nursing home.) Spread the holiday joy for the residents.MORE INFORMATION ABOUT KIDSDAY
Unless it snows heavily, the Sixth Grade Students will have their first Kidsday Session with our editor on Tuesday, January 17. This will be done in-class. I will be sending home a series of permission slips soon. They need to be complete before we begin. Please note that there is a slight chance that I might be contacting some of you during the vacation if an early event opportunity arises. I will be spending time during the break trying to book some interesting events for the children to cover. The editor will be offering us an opportunity or two as well.WOBBLER ONE
Earlier in the week we were asked to swap out one of our desks for a new student in Howell's Fourth Grade. In doing so we shipped out a very unstable piece of furniture that has been affectionately called "The Wobbler." Some of the children will miss it and others are glad to see it go. We wish "The Wobbler" best of luck in its new home.FOURTH GRADE PROJECTS
The Fourth Grade will be presenting their Native American Group Projects this week. I wish all four groups the best of luck. Remember to rehearse!HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST WEEK
Here are a few highlights from last week as well as our Puzzle Project Report.
Part One: Fifth Grade Bridges
This young engineer is very talented. She can read the blueprints without opening her eyes.
"If I keep going, this thing will break a hole in the wall."
"It's nice to have a wide assortment of parts for my construction project."
One of these parts is the key to the whole structure.
A beam bridge may look simple, but there are a considerable number of pieces required to build it.
Part Two: Sixth Grade Robotics
It's easy to find what you are looking for when all of the parts are labeled.
This young lady is using the blueprints to assemble her model.
Sometimes it takes teamwork to make all of the correct connections.
Nothing will distract this young lady from her work.
"And when I press this down, notice how Mr. Rosenfeld's car alarm goes off."
Part Three - Puzzle Project Progress (Grades 4, 5 and 6)
These pieces have been sorted and now need to be placed into sections.
Some of the pieces "dove-tail" so that they can interlock to connect sections.
This photo is shows children with sections that are almost complete. I wish they weren't smiling so much. It gives the wrong impression. We all know that my students aren't really that happy.
The Fifth Grade is working on other sections of the puzzle. It's complicated. It's challenging. It's also a lot of fun.
These Sixth Graders are combining the pieces to complete one of the lots in Phase Three.
If you hold the base steady, the buildings will lock into place.
The children will begin to assemble Phase Four this week. We need to wait for two more pieces, but I am hopeful they will be in my mailbox after New Year's Day.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:30 PMCONFERENCES WERE MEANINGFUL
It was a pleasure to meet with quite a few of my "Gifted and Talented Families" last week during Parent / Teacher Conferences. Thankfully, the lines weren't too long and I apologize to anyone who had to wait more than they expected.
I also realize that everybody is busy and to those of you who traveled from Dever, Wheeler and Willow - please know that your efforts to visit were appreciated. My Howell Road families are used to seeing me more often.WINTER CONCERTS
This week, some of my students will be taking part in their winter concert rehearsals and evening performances. Enjoy the moment.FOURTH GRADE PROJECTS
My Fourth Grade students are preparing for their Native American Projects. Remember the value of rehearsal and using extra steps. Extra steps only count after the regular requirements have been met.PUZZLE PROJECT - PHASE TWO IS COMPLETE!
The second phase of the Puzzle Project is complete. The flat sections of Phase Three are almost done and the grid is halfway constructed. One of my Sixth Grade students did a lot of work on the Empire State Building while waiting her family's turn during Parent / Teacher Conferences. A few other children helped her. Phase Four parts have been sorted and are ready for assembly. We are missing a couple of additional pieces which have been ordered and special thanks go out to one eagle-eyed young man who found a piece that accidentally fell into one of our garbage cans. I can't wait to see the whole thing!
Though a little wobbly without a platform - some of my Fifth Grade students display Phase Two of the Puzzle Project after adding the last two buildings and a couple of finishing touches.
Have a great week everyone!
DECEMBER 3, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:00 PM
I am finding it hard to believe that it is now December. Time is flying by at a rapid rate. This week I will not be meeting with my Sixth Grade Class or my Fourth Grade Class due to Parent / Teacher Conferences.
Please make sure to scroll down a week or two to see information about Gifted and Talented Conferences, Report Cards and Grades. If your child did not get their Gifted and Talented Report Card, please send me an e-mail and I will send home another copy.
Since I see so many families, please understand if there is a line. The afternoon conferences tend to be less crowded. Again, I will only meet with family members of students who are currently in the Gifted and Talented Program during official conference sessions.
The second part of the schedule will be posted before classes resume in January.
Here are some recent highlights from our classes:GRADE 6 - ROBOTICS CONSTRUCTION
The Sixth Grade Robotics Unit is well underway and two teams were able to send their motorized bases all the way down the corridor to the Art Room. Here were some highlights of the early construction sessions:
This is the base unit of a "Claw Bot." The arms, claw and payload section will attach to it when it is complete. Remember as always, it is more important to be accurate than fast.
The blueprints help the students follow directions. Once a full understanding of how the parts work has been mastered, the children will be allowed to build without instructions.
Each robot team has a maximum of three members. They were randomly selected by the "Deck of Doom."GRADE 5 - QUICK BRIDGE CHALLENGE
The Fifth Grade class has started their Bridges Unit. The first task was simple, build a bridge that will span a gap of 6 inches using a maximum number of 15 K'nex rods and clips.
This bridge was the winning structure. It held over nine and a half pounds of weight without breaking. GREAT JOB KIDS!
Now the children will build scale models of classic bridges while they research their chosen topic. The models will be part of their presentations.
GRADE FOUR - NATIVE AMERICAN PROJECTS
The presentation date is fast approaching and the children are working hard to complete their research, index cards, slide shows, posters, locus sheets, replicated artifacts, work cited pages and distribution of work sheets. They should also start rehearsing their presentations.
During our lunch break on November 30, some of the children continued to work on Phase Three of the Puzzle Project.
"I'm looking for the striped sliver piece."
"So am I."
"So am I."
By the way...we got a shipment of the pieces that were missing for Phase Two from the puzzle company. Unfortunately, we are still missing one piece. I put in a second request and we should receive it shortly.
Have a great week. I look forward to seeing you this week for Parent / Teacher Conferences.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:00 AMBLEAK FRIDAY - DISASTER IN ROOM #8!
Right before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Fourth Grade class discovered that one of the sections of "Phase 2" of our Puzzle Project was MISSING! Here is the photo...
As you can see, this section is incomplete. I contacted the company that creates these puzzles and provided a list of the 8 missing pieces. I hope to hear from them in 3 - 4 weeks. In the meantime, we will start to assemble "Phase Three" sections. We will return to the second phase if and when the replacement parts are delivered. We have to be more careful kids!
Scroll down to last week's entry for information about conferences and report cards.
Enjoy the Thanksgiving break.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:25 PMINFORMATION ABOUT PARENT / TEACHER CONFERENCES
Parent / Teacher Conferences will take place Tuesday, December 6 and Wednesday, December 7 at the Howell Road School in Room #8.
This is the schedule:
December 6: Afternoon Conferences: 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM
December 6: Evening Conferences: 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
December 7: Afternoon Conferences: 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Please note that I am unable to accept personal appointment requests due to the large number of families that I serve in all four district buildings.
When you arrive, please sign in and wait for your turn. I apologize if the line is long.
Evening conferences tend to be more crowded. I will do what I can to keep the line moving. Please be patient.
These conferences are most effective when your child attends with his or her adult family members.
Please note that during official conference times, I will only meet with families who have children in my Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Grade Pull-out program. If you would like to meet with me and your child is not in the Pull-out program, please leave a note in my mailbox at Howell Road or call the office at Howell and leave me a message. I will get back to you as soon as possible.INFORMATION ABOUT GRADES AND REPORT CARDS
My students will get a separate report card for the Gifted and Talented class inside their regular report card envelope. Remember that there are only grades of 1, 2 and 3 in the program. Children are graded in six subject areas:
If your child did not get his or her report card, simply send me an e-mail and let me know. I will provide you with another copy. If you would like another copy of the grading rubric that I distributed at "Open House" let me know. They are also available for download at the links for 4th, 5th and 6th Grade Students.SIX GRADE HISTORY ALTERATIONS
We were finally able to complete the Six Grade History Alteration Projects. Here were some highlights:
Quite a bit of history would have been changed if J.F.K. was able to recover from his assassination attempt.
The Incas were discussed by this young man's history alteration.
We still might be able to enjoy shuffleboard on the Lido Deck if the Titanic was able to steer away from the iceberg.
Airships would be a more popular mode of travel if the Hindenburg traveled without incident.
It's hard to deny that global warming is effecting life on Earth.
"Lookie here!" We actually found Amelia Earhart.
Along the same lines, our waters would be considerably cleaner if the BP (British Petroleum) spill never occurred.
If Mt. Vesuvius never erupted, their society would have continued to grow and prosper.
If the Japanese Tsunami never took place, it would have avoided a horrific loss of life and property.
If Rosa Parks gave up her seat, she would not have been a positive catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.
In a way, I'm kind of glad that we no longer have to deal with a velociraptor. I would not want to be eaten by one while I am waiting in line for a bagel.
The children did a great job on their projects!PUZZLE UPDATES
Another section of buildings is ready for the grid.
"I feel like Godzilla. When I shake the bottom, I can make an earthquake."
"And if your look very closely, you can see the most valuable piece of land in the city...a parking spot."
To those who do not know...the box of pieces looks like a pile of foam confetti.
The Fourth Grade Class is working on the second phase of the Puzzle Project now. Sort and file...sort and file...sort and file...LUNCHBOX FOUND!
One of my students left a blue lunchbox behind. It looks like its has fish characters on it. Please claim it. There were also some "Tupperware" bowls left behind.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my students and their families a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. May you be surrounded by family and friends. We all have so much to be Thankful for. May you always have love at your table and peace in your heart.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 3:00 PMGEN MEETING
On Election Day, I attended an annual meeting of the Gifted Education Network (GEN) in Islip. The groups is comprised mainly of teachers of Gifted students with the intent to share resources and to advocate for our population. It was a very inspiring day! GRADING REPORTS & REPORT CARDS
The Fifth Grade children were given Grading Reports for their Human Rights Projects on November 10. The Sixth Graders still have a few more History Alteration Projects to share. Their Grading Reports will be going home on November 22.
All students will receive their Gifted and Talented Class Report Cards as a separate sheet in their regular report card envelopes in December.BUILDING VERTICAL
The first of our four three dimensional puzzles are almost complete. Here is proof of our progress:
This is a close-up of the first building lot.
Another city block is placed onto the grid.
When all else fails...consult the blueprints.
This building was not an easy task. All of the main window pieces look alike and it had to align correctly. Great job kids!
THANK YOU VETERANS!
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:55 PMMORE INFORMATION ABOUT KIDSDAY
It looks as though we are going to be starting our 6th Grade Kidsday Project in January. Apparently there is a different lead time for the articles and the publication dates and if we started in March or April, the issues wouldn't appear in the newspaper until October of 2017. We will do the best we can with the weather and I will start to put together some special opportunities for the children. If any of my Sixth Grade parents have any ideas or special access for us, please let me know as soon as possible.
Remember that there will be a mandatory parent meeting for the children who cover each story during an off-campus event.
ALL CHILDREN ARE ENCOURAGED TO ENTER THE KIDSDAY ART CONTEST. THE DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 19 AND ALL OF THE INFORMATION IS LISTED ON THE COMPETITIONS AND CONTESTS SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE. GOOD LUCK!PUZZLE PROGRESS
Completion of the first three-dimensional puzzle is well underway. The children in grades 4, 5 and 6 have been working on it during their lunch period. Here are some highlights:
"We sort. We file. We sort. We file. This isn't a lunch period...it's a prison sentence."
This young man is holding one of may small sections. They will be placed into the streets and form the skyline of New York City.FIFTH GRADE BRIDGES
The Fifth Graders began their work on the Bridges Project. The first task was to create a "Quick-Bridge" using only 15 K'nex rods and clips. The bridges will be tested next week.
Before the children can build, they need to plan their designs.
Aside from the collection of standard K'nex parts, we have a fine collection of "metallic" parts. They are the same size, shape and weight of the original parts, they just have metallic colors.PLEASE ADJUST YOUR CLOCKS
Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM today. Please adjust your clocks accordingly. This is also a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide units. These messages are frequently heard this time of the year, but if it save only one life, it is more than worth it.
Here is a song that relates to Daylight Saving Time. It is from 1958 and I won't tell you the artist, but try to guess who it is. (Even though this song is appropriate for all ages, the children won't know.) There will not be a prize, but honorable mention on the website next week. Enjoy the song...or try to.Daylight-Savings-Time----1958.mp3
We will not be meeting on Tuesday, November 8 due to Election Day. There is no school on Friday, November 11 due to Veterans Day. Thank you to everyone who served our country.
Finally, speaking of Election Day...a few of my children are running for Student Council offices in several buildings. I want to both wish everyone good luck and I want to thank all of them for running a campaign that is in many cases more mature than the adults who are running for office.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:45 AMOPEN HOUSE
I would like to thank my parents and family members for attending the Gifted and Talented Open House on Thursday evening. It was a pleasure to meet many of you for the first time. I hope it was informational and valuable for you. I would once again like to thank Valley Stream District #13 Board of Education Vice President Vinny Pandit, for attending our annual event.
Many parents attended the Gifted and Talented Open House. It was important for the parents to get to know each other as their children will be working together for a long time.
One item that I did not address is your child's privacy. While I post media content from me classes on this website, I will NEVER intentionally mention your child using their full names in a caption for a photo or video.
These are the Fourth Grade Work Groups for the Native American Project (Listed using initials only):
Group One: MS - MG - HK
Group Two: IP - NK - TS
Group Three: MA - AT - EL - CD
Group Four: SR - JC - AO - AR
The groups were formed randomly using the official "Deck - of - Doom."HUMAN RIGHTS PRESENTATIONS
Earlier that same day the Fifth Grade G&T Students shared their Human Rights Projects. The group offered a variety of topics which were mostly well-researched, carefully written and presented well. Here were some highlights...
Religious freedom is vital to a free society.
This young man offered a very enthusiastic presentation.
Without free speech, the truth can be silenced.
Elanor Roosevelt was influential in promoting Human Rights.
Unfortunately, the right to be innocent until proven guilty is not practiced in all countries.
One of the missions of The United Nations is to promote Human Rights internationally.
Sadly, there have been and continue to be Human Rights violations in areas all over the world.
The Cyrus Cylinder was one of the first documents (Clay tablets) to address Human Rights.PUZZLE NEWS
The four 3-D puzzles have arrived. The Sixth Graders opened up the first box.
Some of the Fourth Graders began the task of creating the streets and road for puzzle # 1.
I hope that everyone who participates has a great Halloween. Remember all of the basics: Let your parents inspect your loot before you eat it. Wear costumes that can be seen in the dark. Please do not try to frighten young children and the elderly. And finally...forget the "Fun Size" candy. Go for the 5 pound bag. "THAT'S THE FUN SIZE!"
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:00 PMTHIS JUST IN
I am delighted to report some wonderful news.
Earlier in the week I received notification that the Interschool P.T.A. has granted the Gifted and Talented Program a special mini grant of two hundred dollars to purchase a series of foam-backed three-dimensional puzzles. These puzzles will replicate the New York City skyline featuring the Freedom Tower. The children will be able to work on the puzzles during our lunch breaks. My hope is that the entire project will be complete by April so that we can display this as a tribute to first responders at Lights-on for Education. I will accept this mini-grant at the next Valley Stream 13 Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, April 25.
On behalf of my students and their parents, I would like to thank the Interschool P.T.A. all of the building P.T.A.s for their support of my project. If you have not already done so, please consider joining the P.T.A. of your child's school.LOST AND FOUND
Earlier this week one of my students left behind a blue digital watch. I also found a flash drive that someone left behind. If either of these items belong to your child, please let me know and they will be returned.OPEN HOUSE
Again, I look forward to seeing many of you at our Open House this Thursday, October 27 at Howell. Project samples will be displayed at 6:00 and my presentation will begin at 6:30. This will take place in the General Purpose Room. Please let me know if you will be able to attend.ART CONTEST
The Kidsday Art Contest (Open to every child) is underway and deadlines are quickly approaching. If your child would like to participate, please see the link for Competitions and Contests on the right side of this web page. Good luck to all participants!
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:00 PM
The October series of school holidays are now behind us and I will be meeting with all of my classes for the next couple of weeks.
Here are some due dates to keep in the back of your mind:
Grade 5 - Human Rights Projects - Due Thursday, October 27, 2016 (This is the same date as our Open House.)
Grade 6 - History Alteration Projects - Due Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Grade 4 - Native American Projects - Due Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Enjoy the beautiful early fall weather and try not to get lost in a corn maze. Please let me know via e-mail or returning the form that I sent home if you will be attending my Open House. Thanks!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:30 PM
Good Evening Everyone!
Earlier in the week I attempted to call all of the parents and family members of my students who are new to the program. The purpose of the phone call was to welcome everyone, distribute my school e-mail address, mention this web site and personally invite the new families to the Open House that is being held on October 27 at Howell. (Notes were also sent home to all parents about this event.)
If for some reason I was only able to leave you a voice message and you still need to contact me, please call the building secretaries at Howell Road during regular business hours at (516) 569 - 6130 and I will call you back with the information that you need.
There are a few school closings this week due to holidays, so I will not be meeting with my Fourth Graders this week. The children should gather texts and on-line materials to bring to their groups on October 19.
In honor of "Columbus Day" here is a classic little ditty from Lou Monte. It was released in 1962: (Just click on the link to play it.)Please-Mr-Columbus.mp3
Finally, congratulations to the New York Mets. No, they didn't make it to the Division Series, but they only fell an inning short. Remember, nobody wins all the time.
Have a great week!
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:45 PM
I would like to invite the parents and guardians of all of my Gifted and Talented Students to attend our annual "Open House."
This will be held at Howell Road on Thursday, October 27. The presentation will begin at 6:30 PM and there will be a series of sample projects to view starting at 6:00 PM.
The Gifted and Talented Open House offers quite a bit of information to the parents of my Fourth Grade students since they are new to the program.
This year there have been some changes to Kidsday, so I am urging my Six Grade Parents to attend as well. Of course, all are welcome!
I will provide the location once I know how many people will be attending. It will most likely take place in the Library or the General Purpose Room.
If you need to bring your child to the Open House, I will save a table or two so that they can do their homework or study while I am talking to the adults.
And as a final incentive...back by popular demand....FREE PRETZELS!
A letter about this event will be sent home.
Have a great week!
Mr. RosenfeldJulie L. Floch 1960 - 2016 (A really great person who will be missed.)
Here are some recent photos highlighting our new Fourth Grade Students:
The G&T Bus delivers a new set of children to Howell Road. Notice the smile. That's a happy rider!
"This looks like an enthusiastic kid.....WAIT...Oh my gosh...and is that Yoenis Cespedes?"
As soon as the children walked in, they began to learn about the program. This young lady is intensely working on her first challenge.
This young man is treating his challenge very seriously. He has also learned how to levitate his hands.
"Ok...I know this may seem a little weird,...but I just can't help it...I feel like my lunchbox is staring at me?"
"Hey wait a minute...I think he is trying to trick us."
This young lady is taking her first survey. By the end of the year, she will be crafting her own and gathering information on her Independent Study.
Lunchtime at G&T is a nice intermission. The children, can bring in their own lunch or order from the lunchroom - just as they would at their own schools. On the left side of the photo, there is a group of children playing "Quarto" a very cool strategy game.
Here is a close-up of the game. Each piece has four properties (Color, shape, size and mass). The goal is to line up four pieces in a row with one common trait. The cool part is that you do not select your own piece. That is chosen by your opponent. This looks like a tough battle.
This is the puzzle challenge. The first team to complete it wins...if they follow ALL
of the rules.
This team is using a few strategies to solve their puzzle.
"I found the missing piece...I found the missing piece!"
"We're almost done...we just have to exchange a few prisoners of war."
Thank you for a great first day. I hope you have a fantastic school year. Remember to have your parents complete their survey and form and also bring in your own surveys and goal sheets next week.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:05 PM
Good Afternoon Everyone!
The G&T Bus will be rolling this week!
6th Graders meet every Tuesday.
4th Graders meet every Wednesday.
5th Graders meet every Thursday.
A more detailed schedule is posted on another page of this website. Simply click on the "2016-2017 Schedule" link. It's on the left-hand side of the page.
The children can bring their parent-permission forms to class when they attend. These should arrive by mail from the District Office.
SAVE THE DATE
The Gifted and Talented Open House will take place on Thursday, October 27 at Howell. More information will be coming soon.
One last reminder that Maker Faire takes place at the New York Hall of Science on October 1 and October 2. It's a fantastic experience for all family members. Once again, here is the link to the website: http://makerfaire.com/
Enjoy the Weekend!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 3:50 PM
Good Afternoon Everyone!
If you are a parent or guardian of a Fourth Grade student, please note that the screening process is almost complete.
If your child met the district criteria to participate in the program, you will receive a parent consent form from the district by the end of the week. These will be mailed home.
I expect to meet my new Fourth Graders for the first time on Wednesday, September 28.
If you are the parent of a student who was in the program last year, you will also receive a permission form in the mail.
I posted the first part of the 2016-2017 schedule:
On Tuesdays, I will see my Sixth Graders, Wednesday's will be for the Fourth Grade classes and Thursday is reserved for Fifth Grade.
Have a great day!