The Sixth Grade History Alteration Projects are due on Tuesday, November 10.
SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:35 AM
Explorations 2016 Was Very Successful!
I want to thank all of my students and family members who attended our annual Explorations event at the James A. Dever School this past Thursday. The feedback that I received about the event was very positive. It was obviously a nice way for the children and parents to engage in exciting and enriching activities.
Here were some highlights:
Author Jen Calonita led a wonderful workshop about writing and developing story ideas. She was both informative and inspirational.
Over at the In The Mind's Eye workshop, children and their parents learned about vision and the properties of light.
At one station, one group observed how light bends in water. In the back, an old-school vision test.
This device measured peripheral vision.
This demonstration revealed how filters work.
Different lenses have different properties and bend light according to their shape, thickness and size.
Over at the Balloon-Powered Vehicles workshop, these children were cutting out the mainframe for their cars.
This young man brought his vehicle to the starting line.
One racer is passing another as they go in for the final lap.
Once again, I would like to thank Mrs. Evelyn, Dr. Martin and Mrs. Sells-Asch for encouraging Explorations and allowing it to take place. Kudos to all of our presenters. Special thanks also go out to Mr. Gruen and the staff of the James A. Dever School for hosting us. Also, the custodians at Dever were very helpful for setting up the rooms and preparing for our guests. Most of all, thanks to all of my parents who brought their children to another after-school activity on a Thursday. I truly thank your for honoring your commitment.
This week, many of my Fifth Graders will be leaving my class early to travel to Dever for their Marching Band Rehearsal. Please make sure that your child brings his or her instrument to school this Thursday. If you need another copy of the form, simply scroll down to last week's entry.
Also, if you are a Sixth Grade student and have not given me your trip slip form, please bring it in by Tuesday. If you need another copy of the form, scroll down to last week's entry.
Have a great week!
SUNDAY, MAY 15, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:30 AM
I look forward to seeing all of my students and their families at our annual Explorations event. It will be taking place this Thursday, May 19 at the James A. Dever School. Please plan to meet in the auditorium. We will log everyone in starting at 4:15 PM and the workshops will begin at 4:30.
At this point in the school year, all of my children should be working steadily on their Independent Studies. If you have not given me your surveys to copy, you are starting to fall behind. Please have your parents e-mail me your surveys and I will copy them and send them to your classroom teachers via inter-office mail. Even though most of our schools are in the middle of their field days, picnics, class trips and Music in the Parks, we still need to remain focused on the work that is due very shortly.
If you are a Fifth Grade student who is participating in the Marching Band Memorial Day rehearsal, please remember to bring in your signed parent permission slip. This will enable you to attend the rehearsal at Dever by traveling with the Howell Road students and the Howell Road Music Department Staff. Please note that the rehearsal will be cancelled in case of inclement weather. Here is a link so that you can download the form in case you need it:
If you are a Sixth Grade Student, please make sure to bring in your permission form for the trip to see "The Quantum Eye" on Saturday, June 18. I need to confirm the number of tickets as soon as possible. Here is a link so that you can download the form in case you need another copy:
The Fourth Grade students started their unit on knee braces this week.
This team is performing "surgery" on the patient's upper leg. Or is it the lower leg. In any case the models will be ready shortly.
Again, I look forward to seeing everyone at Explorations on Thursday afternoon.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, MAY 7, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 8:25 AM
At this point, the children should be working on their Independent Studies. It is important to have all surveys approved before I can make copies and distribute them. It is also a good idea to have the index cards complete by the start of our next class. We are also working on STEM Projects, but almost all of that work will be done in class. The Sixth Graders will be starting their dam-building projects this week.
If you haven't sent me child's workshop choices for Explorations, please do so via e-mail by the end of the weekend. I need to schedule the event and I would like to see as many children as possible get their first or second choices.
Also, this note is for the parents of my Fifth Grade Students who will be taking part in the Marching Band Rehearsal on Thursday, May 26. Please make sure that you sign and return the permission form allowing your child to travel to the rehearsal site (James A. Dever's front yard) with the Howell Road Band and Music Teachers. Your child will need to bring his / her instrument to Howell on May 26. I have placed another copy of the form here in case you need it.
The Sixth Graders and their parents will be taking part in a special trip on Saturday, June 18. We will be going into the city to attend a performance of "The Quantum Eye" with Mentalist / Magician Sam Eaton. After the show we are scheduled to meet with Sam in a round-table interview setting. After we leave the theatre, we will have a light celebratory dinner. Please send in your ticket request and permission booklet AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so that I can order the correct number of tickets.
Earlier this week the grading reports were sent home for the Fourth Grade Simple Machines Projects, The Fifth Grade American Architecture Projects and The Sixth Grade Ancient Greek Infomercials & Podcasts. If you did not get your child's grading report, send me an e-mail and I will send you back another copy.
If you are interested in attending the Robotics Tournament at Adelphi, the event is taking place on May 7, 2016. Click on the link for SPECIAL DATES on the left side of this web page for more details. It should appear near the top of the page.
Finally, I would like to take this moment to wish all of my class moms a wonderful and well-earned Mothers Day. It is no secret that I enjoy classic country songs, and this one (Though a little corny) fits the bill. I dedicate this to all my moms as I thank them daily for their constant support. See if you can get through it without a teary eye (From the lyrics, not the singer's voice). It's called, "No Charge," by Melba Montgomery. The year was 1974. Let's give it a spin...
Sorry about that. In any event I hope you have a great week!
SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:05 AM
What a week for the Gifted and Talented Program!
We celebrated our successes with everyone at Lights-On for Education.
Nine of my Sixth Grade Students were locked in battle at our annual Risk Game. By the way...in case you didn't know...I'm the big guy on the left!
These youngsters had a blast interacting with our robots.
Our area was busy most of the night.
This young lady is sharing her Simple Machines project with her mother.
A small group of weasels in the bleachers is about to be escorted out of the arena for causing trouble. Someone get security!
During Lights-On for Education, some of my children were asking attendees to fill out their surveys.
The Purple Army was the big winner of the Risk tournament. Congratulations to the young general with the "sort-of" purple T-shirt. You have conquered the world! WONDERFUL JOB! (Now go clean your room!)
The Fifth Graders continued their presentations about American Architecture.
If you could dig around The White House, you would find a considerable amount of interesting artifacts.
This young lady presented her research and her model of the Trinity Church in Boston.
This young lady shared her poster and her model about log cabins.
The Fourth Graders presented their Simple Machine Projects. This young man showed how a crane operates using a working model.
A water wheel used a large wheel and axle assembly - powered by a river - to run a mill.
This moving truck uses an inclined plane to help the workers load and unload their cargo.
An eggbeater uses a large gear to push two smaller gears to spin the blades inside a mixing bowl.
This cart uses a double wheel and axle assembly to move a load and a second class lever to turn in the required direction.
This is a demonstration of a back hoe and a fork lift. The back hoe digs up the ground so that farmers can plant seeds or construction workers can tear up the street. The forklift part is used so the workers at COSTCO can reload their shelves.
This lawnmower uses a pinion gear to turn around a planetary gear - which causes the blades to spin and cut grass. When a large gear drives a smaller one, you get speed. When a smaller one pushes a larger gear, you get torque or power.
This young man is about to demonstrate the differences between fixed pulleys and movable pulleys. The fixed pulley requires more effort, but the pulley that moves along with the elevator car has to be pulled a greater distance to reach its destination.
Now that the weather is starting to warm up, I am taking the children outside for lunch in the K -2 yard. I will only do this if the weather is nice and the ground isn't wet. I also won't go if it is too hot. Please note that this will not extend the time we get for lunch. Please make sure your child has a small blanket or towel on the days that we meet.
A few reminders:
I will not post a formal entry until we return to school. Please note that I will check my e-mail a few times a day during the spring break if you have any questions regarding the Independent Studies or the Rube Goldberg Projects.
I am working with the music department so that the Fifth Grade Students can come to G&T on the day of the scheduled Marching Band Rehearsal. The children can travel to Dever for the rehearsal and then back to their regular classes after the rehearsal is over. If it rains on that day, the rehearsal will be canceled and it will be a regular day for us. Please be on the lookout for a permission slip. I do not believe that Fourth and Sixth Grade students will not be affected by this.
Some of you have still not sent me your workshop selection slips for our Explorations event on May 19. Please send me a list of all three choices so that your child can attend. If you can E-mail this information to me over the break, I would appreciate it.
I would like to wish anyone who celebrates a great holiday and a fantastic spring break for everyone else. I will be grading your projects and finishing up your infomercials. I also hope to visit the supermarket and Laundry Palace.
On a personal note...
"I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain." Prince (1958 - 2016)
FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:30 PM
This past week, I was only able to meet with my Sixth Grade Students due to the testing schedule. The children had a great time recording their infomercials:
Gaea explains the importance of taking care of the Earth.
Ares declares war against his opponents...and the green screen.
Hermes is the deity of thieves. He even stole the teleprompter.
These goddesses are vying for Zeus' thunderbolt.
The Greek Infomercials will be edited and saved to this website in a couple of weeks. The cast did a wonderful job!
Starting this week, I am asking my children to bring in an old towel or blanket that we can use for our lunch period if the weather permits. We will try to eat outside by the lower playground. Eating outside will not change the limited time that we have for lunch, but will give the children a chance to get some fresh air.
If you have not already done so, please send Mr. Rosenfeld your three workshop choices (Via E-mail) for our Explorations event. If you need more information, please scroll down to my entry from last week.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, APRIL 9, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:30 PM
By now everyone was sent a copy of the form for our Explorations event. Another copy of the form will be sent to you during the week as a reminder. Please have your child return his or her form with their workshop choices as soon as possible. (E-mail is always the fastest way to correspond with me.) Another copy of the form can be downloaded. Here is the link for it:
My Sixth Grade students will be meeting with me this Tuesday. Please be prepared to turn in your materials for the Greek Infomercials. We will be recording the videos on Tuesday. Remember you will also need the photos that go along with your speech.
Information for my Sixth Graders regarding "Lights-On for Education" will also be going home this Tuesday.
I would like to wish everyone good luck on their New York State Mathematics Exams. Remember to take your time and prove your answers to make sure they are correct.
On a personal note....
"I've never been nobody's idol. But at least I've got a title. And I take a lot of pride in what I am."
Merle Haggard 1937 - 2016
SAVE THE DATE!
OUR ANNUAL EXPLORATIONS EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE ON MAY 19, 2016 AT THE JAMES A. DEVER SCHOOL!
PLEASE E-MAIL ME YOUR WORKSHOP CHOICES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
HERE IS AN ONLINE COPY OF THE FLYER:
I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING EVERYONE ON MAY 19!
SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:45 AM
It was a very busy week for my Fifth Grade Students. Many of the children were able to present their American Architecture Structures. They were quite impressive!
This young lady shared her model and her research about the United States Treasury.
A lot of work went into this Jamestown replica.
This young lady explained some of the conditions that many immigrants faced while living in tenements.
Fort Ticonderoga was an important military instillation that is located near Lake George in upper New York State.
The Pennsylvania Hospital was the first such medical facility in the United States. It was founded by Benjamin Franklin and is located in Philadelphia. It is still in operation!
Log cabins are very strong and sturdy. They are still used today, though mostly for recreational purposes.
Colonial jails were usually located near or as part of courthouses. Though functional, they were not a fun place to live. More presentations from the class will take place on April 21.
Most of the Sixth Graders recorded their "Podcasts" for their Ancient Greek infomercials. When you click on a candidate's campaign poster, you can here each god or goddess speak to you. The audio files are also posted on another page of this website.
I would like to remind all of my students that the High School Regional Robotics Tournament will take place later today at Hofstra. Look under "Special Dates" for more information.
I also would like to wish everyone good luck on their upcoming New York State E.L.A. and Mathematics Exams.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, MARCH 26, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:00 PM
My Fourth Graders had a lot of fun experimenting with Inclined Planes:
The children assembled trucks and filled them with a 400 gram load of washers.
The loads were measured on inclined planes at 90, 60, 45 and 30 degrees. This simulated how highways use ramps.
Protractors helped the children precisely measure the different angles for their inclined plane systems.
We learned that the smallest angles needed supported the loads with the least amount of effort. The "trade-off" is that plane needs to support that load for a greater distance.
It is my hope that everyone who is celebrating, has a happy Easter. I hope that everyone is enjoying their mini-break.
Please note that the high school robotics regionals are coming up on April 2. More information about this free event is listed under the "Special Dates" section of my website.
Also note that I updated the 2015-2016 class schedule.
Thank you and have a great week!
SUNDAY, MARCH 20, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:10 PM
It was a pleasure to see so many parents during the spring set of Parent / Teacher Conferences last week. I realize that for some of you, it was your very last Parent / Teacher Conference at Valley Stream School District #13. It was hard to say goodbye. I also want to apologize to anyone who had to wait longer than they expected. With parents and children coming from four different buildings it would be impossible to schedule individual appointments to coincide with your regular classroom teacher meetings. I did extend the time that I was available for both of the afternoon conferences and the evening session. Thank you for understanding.
The brief Easter Vacation will take place this week, and I would like to wish all of my students and parents who celebrate a wonderful and meaningful holiday.
Here is a list of upcoming "Due Dates" for projects:
4th Grade - Simple Machines - April 20 (Models, Papers, Index Cards, Works Cited Pages, Cover Sheet and Oral Presentations)
5th Grade - American Architecture - March 31 (Models, Paper, Index Cards, Works Cited Pages, Extra Steps) The Presentations for Dever, Howell and Willow will take place on March 31. The Presentations for Wheeler will take place on April 21 due to their Concert and the ELA and State Math Tests. There will be a bin for Wheeler Students by the security to submit their work on March 31. I will collect this at the end of the day.
6th Grade - Greek Infomercials - March 29 - Podcast Scripts and Radio Ad Recording
6th Grade - Greek Infomercials - April 12 - Costumes, Cover Pages, Speech, Resume, Works Cited, Video Recording
6th Grade - Rube Goldberg Challenge - April 19
Please note that due to the state testing we will not be meeting on April 5, April 6 and April 7 and April 13, April 14 and April 15.
Also note that if you and your children would like to attend the High School Robotics Regionals at Hofstra University on Saturday, April 2 - information is provided on the Special Dates section of this website.
Finally, congratulations to all of the children who completed last week's math challenge and brought it to their Parent / Teacher Conference with your parent. I hope you enjoyed your prize!
Have a great week!
SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:35 PM
I would like to start this week's entry with a personal note. I went on my annual March trek to Jones Beach to pick up my Empire Pass for the year. It's nice to think that the weather is getting warmer and that Spring is on the way. On the way to Robert Moses State Park my family and I saw a dozen deer and two foxes patrolling their dens along the side of the road.
Parent / Teacher Conferences will take place this Wednesday afternoon and evening and this Thursday afternoon. If you did not get your child's Gifted and Talented Report Card for the second marking period, send me an e-mail and I will get it to you. I can also give you a copy when you come to meet with me.
If your child does this week's math challenge and brings it to me during conferences, he or she will receive a prize. The challenge does not have to be correct. All that I ask for is an honest attempt.
Scroll down for more information about conferences including meeting times and locations.
Have a great week!
SUNDAY. MARCH 6, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 9:15 PM
I hope that all is well. I only have a couple of brief announcements this week.
Please note that we will not be meeting as a class on Wednesday, March 16 and Thursday, March 17 due to Parent / Teacher Conferences.
We will not be having G&T Classes on April 5, April 6 and April 7 due to the New York State E.L.A. Exams. We will also not be meeting on April 13 and April 14 due to the New York State Mathematics Tests. My students will be taking them and I will be proctoring other children.
There are also vacation days in March and April when all schools will be closed.
If you are looking for information about Gifted and Talented Parent / Teacher Conferences, please scroll down for dates, locations and meeting times.
One last note...
The children will be interested to know that the Lamberts case had some recent activity on March 4. Troy Tucker filed an electronic deposition which means that the case is slowly progressing. I will provide more details as soon as I get them. The Lamberts case was one of our most interesting and the children were arguing passionately for the plaintiff and the defendant. Stay tuned!
Have a great week.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:30 PM
By now most of my Gifted and Talented parents and family members know that the spring series of Parent - Teacher Conferences is taking place on March 16 and
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE FROM THE OFFICIAL PRINTED CALENDAR.
Afternoon and evening conferences will take place on Wednesday, March 16. Only afternoon conferences are scheduled for March 17.
All Gifted and Talented Conferences will take place on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, March 16 & 17 from 1 PM - 3:15 PM.
Evening Conferences will be held on Wednesday, March 16 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.
All conferences will take place at the Howell Road School in Room #8.
Since I have parents coming from all four buildings, I am unable to schedule specific appointments.
As in the past, sign-in and I will meet with each family in the order that you arrive. Please do not worry if you are waiting and we run past the posted ending times. I have never turned anybody away and I hope I never will. I would like to thank the families from Dever, Wheeler and Willow for making the trip to Howell.
As always, try to bring your child with you to the conferences if it is at all possible.
Also keep in mind that I also might be meeting with parents and students from my A.I.S. Math Program.
I look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming series of Parent - Teacher Conferences.
The Gifted and Talented Report Cards will be distributed with your child's regular report cards on March 11.
The Fifth Graders were given their Grading Reports for their Bridges Projects on Thursday.
Have a wonderful week!
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:20 AM
I hope that everyone had a fantastic Valentines Day and is off to a great start to their winter recess. It was so cold that one of our pipes burst and caused some damage. Please make sure that you cover and protect all of your basement pipes - especially those that lead to your outdoor hoses.
I want to point out a new page on this website. If you look under "Special Dates" you will see two event listings that are open to the public which I am recommending for my students and their families. Both are for local robotics tournaments that are free to attend. If you can make it to either one (Or both) you will most likely enjoy the festivities. The information for these events can be found on that page.
This past week my Fifth Grade students presented their Bridges Projects and my Fourth Grade students explored first, second and third class levers. Here are some photos from earlier in the week:
The Tower Bridge of London is frequently visited by tourists. Its decks open for boat traffic at specific intervals.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge resembles a large coat hanger in Australia.
In West Virginia you can base jump from the New River Gorge Bridge once a year on Bridge Day.
This young lady crafted a working aqueduct that filled a fountain with real water from a simulated mountain.
These young ladies are sharing their cantilever bridge model of the Firth of Forth Bridge in Scotland. The actual span handles rail traffic.
For some reason...and without explanation...the George Washington Bridge does not have any traffic jams.
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that is a famous symbol of San Francisco.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel system is mostly a series of beam bridges.
A cable stayed bridge is another form of a suspension bridge. They cannot stretch too far, but they are cost effective when compared to traditional suspension bridges.
These Fourth Graders are balancing the forces on this second class lever.
You need less effort to balance a load when the effort is placed far from the fulcrum.
While you can balance a load using less effort, the trade-off is that you have to carry that load a greater distance.
Have a great vacation and I will see you when we return to school. I will check my e-mails periodically to see if the system is back on-line.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:00 AM
I am proud to announce that we made the district web site this week. Quite a few photos from some of our STEM Projects were shared on-line with the entire district community. Nice job kids!
Gifted and Talented - "Legal Issues"
No we haven't been sued, but we have been discussing some very interesting court cases over the last few weeks. Some of them include a Little League coach who sued one of his players, a pro-football cheerleading squad who fought for higher salaries and a pastor who sued a restaurant chain in Missouri that is famous for throwing rolls to its customers. She is seeking damages for an eye injury incurred by a wayward toss. We spoke directly with a representative of the restaurant and the law firm representing the injured party about the case.
I would like to remind my Fifth Grade Students that their Bridges projects and presentations are due this Thursday - February 11. Remember to rehearse your presentation before taking the stage.
I hope that the Super Bowl is exciting and that the team you are rooting for plays a great game. (I am writing this well before the initial kick-off.)
Have a great week!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:00 AM
By now most of the children in all of my classes have selected their Independent Study topics. Work on these projects can begin at any time. It is a good idea to start your projects by gathering source materials and designing a survey. These projects are be due towards the end of the school year, and other projects will be assigned along the way - but if you and your child want to get a head start - now is a good time.
The Fourth Graders are working on their Simple Machine Projects. All of the parts and blueprints have been distributed. If additional parts are required, send me an e-mail and I will ship them where they need to go. (Howell Road students can simply stop by.) Regular rods and clips are always housed in my room, but the special parts (gears, wheels, etc.) are in my basement.
Fifth Grade students are working on their Bridges Project which are due next week and the Sixth Grade students are working on their second robots.
Please remember that we are always collecting the water bottle caps and empty copier and printer cartridges.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:40 AM
I told you that winter would get here. Well, here it is. Lots of snow, lots of wind and all of the headaches that come with it. I hope that all of my students and their families are hunkering down, staying warm and keeping safe. While you can't use your hover-board on the snow, you can instead work on the "Challenge of the Week" and enjoy some photos from our last two classes.
This young lady is not injured. She is working hard to attach the roadbed to her bridge. She is very determined to get it right.
This Fourth Grader is working on the edge of the Ferris Wheel. It is now long enough to reach the motor.
We get a lot of stuff done during our lunch break.
The ride inspectors are going to be here in ten minutes. You better hurry up with that last section.
The frame is complete! It is eight feet tall.
Now the Fifth Graders are attaching the gondolas to the frame. They will swing and pivot as the wheel rotates.
Stay warm and have a great week!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:20 PM
The Fourth Graders were able to extend the Ferris Wheel to the Second phase of the core.
This construction brings the wheel to the second third of its length.
The Fifth Graders capped off this level using decorative edge parts.
The Fifth Graders are also in the middle of their Bridges Unit. Some of the models are complete - including this one by a young lady who crafted a series of arch bridges to make an aqueduct.
This team built a model of Scotland's famous Firth of Forth Bridge.
Though not yet complete, this arch bridge is almost ready to be anchored.
The Sixth Graders are in the second part of the robotics unit. This young man is using on-line blueprints to create a gear driven base.
It is my hope that everyone will make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day a purposeful day of service.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 9, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:20 PM
Even though we have only been back to school for one week, there were several wonderful happenings in the Gifted and Talented Program.
Here were some highlights:
The 6th Grade had their first Robotics Competition. The goal for each team was to place as many cubes as possible into the winning side - while preventing their opponent from doing the same.
Stacking a cube on the target base would double the score.
The Fourth Graders were able to complete the frame on our mystery structure:
"If we line it up correctly, it will be very sturdy."
"This is exciting! It's HUGE! I wonder what this is going to be?"
The Fifth Graders began to work with the hub:
"Now we have a connection across the top."
"HEY! IT'S GOING TO BE A FERRIS WHEEL!"
I wanted to let the parents of all of my classes know that the Independent Study has been introduced this week. The final project of the year is still due at the end of May or the beginning of June. Of course, there will be other projects along the way...including those that have already been assigned: such as the Bridges Project in Fifth Grade and the Simple Machines Project in Fourth Grade which will be discussed this week.
Having the Independent Study guidelines set in place will help families prepare for it in the middle of other scheduled and unforeseen end-of-the-year activities such as concerts, field days, class & music trips, school picnics, etc.
Some "class time" for the Independent Studies will be provided for this endeavor starting in March. All that I am asking from the students now is their topic so that I can approve it.
Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an e-mail and I will be happy to provide the information that you need.
Have a great week!
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:45 AM
I hope that everyone is enjoying their vacations. In the middle of creating schedules, grading reports and working on this web-site, I have been very busy doing some unusual things. My son was able to feed the sharks at the Atlantis Aquarium and I got to play dj again.
This is the only photo of myself that I will put on this website and I tend to post a similar one each year. This photo was taken on Christmas Day when I was "On the air" at Lite FM. I have been playing holiday music for the tri-state area for the past 32 years.
In between the songs, I was grading the Fourth Grade Native American Projects...which by the way, were quite impressive!
Here were some highlights:
Here one team is sharing their PowerPoint presentation.
This duo declared war on their audience. Easy does it gentlemen.
"This dream catcher didn't work. I woke up and learned that we are still stuck in Mr. Rosenfeld's class. Perhaps we need more feathers."
This is one of the display posters that the children crafted for their assignment.
This game - using burnt peach pits - was played by Native Americans.
"I already lost won twenty bucks from another group - and one of the custodians owes me a fifty."
Costumes are a wonderful extra step. [Please note that this photo should be viewed sideways.]
Teamwork was essential for success.
This diorama depicted life in a longhouse.
The teams were formed randomly in order to make everything fair.
Please note that the grading reports for this project will be distributed to the Fourth Grade Students on Wednesday, January 6.
Also note that I uploaded the schedule for January, February and March. It is available by clicking the link on the upper-left side of this web page.
5th Graders take heart in knowing that your Bridge Project was moved up two weeks. (We lost too much time to concerts.)
The Sixth Graders have also been working on the "Massive - Mystery - Project." This young lady is showing one element that needed to be replicated 95 times in order for the project to work. I wonder what this huge build is going to be.....
Enjoy the rest of your vacation and I will see everyone in 2016.
DECEMBER 20 - ON OR CLOSE TO 3:50 PM
Even though we are knee-deep in the holiday rush, we have been very busy here in "Gifted and Talented Land." The Fourth Graders have been getting ready for their projects and presentations that are going to take place on Wednesday. The Fifth Graders have been working away on their bridge projects and the Sixth Graders will soon be ready for the competition stages of their Robotics Unit.
Many of my children are involved in a "Mystery - Massive - Build." They are working on a huge project, though they do not know what it is or for. All will be revealed in time.
I apologize, but this photo should be viewed sideways. In addition to my huge supply of regular K'nex parts, we use the metallic pieces for the Bridges Unit to make them look even more authentic.
My students, including these Fourth Graders, are really taken with The Settlers of Catan. It is complicated game of trade, skill, luck and patience.
The premise of this game is to settle an uncharted island in the age of sail to use its natural resources to grow settlements and cities. The mountains provide ore, the forest provides wood, the fields produce grain, the hills yield bricks and the pastures nurture sheep. Of course there is a robber who steals from you and the board is different each time you play.
There is a great (and free) application that is available for the I-phone and for Android called "Catan Game Assistant" that you might want to download so your children who are interested can see it. It is published by Mayfair games.
Please note that I will post the schedule for January, February and March on this website during the upcoming vacation.
Finally, I always like to post a song for many of holidays that offers either a fun aspect or a reflective moment. Here is why I chose the song I posted this year:
On Saturday, I took my son out for the afternoon to see a movie - which I rarely do. We ended up stuck in heavy traffic by the Roosevelt Field Mall and we missed the movie's starting time.
We ended up going to see another film - the new Star Wars movie. (Which was good, but not great in my opinion.) (The movie, not my kid.)
In any case the reason for the delay was the HORRIBLE traffic near the mall and in the parking garage. My son started complaining - which teenagers often do - about the traffic and pollution and missing the movie we intended to see.
I explained that at least it was only a movie and that we weren't on line for something serious like a hospital visit or a real emergency.
To that end, I would like to share the following Christmas song (that never gets played on the radio) even though it should:
I wish all of my students and their families a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Peace to all!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:45 PM
It is the middle of December and it is 65 degrees outside. It just doesn't seem right as songs about Rudolph, Frosty and Dominick are playing non-stop in every mall, store or radio. At least we are not shoveling snow. Trust me...it's coming! It may not get here until January or February, but it's coming.
It was great to see so many of my parents and family members during last week's Parent / Teacher Conferences. Thank you to those of you from Dever, Wheeler and Willow for driving over to see me. Also thank you for your patience if you had to wait longer than expected.
This coming week, many of the children will be taking part in their concerts both during the day and in the evening. If your child is involved in a concert, they should perform and then drive over to Howell (If possible) after the performance.
My Fourth Graders should be working hard on their Native American Projects. There is a lot to do, but you have had a lot of time. Make it great and remember to rehearse your presentations.
Have a fantastic week! (And save a spot for me on the beach blanket!)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:20 PM
Earlier in the week my Fifth Graders enjoyed taking part in the "Quick-Bridge Challenge."
I can't believe that it is already December! Time is moving at a rapid rate.
By now you should have received your child's Gifted and Talented Report Cards. If you did not, kindly send me an e-mail and I will send you another copy as soon as possible. Please note that the number grades are for the subject areas and not for the sub-titles. Each child receives six number grades and some comments. (Number grades in the Gifted and Talented Program are from "1" to "3.")
Please keep an eye on your child's schedule as there are quite a few days where we will not be meeting due to Parent / Teacher Conferences and Several Winter Concerts. If your child is participating in a concert on a day that we meet, he or she can be driven to Howell by a parent at the end of the show.
This is a reminder for my Fourth Grade Parents: Remember that the Native American Presentations are taking place on Wednesday, December 23. All materials (Posters, PowerPoints, Artifact Collection, Locus Sheets, Works Cited Pages, etc.) are due on that day. The children should be well-rehearsed and ready to go. Some of the children will be missing class due to concerts, but the due date is firm as the class had over two months to prepare for this.
The schedule for January through April will be posted during the Christmas Vacation.
I hope to see many of my parents during our conferences this week. Information about them was posted on my entry from November 28.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:30 PM
Greetings Everyone! I hope that all of my families enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving. If you are still carving pieces off of the turkey bone, I hope that by now it doesn't taste too "dried-out" like sawdust. Even gravy has its limitations.
This week we will resume our regular schedule, but be on the lookout for upcoming concerts, cancellations and Parent / Teacher Conferences.
Please note that the G&T Report Cards will be distributed soon and should be inside your child's regular report card envelope. If for some reason you do not receive one, let me know and I will get it to you via e-mail. Please note that in G&T we only offer number grades from 1 to 3. The scores will be explained on the report card.
Parent / Teacher Conferences are coming up and I wanted to review how I handle them because my parents come from all four district schools.
All G&T Parent / Teacher Conferences for will be held in Room # 8 at Howell. (It's the large building at the end of Howell Road. You can't miss it!)
On Wednesday, December 9, I will meet with parents from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM.
On Thursday, December 10, I will meet with parents from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM and later in the evening from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Because of the large number of parents who want to meet with me, I am unable to arrange individual appointment times. Simply come on down, sign-in and I will see everyone in turn.
I have always felt that having your child with us during Parent / Teacher Conferences is important. Please bring your child with you if it is at all possible.
Please note that in addition to my Gifted and Talented Class families, I also meet with the parents from my Mathematics A.I.S. groups. I will do my best to keep the line moving.
I would like to shine the spotlight on my Sixth Grade Students, who began their Robotics Unit this week. Here were some of the highlights:
We have lots of parts to choose from. All of the pieces are organized into bins.
These young men are building an engine assembly.
This team is using blueprints to make sure their base is correct.
Yes it's STEM. Yes it's challenging. Yes it's fun!
This team from Dever is matching the parts that they need with the layout. If it doesn't work, they will have to troubleshoot. If it does work, they have been known to break out in a victory dance.
This team is very intense. They have to make sure that even the small parts are perfectly aligned or their robot will be unbalanced.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 1:15 PM
In the middle of projects, papers, presentations and reports, please allow me to take a moment to wish you and your families a peaceful, meaningful and heart-felt Thanksgiving. It is truly a holiday that we all can share - regardless of our different ages, beliefs and backgrounds.
If you are able to find a quiet moment of solitude, please take a moment to enjoy a simple song of the season.
Information about Parent / Teacher Conferences, Report Cards will be coming soon.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:30 PM
Please enjoy some of the photos taken from our 5th Grade Human Rights Presentations:
This young lady is sharing information about the Indian Caste System.
This student is sharing her research about marriage and family rights.
This project was about the rights of workers.
This young lady was sharing her report about how Human Rights are violated.
Even in 2015, not all countries of the world accept equal rights for women.
Sadly, the rights to a quality education are sometimes neglected and ignored.
Eleanor Roosevelt was dedicated to promoting Human Rights for everyone.
The Right to Trial is an important Human Right.
Some of the worst Human Rights offenders throughout history were Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights were originally promoted by the United Nations.
This week my Fifth Grade Students will begin their Bridges Unit and my Sixth Grade Students will start complete their History Alteration Presentations and start their Robotics Unit.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:50 PM
This is busy week in the Gifted and Talented Program. The Sixth Graders will be presenting their History Alteration Projects on Tuesday and my Fifth Grade students will be presenting their Human Rights Projects on Thursday.
There is no school on Wednesday because of the Veterans Day holiday, so I will not be meeting with my Fourth Grade students on November 11.
The deadline for anyone interested in entering the (Optional) Kidsday Art Contest is Friday, November 22. This is open to all students and is not related to the Kidsday project that the Sixth Graders will undertake later in the school year. The information for this was posted on September 20, 2015 and you can still see the requirements if you scroll down.
In honor of Veterans Day, please enjoy the following song:
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2016 - ON OR CLOSE TO 10:15 PM (Sixth Inning)
It appears as if our district mail server is down. Usually when this happens over a weekend, it gets fixed by Monday morning. If you need to e-mail me and are unable to, please be patient and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 2:00 PM
It was a pleasure to meet everyone who attended my Gifted and Talented Orientation on Thursday evening. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at any time, and I promise that I will get back to you within twenty-four hours. Also information about my program (Including schedules and projects) are always available on this web-site, which I tend to update each weekend.
Please note that school is closed for all students on Tuesday, November 3rd, so I will not be meeting with my Sixth Graders that day. Also remember to mover your clocks ahead on Saturday evening, October 31.
Deadlines are coming for my 5th and 6th Graders:
The Fifth Grade Human Rights Projects are due on Thursday, November 12.
Finally, please remember to follow all Halloween safety practices if you take part in the festivities: Please insure that your children stay in an adult-supervised group, inspect all candy before allowing your kids to eat anything, wear costumes that make everyone visible to motorists and don't get caught stealing treats from your child's collection!
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 12:40 PM
GIFTED AND TALENTED ORIENTATION
The Gifted and Talented Orientation is slated for parents of children who are new to the program. It will take place on Thursday, October 29 at 6:30 PM at the Howell Road School. We will meet in Room # 8.
At the Parent Orientation, I will introduce you to the program, review expectations, share sample projects of student work and answer any questions that you have.
Please note that this meeting is for parents and adult family members only. If you need to bring your children, they may work on their projects or homework in the Computer Lab.
I look forward to seeing all of my parents who are new to the program on Thursday evening.
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2015 - ON OR CLOSE TO 11:30 AM
At this point I have attempted to reach out to all of my families who have children who are new to the program.
Here are additional information and suggestions about the Fourth Grade Project:
1. Please note that every student will be working on this project with a partner and that the requirements are per team not per student.
2. Some time is provided during each class session for your child and his or her partner to plan and work on their assignment.
3. You child will need to bring in his or her books, sources, index cards and flash drives to class each Wednesday. It is hard to plan and use the materials if they are not in class.
4. As we get closer to the deadline there will need to be a few times where the children will have to meet with each other either at a child's home or public places like the Elmont or Valley Stream Libraries. This will help the teams finalize everything and rehearse before presenting. Please allow your child to exchange phone numbers with his or her partner(s) to arrange for mutually convenient appointments. If you need me to help facilitate this, I will be more than happy to help you with this. I realize that we all have different schedules and various after-school responsibilities, but as we get closer to the deadline the children will need some time to get together.
5. If you or your child has any questions, please do not wait until we meet as a class to ask them. Feel free to e-mail me at any time and I will get back to you with the information that you need. Also note that I will not accept ANY e-mail communication from children. All electronic correspondence must be from adults. This is for everyone's protection and it also keeps the parents in the loop.
6. In a week or two you will hear information about our annual Gifted and Talented Open House. At the Open House you will get a full over-view of the program and sample projects from the past. I encourage every family to attend.
7. I received a few questions came up about Parent / Teacher Conferences. I will conduct all of my conferences at Howell Road in Room # 8 for the fall and spring series of concerts. Due to the the fact that I have many parents coming from different schools with different schedules I am unable to make or accept individual appointments. During conference hours (I extend mine due to the number of students that I see) simply sign-in and wait and I will see everyone in turn. Please note that in addition to my Gifted and Talented classes I also have several students who are in my Math A.I.S. (Academic Intervention Services) Classes.
Again, if there are any questions, please send me an e-mail.
Have a great week!
MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2015
As of now all of my Gifted and Talented Classes have been assigned their first research project. If you need additional copies, you can download them in Microsoft Word Format on this web site. Simply click on your child's grade and you will have access to the files.
If you have questions about the assignments, please send me an e-mail and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
In honor of Columbus Day, please feel free to listen to this classic song from Lou Monte:
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2015
The new school year is off to a nice start. My students from James A. Dever, Wheeler Avenue and Willow Road arrived on time and I am pleased to say that we have the same careful and considerate bus drivers as last year. Our children who wanted to were able to purchase lunch from the Howell Road lunchroom without a hitch.
Please return all parent surveys and forms this week.
The Fifth and Sixth graders were assigned their first projects of the year and the 4th graders will learn about their first large task next week.
For those of you who are new to the program, I usually update this website every weekend. We will send home information about our Gifted and Talented Open House as soon as we confirm the date and time.
On a personal note, I want to remind everyone that we collect used copier and printer ink cartridges as well as the clear caps from water bottles.
Here are some photos to welcome my new students:
This young lady is working on her first challenge.
These students are hard at work on their first survey.
These boys are deep in thought. By the end of the Sixth Grade they will have worked on several projects together.
These two gentlemen are working on one of their in-class assignments.
"Hmmmm....Let's see...if I carry the ten thousands and regroup with the hundred thousands I will be able to figure out the answer to this problem."
Have a great week!
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2015
I will be meeting with the children of the Gifted and Talented Program this week. The bus and the schedule has been posted as a separate page on this website.
If you haven't already done so, please sign and return the parent permission slips as soon as possible.
I look forward to a wonderful school year.
The schedule for the first part of the school year has been posted.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015
The Gifted and Talented Program will begin next week. The bus will transport the children to and from Howell Road starting on Tuesday, September 29.
I look forward to seeing everybody!
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2015
Good evening everyone!
We are still in the process of screening the candidates who will be joining the Gifted and Talented Program.
I want to make everyone aware of two events that are open to ALL students.
First, I always remind the children and their families who are interested in technology, art or crafting to attend Maker Faire each year. This incredible event is being held on September 26 and September 27 at the New York Hall of Science.
Here is information for anyone who is interested in attending.
Also, I received some information from our friends at Kidsday.
The Kidsday art contest is taking place and any child who is interested is encouraged to submit their samples to this worthwhile contest.
Here is your chance to show off your amazing drawing talents! It’s time to enter Kidsday’s 37th (2015) Annual Art Contest. We also encourage art classes and teachers to submit your students’ artwork for the contest.
Compete within your age group for prizes of Kidsday T-shirts and the chance to have your artwork appear in Kidsday. Your artwork will be judged by some of Kidsday’s very best artists and reporters.
Winners in each category will have their work featured in the Sunday, Dec. 27, issue of Kidsday. Even if you don’t win, your drawings may appear in a future issue of Kidsday.
HERE ARE THE RULES
1. Kids through age 16 may enter.
2. Entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, Nov. 22. Each drawing must include your name, age, address, phone number, T-shirt size and category.
3. Drawings can be done in color. Use crayons, coloring pens, whatever you think will make your drawing look fantastic!
4. Enter as many categories and drawings as you like, but label each entry with the category, your name, age, address and telephone number.
5. Make your drawings on white, unlined 8-by-11-inch paper. Do not make drawings larger than this. (Hint: Don’t “fill” the entire page with your artwork.)
6. All drawings must be original. No copying allowed.
7. In each category, prizes of Kidsday T-shirts will be awarded in these four age groups: to age 6, ages 7 to 9, ages 10 to 12 and ages 13 through 16.
8. Artwork will not be returned.
ANIMALS: Draw your favorite animals, house pets, zoo animals and wildlife.
CARTOONS: Create your own comic characters; illustrate your favorite jokes. Think of space or fantasy characters, too. Do not draw famous
comic-strip or cartoon characters. Be original. You can do one panel boxes or comic strips.
GETTING ALONG: Everyday situations, including family gatherings, schoolyards, kids playing, romance, brothers and sisters, friendships, etc.
MUSIC: Draw musical instruments, your favorite rock, classical, dance, rap or country musicians, people dancing, DJs, CDs or kids listening to music on their iPods.
PORTRAITS: Draw your favorite celebrity, comedian, politician, actor or sports star. You can even draw yourself!
SPORTS: People playing a sport, equipment, fans, seasonal sports, recreational sports, sports stars in action.
SEND YOUR DRAWINGS TO:
Kidsday Art Contest, Kidsday, Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747.
Remember to include your name, age, address, telephone number and T-shirt size on every drawing. Good luck!
Our schedule this year will be the following:
Fourth Grade - Wednesdays
Fifth Grade - Thursdays
Sixth Grade - Tuesdays
Classes will begin soon.
Have a great week!