Happy New Year! We are so excited about all the new things we are going to be learning this half of the school year. In Phonics, we are reviewing the sounds of the alphabet along with the letter formation for each letter. Students are also applying these sounds in their reading and writing. In Reading, students are identifying the main character in stories and learning about where the story takes place. In addition, each student has received their sight word notebook for them to practice writing and reading each word. In Math, students have been practicing counting and writing numbers 1-100. They have been working with patterns counting by 1s, 2s, and 10s. In Social Studies, our classes have been learning about Eskimos. We have also begun talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his contributions to our society. In Science the students explored the Solar System, learning about the 8 planets, the stars and more specifically the sun.
First graders spent time in December learning about and preparing for several winter holidays. Projects included Santas, elves, menorahs, and kinaras. Students learned about why various holidays are celebrated as well as some traditions that many families include while celebrating them. Families demonstrated different aspects of various holidays by creating projects such as models, dioramas, and posters. These projects were presented to their peers. Students in each class decorated a tree with special notes that were then given to needy families with a gift card. It was an opportunity for all to exhibit their holiday spirit and generosity. Students have continued to recognize the sounds of the short vowels a, i, u, and o, and have been working hard to master words for their Spelling tests. Many classes have continued to meet their class goals for the monthly reading logs, and reading levels have improved as a result. During Shared Reading, students continue to learn strategies such as using picture clues, context clues, and their own experiences to understand unfamiliar words or confusing parts of a story. Students have published personal narratives, and have begun a new unit in Writing that includes pattern books. In Math, students have practiced making a ten on a ten frame, used related facts to add and subtract, added three addends together, and created fact families. In Social Studies, first graders are learning about different types and parts of a map including the map key and compass rose. In Science, students continued to investigate motion by creating spinning tops, using zoomers, and seeing how air resistance affects twirly birds and wings. They will begin rolling investigations that will include wheels, ramps, and marbles. It has been a fun hands on learning experience for all. Snowflakes, snowmen, sleds, and mittens, have replaced holiday decorations in classrooms and hallways. January is an opportunity for a new start and new goals for all. Many students have made personal resolutions to kick off the new year. The first grade staff wishes all the School One families a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015!
Second graders are currently working on…
listening--- to one another brainstorm ideas for our creative writing pieces which we are now composing.
loving--- the time we practice on the new chromebooks and learn our lessons with our new smart TV and projectors.
thinking---about completing our class work and school work each day in the new year as we get closer to becoming third graders.
wanting--- to play outside and hope spring comes early.
needing--- to read and write and practice math everyday to exercise our brains
questioning---to help us understand what we are learning and what we already know.
Welcome back and Happy New Year. Third grade has begun 2015 with enthusiasm and loads of energy! In literacy, our students have been exploring nonfiction and practicing the skills needed to understand these complex texts. We have been comparing and contrasting the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.(RI.3.9) In Math, we have wrapped up our topics on multiplication, and our mathematicians are excited to learn about division over the next few weeks. Working on the Chrome Books has been so much fun! We will continue to explore educational websites that support the skills we are learning and respond to our classmates on our Google Classroom pages.
It may be cold outside, but the 4th graders are warming up to several new areas of focus this winter. In math, we are honing our two-digit multiplication skills and diving into one and two digit division as well as fractions. In our writing units we continue to work on narrative writing elements including using figurative language, sophisticated dialogue, idioms, similes, and metaphors. We are also working on analyzing different forms of literature and writing essays discussing theme, genre, mood, plot, character analysis, and point of view, all while utilizing more advanced vocabulary. In future weeks we will be writing persuasive & argumentative essays utilizing non-fiction text and different forms of media. In social studies we are delving into how colonial regions differ in their geography, economy and government.
In our reading classes the three books that are being read are Trumpet of the Swans, Tuck Everlasting, and Devil’s Arithmetic. With these books we are implementing many reading strategies that include character analysis, words in context, inferencing, and predicting. We continue to include story elements that are essential to basic understanding of novels such as setting, characters, plot, and theme. A major teaching tool that we have had the class do is turn and talk with each other to discuss different points of view as well as the author’s point of view.
Lately, in our math classes we have been working on multiplying and dividing with decimals. This will lead us into the next three chapters that have to do with all fractional concepts, decimals, and percents. With all of these topics the students continue to work with multiple step word problems that require next level thinking. We have also begun to implement PARCC type questions with our topic tests that require students to have multiple solutions to one problem. Many of the problems that the students are working on require them to explain in their own words how they reached their solution. Many of these math skills integrate with the studies they are doing in science and social studies.
In science students are continuing to work collaboratively with each other using the FOSS kit and they are enjoying it while learning some new ideas. Currently we are working on the concept of variables and how they change the outcome of experiments. We have worked with pendulums, boats, and now planes. We make sure to have students use research as a major component of science and also writing explanations to research type questions. In social studies we have been working in the new books that we continue to pilot. The students just got finished learning what started the Civil War and now we are learning about the “ins and outs” of the Civil War. What was life like for these people during that time? This is the big question that we have our students think about. We want them to understand the hardships that our past faced so we can have the life we have now.
As we move forward we will be implementing PARCC practice in our class, focusing on reading and math. This state test will be in a couple of months so be prepared to see assignments coming home for practice in these areas. Anyway, that’s enough for now, hope all is well with you and we are looking forward to continuing this excellent year!!
Our School One sixth graders have had a very busy few months. They've celebrated the holidays with an International luncheon , as well as shared a special movie with their Kindergarten buddies .Since they've returned from the winter break, there is great emphasis on practicing for the PARCC exams, along with building DNA projects for Science. There will be a Social Studies Greek mythology project coming soon!
This month we will be running our Social Skills Groups.
We will be offering social skills groups for these students, held in the guidance office. Groups are time limited and are 4 sessions in length. Children are placed with peers who are of a similar age and developmental level. Social skills groups are beneficial for children who have:
Poor communication skills
Difficulty making friends
Troubles with teasing
Difficulty asserting themselves with peers
Skills that are focused upon are targeted to aid specific needs in the children who attend, as well as general skills to enhance interpersonal relationships including:
Emotional Recognition and Expression Skills
Dealing with Teasing/Bullying
Being a Good Sport
In physical education, students are learning about shooting a basketball. They are focusing on the acronym B.E.E.F. This helpful strategy stands for “Balance,” “Bend Elbow (in toward body), “Eyes” (on rim), and “Follow through.” These help to focus on the important cues of taking a shot.
In library, kindergarten and first grade students read stories about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas before break. Recently, they have read stories about winter and Martin Luther King, Jr. Second and third grade students have been practicing logging on to the computers and practicing their typing skills. Fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students recently started their first research projects on Martin Luther King, Jr. Fourth and fifth grade are making different mini books, and sixth graders are making Google Slides presentations with partners.
In art, the students have been busy creating amazing projects. From winter themed art (K-3rd grade) to monochromatic landscape paintings (4th grade) to one-point perspective drawings (6th grade), the students have been enhancing their knowledge and technique with each project. The students continue to learn about famous artists, such as Gustav Klimt and Henri Matisse.
In music, kindergarten is learning how to play instruments independently and read music rhythms. First grade is working on composing using literacy skills as learning new solfege and rhythms. Second grades are learning to read melodic notation on the staff in preparation for recorder next year. Third graders are beginning to play recorder duets and are advancing quickly. Fourth fifth and sixth graders are using movement, instruments and technology to compose new music and analyze compositions during class.
In Spanish, 3rd grade students are learning about fruits in Spanish. One of their favorite activities is sharing with their classmates what fruits they want to eat. One of their favorite words from this lesson is la manzana. 4th grade students are learning about places in Spanish. This month, the students are sharing the names of places they want to go to in Spanish. One of their favorite places is la biblioteca.
In the spring of 2015, the New Jersey Department of Education will begin to administer the PARCC assessment to students in grades three through eleven. The PARCC assessment is an electronic assessment designed to measure student proficiency in Language Arts and Mathematics, as defined by the Common Core Standards. This two-part computer assessment will replace the NJASK Mathematics and the NJASK Language Arts in grades three through eight. It will also replace the HPSA Mathematics and HSPA Language Arts in grade eleven. The NJASK Science in grades four and eight, as well as the NJ Biology Competency test at the high school level, will continue throughout the 2014-2015 school year.
The first part of the computer based assessment, the Performance Based portion, will be administered to Fort Lee students between March 2nd & March 27th. The second part of the assessment, the End of Year portion, will be administered between April 27th & May 22nd for students in grade three through eight, and between April 20th & May 15th for students in grade nine through eleven. In both the Performance Based and End of Year PARCC assessment, the Language Arts section consists of three assessments, and the Mathematics portion consists of two assessments. Specific dates and times for each grade level within these date ranges will be provided once each school finalizes their schedule. Our Administrative Team will also be hosting PARCC Parent Nights in the end of January. Please check our website for updated information.
To learn more about the PARCC Assessment please visit:
http://www.parcconline.org/for-parents (PARCC information for parents)
http://www.parcconline.org (Sign up for online newsletter)
http://practice.parcc.testnav.com (Practice tests)
http://www.corestandards.org/ (Common Core Standards website)
Director of School Counseling Services
We are so excited about all the the fun things that we have been doing in Kindergarten! In Phonics, students have begun identifying sounds and learning letter formation for numerous letters in the alphabet. In Reading, students have learned about how to care for books, identify titles, authors, and illustrators. They have also learned how to make predictions through titles and covers. In Writing, they have begun writing in their journals about things they like which has been very exciting as they have become their own authors and illustrators! In Math, we have been working with reading, writing, and counting numbers 0-10. In Science, we had fun learning about apples, pumpkins, and the Fall. In Social Studies, we are learning about Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Lastly, students will be making hats to bring with them to our annual Thanksgiving Feast which will be here in a few weeks!
First graders have been working hard to improve their skills. They have reviewed the consonant sounds and will begin an in-depth study of short vowels. Most classes have started a monthly themed reading log with class goals to encourage independent reading and improve reading skills. Students have been working on addition and subtraction strategies, and problem solving in Math. They have taken on the role of authors and illustrators by using the writing process to write personal narratives and several short books. During Science, students have learned about balance by using counterweights to keep objects such as a crayfish stable. They have also made their own mobiles. They have learned about respecting themselves and others, and have even cooperatively created posters with Anti-Bullying messages. Classes have learned about Veterans Day through activities such as literature, songs, poems, and soldier projects. We also honored our veterans with a “Wall of Heroes” display. Thanksgiving projects such as books about the first Thanksgiving and turkeys are already hanging as a reminder of the upcoming holiday and all that the students have to be grateful for in their lives!
The second-graders are completing unit 2 in reading and writing. The children are well entrenched in the classroom routines. With new technology in our classes, our students are learning in new and fascinating ways. As the first marking period is ending soon, it is our hope that our students in second grade continue to grow and learn.
There are BIG happenings in third grade! We have started multiplication (Topic 4) in Math, and that is BIG! Please review the facts each night because that is the only way to memorize them.We are reading about the first Thanksgiving, and will be doing a story map and writing about the Pilgrims journey and how the Native Americans helped them survive. Our stories will be hanging in the hallway on our bulletin board. Down come the Halloween ghosts and up go the turkeys!
Good Vibrations are happening throughout the 4th grade. We studied and analyzed the importance and impact of Sound throughout our lives. In Social Studies, we are stepping back in time to study the Colonial Life of boys and girls. In our small group reading centers we are focusing on integral higher-level reading skills such as main idea and supporting details, and predicting, as well as continually refining our grammar and spelling skills. Halloween was a blast and the students are looking forward to our upcoming Thanksgiving projects and activities!
Math is off to a great start! We have reviewed many older topics during the month of September to refresh their skills, for example rounding and estimating whole numbers and decimals. We are continuing with multiplication, division, and incorporating open-ended questions as well. The students are also practicing PARCC like questions to prepare for the new state test this year. Our goal is to have students become proficient in explaining exactly how to solve problems. The class is on their way to becoming excellent math students.
In science the students are studying about classification of animals including vertebrates and invertebrates. The students are researching on the laptops daily unusual animals such as sponges, hydras, arthropods, starfish, worms, sharks, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and many fascinating vertebrates and invertebrates. The students are also continuing to present amazing weekly presentations on various different and exciting topics, including experiments to make learning in science fun!
In social studies we began the year discussing pathfinders and pioneers such as Daniel Boone, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark. This led us into learning about the settles in the Northwest Territory and eventually the War of 1812. Students were then extremely excited to read about the Industrial Revolution and how this time led to many great inventions, many we still use today! Furthermore, our 5th grade students are lucky enough to be able to help pilot the new social studies program which includes brand new textbooks and an online component to help with instruction. So far so good with the new program and here are few quotes from students so far!!!: “I really like the text book because it is well organized”. “I like the way the subtitles tell us exactly what each section is about”. We look forward to exploring this new text, while connecting both reading and writing to meet the Common Core Content Standards.
In reading the entire 5th grade is working on skills such as character analysis, making inferences, making connections, and making predictions. The grade is split into reading groups and some of the novels that are being read are: The Devil’s Arithmetic, The Summer of the Swans, and James and the Giant Peach. The 5th grade also embodies the Good Habits, Great Readers program and the skills taught through this program into the novels that we read. Language arts has involved Wordly Wise practice to help build vocabulary and spelling, as well as learning about nouns and verbs in sentences.
The 5th grade is a great group of children with lots of enthusiasm and even more potential. We are off to a great start!!
The sixth graders are definitely enjoying being the "Seniors" at School One. Many new children have entered our class from other schools. We are busy learning new Math, English, Science, Social Studies, and Reading. Our Chromebooks allow us to stretch into new arenas. In addition, we are participating in the Kindergarten Buddies program, and recently helped the little people decorate pumpkins for Halloween. We're looking forward to the upcoming holiday season!
In physical education, students are learning about great exercises and healthy habits while having fun before school begins in our BOKS program. Over 100 students have been participating! We have two groups: BOKS (grades 2-6) and a BOKS Jr. (grades K-1).
In library, students have read books about going back to school, Halloween, and autumn. Soon we will be reading Thanksgiving and holiday books! Also, students are learning how to log onto computers and access TypingWeb. Students in grades 5 and 6 have been writing blog posts about different topics. Students in grades 4 through 6 just learned about Google Classrooms and have been working on assignments while in the library.
In art, the students in all grade levels have been learning about the elements of art such as colors, lines, and shapes and have been creating amazing projects! The kindergarten students explored using paint and mixing colors for the first time. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders have been studying about famous artist's like Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Vincent van Gogh. The 5th graders just finished up a contour line project and will be studying about George Seurat and Pointillism. The 6th graders have been working hard designing and painting unique color wheels.
In music, classes are busy composing, reading notation and playing music together. Our chorus is busy rehearsing for the Holiday concert on December 12 at FLHS and our Recorder Karate Program is in full swing. In addition, classes began preparing for our annual Holiday Assembly!
In Spanish, 3rd grade students are learning about rooms of the house. One of their favorite activities is when they are shown an object and the students have to tell which room it belongs in. In 4th grade, the students are learning about action verbs. This monrth, the students will demonstrate the action verb and their classmates will identify the action in Spanish. For our Thanksgiving activity, the students will be coloring a turkey in Spanish. Feliz Día De Acción De Gracias!
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Students in grades 3-6 have been practicing their typing skills by utilizing the website typingweb.com. Students are able to complete practice courses and typing tests to develop their skills in preparation for the upcoming PARCC test. In order to enhance their typing skills, we are asking that students also practice at home or at the local library. All students need to log in using their student ID as both username and password in order for teachers to track their progress and assess their growth throughout the year. A notice will be coming home with students to help them log in at home.