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            Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.  
                -John Dewey @School1Knights #KnightsNation  
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School One News
November Grade Level Updates


We are so excited to share all of the fun things we have been doing in kindergarten! In phonics, students have been working hard to identify letter sounds and properly form letters of the alphabet. In reading, students learned how to take care of books, identify titles of stories, and learned the roles authors and illustrators play in story creation. They have also been practicing making predictions about stories read in class. The kindergarteners continue to learn new sight words and practice reading and writing them daily.  In writing, the students have begun writing in their journals about things that they like, which has been very exciting as they have become their own authors and illustrators!  In math, we have been working hard to count, read and write numbers 0-10. In science, we had fun learning about apples, pumpkins, and the season of fall. Our scientists have also been learning about the different kinds of trees and the different types of weather. In social studies, we have been discussing school rules, school and community helpers, and Veterans Day. The kindergartners had an amazing time meeting their sixth grade buddies while decorating their own pumpkins. We are extremely excited for the upcoming events that will be taking place as the holiday season approaches. Our next adventure will be our Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast, where students will wear Native American headbands and Pilgrim hats while they feast on a traditional thanksgiving meal.  



Since September, first graders have been working hard to learn the routines of their classrooms, and to improve their academic skills. They have reviewed the consonant sounds and will soon begin an in-depth study of short vowels. Students have been previewing, predicting, asking questions before and during their reading, using decoding strategies, and using pictures to make reading more meaningful.  Most classes have started a monthly themed reading log with class goals to encourage independent reading and to 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 solids and their properties through hands-on investigations. They have even constructed their own towers! The children have begun their study of liquids and their properties. First graders’ social studies lessons have included concepts such as what rules are and their importance, things they can learn from one another as individuals who are alike yet unique, and ideas that will promote getting along. Students learned about respecting themselves and others throughout October, which is “Respect Month” at School One. Every class decorated their doors with important Anti-Bullying messages. Classes learned about Veterans Day through literature, songs, poems, and soldier projects as well as a school-wide project honoring veterans in their own families. Books about the first Thanksgiving and turkeys are already hanging as a reminder that Thanksgiving is approaching and we all have plenty for which to be thankful. On behalf of the first grade staff, we wish all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!



It is almost December and our second graders have been improving by leaps and bounds in the three months since school started. They are reading in small groups together, using reading logs daily in class as well as weekly reading logs for homework. Daily sentence writing is certainly helping to improve overall writing skills. The students have already published several pieces of authentic writing. Our daily mini and focus lessons in reading and writing bring new meaning and understanding to these young minds. They enjoy the whole-brain activities incorporated into their lessons. In science they are currently learning about balance and motion and in social studies about communities. From all of our second graders and teachers, we wish you happy holidays!!


As the first marking period draws to a close, the third grade has been busy with a variety of engaging educational activities across all subject areas.  The students have been participating in various whole class, small group and individual projects and activities. In our literacy blocks, we have been focusing on many reading comprehension strategies using various texts. Our reading groups have focused on analyzing the plot, theme, finding evidence in the text, sequencing, and making predictions.  The students have enjoyed reading the Jake Drake series, Stone Fox, Freckle Juice, and various short stories and poetry. With Thanksgiving approaching, some classes are reading Thanksgiving on Thursday from the Magic Tree House series.  In conjunction with this, we are reading If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620. This is a strategy to compare and contrast the books and make appropriate connections. The students have completed many writing pieces including compositions, response sheets, and reports. They have created, edited, and published various organized, well written, and detailed work. For math we have introduced and practiced numeration, number sense, place value, and estimation. This provides a vital basis of knowledge and skills as we now transition into multiplication and division.The students are also getting more acclimated in understanding and tackling multi-step word problems, which will be invaluable as they move forward in the math curriculum. During social studies, we have learned about global geography and the importance of knowing how to read a map.  Many students have researched and created wonderful posters demonstrating not just their artistic skills, but detailing many interesting facts about particular regions and states. In science, we are enjoying our new FOSS module on Measuring Matter. Students have been learning about the three states of matter and the units of measurement used to measure solids, liquids and gases. They have been involved in various activities where they are estimating, measuring, and analyzing their results.


​As we come to the close of the first marking period, it is important to reflect on the work we have done in order to understand where we need to go. So far, the year has been flying by with many accomplishments worth mentioning. In reading, our students are learning to analyze all of the components that make up a great story. Not only are we studying story elements, but we are putting that learning into practice with our writing. Through the development of personal narratives and creative writing exercises, our students are fine-tuning the skills needed to be great writers. In the near future, we will be focusing on “reading to learn” skills and the specific text features of nonfiction texts. Math classes have been a review from last year, as well as a build up of fundamental mathematical concepts our students are working hard to master. Multi-digit multiplication and division are just some of the skills that are in store for the upcoming months. In the search to understand the world around us, our science classes have been focused on electricity and magnetism. Understanding these principles has proven to be an exciting journey, with all the hands-on activities our curriculum provides. Students have even built their own working electrical circuits! We are looking forward to our unit on the sun, moon, and planets. Our social studies classes have taken us back to the discovery of the New World, covering everything from the first settlers of Jamestown, up until the development of the first colonies. Our students are diving headfirst into the history of our country and will be making a stop along the Underground Railroad to learn all about slavery in America and its effects on our history. Thank you for all of your continued support. We are proud of the work we are doing in fourth grade and are looking forward to many more months of learning!



The fifth grade has had a very exciting kick off to the school year. We have been doing many captivating science presentations, including the making of elephant toothpaste, sharing information and bringing in different pets, such as; rabbits, lizards, and fish to name a few. We also have explored and learned about mixtures, solutions, and extracts with cooperative group hands-on investigations. In social studies, we are learning about the branches of government. We also had the extreme pleasure of having Mayor Sokolich come in as a special treat to talk to the fifth graders about his role as mayor. Students were given the opportunity to ask the mayor many questions, which he happily answered. The fifth grade also participated in the Fire Prevention Day activities. They crawled through the smoke house and safely made it out unharmed. In addition, they were able to explore and enter the fire truck. The fifth grade is engrossed in different novels and the students love the excitement and joy they get from their discovery of the great world of reading. We are going to begin reading The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Our fifth grade math students have completed multiplication, estimating, solving algebraic expressions, and place value. We are now going to begin the chapters on division and fractions.



The school year is off to a great start in the sixth grade! Students have explored the early development of society including the paleo- and neolithic periods, and the rule of Hammurabi in ancient Mesopotamia. In honor of Veterans Day, students watched a documentary entitled "Iwo Jima: Combat to Comrades" and argued their perspective on the topic "Is Freedom Free?" In mathematics, the classes are developing their problem solving skills and learning to complete inverse equations. They have reviewed basic decimal and equation skills as well. Much of their time in science has been spent investigating physical science. Students have conducted a variety of experiments using their own bodies, electronic dot cars, and air trolleys. They are determining and measuring force and movement. We have also read the engaging story of Bud Caldwell in Christopher Paul Curtis's book, Bud, Not Buddy. Students analyzed text, conducted close reading exercises, and developed text-based responses to critical moments in the story. They are also writing character analysis essays and expanding their data-based answer skills through a variety of language arts techniques.  



In physical education, the students just finished their first round of the FitnessGram. Students were tested in five events: push-ups, curl-ups, the one mile run, and two flexibility tests of the trunk: lift and sit and reach. Students will be retested in April to see their progression. We are halfway through our fall session of BOKS. We have practiced skills such as squats, push-ups, planks, crab abs, and lunges. We did a BOKS challenge of a 10 minute run while doing two burpees every one minute of jogging! More than 90% of the kids completed the challenge!!

In library, students have started to exchange books while in the library. They have learned about the organization of the library and how to properly care for books. The sixth graders are participating in an Adopt-A-Shelf program to help keep the library organized! In September, we were lucky enough to have TWO authors visit School One. R.L. Stine and Marc Brown visited to discuss the writing process and signed copies of their new book, The Little Shop of Monsters. In kindergarten, first, second, and third grade, students have been listening to and discussing books on many themes such as back-to-school, Halloween, and election day. Older grades have started working on projects on the Chromebooks such as practicing typing and learning research skills. Most recently, students in grades four through six took part in a school-wide election to vote for a special dress-up day. Pajama Day won! We are looking forward to reading and learning all about the history of Thanksgiving as well as our families’ traditions as the season approaches.

In art, the kindergarten students are creating projects using various lines and shapes and have been exploring watercolor paints, while the first graders are creating pieces of art using lines with various mediums. The second graders have been learning about value and are creating beautiful Georgia O'Keeffe-inspired watercolor paintings. The third grade students have been learning about rhythm and are creating Gustav Klimt's “Tree of Life” painting, while the fourth graders are working on their own version of Vincent van Gogh's “Starry Night.” The fifth grade students have been learning about balance and emphasis and have created a radially symmetrical design using the letters of their names and the sixth graders have been learning about proportion and how to draw the face, creating self portraits.

In music, kindergarten is learning how to compare high and low and read simple notation on the staff, as well as steady beat practicing. First grade is starting melodic reading on the staff with simple solfege examples. Second grade has been using their music reading skills to play instruments and read a real music score. Of course, third grade is completely immersed in Recorder Karate! Fourth grade is working on Time signatures, rhythm combinations, and Orff lessons. Fifth grade has been learning how to construct a scale as well as simple chord progressions. Our sixth graders have been analyzing tone color, texture and mood in instrumental music. Finally, along with our Select Chorus, students have begun learning their class songs for our School Holiday Assembly.

In Spanish, the fifth and sixth grade students learned about Hispanic Heritage Month (el mes de la Herencia Hispana). They watched a video on “Time For Kids” about the contributions of Spanish-speaking people in the United States. The students researched important facts on Spanish-speaking countries on chromebooks and shared the information with their classmates. In October, the fifth graders learned about action verbs and sixth graders learned about emergency workers. The students used white boards in conjunction with the projectors to play an interactive spelling game. In November, the students read a story in Spanish and English in honor of Veterans Day. They answered questions related to the text and found words that were similar in both languages.


TumbleBooksLibrary is an online collection of animated, talking picture books which teach young children the joys of reading in a format they'll love. This is for all of School One to enjoy! You can visit the link below to log in to read stories. Also, if you click on the "Library Media Center" tab on the left-hand side of the screen, a "Book of the Day" is featured.


username: britton
password: books

School One 2014-2015 Educational Services Professional of the Year
My name is Michelle Baker and as the 2014-2015 Educational Services Professional of the year I am ecstatic to share my role in the school setting, and gratitude for this recognition.  I am a pediatric occupational therapist and have worked in the Fort Lee school district since January of 2009.  I received my undergraduate degree from the University of New York at Buffalo and my Masters in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.  I have been practicing as a pediatric occupational therapist in both school-based and early intervention for 14 years. One of my most influential professional experiences was the two years I spent in Dublin, Ireland working at St. Joseph's School for the Visually Impaired.  This school is the only school in Ireland for blind and visually-impaired children and provides services from infancy up to 20 years of age.  It was an amazing experience professionally, culturally, and personally.  One of my favorite aspects of school-based therapy is the collaboration with teachers and administration. Occupational therapy services can be supportive to children of all ages and abilities and many tenets of OT practice can be integrated into the classroom.  The teachers of Fort Lee have welcomed these suggestions and have made occupational therapy part and parcel of their classroom programs.  Thank you School 1 staff for the recognition and support!
School One 2014-2015 Governor's Teacher of the Year
We are proud to announce that Ms. Lisandra Hernandez is this year's Teacher of the Year for School #1.  As a Music teacher, Ms. Hernandez continually challenges her students and herself by selecting musical pieces that are engaging, entertaining, and also stretches the musical abilities of her students. Her use of technology in her classes through the SmartBoard, interactive websites, and games enhance the learning activities.
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