New Suffolk Common School

The official website for the New Suffolk Common School.

Built in 1907, New Suffolk School educates children in New Suffolk from grades Pre-K through 6.  Within the school’s three classrooms, under the guidance of outstanding teachers, students study the general subjects of English Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science. Also offered through part-time teachers are enrichment classes in Physical Education, Music, Art and Drama. 

🍀St. Patrick's Day Limericks🍀

What a fun morning! Henry's grandma, a veteran ELA teacher, paid a special visit to our intermediate ELA class today. 

While noshing on traditional Irish Soday Bread, Mrs. Langmack explained to us the origin of limericks. Coming from Limerick, Ireland, limericks were originally spoken stories, passed down through generations.  One "bearded" fellow, Edward Lear, began recording traditional limericks, and writing a bunch of his own. He published 112 limericks in the Book of Nonsense in 1846.  He changed up his rhyme scheme throughout, but always promised the traditional laughter a limerick often brought!

Now, it was our turn to get the creative juices flowing! Donned with green mechanical pencils and green paper, Mrs. Langmack reviewed how to write a limerick of our own, following certain syllable rules. We had a blast writing the silliest limericks, while keeping track of syllables and our rhyme scheme. Take a look at some of our creations below.

 

By Anna

By Anna

By Henry

By Henry

By Maddie

By Maddie

By Joe

By Joe

By Mrs. P

By Mrs. P

Reading from the Book of Nonsense  

Reading from the Book of Nonsense  

Getting our creative juices flowing

Getting our creative juices flowing

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🐸Frog Research🐸

Grade 3 spent the month of November exploring Module 2A from EngageNY, a resource for the Common Core Standards.

In this Module, we divulged ourselves into a new topic: bullfrogs.  We used Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle as our mentor text, and did a class study on the amphibians. 

Then, each student chose a frog, with unusual adaptations that help them survive in their extreme environment, to research.  We practiced pulling important information from texts, and how to properly search safe websites for more factual information.

Upon completion of their study, they demonstrated their expertise by creating either an informative poster, or diorama.  They did an exquisite job! Enjoy the photos below!

 

 

Lila explains the Northern Leopard Frog's habitat

Lila explains the Northern Leopard Frog's habitat

The physical attributes of this frog allow them to live safely in their environment  

The physical attributes of this frog allow them to live safely in their environment  

Caroline explains the eating habits of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog

Caroline explains the eating habits of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog

What an interesting little frog! 

What an interesting little frog! 

Anna created a diorama showing the natural habitat of the Blue Poison Dart Frog

Anna created a diorama showing the natural habitat of the Blue Poison Dart Frog

Take a look! 

Take a look! 

Step Back in History Field Trip

We love taking part in Southold Historical Society's "Step Back in History" week! Mrs. Murphy, and all of the volunteers do such a wonderful job planning and organizing! 

Fifth and Sixth Grade social studies students visited Southold Presbyterian Church's Old Burial Ground. There are about twenty graves dating back to the 1600s! Lots of people come from all over to see these stones. Many of the old stones are made from slate, marble, or sandstone. Most of the stone is from Connecticut, where the carvings were done. Many of the stones are cracked and very weathered; some are illegible now.  

The West End is the oldest section of the cemetery.  Many of the gravestones have skeletal images on them, and because people were afraid of death, they added angel wings to the bones.  Most headstones were facing the west, and some had a matching foot stone facing the east.

There were a few Box Tombs, or raised boxes. The deceased are still buried underground, though. The stone boxes are made of sandstone, and due to weathering, many of the epitaphs have eroded away. 

Burial ground is like an outdoor museum, and the epitaphs, or writings on the gravestones, explain a lot about the history of its' owner.   Mrs. Butkovich did a lovely job explaining the history of this site. She taught us how to do grave rubbings on many of the newer gravestones that were made from granite. 

 

This is the grave of Captain William Squires. In 1885 his boat ran aground on Fire Island. He told his crew, "Put as many clothes on as you can, and climb up the rigging." They then tied themselves up to the rigging so they wouldn't fall into the water. They ended up freezing to death. Captain Squires' body was found in Hampton Bays, his hometown. They erected a gravestone for him there, as well as in Southold where he owned a house. No one knows where he's actually buried. 

This is the grave of Captain William Squires. In 1885 his boat ran aground on Fire Island. He told his crew, "Put as many clothes on as you can, and climb up the rigging." They then tied themselves up to the rigging so they wouldn't fall into the water. They ended up freezing to death. Captain Squires' body was found in Hampton Bays, his hometown. They erected a gravestone for him there, as well as in Southold where he owned a house. No one knows where he's actually buried. 

A box tomb with most of the epitaph eroded away

A box tomb with most of the epitaph eroded away

A restored box tomb of a priest of the church

A restored box tomb of a priest of the church

Mrs. Butkovich explaining the directions for grave rubbing

Mrs. Butkovich explaining the directions for grave rubbing

Anna was excited to find a family name of Tuthill in the cemetery  

Anna was excited to find a family name of Tuthill in the cemetery  

Madeline found a beautiful granite headstone

Madeline found a beautiful granite headstone

Joe chose to do a rubbing of a floral portion of this large monument  

Joe chose to do a rubbing of a floral portion of this large monument  

I even tried one! My headstone was older, covered in lichen, which made it difficult to get a clear rubbing, 

I even tried one! My headstone was older, covered in lichen, which made it difficult to get a clear rubbing, 

We had a great time, as always! (Oh, Anna!) 

We had a great time, as always! (Oh, Anna!) 

OVER the River, and THROUGH the Woods

There was excitement IN the air- literally-IN my 4th, 5th, and 6th grade ELA class. The students learned all about PREPOSITIONS and PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES. After an interactive Smartboard lesson, and whole-group practice, we listened to the song Over the River and Through the Wood  and found 39 prepositional phrases! 

Next, the students were given instructions to build a paper airplane and throw it- yes- we flew paper planes IN class!     

 

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Henry: "My plane landed NEXT to the door." 

Anna: "My plane landed ON the freshly waxed floor." 

Madeline: "The plane landed NEXT to the chair,   and ON the carpet."  

Joseph: "My plane flew THROUGH the chair." 

A Medieval of a Time in my Classroom Today!

We are just wrapping up our Social Studies unit on Growth and Change in Europe, specifically the Medieval Times and the Renaissance period.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, Western Europe changed with Feudalism, the Crusades, and the Era of Reformation. 

Mr. Barisic, my student Joe's father, brought us part of his collection of artifacts and replicas of weapons used during the Middle Ages. Between his father's and his own collection, Mr. Barisic has an amazing display with unique stories behind each.  

 

Joe wearing the Medieval helmet

Joe wearing the Medieval helmet

The Medieval helmet, worn for protection, in the photo above, weighs about eight pounds. It used to be less decorative, but as time went on, intimidation factors, such as the spikes and horse hair were added for effect.  

 

Top: Morning Star.     Bottom two: Various maces

Top: Morning Star.     Bottom two: Various maces

The top weapon in the photo above is an actual morning star, not a replica. Each "star" weighs about two pounds, and was used by spinning in the air before striking.

The bottom two weapons are replicas of maces. Weapons with anything on the end of it were considered to be a mace. 

 

Swords in cases

Swords in cases

The top sword in the photo is a replica of a Short Sword. Typically, a fighter would carry two short swords on his belt and use both in battle. 

The bottom is a Hacking Sword. It belonged the Joe's grandfather and is an actual sword that was used in battle. The sword is very flexible, and is dated back to the 1300s.  

 


Robbie with Joe and his dad

Robbie with Joe and his dad

Actually seeing and feeling the weight of these Medieval items allowed the students and I to get a real sense of war-time efforts during this era. It was hard to imagine fighting a gruesome battle while wearing an eight pound helmet while attacking and defending with weapons equally as heavy! 

Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday during Book Buddies we had a great time reading a collection of books that were all about a mother's love. 

 

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Within each reading group, the students took turns reading a book of their choice, and were asked to think about the author's message. Here's what they had to say: 

 

I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rosetti-Shustak "Moms love everything about their babies!"  

I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rosetti-Shustak

"Moms love everything about their babies!"  

"Mom will always do things with you." 

"Mom will always do things with you." 

If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond "Moms want to keep their kids little and always be with them, but they could miss all the things they could do alone."

If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond

"Moms want to keep their kids little and always be with them, but they could miss all the things they could do alone."

Mama, How Long Will You Love Me? by Anna Pignataro "Your mama will always love you no matter what!" 

Mama, How Long Will You Love Me? by Anna Pignataro

"Your mama will always love you no matter what!" 

Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You  by Nancy Tillman "Moms love and care about you. You will never feel alone if you keep your mom in your heart." 

Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You  by Nancy Tillman

"Moms love and care about you. You will never feel alone if you keep your mom in your heart." 

You're All My Favorites by Sam McBratney "Moms love you no matter what. Moms love you and you siblings in different ways." 

You're All My Favorites by Sam McBratney

"Moms love you no matter what. Moms love you and you siblings in different ways." 

Don't you just love these kids? I do, and that's because of all of your hard work, Moms! Thank you!  

Put Yourself in Someone Else's Shoes

Today was an amazing day here at NSS. Doreen Handzschel from SCOPE Education Services delivered two wonderful workshops to our students. 

I was lucky to participate in the upper intermediate's workshop.  Mrs. Handzschel gave us some food for thought: really think about how we would feel if roles were reversed. Her presentation on empathy taught us that what is inside is more important that the outside, and the most important thing about us is our character. We all are a treasure box, and no matter how ornate and beautiful the outside is, it's the inside that truly matters- our character helps us make decisions and allows us to live a happy life. 

Mrs. Handzschel helped us recognize that we are a treasure- if we value ourselves, if we learn from our mistakes, and we gain mental strength, then we can have empathy for others. 

Finding talent in ourselves and giving ourselves positive self-talks promotes our confidence. Being confident can allow ourselves to be peacemakers in our community. A peacemaker doesn't put people down, believes in themselves, and truly attempts to make their world a better place.

It takes much more thinking power to speak in a positive tone. Remember the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"?  That's incorrect. Words hurt.  Mrs. Handzschel gave us great advice, just in case we were ever in a situation when words hurt our hearts: take deep breaths through your nose, and exhale out your mouth. Squeeze something, or stretch your body. It is healthy and natural to feel emotional, and maybe cry due to stress chemicals. 

Below are some photos of her presentation, with active participation from the students through role-playing.   

 

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The Best Part of Me!

We loved reading the poems from Wendy Ewald's book, The Best Part of Me. This book combines black-and-white illustrations with real children's words describing what they love most about their bodies. It makes for a fun, insightful read and never fails to get kids talking and writing about the best part of themselves.

 

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Historical Fiction Study

Throughout  the month of November, grades three and four were immersed in Historical Fiction literature pertaining to our social studies topic of Colonial New York. Each student read a novel whose main idea was focused on some aspect of life, whether it be a colonist's journey to the New World, settling down in a new location, or intertwining their lives with those of the Native Americans who were already established here. 

The students then refurbished cereal boxes, and found a creative way to exhibit their novels and that time period.   

 

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Book Buddies

About once a week, grades PreK through Second join the intermediate students for Book Buddies. The Book Buddies program joins children of different ages to encourage an interest in reading while building critical reading skills. 

 

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National Literacy Week

National Family Literacy Day, celebrated across the U.S., focuses on special activities and events that showcase the importance of family literacy programs.  First held in 1994, the annual event is officially celebrated on November 1, but we decided to celebrate all week!  

 

Grammy Cooper visited Robbie and his peers to read a spooky Halloween book. 

Grammy Cooper visited Robbie and his peers to read a spooky Halloween book. 

Ms. Carr visited Aulis and shared a fun, creative story starter jar. We had a lot of laughs! 

Ms. Carr visited Aulis and shared a fun, creative story starter jar. We had a lot of laughs! 

We also enjoyed a story Ms. Carr chose that was illustrated by one of her favorite illustrators!  

We also enjoyed a story Ms. Carr chose that was illustrated by one of her favorite illustrators!  

Anna's Aunt Laura read a story to the class that her own daughter loved, and when she grew up she passed to book on to Anna! 

Anna's Aunt Laura read a story to the class that her own daughter loved, and when she grew up she passed to book on to Anna! 

Mr. Barisic taught us about amphoras, a large container for liquid that was used in Ancient Rome.  

Mr. Barisic taught us about amphoras, a large container for liquid that was used in Ancient Rome.  

Mr. B also brought in an actual ancient Incan calendar! We researched the calendar's history and unique markings. 

Mr. B also brought in an actual ancient Incan calendar! We researched the calendar's history and unique markings. 

Henry's grandma came in and shared her knowledge of art history, and brought in watercolor paints for everyone! 

Henry's grandma came in and shared her knowledge of art history, and brought in watercolor paints for everyone! 

Adventures with Flat Stanley

English Language Arts has been quite adventurous this year! The students in grades 3-6 have been working so hard, they deserved a little extra fun. We read The Adventures of Flat Stanley, which is about a boy who was accidentally flattened by a bulletin board.   Rather  than dwelling on the negative, he decided to make lemons out of lemonade!

So we decided it would be hilarious to create a unique Stanley for each of us, and ship him off to a family member. But first, everyone needed to know how to properly mail their Flat Stanleys. We drafted up a letter that would be sent to a family member along with Stanley.  We practiced the format for writing friendly letters, and nearly perfected our handwriting and typing skills!

 

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After designing our special Stanleys, we walked to the post office to send them on their way! 

 

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New Suffolk's post master, Homer, was so excited to see us! He helped each student with paying for their stamps, and mailing them. 

 

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Now, all we had to do was wait! The students made wild predictions as to what their Stanleys were doing with their loved ones. But nothing was more exciting for Mrs. Pollina than seeing each students' face when the mail arrived and Mrs. Gizzo brought in their returned Flat Stanley! 

 

Robbie's Stanley had a wilderness adventure in Pennsylvania with his Uncle Tim. 

Robbie's Stanley had a wilderness adventure in Pennsylvania with his Uncle Tim. 

Aulis' Stanley had a very busy schedule with her grandma in Canada! 

Aulis' Stanley had a very busy schedule with her grandma in Canada! 

Anna's Stanley relaxed amongst nature with her Aunt Rose in Pennsylvania. 

Anna's Stanley relaxed amongst nature with her Aunt Rose in Pennsylvania. 

Henry's Auntie Mary Lou put Stanley to work in Maryland! 

Henry's Auntie Mary Lou put Stanley to work in Maryland! 

Joe's Uncle Coco showed Stanley the amazing sights in Peru! 

Joe's Uncle Coco showed Stanley the amazing sights in Peru! 

Social studies has officially begun!

Grades 3 and 4 will be studying the history of New York State this year.   We have began our unit with learning about the elements of culture within the Algonquian and Iroquios tribes.  One aspect of their culture we focused on was their farming, specifically the Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash.

The Three Sisters were planted in a uniform manner: the corn was planted first, given time to grow tall. Next, the beans were planted around the base of the corn, allowing the vines to grow up and around the corn stalk, eliminating the need for a bean pole. Lastly, the squash was planted around the first two plants. This allowed the large leaves of the squash plant to shade the soil, maintaining the moisture, and keep weeds at a minimum. 

There were multiple uses of these vegetables, but of course their main purpose was to provide food! The students and I took this opportunity to create a practical meal that the Native American farmers would prepare: Three Sister's Soup!  Click the link below to get he recipe!

http://app.cookeatshare.com/recipes/three-sisters-soup-beans-corn-and-squash-soup-with-crock-pot-option-609653#CES

Our ingredients  

Our ingredients  

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Delicious! 

Delicious! 

Biography in a Bag!

The primary students had a blast celebrating famous people from history. They were able to identify their rise to fame, honorable events in their life, and major contributions. 

For a closing activity, the students had to choose one person from their own lives to interview, and gather materials that best represent that person.  

 

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Literary Character Dress Up Day!

In honor of the students' hard work reading and raising money for The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital' StoryQuest fundraiser, we all had a blast becoming a character that we've read about! 

 

Floor: Lizzie the Lizard from The Magic School Bus Standing: Ladybug Girl, Tom Sawyer, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson

Floor: Lizzie the Lizard from The Magic School Bus

Standing: Ladybug Girl, Tom Sawyer, Harry Potter, and Percy Jackson

Left to right: Chance McCain from Lego City, Diary of a Wimpy Kid's Greg, Curious George, Fly Guy, Madeline, and Andrea from Big Apple Barn

Left to right: Chance McCain from Lego City, Diary of a Wimpy Kid's Greg, Curious George, Fly Guy, Madeline, and Andrea from Big Apple Barn

L to R: Jonny as a Baseball character, Casey at the Bat, Fancy Nacy, Thing 1, and Junie B. Jones

L to R: Jonny as a Baseball character, Casey at the Bat, Fancy Nacy, Thing 1, and Junie B. Jones

Mrs. Mauro is Pinkalicious! 

Mrs. Mauro is Pinkalicious! 

Mrs. Costello is Professor Dumbledor from Harry Potter

Mrs. Costello is Professor Dumbledor from Harry Potter

Miss Frizzle!, aka Mrs. Campbell 

Miss Frizzle!, aka Mrs. Campbell 

Mrs. Gizzo, I mean Alexander, is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Mrs. Gizzo, I mean Alexander, is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

And I am the Giving Tree! 

And I am the Giving Tree! 

Biography Genre Study

Second, third, and fourth grade students have been busy studying Biographies for a few weeks in class and independently. They've learned that biographies tell of a person's life and achievements. It can open a reader's eyes and heart to people who make a difference. 

 

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Our class studied Helen Keller together and created this web of her life. My fantastic intern, Miss Kluko, helped design and create this amazing visual! 

 

Anna studied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anna studied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Joe studied Milton Hershey

Joe studied Milton Hershey

...and even brought us all a sweet treat! 

...and even brought us all a sweet treat! 

Jacob studied Mark McGwire

Jacob studied Mark McGwire

Henry learned about Vince Carter

Henry learned about Vince Carter

Aulis studied George Washington

Aulis studied George Washington

iMovie Animal Research

Putting a new technological twist on presenting research findings!

The 5th and 6th graders completed a unit of study on informational text and showed great interest in the subject of focus: endangered species. Each student sifted through a plethora of animals to choose from and focused on one specific animal to study. 

Step one: learn the facts. Step two: take action. Step three: wow your audience.  

One of our 6th graders thought creating an iMovie would be an entertaining  way to present their findings. Since receiving their iPads, the students have created so many exciting things! I said, "Sure, why not?" Well...boy, was I impressed! Between photos, voice overs, and background music, they were nothing short of a Discovery Channel documentary!

The Red Panda

The Red Panda

The Red Panda 


The Bowhead whale 

The Bowhead whale 

The Marine Iguana  

The Marine Iguana  

The Amur Leopard 

The Amur Leopard 

The Vaquita

The Vaquita

Patrick, our super-savvy tech teacher who made this all possible!

Patrick, our super-savvy tech teacher who made this all possible!

Eve Bunting Author Study

Eve Bunting is a fascinating author. We've learned a lot about her as a person and why she writes a wide variety of genres.

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After reading her biography, and watching a "Prezi" (a more modern PowerPoint), we've learned that she likes to teach people while they read her books. Many of her stories are based on her personal experiences. Most of all, Eve Bunting's passionate voice shines through her words.

Each day we read a book, decided on its genre, discussed her possible purposes for writing it, and wrote a summary. The following books were a few of our favorites:

 

About a boy and his father living in an airport.

About a boy and his father living in an airport.

A child recollects her time spent with her grandfather while explaining the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

A child recollects her time spent with her grandfather while explaining the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

A historical fiction book about an orphan train.

A historical fiction book about an orphan train.

A Hannukha story whose characters reflect on their experiences during the Holocaust

A Hannukha story whose characters reflect on their experiences during the Holocaust

This sad story had me crying in class! A young girl learns to understand her emotions after dealing with loss.

This sad story had me crying in class! A young girl learns to understand her emotions after dealing with loss.

We completed the unit by reading The Night Tree, which focuses on tradition. A family honors nature during the holidays each year while enjoying each other. So, we decided to do the same! 

 

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