We had a terrific first week in our classroom! We said hello to new and returning friends, and welcomed everyone with a smile!
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.
We had a terrific first week in our classroom! We said hello to new and returning friends, and welcomed everyone with a smile!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Yesterday during Book Buddies we had a great time reading a collection of books that were all about a mother's love.
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:
Don't you just love these kids? I do, and that's because of all of your hard work, Moms! Thank you!
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.
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.
The students were pumped to participate in the Bucket-Filling experience!
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.
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.
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!
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!
After designing our special Stanleys, we walked to the post office to send them on their way!
New Suffolk's post master, Homer, was so excited to see us! He helped each student with paying for their stamps, and mailing them.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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:
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!