L e vi t tow n Pu bli c Sc ho ol s
Gardiners Avenue School Newsletter
610 Gardiners Ave
Levittown, NY
Dear Parents,
General MusicInstrumental /Chorus
Physical Education
The spooks have left our school
and our community as we move on to
the month of November. Some dates to
remember for this coming month are
Parent/Teacher Conferences on November 20th (2:00-8:00) and November
21st (1:00-3:30). If you have not signed
up for a conference as yet, please do so.
Student Progress Reports will be available on the portal on November 19th for
parents. Grade Two classes will be visiting the library this month and Grade
Four classes will make an informative
trip to the Roller Rink as part of the
Science STEM Curriculum. The Harlem
Wizards will be visiting all lunch periods
on November 17th – quite a treat for
our students (P.S. It’s a surprise!!). We
recently held our Student Council elections and the results should be available
shortly. Gary Hudes was here to host
our kick-off assembly. We are so very
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Back Page News
From Ms. Hendler’s Desk...
Principal’s Message
First Grade
proud of all the children that ran for office!
As Councilman Hudes told them, you either
win or “miss”. If you “miss” you can always
try again. Ms. Madigan is our Student
Council Advisor this year.
Please take a moment and look
over the Building Readers publication sent
home monthly (It’s on the website as well!).
There are many suggestions and activities I
am sure your children will enjoy and benefit
from. Finally, please remember the students will continue to go outside at recess if
weather permits, make sure they have appropriate outerwear as the weather is
about to get colder very quickly.
We look forward to Thanksgiving
and the joy of friends and family it brings.
May I wish you all a wonderful day with
great food and fun!
With my best regards,
Susan Hendler
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General Music/Instrumental Music/Chorus—
Mr. E. Martinez, Mrs. L. Koski
Dr. Martinez: Vocal and
Instrumental Music—
This month in Dr. M’s
music class, students were introduced to minor scales. The students learned that a minor scale
can be built by lowering the 3rd,
6th, and 7th notes of a major
scale. We explored lots of contrasting major and minor pieces,
including several minor selections for Halloween (Goblins and
Alleycats, Five Little Pumpkins, The
Thing That Isn’t There, and Halloween Is Coming Soon). We also explored minor songs further by
examining the theme from “In
the Hall of the Mountain King”
by Edvard Grieg and “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns.
Grade Chorus
Our beginning brass and
woodwind players are busy
working on their sounds! We’ve
been discussing the importance
of long, steady notes and tonguing. Percussionists have been
working on bounces and reading
music on the snare drum, bass
drum, and bells. Our instrumental students have received their
“band karate” ranking (beginners
start at white belt).
Our Band members and 5th
Grade Chorus members have been
hard at work on their concert selections, which feature musical
challenges including multiple harmonies and layers. The concert
selections (and the band karate
list) can be found on Dr. M’s web
Poulos’ fourth graders have been
doing solo singing with our Christopher Columbus and Scarecrow in
the Garden songs and games.
They have been reading, writing,
and performing rhythms with
quarter notes, quarter rests, and
eighth notes, with Mama Caught
a Flea!
Third & Fourth Grade
Chorus began rehearsals in October. We practice each week
before school at 8:15 a.m., preparing for the Winter Concert
that will be coming up in January! The students are working
on four concert selections, in
four different styles of music!
s i t e
a t
h t t p : / /
Mrs. Koski: General Music
and Strings
In October the kindergarten classes sang and read the book
The Wheels on the Bus, and then
changed the sound to “minor” to
make a spooky Halloween version!
The first grade classes played a
passing game with Pumpkin, Pumpkin, keeping a steady beat on their
laps and on the xylophone! Ms.
Lynch’s and Ms. Phelan’s second
graders read and performed quarter note and eighth note patterns
with Go Around the Corn, Sally.
Then they used their rhythm reading skills to solve the “secret message” in the “pumpkin patch”! Ms.
The beginner string players are learning correct playing
position and are starting to play
the first parts of Twinkle, Twinkle,
Little Star by plucking the
strings—“pizzicato”. They have
also started the “bow hold” on a
Orchestra rehearsals
have begun for the continuing
string students—Tuesdays before school. We are working on
three pieces to perform for the
Winter Concert in January, reviewing good playing position,
scales, and learning to follow a
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Physical Education—Ms. R. Casey, Ms. Paprocky
All classes participated in a
physical fitness unit. Grades K-5
learned about the components of
fitness and performed various
skills and exercises at different
stations throughout the gym. All
classes also played tail tag / flag
tag. This is a team game where
everyone is divided up into 6
color teams and they use quickness, agility and spatial / body
awareness to navigate around the
gym trying to get the flags from
the other color team members.
Lastly, to finish out the month,
grades 4&5 learned some football
skills and played ultimate football
and grades K-3 played beanbag
Trench Ball.
slide - a moving, sliding & fleeing
K-2 Students have been
developing their basic ball skillstossing, catching, throwing,
bouncing, throwing to a target
and to a partner. Students practiced individually with a ball and
have progressed to low organized
Lead Up group games such as
Gorman Ball, Fill It Up and
After two units of skills
(Soccer and Physical Fitness), the
3-5 students have been enjoying
some fun Group Games such as
Trench Ball, Steal the Pin, Gorman Ball and Poison. Poison is a
cooperative game involving problem solving and teamwork. Students must attempt to move
their entire team from one end
of the gym to the other using
only a few pieces of equipment
and they are not allowed to
touch the gym floor. A lot of
creative and cooperative movements and ideas have evolved!
Reading – Ms. K. Quinlan, Ms. M. Aramini, Ms. M. Sullivan, Ms. J. Montoro
Ms. B. Goldstein, Ms. M. Eagle, Ms. W. Briller
Our reading program is in
full-swing here at Gardiners. Students and teachers are settling in
to the new literacy block rotations and are hard at work! Students in second grade were getting ready for Halloween by reading Diary of a Spider. To better
understand the story the children
utilized reading comprehension
strategy Cause and Effect. Specifically, students were reading
closely to determine how one
event in a story can lead to another.
They were also able to
take a trip to the “Haunted Library” to practice that skill with
other spooky tales!
Students in Grade 3 were
also in the Halloween spirit while
reading about bats in the Narrative Fiction text Bat Loves the
Night. During and after reading
the students focused on sequence of events. Within small
reading groups students then
read connected texts like poetry
and informational text. A Bat is
Born and Chased by a Bat are different genres of text about the
same topic. This gave students
another opportunity to learn
about bats using other forms of
literature. Though Halloween
may come and go Gardiners
Avenue students’ love of reading
is here to stay!
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Speech-Language Therapy—Ms. S. Weller, Ms. J. Whitcomb
This month in speechlanguage therapy we welcomed
autumn with various poems, stories, and seasonal games. Our
speech and language students had
the opportunity to celebrate Halloween with numerous activities
such as: crossword puzzles, word
searches, problem-solving worksheets, and holiday games. Our
younger students have been busy
identifying and describing seasonal
vocabulary pictures. They have
enjoyed playing Bingo, Memory Our
older students have foMatch and Tic-Tac-Toe with Hal- cused on improving their listening
loween and fall vocabulary words. comprehension and vocabulary
skills using language games, seasonal books and worksheets from
Vocabulary to Go, 100% Curriculum Vocabulary, Listening for Vocabulary and Category Cut-Ups.
Communication skills were also
addressed in therapy by utilizing
barrier games, role-playing scenarios, and cause and effect problem-solving stories.
Art—Ms. K. Fuoco
Fall Leaf Watercolors
Grades K-5
Students trace 7 to 9 leaves on
the 12 x 18 white paper. Using the
watercolor markers outline with a
thick line the inside of each leaf.
Stress a THICK line. When all
leaves are colored in, dip the
brush into water and spread over
the water colored marker line.
The marker will spread and create
different values. I like to ask the
students to go from light to dark.
The lightest color is in the center
of the leaf. Continue to finish all
leaves. Spread the color into the
background around the leaves. Let
dry. When dry cut away some
the outside border of the 12x18
leaf watercolor. This creates an
irregular line around the whole
picture. Glue down on construction paper.
Hooty Owl
Grades 3-5
This art project uses several pattern pieces, and students will
have to think about the task as
they progress. They need to arrange the cut pieces and trim as
needed before pasting. Students
place their hands on brown paper, trace, cut, and glue onto the
owl to create its wings.
Lunch Bag Pumpkins
Grades K-5
Students color or paint the bag
orange leaving the top 1 -2
inches of the bag brown. Color
or paint a jack-o-lantern face on
the bag if you want (we used
stencils of jack-o-lantern faces
and sponged black paint on). Cut
leaf shapes out of the green felt.
Cut the pipe cleaner in half.
Next, stuff the bag with newspaper and twist the top together
with half of the green pipe
cleaner, twist in the bottom part
of a felt leaf to hold it in place.
Twist the other half of the pipe
cleaner around a crayon or pencil to form a curly vine and attach the end to the green pipe
cleaner wrapped around the bag.
You can make a whole pumpkin
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Kindergarten—Ms. J. Margolis, Ms. M. Boneillo, Ms. J. Minogue,
Ms.V. Netti, Ms. J. Zayas
The Kindergarten students
have been immersed in all things
“Fall”! We have been learning
about our five senses in reading
and science. The children really
got a chance to use their senses
with a trip to the pumpkin farm.
There were so many beautiful fall
sights, smells, sounds, touches and
even tastes! We were able to sounds. They are blending onsets
also incorporate fall writing for and rimes as well. In whole group
our hall bulletin boards.
instruction, the children are using
comprehension skills to better
understand stories.
The children have begun their reading
groups/doses and literary centers
according to the AIMS web data.
Along with our interventionist,
some groups are being seen three
times a day.
We have our Journeys
reading program in full operation
in all classes. The children are up
to five sight words and three
Our Scholastic News is
used as a type of current events.
The children learned about early
explorers including Christopher
Columbus. The Scholastic News
is even Smartboard capable!
The children learned
about standing up for their
friends and being kind to each
other during L.E.A.D.D. week.
We were treated to a wonderful
presentation on the topic of bullying.
Each day the children
dressed according to the theme
of the day with the overall theme
being respect yourself and others.
The children have developed a love for math using the
Envisions program in conjunction
with the Smartboard. The kindergarteners already have an understanding of technology!
First Grade—Ms. P. Caputo, Ms. J. Donnelly, Ms. M. Bergersen,
Dr. M. Nakelski, Ms. C. Tripp
October has been a busy
and exciting month for the first
grade students. In Journeys this
month the first graders have
worked diligently on lessons 4,
5, 6, and 7. They have built their
decoding skills through phonics
activities and decodable readers.
Our first graders have worked
on spelling words with short
vowel sounds. The students have
continued to learn about Narrative
writing. They have enhanced their
vocabulary by listening to and reading stories in the genres of fantasy,
fables, and informational texts. Informational texts were used to gain
new information about communities.
In grammar, the children
learned about nouns, action verbs
and adjectives.
The students
worked to enhance their writing
with adjectives describing size
and shape. Students created adjectives to describe personally
created Frankenstein monsters
which helped to decorate the
classrooms for Halloween. The
children have studied different
comprehension strategies such as
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First Grade—continued
word attack skills. We are focusing on comprehension and the
writing process as well. Students
celebrated LEADD and Get-aVoice by “Harvesting Good Behaviors,” and attending an AntiBullying Assembly. Students
text and graphic features, story
elements and author’s word
choice. In phonics, the students
have continued work with consonants and have worked with
short vowels e and o. They practiced blending sounds and decoding words as well as looked at
beginning and ending sounds.
Our first graders have worked wrote about ways to behave well,
very hard on their Reading Lan- and use power phrases to support their friends when they are
guage Arts skills this month.
faced with a bullying situation.
In math the children are
mastering addition and subtraction. They are continuing to use
the ten-frame to compare and
find missing parts in word problems. Students are enjoying math
center time to help reinforce
math concepts taught.
We continue to read and
write in small groups during centers. The children are becoming
independent readers, mastering
Our school celebrated
Fire Prevention month with our
annual assembly presented by the
Wantagh Fire Department. In addition, students created posters
for the poster contest and wrote
safety rules in their journals. Children discussed safety plans at
home with their families and
were reminded to replace batteries in smoke alarms for fire prevention.
Students wrote about
themselves and took a “selfie”
picture to create a bulletin board
displaying riddles and glues for
others to “guess who?” the students were. The children had a
wonderful time reflecting on
clever clues (adjectives) to put in
complete sentences to describe
In addition, the children
read and discussed many books
about the special holiday that we
celebrate in October – Halloween. The children marched in the
annual Gardiners Avenue School
Parade and enjoyed classroom
parties. We continue to encourage our students to put forth
their best efforts.
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Second Grade—Ms. J. Schadt, Ms. T. Lynch, Ms. E. Cariddi,
Ms. S. Phelan, Ms. S. Bartlein
As the leaves start their
metamorphosis, so do our second
graders. They are beginning to
turn into excellent critical thinkers
and detectives. The children are
using text-based evidence to analyze the text being read. The students are using target strategies
such as questioning, text and
graphic features, predictions, and
cause and effect.
In math students used
addition and subtraction within
100 to solve one- and two-step
word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from,
putting together, taking apart,
and comparing with unknowns
in all positions. The children
used drawings and equations
with a symbol for the unknown
number to represent the problem.
They are learning how to explore
their world.
The extracurricular activities provided by our school included an anti-bullying assembly,
LEADD week activities, and a fire
safety program. The children are
learning how to make responsible, safe choices.
The children have been
learning about the world where
we live in social studies. The
children are learning about maps
and globes using actual maps and
globes to locate key places.
Third Grade—Ms. D. Dunn, Ms. T.Vining, Ms. D. Furlong,
Ms. N. Alt, Ms. P. Porr, Ms. M. Madigan
Fall is here! To kick off
the month of October, we had
our annual visit from the Wantagh Fire Department. In addition to an informational assembly on Fire Safety, and an informative video, our students had
the opportunity to practice the
safety techniques in a real smoke
house. What an enjoyable experience for the children!
As part of our Journeys
Common Core reading program,
our students honed their reading
and writing skills while reading a
variety of genres (paired with
nonfiction) including realistic fiction, historical fiction, biography,
poetry, and narrative nonfiction.
Students investigated the following essential questions; “Why is
volunteering good for a community and its people?”, “Why is
everyone’s role on a project im-
portant?”, “What are the traits
of a hero?”, and “What makes
bats interesting and useful?” The
children were introduced to
“close reads” as well as using the
RAP strategy (Read, Ask Questions, Paraphrase) in order to get
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Third Grade—continued
the gist of a higher level reading
passage. Students began using
RADD (Restate, Answer, Detail,
Detail) to organize their constructed responses to literature.
We look forward to working on
more extended writing pieces
that will use text evidence support their ideas.
Need help estimating?
Just ask a third grader! In Topics
2 and 3 of our Envision Math program, students learned to round
numbers to the tens, hundreds,
and thousands place. Students
applied these skills to everyday
life situations while problem solving. Students also learned how
to add and subtract three digit
numbers, including subtracting
across zeros. Students used estimating to check if their answers
were reasonable.
In Social Studies, students
completed their study of maps
and globes. As the month comes
to an end, students are excited
for our school’s Halloween parade and class parties.
Fourth Grade—Ms. B. Meltzer, Ms. A. Poulos, Ms. K. Ulmschneider,
Ms. J. O’Connell, Ms. C. Penna, Ms. D. Dunleavy
O-Our fourth grade students
were engaged in reading and analyzing higher level text. Stories
read included Stormalong by
Mary Pope Osborne and Invasion
from Mars: A Radio Play by Howard Koch. The skills and strategies focused on were understanding characters, story structure,
making predictions, and inferencing.
C- Common Core Envision math
topics studied included addition
and subtraction of whole numbers, place value, ordering numbers, and rounding whole numbers. Students practiced solving
daily word problems.
T-The geography of New York
has been explored this month.
Landforms, climate, mountains,
and the waters of New York
were discussed and different
locations were visited on maps
thanks to our Smart Boards.
O-Our classes enjoyed learning
about science topics such as
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Fourth Grade—Ms. B. Meltzer, Ms. A. Poulos, Ms. K. Ulmschneider,
Ms. J. O’Connell, Ms. C. Penna, Ms. D. Dunleavy
Animal and Plant Life Cycles and
B-By the way, the students wrote
Halloween stories and poems. In
addition, the students began writing a book recommendation about
their favorite book.
E-Every class celebrated Halloween by walking in the annual Halloween Parade.
R-Remember that October was
Fire Safety Month. The Wantagh
Fire Department visited our
school and the fourth graders
experienced the “Smoke
House”. One fire safety tip that
the students will always remember: “Get Low, and Go!”
Fifth Grade—Ms. A. Fermature, Ms. N. Corron, Mr. J. Centonze
In October, fifth grade students studied the maps, globes,
and geographical regions of the
United States. Students also explored the first Americans and the
effects farming had on the native
cultures of the Western Hemi-
sphere. Students viewed content
area videos through Discovery
Education, examined content
through collaborative case studies
and analyzed the Paleo-Indians
through close readings. Fifth graders participated in student council
class primary elections by electing
candidates to run for office
(President, Vice President and
Class Senators) on Gardiners
Avenue School’s Student Council.
Third, fourth, and fifth grade students listened to campaign
speeches and will participate in
the voting process on November
3, 2014.
The study of crayfish was
the focus of the science curriculum throughout October. Students applied the scientific process as they differentiated between humane and inhumane
treatment of living things. The
children also examined and re-
corded acquired and inherited
traits, and observed crayfish
senses, behavior, and respiration. Additionally, students experimented to test what foods
crayfish would eat.
In literacy, the reading
comprehension skills and
strategies, vocabulary, grammar, and writing have been emphasized through the use of the
Journey’s textbook, workbook,
guided reading books, and related writing assignments. Identifying the main idea, finding
supporting details, making inferences, comparing/
contrasting, and sequencing
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Fifth Grade—continued
were applied and reinforced using
the additional Common Core
resources Time for Kids and Storyworks. Writing assignments included Journey’s extended responses, sensory detail essays
about autumn, and Halloween
In math, students studied
multiplication by estimating
products by multiplying rounded
factors and compatible numbers.
Fifth grade students expanded
their operation skills by explor-
ing and applying the distributive
property of multiplication to find
and analyze partial products of
multiplication. Students also applied mathematical concepts by
solving word problems within
each topic area.
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Gardiners gazette
Articles written by and for our students
I Don’t Like It When ……
by Felicia Xenios - Grade 4
I don’t like it when my brother does not let me play on his Xbox 360. Every time I want to play
with my brother on his Xbox 360, he is always busy playing with his friends. He only wants to play with
me if they are not online. This hurts my feelings because I feel he likes his friends more than me.
So I decided to tell my brother he hurts my feelings when he
plays with his friends before me. When I told him, he said he loves
me and did not mean to hurt my feelings. He said he had an idea how
not to hurt my feelings anymore. His idea was to play with me when
his friends were not on Xbox live. If his friends come and ask him to
join their game, he will ask me if we could continue our game later.
I am glad I told my brother I don’t like it when he does not let
me play on his Xbox 360. Now he lets me play with him, and he also
lets me play by myself. He even played an Xbox 360 game with me
and talked to his friends on Xbox live. I am glad that I told my brother
I don’t like it when he does not play his Xbox 360.
So, if someone in your family does something you don’t like,
you should tell that person what he or she is doing that hurts your
feelings. Whoever it is probably doesn’t know that are your feelings
are hurt, and will want to fix the problem.
If Three Hundred Mice Got Out of Their Cages I Would....
By Brianna Rotondo - Grade 3
If three hundred mice got out of their
cages I would get a lot of boxes and fill them up
with cheese, because mice LOVE cheese.
Then the mice would get into the boxes. I
would then feed a couple of mice to the snakes
if it was time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The other boxes of mice would stay alive. I
would return them to their cages. I would
make sure the mice could not escape from
their cages again! That is what I would do if
three hundred mice got out of their cages at
the pet store where I worked.
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Gardiners gazette
Something That
Gives Me Comfort
By Vincent D’Antone –
Grade 5
A Furry Crab?
By Ryan Fox - Grade 4
Did you know that the Yeti Crab is the only crab in the world
that is white and furry? Yes, I said furry. This distant relative of the hermit crab has silky blond setae that grow on its arms and legs. The setae
feels bristly and looks like fur. The crab was discovered in 2005, the year
after I was born, and given the scientific name “Kiwi hursuta.”
The Yeti Crab was discovered along hydrothermal vents in the
midnight zone of the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica. Did you know that
the midnight zone is actually the biggest part of the ocean? Some people
think it’s the smallest zone because it’s at the bottom of the ocean. Scientists believe there are many species of animals in the midnight zone
that have not been discovered yet. The midnight zone has hydrothermal
vents that make the water hot. Hydrothermal vents are cracks in the
ocean floor where water, that has been heated by hot melted rock from
inside the earth, spew like a hot spring.
Something that gives
me comfort is ice cream because it makes me feel good.
One time, I was worried
about a big test and I didn’t
think anything would make
me feel better. My mom
suggested having ice cream,
and I said yes. I put a lot of
toppings on it, like sprinkles,
chocolate chips, chocolate
whipped cream and the best
of all, cherries (lots of cherries). After I had it, I felt
much better. The next day,
I got a good grade on my
test. Ice cream gave me
comfort and helped me not
to worry.
The Yeti Crab is blind because it has spent its whole life on the
ocean floor. There is no light in the midnight zone and the crab’s eyes do
not develop. Scientists believe one of the functions of the setae is for
the crab to feel or sense their surroundings because they can’t see.
The setae, or fur, on the Yeti Crab’s arms and legs catches bacteria and
is eaten by the crab. The bacteria can be stored in its fur and eaten later.
The bacteria can also change the toxic chemicals from the hydrothermal
vents into sugar and that is food for some animals. The Yeti Crab also
eats shrimp, mussels and algae.
The Yeti Crab
is one of the most peculiar crustaceans in
the world, and since its
discovery is so recent,
scientists are still collecting information
about this unusual species.
www.factzoo.com and
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Gardiners gazette
My Favorite Sport
By Billy Krejci - Grade 3
My favorite sport is baseball because of the rules. The first rule is the visiting team always bats
first. The rules are if you swing and you miss the ball you get a strike,
and three strikes, you're out! If you have four balls, you get a walk to
first base. Another rule is if you get tagged before you get to the base,
you are out! After three outs it's the end o fyour inning, even though
you have nine people on your team. There are nine innings, but sometimes if you're tied, you can have more than nine innings, until someone
scores. A homerun is when you hit the ball straight into the stands. A
grand slam is when there are three people on base and someone hits a
homerun. This equals four runs.
My favorite position is first base. I like that I can tag people out.
I also enjoy that if you have a hit or walk you can go to first base.
When I was on my baseball team and I played first base I got a lot of
people out.
If you're on a baseball team, you should be in uniform. It is also
important to wear something to protect you, like a helmet. The best
place to play baseball is outside on a field. The baseball fans can watch
you play from the stands. Those are all the things I like about baseball.
The Pledge
On Thursday, October 24th, the Gardiners Avenue P.T.A. sponsored a highly motivating assembly to
the entire student body called The Pledge. The central
message of this program was to value others and
stressed the importance of students working together to
make a positive difference in the world through their
words, actions and attitude. The program also challenged students to make a commitment to build others
up rather than tear them down.