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Academy Street Newsletters


March 2016

Take a look at what our first graders are learning this Spring!

Literacy: Our first graders will explore different literary genres, including fables, fairytales and poetry.  Our classes will identify their story elements, as well as compare the features of fables and fairytales.
Writing: First graders will write an assortment of fiction, including fables, fairytales and poetry.
Math: Students continue to learn about addition and subtraction. Now we are focusing on adding and subtracting two-digit numbers. Drawing quick tens and ones, counting on from a larger number and writing on a place value chart are all helpful strategies for students as they increase their fluency.

Science: The human body is our main focus this spring. We learn about the different systems of the body, organs, their functions and keeping our bodies healthy.

Social Studies: Our community and maps will be explored throughout the upcoming weeks. Students will learn about community workers, the cardinal directions, the seven continents and important historical figures.

Dates to Remember:
March 23rd, 24th & 25th- No school for students
March 29th- Student Of The Month (Wear your spirit wear.)
March 30th and 31st- Book Fair
March 31st- Science Fair
April 22nd- VIP Day and Student Of The Month (Wear your spirit wear.)
April 23rd- May 1st- Spring Recess
May 6th- Mother's Day Plant Sale
May 25th- Fun Run
May 31st- Student Of The Month (Wear your spirit wear.)


December 2015


4th Grade Animal Adaptations Research Unit

During library classes, our fourth grade students have been researching animals and how their animal adapts to their environment to survive.  As a culminating activity, students created dioramas and during the week of December 14th – 18, presented their dioramas to our kindergarten and first grade classes.  One of our kindergarten students in Mrs. Katakofsky’s class was so inspired by the dioramas, he created his own elephant diorama to share.  Great job by our 4th grade students and our kindergarten friend, Jake Cooney.




Creative Kindergarteners!

The month of December brought out the artist in our youngest Academy Street students.  Kindergarteners participated in finger painting Christmas trees, drawing Santa Claus and emulating Monet! They also got to make chocolate covered pretzels for a holiday treat.  Students also made connections in both reading and writing to their holiday activities.



National Geographic Geography Bee

On the morning of December 21st, the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders filled the cafeteria to watch the Final Competition and Championship Round of the National Geographic Geography Bee.  This is a nationwide competition designed to  encourage the teaching and study of geography.  In this competition, students were asked questions in the following categories:  U.S. Geography, U.S. Cities, U.S. City Comparisons, Continents, World’s Largest Cities, and Cultural Geography.  

Students first competed in the Preliminary  Competition in their classrooms, with the top two scorers in each 5th grade class, and the top scorer in each 4th grade class, advancing to the school-level preliminary round.  Those 4th graders were Sean Cavolina, Taylor DiBiase, Julia Kroog, and Brendan Waters.  The 5th graders were  Maeve Arancio, Faith Berube, Jacob Brand, Patrick Dougherty, Cian Love and Keara Schneck.
During the Final Competition and Championship Round of the geography bee, students were asked questions which required responses to be given orally at times, and written at others.  The Final Competition was a double elimination process, which meant students were eliminated after incorrectly responding to two questions.  Keara Schneck and Jacob Brand advanced to the Championship Round, which asked each student to respond to three questions.  The student with the most correct responses would be the school champion.  The winner of the Championship Round was Jacob Brand.  In order to advance from the school bee to the state bee, Jacob will have to take a computer-based Qualifying Test in January.  As many as one hundred of the highest-scoring students in the state will be invited to represent their school at their state level competition.  We wish Jacob the best of luck as he prepares for the next level of competition.   
All classroom winners received a shirt with the National Geographic Bee logo on it, courtesy of the PTA .      

We congratulate all of our student winners on their accomplishment  and hope that their efforts will encourage other students to learn more about the world around them through the study of geography.



Peer Mentors Update

The 3rd and 4th grade peer mentors have been doing a great job of arriving at school early on Tuesday mornings to work on ways to include and support their peers when they are targets of socially inappropriate behavior.  The mentors have gotten much better at noticing social problems and have been practicing their reactions to them.  Dr. Saylor and Mrs. Yonick have helped the students have fun with role-playing activities that give the students a chance to act out scenarios they have noticed, so that they feel better equipped to handle these situations in the future.  We are so proud of how much they have improved their ability to support peers, help conflicts, and be respectfully assertive in socially tricky moments.


1st Grade Boards the Polar Express  

Did you hear bells on the morning of December 17th?  If so, then you, too, must believe in the magic of this holiday season.  The Polar Express made its annual stop at Academy Street.   Although he is retired, Mr. Cesare came back to Academy Street, donned his train conductor uniform, took out his golden pocket watch, and blew his conductor’s whistle to invite the 1st grade students to climb aboard the Polar Express.  Students dressed in their cozy pajamas followed behind Conductor Cesare, and made their way into the cafeteria.  There, they listened to Mrs. Vann read aloud Chris Van Allsburg’s book, The Polar Express.  Students also joined in a sing-a-long and enjoyed a holiday snack. Mr. Cesare delighted the children by sharing the electric train display that he donated to the school.  Back in their classrooms, students played a Jeopardy-style game on the Smartboard, comparing the book and the movie.   They also worked on a coloring book recalling the characters, setting, and author of the story. Each student received a special jingle bell bracelet to show that they believe in the magic of the season.  It was a cozy day of fun and learning.  It was followed by another festive “Grinch Day” on Friday, December 18th!  On this day, students wore green, did some Grinchy math and literacy activities and ended the day watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas.




November 2015


4th Grade Native American Day

The 4th grade students participated in Native American Day on September 30th.  The PTA sponsored in-school field trip, Journey into American Indian Territory, was a day full of traditional storytelling, games, and customs that helped bring Native American culture to life for our students.

The 4th grade teachers use this as a launching or introduction for their Social Studies unit on "The First People of New York."  The day focused mainly on the Northeast Woodland Indians, primarily the Haudenosaunee, which are also known as the Iroquois.  The content of the program directly correlates to our Social Studies curriculum and our studies about the Haudenosaunee. This program also fits in very well with the Grade 4 Common Core ELA Module 1, which is a language arts study about the oral traditions of the peaceful Haudenosaunee  people.

The children love this day because it is so hands-on and interactive.  Students in 4th grade spoke and wrote about their experiences that day.  Here is what some of them have to say:

Avery Crank said her, “… favorite parts were when we got to look at the lacrosse sticks and weapons.  They were so cool looking.  The pots were also my favorite because you got to make it your own."

Matthew Bachek really "… liked going through the longhouse.  Inside the longhouse we touched moose, skunk, deer, and even raccoon fur.  I was happy that the girls in my class chose me as a leader based on my positive attitude.  I had a really fun time."

Kate Nilan said she “… learned that most Native Americans actually prefer to be called Indians.  I also learned that the Indians used to be treated poorly and were forced out of their land."

And, Danny Aiello’s "… best part of the day was playing games and going into the longhouse."

This memorable day makes learning really come alive for the students who were engaged throughout the day in such activities as storytelling, clay pot building, and traditional dance, just to name a few. The teachers refer back to what was learned this day throughout the entire school year.  Students really gain a cultural appreciation for the Native Americans.






2nd Grade Gets Batty

During the month of October the second grade students at   Academy Street studied bats. As a culmination to their unit, the students presented all of their learning in a “bat cave” museum. After researching bats throughout the month, students then individually researched a specific species and created dioramas of their bat’s habitat!  Family and friends visited the museum which was lit by flashlight.





Veterans’ Day Celebration

Each November the nation recognizes the contributions and sacrifices made by our veterans.  In order to honor Veterans’ Day this year and to help our students to understand how important it is to say thank you to those who have served our country, several veterans were invited to share the day with us.  We wanted the children to realize that veterans are all around us.  They are our family members, our neighbors, and our friends.  They have diverse experiences in the armed forces, but they all share a willingness to serve their country. Therefore, Academy Street hosted “Take a Veteran to School Day.”  It was a very rewarding day for our visiting veterans and students alike.  We were honored to have thirteen veterans visit us. In addition to Take a Veteran to School Day, our students created a Wall of Thanks.  Life-size paper doll military men and women were created to represent each of the armed forces.  All families were invited to decorate a star in honor of a special veteran or just to say thank you to all our veterans. At the assembly, several of our 5th grade students enacted a readers’ theatre play about Veterans’ Day, and read aloud a poem.  Following the ceremony, each grade level met with a veteran, who was either a friend or relative of one of our students.  We thank all who came to help celebrate this day with us and thank our veterans for their service to our country.



Thanksgiving Festivities

Many classes participated in Thanksgiving activities and festivities.  Some learned about the first Thanksgiving and others focused on being thankful for what they have.  Mrs. Almskog’s 4th grade class followed the tradition of the Haudenosaunee tribe and created their own family Thanksgiving address.  The children were encouraged to share these with their families as they celebrate the holiday.

 The three elementary LEAP classes participated in a Thanksgiving activity.  Students rotated between a craft station, a snack making station, and a movement-based game.  Students from the intermediate level class had similar-aged buddies that assisted them during these activities. These activities focused on promoting socialization, communication, and fine-motor skills.  And, of course, were Thanksgiving themed.

The kindergarten students coupled their study of Colonial Times with Thanksgiving.  They learned how people had to make their food at home, rather than buying it in a store.  The children churned butter and made homemade applesauce.  In the afternoon, the students came together for a feast in the cafeteria, donning their boy and girl pilgrim hats.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving with their school family.




October 2015

Summer Fun with Reading and Writing

Jester Jim visited Academy Street at the end of September to celebrate the “Every Hero Has a Story” summer reading program.  Jester Jim delighted the students with his silly rap songs and juggling. 85 students participated in the program reading over 400 books.  Great job Academy Street!

Academy kids did more than just read this summer.  Many were busy traveling and visiting places on Long Island and all over the world!  Students sent in postcards of all beautiful places they traveled to during the summer of 2015.    Students visited England, Spain, Montana, Bermuda, Boston,Greenport, and our own Fire Island National Seashore just to name a few.  Thank you to all that families that sent in postcards.   

Remember to make reading and writing a fun a part of your family activities all year long!




Learning to Be Safe

Since October was Fire Prevention Month, the kindergarten students walked to the Bayport Fire House. The children explored the firehouse and learned about fire safety with the help of many volunteer firefighters. Children practiced, "Stop, Drop and Roll" and learned how to shoot the fire hose. They also saw many different parts of a fire truck.

Then, the fire department visited us!  The students in grades 1-5 attended two assemblies to learn about fire prevention and fire safety.  Mr. Cooney led an animated and educational discussion about this important topic.  The students actively participated and certainly learned the right way to act if they are ever in a fire.  Students then were delighted to see faculty members lifted high in the bucket of the fire truck and cheered “higher, higher!” The students also got to peek inside the fire trucks and learn about their equipment, as well.  We thank the Bayport Fire Department and all of its members for volunteering their time to serve our community and to help teach our children about fire safety and prevention.  






Halloween Happenings

There was certainly lots of excitement at Academy Street this week leading up to Halloween.  Many classes held their own celebrations with games and crafts.  All of the classes had  Halloween story time with Mrs. Vann in the library, which was festively decorated by Mrs. Salvador.  The first graders had a fun-filled day this week, too!  The first grade students were supposed to participate in a walking field trip to the Bayport Flower House.  But, since it was too muddy after the storm, they had to change their plans.  Instead, the Bayport Flower Houses brought the pumpkins to us!  The teachers turned the courtyard into a pumpkin patch and the chaperones helped the students enjoy playing pumpkin relay, mummy wrap and pumpkin kick ball.  The sun was out in the afternoon and the students really had a fun day, after all.   The week ended with the Student of the Month Assembly.  Many students donned black and orange and other festive Halloween colors.  Mr. Zaleski led a faculty/student baseball challenge, in honor of the World Series. Cheers for a Mets’ World Series Championship rang out loud, as well.  


Bike Skills Clinic and Local Heroes Day

On a beautiful Saturday morning, Academy Street families came together with other BBP families to enjoy the PTA’s annual Bike Skills Clinic.  This year, the program was enhanced to include local heroes, as well.  The Suffolk County Sherriff’s Department set up a bike safety check station, even giving out brand new helmets to students who may not have had one or outgrew their own.  They also set up an obstacle course so students could try out their bike skills.  This was definitely a favorite.  The event also included a visit from the Suffolk Police K-9 Unit with Officer Tuefel and his partner Striker. The Bayport Fire Department and ambulance company were also in attendance. Visitors enjoyed climbing aboard these safety vehicles and learning about how these community helpers respond to emergencies.  The fun also included raffles, snack and a music.  It was a great way to kick off the new school year!





September 2015

Kindergarten Kicks Off with Learning and Fun

Just starting kindergarten can be an exciting time for both students and parents.  But, teachers at Academy Street wanted to make sure that the first weeks of learning in kindergarten were filled with many memorable and engaging learning experiences.  

Kindergarteners started off the school year with the stories of Curious George. The children enjoyed looking for George who was playing hide-and-go-seek! He left clues to where he was hiding, and the classes had fun figuring out which room to go to for the next clue. This was a fun way to learn their way around Academy Street. This activity also gave the classes the opportunity to meet teachers and staff, as well as practice their reasoning skills, all while becoming more familiar in their new school!

The students in kindergarten will have many opportunities to experience the excitement of learning all throughout the year.





Constitution Day

On September 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by thirty-nine brave men who changed the course of history. Now, Constitution Day is a time for us to continue their legacy and develop habits of citizenship in a new generation of Americans.  Academy Street students marked the day in a variety of ways.  The morning announcements included facts about the Constitution throughout the week.  The song of the day, “I’m Just a Bill” by Schoolhouse Rock, explained the process of how a bill turns into a law.

On Constitution Day, Mrs. Corso’s first grade class read the book We the Kids by David Catrow. The book is the Preamble to the Constitution with kid-friendly illustrations. It allows for a discussion on the terms of the Constitution. After reading and discussing, the students wrote their own Constitution for their classroom. The students then signed the document.





Bayport-Blue Point Eagle