Running Club and Track Final

Dear all,

Congratulations to the students enrolled in the Tuesday morning running club for participating in their mini track meet. The students competed in stations such as the long jump, shot put and 5 minute run.

Running Club

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Track Final

Congratulations to the 16 students who participated in the Rising Road Runners Track Final at Icahn Stadium. These students competed against some of the best runners in all five boroughs of New York City.

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Digital Media for June

Dear all,

 

Its been an exciting year in Digital Media class. Students in all grade levels are learning 21st century skills that are required to complete school assignments. In 2nd grade, the students are using search engines such as Kid Rex and Kids Search to find images of Landmarks across New York City. Once students find their images on the internet, they draw them on paper. Students will use google docs to type out information about their landmark.

In the 3rd grade, students are using digital tools to support their work in Social Studies. Students in both classes are searching for information that can support their Chin Research paper. Students should be able to access their student account from home. If you need a tutorial for logging into your child’s account from home, please click on the link below.

How to sign into your student account from home

In the 4th grade, students are using google docs and internet research websites for their government research project and independent writing projects. In the 5th grade, students have published their google site Fictional Book Reviews.

For the next few weeks, the students will learn how about google features such as add-ons and extensions. We will have the 5th grade students visit the chrome web store and research an app or extension.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June Happenings~ Third Grade

June 1, 2018

Dear Third Grade Families:

We can hardly believe that we are in the final stretch of third grade!

 Some Celebratory Moments in May…

  • Chess Nationals: Many third graders participated in the Chess Nationals in Nashville, Tennessee, and came home with trophies and medals for both individual and team wins! Bravo!
  • Variety Show: Several students participated in the variety show displaying their skills in dance, music, announcing, and stage presence. We are so proud of you!
  • Social Studies: We visited Symphony Space and enjoyed an Asia performance. Some of our very own Lower Lab students took the stage, and participated in the Chinese ribbon dance.
  • We enjoyed a behind the scenes “Creating The Magic” highlights and performance of Phantom of the Opera. We also cheered on the sixth graders at Hunter College Elementary School, as they  performed Aladdin.
  • Writing: We launched our poetry unit and will continue to see the world through a poet’s eyes.
  • Reading: We have been working in book clubs reading novels through the lens of social issues.
  • Our Math Unit: We have been deepening our addition and subtraction strategies.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead…June

Reading: Social Issues Book Clubs: We will continue collaborating with our book clubs, where students will learn to interpret and determine themes–work that will be hugely important for them next year and beyond. Students will read a second novel and make connections between the social issues they gleam in each.

Writing: Poetry ~Big Thoughts in Small Packages: This unit sparks great joy and creativity in our writers by inviting them to look at the world with new eyes and imagination, and then to capture what they notice and feel on the page with attention to words and images, rhythm and sound. Children will have an opportunity to be both playful and to reach for depth. Moreover, this provides an occasion for children to develop writing identities that they often have not yet uncovered.

Math: Larger Numbers and Multi Step Problems: In our last math unit, students will develop strategies for solving more complex multiplication, division and multi-step word problems. They will use representations and tables to compare different situations and develop a rule for describing each. Learning division facts, identifying arithmetic patterns, and solving multi step problems will be the major thrust of this unit.

Students should strive for fact fluency with their multiplication and division facts.

 Social Studies: China Students will continue work on their research article around a subtopic of China. They are typing these in school and are learning how to create various text features to support their thinking. We have also begun drafting ideas for our posters, which will be a visual representation that highlights each student’s research topic.

We will celebrate our final projects of the year on June 19th at 8:45 AM. We look forward to seeing you then.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

 

 

May Happenings~ Third Grade

May 1, 2018

Dear Third Grade Families:

We are so proud of our third graders for all their diligence and perseverance during the recent ELA and Math State Exams.

 Some Celebratory Moments in April…

  • Social Studies: We launched our study of China and enjoyed a workshop with Symphony Space.
  • Writing: We have been working with our research clubs around a shared topic.
  • Reading: We have been learning how to take notes as researchers.
  • Our Math Unit: We spent the last few weeks deepening our understanding of concepts introduced earlier in the year, and even touched on a few new skills including weight and volume.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead…May

Reading: Social Issues Book Clubs: We will soon transition from our research clubs to a unit where students can read books to teach them how to live their lives. Students will learn to interpret and determine themes–work that will be hugely important for them next year and beyond.

Writing: Poetry ~ Students will try their hand at poetry. This will begin with couplets similar to the type of poems Chinese write on banners to signify hope and happiness for the New Year. Following this, we will practice writing other forms of poetry including: Haiku, Acrostic, Limerick, Free verse, Narrative and more!

Math: Addition, Subtraction, and The Number System In the next math unit, students will develop ideas about counting and quantity, place value and the base-ten number system, and the meaning of operations with whole numbers. These ideas will be developed through activities that focus on understanding the operations of addition and subtraction, and through practicing fluency while adding and subtracting.

Social Studies: China Students have each chosen a subtopic of interest around China that they will research in class over the next month. We will continue to use a variety of resources including videos, online resources and picture books to support this valuable work. Students will also learn how to write a bibliography. As a culminating project, students will write an article supported by a pictorial display on a 22X 28 poster.

Class Trips: We have a few upcoming class trips. Stay tuned for more details and opportunities to be a chaperone over the next couple of days.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

April Happenings~ Third Grade

April 9, 2018

Dear Third Grade Families:

We hope you enjoyed a wonderful Spring break with family and friends. Students returned filled with enthusiasm, ready to embrace the upcoming exam with courage and perseverance.

 Some Celebratory Moments in March…

  • Social Studies: We celebrated student’s independent projects about Brazil. They did a great job thinking outside the box! (Literally!)
  • Writing: We have learned the structures of a short and extended response.
  • Reading: Third graders have learned how to read and annotate test passages, including a “gist read” and a second read. We have learned various multiple-choice strategies, and have built our reading stamina during “reading marathons.”
  • Center Activities: We enjoyed a variety of center activities that reinforced specific skills for reading and writing. We also played “Test Prep Jeopardy!”
  • Our Math Unit: Fractions: Students have enjoyed their investigations around understanding, representing, and comparing fractions. Some highlights included fading fractions on a number line using clothespins on a hanger, and finding equivalent fractions and “fair shares” using pretend cookies and brownies.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead…April

 Following the ELA exam, students will enjoy a “book tasting” to wet their appetite for our upcoming club work in reading and writing.

Reading: Elephants, Penguins and Frogs~ Oh My! Students will work together in research clubs to study one animal and then a second animal.

Writing: Writing About Research This writing unit is a sequel to The Art of Informational Writing taught in late November through December. Students will take everything they learned during that unit and apply it to the new projects they will write about for the different animals they will study. Across this writing unit students will collaborate to write ‘club books’ about each animal they research, and then they write a club book that captures the ideas they grow in the final “bend” of the reading unit. Students will each be responsible for completing specific chapters in their club books.

In addition to supporting transference, this unit will also support students in deepening their informational writing skills in a few critical areas, namely: structure, elaboration, organization and craft. These goals are also mirrored in the reading unit where students will be taught to identify different text structures and use those structures to take notes, to elaborate on their ideas as they teach others, to synthesize information as they note take and teach, and to carefully consider the choices the author made.

Math~ Test Preparation: Students have embraced their preparation for the ELA State Exam that will take place on April 11th & April 12th. We recommend a good night’s sleep, a complete breakfast and that students be dressed in comfortable clothes.

We will continue the math work that we began prior to Spring Break. This “test prep” work creates a bridge between our authentic work, and the specific language and structure of the upcoming NYS Math exam. Some of the skills may feel like review, while others will feel like we are deepening the work around prior units in area, perimeter, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Whole class and small group work will be designed to target a variety of skills. We will use the information gleamed from our math mock exam to help identify target areas to reinforce during this time.

Social Studies: Learning About Cultures Around the World Through Literature

(We will highlight China)

Essential Questions:

  • How does literature reflect the characteristics of a culture?
  • How can we think critically while reading literature and studying cultures around the world?

This social studies unit focuses on the reading of folktales as a means for students to further develop their reading skills, while also learning about cultures around the world. Third graders will be able to recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures, and be able to determine the central message, lesson or moral, and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. In addition students will distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

 Symphony Space will continue to enrich student’s learning about cultures around the world with several in class activities. In late May we will enjoy a second class trip to Symphony space. Stay tuned for more details.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

 

 

March Happenings~ Third Grade

Dear Third Grade Families:

We hope you enjoyed a wonderful mid-winter break with family and friends. Students returned filled with enthusiasm ready to embark on their Brazilian independent projects, which will be completed during the next three weeks in school.

Some Celebratory Moments in February …

  • Writing: Baby Literary Essay~ Literary essay cadets successfully tackled a compare/contrast literary essay structure and are finishing the revision process.
  • Character Studies: Together with their book club members, students’ journeyed alongside their characters through two texts. Students in each club chose from an open-ended menu of options to culminate their character study unit.
  • Our Math Unit: Perimeter, Area, and Polygons~ Students have enjoyed their investigations around perimeter and area and learned how to record their work in different ways. Students also discovered how to build different types of triangles from straws and twist ties and name the attributes of triangles.
  • Symphony Space: We moved to the rhythm and sounds of Brazilian drums and percussion instruments made out of recycled materials.

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead…March

Test Preparation: We will gradually begin test preparation. This “test prep” work creates a bridge between our authentic work, and the specific language and structure of the upcoming NYS ELA exam.

Whole class and small group work will be designed to target a variety of skills. We use the information gleamed from our mock exams to help identify targeted areas to reinforce during this time.

Center Activities: A variety of center activities with reinforce specific skills for reading and writing.

Read-Throughs:

In order to deeply understand the test passages, students will benefit from reading each passage two times. The first read is to get “the gist” and the second is to return and have a “closer read.” Students will be “road mapping”, where they pine and annotate the text. Students are also encouraged to divide the text into beginning, middle and end, so they can quickly access necessary information that a question requires.

Ask your child to share their special bookmark with you, and explain how it helps remember road-mapping skills for annotating the text.

  • One of the fun things we will engage in is a “reading marathon.” During this time we will channel students to read a variety of texts for long stretches of time. This helps them build stamina.
  • Students will work on strategies to successfully answer multiple choice, short response, and extended response questions using graphic organizers and checklists for support.

Reader’s Notebooks continue to be a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Students have enjoyed giving partner feedback. In addition, students are learning how to use the narrative learning progression to evaluate their own responses, set goals, and push themselves as readers.

 

Our Math Unit: Unit 5: Fair Shares and Fractions on Number Lines

This unit will highlight work around understanding, representing, and comparing fractions.

Some highlights will include:

  • Understanding the meaning of fractions as equal parts of a whole
  • Finding fractional parts of different sized wholes
  • Demonstrating that different shaped pieces are the same fraction of a whole
  • Extending the use of a number line, to find and represent fractions on a number line
  • Measuring length to the nearest fourth inch on a ruler and represent same on a line plot
  • Comparing equivalent fractions with the same numerators and denominators
  • Understanding and using notation for fractions

Social Studies: Learning About A Far Away Country: Brazil

Based on our research of Brazil, students will have the opportunity to create an independent research project of their own choosing. They will research and complete these projects in school and then share them with guests at a publishing party (to be scheduled prior to April vacation).

We look forward to our upcoming class trip to Symphony Space that will support our Brazilian Study. Stay tuned for more details.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

 

 

Reminder -The Lower Lab School’s Science Fair will be held on Tuesday, June 12th! This is an evening event.

 

February 8, 2018

Dear Lower Lab Families,

The Lower Lab School’s Science Fair will be held on Tuesday, June 12 (in the evening for parents only, details will be sent home at a later date) and Wednesday, June 13, 2018 (for students only). All projects will be done at home under adult supervision. The individual science fair project is mandatory for students in Grades 3, 4, 5 and will be part of their science grade on the Progress Report.

All students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 must submit the following:

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 Note: the short description of the idea for the Science Fair Project, the proposal, and the reports must be given to classroom teachers for Grades 3 and 4. Students of Grade 5 will submit all parts of their Science Fair Project to Claudia.

All final reports will be reviewed and returned to students at the conclusion of the oral presentations (after the Science Fair).

Please encourage children to begin to work on their projects early enough to avoid any last minute panic and stress.

Thank you for your support.

Please find entire Science Fair 2018 Packet Here!

Sincerely,

Dr. Katarina H. Klaf

kklaf@schools.nyc.gov

February Happenings~ Third Grade

February1, 2018

Dear Third Grade Families:

It was lovely seeing many of you at the recent winter concert. It’s hard to believe that we are already into the second half of the school year! We recently welcomed new student teachers to our Lower Lab family. They have jumped right in to lend support to students and teachers alike!

 Some Celebratory Moments in January…

  • Social Studies: Students have embraced their learning about a far away country, Brazil.
  • Technology: We have worked with an exciting program called Flip Grid, which allows students to have their voice heard far and wide, around a number of issues concerning our Brazilian study.
  • Writing: Baby Literary Essay~ Literary essay cadets successfully tackled literary essay boot camp and graduated with flying colors!
  • Character Studies: Students’ journeyed alongside their characters through the first two bends of our unit. They got to know their characters as they would a new friend, empathizing with and relating to them along the way.
  • Our Math Unit: Travel Stories~ Students have enjoyed further developing addition and subtraction strategies. They have also learned how to round numbers to the nearest ten and hundred.
  • Zumba~ Once a week, numerous third graders came together to enjoy a combination of low intensity and high intensity moves with Mr. Goodman.

Looking Forward To The Month(s) Ahead… Mid February/March

Test Preparation: After Mid Winter break, we will begin test preparation. This “test prep” work creates a bridge between our authentic work, and the specific language and structure of the upcoming NYS ELA exam.

Whole class and small group work will be designed to target a variety of skills.

Reading & Writing

 Read-Throughs:  In order to deeply understand the test passages, students will benefit from reading each passage two times. The first read is to get “the gist” and the second is to return and have a “closer read.” Students will be “road mapping”, where they pine and annotate the text.

Ask your child to share their special bookmark with you, and explain how it helps remember road-mapping skills for annotating a text.

 Following February break… We will look carefully at a variety of questions that will deepen and extend our work we are developing during our character studies and literary essay unit. 

  • One of the fun things we will engage in is a “reading marathon.” During this time we will channel students to read a variety of texts for long stretches of time.
  • Students will work on strategies to successfully answer multiple choice, short response, and extended response questions using graphic organizers and checklists for support.

Reader’s Notebooks continue to be a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Students have enjoyed giving partner feedback. In addition, students are learning how to use the narrative earning progression to evaluate their own responses, set goals, and push themselves as readers. As we move into the final bend of the character studies unit, students will learn how to compare and contrast characters. We hope to see that rich thinking reflected in students Reader’s Notebooks.

Our Math Unit: Unit 4: Perimeter, Area and Polygons

This unit will highlight work around shapes including:

  • Perimeter of a 2-D shape
  • Similarities and differences
  • Measurement and area
  • Attributes and categorization

Social Studies: Learning About A Far Away Country: Brazil

Students will continue working together in cooperative learning clubs. Following their research, students will choose from a menu of open ended, interdisciplinary projects that will represent their research. Our continued work with the teaching artists from Symphony Space will further enrich this process.

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

January Happenings~ Third Grade

January 1, 2018

Dear Third Grade Families:

Happy New Year! We loved seeing you during our recent publishing party. Thank you for being partners in your child’s learning and growing. Working together, we can make a difference!

Third graders embraced December’s Lower Lab Value of Patience. We examined patience from a character’s point of view through a beloved Aesop Fable, The Tortoise and The Hare. Students began learning about the theme, the lesson and the moral of a story. We also set morals for ourselves regarding patience, as we enter this New Year. Ask your child about the marshmallow test, that we watched and discussed. You can access those videos here: https://vimeo.com/246414391, https://vimeo.com/246414391

 Some Celebratory Moments in December…

  • Our Class Anthologies: Students culminated their ten-week creative writing intensive with teaching author, Ms. Suzanne La Fleur.
  • Social Studies: “Let the good times roll! “Students culminated a month long study of New Orleans, by creating their own brochure on canva,com, which displayed the culture, landmarks, sights, sounds and foods of NOLA.
  • Writing: The Art of Information Writing-Unit 3 Students showed all that they learned in informational writing by crafting a text on a topic of personal expertise. As we edit these for final publication, we look forward to visiting a first grade class to “teach” our friends five facts on our topics and share the terrific text features we implemented.
  • Reading to Learn: Grasping Main Ideas and Text Structures-Unit 3 students learned to read long stretches of nonfiction with fluency, in such a way that they can determine importance and ascertain main ideas.
  • Our Math Unit: Graphs and Line Plots Students displayed their skills for collecting, representing, analyzing, and measuring data by creating a survey, collecting data and displaying it on a graph in their informational books. Bravo!

Looking Forward To The Month Ahead… January

Reading Character Studies-Unit 4

In this unit, children move from a close study of character, to a study of the predictable journeys that all characters take, to a cross book comparison study of characters who have something important in common (similar traits, problems, lessons learned). This unit builds in sophistication from literal comprehension work to interpretive/analytic work and directly supports the work of our writing “Baby Literary Essay unit” taught in tandem. Although Baby Literary Essay is a writing unit, it requires students to read closely, studying character traits, change, and lessons learned.

 Goals for this unit include:

  • Make careful, close observations of characters
  • Craft theories and predictions about characters
  • Understand the ways in which all stories are structured: a character faces trouble that grows bigger and reacts to it, eventually finding a way to resolve the trouble and learn lessons
  • Think comparatively about characters in different books, noticing similarities and differences between these characters’ struggles, motivations, reactions, and the lessons they learn.

 Writing: “Baby” Literary Essay -Unit 4

Essential Question: How can I write an essay that states a strong opinion about a text and supports it clearly with evidence from the text?

Structuring Essays About Stories: Students become accustomed to making a big, bold opinion about a character, including evidence from the text, and elaborating on that evidence. They’ll also include a brief introduction and conclusion. Know that the key to mastering any new skill, whether 3-point basketball shots or writing an essay, is repetition. Therefore, this unit offers students ample opportunity to write a few quick essays. The goal is to give students the opportunity to have repeated practice with this new skill set, drafting quickly and often during the first few days of each of our three “bends,” then selecting their best draft to revise and edit.

By mid January, children will begin book clubs in our new reading unit, Character Studies. Students will gather with their book club and begin to think about some big, bold opinions about characters in those books. We will also revisit a variety of familiar short texts, allowing students to form groups around the texts they want to write essays about.

Goals for this unit include:

  • Write a minimum of three literary essays
  • Students will  write literary essays about a picture book, short story or a book club text, and finally one from a non-fiction text where they read it as a story.
  • Deepen student’s work with character study, as they defend a claim with a variety of evidence cited from the text.

 

  • Reader’s Notebooks continue to be a place to record and track thinking about our reading. Responses now include synthesizing different parts of the texts, noticing themes, deep thinking about characters traits and motives and wonderings about why the author included that information. As we move into the character studies in early January, we hope to see that rich thinking reflected in students Reader’s Notebooks. Students may want to refer to the common themes sheet introduced in class.

 

  • Our Math Unit: Travel Stories and Collections

This unit develops students’ ideas about counting and quantity, place value and the structure of the base-10 number system, the meaning of operations with whole numbers, the development of computational fluency, and generalizations about numbers and operations. This strand focuses on understanding and extending knowledge of place value and the number system to 1,000, and adding and subtracting accurately and efficiently. Students will benefit from math fact fluency and effortless automaticity with their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts through 12. This level of mastery will serve students well moving forward.

 

Social Studies: Learning About A Far Away Country: Brazil

Essential Questions: What factors influence how people in Brazil live their lives? How do geography, culture, and economic needs shape the way people live in Brazil? How is this similar to and different from life in the U.S.?

In this unit, students will continue working in their research clubs to pursue the essential question:’ What shapes how people in a place far from me live?’ This time the place that students are studying is a more remote one than the United States, making everything about the unit more challenging. As children pursue the question, “What factors influence how people in Brazil live their lives?” they will utilize World Book On line, and numerous other texts and be able to answer “How do geography, culture, and economic needs shape the way people live in Brazil? How is this similar to and different from life in the US?”

Students will discover that when studying another place, a researcher often asks, ‘What is turning out to be especially interesting to me as I learn about this place?’ and then that researcher is off and running, pursuing this topic of interest.’ As students identify these interests, they will deepen their research in inquiry groups, with each group focused on a subtopic such as the rainforest.

An interdisciplinary culminating project will show off their research. Our work with the teaching artists from Symphony Space will further enrich this process.

Symphony Space: This program will span from January through May and cover our social studies topics during that time frame.

Third graders will experience the cultures of Brazil and China with Symphony Space teaching artists. Specifically, students will learn songs in Portuguese; partake in Maracatu northeastern Brazil music and ceremony of the crowning of the King and Queen Parade. They will learn about all of the dimensions of the Afro Brazilian Martial arts form called Capoeira originated in Bahia, Brazil over 500 years ago. In addition, students will examine visual art primary source documents followed by rich discussions about the images and symbols. Selected students will partake in Maracatu and Capoeira when they visit Symphony Space for the Latin America performance in March.

The students will engage in the Chinese Opera and Martial Arts by experiencing the five elements of Chinese Opera. Again, learning words in Mandarin they will partake in acting, singing, talking, sword fighting and observe artists skills in tumbling. Chinese Ribbon Dance will be taught to all and a few students will be selected to represent our class and partake in the Asia performance at Symphony Space in May.

Technology: Students will be researching about Brazil using World Book Online. We hope to arrange a Skype session with a Brazilian school. Students will be developing a final project, showcased during our February publishing party. Stay tuned for more details!

Until Soon,

Leslie And Kevin

 

 

Inside Broadway Lottery Completed

Dear Lower Lab Families,

Please find the students pulled from the lottery for the After School CASA Grant- Inside Broadway Program beginning on February 1st 2018.

This is the 4th year we have had the need to create a lottery for this program. Kudos to Inside Broadway for their excellence and popularity. It is unprecedented that we had 70 applications for 35 spots. 

  • 20 – 5th Graders
  • 24 – 4th Graders
  • 26 – 3rd Graders 
    It is amazing that we had such a large response however extremely emotional for us to proceed with a lottery option.  This lottery was equitable for all grades (3-5)  There were no priorities in terms of seniority, repeat participants, or siblings. 
    Please note that we have also decided to select 6 alternate students should there be a need to replace any of the participants due to illness or lack of 100 percent participation.

 

We thanks everyone for their consideration and look forward to this years program. If you were not selected please consider the PTA Afterschool as another option for the Spring semester of classes.
Inside Broadway will begin on February 1st. Should your situation change and you are no longer interested in participating please let Gina know ASAP so that we might select someone from the wait list.  Email her at ggoodman@lowerlab.org