Inside Broadway Sign Up Sheets have gone home!

Dear Lower Lab Families Grades 3-5 ONLY,

Please check the backpacks for the information sign up sheet for the Inside Broadway Program beginning February 1st – May 25th. This is a program only for grades 3-5 and will most probably have a lottery for selected students.

Hand in your interest sheet prior to January 2nd!  Lottery will be pulled on January 4 to give parents enough time to sign up for the LL after school programing should their child not get selected in the lottery.

Inside Broadway – NYC Musical Mystery Melodies for Students in Grades 3-5

November 1, 2017



Dear Families,

Students continue to build skills as readers, writers, and mathematicians.  We had a very interesting trip to Inwood Hill Park last week where we learned so much about the Lenape and their lifestyle in the area just around NYC.  We also saw a Red Tailed Hawk which was a surprise and a thrill.

Back in class, we are wrapping up our fiction unit in reading and writing.  Soon we will begin looking deeply at non-fiction texts, primarily through our Social Studies unit on Native Americans.  Children have already begun reading about the Algonquians and we will continue with the Iroquois.  Soon, students will embark on an independent research project that will include further reading and writing about informational texts.  Students may want to take a trip to the library or do some online research.

Our math work around addition and subtraction is coming to a close and before we launch our multiplication work, students will do an independent and small group project learning about ancient number systems.  We are confident this will be an opportunity for extension and enrichment of the traditional math curriculum.  It’s possible that students will want to do some extra research at home.  Feel free to assist with online research but please remember, it is the student’s work.

Notes about Parent Teacher Conferences have been sent home with students.  You can sign up for conferences online–the directions are in the note along with the code needed.

I look forward to meeting you in mid November. In the meantime, I will see some of you Saturday at the McDonalds Fun Run in Central Park.

With best regards,



October 17, 2017

Dear 4-243 Families,

It’s only day 27 of school and yet we are in full swing here in 243! We continue to work to solidify routines and get into the groove of a regular school day.  Most students have already made a smooth transition into the 4th grade and those of us still working on it are progressing.

The Core Value of the first month was again, RESPECT.  It is evidenced by not just being polite to your teacher, but also by respecting yourself, your work, your classmates, and the school itself.

In Reading, we are working on reading Fiction.  Much of the focus of the unit involves analyzing characters, making inferences, and determining big ideas and themes.  Students are expected to be reading at home nightly (about 30 minutes) and jotting regularly about their ideas in these main areas.  Jots need not be formal paragraphs but may also include charts, webs, tables, etc.  Ideally they are not simply retells of what was just read.

In Writing Workshop we are about to publish our narrative writing pieces.  Students focused on stamina while becoming more independent in their use of dialogue, thoughts, figurative language (similes/metaphors), and more specific word choices.  We also wrote strong leads and endings as we worked to write stories that were realistic. The final stories will be available to parents when we have our next publishing party later in the year.

Our Math work has focused on reviewing addition and subtraction, expanding into larger numbers and building our “toolbox” of strategies and models.  Students are encouraged to choose strategies based on the problems and numbers. We are also working on rounding and building our understanding of place value in larger numbers. At this point, all students have been taught and have had many opportunities to practice the US Algorithm for addition and subtraction.  Please encourage your child to check over their calculations.  I notice that many are rushing when reading problems and when doing calculations, which leads to careless errors.  In addition, the Math Team has begun.  Students meet on Thursday mornings with Dr. Katarina Klaf, our Science Teacher, to solve problems and learn advanced strategies. Back in 243, we have begun a new year of Continental Math League (CML).  While these problems can be challenging, I encourage everyone to at least try to solve a few.  Read through all of the problems, decide which to tackle, and then think of what model, picture, equation, table, etc. might help to determine the answer. Bring whatever worksheets you used into school to aid in our discussion.  Competitions for CML begin in November.

Our first Social Studies Unit focused on geography. Children enjoyed learning about maps, globes, atlases, and learning the 50 States.  Now, we are moving into learning about the First Americans and delving into our Native American Unit. As you know, our first class trip is next week, on the 25th.  We will focus on NY Native American groups of the Alonquians and the Iroquois.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to do some independent research on groups from other parts of North America.

Our enrichments have all begun.  Latin class has been very exciting and today, students were introduced to an online game created by our amazing Latin teacher Akiva. Students have all been given log-in information so that they can practice at home as part of their homework. Wingspan has begun.  We have a new teaching artist this year. Her name is Mattie and she will be working with the class on theater games, improv, and voice projection.  Later in the year, we will work together to write and produce an exciting play that incorporates some of our Social Studies work into a unique and special show.  More details on that to follow.

In general, students seem to have adapted to the routine of nightly homework.  Expect there to be nightly math & reading, some word study, grammar, writing and/or Social Studies during the week.  Students are expected to bring home necessary materials and to return to school with everything they need.  Homework slips will go home when needed. If your child is struggling or taking an exceptionally long time with homework, please contact me so that we can try to come up with a solution together.

This year I will be sending home Scholastic Book Orders.  Please place your orders online at Scholastic Book Clubs.  Our class code is DYLPQ.  I will no longer be accepting paper orders with a check here in school.  I expect to send home flyers about once every 2 months.

As the weather gets colder, please remember to put your child’s name inside all jackets, sweatshirts etc.  It’s unbelievable what ends up in the lost and found each year.

All the best,

Donna & Bill

September 11, 2017

Dear 4-243 Families,

Hello and Welcome! It’s back to school and summer is already fading away in my memory.  This is an exciting time of year and we are all getting used to being back in school.  For all of us that means going to sleep early, eating a good breakfast, getting our things organized and mentally and physically getting back on schedule.  We are remembering not to call out, how to pay attention to our teachers and classmates, how to disagree politely, how to walk in hallways and stairwells, and how to behave in class, recess, the lunchroom, the bathroom, and on the bus.  Two months is a long time to be off of our routines.

Fourth grade is a big year.  We will take it one day at a time and we will all get back into the groove of school.

Please check  that you have sent in all forms and that you have updated your dismissal instructions to include afterschool programs.  We need this in writing asap.

More to come. See you Wednesday evening.

Donna and Tina

Last Day of School

Dear 243 Families,

Today is Wednesday, the 28th of June. I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your support this year.  4th grade can be very stressful for all of us and we got through it with flying colors.  The students rose to every challenge as we worked to reach our goals.  I know everyone will continue to strive to reach new goals as they enter 5th grade and beyond.

I know we have mixed feelings about the summer.  On one hand it’s great to be off –to the beach, to camp, to adventures far and wide. On the other hand, it is sad to say goodbye to our friends for 2 months.  I look forward to seeing everyone again in September, and I know you all join me in saying a very fond farewell to Julia and her family as they head out to California.  We’ll miss you all, Conrad Family.

To everyone, thank you for your kind notes, words, and very generous gifts.  It’s been a great year.

Stay in touch,


Attendance 4th Grade – Please Read

Dear 4th Grade Families,

As the year is coming to a close, please be aware that there will be no way to alter your attendance next year if you notice an error in September. It is imperative that everyone review any dates that seem to be egregious before the 28th of this month.  Our School Aide Hugues Recamier leaves for the school year on the 28th at 3:00PM. This is the last time our systems can be updated. If you come in September with a change due to lack of doctor’s note or explanation he will be unable to assist as the system locks after June 28th.

How can you check your attendance?

  1. Log on to your NY Account. This is the account where you check your test scores and everyone should already have this info and password to log on so that they can check State Test Scores over the summer.
  2. Go to the attendance section and you will see all the days your child has been out.
  3. Please note that absences are not excused but explained.
  4. If you follow our posts earlier in the year there was mention that attendance might impact your  middle school application for certain schools and the rubrics for all middle schools was posted by the CEC. See link below:
  5. If you have any issues with what you see in your NY Account attendance page please email Hugues at . If you can not get into your NY Account email Gina!

June 20, 2017

Dear 4-243 Families,

This year has gone by so quickly.  It feels like we were just preparing for those tests…As we near the final days of school, please read this reminder for year end tasks.  All students who are returning to Lab next year, must send in an envelope (addressed and stamped) for the summer notice. In addition if your child will not be here on the last day of school, please send in another envelope for his/her report card to be mailed home.

As you make arrangements for the summer, please try to find a few moments to look through your book shelves etc. for books borrowed from school and return them before Friday.

We have already begun sending home some materials and will continue to do so every day this week.  All outstanding quizzes and assignments have been graded and returned to students, except for the current writing piece which is due to me by end of school Wednesday, the 21st.  We have a publishing party Thursday morning where we will share our work.  Don’t forget your pass as it will be very busy in the school lobby that morning.

We spent some time today recommending books to our classmates, so kids should have no trouble reading lots of great books this summer. There is a video of the Wingspan performance and I hope the information here gets it to you.   Here’s the link:

The password is wingspan77

It’s been a great year all around and I wish everyone a very relaxing and enjoyable summer vacation.

With best regards,


June 3, 2017

Dear 4th Grade Families,

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be surprised by the entire 4th grade on Friday.  What a special group of students and parents we have this year  I was so impressed by the organization and self-control–no one spilled the beans! Then the speech and the delicious treats.  I’ll never forget it.

Thank you to everyone to participated in any way.

While I’m writing, just a quick reminder that Wingspan is this week.  The show for families is officially Wednesday evening.  But, if you can’t make it for any reason we will be performing on Wednesday morning for students so please feel free to come to that show instead.

A few final details for Wednesday–students must come up to the classroom on Wednesday evening by 5:45 in order to change into costumes.  After the show, all students must return upstairs to change/collect personal items before going home with parents.  Please wait patiently for them in the lobby after the show.

Thank you again,


Music – Lower Lab Orchestra

Broken Violin (2012), M.E. Ologeanu


Dear 4th and 5th grade parents:

Bravo to our outstanding musicians for their hard work this year! As our school year winds down, please pay particular attention to Rental Renewal Invoices coming from the Ardsley Musical Instrument Service, Ltd.  

If you rented an instrument with the Ardsley company and are planning to return the rented instrument, especially for most 5th grade students:

  1. Have your child bring the Rental Renewal Invoice to school
  2. Place it in the instrument case 
  3. Leave the instrument in the music classroom BEFORE the pickup date at our school (If you never received the Rental Renewal Invoice from Ardsley, you can still leave the instrument for the pickup date)

Instruments – Rental Renewal Invoices coming from the Ardsley Musical Instrument Service, Ltd.

Dear 4th and 5th grade parents:

Bravo to our outstanding musicians for their hard work this year! As our school year winds down, please pay particular attention to Rental Renewal Invoices coming from the Ardsley Musical Instrument Service, Ltd.

If you rented an instrument with the Ardsley company and are planning to return the rented instrument, especially for most 5th grade students: