4th Grade Music, Next Tuesday, January 23rd

Dear 4th grade parents,

ALL 4th grade students will have gym next Monday, 1/22, due to the Winter Sing concert rehearsals.  On Tuesday, 1/23, I plan to have the Violin group, instead of the Viola/Cello group, since the Violin group will miss music for two consecutive Mondays.  Please make sure that all violin students bring the instruments and viola and cello students do NOT need to bring the instruments next Tuesday, 1/23.  

Thank you!

Ms. Kim

January 2, 2018

Dear 4-243 Families,

Happy New Year.  I would like to thank everyone for your kind words and generosity during this holiday season.  We have been making great progress in our academic and social skills.  Here’s what we’re up to…

We are back into our Reading Partnerships.  Students are encouraged to develop ideas by including specific examples from texts and linking those examples back to the idea in words and in writing.  Children are getting caught up with formal responses and should be maintaining reading notebook jots as a way to prepare for meetings.

Writing will be of particular importance and focus in the coming months.  In addition to writing about reading, we will be entering our “Opinion” unit. Formulating an opinion or thesis and then supporting that thesis with examples or reasons will be the basis for much of our writing work for the next 3-4 months.  This writing will transition into preparing for the State Tests in the Spring.  Expect to see higher expectations for writing at home, too.  Students are strongly encouraged to elaborate on and edit every piece of writing  they do.

Math work continues in multiplication and division –the numbers get larger and the strategies build on past work.

Social Studies will be moving into Colonial America and then the Revolutionary War.  But first, we have a test this Thursday on NY Native Americans.  It will be open-notebook and students have been encouraged to review their notes in preparation.

With best regards,


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 

Inside Broadway Sign Up Sheets Deadline for interest has been moved up!

If you filled out a form for the CASA Grant and the Inside Broadway Opportunity grades 3-5 we will be doing our lottery on January 2nd. 

Please make sure you have submitted you INSIDE BROADWAY INTEREST SHEET ASAP

The new date for this submission is Monday December 18th.


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

December 13, 2017

Dear 4-243 Families,

We are getting ready for our publishing party on Friday, December 22nd. You all should have received the passes to ease your entry. As a reminder, we will be having a 2 part celebration.  We will start in the auditorium with our first Wingspan share.  Then we will head upstairs to the classroom to present our writing.  We have Social Studies Informational Texts and projects to present, along with some other written pieces from earlier in the year.  By the way, all final drafts and projects are due in class by Thursday the 21st. Our wonderful class parents have been organizing a breakfast for this event.

Later that day, we will have our own class party..if you somehow missed the note.  Children have the opportunity to participate in a “grab bag” with each other.  This is totally optional, but if your child is participating, please send in a wrapped gift labeled for either a Boy or a Girl and kids will choose from the bag during our party in the afternoon.  NYCommon Pantry donations are due tomorrow, the 15th.  Grab bag gifts can come as late as the 22nd–but remember, you only take a gift if you’ve brought a gift!

In other areas, we continue to proceed with the 4th grade curriculum.  Math work has been focused on multiplication, specifically working with and identifying factors, multiples, prime and square numbers.  Children should be able to identify the factors of a number using a systematic approach and to create arrays of those factor pairs.  We will continue with multiplication and division when we return from the winter break.

Our Social Studies will move on to the Colonial Period with a short look at European Exploration.  We will examine the development of the 13 Colonies, differentiating among them based on who went where, why,  and when.

Reading Partnerships will likely pause during vacation but we’ll pick up again in January.  Student reading notebook entries are now the source of the partnership book talk and so should be well developed as they are the basis for strong conversations that improve reading comprehension for all.  Students who are using post-its as a way to monitor ideas while reading, should choose one of those post-its to develop into an entry.  Formal reading responses are due 3 school days after the partner book is finished.  If you have further questions about this, ask your child.  He or she should be able to explain fully the requirements and expectations.  Final drafts are to be neatly written in pencil, blue or black pen, or can be typed.  First drafts must also be handed in.

As the weather gets colder, I would like to remind all parents again about the need to put names on or inside jackets, gloves, hats, lunch boxes, and water bottles.

Here’s to a strong end to the year,


Zumba Kids at PS 77


Dear families,

We have some exciting news! For the third straight year, our students will have the opportunity to participate in free Zumba classes at recess. The classes will be run by certified Zumba instructors from Training Concepts LLC. Classes will be held on Monday’s and Friday’s in the auditorium from 10:05 AM to 10:25 AM and 11:00 AM to 11:25 AM.

Zumba Kids will run on the following dates:

January 8, 12, 26, 29

February 2, 5

If your child is interested in signing up for Zumba, please fill out the school permission slip and Zumba release forms below. Both forms should be turned in to your classroom teacher.

Zumba Kids Waiver

ZUMBA KIDS school permission slip 2017

If you have further questions, please email Mr. Goodman at mgoodman@lowerlab.org

November 27, 2017

Dear 4-243 Families,

We are in the process of transitioning from researching our Native American projects to drafting our essays.  Some students still have research to do so please feel free to assist at home, whether using books or websites. Just remember that children are expected to site resources used.  Below, I am including a copy of the Letter to Parents that was sent home at the beginning of the project.  Please take note of and mark your calendars for our Publishing Party on December 22nd.  This will include a presentation through our association with Wingspan Arts, so SAVE THE DATE.  Students will be typing their drafts during class time using Google Docs.  In some cases, students will need to complete the typing at home.

November 15, 2017

Dear Families,

Attached you will find a detailed description of an interdisciplinary research project students are beginning. There are many learning goals embedded in this project such as:

  • time management

  • organization

  • long term planning

  • Native American history across the US

  • research skills

  • internet research skills

  • note taking skills

  • informational reading

  • informational essay writing skills

  • peer evaluation

  • using feedback to improve

We have gone over the due dates and expectations with them. In the classroom students have access to a variety of books, note taking sheets, works cited/bibliography sheet, outline sheets, self-evaluation sheets, and some time for internet research. We will be teaching them the necessary skills over the course of November and December. We plan to celebrate their accomplishments at a publishing party on Friday, December 22nd.

You can help at home by:

  • Checking in with them about their progress

  • Asking them what their next step is

  • Taking them to the library to find additional books, articles, or DVDs

  • Helping them do internet research (a list of suggested websites is available on our google classroom)

  • Assisting with any supplies they may need to complete their creative project

  • Asking them what they are learning about

  • Reminding them to take home their project materials when needed

We look forward to seeing their hard work and growth in this project. Thank you and please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best Wishes,

The Fourth Grade Team

Thank you for your support of your child and of Lower Lab. See you soon,


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