March Update

Dear Families,
Your children did an excellent job on the field trip this week. They were respectful and learned a lot!
As a reminder, we have a Wingspan performance on Monday March 26th.
We have been busy preparing for the ELA test. Students are revising their extended responses to practice what it takes to get a top score. We are especially focused on making a strong plan and finding the best details to support our thinking.
Please keep an eye on your child’s planner. There are weekly writing assignments for them to practice these skills.
We are learning all about fractions in math. Khan Academy is a great resource for students to watch videos and test their knowledge.
I look forward to sharing specific updates with you about your child at the parent teacher conference next week. Have a lovely weekend!
Warmest Wishes,
Ms. C

Update from Ms. Courtwright


Dear Families,

As you know, the New York State tests are coming up. The ELA (English Language Arts) test will be administered Wednesday April 11th and Thursday April 12th.  The NY State Math Test is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2nd to Thursday, May 3rd. We wanted to outline for you what our plans are and how you can provide support at home to make sure your child is prepared and confident for the tests. In fact, many students said they felt over-prepared last year.

Test Preparation In-School

To learn of your child’s current areas of needs and areas of strengths, we are administering a “mock test” in both ELA and Math. These practice tests will give students a feel for what the actual test will probably look like.   Student responses will be carefully analyzed to plan our upcoming activities and lessons. We will be going over parts of the practice test and having students correct their mistakes and revise their writing. Due to this, we are not sending the practice tests home right now. Your child’s teacher will discuss how your child did during the parent teacher conferences. Sometimes our test prep work will be with small groups who need targeted and specific practice with certain skills. Other days, the test prep will be in the form of whole-class lessons, when the skill is one with which all students need further reinforcement.  

Our school will be using the Practice Coach Plus ELA and Finish Line Math workbooks to support with test-preparation. These books will be used for classwork and for homework. Please ensure that the book is brought to school everyday. We also ask that you please avoid completing any unassigned activities in these books. We already started using the ELA book. The Math book will go home later as the test is many weeks away.

At home you can support your child by:

  • Reducing stress around the test.
  • Ensuring that they do homework assignments thoughtfully.
  • Making sure that they bring their test prep books back to school each day.
  • Helping them come up with a special “mantra” to say to themselves during the test if they feel overwhelmed, tired, etc.
  • Reminding students that their teachers have many years of experience in preparing students and that they will be in great hands.
  • Not overwhelming children with “extra” work.
  • Make sure they get good sleep and eat a healthy breakfast on testing days.

Additional resources:

If you would like to work on additional practice tests with your child at home please only use the 2017 released questions and example answers. You can find this information for ELA & Math here:

Please avoid using tests from other years besides 2017 as we will be using examples from other years in our teaching.

We understand this can be a stressful time.  Please try not to communicate your anxiety to your children and we will do the same.  If we have any particular concerns about your child’s academic progress, we will be in touch with you directly.

Thank you,

Donna & Ms. Courtwright

Update from Ms. Courtwright

Dear Families,

I hope this finds you well!

We are at a point in the year where students are going to have to work very hard and really focus on learning. You can help by talking with your child about how they should behave at school in order to do their personal best. We are beginning our literary essay unit. In this unit students will be reading a variety of short stories and writing about them. We will work on developing a thesis statement and supporting it with strong evidence. Students will be revising a lot of the work they do in order to work towards mastery.

Historical fiction books clubs are off to a great start. Clubs meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Students need to read up to an agreed upon page and have done some writing in their reading notebook about what they read.

In math, we finished our multiplication and division unit. An end of unit test will be sent home soon for you to review with your child. Students will be expected to correct any mistakes in order to learn from them. Please keep an eye out for this (early next week). Thank you!

We are embarking on a fractions investigation. Please ask your child about it!

Thank you as always for your support.

Stay warm!

Ms. Courtwright

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

Happy New Year!

Dear Families,

I hope you had a restful and relaxing break. I enjoyed spending lots of time with friends and family.

In math, we are still in our multiplication and division unit. This is a good time to review the multiplication facts with your child.

In reading, students continue to enjoy their book partnerships. Partner meetings happen each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Students need to read at least 30 pages per night. They need to write a reading journal entry for each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We are working on keeping the discussion going by asking each other questions.

In writing, we are beginning opinion writing. This will lead us to literary essay writing in a few weeks.

In social studies, we are beginning to learn about the colonies.

I wish you all the best for a wonderful 2018!!

Best Wishes,


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 

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

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

Native American Project Update


Dear Families,

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! In math we are beginning our multiplication and division unit. I am sharing the below letter again so you can review the Native American project progress at home with your child. In addition, A HUGE THANK YOU FOR THE NEW CARPET! IT IS A WONDERFUL ADDITION TO OUR CLASSROOM!

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