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


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.


Your final fifth grade update (how bittersweet!)


In reading, the students have been thrilled to dive into our long-awaited fantasy book club unit. We have been analyzing tropes of the genre, inquiring into the qualities antagonists tend to have in common, and we look ahead to studying how the structure of a fantasy story is unique from other fiction texts. By the end of this unit, the no-longer fifth graders will be able to approach their summer reading with a new sense of awareness and critical analysis of this favorite genre.


Our writing is culminating in an introspective and meaningful memoir unit. Students have studied the structures of memoirs as a hybrid genre that bridges personal narrative and essay. We are exploring the memories and discoveries we don’t want to forget as we prepare for graduation and finding ways to balance “writing small to write big.” Our goal is to leave this unit having thoughtfully expressed a big idea about our lives and learning before we move on to the next big adventures.

A note on publishing: in the interest of expediency, we will be sharing our civil rights information writing during the Science Fair! Getting you the most bang for your scheduling buck. No worries if you can’t be available; we will make our hard work available to you some other way.


Science Fair 2018 is a week away!  Students should be done with their reports and working on their boards.  Boards should be brought to school on Tuesday, June 12 in preparation for our evening Science Fair event.  Some students have asked to include their iPad as part of their presentation, that is fine with me as long as it is fine with you.

We participate in an energy efficiency program through ConEd.  Later this week, students will be bringing home a box of supplies that can be used in their home as a way increase the level of efficiency in water and electricity.  Enjoy!


We are busy preparing for our big end-of-the-year event!  We are busy with a teacher appreciation video, graduation song and speeches.

Reminder, the ceremony is at 9am on June 22nd.  We encourage students to dress in something that is slightly more formal than a regular school day but something that will keep them comfortable (including shoes). Graduates and their guests should keep in mind that it may feel very hot and humid in the auditorium.

Each family may invite up to six guests beyond their graduating student. Wristbands will be used for admission and they will be backpacked with your child in June.  Each guest will need to present his/her wristband at the door. If you need additional wristbands beyond the six allocated, we encourage you to connect with one another directly to transfer any extra wristbands to a family who needs additional seats.

On the day of the graduation, fifth graders are expected to arrive by 8:15am and go directly to their homeroom classroom. Families and guests may arrive at the Third Avenue doors starting at 8:40am (the auditorium will not be open for seating until then).

Health Education

Health education classes were completed today, students should complete or have completed 4 take-home assignments by next Tuesday.  Please encourage your child to put a question in the question box if there was anything they didn’t have a chance to ask or feel comfortable asking in the group.  Thank you for your support with this important topic.

Off Campus Lunch

During the week of June 18th, fifth grade students will be given the option to participate in one off campus lunch.  Students will go in groups, have parameters of where they can go and a staff member will be ‘out and about’ for support.  We are working on the details of the days, but please keep your eye out for a memo and permission slip regarding this activity

Grade 5: Ardsley Instrument Return

Dear 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 from Ardsley and plan to return the rental instrument:

  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 Friday, June 8th.
    • If you never received your Rental Renewal Invoice from Ardsley, I can still return it to Ardsley.  The serial number was assigned to each instrument for this reason.

The PICKUP DATE at our school is Monday, June 11th (no school for students).    If you miss the pickup date, you will need to return the instrument directly to Ardsley.

I would like to make sure that no students leave their instrument in the school over the summer.   Please contact me at if you have any further questions.

Thank you for your great support this year!

Musically yours,

Ms. Kim


Your fifth grade ELA update for May

With the (hopefully for good this time) advent of sunny spring days and the end of state testing, your fifth graders are doing a deep dive into the American civil rights movement. We’ve been immersed in this work in reading, writing, and social studies as we push ourselves to collect and sort through important facts and consider ways to layer our own thinking over them. The first cycle of this work has involved reading all across myriad texts on the subject and organizing what we learn into subtopics, then flash drafting across all of these subtopics in a research report structure. Our big revision work has taken the form of doing targeted research to fill in gaps in our understanding, as well as using strategies like noticing patterns, developing theories, and building empathy in our readers. This round of work will culminate soon in the publication of collaborative classwide books that touch on a variety of subtopics.

Soon thereafter, our research will specialize into specific subtopics, examples of which include “famous civil rights leaders,” “the role of students in the civil rights movement,” and “landmark Supreme Court cases.” Students will target their research, writing and publishing individual research reports on a single subtopic of choice. We can’t wait to share this work with you at a publishing party sometime soon!

Our work in social studies also supports our immersion in civil rights research. A current mini-unit entitled “Kids Who Resist,” spearheaded by our own wonderful TA, Kate, introduced us to the Greensboro 4 and the idea of peaceful protest. Students got creative by designing their own flyers to advertise sit ins at the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter in 1960. Upcoming topics include Ruby Bridges and the Birmingham Children’s Crusade!

I’ll be in touch about publishing party dates as our work continues!

P.S. Lower Lab’s own creative writer laureate, Suzanne LaFleur, has a new book in the works entitled Counting to Perfect. A recent cover art sneak peek had this reader buzzing; here’s a link for anybody interested in finding out more about her upcoming work and thoughts on being a writer: Cover Art and Interview with Ms. LaFleur!

Update from Claudia (May)


We have completed a ‘Fat Test’ and a ‘Sugar Test’ for our Food and Nutrition unit.  During the fat test, students measured one gram of food, spread it on a piece of brown paper and let the sample sit over the weekend.  On Monday, we scraped off the food and measured the area of the dark spot left behind from the food. Letting it sit for the weekend helps to separate wet spots from fat spots.  Of the foods we tested, butter, salami and peanut butter were the fattiest foods we tested and raisins, marshmallows and pretzels were the least. The students engaged in an interesting discussion over foods that surprised them, and foods to enjoy in moderation based on these results.  We know our bodies need fat, but we do want to keep an eye on how much is consumed in a day/week.

During the sugar test, we measured 3 grams of cereal, 10 mg of yeast and 50mL of warm water, combined them all in a baggie and let it sit in a bath of warm water.  After ten minutes we measured the volume of the bag and learned that cereals with a lot of sugar ‘puffed up’ because the yeast and the sugar metabolized and gave off CO2.  We measured again after 20 minutes and found Lucky Charms & Frosted Mini-Wheats had a high volume of CO2, while Cinnamon Toast Crunch & Rice Krispies did not.  Many students understand and see the value in limiting the amount of sugar they consume, and again, moderation was the theme! 

Our next lab will be an acid test, food samples will not be needed.  (Thank you for your food donations so far!)

Science Fair: The rough draft of the written report is due Friday, the document is posted on Google Classroom. (If you need another weekend, Monday, May 7th is fine too!)

National Science League: Wow, Class of 2018 gets the ‘Most Enthusiastic About a Multiple Choice Science Test’ award!  Each week, they researched, read and discussed (agreeing and disagreeing) every topic in “that green book”!  Thank you for your support!

Special congratulations goes to: Bob Spinna, Daniel Kim, Isabella Capole-Chung, Vincent Bruckner, Tommy Hansen, Christopher Lee,  Jonah Peirez, Ethan Leonard, Andrey Karpovich, Triton Oh, Arden Barnwell, Anna Eliasson, Ian Buchanan, Pearce Marinis, Elly Park for their high achievements on this year’s National Science League competition.


We will cover statistics and data over the next few weeks, focusing on the four step process of statistics (formulating questions, collecting data, analyzing data and interpreting results) and thinking about statistics as the measures that describe the data.  Pie charts, line plots and bar graphs and more!

A few dates:

  • Health Class Parent Meeting: May 3, 8:30am, M39
  • Fifth Grade Olympics: May 24
  • Rocking Horse Ranch Overnight: May 30-May 31
  • June 1: Awards Ceremony (If your child is receiving an award you are invited to attend.  If you’re not sure, email me and I will let you know.)

Appealing or Attending a school outside of Middle School Admissions

April 17, 2018

Dear Fifth Grade Families,

At this point, you should have received your child’s acceptance letter to Middle School. If your child will be attending the school indicated in the letter, no further steps need to be taken.

If you would like to appeal your child’s match or your child will be attending a school outside of the admissions process, please indicate this on the form you received with the acceptance letter and return to me.

If you are appealing,  I will send home an appeal form for you to complete and return back to me  no later than April 26th, 2018.

If your child will be attending a school outside of the admissions process, please remember to attach a copy of your child’s admission letter to verify admission to that school.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions regarding this process.

Joshua Goldstein


Middle School Acceptance Letters!

April 11, 2018
Dear Fifth Grade Parents:

We have just been notified by the NYC DOE Office of Student Enrollment that the Middle School letters will be available for you to pick up on Thursday, April 12th.  I will have the letters in my office, which is room 137.  You must sign for the letter to pick it up.  Please be aware of the following:

  • The school cannot fax/scan the letters.
  • The school is only giving the letters to the parents or designated caregivers in person, or sending them by mail. If you would like your caregiver to pick up your letter, please have him or her come to the Main Office with a note with your signature stating that this person may pick up your middle school choice letter.
  • No child or sibling will receive the letters.

I will distribute letters on:

Thursday, April 12th between 1:00-3:00 PM


Friday, April 13th between 8:30-10:00 AM and 1:00-3:00 PM

Whatever is not picked up on Friday by 3:30 PM will be mailed home. 

We ask that you share the information with your child at home.  Please do not go out to the schoolyard or to classrooms to share the news with your child. In an effort to protect the feelings of all children, it is necessary for you to do this outside of the school day, and in person.  Please do not text or call your child until he/she is home from school and preferably with an adult.

If you would like to appeal your child’s middle school placement, you must do so by Thursday, April 26th, 2018.  Please contact me to learn more about the appeals process.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns at or 212-427- 2798.

Thank you!

Joshua Goldstein

Guidance Counselor

Lower Lab School

Fifth grade ELA update for April

Spring has sprung (hopefully!) and with it the long anticipated advent of the ELA exam. As I shared with the fifth graders today, they should feel confident and prepared after all their hard work. What students should do tonight to be ready for tomorrow:

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Pack a water bottle that won’t leak and a few high-interest books
  • Wear comfy clothes, including a sweatshirt in case the AC gets chilly
  • Eat a robust breakfast (lunch will be later than usual)

With the way time has been flying, we’ll soon be on to our exciting new units of study. We’ll be spending a week-long ‘palate cleanser’ unit to honor April as National Poetry Month. After that, we’ll continue to integrate reading, writing, and social studies as we do a deep research dive into the study of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Students will read and take notes in preparation for writing research papers that highlight specific subtopics. We will be excited to share the results of this critical research work with you!

Update from Claudia


During April, our focus will be on reviewing content from the school year as well as test taking strategies for problem solving and reviewing good habits when taking a test. Each week the class is focused on one area of mathematics (for example, this week is all about fractions) and reviewing through small group work, partner work and independent work.  In addition, we will be finishing the geometry unit and then we will move into a statistics and probability unit.

One of the math centers this month is to read The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, a fictional story about a boy who is visited by a number devil each night.  The book creatively introduces many mathematical concepts.



Friday will be our first lab from the Food & Nutrition unit.  During this lab students will study the amount of fats in everyday food, I will be asking the students to bring some food samples from home, don’t be alarmed if they are rooting through your pantry or fridge!

We are always looking for experts in nutrition to come talk to the class, please let me know if you’re interested!

Science Fair has begun….proposals are due Wednesday!  


Rocking Horse Ranch paperwork was sent home today, please fill out all pages and return on or before Friday, April 13th.

National Science League 2018 Competition Date: Friday, April 27th

Fifth Grade Olympic Day: Thursday, May 25th

Graduation: 9am, Friday June 22nd