Earth Day was the hot topic last week at the preschool. The Monkey room learned all about taking care of the Earth, including recycling. The Giraffes did their part by recycling egg cartons, while the Lions were busy cubs collecting plastic milk and soda bottles. The Lions have also been experimenting with seeds and plant life, and the Tigers got a jump on cultivating their butterfly garden. They all took a nature walk in honor of Earth Day.
For obvious reasons, the Giraffes worked hard on their letter of the week “G.”
The Tigers had a great big class review of all the letters and letter sounds of the alphabet. Everyone did a great job. The week ended with the highly anticipated schoolwide Earth Day celebration.
All of our students have green thumbs this year. They have been quite the gardeners, watching their gardens grow and planting additional flowering seeds for mom for Mother’s Day! The Lions are growing strawberries.
The Monkeys and Giraffes are anxiously awaiting the inevitable event, their cocoons turning into beautiful butterflies, while the Tiger class continues to prepare for its spring play performance, “The Rainbow Fish,” set for Thursday, May 1.
The Tigers are learning their phone numbers and illustrating their sight-word books. Mums the word in the Lion room, as they are busy preparing lots of special surprises for mom for Mother’s Day.
Pop the popcorn and get ready for lights, camera, action! Linda Fuller’s eighth-grade students, in association with the American Film Institute, have been in the preproduction phase of their own original films.
Students have learned about script writing, call sheets, camera angles, lighting, and sound. Presently, they are creating their copy and graphic storyboards. Groups will be filming independently through the first weeks of May, and classes will host their own East Hampton Middle School Film Festival at the end of the month.
Featured in the festival will be their live action documentaries, music videos, public service announcements, and parodies. In addition to their filmmaking efforts, students are reading the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Themes learned throughout the year in Character Education will be emphasized as Mrs. Fuller’s students examine this timeless classic of growing up and the human dignity that unites us all.
Even though it was a short week, the students were very busy. They started the flower garden in the back of the school by planting sunflower seeds, and also put in a new bird feeder and weather station. The outdoor activities were topped off with raising a new USA flag over the school grounds. The students started their research papers on various types of weather in second- and third-grade science.
All of the grades started work on special Mother’s Day gifts. The Mother’s Day luncheon will be on Friday, May 9.
Author Stephanie Calmenson will give a talk to the children on Monday, May 12. She will bring a special guest, Harry, her long-haired daschund.
May 14 is community career day. Many community members will be giving talks about their careers to the students, who will, in turn, interview the community members.
First-graders celebrated Earth Day by practicing sidewalk art that would make a statement to all who entered the building. They also presented a play to other classes and to their parents on Friday afternoon about the rainforests. Every single student participated and all had their lines down pat.
Ms. Kleinberg, with the assistance of Ms. Murphy, will be collecting used books all week that will be sold the following week in a book sale to help support Parents As Reading Partners next year. Bring in any books that you think someone else may want to purchase and read.
Fourth-graders had to choose an animal at the top of a food chain and trace its food needs backwards. They then documented their research.
The students in Ms. Nicoletti’s class have studied and written about each of the Canadian provinces and territories and have them on display. Across the hall on the bulletin board the students have designed an interactive quiz on Central and South America.
“Montauk Horizons—A Study in Color,” a project by Ms. Cutillo’s fifth-grade art classes, is on display at the Montauk Library; the students will go there to view it. Students did individual works using limited color palettes from their surroundings on objects collected from our sea shores.
The Spring Book Fair is open this week at JMMES. Every student received a free book that was donated by several organizations that comprise the Greater East Hampton Education Foundation. The book fair is a buy-one, get-one free opportunity for students to load up on books for the summer!
On Thursday night, April 24, the Bilingual Cuentos (Spanish Bedtime Stories) took place at JMMES. There was a meeting with parents followed by a fun-filled night of bedtime stories and activities in Spanish. Mr. Kelly and Mr. Hartnett even played a song on his guitar while parents and children enjoyed refreshments.
Kristy Eberhart’s and Jeff Thompson’s students worked very hard on writing and illustrating books of their own. The students each chose a topic important to them. Some of the nonfiction topics were “Planting Daisies With My Mom,” “A Day With Grandpa,” or “My Trip to Disney.” Other children chose to write fiction stories with titles such as “The Dogs in Disney World” or “The Creepy House.” The children enjoyed sharing their stories with their family and friends.
On Friday morning, there was an Arbor Day celebration in the multi-purpose room at JMMES. Students celebrated by listening to a special presentation and receiving a tree to plant with their family and friends.
The Springs Health Fair on April 28 was a great success. Many attended the event to improve their health and well-being. Local agencies, groups, organizations and practitioners had come including nutritionists, personal trainers, yoga instructors, masseuses, counselors, chiropractors, therapists, dentists, local police and ambulance and cancer organizations. Many contributed a healthy snack and it was appreciated. Everybody is looking for ways for children to have fun yet learn how important it is to be healthy.
Eighth-grade social studies teacher Katie Farmer has come back for a second year of coaching. She has used her talent as a teacher to guide the girls seventh- and eighth-grade softball team. Lindsey Kromer is the leadoff pitcher for the team. Along with how to play, Katie is teaching the team about how eating right is essential to staying good at the sport.
She is also conducting coaching sessions for sixth-graders who plan to be on the team next year. The girls who are veterans from last year include Skyler Conklin, Jessica Bono, Amelia Whelan, Saoirse McKeon, Hannah Jacobs, Brittany Schmidt, Dalton Brauer, Cole Brauer, Lindsey Kromer, Olivia Berti, and Lauren English.
The school has had a guest teacher all year. Kate Rabinowitz has been coming in to do yoga for kindergarten through fifth-grade students. “Kate” teaches students how to practice yoga and how to meditate. The students have also learned how to stretch the body. She comes to the classroom with a cart that holds her blue and purple yoga mats. The program has become so popular that teachers are now practicing yoga after school, organized by health teacher John Foster. Kate started because her own children James and Anna Lynton attend the school and Kate taught yoga in her children’s classes. The program was covered by a grant from an outside foundation, and has become a favorite of both students and staff.
Ann Marie Schuppe’s third-grade class is learning to write and read poetry. Each student in Mrs. Schuppe’s class has entered a poem for the High Tide poetry contest. They have chosen their best poem. Some of the poems are haiku, a memory, wondering, and loving. Diana Aguilar learned that poetry can go in any form or order; Alexandra Vecchio learned to write haiku. Over 600 entries were submitted this year for the school’s annual High Tide magazine.
Ten students from grades six through eight from the English as a Second Language program are creating a film/photography project with art teacher Colleen McGowan, academic enrichment teacher Sue Ellen O’Connor, and ESL teacher Margaret Garsetti. Each student works with a camera and conducts interviews. They meet three times a week every first period. They photograph each other and recreate their experiences in Springs. They plan to share their videos and photos with the school at the end of the school year.
Ray Wojtusiak, sixth-grade teacher, has been working with the sixth-grade classes on the presidential election. Students have tracked their favorite candidates, discussed the debates and political platforms and assessed the political advertisements. The have also explored how other countries get their presidents or political leaders.
Student Council members will be traveling with advisor Margaret Garsetti to the Animal Rescue Fund in Wainscott, where the students will spend some time attending to the animals and visiting the facility. Approximately 14 students have decided to make the trip.
On Friday the 18th, Tracy Frazier’s fifth-graders planted flowers in the front of the school in the four memorial beds in honor of Earth Day.
The sun dial, donated to the school by Norma Edwards, has been placed in the courtyard. The students had to level a tree trunk and correctly place the dial. The dial is by the picnic table so that teachers and students can eat lunch and not be late. They are all learning to read time by the shadow.
With spring here, loads of students are lining up to do work in the courtyard, pulling weeds and forming rocks around the rose bushes so no one will touch them or walk in them. Mary Jane Arceri is donating plants that will soon be planted in the courtyard. Anyone in Springs with Chinese lanterns is asked for donations of seeds or plants. Students are also looking for all species of perennials.
On Wednesday, April 30, the high school will host another blood drive. The school hopes to see more faces and encourages everyone to donate blood.
This past Friday was packed with events. It was the Faculty vs. Seniors basketball game, which was won by the faculty. After the game, there was a dance, inspired by Camo for a Cause. That night was also the school lock down during which students, teachers, and parents worked to sew quilts for Quilts of Valor. Students who signed up were required to sleep over at the school and contribute in some way to the project. The event was a huge success. Students were required, if they signed up, to remain at the school until 8 a.m. the next day.
Stella Maris School has begun its annual fund drive and tickets to the 50/50 raffle are now on sale. Tickets cost $100 each and the grand prize may be up to $50,000. Proceeds from this raffle will go toward the purchase of Smart Boards for every classroom. The school is also planning to build upon its Language Immersion Program, which has proven to be extremely successful in the nursery, pre-K, and kindergarten classes. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 725-2525.