Jodee Blanco will be conducting three presentations January 16 on bullying; one each for students, faculty and parents. Her message is based on her book, “Please Stop Laughing At Me … One Woman’s Inspirational Story.” She will give specific strategies for students and those who intervene with firsthand accounts of her experiences.
Students in Spirit Meet celebrated the third film festival January 8 with five films, including three animations: “Animal Show” by Corrina Castillo, Nichole Lopez, and Brooke Wittmer; “Soccer” by Manny Vilar; and “Three Little Pigs” by Jamie Grant, Alyssa Brabant, Emma Terry and Danny Jimenez. The documentary films were “Halloween” by Sarah Hernandez and “Lollypop” by Erica Chavez and Jhoseliyne Munoz.
Steve Biasetti from the Group for the East End visited the third grade classes to teach them about birds. The students learned that each species has distinctive feet and beaks. By using tweezers, water droppers and nets, the students determined how different shaped beaks could pick up various materials. In addition, they studied how the birds were camouflaged to blend in to their particular environment.
Science teacher Sean Knight led the fourth-graders in an exploration of food chains. They planted terrariums, introducing crickets, earthworms, and anoles. Students are now able to classify each animal as a primary, secondary or tertiary consumer, or decomposer, based on what it eats. For reinforcement they role-played predator or prey in a food chain game.
While studying the colonial period in Amy Turner’s class, seventh-grader Marissa Harry was inspired to study her family history. She discovered that her great-great-great-grandfather, John Jefferson Byram, married to Mary Smith Clayton, with one child, John Alden, enlisted as a private for the 51st New York. She found a folder with a copy of the letter written to her great-great-great-grandmother by Captain Samuel H. Sims, of his death in battle: “It has been my most painful duty to notify you of the death of your husband which occurred at the battle of Fredericksburg on December 13th, 1862” She also learned that her great-great-great-great-grandfather Joseph Byram, fought in the Revolutionary War. Marissa plans to continue her study of the role of her family in early American history.
Students in Lisa Seff’s science classes set their alarms early. For an extra credit assignment, they researched the recent solar flares and bundled up to witness the Northern lights first-hand which were most visible before dawn last week.
Peter Parker, Owen McCormack’s class tarantula died at the age of 3. Mr. McCormack stated: “He leaves behind many children that never wanted to touch him, but you can be sure, he touched us all, our little furry friend!”
The opera students in the True Blue 52 Opera Company may have finished their standing room only run of “Dogs Don’t Talk,” but they aren’t finished with opera. They are now preparing to venture into the city to the Lincoln Center to see a real opera, “The Enchanted Island,” in February. The students will study the opera in advance with Margaret Thompson and Sue Ellen O’Connor.
Third-graders Ella Eggert, Sophia Tucci and Gabrielle Miller are starting a project for the school’s website. They will conduct surveys on student opinions. The first survey is about New Year’s resolutions. The three students plan to expand to a joke of the week, working with website manager Kim Belkin.
The Visiting Artist Program is thriving: four artists visited the classes to work with students in grades three, four, seven and eight. Andy Piver, anime artist is working with the sixth-graders on creating a comic book about the school. They have created a storyline in their drawing notebooks and have now put their comics on story boards. Ellen Frank, a local artist, worked with third-grade students to design an illustrated gold leaf alphabet that is called Stuffed Animals A to Z, based on the song from this year’s opera. The mural was displayed in the lobby of Guild Hall during the performance of the production. A and G Dance Company led the fourth-graders in a graffiti inspired mural, reflecting love of community and positive change for world peace. Andi Pisicano continued to work with light and shadow using charcoal, with the junior high. All artwork will be on display at the school.