Winthrop Avenue Students Build Their Knowledge of Butterflies

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To bolster their knowledge of butterflies, third grade students at Winthrop Avenue attended a virtual video conference with The Center for Puppetry Arts which focused on these enigmatic and colorful creatures.

For the last couple of weeks, the class has been learning about butterflies and watching their development closely in the classrooms as they develop through each stage of their life cycle. During the video conference, students engaged in discussions about the different types of butterflies, their eating habits and ways in which they protect themselves from predators. The presenter then walked the students step-by-step through the process of making their own butterfly puppets and led the students in a butterfly dance.

There were smiles all around, because the students enjoyed the hands-on activity and were proud of what they created.

History Comes to Life at Shore Road

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Shore Road sixth grade students were witnesses to an important historical and personal account about the Holocaust during a virtual visit with survivor and “Four Perfect Pebbles” author Marion Blumenthal Lazan. Ms. Lazan’s presentation was a message of hope, courage and compassion.

“In a few short years, I and other survivors will not be around to share firsthand our experiences,” Ms. Lazan told the students. “Please share our stories. It is you who will have to bear witness.”

Ms. Lazan recounted her childhood prior to the war and the invocation of the Nuremberg Laws, which eventually led to her move to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Northern Germany. She explained a game she played while incarcerated – if she could find four perfect pebbles, her family would remain safe. This became the inspiration for the name of her best-selling book “Four Perfect Pebbles.” She also recounted her ride on the train to eastern Europe where she was eventually liberated and her eventual immigration to America.

“Despite the terrible things that happened to me, my life is rewarding,” Ms. Lazan said.

Ms. Lazan also encouraged students to “prevent our past from becoming your future” by being kind and respectful toward one another and by focusing on similarities between each other.

Winthrop Avenue Students Complete Biography Project

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Third grade students in Samantha Seith’s class at Winthrop Avenue researched and created colorful biographies of leaders in the world community, choosing from a list of authors, actors, singers, professional athletes and scientists.

Utilizing Capstone’s Pebble Go application on their Chromebooks, the students were able to easily research their chosen person’s early life, adult life and interesting facts they learned while reading about them. The student-researchers also put together a timeline to include the important events in the subject’s life.

To complete the project, the students then copied a colored image of their subject, which was then attached to a triptych visual and which included all of the information they had chosen to include in their biography project. The projects were shared amongst peers and then hung in the hallway for other students to read.

Not only did the students have fun learning about an interesting person, they acquired lifelong research skills.

Bellmore is a ‘Community of Readers’

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Winthrop Avenue third grade students welcomed readers from around the community, who read their favorite picture book via video sharing, during the Community of Readers activity. One of the goals at Winthrop Avenue School and throughout the District, Principal Sally Curto said, “is to motivate students to read, read, read.”

Teacher Stacey Reiner, who spearheaded the activity, explained that the Community of Readers was started “to allow students to hear books read by some familiar faces and see some new ones, all who will have an impact on their learning and growing as they make their way through the Bellmore schools.”

Each guest videoed themselves reading their favorite book, prefacing with some information about themselves and why they liked their book choice so much. Many of the book choices related to the Leadership Principles and Core Values taught in the District’s Bellmore Stars Character Development Program.

Principal Curto, read “After the Fall,” which reminded students the importance of perseverance and dedication, while C.A. Reinhard Principal Patricia Castine read, “Love” and shared her love of reading as she grew up. Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Joanne Dacek read, “The Rabbit Listened,” which reminded students of the Leadership Principles to “Be Proactive – Carry Your Own Weather” and to “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.”

Other readers included Board of Education trustee Leslie Cerverizzo who read her favorite book, “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs” and Shore Road Principal Patrice Matthews, whose choice, “Enemy Pie,” defined the importance of having a “win-win” attitude.

Administrators from the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District also participated. JFK High School Assistant Principal Dr. Marie Netto read, “Dragons Love Tacos” and Grand Avenue Middle School Assistant Principal Christopher Riccardi read, “The Bad Seed.”

The Community of Readers activity was also a way for students to connect to the community through the written word. For example, Bellmore Memorial Library Director Elaine Cummings-Young read, “The New LiBearian” and Children’s Department Head Pam Pagones read, “The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Both librarians welcomed students back to the library and shared the importance of reading every day.

“We were so thrilled to have so many friends from the community participate,” Ms. Reiner said. “The students and teachers were so inspired that many want to reread these books to their family.”

Winthrop Avenue Students Become Animal Researchers

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Third grade students in Victoria Seropian’s class at Winthrop Avenue School polished their research and writing skills during writing workshop while learning how to construct an informational piece.

The student-researchers chose an animal and delved into information about their animal’s appearance, habitat, potential predators, prey and interesting facts. They utilized books and internet resources to assist them with their investigation prior to writing about their animal.

After completing their research, the students placed their written information on poster board, which included an introduction, research found on each animal, which was organized under various topics, and their conclusions based on findings. The projects included pictures and the sources used during the research process.

The assignment helped prepare the students for research and informational writing as they move forward in their educational studies.