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Early American Lessons

Early American Lessons

The Argonauts from all three elementary schools had the opportunity to explore the BOCES Homestead Ecology Program in Brookville on May 6.

Students were fortunate to take part in hands-on learning experiences through participation in Early American craft activities such as broom making, blacksmithing and pioneer construction. The group also explored the property’s nature trail systems. The program helps students to develop an appreciation of the colonial lifestyle and comparative technologies.

The district thanks the BOCES program coordinators for allowing the Argonauts to take a step back in time with these informative activities.

Pennies Pile up for Patients

Pennies pile up for patients photo

Charles Campagne Elementary School students and staff members raised a total of $8,010.14 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through the Pennies for Patients campaign. The district as a whole has raised over $15,000 for the society this year.

LLS campaign manager Kerianne Stein visited Charles Campagne on May 14 to deliver the fundraising news to the students and thank them for their efforts. This served as a follow up to her initial presentation on Feb. 28, which focused on students being “superheroes” with the start of the campaign. 

Pennies for Patients is a science-based, service learning program that allows students to work together as a class, grade, and building to reach goals of fundraising. LLS connects schools with local blood cancer patients in addition to providing tangible life skills to participants and allowing students to see the impact they are making in the lives of others.

“Congratulations to Charles Campagne and the entire district for this extraordinary fundraising effort,” said Superintendent of Schools David Schneider. “Incredible job by our students, staff and PTA to support a great cause.”

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Argonauts Research Culminates in Incredible Fundraiser and Awareness

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The Argonauts from Central Boulevard Elementary School, Charles Campagne Elementary School, and Kramer Lane Elementary School researched the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They were shocked and heartbroken by the detrimental effects of plastic on the animals and the environment and how this can affect us all. Fortunately, our Golden Eagles developed a plan to help make a difference! They held a fundraiser to benefit the 4Ocean Organization and the Ocean Cleanup North Pacific Foundation. 4Ocean is a global movement actively utilizing the latest technology to prevent, intercept, and remove trash from the ocean and coastlines while inspiring individuals to work together for cleaner oceans. The Ocean Cleanup North Pacific Foundation is a non-profit organizing developing advanced technologies to rid the world's oceans of plastic. Their passive drifting systems use the ocean currents to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. 

The Argonauts fundraiser was held on Friday, May 10, 2019 at Central Boulevard Elementary School, where guests played games created by the Argonauts, shopped the bake sale, and explored a touch tank made possible by Mr. Portuese! The fundraiser was successful due to the planning and efforts of the Argonauts, their parents/guardians, Mrs. Yale, Mr. Titolo, Mrs. Tierney, Mrs. Yansick, Ms. Flaim, Mrs. Caliguri, Ms. Robb, Ms. Olsen, Mrs. Rothwell, Mr. Wibben, Mr. Flanagan, and the custodial staff at Central Boulevard. Special thanks to Omar Cambeiro, Emily Cohen, Taylor D'Agostino, Amari Harper, Nicholas Timoshenko, Gavin Trzcinski, and Michelle Zheng from Bethpage High School who also assisted during the fundraiser!

The fundraiser raised over $1,600!  Congratulations to everyone involved and for Mrs. Marcis for facilitating the overall efforts!

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Not a Plane, It’s a Bird

Not a Plane, It’s a Bird photo

First grade classes at Charles Campagne Elementary School welcomed Donna Waldenburg of the Long Island Center for Arts and Sciences for the “It’s a Bird” program on May 8.

Ms. Waldenburg spoke to the first graders about the various types of birds and how each one serves different purposes on the planet. She discussed the different environments and diets of the species and allowed each student to examine a turkey feather and observe its appearance and touch.

After learning about birds such as penguins, woodpeckers, peafowls, cardinals and many more, students had the opportunity to create bird feeders. Using a pine cone and other supplies distributed by Ms. Waldenburg, each student added their own personal touches and constructed bird feeder to bring home.

Charles Campagne thanks Ms. Waldenburg for educating the first grade classes on the importance of birds and how they can play a part in supporting local bird species.

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World Language Honor Society Induction

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The 6th Annual World Language Honor Society Induction was conducted by the World Language teachers of Bethpage High School on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 in the Center for the Performing Arts. A total of seventy-eight students were inducted into the Les Arcs de Triomphe Chapter of La Societe Honoraire de Francais; twenty-one students into the Luigi Pirandello Chapter of the Societa Onoraria Italica; and forty-six students into the Loyola Chapter of the Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica. Seniors Amanda Rigby, Sophia Suazo, and Aidan Pech also spoke about their language experiences throughout the years. Special thanks to Brody Paola for helping to induct the Spanish students.  Congratulations to all of the inductees on this special accomplishment!

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News 12 Studio Visit and Tour

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On Wednesday, May 8, 2019, students in John F. Kennedy Middle School's Media Relations Club joined Mr. Levy and Mr. Choi to visit and tour News 12 Studios in Woodbury. Students had the opportunity to see the studio and equipment up close, ask questions to on air personalities, and visit with other teams that support the overall broadcast, such as graphic design and editing.  Special thanks to our host, Robin for organizing and leading the tour and to Rich and Rich, two of the on air personalities that took their time to speak with our students!

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Celebrating a Fiesta

Celebrating a Fiesta

The high school Spanish Club welcomed administrators, staff members and students to the Eighth Annual Fiesta on May 3.

The club invited their guests to join them in celebrating Hispanic culture, music and food. Activities included a photo booth, a buffet featuring various Hispanic cuisines, a DJ and decorations that transformed the cafeteria.

“Thanks to our students and staff for a wonderful celebration,” said Superintendent of Schools David Schneider. “Great food, song and dance for all.”

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Glowing Artists on Display

Glowing Artists on Display photo

Students at John F. Kennedy Middle School were excited to display their talent during the annual art show on April 30.

Parents, peers and community members had the opportunity to view a range of student-created works, which included celebrity portraits, cartoons, wildlife, beaches and cupcakes. The gallery remained showcased in the school’s gymnasium on May 1 for other students and staff members to enjoy.

“The art department is very proud of the hard work and creations by the students,” said art teacher Jamie Bula. “We hope all attendees enjoyed the special talents of these young artists.”

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Stepping into Culture and Dance

Stepping into Culture and Dance

Students in the District were treated to a special “American Footsteps” program by Pat Cannon’s Foot and Fiddle Dance Company on April 29 and 30.

The dance company first visited Kramer Lane Elementary School, then brought the performance to Charles Campagne Elementary School the next day. The high energy show welcomed student participation while spotlighting American folk dance and music.

Ms. Cannon and her band brought live fiddle playing, singing and dancing while helping students gain an understanding of the historical and multicultural origins of American folk dance. Featured forms included Appalachian Clogging, Tap Dance, Irish Step Dance and Square Dance. In addition to witnessing the skills of the professionals, students and teachers were invited on stage to take part in a Square Dance rendition.

The district thanks the Foot and Fiddle Dance Company for showcasing the tradition of American folk dance and music while demonstrating the importance of respect and teamwork.

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Importance of Being Green

Importance of Being Green photo

First graders at Charles Campagne Elementary School enjoyed a “Go Green” program presented by Long Island Center for Arts and Sciences representative Lynn Quigley on April 29.

Ms. Quigley emphasized the three important “R” words of keeping the Earth safe for all – reuse, recycle and reduce. Using illustrations, she demonstrated ways that small changes to daily activities can make a big difference in preserving water and recycling, and identified materials that can be used more than once. These methods showed each student how they can shrink their carbon footprint and help better the planet.

Students were also fortunate enough to create their own recycled flower pots using old newspapers, in which they each planted a sunflower seed. Students brought their plants home with the goal of nurturing them to grow.

The district thanks Ms. Quigley for visiting Charles Campagne to further the first grade’s knowledge on best practices of going green.



Tri-M Honor Society Welcomes New Inductees

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On Thursday, April 4, 2019, the Tri-M Music Honor Society held their annual induction ceremony. The evening began with the inductees performing in a recital, followed by the presentation of certificates, and then refreshments. Congratulations to all of the students that were inducted!

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Top of Bethpage

Top of Bethpage photo

With the end of the school year nearing, Bethpage High School recently announced seniors Stacy Kappel and Soham Maiti as the Class of 2019 Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively.

A pair of students that have been recognized for academic achievements throughout the school year, Stacy and Soham were both identified among the 15,000 finalists in the 64th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program in March after being named semifinalists in September.

Stacy is a member of the National Honor Society and Italian Honor Society at the high school. She plans to major in engineering when she begins college in the fall.

Soham intends on majoring in economics when he begins his collegiate studies. At Bethpage, he is the president of the Philosophy Club, team captain of the Ethics Club, an All-State musician, a founding member of the Chamber Orchestra, a Mathlete and a member of the National and Spanish Honor Societies.

“Stacy and Soham are great examples and role models for future graduates to look up to,” said Principal Nicholas Jantz. “Congratulations to them on being named the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of this year’s graduating class.” 

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A Standard and Example Set

A Standard and Example Set photo

The Regal Eagles robotics team is set for a challenge at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition World Championship, to be held in Detroit, Mich. from April 24-26. This marks the third straight year that the Regal Eagles are contenders in this event.

Seniors Blake von der Esch and Morgan Heller have been part of all three previous trips to the FIRST World Championships as four-year members of Team #2869. Both students have witnessed the growth of robotics and science at school and in regional events. There were 54 participating teams at the New York City Regional on April 6 and 7, including groups from China, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

“Robotics has definitely helped me develop as a person,” said Blake. “There are things we have learned outside of the classroom including team work, working on real world problems and working on time crunches.”

“Being a part of the robotics team has given me a non-technical point of view of how many companies operate,” Morgan explained.

The Regal Eagles experience has helped each student individually prepare for college and beyond. Blake has enrolled at Northeastern University for the fall with plans on majoring in mechanical engineering. Morgan will major in business management at nearby SUNY Farmingdale. 

While the team built the robot during a six-week window in January and February, members meet year-round to discuss methods and strategies. The intense six-week-long preparation period involved after school work, sometimes until almost 9 p.m., and students also dedicated the majority of their Saturdays. The work ethic and dedication demonstrated are just two of the values learned by students and alumni of Regal Eagles.

“It is such a unique experience being part of FIRST Robotics that you will never experience anywhere else,” said Blake. “The program is expanding massively.”

The goals of the team at the championships are to continue to fix the flaws of their robot, reach the Einstein level once again and improve upon their success and results from last year. However, no matter the outcome, Blake, Morgan and the entire team have set a standard of excellence for future robotic teams and students in the district.

“Blake and Morgan’s contributions have been more than just the development of the robot,” said Director of Technology, Andrew Choi. “This team has pushed through adversity and put together a body of work this year to earn a place in Detroit.”

The district wishes the Regal Eagles the best of luck during the FIRST World Championships! 

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Making a Water Difference

Making a Water Difference photo

Art classes at Kramer Lane Elementary School and Charles Campagne Elementary School recently participated in the Bethpage Water District’s water conservation poster contest.

Posters were created by students to address the question of “how can I make a difference by conserving water?” The program offers an opportunity to focus student and community attention on the multiple, vital benefits that come from simply cutting back water usage. The contest aims to encourage students to learn more about how they can make a positive impact in the neighborhood. 

The students’ projects creatively promoted the conservation of water. Through images and text, they stressed the importance of not leaving water running, turning off appliances and taking steps to save water. 

The re-launch of the contest is part of the water district’s celebration of Earth Day on April 22. Prizes will be awarded in June for each participating grade level as well as a special recognition from the Board of Commissioners for the best message.

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Special and Thoughtful Ribbons

Special and Thoughtful Ribbons photo

The “Thoughtful Thursday” monthly series at the Central Boulevard Elementary School continues, and a special activity was held on April 11 with the intention of helping others. Exactly one month shy of the Long Island Special Olympics, students created artwork for the local event.

Grade levels were tasked with different activities that led to a collaborative compilation of decorations to support the Special Olympics participants. Kindergarten and first grade classes colored and cut out inspirational ribbons, while second graders prepared rainbows displaying special messages. Third and fourth grade classes wrote thank you notes for volunteers and the fifth graders illustrated posters for athlete encouragement. 

The district will host more than 500 athletes for the Long Island Special Olympics, which will take place at the high school’s athletic fields on May 11. 

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Flying into Spring

Flying into Spring photo

Kindergarteners at the Charles Campagne Elementary School celebrated the start of a new season with a spring craft activity on April 12.

Parent volunteers joined the students and teachers in the school’s all-purpose room to craft butterflies using various materials. Students colored the wings of their butterflies, which they decorated with jewels, and used clothespins to form the bodies and faces. The volunteers encouraged each student to share their creation as a special gift for a loved one.

The district thanks the parents for bringing this special activity to the kindergarten classes. 

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Two Milos Better Than One

Two Milos Better Than One photo

Third graders at the Central Boulevard Elementary School utilized resources in the STEM lab to create Mars rovers named “Milo.”

“Milo” is a robot constructed from legos and programmed through the WeDo 2.0 application. Students worked with partners to build their “Milos,” then programmed them on an iPad to be controlled via Bluetooth capability. 

Each pair controlled their “Milo” in an attempt to pull a lego flower. On the following day, two groups combined their rovers to double the strength and create an easier pull. Additionally, using two “Milo” rovers allowed for turning and moving that was unavailable with just one.

The lesson incorporated technology and engineering while adding the fun of how scientists and astronauts use rovers in outer space.



Testing Wind Strength

Testing Wind Strength

The force and strength of student-created wind turbines were put to the test during a fifth grade STEM lab lesson at the Charles Campagne Elementary School.

As part of a recent three-day lesson, students worked in groups to construct wind turbines using a base of wood in addition to various forms of paper and tape to generate the machine’s blades. The following day, STEM teacher Srividya Sridharan tested each group’s work by using a classroom fan at different speeds. From there, students modified their turbines to move at all velocities.

The true evaluation of strength came when a bucket of marbles was attached to each turbine’s rotator. The experiment revealed the combination of strength and movement of the turbines and whether the machines could move at the low speed of the fan with weight. Students continued to add marbles to test the durability of their projects.

“The students really enjoyed this project as the lesson combined education and a sense of competition and excitement between groups,” said Mrs. Sridharan.

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Portraying the Historical

Portraying the Historical photo

The second grade at Kramer Lane Elementary School hosted a wax museum on April 12, when students portrayed historical figures.

Students spent time preparing for this event by researching famous individuals to feature. Among those selected were Babe Ruth, Betsy Ross, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart and Barbara Walters.

On the day of the presentation, the second graders lined the school’s all-purpose room while district administrators and parents visited the “museum.” Dressed as their subjects, students wore buttons that attendees could push in order to hear a biography. 

The district congratulates these students for planning and executing an informative event about important people in history.

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Sprung into Music

Sprung into Music photo

The Charles Campagne Elementary School music department was proud to present the 2019 Spring Concert on April 10 with a pair of shows.

The musical groups first performed for their peers and teachers with an in-school concert during the day, and later welcomed parents, families and community members to the John F. Kennedy Middle School for an evening show. Performers included the school’s chorus ensemble, band, recorder ensemble and orchestra.

“Charles Campagne has such talented students,” said Principal Erin Lindsay-DiFiglia. “I am proud to work with them as they teach me something every day.”

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Save the Bees

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Second graders at Central Boulevard Elementary School increased their knowledge of pollination with a “Save the Bees” lesson inside the school’s STEM lab.

Students were tasked with a fictional experiment of moving pollen from one flower to another to help the dying bees. Paper flowers created by each student included labels for the pollen, stamen, stigma, nectar and petal sections. Using a “pollinator” constructed from pipe cleaner, cotton and tape, students moved colored dust representing pollen from one flower to another as a hands-on test.

The experimentation capped off a lesson about the importance of bees in the growth of all flowers and plants that include fruits and vegetables. 

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Certified Musicians

Certified Musicians photo

High school Principal Nicholas Jantz congratulated Will Katartzis, middle left, A.J. Vita, middle right, and Soham Maiti, far right, for receiving their New York State School Music Association All-State certificates on April 8.

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Protecting from the Sun

Protecting from the Sun photo

Kindergarten classes at Charles Campagne Elementary School explored the importance of sun safety in a fun way, thanks to a “Sunshine on My Shoulders” experiment held in the STEM lab during the week of April 2.

Each class and teacher participated in a two-day exercise with STEM teacher Vidya Sridharan. The focus was on how sunblock can protect from the sun’s ultraviolet rays that cause sunburn. Students created bracelets with six sun-changing beads attached. On the first day, students went outside to see how the beads changed colors almost instantly when in the sun. On day two, sunblock was applied to three of the beads. When the sun shone on them this time, the protected beads did not change color, indicating that the sunblock was effective.

The students finished the lesson by recording their results, including the colors that appeared on the beads when exposed to the sun.

“This was a fun and educational way to demonstrate to the students how powerful the sun can be and how protection such as sunblock can help on a sunny day,” said Mrs. Sridharan.

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Students Turn Back in “Bye, Bye Birdie”

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The high school Masquers’ Guild produced three captivating performances of “Bye, Bye Birdie” at the Bethpage Center for Performing Arts from March 28-30.

Families, administration, staff and community members enjoyed each of the three performances directed and choreographed by Ilana Strongin, produced by Michelle Marino and under the vocal direction of Jessica Sinisi. The play marked the final district musical for many of the seniors in the cast and crew.

The show is inspired by the popularity of singer Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the Army in 1957. The musical features rock-and-roll idol Conrad Birdie, played by Joseph Colavolpe, being drafted into the U.S. Army and his agent Albert Peterson, portrayed by William Katartzis, creating a farewell performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The farewell performance is hoped to also save Almaelou Records from going under.

“We would like to thank the cast and crews for all of their hard work to make ‘Bye, Bye Birdie’ a success,” said Ms. Strongin. “We could not have done this performance without the help and support of our custodial, administrative and building staff.”

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Leaving a Thoughtful Mark

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The “Thoughtful Thursday” series at Central Boulevard Elementary School continued on March 28 as students created bookmarks in honor of National Library Week. Held from April 7-13, this initiative recognizes the value libraries provide every day as valuable tools and resources for all ages.

Students colored and decorated bookmarks that will be displayed and distributed to children at local libraries including the Bethpage Public Library. Additional bookmarks are also being sent to the Book Fairies in Freeport, which helps to connect less fortunate schools and organizations with donated books and accessories to foster a love of reading in children.

The district thanks the students for being thoughtful in helping others while also celebrating National Library week. 

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Pennies Speak Awareness

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The JFK student council recently donated a check for $1,170.35 to Autism Speaks, thanks to a successful “Penny Wars” fundraiser.

During the school’s annual Spirit Week, held throughout the second week of February, lunch periods competed against each other in a “Penny Wars” competition. It was decided by the student council that the money raised was to be donated to Autism Speaks prior to World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. The advocacy organization Autism Speaks sponsors autism research and conducts awareness as well as outreach activities aimed at families, governments and the public.

Students in the seventh-period lunch group raised the greatest amount of funds, and were rewarded with a pancake breakfast hosted by staff members on March 15. Student council advisors Julianna LaLuna and Melissa Mackenzie were extremely proud and thankful to all who got involved and generously participated. 

“The competition was a perfect way to bring out the best of our students and help raise awareness and funds for Autism Speaks,” said Ms. Mackenzie. 

Student Leaders of Women’s History

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Students of Bethpage High School had the opportunity to participate in a special Women’s History Month event, held at the nearby Altice Corporate Office on March 22.

Twenty-two student leaders attended this panel discussion that featured County Executive Laura Curran, District Attorney Madeline Singas Carol Silva of News12 and Altice executives. The students spoke to the panelists about leadership, confidence and empowerment.

The district thanks Altice for bringing together this panel and for having the high school’s student leaders. 

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Celebrating Reading with Dr. Seuss

Celebrating Reading with Dr. Seuss photo

The primary remedial reading teachers at Central Boulevard Elementary School held a Dr. Seuss themed reading celebration for students on March 22. They welcomed students to a set of four activities set up in the school’s all-purpose room.

Students rotated stations that featured Dr. Seuss’s famous books and characters. They created hats from Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat,” went “fishing for words” that they read aloud, visited a table full of books that they read to one another and enjoyed a Dr. Seuss board game that encouraged counting spaces.

The district congratulates these students for their reading progress and looks forward to their continued improvement.

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Bringing the Earth to School

Bringing the Earth to School photo

Fourth- and fifth-graders at Kramer Lane Elementary School experienced a large Earth Science experience from guest Mary Watros of BOCES on March 21 and 22.

Ms. Watros brought her lesson on the Earth to life with a 19-foot diameter balloon globe, which was assembled in the school’s gymnasium. Her presentation also included satellite pictures of New York, Long Island and other parts of the planet. 

With students able to get a larger view of various continents, oceans and other landmarks, Ms. Watros explained the different climates, landscapes and environments that makes up the Earth. Students also had the opportunity to walk inside the large balloon to gain another perspective.

Kramer Lane thanks Ms. Watros for visiting our school to deliver an interactive presentation on the interesting facts of our planet.

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Authors Sharing with Authors

Authors Sharing with Authors photo

Students in Patricia Tierney’s second-grade class at Central Boulevard Elementary School joined members of Barbara Cataldi’s fourth-grade class to celebrate writing achievements on March 21.

Mrs. Tierney’s students brought their recently created advertisements to Ms. Cataldi’s classroom to share with her students. The second-graders presented their ideas, which included advertisements on popcorn chicken, nachos, soccer and others as part of their second unit on the writing process.

Ms. Cataldi’s class also shared a recent writing assignment on the book “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt. Students were tasked with paraphrasing an argument for a specific crayon color from the novel about how their color is the most used and popular. 

The students had the opportunity to walk around the classroom and share their projects with their peers. Ms. Cataldi’s class created an “author’s chair” to help the second-graders feel comfortable while presenting their projects.

“Both classes worked very hard throughout the writing process and were very excited to share their assignments,” said Mrs. Tierney.  

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