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From Brainstorming to Bridge-Building at Northwest

From Brainstorming to Bridge-Building at Northwest photo
From Brainstorming to Bridge-Building at Northwest photo 2
Third-graders put their heads together and came up with bridge designs for a St. Patrick’s Day activity in Dana Herz’s class at Northwest Elementary School in the Amityville Union Free School District. 

Building materials included pipe cleaners, clay and paper cup. Each student came up with his or her idea, then the young engineers in every group discussed their plans and selected a design. When the projects were complete, Ms. Herz filled the cups with gold coins to see how much each bridge could hold. She added that the sturdiest bridges had multiple pipe cleaners in an arch and anchored into clay bases, resembling a rainbow.
 

Northwest Students Get in the Game

Northwest Students Get in the Game photo
Northwest Students Get in the Game photo 2
Northwest Students Get in the Game photo 3
Northwest Students Get in the Game photo 4
Skin in the Game learning has debuted at Northwest Elementary School as students are creating their own board games.

Several second- and third-grade classes are taking part in the initiative, which will eventually be expanded to the entire school. Skin in the Game supports the curriculum as students use their knowledge of different subject areas to create their games. They come up with a concept, create rules and directions and design game boards, pieces and question cards.

Math has been a popular choice for students as they explore the intricacies of game design. In Kelli Geilman’s third-grade class, one group worked on a multiplication and division game that has an “under the sea” theme. Juliane Roman and Stacey Tloczkowski’s class made a frog-themed game focusing on number sense and multiplication. 

Lori Heavey’s third-graders came up with “Escape from Northwest.” The board game starts at a picture of their school and ends at a picture of Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School, where they will attend in fourth grade. Questions are broken up in to four progressive levels: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, single-step problems, and double-step problems. 

Skin in the Game also includes a technology component. Once students understand the basics of game design, they will transition into video game creation to learn about computer programming. 

The Skin in the Game initiative is funded through a federal Academic Enrichment grant that the district received last summer. Amityville was one of 38 school districts selected by the New York State Education Department to receive funds through the Every Student Succeeds Act for technology enhancement. Teachers from multiple schools were trained last summer during an in-district professional development session, and more staff will be trained in February. 
 

Books Build Bridges for Northwest Students

Books Build Bridges for Northwest Students photo
Third-graders made digital connections to celebrate their love of reading at Northwest Elementary School.

To mark World Read Aloud Day on Feb. 1, students in Lori Heavey’s class used their Chromebooks to read with children at other schools. Through Google Hangout, they participated in video chats with Melissa McCormack’s class at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School and with a third-grade class at P.S. 193 in Queens. Children on each end of the connection selected books to share with their video pen pals.

Using Flipgrid, Ms. Heavey’s students recorded themselves reading aloud, and those videos were shared with a third-grade class in Uniondale. She said that students enjoyed the opportunity to read using a different medium.

VIDEO: Winter Wonderland

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Northwest Elementary School held its Winter Wonderland family learning night with literacy, math and science activities. 

Learning in a Winter Wonderland

Learning in a Winter Wonderland photo

Just hours before a light snow coated the ground, students and their families gathered to celebrate winter at Northwest Elementary School.

The school hosted its annual Winter Wonderland family learning night on Jan. 17. Activities celebrated art, literacy, math, music and science. It began with a sing-along in the cafeteria led by first-grade teacher Margaret Brooks, followed by a group game of winter bingo. Principal Kathleen Hyland and Assistant Principal Sonia Rodrigo called out the numbers, and winners got to take home prizes.

In classrooms, children made snowmen crafts, rolled dice and added up the numbers inside of paper snowmen and listened to winter-themed stories. They also mixed ingredients to create their own snow. As they left, students got to choose from dozens of free books to take home.



Monday, March 25, 2019