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Sounds Good at Tooker

Tooker Avenue students had an assembly on May 14 with Brent Daniels sponsored by the school’s PTA Cultural Arts Program. Mr. Daniels showed the students how music is composed in today’s entertainment industry and discussed the importance of education in all subjects. Students participated in the program to create a one-of-a-kind, on-the-spot sounds and song composition that had everyone in the audience dancing and singing.

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Sorting Syllables

As part of their first grade phonics program, Fundations, students in Mrs. Pino’s first grade class at Tooker Avenue learned how to identify, read and write “closed” and “open” syllables. The students, divided into four groups, were given 12 word cards each, and they had to sort them by syllable type.

Classroom Transforms to Hogwarts School

Classroom Transforms to Hogwarts School photo
Fifth-graders in LynnMarie Gendron’s class at Tooker Avenue Elementary School stepped into the world of Harry Potter on April 25. As a kickoff to the fantasy unit in reading, the fifth-graders attended a special session at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Upon entering their transformed classroom, they were divided into their houses and given various reading tasks. The students in each house had to successfully complete each task to collect the ingredients needed to make a mysterious potion. All the wizards and witches graduated from the session at Hogwarts with flying colors. 

Tooker’s Second Grade Writers

Tooker’s Second Grade Writers photo

After studying series books and learning how to write letters about favorite books, Mrs. DeSa’s second graders at Tooker Avenue decided that they wanted to write letters to a favorite writer Kate DiCamillo, author of the Mercy Watson series, “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,” and many others. Mrs. DeSa read “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” to the class and they loved it so much that they wanted to convince her to continue the story in a sequel.

What’s Hatching at Tooker

What’s Hatching at Tooker photo
Students in Mrs. Paganica’s class at Tooker Avenue have been learning about eggs, chicks and patience as they anxiously awaited three long weeks for the arrival of their baby chicks. On May 2, the class welcomed two chicks into the world and is waiting for two more eggs to crack. 
 

Close Reading Skills

Mrs. Fitzgerald's first grade class at Tooker Avenue has been working on close reading skills. They are very focused!

Tooker’s Fairy Tale Challenge

Tooker’s Fairy Tale Challenge photo

First graders in Laura Fitzgerald’s class at Tooker Avenue participated in the Fairy Tale Challenge. Students worked with partners to complete activities in math, STEM and literacy. Upon completion, students had their pictures taken as princes and princesses.

 

A Great Day at Tooker

A Great Day at Tooker photo
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Tooker Avenue Elementary School joined together to create a mural during their art classes this year. Each student had a part in creating the piece, which reads “Make It A Great Day. The Choice Is Yours” and is prominently displayed in the school’s gymnasium. 

Reading Super Powers

Reading Super Powers photo
Kindergarten students in Ms. Mele and Mrs. Ward’s class at Tooker Avenue showed off their favorite books. The class is using their reading super powers, such as “pointer power” and “pattern power,” to read.

PTA Founder’s Day Awards

PTA Founder’s Day Awards photo
Congratulations to the following award winners of the Tooker Avenue PTA Founder’s Day:
Founder’s Day: Meredith Crevoiserat & Mary Famoso-Rueda
Teacher In Excellence: Christine Lambert
Student Advocate: The Math and Reading Intervention Team (Paula Bedford, Tina O'Boyle, Krista Shah, Christine Lambert)
Honorary Life Award: Christine Burke

Curricular Updates and Enhancements

Curricular Updates and Enhancements photo
Curricular Updates and Enhancements photo 2
In January, the New York State Education Department received approval for a new education plan that was required as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act. As part of this approval process, NYSED has been making changes to the entire K-12 curriculum. These changes – NYS Next Generation Learning Standards – are focused on revising math and English language arts education. 

Educators are being asked to help all students become lifelong readers and writers and NYSED has revised many of the reading and writing standards for classroom teachers. In addition, literacy-based instructional practices have been incorporated into all of the science and social studies classrooms. In math, standards were revised or moved to different grade levels with a focus on increasing student fluency. Last year, NYSED also made changes to the K-12 science standards, mirroring the practices of scientists and engineers through the implementation of hands-on activities in class. 

“Here in West Babylon, we are making certain that all of our students are getting the very best education in every subject area,” said Scott Payne, executive director of curriculum and instruction. “In response to all of these changes, this month we are pleased to share some of the exciting curricular work that is taking place in all our schools.”

Computer-based instructional tools

Parents may have noticed their children coming home and signing on to many of the online educational programs offered both in and out of the classroom. One literacy-based program is comprised of two separate programs called Raz-Kids and Reading A-Z. These programs allow students to read books online based on their interest as well their reading level. It also allows them to answers questions about what they have read and builds vocabulary and acquisition skills through guided quizzes.  

In math, students have access to an online program called Math IXL.  This web-based program allows students to practice specific math problems that are either assigned by their teacher or picked specifically based on their ability.

I-Ready.com is another online resource used by elementary and junior high school students. This program uses educational lessons and games to build student skills in math and ELA. Students earn points and reach milestones as they complete lessons that are either assigned by their teacher or are simply completed for extra credit. Not only are these games fun, but they help teachers get balanced data to help build upon needed skills for students.

Many JHS and SHS courses offer online supplements to enhance the textbooks used in class. Seventh-grade health, courses in science and math and much of the social studies curriculum are featured online. 

“If you see your child watching videos as part of the Discovery Ed website, they may actually be doing homework or getting extra credit, as much of our district’s social studies content is presented in multimedia form,” Payne said.

STEM Skills

“Here in West Babylon, we are very excited for our students to explore the many STEM skill sets,” Payne said. “In our K-8 schools, we have begun creating makerspaces. These spaces are collaborative work areas in part of our libraries that allow students to create projects or designs using their imagination and creativity. One key aspect is allowing students to work together. This creative and collaborative practice is at the core of helping to prepare our students for 21st-century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.” 

In K-6 library media classes, students are learning to code using Ozobot or Dash-and Dot robot kits. These kits guide students through the basic concepts of coding and allow students to program robots to perform different tasks and complete challenges. 

In grades 8-12, a new set of science research courses has been added.  Currently offered in eighth grade, this course will be offered to all students next year at the high school and is designed to teach students how to design and create scientific experiments while enhancing their problem-solving skills. Students will learn to publish their discoveries and will make formal presentations on what they have learned. The goal of these courses is to connect students to real-world scientists and engineers, which will allow them to work in the field to conduct their own research as part of an extended internship. 

“We are also offering two opportunities for STEM enrichment,” Payne said. “Our after-school STEM SCOPE program will be starting soon at each of our elementary schools. This summer, we will be offering a weeklong science camp for all students that will be housed in-district at one of our elementary schools.”

In addition, Payne said, the district will be looking at adopting a new K-5 math curriculum and next year, will be looking at changes in the K-8 science program. In both cases, this selection process will involve building principals from every elementary building forming a team of teachers, administrators and parents. 
 

VIDEO: Tooker PARP

Tooker PARP photo

Tooker Avenue participated in Pick A Reading Partner in March with an array of different literacy activities.Check out the video:

Easter Scavenger Hunt

Students in Mrs. Goodwin's class at Tooker Avenue went on a hunt for sight words hidden around the room. The sight word bags contained a special surprise filled with Easter candy!

BNL Elementary Science Fair Winners

BNL Elementary Science Fair Winners photo
Tooker Avenue students Philip Consentino III (first grade), Lia DeGennaro (third grade) and Max Mueck (fourth grade) were recently named winners in the Brookhaven National Laboratory Science Fair.
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