A Garden is Born

beginning of April 11Tate 065 (Small).jpgThis year, as
part of their science curriculum, first graders created a
Butterfly Garden.  On May 13, after much
planning and preparation, and with the help and expertise of Mr. and Mrs.
Brandauer, local butterfly experts and members of the Allentown Garden Club,
the children actually did the planting. 
They dug holes, planted bushes, laid mulch, and applied water.  In the future, first graders will continue
to water and weed the garden as well as make observations as the butterflies
begin to arrive.


This project
was triggered by a parent of a first grader, Mrs. Strovinsky, who works in a local
nursery and had been sending the class some amazing information about butterfly
gardens.  Assisting in the effort were
UFRSD’s Director of Building and Grounds, Mr. Mayeux; the Pleasant Run Nursery;
and, the Allentown Garden Club. Our
Butterfly Garden is a wonderful example of a collaborative effort between school
and community that engages children and enhances their learning.  Kudos to everyone involved.

Teachers Win UFREF Grants

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Carrying bunches of colorful balloons
and bearing a huge cardboard check, members of the Upper Freehold Regional Educational
Foundation (UFREF) swept into school today surprising several teachers with the
announcement that their ideas for innovative programs had been funded.  Each year the UFREF solicits applications for
grant awards from staff members throughout the district and makes awards twice
a year, in the fall and the spring. Pictured above (from left to right) are members of the
foundation:   Sydney Guerrero, Vice President; Jim Derasmo, President,  Karen Kilcher, PTA Liaison, and Robert
Cheff, Chairperson of the Grants Application Committee.


In this distribution, Newell ES
received a total grant amount of $1,944 for three different projects:
 


Hip Hop Helps Everyone Learn – submitted
by ESL teacher, Linda Chiappetta


This program uses music and
rhyming to improve ESL students’ vocabulary across content areas.  By using music to help students memorize
factual information, it’s highly motivating and can connect students of
different cultures.
 


Recognizing Students of the Month – submitted
by Art teacher, Tamara Diaczenko


The grant will support a student
recognition program in the Visual Arts. 
Each month two students who excel in art and demonstrate cooperation and
a positive attitude will receive personalized framed certificates and a small
gift.
  


Wii 4 Physical Education (PE) – submitted
by PE teachers, Robert Graham, Matt Nemeth, and Denise Wadams.


This project will use technology
to enhance the PE program for all students in the school.  It will assist in keeping the children
physically fit, incorporate team work into the activities, and serve as an
additional tool for the teaching and learning of PE. Through the use of two
motion controlled Wii systems, participants will be able to use motions,
gestures, and actions to control the characters on the video game.
 


Congratulations to the teacher
recipients and many thanks to the UFREF for their support of our school.


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More Computer Happenings

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Second graders
used Skype interactive videoconferencing technology to meet students in Kansas
City, Missouri.  After a brief
introduction by the teachers on both sides, each student got to meet one
student from Missouri and then match their mathematical wits in a game of
addition and subtraction “Around the World.” Soon, the students will be
videoconferencing again for a mapping project to teach the Kansas City second
graders how to navigate through Allentown.


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Third and
fourth graders attended the first-ever Type-A-Thon on
April 14th. The students did their best to complete as many typing
lessons as possible in two hours. The students gained valuable typing practice,
and generous sponsors helped them raise over $130 for
the Upper Freehold Regional Education Foundation (UFREF), a group that helps fund innovative
projects designed by teachers in the district. 
Everyone had a fun time.
This
project was a joint effort coordinated by Mrs. Rowland, our computer teacher, third
grade teacher, Mrs. Walulak and UFREF representative, Ms. Esteves.


 

PTA Hosts Staff Appreciation Breakfast and Gives Outstanding Educator Award

On Wednesday, May 4, the PTA celebrated
Teacher Appreciation Day by hosting a spectacular breakfast for the staff in
the school cafeteria and then using the occasion to announce the winner of the
Phoebe Hearst Outstanding Educator Award – A National
PTA Excellence in Education Award – Given by the UFRPTA. 

This
year’s winner is Allison Tate, a first grade teacher, who was recognized
for her competence, compassion and concern for her students, and her dedication
to teaching.  Congratulations to
Allison. 

And,
thanks to the PTA, and the parents, in particular, who prepared the food,
served it so graciously, and by their presence conveyed their appreciation to
the teachers and other support staff members for the work that they do. Celebrations,
such as these, that bring parents and teachers together make Newell Elementary
School a great school – a good place for children to learn and teachers to
teach.
 

Thank
you parents!

Grade 2 Computer Club: Art Project Involves Four Seasons Residents

5641557722_7827272080.jpg Second graders have the opportunity to join one of four clubs (art,
library, gym, and computer) during their recess period.  They attend the club for one day a week for
one marking period.  Recently, the
children in the computer club participated in an art contest.  Each student researched endangered animals
from all over the world, chose one to focus on, and created digital artwork to
represent that animal in its natural habitat. 
Residents from the Four Seasons adult community in Allentown judged the
artwork and came to Newell to meet the artists and hand out the awards. During
their visit, the children showed the judges the program they used to create the
artwork and demonstrated how to use it. Ms. Mimi Rowland, our computer teacher, arranged
the meeting to the delight of both children and visitors.  Here are some pictures from this special
event.

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An Unusual Visitor to First Grade

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Today first graders in Ms. Nancy Qualiano’s class had an
interesting visitor, a beautiful, black and white, baby goat only four weeks
old who let out a loud bleat when introduced to the children, much to their
obvious delight.

 Ms. Leslie Search from Lahaway Farm in Cream Ridge brought
the goat to school and patiently answered the children’s questions.  Formerly a member of the Newell staff, she’s
also written a children’s book about goats that the first graders read in their
class prior to this visit. Ms. Search explained what goats eat, how young goats like
to play, and why the baby goat was nervous around children.  “What is her name?” asked one little girl only
to find out that the baby was unnamed because if she had a name it would be too
hard for Ms. Search to give her away.

It was a lovely sunny morning and the unusual visit took place out on the field.  As her owner
cradled her in her lap, the children took turns gently petting the baby goat.  A memorable moment for the children, and, we
hope, for the baby goat, too!

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May 9 – 13: State Testing Week Grades 3 and 4

During the week of May 9 to May
13, students in Grades 3 and 4 will be taking state-mandated examinations in
Language Arts (Reading and Writing), Mathematics, and Science. The state uses
these tests to promote and measure student achievement of state curriculum
standards and to meet state and federal accountability requirements. For our
purposes, the testing provides additional and critical information
about individual and group performance. 
We can measure a child’s individual progress from year to year as well
as our grade-level performance over a period of time.  By no means are these standardized scores the
only data we use to look at student achievement but they are an essential piece.
We also use these test results to evaluate the strength of our curriculum and
instructional program.

In preparing our children for the
tests we make every effort to forestall any anxiety and to help them feel
comfortable and confident in approaching them. 
We ask you to do the same.  Simply seeing that your child has
a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast each day will help.

If you have any questions about
these tests, please call and I would be happy to talk with you.


Here is the
week’s test schedule:

Grade 3/4

 

Monday/Tuesday        May 9, 10                    Language Arts

Wednesday/Thurs.      May 11-12                  Mathematics

Friday                             May
13                      Science


For children who are absent on these days, make-up examinations will be given during the week of May 16-20.

 

 

April 28: Kindergarten Information Session

On Thursday
evening, April 28, at 7 PM, there will be an Information Session for parents of
children who will be attending our Kindergarten in September 2011
.

As appropriate for this grade
level, it will be a “Show and Tell” that will both inform the parents and allow
them to see how our children learn.  Our
excellent Kindergarten staff will explain the program including the curriculum,
special events, and available resources. The teachers will show how technology enriches
the curriculum and enhances children’s learning.

We are proud to “show off” our
kindergarten program.  It’s one of the
many jewels of Newell Elementary School reflecting our key features – a caring
competent staff, strong curriculum, and concern for each individual child.  

Reminder: Support Staff Member of the Year Nominations Due April 29


Is there a member of our support staff that you believe deserves recognition for outstanding service to our school community?  If so, please submit your nomination to the main office by this Friday, April 29.  Nomination forms are available in the main office. 

Criteria for selection are based on the contributions made by this staff member to creating a sense of community, promoting a climate for learning, and modeling a commitment to character. One recipient will be identified at each school by the selection committee to receive this award.

Candidates may self- nominate or be nominated by a colleague, parent, student, or community member.  

Support staff includes secretaries, school aides, classroom assistants, custodial workers, bus drivers, and lunchroom employees.  This is an opportunity to laud a member of our non-certificated staff who works hard every day to make our school a safe, comfortable, and welcoming place for children.


Deb Kammerer: Newell ES’s Monmouth County Teacher of the Year

 

Newell Elementary School is proud
to recognize Ms. Deb Kammerer as the recipient of this year’s Monmouth County
Teacher of the Year Award.

Ms. Kammerer has worked in the
UFRSD for close to five years as a special education teacher. Currently she
works with students in grades two and three. Her colleagues describe her as
intelligent, highly competent, and extremely professional, someone who already
has earned a Master’s Degree but continues to go to school at Rutgers for certification
as a behaviorist “not only to better herself, but to enhance the instruction for
the students with whom she works.”

She has been lauded for her
willingness to “do what it takes” to help children be successful, and “to
provide insight, feedback and meaningful suggestions” to other staff members about
ways to help children learn.

Congratulations to Ms. Kammerer
on this recognition.  As a skilled,
compassionate, and dedicated teacher, respected by parents and colleagues
alike, she is an excellent representative of Newell Elementary School’s extraordinary staff.