Math Makes a Difference in Fight Against Cancer

This year, for the first time, Wheeler Avenue fifth-grade students participated in the St. Jude Math-a-thon. The students completed math packets aligned with the fifth-grade Common Core Learning Standards including volume, fractions, place value and geometry. They also obtained sponsorships to collect donations to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where doctors and scientists work to eradicate childhood cancer.
    
Through the students’ hard work and the generosity of their sponsors, a total of $240 was raised.

Social Studies Comes to Life

Dever sixth-grade students in Room 210 brought their social studies curriculum to life not only for themselves, but also for fourth- and fifth-grade students. The museum contained artifacts, research posters, displays, a reenactment of the myth of Demeter and Persephone as well as an ancient Egyptian burial ceremony spoken in English and Arabic. The museum gave the younger grades a peek into what's coming up in their future in social studies.

The fourth and fifth graders interacted with the sixth-grade students as they showed them how to write in hieroglyphics and how to use a mortar and pestle to make flour. The students even had the opportunity to listen to myths told by the gods and goddesses themselves. It was truly a trip back in time!



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VIDEO: North High School Promotes Health and Wellness at Elementary Schools

Juniors from North High School recently visited second-graders at each of the elementary schools in Valley Stream District 13, including James Dever Elementary School, to talk about the importance of health and wellness. Check out the video below to learn more about the recent visit.

Spotlight on Creativity

Reflections is a National PTA sponsored contest with a theme that changes annually.  The theme for this year was "Believe, Dream, Inspire..."

Students in all grades at Howell Road School were encouraged to illuminate the theme in any of the five categories: visual arts, choreography, photography, literature and musical composition. Students were also encouraged to enter multiple categories. Art teacher, Mrs. Karen Martorana, facilitated the visual arts category during school.

At the finale of the contest, the winners in four categories were awarded certificates of achievement in addition to gift cards to Michael's. Congratulations to all the students who participated in this year's competition.

A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be Fun

On March 26th, several members of North High School’s Physical Education Leadership program visited Howell Road Elementary School to speak about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The high school students presented a health and wellness workshop for the second grade classes.  
    
The students rotated through five centers learning about nutrition including how much sugar is in some of their favorite drinks, healthy eating habits and the importance of regular exercise.  They even learned that dancing could be a great form of exercise to maintain a healthy heart and stay physically fit.

Exploring the Salt Marsh

Fifth-grade students in Mr. Jacob’s class at Wheeler Avenue School visited the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside, New York as part of their science curriculum. As part of their research, the students were asked to sit quietly for five minutes and record what they saw, heard and smelled. They then explored and studied the marsh plants (flora) and animals (fauna).

The students, under the guidance of the Marine naturalist, Mr. Farina, and their teacher, Mr. Jacob, began to seine which is fishing with a net with two poles on each end. They caught mummichog, killifish, comb jellyfish, glass shrimp and crabs. These were brought back to their classroom to be put in their salt water tank for further observation. The students also conducted water monitoring tests to check the water’s air temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and pH. 

Wheeler Avenue Explores Human Rights

As part of their social studies curriculum, Mrs. Lotito’s fifth grade class at Wheeler Avenue School worked on an adventurous project using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  
    
This document was instituted by the United Nations after WWII to prevent human abuses. At the start of the project, the students were placed in groups of three and each team was assigned one of the thirty articles from the UDHR to analyze and discuss. Using their critical thinking and analytical skills along with their writing talents, each team wrote an article in their own words and created artwork to illustrate their selected UDHR article. To better prepare for their project, the students watched videos about the UDHR and expanded their knowledge of vocabulary including new words such as “inalienable” and “fundamental” which are included in the UDHR.

Food and Fitness Go Together

Wheeler Avenue students were taught several important life-long lessons on nutrition during their physical education classes. The students identified food groups from ChooseMyPlate.gov, categorized foods according to food groups and recognized which foods are parts of a healthy meal. Students gathered around the “Food Pantry” while a teacher to student discussion took place to choose foods that are part of a healthy meal.

The first, second and third grade students also played a game called Raid the Food Pantry, where they had to skip down to the food pantry, select a food from a specific food group and put the food on their plate. Next the students had to choose foods from all the food groups and create a healthy meal. Following Raid the Food Pantry; the students discussed what they could do for themselves to be healthy. Through this discussion, the students demonstrated knowledge and understanding of ChooseMyPlate.gov and other behaviors they can do to stay healthy.

Little Doctors Program Helps Save Lives

James A. Dever fifth grade students learned an important lesson about helping those in need as they participated in the Little Doctors Program, sponsored by the New York Blood Center.  During the presentation, the students learned important facts about donating blood, and the need for such donations. They learned the necessary requirements for blood donation, and what they can do to encourage family, friends and neighbors to donate.  
    
Many students found it interesting that only 2% of the population donates blood, and that each donation can save three lives. Our future Little Doctors learned a lot from their visit with the NY Blood Center, and many of them will be volunteering their time at our annual blood drive.  

A Festival Celebrating Different Cultures

As part of the second grade New York State Common Core Learning Standards curriculum, James A. Dever second graders performed an amazing multicultural show.  In the Common Core immigration unit, students learned about the Statue of Liberty, immigration, and Ellis Island. The students also learned about their own diverse backgrounds and the backgrounds of others. Students created posters about their families’ heritages, presented these projects to their classmates and explained the different cultural traditions held by their families. The lesson and activities culminated with a museum presentation set up in the gym that featured all of the posters. The gym was transformed into Dever’s own Ellis Island. The students also learned a myriad of songs showcasing different cultures and traditions. Before performing every song for parents and classmates, the students recited information about the countries and their traditions. The second grade students then escorted their parents into the gym to learn about all the new cultures and traditions the students had researched.


Exploring Math

Howell Road fourth grade students have been exploring various ways to represent fractions. In alignment with the Common Core Learning Standards modules, the students have used number bonds, tape diagrams, area models, number lines, and operations with unit fractions in order to illustrate and/or decompose these numbers.

Reader’s Theatre at Howell Road

Howell Road third grade students and librarian Mrs. Geary held a Reader’s Theater Extravaganza. The students performed the following stories for their family and friends: Snow Day! The Hat and Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! This was the second session of Reader’s Theater where students acquired knowledge about different storytelling techniques and developed a passion of reading. The appreciative audience responded to the performance with a rousing round of applause.

Amazing Math Olympics Race

Fifth graders at Willow Road School competed in their first Amazing Math Olympics Race.  Students collaborated with fellow classmates across the grade on a variety of math challenges as they represented countries from around the world in an array of Olympic events.  Each event was designed to test their abilities to read closely and apply logical reasoning and critical thinking skills related to each special task the students needed to complete. A variety of concepts were tackled as they faced challenges such as finding the average score for figure skater “Twyla Twirl”, conquering the giant slalom course where a multitude of word problems involving concepts such as working with fractions, order of operations, and general number sense were solved, and cross-country skiing where teams focused their energy on decimal place value and ordering decimals.             

The Mathletes also had fun with events such as “Carrying the Torch” where students showed their knowledge of elapsed time and measurement conversions. Finally, teams worked with geometric shapes to design their own Olympic Village.  After finalizing their designs, teams determined the total volume of their structures using metric units of measure. In the end, the events of the day proved everyone is a winner at Willow Road!

No Name-Calling Week at Dever

In the middle of March, the James A. Dever School participated in No Name-Calling Week. This year’s theme was “We Are All Stars at Dever”. This week is designed to show all students that bullying and name-calling are always the wrong choice, and to teach students how they can make the right choices. Each day of the week was given a theme to show the different aspects of not being a bully. During the morning announcements, students shared a “Thought of the Day” that reinforced the theme for that day.

The week started off with Rock Star Day, where the students and staff dressed up like rock stars.  The theme for that day was “Responsibility.” Students were taught about being responsible for their own actions, words, and attitudes. The next day was all about “Citizenship” and remaining safe. Students and staff wore school colors with pride while discussing ways to stay safe, cooperative and what it means to be a good citizen. The week continued with “Respect” on Wacky T-shirt Day. This was in an effort to show students that everyone is different, and we have to respect those differences between ourselves.  The theme for the next day was “Trustworthiness and Caring,” where students and staff dressed up like hippies. The message of the day was to be kind and caring to all, and to follow the Golden Rule, (treat others the same way you would like to be treated). 

The week ended with the theme “Fairness.” Students were taught to play by the rules, take turns, share, and be open-minded. Students and staff wore their favorite team colors or jerseys. Students and staff also signed their names on stars and posted them on a banner to show that they are committed to the themes of No Name-Calling Week every week.

PARP Kickoff Celebrates Black History Month

Howell Road students in all grade levels attended a laser light show sponsored by the Howell Road School PTA. The show, which celebrated Black History Month, featured the sights, sounds and contributions of Black Americans throughout the last century.
    
This event was a culminating celebration of Black History Month and the kick off of the month long PARP program (Parents as Reading Partners).  

A Heart-Healthy Dever

It’s that time of year again, when students at the James A. Dever School come together to celebrate the importance of heart-healthy habits. “Jump Rope for Heart” and “Hoops for Heart” are community service and learning programs of the American Heart Association.

During the event, Dever students and their families raised $9,900, which was donated to the American Heart Association to support cardiovascular research and education to help save lives in the community and across the country. Physical Education teachers, Carrie Lundgren and Peter Schwasnick, as well as principal Darren Gruen, would like to thank all of the families for their overwhelming generosity and participation in this worthy cause.

Seniors Meet Juniors at Dever

James A. Dever Elementary School hosted its annual “Seniors Meet Juniors” concert and brunch where the community’s senior citizens, along with senior relatives of Dever students, were invited to enjoy a concert performed by the very talented James A. Dever orchestra, chorus, band, and jazz ensemble.

The students greeted their guests in the lobby of the school where they presented them with carnations and personally escorted them to the auditorium for the concert. The concert captivated both the students and their guests who showed their appreciation with enthusiastic applause.

Following the concert, the students escorted the visiting senior citizens to the gym to enjoy a delicious brunch. The brunch provided the perfect opportunity for the students to become better acquainted with the senior residents of the community and to share information about themselves and their school.

Navy Officer Pen Pal Pays a Visit

On Thursday, March 13, students in Mrs. Valerie Fasanello’s class had the opportunity to meet their hero! After months of corresponding with Officer Gary Dowling, of the United States Navy who was stationed in Africa, he surprised them and came to James A. Dever School. The students were stunned! They were able to ask him various questions and gained a great deal of knowledge about Africa and his experiences in the Navy. It was a magnificent experience for everyone involved. They are looking forward to all future correspondences.

PTA Reflections Winners Recognized

Reflections is a National PTA sponsored contest with a theme that changes annually. The theme for the 2013-2014 was “Believe, Dream, Inspire…”  
Students in all grades at James A. Dever School were encouraged to interpret the theme in any of the five categories: visual arts, choreography, photography, literature and musical composition. Students were also encouraged to enter multiple categories. Art teacher, Mrs. Janis Boremski, facilitated the visual arts category during school.

At the conclusion of the contest, the winners in four categories were awarded certificates of achievement in addition to gift cards to Michaels. Next year’s theme is “The World Would Be a Better Place If…” Congratulations to all students who participated in this year’s competition and good luck next year.

Young and Young at Heart Share Joy of Reading

The James A. Dever Intergenerational Reading Program is comprised of senior citizens from the community and a number of Dever students who meet every Monday in the school library during part of the children's lunch periods. 

The program fosters enhanced communication and understanding between the generations and enriches the lives of both the senior citizens and the students through one-on-one reading and conversational experiences.  


Student Olympics 2014

Second grade Olympians at James A. Dever School competed in their own 2014 Winter Olympics.  The Olympics began with the students participating in opening day ceremonies as they proudly paraded through the hallways of the school bearing the James A. Dever Olympic torch and carrying banners supporting their individual teams.

Students competed in such events as snowball pyramid toss, snowball throw, bingo and curling. Throughout the week, the students enhanced their writing skills by keeping an Olympic journal and learning about Russia and the city of Sochi. Each class also visited an assigned classroom where they competed in two events. 

Following the closing ceremonies, where the students once again paraded through the school, the young Olympians gathered in the cafeteria to participate in the traditional awards ceremony. Every one was a winner in this Olympics that focused on teamwork, dedication and sportsmanship as well as writing skills and social studies.

 

Crazy About Reading

PARP (Parents as Reading Partners) is a collaborative effort among parents, staff, and community to build a reading partnership between the home and the school. 

The annual school-wide James A. Dever PARP kick-off event introduced this year’s theme “Crazy About Reading.” Students were treated to a “Reading Rampage” assembly presented by Steve Petra and Petra Puppets. The hour-long program was a hilarious and educating exploration of literacy and its elements, with the objective of sharpening students’ awareness of the value of language and its tools in a way that was educational, amusing and memorable. Students also participated in a PARP craft night where they were able to design and create fun, paper bag puppets to take home.
As part of the PARP program, students were encouraged to complete a two-week program where they were asked to spend at least 15 minutes each day reading with an adult reading partner. They had to log what they read and answer a short question every day. All students who hand in a completed, signed log will receive a small reward and are invited to attend a “Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae” party in April.  

Spotlight on Talent

Students at James A. Dever School had the opportunity to showcase their unique talents during the school’s first talent show appropriately named Dever’s Got Talent.
    
As the audience, filled with staff members, parents, classmates and other invited guests watched the show unfold students performed their well-rehearsed acts including singing, dancing, comedy, instrumental music and even a pogo-stick act. Each act earned an enthusiastic round of applause.
    
The talent show did more than spotlight the many skills the students possess. It also provided an opportunity for students to develop their self-esteem, motivation, confidence, public presentation skills and support for one another.  
    
Through the efforts of principal Darren Gruen, teachers, parents and local businesses, who made the school’s first talent show a reality, the event was a huge success. In addition, funds were raised to support the school’s Music in the Parks program.

Be Excited About Reading

Thanks to the Willow Road PTA sponsored program Scholastic Literacy Partnership Program B.E.A.R (Be Excited About Reading), students celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by receiving a special gift of their own, a book to read and enjoy.
    
B.E.A.R. chairpersons Maria Crimi and Denise Cona visited Willow Road School to personally distribute the donated books to the students.
Friday, April 18, 2014