4:00 PM WUT Executive Board Meeting
Forest Lake Elementary School is dedicated to the achievement of academic excellence and the lifelong love of learning, the enhancement of self-esteem, the building of character, respect, and responsibility through the cooperation of home, school, and community.
Students and staff at Mandalay and Forest Lake elementary schools dressed in hockey jerseys and donned blue and orange to welcome four members of the New York Islanders hockey team. On Islanders Day each year, schools are chosen to receive a visit from the players, who speak about teamwork, motivation, a healthy lifestyle and the key to academic success. The players also take the time to sign autographs.
Third grade classes at Forest Lake Elementary School honored many Veterans in a special program on November 10, 2015. Many relatives of our third graders joined the children in a program that involved sharing memorabilia. All the wonderful veterans took the time to answer many questions asked by the students. The information the students learned was more valuable than what they could ever read in a text book.
Forest Lake kindergarten students are learning that each of us possesses qualities that make us special. During a grade-level activity, the students brought to school a rock and were instructed to paint it with a picture that exemplifies their personal qualities. The rocks were then taken to the school courtyard and placed in a circular pattern around a tree in a new Kindergarten Rocks garden.
Third graders are participating in the 20th annual “Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration” with students across North America. Over 60,000 students in the United States (including …. Forest Lake third graders) and Canada created symbolic butterflies this fall and will send them to Mexico for the winter. At the monarch sanctuaries in Mexico, children will protect the butterflies and send them north in the spring.
The sweet scent of apples wafted throughout Robin Conte’s classroom at Forest Lake as her kindergarten students tasted the freshly churned apples in a Foley’s food mill. Sally Desmond’s kindergartners also attended the exciting activity. After each student took a turn at cranking the handle, they were given an opportunity to taste freshly made applesauce. They also took a look at the byproduct of skin and core left in the food mill. “It’s not like the kind that you buy in the store,” Conte told the students.
A stuffed animal can be an asset to learning important academic skills, as seen in first-grade teacher Lori Gottlieb’s class. On Teddy Bear Day, the students brought their furry friends to the classroom to assist them in English language arts and mathematics lessons.
Teddy bears and stuffed animals accompanied kindergarten students, who attended a Teddy Bear Clinic hosted by Stony Brook Children’s Hospital to prevent trauma and promote safety. According to SBCH, trauma (or injury) is the leading cause of death among children under 17 years of age and can be preventable in most cases. SBU Trauma Center Injury Prevention and Outreach Coordinator Kristi Ladowski said the program’s goal is to provide the tools for students to keep themselves safe in the car and on bicycles.
Forest Lake fourth-graders took advantage of the warm weather to plant a pumpkin patch in the school courtyard that will hopefully reap bright orange gourds this fall. The students measured the appropriate distances that will allow the seeds enough room to grow, calculated how many seeds would fit in each square based on growth projection, and determined how deep in the ground each seed needed to be planted. They also counted how many bricks will be needed to create the perimeter of each planting area.
A trip to the Nassau County Police Department’s open house in Mineola proved fascinating for Christine Torrellas’s Forest Lake students, who watched officers rappel off of a three-story building and climb into an ambulance. The students pet a police horse and met the officers’ canine partners, and then attended a Jaws of Life and biking demonstration. Although all of the demonstrations and experiences were exciting, the favorite activity of the day was a visit to the jail cells.
The book that I have chosen as this month’s book of the month is called Simon’s Hook, by Karen Gedig Burnett. Simon’s Hook is a story that offers concrete, effective strategies for children who feel hurt or victimized by being teased. The strategies offered are done so in a fun and easy to understand way for any age child and after reading this book for the first time, I was “hooked” and knew that I had to share this book with all of our students.
When Simon is teased by his friends, it is Grandma Rose to the rescue. In this story, we learn that the sole purpose of a tease is to get a reaction. By comparing teases to fishing hooks, Grandma Rose shows Simon how to avoid getting caught. This story promotes the ideas of swimming free and offers a different view of the teasing process. It explores how people often feel powerless or controlled when they are being teased and it shows children the many ways to swim around the hook. It concentrates on the actions of the fish and not the hooks of the fisherman. It encourages children to focus on their own attitude towards the tease and eventually recognize the power they have to take control using their own personal power. An empowered attitude is instrumental in a person’s ability to solve problems throughout life and Simon’s Hook helps teach children how to capture that attitude.
At home, I encourage you to discuss how the fish in the story were strong and free with many choices no matter how big of a hook the fisherman used. Also, the author reminds us that children learn by observing adults. “How do you handle conflicts?” she asks. “When you are driving and someone yells at you, do you bite?” “When someone directs a cruel comment toward you, do you get hooked?” Teaching children not to bite at other people’s negative behavior could potentially be one of the greatest lessons we teach them this year. For more information on this important topic, you can visit the author’s website at www.grandmarose.com.
As always, I look forward to the conversations that ensue in our classrooms regarding this month’s book and its’ powerful message.Happy Reading!
Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.
Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.
Forest Lake Elementary School