Thursday, 16 January 2014 00:00
What do the Science and the Common Core Literacy Standards have in common? Much more than one would ever imagine. Leading the charge to bring these commonalities to the forefront is the Island Trees Memorial Middle School Science Department, under the apt leadership of Mr. Wagner.
By nature, science is both inquiry and evidence based, which is precisely what the Common Core promotes. For example, scientific research requires that students take a position—perhaps in the form of a hypothesis—and prove this position with concrete evidence. In addition, science invites students to read a wide array of informational text; most importantly, students must read to learn, which is a key component to success in every subject. As students explore factual text, complete short and extended research projects, and take an argumentative stance in both written and oral tasks, they are extending and reinforcing all that they have learned in their English classes.
As part of an ongoing effort to promote literacy in the science classroom, the MMS Science Department took part in an innovative literacy exercise of their own: writing original informational passages and devising higher-order thinking questions designed to invite text-based responses and inferences. With topics ranging from DNA to the laws of planetary motion, these passages were both relevant and engaging for students. Most importantly, however, was the familiarity of the task, as students were asked to perform in science class what they do daily in English.
For example, Mr. Wagner’s Earth Science students were asked to read an article he wrote about Tycho and Kepler, two scientists responsible for unlocking the mysteries of planetary motion, and respond to questions using text-based details. The final question asked students to take a position on how much credit one scientist deserved, a prompt modeled after an English Language Arts 2-point response, which was scored according to the 2-point response rubric.
It is impressive to see Science teachers authoring their own texts and promoting analytical reading skills in their classrooms. The reinforcement of such key practices will serve to build our students’ awareness of how vital it is to write with text-based details in all subjects, not just English class.
— Submitted by Elizabeth Roemer, Administrator for Educational Programs, Literacy, and Staff Development
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00
On March 7, members of the Division Avenue High School PTSA held their fourteenth annual Sweeps and Chinese Auction fundraiser. According to First Vice President of Division Avenue High School PTSA Laura Brown, there were about 150 Chinese auction baskets and 30 bingo prizes that were given out during this year’s event.
The PTSA has been organizing this event for the past 14 years, but it only started to get bigger in the last three years. It is now the largest event that the PTSA has to organize every year. “It wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of the custodial staff, and all the PTSA members,” said Brown. “We reserve tables now because there’s probably 400 people in there.”
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Jessy Davidson, a student at MacArthur High School in Levittown, organized and held a blood drive at the John Theissen Children’s Foundation on Wantagh Ave. this past weekend.
Davidson, a junior, hopes to earn a small college scholarship through the New York Blood Center Bloodstock Scholarship Program by hosting this blood drive. If at least 30 donors come through, she will qualify for the scholarship.
Anyone who is in high school is able to participate in this scholarship, according to Davidson.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees track program is pleased to announce that four members of the team will be participating in the New York State tournament. Students honored include:
Alexa Dolgos with a personal best of 1.37 in the 600 meter run; Alyssa Mustafa with a personal best of 17 feet, 3.5 inches in the long jump and a personal best of 36 minutes 1.3 seconds in the triple jump competition; Andrew Zabala with a personal best of 43 feet 5 inches in the triple jump; and Joe Stanco with 47 minutes 10.5 seconds in the shot put.
— Submitted by Varsity Track Coach Joseph Manna
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees Bulldogs Wrestling team finished the 2013-2014 season with an overall record of 18-8. The team defeated Syosset in the Dual Meet Championship playoffs 34-27, and then lost to Plainedge in the second round 48-29. The team had a strong season and was ranked no. 8 in Nassau County. The Bulldogs entered 22 wrestlers in the Nassau County Qualifying Tournament, out of which, eleven of the team’s All-League grapplers qualified for the coveted Nassau County Wrestling Tournament. Six wrestlers also received All-Conference honors, with one wrestler earning a wildcard into the tournament, for a total of 12 Island Trees wrestlers competing.