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
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county.
The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.