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Science Department Embraces Common Core

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

News

Motivate Teens To Read

 

Communities value their libraries, and at the Levittown Library, the library staff, in turn, truly appreciates their patrons. Employees at the Levittown Public Library, with a talent for knitting, demonstrate their commitment to the community’s teens by making “amigurumi”—small knitted or crocheted stuffed toys—for use in the reading program. 

YES celebrates “A Taste of the Town”

Who says you have to travel into Manhattan for a fun-filled evening of delicious food and drink? YES Community Counseling Center hosted its 7th Annual “A Taste of the Town”, featuring many of the South Shore’s finest culinary establishments. All proceeds from the event benefited YES, a non-profit community-based organization providing services to children and families in the community.


Sports

The Island Trees Squirts Rockets U-6 team met with town officials, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes at the 2014 Island Trees Soccer Club Opening Day Parade and Ceremony held at Stokes Elementary School. Pictured also with the Rockets U-6 team is President Joe Badolato, Event Coordinator Keri Cinelli, Equipment Commissioner Chris Blum, Travel Commissioner Mike Rich, Vice-President Brian Fielding and Rockets U-6 Coach Gina Weyland.


With six second half goals, the Farmingdale State Rams men’s soccer team picked up a 6-0 conference victory over the Sarah Lawrence Gryphons on Oct. 11, to improve to 5-8-1 overall, 2-2-1 in the Skyline. The visiting Gryphons fell to 2-9, 0-5 in conference play.


Calendar

Board of Ed Meeting - October 22

League Of Women Voters Talk - October 23

Lecture - October 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com