Wednesday, January 27, 2016

College Awareness Day - 2016

Moses S., a 12th grade student leader from MLK High School of Arts & Technology, spoke to Mr. Diaz's class about college.

On January 27, City schools celebrated College Awareness Day, a new citywide public schools event meant to encourage families to talk with their children about college and other post-secondary opportunities. College Awareness Day seeks to help students of all ages understand that attending college is attainable, affordable, and can help them achieve successful and fulfilling careers and lives. Research shows that college degree recipients are healthier, earn higher salaries, have better financial security, and serve their communities more often than their less educated peers.

To celebrate the occasion, teachers at PS4 wore apparel from their former/favorite colleges and shared details about their college experiences with their students.  Special thanks to Ms. McMahon from Martin Luther King High School of the Arts and Technology who brought student leaders who gave presentations to our young scholars!  They spoke about the importance of going to college and answered questions.  Click here to read what Chancellor Fariña said about the importance of going to college and take a look at the slide show below for some highlights from this special day!

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly (VIDEO)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said his 'I Have A Dream' speech on August 28, 1963.

"I have a dream that little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" is what Dr. King told an audience of millions in August of the year 1963.  As America continues to struggle with racism, students at PS4 honored the great man by listening to presentations by our students and inducting fifteen new members of our National Elementary Honor Society.  Hosted by our Social Studies Teacher, Mr. Harris, this celebration included students reading excerpts from Dr. King's most famous speeches:
  • Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech (December 10, 1964)
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott Speech (December 5, 1955)
  • I've Been to the Mountaintop Speech (April 3, 1968)
  • Letters From A Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963)
After learning about the meaning of each speech, Mr. Harris spoke about why we celebrate Dr. King and encouraged students to learn more about his life by doing some research.  Here are some kid-friendly websites about the life of this great man;
Our assembly to honor Dr. King also included a candle-lighting, induction ceremony for the fifteen new members of PS4's National Elementary Honor Society (advised by Ms. Lennon), a great vocal performance of Estelle's song 'Conqueror' from Kasiyah O. (class 502) and a poem from the Ellington Poets (directed by Mr. Cantu).  To see their performance, click the video below.

Ms. Lennon with the new members of the National Elementary Honor Society.

Kasiyah O. (502) sings 'Conqueror' by Estelle.

MLK Jr. Celebration - Ellington Poets from PS4M on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kindness, Honesty and Responsibilty at PS4M (VIDEO)

A student from Ms. Salce's class (221) shows kindness as he helps his classmate tie his shoe.

Kindness, honesty and responsibility can be seen in every classroom throughout the day, at PS4. Our students can often be seen bringing money that they found to the principal's office, apologizing to thier teachers and friends about something they did wrong and helping classmates with a problem.  Teachers support and enhance these positive character traits by using a program called Project Wisdom.  This program is an intentional effort to help students understand, care about, and act upon core ethical values. Students with good character are caring, just, and responsible. They have developed an internal motivation to do their best and to contribute to the world around them. Good character education improves social and emotional competencies as well as academic performance.  This program has been helping students make wiser choices since 1992 and has been licensed to more than 19,000 schools across the nation!  At the end of every morning announcement, students hear:

"Be kind, be responsible and be the best you can be. The choice is yours.  Have a great school day!"

This is a component of the Project Wisdom program! Teachers spend a few minutes after morning announcements to have a brief discussion with students.  In addition, they may follow-up with a writing assignment for classwork or homework.  A new character trait is featured each month.  They are:
  • September - Responsibility
  • October - Respect
  • November - Honesty/Dealing with Anger 
  • December - Tolerance
  • January - Citizenship
  • February - Perseverance
  • March - Kindness
  • April - Setting Goals/Positive Attitude
  • May - Courage/Caring
  • June - Success/Gratitude
To learn more about Project Wisdom, click here!  Then, check out the video below featuring students in Ms. Marmolejos and Mr. Nycz's class (502) as they act out stories that involve a very important character trait: honesty.

Honesty Video (Class 502) from PS4M on Vimeo.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Super Saturday Math Academy - 2016

PS4 scholars log on to math websites to help them prepare for the NYS Math Exams in April.

More than 100 students in grades 3-5 are taking advantage of our Super Saturday Math Academy! From 9am-12pm, scholars play math games, log on to math websites and receive instruction to help them prepare for the NYS Math Exams from Wednesday, April 13 – Friday, April 15.  Students are taught to have solid conceptual understanding, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency. They are encouraged to apply the math they know to solve problems inside and outside of the classroom.

5th grade Super Saturday Academy students work on test questions.

4th grade students work on math problems at Super Saturday Math Academy.

If you would like your child to attend Super Saturday Math Academy, please visit the main office or speak to Mr. Theodore, Director of Super Saturday Academy.  For more information on what is on the test, click here!  See the list below for great math websites.
Are you having trouble understanding place value?  Watch this video from Khan Academy!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

17 Days of Success - December Attendance Contest Winners

Ms. Schwartz and class 301 wearing holiday hats preparing for their pizza party.

Congratulations to the winning classes from the 17 Days of Success Contest! These classes had the highest attendance during the month of December have won a PIZZA PARTY! The winning classes were:

Class 202 - Ms. Smith & Ms. Delpesh - 96% average

Class 222 - Mr. Diaz - 96% average

Class 301 - Ms. Schwartz - 98% average

Class 501 - Ms. Wilson - 98% average

Class 501

Class 222

On behalf of Mr. Stevens, Ms. Jones, Ms. Martin and Mr. Batiz….Congratulations!  Classes that have the best attendance in January will be invited to a see a movie!

Monday, January 4, 2016

What Will You Be Doing in 2016?

It's a new year and we here at The Duke Ellington Express have a question for you.  What are your New Year's Resolutions for 2016? A Resolution is a promise or a goal that you make for yourself.
Even though goals are hard to achieve and take a lot of work, the best way to start accomplishing them is to write them down. Start with at least 5 or 10. Then look at them everyday and get to work!  An example of a resolution that a students may have is to score a 4 on the upcoming English Language Arts or Math exam. For an adult, a resolution could be to eat healthier.  It all starts with the first step!  The first step is to write them at a time.

Good luck!  We'd love to hear one of your resolutions!  Share them in the comment section of this blog post.