Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Respect For All - 2015

During a recent meeting, Student Government members promote RESPECT FOR ALL.

The NYC Department of Education has designated February 9-13, 2015 as Respect For All Week in all NYC public schools. During this week, schools will have opportunities to highlight and build upon ongoing diversity programs and curriculum-based instruction. Schools will also have opportunities to begin new initiatives that promote respect for diversity and engage students in meaningful lessons and/or other activities that focus on preventing bias-based harassment, intimidation and/or bullying.  Through reading one of many books about diversity, PS4 teachers will engage students in conversations that promote a school community where all are respected and feel safe.

Our school is committed to making sure each student is respected. Through our No Place for Hate initiative, created by the Anti-Defamation League, and the many cultural assemblies that take place at PS4, our students are reminded that human beings are very different, yet we have so much in common.  Since the beginning of the school year, students at PS4 have made this promise:

I promise to do my best to treat everyone fairly.
I promise to do my best to be kind to everyone, even if they are not like me.
If I see someone being hurt or bullied, I will tell a teacher.
Everyone should be able to feel safe and happy at school.
I want our school to be No Place for Hate.

For more information on Respect For All, a city-wide initiative, click here.  To learn more about No Place for Hate, speak to Ms. Lennon or click here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

PS4M Science Fair Date: UPDATED

The PS4M Science Fair has been scheduled for March 2-5, 2015!  There will be two opportunities to participate in this event.  We invite all family members to participate by visiting the school's gym on the following dates and times to view our class experiments.  Let our young scientists take you through a scientific process!

Grades 3,4 & 5 - Tuesday, March 3, 2013 from 5-6:30pm
Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Grade - Thursday, March 5, 2015 from 5-6:30pm

We look forward to seeing you and sharing our science fair class exhibits with you. For more information, contact our Science Teacher Ms. Baez!

To see highlights of our past science fairs, click here

Monday, February 9, 2015

3rd Graders Go To Bollywood (VIDEO)

Since January, students in Ms. Cabral's class and Ms. Marino's class have been working with Bollywood Dance instructors Minila Shah and Alisha Desai from Ajna Dance!  Students in those two classes have learned dance techniques and heard music from India.  On Tuesday, February 3rd, these talented third graders performed on the PS4M auditorium stage in front of friends, family members and teachers!  Take a look at the photo collage below, to see highlights from their performance!

Thanks to Ms. Minila and Ms. Alisha for sharing their skills with our students.  Click here for information about Ajna Dance!  Special thanks to LOTUS Music & Dance for supporting the arts at our school.  Click here to find out more information about the other programs that they provide!

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Photo of the week: February 2-6, 2015

Inspired by a book, Ms. Baez-Torres takes her students to visit Ms. White's office.

Have you ever been to the principal's office?  Students in Ms. Baez-Torres 1st grade class wanted to know what it looked like after reading A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech!  The photo of the week was taken in Ms. White's office!

The book is about a principal, Mr. Keene who called all the students and teachers together and said, "This is a fine, fine school! From now on, let's have school on Saturdays too."  School all weekend. School on the holidays. School in the SUMMER! What was next ...SCHOOL AT NIGHT? So it was up to Tillie to show her well-intentioned principal, Mr. Keene, that even though his fine, fine school is a wonderful place, it's not fine, fine to be there all the time.  Tillie visits Mr. Keene's office to talk to him.  Students in class 121 had never been to a principal's office before.  So, Ms. Baez-Torres took them on a trip to visit Ms. White's office where she gladly gave them the tour.

To read more about Sharon Creech, the author of A Fine, Fine School, click here

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Celebrating Black History Month

This month, students in grades 3, 4 and 5 were invited to celebrate Black History Month by entering an essay contest!  Three winners will be chosen at our annual Black History Month celebration on February 27th.  Students are asked to research on of three civil rights activists; Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, or Medgar Evers.  In a 5-paragraph essay, students must:
  • Give facts about the person
  • Explain why he is important
  • Compare the problems that he tried to solve with the problems that we're currently having
  • On a separate sheet of paper, list the 3-5 sources of information that was used
  • Check and correct errors in spelling and grammar
Each paragraph must have at least 8 sentences.  For more information about each of these great African-Americans, students are encouraged to visit the Washington Heights Public Library or click on the links above!  All typed or neatly hand-written essays must be e-mailed to or handed to Ms. Lennon, Dr. Thomas or Mr. Harris before 2pm on Wednesday, February 25th.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Artist of the Month: Faith Ringgold

Tar Beach Quilt created by author Faith Ringgold.

Artist, Faith Ringgold
During the months of January and February, students will study the artwork of Faith Ringgold who began her artistic career more than 35 years ago as a painte!. Today, she is best known for her painted story quilts -- art that combines painting, quilted fabric and storytelling. She has exhibited in major museums in the USA, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She is in the permanent collection of many museums including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. Her first book, Tar Beach was a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, among numerous other honors. She has written and illustrated eleven children's books. She has received more than 75 awards, fellowships, citations and honors, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards and seventeen honorary doctorates, one of which is from her alma mater The City College of New York.

Faith Ringgold is married to Burdette Ringgold and has two daughters, Michele and Barbara Wallace; and three granddaughters, Faith, Theodora and Martha. She is a professor of art at the University of California in San Diego, California.  For more information about Faith Ringgold, click here! To see a video of the author discussing her artwork, click here!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Guitar Program - 2015

Instructor Ayodele Maakheru works with students in the PS4 Guitar Program.
 "We're once again off to a successful start", said Mr. Cantu.  For the sixth year in a row, Midori & Friends has funded our guitar program.  This year, twenty-five students receive guitar lessons from a vivacious instructor named Ayodele Maakheru.  Mr. Maakheru is a musician, composer, performer and teacher.  Not only does he have more than thirty years of experience playing in Broadway orchestras and touring bands, he has recorded two CD's of original music!  Click here to read more about this talented musician!

Students in the guitar program have already learned how to play "Happy Birthday To You" and will be learning how to play "Amazing Grace" in the next few weeks.  They are not just learning how to play musical notes, but are learning how to play chords!  "This year, we have many students who are English Language Learners and we even have two third graders", said Mr. Cantu, Guitar Program Coordinator and ESL Teacher.  "We've also added journals to our lessons so students can write about what they've learned".  The Guitar Program meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Congratulations to the girls and boys of the PS4 Guitar Program!  We look forward to seeing your first performance in March!

3rd grade musicians Britney M. and Amadou F.

5th Grade musicians