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W. L. Morse 2007-2013 News Archive

 

 Sleepy Hollow Police officers in Partnership with WL Morse Teachers

Taking the lead in forming lasting school-community collaboration with our local police department to support our young students.”  Officer Yancey and Clare Carr

Last summer, Officer Yancey and I met to discuss ways we could cultivate a relationship between the younger students in our district with local police officers.  She was born and raised in Sleepy Hollow, graduated from our high school and went on to pursue a career in law enforcement. When off patrol, she is our cheerleading coach and spends time teaching at the Westchester Youth Police Academy, where she mentors high students about careers in law enforcement. She has a vested interest in her community and the schools and it was that interest that sparked our joint venture in creating, The WL Morse School Safety Program. Our goal is to provide safety education through positive police interactions in WL Morse Elementary School and to connect our local police department with our Morse community, so that our first and second graders see our police officers as community helpers and foster a trusting, long-lasting relationship.       

The creation of this program supports our school vision and mission: to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem, and developing good values.  We developed several lessons together based on the needs of our district. In light of the Sandy Hook tragedy, we wanted to focus on stranger awareness; by including classroom safety zones. Other topics discussed were bicycle and pedestrian safety, bullying prevention, conflict resolution and building self-esteem. This experience has been so wonderful for the children. We need to think of creative ways to connect with community resources and bring them into the classrooms to enhance the education of our students.  In the process, we are fostering a trusting relationship with our local police, which is a great accomplishment.  I want to thank Chief Gregory Camp for allowing Officer Yancey to visit our school and teach our second graders about safety.   She was a welcomed visitor and provided a valuable experience for our students.  We look forward to a long lasting relationship between Officer Yancey and the student’s at WL Morse. (Posted 6/18/13)


I Am Somebody - Ms Rhames' Class


Ms. Secor's Class Poems


The Halls at Morse Have Been Alive with the Sounds of Chicks This Week 

The first grade students took part in the annual egg to chick life cycle unit.  They incubated eggs and waited patiently for their eggs to hatch.  While they were waiting the students used non fiction books to learn about what was going on in the eggs and everything they could find out about chickens as well.  When "hatch day" came the student's excitement was evident as their eyes widened and squeals of  "They hatched!!!!!" rang through the classrooms.  The students were able to observe their wet, wobbly chicks grow fluffy and then gain feathers and nearly double in size within the week.  The students pet-keeping skills got put to work as they helped their teachers take good care of their new "classmates."  As one student said "It was exciting to have chicks hatch in our classroom because we got to hold them, have fun with them, read to them and have a blast! We learned a lot too!"  The students were amazed at their new vocabulary which now includes embryo, albumen, incubator, egg tooth, comb, hen and rooster among others.  The approximately 55 chicks headed to their new home at Stone Barns on Friday with lots of children's promises to come visit! (Posted 5/17/13)


Morse Students Explore Common Elements in Fairytales

Ms. Marx’s students recently completed studying fairytales to explore common elements found in fairytales.  To name a few: good versus evil characters, problems solved with magical solutions, and the common use of the number 3 or 7.  After reading Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, by Kevin O’Malley, our class was inspired to write a fairytale collaboratively encouraging learning through teamwork.  Not only did this inspire students when writing his or her own Fairytale, it was a team building exercise that encouraged critical thinking and negotiating skills.  Students had to discuss and debate the best way to build a character, describing his or her traits, how the plot should unfold, and the best way to approach our class tale using common elements of a fairy tale.  The interactions and discussions were inspiring.  As we completed the story, small groups of students worked together to choral read a page of our story, building each others fluency when reading.  Please click here to enjoy our work.   (Posted 4/27/13)


Trip Around the Community

First Graders at W.L. Morse participated in their annual Trip Around the Community on Thursday, April 11th, 2013.  The students visited various locations on Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow.  They learned about the Post Office, Mahopac National Bank, Fire Station, Police Station, Ambulance Corp, Main Street Sweets, Sleepy Hollow Recreation Department, the Life Center and the Village Hall.  They were treated to a K9 show by Officer Lombardo on the grounds of Morse.  Students and teachers had a fun-filled day while learning about their community. 

Los estudiantes del primer grado de la escuela Morse participaron en el Paseo Anual de la Comunidad el jueves, 11 de abril del 2013. Los estudiantes visitaron varios lugares en la Avenida Beekman en Sleepy Hollow. Ellos aprendieron sobre el correo, el banco Nacional de Mahopac, la estación de policía, la estación de bombero, la ambulancia, la heladería Main Street Sweets, el Departamento de Recreación, el centro comunitario “Life Center” y el edificio municipal. Ellos también vieron un espectáculo con el Oficial Lombardo y su perro en el patio de la escuela. Los estudiantes y los maestros tuvieron un día divertido mientras aprendían sobre su comunidad.  (Posted 4/16/13)


WL Morse School Held a NYSESLAT Informational Meeting

On Thursday, April 4th, The WL Morse School held a NYSESLAT Informational meeting for parents whose children are receiving ESL services. The workshop was held by the ESL teachers:  Benita Afonso, Jessica Etman, Janese Flecha and Madeline Seguinot.  Parents were invited to attend the workshop to learn about the changes in the state exam and how they can help support their child at home.

Parents got to practice strategies used to help their first and second graders to continue to grow in all four modalities of the English language:  Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.  Many parents attended the workshop and were excited about this opportunity to share questions, learn about the exam and to discuss their concerns.

Everyone agreed the evening was a great success! (Posted 4/10/13)


Family Math Night

Family Math Night was a huge success at W.L. Morse!  On March 20th, children and their families came to Morse to engage in fun math activities.  Students exercised their math skills by playing snakes and ladders, fishing for addition facts, and playing shake it up. Some kept score as they tossed bean bags on a number mat while others created graphs. There was lots of learning, thinking and talking about math at our annual Family Math Night! (Posted 3/29/13)


Philharmonic Alive! Comes to Morse School

As part of their ongoing study of orchestral instruments, all 2nd Graders were treated to a very special workshop on March 18th.  A musician from the Westchester Philharmonic visited our school and demonstrated woodwind instruments.  Students were able to see and hear flutes, clarinet, oboe, 2 saxophones and several recorders.  They learned about single reeds and double reeds and why a saxophone is really a woodwind instrument. They learned that flutes are used all over the world and heard one from India and a fife from Ireland.  They slithered like snakes with an oboe, walked sneakily like a cat with a clarinet and even danced a jig to a flute and recorder.  Seeing and hearing these instruments “in person” is such a wonderful experience for the children.  They are looking forward to next year in 3rd Grade when they’ll be able to study recorders at Washington Irving!

The first graders were also able to experience instruments up close.   On March 13th we were visited by two string players.   Mr. Tim and his friend, Mr. Noah, showed the children different ways to play the instruments and explained how the sounds are made.   The students’ favorite instrument was “Peggy”, the big string bass!   She was even taller than Mr. Tim! (Posted 3/29/13)


W.L. Morse Students Visit Kendal On-The-Hudson

For the past six years, after celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the students of the W.L. Morse School commence visits to Kendal On-The-Hudson Nursing home.

True to Dr. King’s vision of community activism and service,
our students have put these values into practice by visiting the elderly.
Morse students visit Kendal every two weeks until the end of the school year. While there, each class shares something special with the residents. This could be a favorite book, poem, math game or self-published writing piece.

Students are taught about the elderly members of Kendal and how the elderly have earned not only our respect, but our kindness. The interactions are inspiring and several children remarked as they were leaving their new friends that “This was the best day ever and they wanted to go back again!”

Dr. King believed passionately in the power of young people to make a difference, and he showed us that young people can be visionaries and powerful agents of change.
(Posted 2/9/13)


Book Reviews

The first grade students are learning about opinion writing.  One way they are practicing is writing book reviews for their classmates.  Mrs.Chulla's class took their book reviews, made new covers for the books they read and made an interactive iBook using the app Book Creator. The students themselves did much of the photography (the class version has the student's photographs as well) and voice recording.  They hope to share the book with their classmates and families in the near future. Click here to see Mrs. Chulla's Class book.(Posted 1/13/13)


Investigating Characteristics of Nonfiction

Mr. Bencosme and Mrs. Tavares’s Second Grade Dual Language students have kicked off their investigation of nonfiction by using key characteristics of the genre. The students were able to attain a deeper understanding of text features. Students were able to browse through various nonfiction literatures and gather important information that supported the topic of choice. As a result, a three-dimensional representation and writing piece was created to demonstrate student learning
(Posted 1/3/13)



New Year Wishes

The students from Mrs. Bakala's and Mrs. Carr's class have been learning about holidays.  The students were given a choice of ideas for a wish.  Each student had to write about why it would be important to have this wish for the new year. We hope you enjoy hearing about the unique wishes each student has written for all of us for the New Year 2013. Click here to listen to the students' wishes. Happy New Year!  (Posted 1/1/13)


 

The Holiday Spirit is Alive and Well at Morse

The holiday spirit is alive and well at Morse.   John McHugh, otherwise known as,  Choo Choo McHugh built Morse students a model train set to enjoy for the month of December and January.  It is complete with a working antique train, a ski slope, a gondola, a hospital, a police station, a water tower and many other hidden features.  The children’s eyes light up when they walk into the library and Mrs. DiLascio is delighted to have all the excitement.  To quote a student walking into the library and seeing the train set for the very first time, “It is a miracle!” said by R.P. a first grader.  (Posted 12/22/12)


First Grade Peer Teachers

During the month of October Mrs. Chulla & Mrs. Rivera’s first grade classes did a creepy animal non fiction study.  The classes read books, gathered information, used Can/Have/Are charts, made Venn Diagrams, learned about the text features of non fiction books and finally wrote reports about the animal they studied.  Mrs. Rivera’s class studied spiders and Mrs. Chulla’s class studied bats.  This week the two classes got together to peer teach.  The students paired up and taught each other what they had learned.  Did you know that a spider could have 2, 4, 6 or 8 eyes? Or that a spider can jump 40 times it’s length? That the smallest bat, a bumblebee bat, is just 1 inch long? Or that a bat uses echolocation to find its food? The students talked about similarities and differences as they were learning.  The first graders were happy to make some new friends, visit another classroom and learn about another creepy animal!  They can’t wait to pair up again! (Posted 11/24/12)


2nd Graders Walk to Warner Library

The 2nd graders at Morse took a walking trip to Warner Library. At the library they met Ms. Patty who read them a story in the children’s room. After the story, students received their very own library cards and chose a book to take home for three weeks! Alex and Jillian in Mr. Vetere’s class said their favorite part of the trip was when Ms. Patty read them a story.  The children in Mr. Vetere’s and Ms. Jones’ classes wrote about their experiences and will be publishing their writing using Book Creator on the iPads. The students had a great time at the library and are looking forward to going back with their parents!  (Posted 11/10/12)


Teamwork

As part of the High Five Character Education program at Morse, the 1st and 2nd grade students have been learning through Teamwork. The children shared examples of how they are members of a team at home, at school, and in the community. With the help of our student teacher, Miss Feliciano, the students in Mrs. Richardson's class created a keynote presentation by recording their responses and downloading the presentation to the classroom ipads. Click here to view the presentation. (Posted 10/17/12)


New Plantings at Morse

Have you notice the beautiful plantings at the front entrance?  We would like to send a sincere thank you to Mrs. Sarofeen!  She is the person who single handedly replaced the previous plantings with the beautiful arrangements you see out front.  Thank you Mrs. Sarofeen!

¿Ha notado las hermosas plantas en la entrada principal? ¡Nos gustaría agradecerle a la Sra. Sarofeen! Ella es la persona que sin ayuda alguna, reemplazo las plantas anteriores con los hermosos arreglos  que usted ha visto en la entrada principal. ¡Gracias Sra.  Sarofeen! (Posted 9/19/12)


Morse Students Off to a Great Start

We are having a great start to our school year!  Students have found their classrooms, unpacked their belongings and have begun to settle into their school routine.  The nervousness of the first day of school was washed away with a brief shower on Thursday revealing happy, smiling faces.  Students have already begun to share stories about their summer adventures while practicing reading, writing and arithmetic.  The Morse Staff and I thank you all for your understanding, flexibility and cooperation.

As a reminder, all dismissal changes must be in the office before 2:00 p.m.  This is the only way for us to ensure your child is dismissed from school in the manner you have requested.

¡Hemos tenido un muy buen comienzo de año escolar! Los estudiantes han encontrado sus aulas, desempacado sus pertenencias y han comenzado a acostumbrarse a su nueva rutina escolar.  Los nervios del primer día de clase se han desvanecido, tenemos rostros felices y sonrientes.  Los estudiantes han comenzado a compartir historias sobre sus aventuras de verano, mientras que practican la lectura, escritura y aritmética.  El personal de Morse y  yo le damos las gracias a todos por su comprensión, flexibilidad y cooperación.

Recuerden, que todos los cambios de la hora de salida deben de hacerse en la oficina antes de las 2:00pm.  Esta es la única forma en que podemos asegurar que su hijo/a salga de la escuela de la forma en que usted  ha solicitado.(Posted 9/8/12)

Morse Garden Zebra Tomato Plants

The second grade students in Mrs. Bakala's class are working on their Planting Unit in Science.  They observe the process of germination from a seed to a plant.  In addition, they get to help out with the planting for the Morse Garden. This year, Mrs. Bakala's class planted Green Zebra Tomato plants.  Everyone was excited to plant the tomatoes into bigger pots.  Soon the tomato plants will be planted in the Morse Garden and we'll all be able to have some tasty Green Zebra Tomatoes! (Posted 5/26/12)


First Grade Farmers

The halls at Morse were recently alive with not only the sounds of its students but the chirps and peeps of it’s newest residents, chicks!  The first grade classes science life cycle study From Egg to Chicken resulted in 70 chicks being born at Morse over a 3day period.  The students studied what was occurring inside the 10 eggs they incubated in each classroom for 21 days, counted down to “hatch day”, cared for them, and then observed the changes in their newest feathered friends for a week.  Many of the classes invited their second grade buddy class to come visit too.  These visits resulted in comparisons to the second grade life cycle animal, crayfish, as well as fond memories of their own first grade chick hatching experience.  The unit combines science, writing, literature and math.  The chicks were brought to Stone Barns where the first graders will get to “visit” them as they end the unit with a field trip to learn more about their feathered friends.  (Posted 5/26/12)


Author Visits Morse

The grade one students at Morse recently had a visit from local author Graziella Buonanno.  Mrs. Buonanno, a retired Morse teacher, read the students her book Dancing on Grapes and spoke about her childhood in Italy.  The book is about a young girl dealing with her fear of heights and the love of her large extended family. Dancing On Grapes was recently chosen as an Honor Book for the 2012 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, by the Poetry Center, at the Passaic Community College, In Paterson, NJ. The students enjoyed the visit and were intrigued that a former Morse teacher was a “real live author.” (Posted 5/20/12)


The Crayfish Have Arrived!

As part of the 2nd grade Science 21 curriculum, each classroom receives 10 crayfish to support this inquiry based program. The skills emphasized in this unit include observing, classifying, measuring, collecting and interpreting data. During the study, the children will observe the basic parts of the crayfish and compare it to other animals. As they care for their crayfish, they will note the behavior of the crayfish and how it responds to stimuli. The overall goal is that children develop a positive attitude towards living things by learning how to care for them and determining the needs for survival. The children in Mrs. Richardson’s class shared their thoughts…

“At first I was afraid to hold it, now I can pick the crayfish up!” –Javian

“ I thought it was going to pinch me, then I picked it up and it didn’t.” _Vicky

“They run fast and when they are angry, they put up their claws.”- AJ

“ I picked it up and turned it upside down. I think I saw and egg!” - Brian (Posted 5/11/12)


Ready, Set, Garden!

On Wednesday, April 25th, Mrs. Chulla’s first grade class, along with Mrs. Tola, Mrs. Etman and Ms. Bell went outside to the Morse School Garden to begin getting it ready for planting. With the help of Jan Maltby, the students used a variety of garden tools such as digging forks and digging spades to turn over the soil. Many of the students had special jobs to do like pulling out weeds, digging up rocks, and cleaning out any garbage that they found in the soil. The Morse students will begin planting a variety of vegetables and herbs such as eggplant, squash, tomatoes, basil, parsley, lettuce and peas. We are even going to try for asparagus and pumpkins for the fall! Gardening is a great way for the students to see first hand how the food they eat is grown and to get involved with the gardening process. (Posted 4/28/12)


Author Visit to Morse

Good Enough to Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition

The second grade students at WL Morse were treated to a special visit from children’s book author and illustrator Lizzy Rockwell on April 25th and 26th.  Ms. Rockwell is the author and illustrator of such books as Good Enough To Eat, Hello Baby and The Busy Body Book.  Ms. Rockwell shared with each of the classes her experience of growing up with both parents who wrote and illustrated children’s books. She even illustrated a book that her mom, Anne Rockwell wrote called First Day of School. The students were very lucky to hear Lizzy talk about her new book that has not even been published yet. It is about eating plants. She shared first hand with the students where and when she came up with the idea for the book, her own notes and illustrations, as well as the process it takes in getting a book published. Her warm and gracious tone was felt throughout the room. When she talked about how hard it is to get a book published, having to re-write and edit it over and over again, students were intrigued. At the end of her visit, Ms. Rockwell showed the students her rough draft copy of the new book and even read it out loud to them. Then to top off such a wonderful visit, she illustrated a picture for each class while they watched! Special thanks go out to Lisa Kedem for recommending Lizzy. We would also like to thank Suzanne Smith and Brenda Sutherland for organizing her visit, as well as to the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Arts in Education.  (Posted 4/28/12)


First Graders Read, Research and Write Books About Animals

If you take a walk along the first grade corridors at Morse school, you might think you have entered the Arctic Circle, the Siberian Mountains or the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. As part of their non-fiction writing unit, first graders have been reading about, researching and writing books about animals. Some classes have even made books on the iPad courtesy of a book making app.

As part of this new writing unit, students have learned where to find reliable research, decide what information is important, how to paraphrase, text features and the difference between fact and opinion among other skills. Recycling, geography and empathy are all components of the curriculum that have been incorporated into this unit.

Some of animals researched and written about, like the Emperor Penguin, the Giant Panda and Amur Tiger are endangered and have been adopted by the classroom teacher for their students through the World Wildlife Fund.

Students and teachers alike have also discovered just how fascinating our furry, scaly and feathered friends can be!

So if you have a chance take a walk through the first grade halls enjoy the trip…but please don’t feed the animals! (Posted 3/29/12)


Picasso’s African Period

Ms. Marx’s class made ceramic masks extending our knowledge of Pablo Picasso’s art from class with Mrs. Dietz. Students were introduced to Picasso’s African Period when he was deeply influenced by African sculpture (1906-1909) after his Blue and Rose Periods.  This also allowed us to learn more about African culture.  In addition, we enjoyed building our fine motor muscles while expressing ourselves.  Connecting to our Science curriculum, students observed each mask go through the chemical change as we went through the firing and glazing of the masks over a period of about 2 weeks, reinforcing our knowledge of how energy changes.  During this time, students also had the pleasure of attending an African Drum Performance, hosted by Mrs. Giuseffi, further enriching our learning.

This project could not have been made possible with out the following people’s assistance, guidance, ideas, and time:

Mrs. Sara Largess
All of Ms. Marx’s students
Mr. Benton
Mrs. Dietz 

 (Posted 3/17/12)


First Grade Students Visit Kendal On-The-Hudson

For the past five years, after celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the First Grade classes at the W.L. Morse School commence visits to Kendal On-The-Hudson Nursing home.

In Dr. King’s memory, his son, Martin Luther King III started a program called, “Do Something: Acts of Justice and Kindness.”  True to this program, our students have learned the values taught by Dr. King—justice, compassion, responsibility, non-violence and moral courage—and put these values into practice by performing positive acts in their communities by visiting the elderly.

First Grade students visit Kendal every two weeks until the end of school. While there, each class shares something special with the residents. This could be a favorite book, poem, math game or self-published writing piece.

During last week’s visit, each child gave a resident a handmade flower, and read them a selection of books brought from school that they have been reading. It was a very touching visit; the success and happiness we were met with was memorable.  

Before visiting day, students were taught about the elderly members of Kendal and how the elderly have earned not only our respect, but our kindness. The interactions were inspiring and several children remarked as they were leaving their new friends that “This was the best day ever!”

The most touching event was watching a child who very rarely takes risks in class, walk up to a resident, give her his flower and commence reading his books to her. Without teacher support, he simply saw others doing it, and he entered into the world of giving.

The success of the Kindness & Justice Challenge is a fitting tribute to Dr. King's life and legacy. He believed passionately in the power of young people to make a difference, and he showed us that young people can be visionaries and powerful agents of change. (Posted 1/29/12)


First Graders Writing iBooks

The students in Mrs. Chulla’s first grade are not only working on developing their creative writing skills by writing traditional stories, they are writing ibooks as well!  They recently produced 2 ibooks using the Book Creator app on an iPad2. Book Creator’s recent update allows students to add audio to their books as well.  Those ibooks not only can be read by the students on the class ipads but can be emailed and downloaded by parents to any “I”technology ie: iphone, itouch, ipad.  The students can then share their work with anyone at home.  A great home-school technology connection! (Posted 1/13/12)


Wishes for the New Year

Mrs. Bakala's class wrote about a wish to everyone for the New Year. With Mr. Staker's help they were able to integrate technology by photographing and recording their work. Also, the class enjoyed making a snowman for the holiday season.  A big thank you to all the parents for their help. Happy New Year to Everyone! Click here to watch the video. (Posted 1/3/12)


Learning About Social Skills in Ms. Rivera's Classroom

The first graders in Ms. Rivera and Mrs. Tucci’s class have been learning about social skills in their character education class.. They practiced when to say please, thank you, excuse me and good morning using scenarios. Then the children wrote about a time they had to use a social skill. Now the children use the social skills they practiced at home and in school all the time.  Click here to watch the video. (Posted 12/20/11)


Responsibility

The 1st and 2nd grade students at Morse have been focusing on Responsibility during the months of November and December. The children shared how they can be responsible at home, at school, and in the community. With the support of Mr. Staker, the children in Mrs. Richardson’s class recorded ways that they are responsible. Click here to watch the video.  (Posted 12/20/11)


Online field Trip to Acadia National Park

The first graders in Mr. Vetere's class at Morse School having been writing pen pal letters to students in Winterport, Maine. To get a better understanding of life in the downeast region of Maine the students took a virtual field trip to Acadia National Park. The trip was a boat cruise around Mt. Desert Island and the smaller surrounding islands. Mt. Desert Island is home to many fantastic views of the rocky shores. Many of the students' favorite spot was the "Dance Floor". This was a social gathering place on the flat coastal rocks where people would come together to enjoy the scenery and each others' company. Students were also able to see what it's like to live in downeast Maine. Fishing is the major industry for the region. Students were fascinated by the way Lobsterman catch the lobsters many of us eat here in New York. Lighthouses were a place where past meets present. Many of the lighthouses on the island are still in use. After the trip the students were very excited to share what they had seen with their pen pals.
 (Posted 12/10/11)


Enchanted Castle

Second grade Dual Language at W.L. Morse, invites you to explore the enchanted castle that waits outside of Mrs. Tavares and Mrs. Kluge’s classrooms.

The unit study framework was designed and taught with the understanding that our inspirations and our knowledge of story elements are the foundations to construct stories. Students were given the opportunity to read and write through the genre of fairy tales.

As a result, each published piece of writing has been displayed on a beautifully landscaped replica of a majestic castle. On this display, you will find inspirational and creative pieces of writing which includes a 3- dimensional project that reflects student understanding of the unit theme. This was a collaborative project with the help of       Mrs. Tavares, Mrs. Kluge, Ms. Mailman (student teacher), Ms. Lopez and most importantly Mr. Bencosme. Therefore, the final product was a great success!

El Programa de Lenguaje Dual de la escuela W.L Morse, los invita a que viajen y exploren un mundo de fantasía en un castillo encantado, el cual fue recreado por las clases de la profesora Tavares y la profesora Kluge.

El marco de unidad de estudio fue diseñado e impartido en el entendimiento de que nuestra inspiración y nuestro conocimiento de los elementos de la historia son los pedestales para construir cuentos. Los estudiantes tuvieron la oportunidad de leer y escribir a través del género de los cuentos de hadas.

El Castillo esta decorado con balcones de diversos colores y los cuales contienen los escritos de genero fantástico de cada uno de los estudiantes del Programa de Lenguaje Dual. También, se ha exhibido una portada con los personajes de cada obra.  En esta los personajes sobre salen en tercera dimensión y fueron ilustrados por los mismos estudiantes.

Posteriormente, este proyecto se pudo llevar acabo con la colaboración de las profesoras del programa dual y con sus asistentes, Srta. Mailman (practicante), Srta. López y Sr. Bencosme.  (Posted 12/10/11)


 Morse School Holiday Sing Along Concerts

The annual Morse School Holiday Sing Along concerts were held on December 9th.  The students learned a total of 16 songs and came together to welcome in the holiday season.   They started with a remembrance of the most recent holiday: Thanksgiving, The students sang of thankfulness and paid tribute to the center of the feast, the turkey!     The students went on to sing songs of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and winter weather.   The definite highlight was the finale, a rousing rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock", complete with dancing and a saxophone solo.   It was a great way to come together as a school community and celebrate the season!(Posted 12/10/11)


Paul Klee Style Paintings

Communicating with visual symbols is basic to all disciplines.  Artists use visual elements to represent ideas and subject matter.  Scientists use drawn images, or symbols, to represent just about everything in the universe, from chemical elements to the planets.  For this project, Second graders had the opportunity to make a connection between science and art! 

We started off the project by brainstorming all different lines we could think of.  We then turned on the Smartboard to view the artworks of Swiss artist Paul Klee (1879-1940).  We carefully studied the simple lines Klee used in paintings like Park Near Lucerne and tried to analyze what the lines might represent (like trees, people, etc.)  We also discussed how the artist “implied” the idea of each object rather than painting it realistically.  Then we turned our thinking to science and looked at planet symbols.  Students quickly noticed the connection between the simple line drawings of the science symbols and those of Paul Klee. 

Second grade artists were now ready to begin their paintings.  Every student received a reference sheet with planet symbols and began by drawing out their design in pencil first.  We then took black tempera paints and outlined each pencil line with the paint. 

Finally, students were art detectives and analyzed how Paul Klee used color in his line paintings.  We discovered that sometimes Klee would pattern off the background in blocks of color and other times he would outline color around lines.  Students were encouraged to try both painting methods, as well as to limit their palette to three colors.  They also had the option to makes tints by mixing the color with white.  The completed paintings were a dazzling array of lines and colors!   


 

2nd Grade Poets

Ms. Fradkin's second grade writers began the school year by celebrating their diversity through poetry. The students were inspired by the book, “I Am America” by Charles R. Smith Jr.  These poems helped us learn some important things about each another, as well as highlight our individualities! Click here to listen to our poems.

Fairytales

The study of FAIRYTALES was the final ELA unit in 2nd grade. Children read many stories and were able to compare settings, character traits, plot, problems and conclusions. To end the unit, classes published and showcased their work in a variety of ways such as typing their stories in Microsoft Word, performing for the class in a Reader's Theater and visually designing the story elements using KidPix.

With the help of Mr. Staker, the children in Mrs. Richardson's class each drafted, revised, illustrated and then published their very own fairytales using a program called Keynote. The stories were then uploaded to  Mrs. Richardson's class website for families to enjoy. Click here to listen to the stories.

"I learned that I have to read louder and much faster when I record my next story."- Mikhalia

"It was hard work, but I feel proud that I finished my story."- Amy

"It was fun and exciting!"- Chris


Second Grade  Poets

During the months of April and May, the second graders at Morse School were immersed in poetry. The students were introduced to a variety of poetic elements including personification, onomatopoeia, rhythm, rhyme, figurative language, simile, metaphor and many more. As a culminating activity, each second grade student published their very own anthology of poems with the help of many class parents. Each classroom created an online collection of poems using KEYNOTE, a program on the iPad, and will be downloaded to every iPad to be read by students at Morse. The children celebrated their accomplishments in a variety of ways with friends and families on May 27th. Click on the links below to hear the students' reading their favorite poems. (Posted 5/27/11)

Mrs. Bakala's Class     Mrs. Calvert's Class     Mrs. Fradkin's Class     Mrs. Marx's Class     Ms. Miles'  Class     Mrs. Richardson's Class

Mrs. Sutherland's Class    Ms. Kluge's Class     Mrs. Tavares'  Class


Author/Illustrator Lizzy Rockwell Visits Morse School

The author/illustrator, Lizzy Rockwell, visited the second graders at Morse school. She wrote and illustrated Good Enough to Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition, Hello Baby!, and The Busy Body Book: A Kid's Guide to Fitness. She traveled from classroom to classroom to make her presentation more intimate. She read one of her books to the students, and then explained the creative and technical process involved in creating it, showing rough drafts of manuscripts, thumbnail sketches, the book dummy, art materials and original paintings.  She ended the presentation with questions and a drawing with ideas generated from the children.

“I liked the drawing part a lot because when I saw the pictures in the book, I really couldn’t believe she did it. Then she drew a picture for our class and I realized she was a good artist. I want to grow up to draw like her.”   - Joanna W.

“She was a really good artist and she was really nice.” - Russell  (Posted 5/27/11)


Morse Takes on the Community!

The first graders at Morse recently were treated to their very own Trip Around The Community, completely held at Morse!  It was an extraordinary day where staff, parents and community volunteers worked together to create a village where the students experienced the sights and sounds of our community.  The day incorporated the Community Helpers Social Studies curriculum.  It would not have been possible without the tireless parent volunteer coordinators; Stephanie Fuller & Amy Poret, & the parent volunteer/ teacher teams.  Trader Joe's, TD Bank, Phelps Hospital, The Westchester County Recycling Department, and The Sleepy Hollow Fire, Police and Ambulance Corps graciously donated goods, time, expertise and/ or personnel to make the event a success.  The food used for the grocery store was donated to our Community Food Pantry following the event as well.

The students started out their day by entering The Tarrytown Sleepy Hollow Bus Station where they received a wallet of play money, and "purchased" their bus ticket for the day. They made stops at The Morse One Stop Grocery Store where the students shopped for groceries using a list and paid at the check out counter. At the United Nations Diner the students ordered from a menu, practiced their restaurant manners and paid for their "meal."  The Recycling Center had the recycling relay and sort where the first graders learned about how they can reduce, reuse and recycle both at home and at school.  In the Post Office the students wrote, addressed, stamped and sorted postcards which were later mailed to their homes. In the Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow Library there were bookmarks to be made, books to be sorted and stories to be heard.

At the Morse Bank the students decided how much money to deposit, wrote a deposit slip and heard about how a bank works.  Sleepy Hollow Police Officers taught the students what to do in case of an emergency, asked and answered questions about car and walking safety, and got a copy of their own fingerprints at the Police Station. 

The Sleepy Hollow Fire Department brought along 2 fire trucks and the Zodiac small craft rescue boat as well as several members of the department to teach fire safety and practice "Stay Low and Go."  The Sleepy Hollow Ambulance Corps helped man the outdoor "hospital" where the students learned about keeping safe and healthy as well as touring the ambulance.

The students left this inaugural event with lots of information, bags filled with souvenirs from their "bus trip" and a new understanding of their community!  "This was the BEST day ever!"  was heard frequently from the excited first graders. (Posted 4/30/11)


 

 

First Grade e-authors

The first graders at Morse have just finished a non-fiction writing unit.  The students in Mrs. Chulla’s Class studied the Snowy Owl by reading books, researching on the Internet, and watching video clips. The students wrote, edited, and classified facts. Then they worked with their teacher to choose pictures to go with their new knowledge.  As a culminating activity the class created a narrated e-book that could be put on the class iPads as well as be downloaded to their own home iPods and iPads and computers. They can’t wait to publish and share more e-books.  It was a great experience for the first graders to see their hard work come to life using our school’s newest technology! Click here to view the book. (Posted 4/1/11)


Dual Language First Graders Visit Mexico

Technology certainly has the power to make the world a little smaller!  On Wednesday, March 9, 2011 the Dual Language First Graders traveled to Mexico and back before lunch. Not by car, not by boat, not by plane or even Space Shuttle.  Better still, it was via Skype video conference that we traveled to The American School in Monterrey.  The American School is an English Immersion School where the first graders in Ms. Andrea and Ms. Annette’s classes have spent the last four years learning English as a second language.  Thanks to a Dual Language parent, Karen McNally of Lit Life, the four teachers were introduced via e-mail and coordinated the bilingual introductions, singing of songs and reading of stories by children to celebrate World Read Aloud Day.  You could feel the excitement in the air!  All 88 children were so excited that it was decided to make it a monthly meeting!  Plans for e-pals are also in the works! The celebration lasted a little over twenty minutes in each room followed by a visit via Google Earth to see the school building and a sharing of photographs. 

As we leave Mexico and travel back home, our minds wander to (and wonder about) the possibilities of where we may go next… perhaps in the future, as exchange students (and teachers). (Posted 3/11/11)


NEA’s Read Across America Project

March 2nd is the kickoff of the National Education Association annual Read Across America campaign. The NEA calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult. This awareness program that celebrates reading and promotes literacy is celebrated year round, commencing on the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

The purpose of this campaign is to get kids excited about reading and to create lifelong successful readers. First and second grade students at Morse School will be introduced to the program, learn and recite the Reader’s Oath, and will be challenged to “take the pledge” to read each and every day of the year.

Please visit the NEA’s official Read Across America website at http://www.readacrossamerica.org/ to have your child pledge online. The website contains recommended book lists, valuable information and ideas to help your family become excited about reading! (Posted 3/5/11)


First Graders Participate in an Intergenerational Program at the Kendal-On-The-Hudson Nursing Home

Abraham Lincoln stated: “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”  There is no wonder that being with children and being part of their learning fill our years with life. For this reason, First Grade students at the W.L. Morse School is in its fourth year of participating in an intergenerational program at the Kendal-On-The-Hudson Nursing home.  Twice each month children from Morse visit the residents of Kendal to share something they have learned or created at school. Activities include sharing favorite story books, books and poetry they have written, math games, art projects, and bringing small gifts they have made for holidays such as Valentine’s Day.  The pleasure seen in the faces of the residents and the experience of giving and sharing by the children bring a collective joy to all. (Posted 2/2/11)  


Eric Carle Animal Illustrations

For this project, first grade artists got to experience what it’s like to be an illustrator.  Students learned that an illustrator is an artist that creates pictures for books, just like the illustrator Eric Carle.  We looked at Eric Carle’s official website and watched a video of how he creates his colorful animal illustrations.  Students were amazed to find out the secret behind his artwork!  Using Eric Carle’s method we began by painting tissue papers with various colors and texture brushes.  First graders were then asked to choose an animal from the book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” which is the first book Eric Carle illustrated.  We learned how to look at the animals and break them down into simple shapes.  Students traced those shapes onto the tissue papers and carefully cut and pasted their animal together.  Lastly, students added their details.  For example, eyes, ears, nose, feathers, fins, whiskers, etc. were to be added last.  For the finishing touch each student chose a piece of colored construction paper to use as a frame for their animal illustration. Click here to see more illustrations.  (Posted 2/1/11)  


Puppet Show

Recently the first graders in Mrs. Chulla’s class were treated to a puppet show.  Not just an ordinary puppet show, but one written, produced, created and performed by students from the EF International High School program housed at the former Marymount College.  As part of a class the students learned to create shadow puppetry to perform the classic tale Beauty and the Beast.  The student performers hailed from Poland, Palestine, Spain, Vietnam and Kazakhstan.  Following the performance the students shared their puppet making techniques and answered the first graders’ questions.  The first graders were able to compare and contrast the shadow puppet performance to the SHMS performance of Beauty and The Beast they recently attended. The high school students got a chance to practice their English language skills as well as their performance skills.  The visit was made possible by Dr. Oxana Litvine, an EF professor and parent in the class. (Posted 1/25/11)


Math Night at Morse

March 9th at 6:30, bring the family to Morse for a night of mathematical adventures.  There will be a variety of hands on activities and games covering many of New York State’s content strands.  Our emphasis this year will be on using household items to enhance mathematical understanding. 

3-D Shape Building! Gum drops and toothpicks come together to become 3-D shape structures.

How Long For A Kiss? Estimate how long it will take to eat a chocolate kiss. 

Shake Them Up!  Students observed different combinations to make ten with each toss.

Pasta Patterns Get creative and make a colored pasta necklace!

Tossing Pigs Toss a plastic pig, observe how it lands, and graph the results.

How Much Will It Hold? Is a popular table where families chose two containers and tried to figure out which one would hold more rice.

Hope to see you March 9th at Family Math Night! (Posted 1/25/11)


Students at Morse Elementary celebrate the holiday season with a musical performance by the Sleepy Hollow Orchestra and its conductor, Brittney Trenczer (Posted 1/2/11)


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iPods in the Classroom

The children in Mrs. Richardson’s class have been using the ipods on a daily basis in a variety of ways. During Reader’s Workshop, children have learned how to record their own reading to later play back and build fluency while working independently. Students have begun working with Andrew Staker to record character education stories relating to TEAMWORK that were written during Writer’s Workshop. These stories and illustrations were then saved to the ipods for all children to enjoy. Different apps that support spelling were uploaded to the ipods so that children can work independently to practice reading and spelling words. Finally, the math apps that were uploaded, provided individualized support for students who are lacking basic math skills (addition and subtraction flash cards, telling time, recognizing and counting coins etc.) Overall the children have become very comfortable navigating these tools and look forward to their opportunity to use them. Click here to see students Teamwork stories. (Posted 12/18/10)


EPTA
Lunch Time Book Clubs Coming to Morse!

Be a part of the Club!

 Are you looking for a way to volunteer in your child’s school?
Are you free on a weekday during lunch?
If so, we need you!!

Morse School is offering lunch time book clubs as a winter recess activity; this has been extremely popular in the past!  It is not difficult to facilitate a club.  We will give you the nuts and bolts of what it entails in an information session on Thursday, Nov. 18th at 9:15 am in the Morse Library.

Facilitating a book club is a fun, meaningful way to enhance our children’s literacy skills and love of reading.  The more volunteers we have the more children we can reach.

We look forward to seeing you at our information meeting.  Book clubs will begin in January!  If you are unable to attend the meeting, please feel free to contact Karen McNally at karen.litlife@gmail.com  or Virginia Lustyik at vlustyik@optonline.net for more information. (Posted 11/17/10)


 


Reaching Out to Local Veterans

After reading The Wall  by Eve Bunting, Ms. Fradkin, Ms. Marx, Mrs. Miles and Mrs. Richardson’s grade 2 classes discussed what character traits describe a veteran of the United States.  Students’ thoughts were touching and moving.  Veterans were described as strong, fearless, full of stamina, intelligent, and heroic.  After a discussion about these traits, students wrote letters to thank the veterans staying on floor 6A/B of the Montrose V.A.  Eileen Marx, Ms. Marx’s mom, delivered the letters to each of the veterans.  She called to report the men were deeply touched by the young hearts and minds, making this an extra special Veterans Day for all involved.  (Posted 11/14/10)


 Second Grade Artists Make Connection Between Science and Art

Communicating with visual symbols is basic to all disciplines.  Artists use visual elements to represent ideas and subject matter.  Scientists use drawn images, or symbols, to represent just about everything in the universe, from chemical elements to the planets.  For this project, Second graders had the opportunity to make a connection between science and art! 

We started off the project by brainstorming all different lines we could think of.  We then turned on the Smartboard to view the artworks of Swiss artist Paul Klee (1879-1940).  We carefully studied the simple lines Klee used in paintings like Park Near Lucerne and tried to analyze what the lines might represent (like trees, people, etc.)  We also discussed how the artist “implied” the idea of each object rather than painting it realistically.  Then we turned our thinking to science and looked at planet symbols.  Students quickly noticed the connection between the simple line drawings of the science symbols and those of Paul Klee. 

Second grade artists were now ready to begin their paintings.  Every student received a reference sheet with planet symbols and began by drawing out their design in pencil first.  We then took black tempera paints and outlined each pencil line with the paint. 

Finally, students were art detectives and analyzed how Paul Klee used color in his line paintings.  We discovered that sometimes Klee would pattern off the background in blocks of color and other times he would outline color around lines.  Students were encouraged to try both painting methods, as well as to limit their palette to three colors.  They also had the option to lighten a color by mixing it with white.  The completed paintings were a dazzling array of lines and colors!   (Posted 10/22/10)


Students earning their Character Ed Bracelets
 (Posted 10/22/10)


Morse Elementary Gets a Visit from Sleepy Hollow Fire Department and Learns about Fire Safety

 (Posted 10/22/10)


Third Grade Experts on Global Warming to Show Their Work at Their Challenge Fair

The Third Grade Social Studies Enrichment Students in Mrs. Hickey’s class will be presenting the products of their studies next Tuesday, May 25th at 6:30 pm in the W.L. Morse gymnasium.  They invite all those interested in Environmental Studies to attend. For the last 3 months, the students have been learning about the causes and effects of Global Warming, examining the various arguments to come up with conclusions of their own.  They have also formed divisions of a consulting company that was commissioned to evaluate various offices and homes around the district and community. The students determined some changes that could be made in the area of conservation to save resources and money.  Reports were written to each office with recommendations for improvements, allowing the students to see meaningful and authentic purposes to their hard work.  Their findings will also be presented at the June 10th Board of Education Meeting. (Posted 5/18/10)


Challenge Summer Institute 2010

This summer, the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns will be hosting the Challenge Summer Institute.  This summer camp is designed to provide cutting-edge academic enrichment programming for high-ability and highly motivated students currently in grades 2-6.  Students will receive individually tailored instruction in high interest, high impact curricula to develop their creative and critical thinking skills.  The program is open to all energetic, curious and motivated students; acceptance is not limited to students who have been formally identified for instruction in the in-school Challenge enrichment program.  The camp will offer small classes, individualized instruction and lots of hands-on activities. 

 Each student will select from the listing of courses to create a personal schedule. Students may take 2 or 3 courses, one during each period.  Each course meets once a day for 90 minutes.   Students should indicate their first choice for each class period (one, two and three). Classes will fill up quickly, so we encourage students to apply early to increase their chances of getting their first choices for each period.  

For more information, please click on one of the tabs below:

Brochure for grades 2-3 (English)  (Spanish)
Brochure for grades 4-6 (English)  (Spanish)  
(Posted 5/3/10)

Let’s Go van Gogh!

This spring, Morse artists studied the work of Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh.  Second graders used oil pastels to create beautiful sunflowers in his honor.  We used dark, medium and light (value) to make our flowers look more three-dimensional.  We investigated the different textures of the sunflower and learned how we could apply the oil pastels in different ways to achieve different effects.  The background was done in water color wash. The third grade looked at van Gogh’s wheat field paintings that he did in the last years of his life. We learned about the structure of a landscape painting—foreground, middle ground, and background. Then we sketched their own wheat fields onto pastel paper and used oil pastels to create works filled with expression, color and movement.

In addition, artists from both grades worked together to create a sunflower mural based on Vincent’s famous vase of sunflowers.  This painting can be seen along with other student work at the Morse Museum (first floor).  The mural will travel to the Administration Building in June for display.

Vincent van Gogh (born 1853- died 1890)
was not well known during his lifetime, but today he is one of the most famous painters of all time.  He was born in Holland but after deciding to become an artist at 27, he spent most of his life in France.  Van Gogh discovered painting after he had tried and failed at other professions from art dealer to preacher.  All of van Gogh’s 800 or so paintings were created in the last ten years of his life. (Posted 5/9/10)


Our Morse Code

Our Morse Code—Respect, Love of Learning, Empathy and Responsibility—has become an important part of the Morse experience this year.  These values will be the subject of  the second grade concert on the evening of Thursday, June 17th
17th at Washington Irving and students are creating a mural backdrop for the event.  Here’s a sneak peak! (Posted 5/4/10)


“Poem in Your Pocket Day”

April is National Poetry Month.  This month students throughout the country study and celebrate poetry.  Students at W.L. Morse are joining in the celebration by participating in “Poem in Your Pocket Day” on Friday, April 30th, 2010.

To celebrate the imagination and creativity of poetry, students of all ages are asked to carry a poem in their pockets to share with friends, classmates, teachers and families. Students will be given opportunities to read their favorite poems throughout the day.  Join us in celebrating poetry!  Keep a poem in your pocket to share with someone!

KEEP A POEM IN YOUR POCKET
Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.
The little poem will sing to you.
The little picture it brings to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you’re in bed.
SO...
Keep a picture in your pocket
And a poem in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.

Beatrice Schenkde Regniers

(Posted 4/28/10)


Parent Transition Survey

Current and future parents of students at Morse school, we are looking for your feedback as we prepare for next year's transitions.  Please share your thoughts on our online survey. Click here for the survey. (Posted 4/18/10)


Heritage Week

During the week of March 22-25, the staff and children at Morse School embraced its diversity by celebrating Heritage Week.  This was an opportunity to showcase the remarkable diversity of our school and the individual heritage of each child.  

Children conducted interviews, made collages, created posters, played games, made dolls in native dress, created recipe books, shared music, brought or made artifacts, and shared a variety of foods to discuss their culture with teachers and friends.  Some families celebrated their heritage by learning more about their ancestry on-line and making family trees.  Parents visited classrooms, provided cultural snacks, and participated in read alouds.   

School-wide events also included an African dance performance by The Ashangi Family.  The children had a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the African culture, dance, music, and instruments.  

Thanks to the Foundation, this year’s theater residency with Peter Royston introduced our Morse 3rd graders to a variety of Cinderella Versions From Around the World.  Each class learned about theatre dynamics, as they turned storyboards into real theatre action. 

A great time was had by all!  (Posted 4/15/10)


Morse’s Family Math Night

Good times were had by all at Morse’s Family Math Night last Thursday.  There were a variety of activities covering each of New York State’s content strands.  The emphasis this year was on using household items to build mathematical concepts.  The discussions our students were having with adults left many with math goose bumps!  Students from Morse also had their hearts in the right place when they offered to sell hot chocolate for Haiti. 

How Much Will It Hold? was a popular table where families chose two containers and tried to figure out which one would hold more rice.

3-D Shape building! combined toothpicks and gumdrops to create some amazing structures.

How Long For A Kiss? children predicted how long it would take them to eat a chocolate kiss.

Shake Them Up! involved tossing 10 lima beans that were painted on one side.  Students observed different combinations to make ten with each toss.

Pasta Patterns making colored pasta necklaces is always great fun!

Hope to see you next year at Family Math Night! (Posted 1/1/10)


Morse Artists study the Art of the Middle Ages—History Comes Alive!

Second grade artists studied the art, life and legends of the Middle Ages.  We used the tale of George and the Dragon as a theme for our work.  Each student created his or her own hand-colored story-telling picture.  Students were careful to include a setting and main characters in their work. We even explored three-dimensional art in “Dragon Workshop” where each student sculpted and painted a dragon figurine.

Third graders learned that books were made and illustrated by hand and created their own “decorated letters.” First, students selected a letter.  Then, we began decorating the letter with imagery from the period.  Crowns, knights, dragons, castles and medieval flower designs were all used by Morse artists to decorate their work.  They then transferred the drawings onto black and gold metallic scratchboard and etched their beautiful designs in gold.

Also in keeping with the medieval theme…third graders designed and created simulated stained glass windows using stencils.  A polymer product which dries to a transparent finish creates the beautiful color. 

The work can be seen on display on the first floor of Morse School.  Please come take a look! The Middle Ages are between ancient and modern times. The Middle Ages began with the Fall of Rome (500) and ended with the Renaissance (1400). This period is associated with many beliefs and practices that now seem out of date, for example, the belief that the sun revolves around the Earth, and a host of popular superstitions. The early Middle Ages are sometimes called the Dark Ages.

The later middle Ages, however, saw many notable human achievements. Among these were the building of modern nations, such as England and France; expanded trade and the beginnings of the Age of Exploration, some remarkable works of literature and the building of magnificent churches.  The period saw major technological advances, including the invention of printing, gunpowder, spectacles, and greatly improved ships. (Posted 12/15/09)


The Cubist Tradition at Morse School

Every September third graders begin their year in the art studio by designing and executing Cubist paintings. These paintings will be on display at the Warner Library Children’s Room beginning Nov 17th.

Cubism was an early-20th century school of painting and sculpture in which the subject matter is portrayed by geometric forms without realistic detail, stressing abstract form rather than realistic representation.  Along with our discussions of art history and shapes, students were able to develop their understanding of color theory.  While painting, each child was challenged to mix his or her own colors discovering firsthand how to make particular shades and hues.  Students eagerly shared their discoveries with their classmates and answered each other’s “color questions.” 

Cubists used geometric forms in different ways.  Robert Delaunay and his spouse Sonia believed that color and shape alone could create beautiful art.  They worked together for many years making paintings that looked like fragmented rainbows.  In the spirit of the Delaunays, the third grade used templates to create designs filled with overlapping shapes and then colored their work with cake tempera paint.

Please stop by the Morse Museum (on the first floor) to see the student’s work.  The work will also be on display at the Warner Library Children’s Room beginning November 17th.  (Posted 11/18/09)


Family and Friends Celebrate Literacy at Morse

In the afternoon on Friday, November 6th, family and friends joined students and teachers in classroom celebrations of literacy.  Teachers have been working with their students on reading and writing and each classroom prepared their own way to share with their visitors what they have been learning.  In some classrooms, students read and even performed works of literature that they are studying, including fairy tales and personal narrative touchstone texts.  In other classrooms, students shared their own writing pieces, helping our visitors understand the writing process.  In all rooms, family, friends and children had the chance to share positive feedback on these remarkable works.  After the classroom sessions, Randy Lichtenwalner, Literacy Staff Developer for preK-5, gave a parent talk about our Fountas and Pinnel reading assessment.  We are very grateful that so many friends and family could come to join us.  If you were not able to come or couldn't stay for the parent talk, please know that you can download the PowerPoint used in the talk from the Morse page on the district web site. Click here to see how one classroom brought their stories to life (Posted 11/08/09)


Our "Morse Code"-- Values we live and learn by

This year, the Morse staff is launching a comprehensive student values and character education program. We designed the program based on best practices that are aimed at cultivating a thriving learning community, enhancing student self esteem and diminishing bullying behavior. Our program incorporates aspects of our existing Second Step curriculum, includes components from the research-based Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) approach, and actively teaches core community values. Please click here to see our "Morse Code" statement, or visit the Morse page to download our Parent/Student Handbook and read more about the four values on which we will focus in this program.

Students will learn about these values through school-wide assemblies and activities as well as during weekly classroom meetings. We will reinforce these values throughout their school day, as students will earn Morse Code awards and receive positive feedback when they are caught doing the right thing. Parents should look forward to monthly letters and calendars that will help them understand what students are learning as well as what they and their child(ren) can do at home to further this important work.

Aqui, Lee sobre la programa en español.  (Posted 9/20/09)


Myths and Legends Came to Life at Morse

Myths and Legends from China, Brazil, and the United States came to life at Morse on June 3rd.  For the past 12 weeks, Peter Royston has been working with our 3rd grade classes to transform Myths and Legends into their own, original mini-theater productions.  Throughout these weeks, our 3rd graders have integrated the Social Studies curriculum with the study of theater dynamics.  Peter Royston’s Theater Residency at Morse offers our students a valuable learning experience as they explore the art of adapting voices, actions, choreography, and songs to, ultimately, bring their stories to an audience filled with family and friends. Mr. Royston’s work with children allows them to gain a different perspective about the art of teamwork and collaboration outside the classroom. Special thanks to Sue Barrett for her work with the Art Club in designing our striking stage backdrop. Also, special thanks to Mrs. Joy Giuseffi for selecting a variety of contemporary music that allowed our children to enhance their stories with song. This project was made possible through funding provided by the District Elementary Arts program, which is jointly funded by the School District, the EPTA and the Foundation for the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns.  (Posted 6/8/09 )


Lunchtime Literature Circles are a Success at Morse

Our first round of lunchtime literature circles just came to a close at Morse. Seven parents dedicated one day each week to facilitating literature circles with second and third grade students during lunch and recess.  Each group met to discuss a different book or series of books, ranging from books about Harry Houdini to a study of Love that Dog, a book about releasing the poet within.  Students all enjoyed and looked forward to the literature circles, even though they met during recess.  One girl reported, "I look forward to literature circle day the most!" The parent facilitators report that they enjoyed the types of discussions they were able to have and found it, "a great way to interact with kids and be a part of school."  The staff at Morse is quite grateful for our parent volunteers and the Foundation's support, both of which made this possible.  We look forward to continuing to offer literature circles next school year!  (Posted 5/14/09 )


Challenge Fair at Morse

On Tuesday evening, May 12th, WL Morse had its annual Challenge Fair.  This is an event in which Third Grade Social Studies Enrichment Students present the results of their Independent Study Projects.  These three month research and problem solving projects were in response to the question “What price do we pay for progress?”  After spending time learning research skills from other, shorter lived projects, the students were exposed to historical and present-time events that demonstrate both sides of that issue.  Some of the topics chosen for independent study were: “How the deforestation of the Amazon Basin affects the native peoples living in the area”; “Causes, effects and possible solutions to the Great American Dustbowl”; “The Interstate Highway System and its benefits and problems”; “How the introduction of American fast foods has led to obesity and related problems in China” and “Indian Point, Friend or Foe” among many others.  Students presented their work to parents, relatives, friends and the school community with great success.  We celebrated their hard work, curiosity and determination as well as the incredible help and cooperation from parents and teachers.  Great job everyone! (Posted 5/14/09 )


“Poem in Your Pocket Day”

April is National Poetry Month.  During this month, students throughout the country study and celebrate poetry.  Students at W.L. Morse have been studying poetry all month and will join in the national celebration by participating in “Poem in Your Pocket Day” on  Thursday, April 30th, 2009.

To celebrate the imagination and creativity of poetry, students of all ages are asked to carry a poem in their pockets to share with friends, classmates, teachers, family and friends. Students will be given opportunities to read their favorite poems throughout the day.  Join us in celebrating this Thursday!  Keep a poem in your pocket to share with someone!

KEEP A POEM IN YOUR POCKET
Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.
The little poem will sing to you.
The little picture it brings to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you’re in bed.
SO...
Keep a picture in your pocket
And a poem in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.

Beatrice Schenkde Regniers

(Posted 4/27/09 )


Africa: Customs, History, Music, and Legend at Morse School

On April 1st Morse students enjoyed a performance of “Journey to Africa” presented by the Ishangi Family Dancers.  This event was generously funded by the BOCES Arts-in-Education Program.  Morse School has been lucky enough to enjoy visits from the Ishangis for 7 years, supporting the integration of African art and culture into the art curriculum.  Second grade artists have recently completed beautiful illustrations of an African folktale using concepts from textile design.  Third graders decorated masks.  Examples of both projects can be seen in the Morse Museum. 

The Ishangi Family Dancers were founded in 1958 and have performed all over the world including twice at the United Nations.  Their presentation is a wonderful blend of music, dance, and narration. In the course of the concert, students learned about authentic African customs, history, musical instruments, masquerades, and legends. The objectives of the program are to introduce students to the culture, dance, music, and history of West Africa. The program is entertaining and educational, incorporating everyday activities such as how clothing is washed by hand by beating the cloth on rocks. All dance and musical presentations were thoroughly explained.  What a wonderful culmination to our study in the Morse Art Studio!  (Posted 4/1/09 )


African Art Celebrated at Morse School

Second grade artists combined African textile designs with a traditional African folktale, “The Hatseller and the Monkeys.”  The border around the illustration was created by combining Kente textile designs from West Africa with our own carefully designed patterns.  The paintings on the inside of the project were created after we read the African folktale, “The Hatseller and the Monkeys.”  When we created these illustrations, we experimented with a technique using the idea of batik (a method of dyeing textiles).  Drawings were traced on top of a special wax paper leaving a secret wax version of our drawings on the bottom sheet of paper.  Then we painted with watercolors.  The wax kept the paper white where we traced.  We used mixed media—pastels and markers—to finish decorating the details on our pictures.  Third graders each created masks.

Examples of this art work are on display on the first floor at Morse school.  A travelling exhibition will be on view at the Warner Library beginning in early April. The Ishangi Family Dancers will be performing on April 1st for the entire school in celebration of our study of African art forms. (Posted 3/28/09 )


Second Graders Celebrate their Non Fiction Work

For several weeks, our second grade students have been learning to be better readers and writers of non-fiction.  We are very proud of all that they have accomplished!  In reader’s workshop, students learned more about how good readers read non-fiction to learn more about the world.  They also learned to use the features of non fiction to understand information, and take notes, recording what they learn and new questions for further investigation.  In writer’s workshop, they learned about what a good writer must do to help teach his or her reader about a topic.  Each student selected a subject to research and write about, from states and countries to mammals and non mammals.  Once they gathered their research, they worked on writing sentences and paragraphs and designing an informational poster on which to publish important information about their topic.  On Wednesday morning family and friends joined us in classrooms for a breakfast to celebrate these remarkable accomplishments and all that our students have learned during this unit.  For family and friends who could not attend, we welcome you to come and visit the posters.  They will remain up through parent conferences for all to see. Click here to see a sample of the students projects. (Posted 3/19/09 )


Morse Students Celebrate “Music in Our Schools Month”

March has been officially designated as “Music in Our Schools Month”, (MIOSM®), the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation.  The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music.

There are a lot of special things happening at Morse this month to celebrate. Take a look at the March lunch menu for instance!   Classroom teachers worked with their students to brainstorm and come up with fun musical names for everyday lunch items.   We are listening to interesting musical facts and trivia during morning announcements.  Musicians from the Westchester Philharmonic will come and spend a day showing kids lots of different instruments. The second grade students will experience woodwind instruments, while third graders will see and hear instruments from the percussion family.   Both grades will attend a special MIOSM presentation on March 24 by the band and orchestra directors and students from Washington Irving School.(Posted 3/9/09 )


Morse Family Math Night was a Big Hit!

On Tuesday night, students, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles from more than 70 Morse families came to enjoy a variety of math games and activities.  Everyone played "Guess your Number" and a most exciting game of Greedy Pig at the end.  The cafeteria was packed and the energy in the room was exciting!  We all look forward to even more fun (and space!) next year.   Special congratulations to Gabriel Romero and Isaiah Burgess for making the closest estimate of the night!  Hannah Miller's mom, Virginia, was the adult to come the closest to estimate, so congratulations to her as well.  We are very thankful that so many families supported this event and continue to support mathematics!  To download a packet of fun math activities for home, click here. (Posted 2/13/09 )


Morse Teachers, Students and Parents Celebrated Healthy Heart Week!

In honor and celebration of Healthy Heart Month, Morse PE teachers welcomed Morse parents to come and participate in PE Class.  Students and parents (and even Mrs. Fitzgerald) competed in the Morse version of the Olympics, designed especially for Healthy Heart Week.  Teams worked together in and out of PE class to understand the importance of cardiovascular fitness and good sportsmanship.  Everyone who participated had a great time too!  Special thanks to Mr. Farrell and Mrs. Brennen for making this possible! (Posted 2/13/09 )


The Morse Third Grade Mask Tradition Goes On!

Every January, after studying masks from around the world, third grade students each design, decorate and title three-dimensional masks.   In our American culture, we use masks at Halloween.  Special protective masks are worn by athletes, doctors and soldiers.  In other parts of the world masks are used for many different reasons.  The third grade has studied some of these masks and created their own designs. The masks are will be on display on the first floor at Morse School through March. (Posted 2/10/09 )


Morse flyers and announcements are online

Morse families can now find all flyers, monthly newsletter and letters from the office posted on the Morse page of the district web site--just another (green) way to stay informed!   To visit the Morse page, go to http://www.tufsd.org/wlm/index.html or click on Winfield L. Morse on the top of the district web site. (Posted 2/10/09 )


Morse  FLIP:  Fun Lunch Indoor Program

For the next five weeks, the EPTA proudly presents Morse  FLIP:  Fun Lunch Indoor Program. On certain days during lunch, rain or shine, parent volunteers will lead special activities.

  • Wednesday:  Learn to Sew:  See a school wide project take shape!

  • Thursday: Play Bingo:  Have fun with kids from other classes!  

  • Friday: Learn Origami:  The colorful art of Japanese paper folding

On these days, one or two students from each class will be able to sign up for FLIP in the morning.   Students will rotate so as many children as possible will be able to participate.  At lunchtime, the students will bring their lunch (from home or purchased) to the activity & enjoy trying new projects & meeting new classmates.    Parents do not have to do anything; this is just an optional way to have winter fun!

Many thanks to the parents who are offering to lead these activities.   Please feel free to email Jennifer Povman at jpovman@optonline.net or call the school at 914-631-4144 if you would like to volunteer to help. (Posted 1/27/09 )


 

 

Winter Wonderland at Morse: A Celebration of Literacy

Students, staff, family members and friends thoroughly enjoyed Winter Wonderland, a day to celebrate literacy together at Morse.  The day started early for the SHHS Project YOU! students who set up a fantastic book sale for Morse students and families.  Teachers were thrilled to work with Project You to give every student at Morse a brand new book to take home!  Guests of all ages thoroughly enjoyed the assembly that featured the storytelling of Mr. Roscoe Orman, best known as “Gordon” on Sesame Street.  The crowd laughed along as he read one of his own books, Ricky and Mobo and one of our students’ favorites, Stone Soup They also had the chance to hear Mr. Orman speak about his work as Gordon on Sesame Street and how he became an author.  After the assembly, parents enjoyed a discussion about the value of listening to literature with Mr. Orman and the head of AudibleKids.com, the leading collection of children’s audiobooks online.  Parents at each grade level also met with Mrs. Fitzgerald, Mr. Lichtenwalner (ELA staff developer) and Mrs. Hickey (Challenge teacher) about how to help their students develop as readers and spellers.  Please visit the Morse page to download the materials that were handed out to parents.  In addition to these presentations, parents enjoyed the chance to spend time in their children’s classrooms, engaging in activities that celebrate reading and writing.  Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us and who helped to make Winter Wonderland so special! (Posted 1/25/09 )


Holiday Concerts Are a Big Success!

On December 4th, all students participated in our annual Holiday Concerts led by our music teacher, Joy Giuseffi. The second graders participated in a sing-along of some of our favorite songs of the season. We ended by filling the auditorium with ringing as each student rang a homemade jingle bell bracelet. The third graders saw elves, broke the piñata and celebrated the coming of snow days. We even had a visit from Mrs.Claus!  The concert ended with the entire student body singing America while each held up a flag for our country. For the first time, the third graders were able to repeat their concert in the evening so family and friends who aren't normally able to could attend. Thanks to all of you who came to these wonderful events! (Posted 12/9/08 )


From the Library…

The students at W.L. Morse School recently listened to the classic story of imagination, Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. Inspired by Harold’s original adventure in which he explores the world outside his bedroom window, purple crayon in hand, many of the 2nd and 3rd graders went home and mimicked Harold themselves. What ensued could be considered Harold mania! The library bulletin board is an inspiring artistic tribute to our students’ rich imaginations and ability to make connections to literature.  Their original stories and images range from Harold underwater, Harold and the Headless Horseman, Harold and J.F.K, to Harold at the Taj Mahal.  For families who would like to explore with Harold, Crockett Johnson has written several additional titles, including Harold and the Purple Crayon Treasury: Five Adventures and Harold y el lapiz color morado (en español), many of which are available at the Warner Library. (Posted 12/8/08)


Clothing Sale Success!!!

W.L. Morse’s Second Semi-Annual “Gently Used Clothing Sale” was a wonderful success this past weekend.  Thanks to the dedicated help from the EPTA, staff and student volunteers, $1500 was earned to be put towards “Green” projects within the school.  Thank you to all who donated clothing to this worthwhile event.  Thanks also go to those who came to replenish their wardrobes.  Wonderful clothing was recycled and will be reused, allowing us to save the earth in our own way. (Posted 11/3/08)


Third Graders at Morse School Study Cubism

An exhibit of student work will be on view at the  Warner Library beginning November 7th

After comparing and contrasting realistic and abstract paintings in the art studio, third grade artists began the year by making Cubist-style paintings. Cubism was a school of painting popular in Europe during the early part of the last century.  Cubist painters used geometric shapes to create abstract paintings.  Unlike other styles, abstract art does not concern itself with creating photographic representations of the world.

Cubists used geometric forms in different ways.  Some Cubist painters wanted us to recognize “things” in their work but Robert Delaunay and his spouse Sonia believed that color and shape alone could create beautiful art.  They worked together for many years making paintings that looked like fragmented rainbows.  In the spirit of the Delaunays, the third grade used templates to create designs filled with overlapping shapes and then colored their work with tempera paint.

Along with our discussions of art history and shapes, students were able to develop their understanding of color theory.  While painting, each child had a color wheel at their side to consult as they mixed their custom colors.  Lively “color conversation” took place at all worktables.     (Posted 10/27/08)

 


Morse Celebrates Its Character!

New at Morse this year…At Morse, Character Counts! This new initiative embraces the pillars of character: citizenship, responsibility, honesty, trustworthiness, friendship, and perseverance. Students will participate in morning meetings which engage them in learning about these ideals and ways to actively demonstrate their understanding and personification of them. At the end of each week, classes will be recognized for the achievement of measurable goals. We are looking forward to recognizing our wonderful students this year! (Posted 9/14/08)


Earth Day

The students of Ms. Cristella's second grade class left a green footprint this Earth Day! The avid readers collectively read over 100 non-fiction books in an effort to save the rainforest.  In return, Scholastic Inc, in affiliation with the International Rainforest Alliance, sponsored 100 acres of the Choco Forest in Ecuador under Ms. Cristella's class name.  The Choco Forest is home to more than 9,000 species of endangered plants, animals, and amazing natural resources.  The class can now be found online under the Classrooms Care Green Hall of Fame.  The second grade students hope they inspire the greater community to do their part to make a difference and protect the sacred rainforest.  As one student so aptly pointed out, "EVERY day is Earth Day!" (Posted 5/7/08) 


Music Notes

As part of their ongoing study of orchestral instruments, all 2nd graders were treated to a special workshop on May 12th.  Musicians from the Westchester Philharmonic visited our school and demonstrated woodwind instruments.   Students were able to see “up close” and hear a flute, bassoon, clarinet, oboe, saxophone and recorder.   They learned about single reeds and double reeds and why a saxophone is really a woodwind instrument.  They learned that flutes are used all over the world and even heard ones from India and Ireland.   Seeing and experiencing these instruments “in person” is such a wonderful experience for the children.   They are looking forward to next year in 3rd Grade when they’ll study recorders with Mrs. Giuseffi!  (Posted 5/22/08)


Third Grade Artists at Morse School Studied Joan Miro

Joan Miro (1893-1983) was a Spanish painter and sculptor who produced vivid abstract works of art during much of the 1900s. His works often have very descriptive titles. Joan Miro's name is pronounced “hoän mro.“

We talked about Miro’s paintings as we looked at several reproductions of his work.  Then, like Miro, third grade artists used lines and shapes to make abstract pictures that are filled with shapes that remind us of people, creatures and objects.  We learned that a shape can look like more than one thing and that two people can interpret art differently and both have a valid point of view.

Students worked individually drawing and coloring Miro-style.  We used many of the skills we learned earlier this year when we made Cubist paintings.  Finally, we used the crayon-resist technique, coloring our shapes with primary colored crayons and then creating a background with watercolor and large wash brushes.  (see gallery) (Posted 4/28/08) 


3rd Graders Attend Westchester Philharmonic Concert

On April 15th, all 3rd graders were treated to a wonderful concert at Purchase College.  In preparation for the trip, they studied and listened to music by Beethoven, Handel and Haydn with Mrs. Giuseffi in music class.   Since this is Maestro Paul Dunkel’s final year at the Philharmonic, the theme of the education concert was “conducting”.    Students prepared with Mrs. Giuseffi by watching and participating with a demonstration DVD created just for this concert.    They also worked with a member of the Philharmonic who came to the school in March to demonstrate brass instruments and conducting styles.  The concert was generously funded by the BOCES Arts-in-Education Program.    Morse school has been fortunate to participate in the Philharmonic’s Education Concert for over 10 years. (Posted 4/28/08) 


Second Graders Celebrate African at Morse School

Second grade artists combined African textile designs with a traditional African folktale, “The Hatseller and the Monkeys.”  The border around the illustration was created by combining Kente textile designs from West Africa with our own carefully designed patterns.  The paintings on the inside of the project were created after we read the African folktale, “The Hatseller and the Monkeys.”  When we created these illustrations, we experimented with a technique using the idea of batik (a method of dyeing textiles).  Drawings were traced on top of a special wax paper leaving a secret wax version of our drawings on the bottom sheet of paper.  Then we painted with watercolors.  The wax kept the paper white where we traced.  We used mixed media—pastels and markers—to finish decorating the details on our pictures.

Examples of this art work will be on display at the Warner Library from March 5th until the end of April.  Students and faculty are looking forward to our visit from the Ishangi Family Dancers and their presentation, “A Journey to Africa,” on March 12th.  This performance will be a wonderful culmination to our study of African Art.  The art and culture of West Africa will come alive for students as they enjoy the Ishangi family’s program that is rich in stories, dance and music. (Posted 3/3/08) 


Our Memoirs

The students in Mrs. Bakala's class have worked very diligently to publish their memoirs.  From start to finish they were busy using the writing process in order to get to their final goal of publishing.  Thank you goes to The  Morse Publishing Center for making it possible to cover the books.  The next step was now to read from their published book and record their memoirs.  A special thank you goes to Liz Golden, our dedicated recording assistant, for helping the students record their work during our Writing Workshop sessions and to John Calvert, our Technology Specialist, who is always available to make projects like this one possible for all our students.   Enjoy reading  Memoirs from Mrs. Bakala's Class.  Click here to read our Memoirs.  (Posted 2/14/08)   


The Morse Third Grade Mask Tradition Goes On!

Every January, after studying masks from around the world, third grade students each cast, design, decorate and title three-dimensional masks. In our American culture, we use masks at Halloween.  Special protective masks are worn by athletes, doctors and soldiers.  In other parts of the world masks are used for many different reasons.  The third grade has studied some of these masks and created their own designs. Special attention was given to African masks in anticipation of an upcoming visit from the Ishangi Family Dancers from West Africa on March 12th.  The masks are currently on display on the first floor at Morse School. Click here to view the gallery of third grade masks.(Posted 1/31/08)


Community Poems

The 2nd grade students have been studying the characteristics of different communities in social studies. At the conclusion of the unit, the children individually created poems describing the community of their choice. They each worked through the writing process to complete this assignment. The students in Mrs. Richardson's class typed, illustrated and recorded their poems to share with the world. We hope you enjoy reading and listening to our work!  (Posted 1/10/08)


Morse Artists study the Art of the Middle Ages

Second grade artists learned that most people did not read and write in the Middle Ages and practiced telling stories with pictures. Each student created his or her own hand-colored story-telling picture.  Students were careful to include a setting and main characters in their work. We used the legendary tale of George and the Dragon as a theme for our work.  We even explored three-dimensional art in “Dragon Workshop” each student sculpted and painted a dragon figurine.dragon

Third graders learned that books were made and illustrated by hand and created their own “decorated letters.” First, students selected a letter.  Then, we began decorating the letter with imagery from the period.  Crowns, knights, dragons, castles and medieval flower designs were all used by Morse artists to decorate their work.  They then transferred the drawings onto black and gold metallic scratchboard and etched their beautiful designs in gold.

Also in keeping with the medieval theme…the third grade worked collectively to create simulated stained glass windows.  The designs are modeled after the rose windows of Notre Dame de Paris in France.  Students used a polymer paint which dries to a transparent finish. 

The work can be seen on display on the first floor of Morse School.  Please come take a look! The Middle Ages are between ancient and modern times. The Middle Ages began with the Fall of Rome (500) and ended with the Renaissance (1400). This period is associated with many beliefs and practices that now seem out of date, for example, the belief that the sun revolves around the Earth, and a host of popular superstitions. The early Middle Ages are sometimes called the Dark Ages.

The later middle Ages, however, saw many notable human achievements. Among these were the building of modern nations, such as England and France; expanded trade and the beginnings of the Age of Exploration, some remarkable works of literature and the building of magnificent churches.  The period saw major technological advances, including the invention of printing, gunpowder, spectacles, and greatly improved ships. (Posted 12/16/07)


Second Grade Community Field Trips

Police sirens blazed, the hook and ladder truck fired up its engine and Morse second graders watched on in wonder.    SH firetruck

There wasn’t any emergency.  All the fuss indicated it was time for the annual trip to the Sleepy Hollow Police and Fire Departments.  Second graders have been studying Community Service Workers in Social Studies.  Students were experts on the services the workers provide, their importance in our community, even how tax money helps to benefit the departments!

It was time to wrap up the unit by meeting our heroes- the firefighters and police officers! At the police department, Detective Checchi gave classes a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the police department.  Students marveled at all of the computers in the communications room, they beamed as they got to handle handcuffs, police binoculars, and other important tools.  In the booking room, students imagined an arrest and saw the fingerprinting machine, scanners, and cameras.  Undoubtedly, the highlight of the tour was visiting the jail cells and evidence room! At the fire department students saw firsthand the many tools firefighters use to save lives.  We saw the forty year old Sleepy Hollow fireboat that has helped in many emergency situations throughout the years- from floods to rescues.  The hook and ladder truck saluted us by raising its ladder.  Students even got to witness the “Jaws of Life,” and gasped when they heard it could lift a car several feet off the ground!

A HUGE thanks to our community heroes, the Sleepy Hollow firefighters and police officers, who keep our community safe.  We salute you! (Posted 10/14/2007)


The Cubist Tradition at Morse School

Every September third graders begin their year in the art studio bycubism picture designing and executing Cubist paintings. The work will also be on display at the Warner Library Children’s Room beginning October 24th.

Cubism was an early-20th century school of painting and sculpture in which the subject matter is portrayed by geometric forms without realistic detail, stressing abstract form at the expense of other pictorial elements.  The Cubist style emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane and rejected traditional techniques of perspective.  Cubist painters used geometric shapes to create abstract paintings.  Unlike other styles, abstract art does not concern itself with creating realistic representations of the world.

Cubists used geometric forms in different ways.  Robert Delaunay and his spouse Sonia believed that color and shape alone could create beautiful art.  They worked together for many years making paintings that looked like fragmented rainbows.  In the spirit of the Delaunays, the third grade used templates to create designs filled with overlapping shapes and then colored their work with cake tempera paint and fine nylon brushes.

Along with our discussions of art history and shapes, students were able to develop their understanding of color theory.  While painting, each child was challenged to mix his or her own colors discovering firsthand how to make particular shades and hues.  Students eagerly shared their discoveries with their classmates and answered each other’s “color questions.”  Please stop by the Morse Museum (on the first floor) to see the student’s work.  The work will also be on display at the Warner Library Children’s Room beginning October 24th. (Posted 10/10/2007)


WL Morse Challenge Program

The WL Morse Challenge Program is a three-tiered enrichment model designed to provide high ability learners with advanced curriculum in Social Studies and English Language Arts and Mathematics.  This model reflects TUFSD’s pedagogical goal of providing an integrated approach to the in-depth and accelerated learning that are the hallmarks of the Challenge Program.

Tier One: Social Studies Challenge
Students who participate in Social Studies Challenge are pulled from two periods of ELA each cycle to receive advanced instruction in Social Studies.
 

Students selected for Social Studies Challenge are among the top academic achievers in their classrooms and in performance on New York State standardized tests.  In addition to enjoying advanced instruction in Social Studies content, students in Social Studies Challenge will receive direct instruction in:

  • How to critically read, interpret and analyze text
  • How to plan and manage time for successful task completion
  • How to set and attain study goals while preparing for factual tests and projects
  • How to take notes and organize data
  • How to research information from internet, text and document sources
  • How to organize, prepare and present information for oral presentations

These students will also participate in the following National Competition offered at WL Morse

  • National Language Arts League
  • Continental Math League (if also in Math Enrichment)

Students who participate in any school-sponsored national competition will receive study materials and tips for competition.

Occasionally, there may be classroom work that your child will need to complete.  When deciding whether or not to participate in Challenge, parents should discuss this commitment with their child and make sure s/he understands his/her responsibility for obtaining and completing any classroom work that is missed.

Participants in the WL Morse Challenge Program have the potential to excel in academic achievement.  The Challenge program is designed to allow these students to learn good academic habits as well as to enjoy the opportunity for self-selected research.  The WL Morse Challenge Program is designed to provide children the opportunity to collaborate with an intellectual peer group. 

The general pattern of the WL Morse Challenge Program is that each year is divided into trimesters.  In the first trimester, students will participate in a study of Document Based Questions and begin a Geographical simulation.  Second semester study will continue that geographical simulation, which will feed into a Creative Story Writing Project using information that was researched in the simulation.  Students will use the third trimester for their Independent Study Project, which will be based on the Third Grade Social Studies Curriculum.  This will help them to refine their study and presentation skills as they prepare for the WL Morse Creativity Fair.

Tier Two: WordMasters Challenge

Students in WordMasters Challenge are pulled out of one ELA academic period to receive 45 minutes of enriched ELA instruction per cycle

Students selected for WordMasters Challenge demonstrate high academic potential in English Language Arts as evidenced by classroom performance and New York State standardized test scores.  These students will be working on the school newspaper, The Morse Gazette, which will be conceived, written and edited by them.  Students will learn the fundamentals of journalistic writing and demonstrate their skills with their articles.  These articles will be featured in the hard copy of the paper and the on-line edition.

Students in WordMasters Challenge will participate in the following National Competitions offered at WL Morse:

  • National Language Arts League
  • Continental Math League (if also in Math Enrichment)

Students who participate in any school-sponsored national competition will receive study materials and tips for competition

Occasionally, there may be classroom work that your child will need to complete.  When deciding whether or not to participate in WordMasters Challenge, parents should discuss this commitment with their child and make sure s/he understands his/her responsibility for obtaining and completing any classroom work that is missed.

The general pattern of the WordMasters Challenge is that each year starts with instruction on various forms of writing.  Particular attention is given to target audiences and how the student should write to those audiences.  Skills will also be taught how to write in particular forms, such as journalistic writing.  Projects will be given to the students that reinforce these skills.  Students will then focus on writing for the newspaper, and will be taught aspects of what makes a good newspaper article.  Students will learn observational skills as well as research skills for their article writing.  They will reinforce grammar skills learned in the regular classroom and have prepared for the National Language Arts League Tests.  These activities will allow students to both hone their competitive skills as well as share their expertise of English Language Arts as they work on projects that can be shared with a broader audience. 

Tier Three: Math Enrichment

Students in Math Club are pulled out of two 45 minute period of Extra Math to receive 90 minutes of mathematics enrichment per cycle.  The third tier of enrichment offered at WL Morse is Math Enrichment.  Students are selected for Math Enrichment by classroom teachers based on an individual student’s demonstrated skill in topics in mathematics. This class provides additional support for students who demonstrate the need for advancement in selected topics in mathematics.  These classes will be based on the Growing With Math curriculum, but extend deeper into selected topics at a more rapid pace.

Students who participate in Math Club are encouraged to participate in the following National Competition offered at WL Morse:

  • Continental Math League

Students who participate in any school-sponsored national competition will receive study materials and tips for competition. 
Click here for Challenge Curriculum

(Posted 10/3/2007)


How I am Spending My Summer Vacation!  by Kathy McDermott
For the next 15 weeks I will be training with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Hike for Discovery Program to prepare for a hike into the Grand Canyon on October
6th!  LLS provides professional coaching and clinics to guide participants through the physical and mental preparations needed to fully participate in this intensely difficult and rewarding experience. I am hiking to honor a very special third grader here at Morse School, Katie Smercak.  Katie was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at the age of 5 and  is now in remission after 27 months of treatment.

We must continue to support life-saving research. I am making a commitment to raise over $4,000, with the hope of raising $10,000. 

I am making a personal contribution of nearly $1,000 to cover the cost of my participation.  In this way, all donations will go directly to the cause.

Online donations can be made at www.active.com/donate/hfdwhv/hfdKmcDerm

To learn more about the Hike for Discovery program and the great work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, go to www.hikefordiscovery.org/wch (Posted 6/9/2007)



Third Graders Collaborate on First District Wiki!
Our third grade students from the challenge program, Ms. Restivo, Ms. Gentile, and Mr.Pitz's classes, have worked together to create a Morse Guide for incoming second grade students. After attending for two years, these third grade students are Morse experts. This guide is a way for them to pass their knowledge on and help new students feel comfortable when they come to Morse. You can read the guide with your child and are welcome to leave comments or questions in each page's discussion tab. The discussion tab is found along the top of the page.

The students wrote, edited, and collaborated on each page of this guide. This is a wiki, which means that most pages have been worked on by several students. When you click on the history tab at the top of each page you can see who the authors are and witness the writing process. From the history tab you can compare revisions and see how the pages were built.

Keep in mind that this project will never quite be finished. The school changes from year to year, and each third grade class will adopt the guide, updating and adding to it. Like every wiki, this project is always under construction! (Posted 5/31/2007)


Introducing The Morse Gazette
Like all good newspapers, The Morse Gazette now has a web presence! Our school newspaper has launched its debut Web Blog. With the publishing of our third hard copy edition this month, we are introducing The Morse Gazette to the community at large as an easy-access blog. See what is going on at Morse School! Learn what our students are thinking about! What makes them laugh? What is coming up in the near future? Be amazed at their accomplishments. We invite you to read our articles and send in your comments. Extra, Extra, Read all about it! (Posted 5/25/2007)


Mrs. Kluge's Second Grade Dual Language Class Writes and Reads Poetry in Spanish
As a culminating activity from their Poetry unit, the students in Mrs. Kluge’s Dual Language class created a special acrostic poem in Spanish representing the significance of their mother’s name for Mother’s Day. Click here to listen to our students read the poems! (Posted 5/22/2007)
 


Ms. Cristella's Class Blog Goes Live!
Ms. Cristella’s class blog is now available to the public and currently features “A Rainbow of Poetry.” The class read Mary O’Neill’s Hailstones and Halibut Bones, a collection of color poems, and crafted their own poetry modeled after O’Neill’s poetic style. The students worked quite diligently at the process, and Ms. Cristella said, "As good writers, we used sensory language, strong juicy 'wow' words, and visualization." Students also recognize that a good poet is able to read poems with expression, and the students have included Podcasts of each student reading aloud his/her poem. We welcome your comments on our blog! (Posted 5/8/2007)


Artist/illustrator Robert Casilla visited Morse
Artist/illustrator Robert Casilla visited the second grade students at Morse School, thanks to a grant from the Foundation. Casilla is an artist/illustrator of Hispanic background and has illustrated many multicultural children's books such as THE LITTLE PAINTER OF SABANA GRANDE, JALAPENO BAGELS, THE LEGEND OF MEXICATL and FIRST DAY IN GRAPES. He has also illustrated a number of biographies, including ones about Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens and Simon Bolivar.

Casilla talked to the students about his background as well as the steps required in illustrating books.  He described how the words in the books inspire him through visualization and he shared the steps he takes from reading the authors’ words to the final draft of the books.  (Posted 4/28/2007)


 


Impressionism is Alive and Well at Morse School
This spring the entire school is working on projects inspired by the work of French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Impressionism was a French art movement of the late 19th century characterized by the representation of a scene, objects, or figure through the application of paint in dabs of color in order to give an impression of the view rather than an accurate, photographic-like depiction.

Third graders have finished their own canvases after studying the Poppy Field Landscapes of Claude Monet (see gallery). Students were introduced to the concept of space and landscape perspective by learning how to define and create: foreground, middle ground and background. Their paintings were executed on canvas as were Monet’s, applying paint in thick dabs of paint. We were all amazed at how all the individual dabs worked together to produce beautiful landscapes. In addition, the third graders are also creating large murals for the auditorium in an Impressionistic style. (Posted 4/26/2007)


Second Graders Use Podcasts to Explain What They Would Do If Elected President
What would you do if you were elected president? How would you help to make the world a better place? Over the past few months, the children have been learning about different countries, states, and communities as well as environmental factors in social studies. They learned that some countries and communities have more resources to offer than others. The children in Ms. Dimmie’s 2nd grade class decided to write about the changes that they would make if they were elected president of the United States.  Click here to view their original artwork and listen to the podcasts!  (Posted 4/25/2007)


April is National Poetry Month. 
This month students throughout the country study and celebrate poetry.  Students at W.L. Morse are joining in the celebration by participating in “Poem in Your Pocket Day” on April 27, 2007.

To celebrate the imagination and creativity of poetry, students of all ages are asked to carry a poem in their pockets to share with friends, classmates, teachers and families. Students will be given opportunities to read their favorite poems throughout the day.  Join us in celebrating this Friday!  Keep a poem in your pocket to share with someone!

 

KEEP A POEM IN YOUR POCKET
Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.
The little poem will sing to you.
The little picture it brings to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you’re in bed.
SO...
Keep a picture in your pocket
And a poem in your head
And you’ll never feel lonely
At night when you’re in bed.

Beatrice Schenkde Regniers


Jump Against Drugs
Mark Rothstein is from Atlanta, Georgia and has presented more than 7,500 Jump Against Drugs school assemblies to over 5,000,000 young people.  Mark has also established two world records for marathon rope jumping.  His most recent was jumping continuously for more than 36 hours!  Over 259,000 total jumps!  Mark combines his skills as a professional rope jumper, educator, entertainer, athlete and role model to ensure a quality program.

Mark will spend all day at W.L. Morse school.  He will begin in the morning with his Jump Against Drugs school assembly.  For the remainder of the day, Mark will teach rope jumping and fitness workshops to our students. These workshops are an educational addendum to the assembly, and enable students to practice the beneficial skills seen during the show.  The character education messages of the assembly are reemphasized, and are a great supplement to our 2nd Step Program.

Funding for the Project was made possible by the Foundation and EPTA.   (Posted 4/23/2007)


Third Graders Visit the Union Church!
This month, third grade classes will be going by bus to visit the Union Church in Pocantico Hills.  They will be enjoying a tour of the inside of the church to see the beautiful stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse.  This experience is part of the art program; therefore, students will be escorted by both their art teacher and homeroom teachers.

The trip is free of charge to students as the BOCES Partnership for the Arts has been gracious enough to grant funding for this experience.  Students will be following up with a stained-glass Chagall project back in the Morse Art Studio.

This event has become a Morse tradition and students have always thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of these local treasures.  (Posted 4/18/2007)


Second Grade Students Study Longfellow (view our Vodcast)
Several of Mrs. Praino’s second grade students were studying the poem “The Ride of Paul Revere” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow with Mrs. Hickey. They decided to create a web-tribute to this historic poet in celebration of “Poetry Month.” The students illustrated some of the stanzas, and with Mrs. Hickey’s guidance, recorded their recitation. Then Mr. Calvert merged the illustrations with the recordings into the vodcast you see here. Click here to look and listen to this historic poem. (Posted 4/13/2007)


Photo of Elway, our adopted chimpanzeeSecond Graders Sponsored a Chimpanzee!
The students of Ms. Cristella’s second grade class are now the proud parents of an sponsored chimpanzee! During a non-fiction unit, each student researched a different rainforest animal and published a non-fiction chapter book.  After learning about the rainforest habitat destruction around the world, the students wanted to do their part to help.  They rallied together to collect pennies and donated the money to protect a chimpanzee that lost his home in the Congo rainforest in Africa.  The students would like you to know that you, too, can help save the rainforest on a daily basis by following these simple steps:
Photo of student books

  • Save paper! Write on the front and back!

  • Recycle white paper in the blue bins in our classrooms.

  • Save gas by walking or biking with an adult to places close by when you are going shopping in town.

  • Recycle plastics, glass, newspapers and magazines at home. (Posted 3/28/2007)


A Community Poetry Slam!
Mrs. Bakala’s class has been learning about different communities in Social Studies. The distinct attributes of rural, suburban, and urban communities provide contrasting experiences for our senses and Mrs. Bakala’s students have used these differences to inspire poetry. In a collaborative effort, our students have merged their prose to illustrate these contrasts. Each recorded poem showcases several students. Together they offer a feast for the senses; click here to listen and enjoy them!  (Posted 3/28/2007)



Africa:  Customs, History, Music, and Legend at Morse School
On March 15th Morse students enjoyed a performance of “Journey to Africa” presented by the Ishangi Family Dancers.  This event was generously funded by the BOCES Arts-in-Education Program.  Morse School has been lucky enough to enjoy visits from the Ishangis for 5 years, supporting the integration of African art and culture into the art curriculum.  Second grade artists have recently completed beautiful illustrations of an African folktale using concepts from textile design.  (This work is currently on exhibition at the Warner Library.)  Third graders cast and decorated masks.  Examples of both projects can be seen in the Morse Gallery on the district web site.

The Ishangi Family Dancers were founded in 1958 and have performed all over the world including twice at the United Nations.  Their presentation is a wonderful blend of music, dance, and narration. In the course of the concert, students learned about authentic African customs, history, musical instruments, masquerades, and legends. The objectives of the program are to introduce students to the culture, dance, music, and history of West Africa. The program is entertaining and educational, incorporating everyday activities such as how clothing is washed by hand by beating the cloth on rocks and how history is told using an ancient instrument. All dance and musical presentations were thoroughly explained.  What a wonderful culmination to our study in the Morse Art Studio!  (Posted 3/23/2007)



Philharmonic Alive:   “Into the Woodwinds”
As part of their ongoing study of orchestral instruments, all 2nd Graders were treated to a very special workshop on March 9th.  Musicians from the Westchester Philharmonic visited our school and demonstrated woodwind instruments.  Students were able to see “up close” and hear flutes, a bassoon, clarinet, oboe, 2 saxophones and several recorders.    They learned about single reeds and double reeds and why a saxophone is really a woodwind instrument.   They learned that flutes are used all over the world and heard one from India and a fife from Ireland.

They slithered like snakes with an oboe, walked sneakily like a cat with a clarinet and even danced a jig to a flute and recorder.  Seeing and hearing these instruments “in person” is such a wonderful experience for the children.  They are looking forward to next year in 3rd Grade when they’ll study recorders with Mrs. Giuseffi!  (Posted 3/14/2007)



Second Grade Celebrates Chinese New Year
Did you know that it is the year of the Golden Pig? This occurs once every sixty years.     Mrs. Sanchez Zhu created a slide show that displayed historical locations, the topography and factual information about China.  The students were able to participate in their very own Dragon Dance to celebrate the traditions and customs of Chinese New Year.  Some students wore traditional clothing from China and Korea to enhance the spirit of the occasion and introduce us to different Chinese languages.  (Posted 3/2/2007)



African Art Celebrated at Morse School
Second grade artists combined African textile designs with a traditional African folktale, “The Hatseller and the Monkeys.” The border around the illustration was created by combining Kente textile designs from West Africa with our own carefully designed patterns. The paintings on the inside of the project were created after we read the African folktale, “The Hatseller and the Monkeys.” When we created these illustrations, we experimented with a new technique using the idea of batik (a method of dyeing textiles). Drawings were traced on top of a special wax paper leaving a secret wax version of our drawings on the bottom sheet of paper. Then we painted with watercolors. The wax kept the paper white where we traced. We used mixed media—pastels and markers—to finish decorating the details on our pictures. Read more (Posted 3/1/2007)

Issue 2 of the Morse Gazette has hit the newsstands this week
Third grade Outreach students researched and wrote articles for this paper, edited them and then published them.  They wrote about favorite books, movies and games, along with favorite toy selections for both boys and girls.  There are two articles about Martin Luther King, Jr. in this paper – one in English and one in Spanish.  Chuckle along with our jokes in English and Spanish and learn something about the attack on Pearl Harbor.  There’s even a word search for those of you that love puzzles. (Posted 2/13/2007)


Morse Students Create Masks of the World
maskthumb.jpgEvery January, after studying masks from around the world, third grade students each cast, design and decorate three-dimensional masks. In our American culture, we use masks at Halloween. Special protective masks are worn by athletes, doctors and soldiers. In other parts of the world, masks are used for many different reasons. In anticipation of an upcoming visit from the Ishangi Family Dancers from West Africa, students paid particular attention to the mask-making tradition of Africa. (Posted 2/7/2007)


Math morning at MorseParent Math Mornings at Morse
Parents were invited to join their 2nd and 3rd graders on January 22 and 26 to observe and participate in math activities that are part of the Growing With Math Program being implemented district-wide at the elementary level. This was an enlightening experience for many who were able to see how the engaging, hands on activities, an integral component of the program, provide opportunities for students to build an in depth understanding of the math concepts being taught. Parents also got a glimpse at how teachers are using our new SMART Board technology to enhance instruction.

Following the classroom visits, parents joined Liz Irwin, our A.U.S.S.I.E. Math consultant, for a lively discussion and question and answer session.  The visits and discussions helped parents understand why we are using the research based approach to teaching math, which is a departure from the traditional ways math was taught when they went to school.

 

Outdoor Recess Guidelines for Pre-K through Grade 6
According to the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play, recess responds to children’s social, emotional, cognitive, intellectual, and physical needs.  The organization’s website cites the following benefits of recess:

  • Physical activity is essential for the healthy growth and development of children

  • Recess can serve as an outlet for reducing or lowering children’s anxiety

  • Traditional recess activities encourage children to take turns, negotiate, or modify rules and interact cooperatively.

Therefore, every attempt will be made to provide children with a daily outdoor recess (approx. 20-30 minutes).  Click here to read more and view guidelines.  (Posted 1/19/2007)


Second Graders Make Surrealistic Collages at Morse School
Currently on display at the Warner Library are Surrealistic collages made by second grade artists at Morse School.

Surrealism was a movement in art and literature.  It was founded in Paris in 1924 by the French poet Andre Breton.  Surrealism is an invented word meaning super realism.  Surrealist artists use images of things we recognize, but they invent different situations for these images to achieve shocking, poetic or dreamlike effects.  These artists did not believe that art had to “make sense.”


Max Ernst was an important surrealist artist.  He used texture in his paintings and collages.  To create texture he sometimes made rubbings from wood and other everyday objects.  The second grade used different rubbing plates to create our own texture-paper.   Then we cut and glued with pictures to create these incredible collages.  The work will be on view at the Warner Library all month.  (Posted 12/7/2006)



Morse School Newspaper - The Morse Gazette
For the first time, Morse students have created their own newspaper.  Third grade Outreach students decided that there needed to be a way to tell the school community about all the things going on at their school and about what third graders like and feel is important.  To much fanfare, the paper was rolled out this past week and the presses are rolling again.  Morse students read about Peaceful Playground, SmartBoards, book and video game reviews, jokes and more.  The Gazette staff would like to thank everyone for their help, with special thanks going to the editors of The Hudson Independent, Marcy Gray and Kimberly Marcus for taking the time to come in and talk to our staff.  More issues to follow, so stay tuned.  Click here to view The Morse Gazette.
  (Posted 12/5/2006)


Dedication of Joseph P. Carmody Auditorium and Joe Carmody Way
The Village of Sleepy Hollow is renaming Washington Lane (the exit street from Morse School) "Joe Carmody Way." Additionally, at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, November 16, 2006, the Board approved naming the Morse auditorium in honor of Mr. Carmody. The ceremony for making both of these designations official will be held at the W.L. Morse School at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, November 27, 2006 (Posted 11/17/2006)

 



Music Notes:
What's going on in the Music Classroom
Music classes are off to a great start at Morse!  During these first few weeks, we have been getting to know each other through songs, movement and games. 

The 2nd graders began their study of the elements of music,.  So far, we have talked about  steady beat, meter, melodic direction and tone color.  One activity that was particularly fun was using our whole bodies to show melodic direction in the song, “Elevator”.  (Ask your child to show  you!)  We will continue the units on elements through October.  In addition, we will begin listening to and discussing “program music”.  The two pieces we will work through are “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Dukas  and “Night on Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky.  Soon we will begin learning music for our annual Winter Concert on December 15th.

The Grade 3 students have been hard at work learning to read rhythmic notation in preparation for their recorder studies , which begin in January.  We started out with "rhythm name cards", notating the rhythmic pattern of our own names.  The unit is concluding with teams of students playing "Rhythm Bingo".  This is a fun way to assess their progress.

Please ask your child to share some songs with you as we journey through this year together! 

Joy Giuseffi, Music Teacher

DATE CHANGE:  The annual Winter Concert, which is listed on the district calendar as 12/14, has been changed to Friday, December 15th.  Please make a note of it! 


Cubism Returns to Morse!
Every September third graders begin their year in the art studio by designing and executing Cubist paintings. The work will also be on display at the Warner Library Children’s Room beginning October 18th.

Cubism was an early-20th century school of painting and sculpture in which the subject matter is portrayed by geometric forms without realistic detail, stressing abstract form at the expense of other pictorial elements.  The Cubist style emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane and rejected traditional techniques of perspective.  Cubist painters used geometric shapes to create abstract paintings.  Unlike other styles, abstract art does not concern itself with creating realistic representations of the world.

Cubists used geometric forms in different ways.  Robert Delaunay and his spouse Sonia believed that color and shape alone could create beautiful art.  They worked together for many years making paintings that looked like fragmented rainbows.  In the spirit of the Delaunays, the third grade used templates to create designs filled with overlapping shapes and then colored their work with cake tempera paint and fine nylon brushes.

Along with our discussions of art history and shapes, students were able to develop their understanding of color theory.  While painting, each child was challenged to mix his or her own colors discovering firsthand how to make particular shades and hues.  Students eagerly shared their discoveries with their classmates and answered each other’s “color questions.”  Please stop by the Morse Museum (on the first floor) to see the student’s work.  The work will also be on display at the Warner Library Children’s Room beginning October 18th(Posted 10/23/2006)


K-12 Alerts Log inThe Public Schools of the Tarrytowns is Now Offering Parents and Guardians the Ability to Make Changes to Their Student Emergency Information Online! 
Gone are the days of filling in multiple forms and returning a variety of cards and the important information back to each school in September! This month, parents/guardians will receive a back-to–school packet that contains a letter from the superintendent, a copy of the information the district currently has on file for each child, a student ID and password so parents/guardians can make any changes online through our secure web portal, and instructions for doing so. Parent/guardians can click on the link below or the image above and enter in the student ID and password printed on the sheet that was mailed home and access the system.  The district recently partnered with K12 Alerts® to provide this system, as well as an emergency alerts system for phone, email and text messaging to cellphones. (Click here for more information)


 

We Did It!  Third Grade Students at Morse Place First in the Nation
Our third grade Challenge Students at Morse School have placed first in the nation in the Wordmasters Challenge, outpacing 198 other school teams competing nationally at this grade level.  One of our students was the only third grader in the country to earn a perfect score on all three meets. Additionally, eight of our students placed among the 14 highest-ranked third graders in the year-end national standings.  Our students won eight of the twenty awards given nationally for highest honors for individual achievement.  

“I am extremely proud of all my students and I will miss them next year, as this is my last year of teaching,” said Judith Hyman, Morse School Challenge teacher.  “I would say these children have made my day.”

Wordmasters is a national language arts competition entered by over 225,000 students annually, which consists of three separate meets held during the school year.  (Posted 5/26/2006)


blog9Third Grade Students Study van Gogh and Create Original Artwork!
The third grade looked at van Gogh’s wheat field paintings that he did in the last years of his life. Then they sketched their own wheat fields onto canvas board and used brushes and palette knives to apply the paint. Just like Vincent!  Click here to learn more, or click here to view the album of student work! (Posted 5/13/2006)
 

 

Peaceful Playgrounds

Wouldn't it be wonderful to look out over a playground where children were distributed evenly, laughing and playing peacefully, and supervisors were observing this phenomenon without raising their voices, their whistles, or their blood pressures? It's almost more than one can imagine. Or is it?

This is now the situation at W.L. Morse Elementary School where students enjoy a Peaceful Playground Celebration marking the completion of a joint project between the school and the EPTA.  W.L. Morse’s newly designed Peaceful Playground reveals concentric circles, rectangles, and various colored shapes, carefully spaced and painted on the blacktop. In addition to traditional games like hopscotch and four square, imagine an alphabet grid, a number grid, and a skipping track.

According to W.L. Morse Physical Education teacher Ray Farrell, "The playground is an essential part of any school and every community.  Children spend many hours of their school experience occupying themselves with what the playground has to offer. In fact, the whole neighborhood will enjoy both its appearance and its usages. This joint project was designed to serve both the school and the community."

To learn more about the program, please feel free to contact W.L. Morse Physical Education teachers at rfarrell at tufsd.org or dbrennen at tufsd.org. (change at to @ and eliminate any spaces).  (Posted 4/20/2006)


Student tribute to Joan Miró.  Click to view the Morse Gallery!Teachers and Students Blend Traditional Practices with High Tech Tools
Our students at Morse School learn writing, speaking, and art skills as part of the established curriculum, but the way they share their work with an authentic global audience is anything but traditional!  These young students use state of the art technology tools and solutions to share their writing, oral interpretations, and artwork with the community and the world via their own blog and podcast/audioblog site, Students in the Write

New additions
The site now includes the work of students in Mrs. Bakala’s class (click to view), who prepared a published piece to record for their audio blogging experience. They used a reading strategy called “synthesis” to write summaries for their writing pieces.

The Online Morse Gallery (click to view) is a new section and features the incredible artistic talents of our second and third grade students. As student work is finished, it is placed and organized in the Gallery. Currently, the gallery features photosets of beautiful second grade tributes to the great modern master Joan Miró and samples of a successful 2nd grade lesson on perspective using the SMART Board and Matisse's "Red Studio."

Click to learn more about the history of the Students in the Write project.



Students At W.L. Morse Are Participating In A New Physical Education Program Called Log It!

Log It is an optional, at-home fitness program.  Log It helps motivate kids to become, and remain physically active, by allowing them to log their daily physical activity steps or miles. In addition to recording their steps or miles, they can participate in a virtual hike across the USA with their class, be involved in class competitions vs. other classes, set daily goals, view their own personal step log, and compare their steps with other kids of the same age and gender.  Log It encourages kids to be physically active, step-by-step!                                               

Our first trip has begun already!  We started in our state capital, Albany, traveled through two states, and are currently on our way to New Hampshire.

If you have any questions regarding this new and exciting program, feel free to email rfarrell at tufsd.org or dbrennen at tufsd.org.  (change at to @ and eliminate any spaces).  (Posted 3/29/2006)


Morse Team Is First in the Nation!
A team of Morse Elementary School students recently won first place in the nation in a a national language arts competition.  The Morse team, coached by Judith Hyman, scored higher than the other 198 school teams competing in the third grade Gold Division of this year’s WordMasters Challenge second meet.  Seven members of the team had perfect scores, a significant accomplishment considering only sixteen third graders in the entire country had perfect scores.  Eight of our third graders also won highest honors for individual achievement.

Our third grade team scored a total of 197 points, 14 points higher than the closest runner up.  Only three schools in our geographical area scored in the top ten.  These schools are Morse School (score of 197), The Darien Public Schools Gifted Program (Darien, Connecticut - score of 181), and Julian Curtiss Magnet School of World Languages (Greenwich, Connecticut - score of 175).



self portraitSecond Grade Artists at Morse School Study Rembrandt and Create Their Own Self-Portraits

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (July 15, 1606 – October 4, 1669) Dutch painter, draftsman, and etcher of the 17th century was a giant in the history of art. His paintings are characterized by luxuriant brushwork, rich color, and a mastery of chiaroscuro. (Chiaroscuro is a technique employed in the visual arts to represent light and shadow as they define three-dimensional objects, from Italian chiaro, “light”; scuro, “dark”.) Numerous portraits and self-portraits exhibit a profound penetration of character. His drawings constitute a vivid record of contemporary Amsterdam life. The greatest artist of the Dutch school, he was a master of light and shadow whose paintings, drawings, and etchings made him a giant in the history of art.

As did Rembrandt, second grade artists created self-portraits by looking into a mirror and learning the proportions of the human face.  We colored with waxy crayons and then used watercolor to create a dramatic background in the spirit of Rembrandt. 
(Posted 3/10/2006)



Westchester Arts Council Presents Awards to Washington Irving and Morse Schools
Washinton Irving School hosted the The Westchester Arts Council's Arts Partners Challenge Grants program award ceremony on January 24.  The ceremony recognized outstanding collaborations between artists, arts organizations and schools for their collaborative projects in arts education in Westchester, Putnam, and Orange Counties.  Westchester Arts Council Executive Director Janet Langsam presented grant awards to Peter Royston and Washington Irving Principal Zbynek Gold for the 6th grade Ancient World theater residency that will take place at the school starting this March.  In addition, Principal Joe Carmody accepted the award for a dance residency that will take place at Morse School with the Tappan Zee Dance Group.  The Hudson Valley Writers' Center also received a check for their continuing work with Washington Irving School.  Board member Julia Rust and Executive Director Dare Thompson accepted a check on behalf of the Writers' Center, to continue the Write Mind language arts program led by writer-in-residence David Surface. (Posted 1/26/2006)


Multicultural Dinner
What is one great thing about having 70 countries represented in our school district?  The food!

The Eighteenth Annual Cultural Celebration Dinner at Winfield L. Morse School will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2006.

Children and parents are invited to this exciting multicultural feast!  The only thing we ask it that you bring a food dish (serving 6-8) that represents a country of your choice.  Hot and cold beverages will be provided.  To ensure a successful evening, we need everyone’s help and participation.

If you would like to be a part of this free, fun-filled evening and wish to contribute an appetizer, salad, entrée or dessert, and/or donate your time, click here to print the form to be filled out and returned to your child’s teacher by Thursday, January 26, 2006.

Seating for second graders and their immediate families is from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Seating for third graders and their immediate families is from
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.


 

Third Grade Students Tie for First Place in WordMasters Challenge
A team of students representing Morse School  recently won highest  honors in the WordMaster Challenge- a national language  arts competition entered by over 225,000 students annually, which consists of three separate meets held  at intervals during the school year.

Competing  in the  very difficult GOLD DIVISION of the Challenge and supervised by Judith Hyman, the school’s third graders  TIED for  FIRST  PLACE in the nation  for the first meet. There were 199 school teams participating at this level  and in the gold division.

Two of the school’s students won highest honors in the first meet. They both had perfect scores, where nationwide only 26 third graders did so.

The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in Critical  Thinking that encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of relationships. (Posted 1/17/2006)


Disruptive Technology Brings Powerful Changes to the District
Our district has recently been impacted by a disruptive technology, and we are quite excited about it! A disruptive technology in education can produce very powerful and positive changes, and a group of our students at Morse School are fortunate to be smack in the middle of one; Pod Casting.

Children in Ms. McCabe's class are piloting Pod Casting as a part of their writers workshop. Mr. Calvert, Morse's technology specialist, is working with the students to publish an audio blog, along with student writing, to the web. By providing students with an authentic audience, the writing projects and oral interpretations motivate the students to reach an audience far beyond the walls of Morse.

Principal Joe Carmody says, "Mr. Calvert and Ms. McCabe's project is a wonderful example of how technology applications can lead students across old boundaries and into new, exciting areas of exploration and accomplishment in English/language Arts."

Students have been the center of the entire program, including developing a name for the site, creating artwork for the site, and developing original content, both written and spoken, to be shared with the world. To fully grasp the power of this new medium, please visit the Students in the Write site. On the site there is a full explanation of the project, as well as a place for you to send us your feedback.  We look forward to reading your comments!

Ms. McCabe, second grade teacher at Morse, sums it up well, stating, "We anticipate that this project will encourage a culture of writing and promote a positive academic self-concept, while reinforcing speaking skills and reading fluency." (Posted 12/21/2005)


Winter Olympics 2006
With the implementation of a grant received by the EPTA, the second graders at Morse will participate in an interdisciplinary and integrated unit on the winter Olympics in Torino.  The students will be exposed to geography, sportsmanship, enhanced vocabulary, literacy, acquiring information through newspaper and magazine articles, knowledge of world class athletes and related activities in physical education class.  (Posted 12/13/2005)


The Katrina Project - Handcrafted Rag Dolls for Children in New Orleans
This month, Morse students are busy creating dolls to be given to young victims of hurricane Katrina at the Lusher School in New Orleans.  The project was the idea of the Fassa family who generously supplied the beautiful organic cotton that we are using to make the dolls.  Students in Mrs. Bakala, Miss Cimino, Mrs. Sherwood, Mrs. Cellante’s, Miss Ore’s, Miss McCabe’s, Ms. Sutherland’s and Mr. Duschenchuk’s classes are all enthusiastically creating and individually naming their dolls for shipment before the holiday break.

The school connection is being made with the help of the parent of one of our own students who’s mother and family come from New Orleans. The project is implemented through the Art Open Studio Program under the guidance of art teacher Sue Barrett.  Also noteworthy, The Teacher’s Association of the Tarrytowns has graciously agreed to pay for shipping the dolls to New Orleans.  (Posted 12/13/2005)


Morse Artists study the Art of the Middle Ages
The Middle Ages are between ancient and modern times. The Middle Ages began with the Fall of Rome (500-) and ended with the Renaissance (1400-). This period is associated with many beliefs and practices that now seem out of date, for example, the belief that the sun revolves around the Earth, and a host of popular superstitions. The early middle Ages are sometimes called the Dark Ages

The later middle Ages, however, saw many notable human achievements. Among these were the building of modern nations, such as England and France; expanded trade and the beginnings of the Age of Exploration, some remarkable works of literature and the building of magnificent churches.  The period saw major technological advances, including the invention of printing, gunpowder, spectacles, and greatly improved ships. They also improved upon the clock.

Second grade artists learned that most people did not read and write in the Middle Ages and practiced telling stories with pictures. Each student created his or her own hand-colored story-telling picture with more than one scene.  Students were careful to include a setting and main characters in their work. Many students drew magical medieval animals (like unicorns and griffins), knights and princesses in their work.

Third graders learned that books were made and illustrated by hand and created their own “decorated letters.” First, students selected a letter.  Then, we began decorating the letter with imagery from the period.  Crowns, knights, dragons, castles and medieval flower designs are all examples of the imagery Morse artists used in their designs.  They then transferred the drawings onto black and gold metallic scratchboard and etched their beautiful designs in gold.

Also in keeping with the medieval theme…the third grade worked collectively to create two eight-foot stained glass murals for the auditorium.  The designs are modeled after the rose windows of Notre Dame de Paris in France.  Students used various colored papers and a paper mosaic technique to create a stained glass effect.

The work can be seen on display on the first floor of Morse School.  Please come take a look!  (Posted 12/13/2005)


Pantomime Demonstration
Ellen Hamdy visited Mrs. Praino’s class to conduct a pantomime demonstration.  She explained the pantomime portion of the Nutcracker Ballet and had the students act out pantomime scenes. The class loved watching her and enjoyed learning about silent communication and entertainment.  (Posted 12/13/2005)


 

Cubism Returns to Morse!
Every September third graders begin their year in the art studio by designing and executing Cubist paintings.

Cubism was an early-20th century school of painting and sculpture in which the subject matter is portrayed by geometric forms without realistic detail, stressing abstract form at the expense of other pictorial elements.  The Cubist style emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane and rejected traditional techniques of perspective Cubist painters used geometric shapes to create abstract paintings.  Unlike other styles, abstract art does not concern itself with creating realistic representations of the world.

Cubists used geometric forms in different ways.  Robert Delaunay and his spouse Sonia believed that color and shape alone could create beautiful art.  They worked together for many years making paintings that looked like fragmented rainbows.  In the spirit of the Delaunays, the third grade used templates to create designs filled with overlapping shapes and then colored their work with cake tempera paint and fine nylon brushes.

Along with our discussions of art history and shapes, students were able to develop their understanding of color theory.  While painting, each child was challenged to mix his or her own colors discovering firsthand how to make particular shades and hues.  Students eagerly shared their discoveries with their classmates and answered each other’s “color questions.”  Please stop by the Morse Museum (on the first floor) to see the student’s work  beginning October12th. 

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