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Artists Are Among Us at Park Avenue

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Popular video game Among Us was the inspiration for an art contest at Park Avenue Memorial High School. The mobile, multiplayer game with a spaceship theme is trending with youngsters, so they were thrilled by a project in their own school.

Art teacher Susan Zaratin said the premise of the game is that players have to figure out who the imposter is. Each student received a sheet with an outline of an Among Us character and had to create a disguise. Both in-person and remote learners were able to participate in the contest. 

“The students had a lot of fun with this,” Ms. Zaratin said. “They disguised the characters using many creative designs including superheroes and other game characters.”

Winners were selected at each grade level.

Third grade: Jayden Boutista, Jaysalyn Diaz, Carlos Escobar, Natalie Mejia Gomes, Kaylin Quintana Powell, Emily Romero and Jamie Torres.

Fourth grade: Joloni Highsmith-Adams, Christian Nanez, Lily Peterson and Aaliyah Stewart.
Fifth grade: Natalia Benitez, Karina Garrido, Jonell Llamas and Jadi Vasquez.

A Holiday Message of Kindness and Acceptance at Park Avenue

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To emphasize the importance of kindness and acceptance, students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School learned from a popular Christmas tale.

Guidance counselor Kimberly Balducci visited classrooms throughout December to talk about bullying, showing students clips from the movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Ms. Balducci then led them in discussions about the roles of bystanders and upstanders, the negative consequences of bullying and the importance of accepting each other’s differences. She noted that what made Rudolph different from the other reindeer is what ultimately saved Christmas.  

Winter Art and Music Virtual Showcase

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Please enjoy our districtwide virtual art show and our winter concert performances from Amityville Memorial High School, Edmund W. Miles Middle School and Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School. 

"The students have worked extremely hard under very difficult and different circumstances and, as you will see, they continue to thrive within the arts," said Director of Fine Arts and Music Dr. Fran Fernandez. "Special thanks goes out to all of our district’s art and music teachers for putting all of these presentations together."

Districtwide Winter Art Show

High School Orchestra

High School Chorus

High School Band

Park Avenue and Middle School Chorus

6th Grade Orchestra

7th and 8th Grade Orchestra

E.W. Miles Middle School 6th Grade Band and 7th/8th Grade Band

Park Avenue Students Explore the World of Coding

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The computer programmers of the future are getting their start at a young age in Amityville. To mark Computer Science Education Week from Dec. 7-13, students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School participated in the international Hour of Code initiative.

Librarian and STEAM teacher Tim Quinn visited classrooms to lead coding activities, which students did on their Chromebooks. Using a wealth of resources available through KidOYO, a digital computer science platform, children learned the work that is done behind the scenes to create the technology they use on a regular basis. 

For fifth graders in Joanna Conboy and Krystle Kuletsky’s class, their coding activity related to the a recent astronomy unit in science. Students started off small by programming an image of the earth to revolve around the sun. This gave them an introduction to color block coding in the Hatch! app. From there, students created their own universe, selecting actual constellations to include in their interactive worlds.

Each student added a character, or a sprite, to explore the universe he or she created. In getting their sprites to move, the young coders learned how programming is used to set different actions. 

Mr. Quinn said this activity was essentially a digital research project that helped students enhance their scientific knowledge. Remote students were also able participate from home, as Mr. Quinn’s lesson was livestreamed through Google Meets and they accessed KidOYO from their devices.

Logging in For Literacy at Park Avenue

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With a wealth of digital resources, students at Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School are becoming better readers and writers. 

Fifth grade teacher Lisa Zomback ensures that her students do plenty of writing in their digital notebooks to build their literacy and story-telling skills. They write about a variety of topics and also explore different types of prose. 

Recently, Ms. Zomback’s young writers completed their “small moments” stories in which they reflected on happy memories. The digital notebooks, which are done in Google Docs, are shared with the teacher, so she can go in, read their work and make comments. She will also conduct one-on-one, socially distant writing conferences with her students because the discussion helps them flesh out their ideas. A writing assignment is never complete on the first try as editing and revising are important parts of the process. 

Julie Kirschen, a third grade teacher, makes use of several digital tools for Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop activities. She creates interactive lessons with Google Slides, which can be viewed by students learning in person and remotely. They keep writing notebooks using Google Docs and reflect on their reading and writing by making Flipgrid videos. 

Discussion remains an important part of any literacy lesson, and technology helps foster that in a hybrid learning model, with students in a class participating simultaneously in instruction from school and home. During their daily Google Meet sessions, Ms. Kirschen’s students analyze books, review different literary elements and discuss writing strategies. 

Reading and writing are intertwined, as the books students read serve as models for their own writing, whether it is helping them build their vocabulary or showing them a style they want to emulate. When Ms. Kirschen’s students worked on writing strong endings for their own stories, they discussed examples of good endings from books they have read. 
Wednesday, February 24, 2021