May 2019

Washington School

BOE Report

May 7th, 2019

Principal- Scott Blake


It is hard to believe that we are so close to the end of Kindergarten already. The students have continued to learn many new ideas, concepts, and skills, foster friendships, and grow as individuals.  They are excited to attend a field trip to the Tenafly Nature Center. They students will also be looking forward to their first Field Day at Washington School! The students are continuing to work hard in academic areas in order to get ready for first grade, which is just around the corner! The kindergarteners are exploring non-fiction texts. They will be working in book clubs to read and learn about a variety of topics. Along the way, they will also be learning about non-fiction text features. In Writing Workshop, the children completed opinion based pieces and will soon turn their attention to writing fictional stories focused around a character of their choosing. In Math, the students are working to build fluency with addition and subtraction facts and solving story problems. In Science, the children are learning all about plants and animals, and what living things need to survive. We are creating a large-scale mural to show the relationship between the plants, animals, and environment in a forest! It has been a very exciting learning experience for each student! The Kindergarten teachers are proud of all of the accomplishments that the Kindergarteners have made thus far and anticipate their continued growth throughout the last months of the school year!

1st Grade:

In reading, we will begin to study authors and the many books they write. We will be studying point of view, looking at the importance of looking at both words and pictures when retelling a story, and working with partners to enhance our comprehension of stories we read. Students will be able to continue working on their fluency, accuracy, and comprehension in studying authors of their favorite books. This will take us to the end of the year and will prepare us for second grade!

In writing, we have started our realistic fiction books. We created characters that we brought to life in art class. These characters are going on adventures and solving problems just like us! Soon we'll be writing a series about these characters to capture all of their adventures!

 In word study, we will be learning another long “o” sound using “oa,” the “ow” sound as in the word plow, as well as contractions. Please continue practicing sight words and red words at home as well.

First graders will continue working on using mental math strategies to add and subtract. Fact practice will be important in this as it will help us to quickly recognize answers in math problems. We will also begin learning how to tell time! Continue practicing math facts at home as the next chapters build upon these skills.

In social studies, we will be learning all about maps! We will learn about the types of information maps can give us, the 4 cardinal directions, keys and symbols on different maps, and learn about maps of our school, town, state, and country.

In science, we moved into learning about plants within our life science unit. The students each planted their own lima bean seeds and have been watching them grow, watering them, and taking notes about the changes they see. We have also enjoyed going outside to observe, document, and even collect the growth happening all around us.

Going along with our Life Science unit, the first graders will be taking their field trip to the Turtleback Zoo this month! We are really looking forward to all of the fun and learning that we will experience!

2nd Grade:

Happy Mother’s Day from the second grade teachers!  In science we began our Life Science unit and are observing the changes in our plants as they grow.  We are wrapping up our Fluency and Poetry units in Reading and Writing Workshop.  The students have done a wonderful job performing Reader's Theater for the class as well as focusing on how Poets "convey it without saying it".  Our next unit is Research!  The students will learn to include important facts, non-fiction features, and interesting partner sentences in their writing pieces. The second grade teachers are very proud of our students!  In Math, the students have been working hard at multiplication and are working on strategies for mental math.  

3rd Grade:

The month of May is going to be very busy for our third graders! We are finishing the NJSLA assessment.  In reading, the students will focus on nonfiction topics that they are interested in and excited to learn about. They will explore various note-taking strategies while determining importance and synthesizing information.  In writing, students will start working on a persuasive writing piece. In math, the students are learning how to read and interpret graphs. They have also created their own graphs from data they collected after surveying classmates.   Reinforcing and reviewing math facts continues to be an area of importance in our math curriculum.  We also started our Life Science unit which focuses on inherited traits and the environment, organisms that lived long ago and their changing environment, as well as life cycles. The students are enjoying our new classroom pets! The third graders are also looking forward to our field trip to the Bronx Zoo on May 8th!

4th Grade:

This month in language arts we have started a unit on historical fiction. We are learning strategies to read this new genre and also how to work in book clubs. We are also continuing our work with research articles in writing.  In math we are working on area and perimeter. In science we are dissecting plants and learning all about life science.  We are looking forward to our field trip on May 7th to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty!

5th Grade:

The fifth graders are thrilled to be done with the language arts section of the NJSLA and get back to their book clubs. Students have been learning about social groups and issues in short texts and are ready to apply what they have learned in their chapter books. We have been practicing discussion strategies to make the most out of our time in our groups. Students are planning assignments and discussing their thinking in detail. Once we learn about developing theories and claims, students will be applying their book club ideas to a literary essay.

In math, the fifth graders are going to start reviewing what they’ve learned this year in preparation for the math NJSLA, which we will be taking this month.  At the conclusion of NJSLA, the fifth graders will be going to back our units on algebra and fractions and diving deeper to better prepare themselves for middle school.

All of our Social Studies students have been diligently researching an assigned historical figure from the Revolutionary time period.  They chose internet and book sources to find out some important information.  Mrs. Flanagan will be coming into our Social Studies classes to demonstrate the usage of WeVideo.  The students are so excited to videotape themselves acting as two people. We can’t wait to see the final presentations! Stay tuned because you will also be able to see your child’s video when it is finished.  Once this project is completed, we will be moving on to our final unit in Science.  Boy, this year really has flown right by!!


Second grade has started studying nonfiction author Steve Jenkins.

Third grade is finishing up this unit learning 8 different literary genres.

Fourth grade is beginning an author study of Patricia Polacco.

And all grades are loving our Little Free Library. Thank you for all the book donations you’ve sent in to make it possible!



5/7-8/19 – NJSLA – Science Testing – Grade 5

5/7/19 – 4th Grade Field Trip to Liberty Science Center

                PTO Meeting at 9:15am

5/8/19 – 3rd Grade Field Trip to Bronx Zoo

                Kindergarten Field Trip to the Tenafly Nature Center

5/9-10/19 - NJSLA -Science Make up Testing

5/9/19 - 1st Grade Field Trip to Turtle Back Zoo

5/11/19 – WEF Run

5/14-5/16/19 - NJSLA - Math Testing - Grades 3, 4, 5

5/17/19 - 1st Grade Parent Visit in Classrooms @ 2pm

5/17-5/20/19 - NJSLA Make Ups

5/20/19 - BOE Meeting - Eisenhower @ 7pm

5/22/19 - Bike Safety Day 

5/24/19 & 5/27/19 - Schools Closed - Memorial Day 


Washington School

BOE Report

February 12, 2019

Principal- Scott Blake


The Kindergarten children enjoyed celebrating the 100th day of school. The children brought in a special 100th day project to share in order to help commemorate the special day. Each child collected and mounted 100 objects of his or her choice on a poster board to share with the class. Thank you to all the Kindergarten parents for their support and assistance in making the creative projects. Additionally, the children are working hard on developing the foundations for learning how to compose and decompose numbers. The children are working on learning the story of five by finding all the different ways they

can build the number with smaller parts. During literacy lessons, the children continue to develop the strategies to read tricky words, to grow their sight word vocabulary, and to practice how to retell a story by naming characters, setting, and actions. In writing, the children are learning what writers do to make their stories easy to read. The children continue to explore several character education topics during social studies. In science, we are continuing our exploration of pushes and pulls. The children are also very excited about sharing valentines with their classmates this week.

1st Grade:

In reading, we are moving away from character feelings and traits and have started to read nonfiction texts! We will be using our reading skills and applying them into these books, looking for new facts we can learn about topics that interest us. We will also learn more about sharing our thoughts and expressing them with others so that we can teach our facts to our reading partners. Keep up the great work at home and continue fostering your child’s love of reading!

In writing, we are transitioning from writing our opinions to writing non-fiction books. We are becoming experts on our topic to teach our readers everything they need to know. We will be learning how to make chapters, make diagrams and labels, and create a table of contents. We will use all that we are learning in Reader’s Workshop about non-fiction books to help us create our own!

In word study we have been working hard to practice “nonsense” words (like luz, bim. Wid, etc.) to help us with our letter sounds and decoding strategies. You can try this at home too! This month we are focusing heavily on the “magic e” rule, where a silent “e” at the end of a word makes a vowel say its name.

First graders have learned many new strategies to add and subtract to 20. In the next month, we will be learning about length and graphing while continuing to practice these important addition and subtraction strategies. Continue practicing facts at home!

By the end of this month we will be wrapping up our Earth Science unit with a class project of making a large model of our solar system! We will all be working together to create each piece with clay and paint, as well as learning facts about each planet. This unit has been so much fun!

February is also an exciting month with Lunar New Year, the 100th day of school, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day. We have been able to do lots of learning that goes along with each of those special days!

2nd Grade:

Happy February!

The second graders began the month of February making predictions about whether the groundhog would see his shadow or not. We will continue our weather conversations and focus on air and temperature in science.

In class the students are studying the lives and contributions of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin in social studies.

In reading & writing workshop they have been researching a famous person for an informational slideshow that will be presented to their classmates.

The second graders a finishing up a math unit on measurement.  Our next unit is money.  Please continue to review addition and subtraction math facts at home as much as possible. 

We are all excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day with our classmates.  Have a great February break and thank you for your support!

3rd Grade:

In reading, the students have been working hard in the partnership unit to develop a “big idea” about the characters in their books using evidence. We are beginning our new writing unit “Writing About Reading”, where students will be working on writing character theories. They will become experts on providing evidence using character actions and dialogue from the text. In math, the students wrapped up our chapter on fractions and we started a new chapter on metric measurement. Please continue to practice ALL math facts with your children at home. We have been learning about force and motion during science, and the students enjoyed making pendulums using a variety of materials.

The month of February has already been lots of fun! In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the students are enjoying spreading joy and kindness through our “Secret Pal” activity! They are excited to “confess” who they had as their secret pal at the Valentine party on Thursday!   

4th Grade:

The fourth graders will begin to expand their reading interests in our new unit of study, Reading Across Genres.  In this unit, the students will explore fables, fairy tales, myths, and other folktales. The students will identify the characteristics of each folktale, the overall moral/lesson, and utilize text evidence to support their claims.  In addition, the fourth graders will be participating in collaborative discussions with their classmates to discuss their ideas and reflections. In writing workshop, the students have read and analyzed mentor texts, and identified common themes.  As we finish our Literary Essay, the students have determined an overall claim representing two mentor texts. They have identified evidence as well as explained their thinking about their evidence to support their theme. The fourth graders will strive to use their knowledge of the essay structure to strengthen their writing and further develop their ideas.  Lastly, in word study, the fourth graders are studying common roots to help expand their knowledge of new words.

In grade 4 math, students are building an understanding of decimals.  Like fractions, decimals represent part of a whole number. Students can convert between decimals and proper fractions, improper fractions and mixed numbers.  To demonstrate an understanding of decimals, students are using base ten blocks and number lines that show values to hundredths. These strategies help students to compare and round decimal numbers.  Then, students will add and subtract decimals while solving real-world problems.

In our social studies unit, the students are learning about the history of Wyckoff.  Trustees from the Zabriskie house visited Washington School last month. They brought many antiques and artifacts to show what life was like in Wyckoff from the 1700s-1900s.  Next month, the students will have a chance to tour the Zabriskie House. Our unit also studies the Lenni Lenape so students will learn about the lifeways of the first people who lived on the lands of Wyckoff.

We hope you have a wonderful February break!

Mrs. DePersis, Mrs. Kramer, and Mrs. Halupka

5th Grade:

Our fifth grade mathematicians are doing a great job in math this year!  They learned that decimals are all around us! The fifth graders are starting their exploration of decimals to the thousandths place. They are learning about place value, rounding, ordering, comparing, and changing mixed numbers to decimals. Their exploration of decimals is continuing throughout the month by learning to add, subtract, and multiply and divide decimals.

In language arts, students are learning informational reading strategies and applying them to their own writing. Students are choosing historical events ranging from European explorers through the American Revolution to research. They will be writing informational articles using this research, along with text structures and features they’ve learned through the reading unit. After sharing their informational reports with us, we will be sharing our articles with our third grade buddies at the end of the unit.

We continue in Social Studies learning all about the 13 original colonies, slavery, and the American Revolution.  The fifth grade historians have been working on learning these concepts as they prepare to use their knowledge in their Language Arts classes as well. Cross curricular knowledge gives the students the opportunity to become experts for their topics. After February break, our historians will be changing their hats and becoming scientists once again.


3/1/19 - Read-A-Thon

3/5/19 - Washington's PTO Community Service Project - The Smile Pack  

               Project @ 6pm

3/6/19 - Spirit Day

3/11/19 - Minimum Day - PreK-8 – Professional


3/14/19 - Connected Parent Series-

                 Washington Family Math Night @ 6:30pm

3/22/19 - Theme Day


Washington School BOE Report

October 9, 2018

Principal- Scott Blake


Our Kindergarten classes have been engaged in several different literacy, math, and science activities this month. In Reading Workshop, the children are learning how to have adventures with books and grow reading relationships with friends in the class. During Writing Workshop, the children are busy writing about topics of interest to them. They are using pictures, labels, and/or words to write down everything they know about topics of their choice. Other literacy activities have included listening to poems, reading engaging stories, and practicing rhyming and letter and sound recognition. In math, the children are using manipulatives to understand the concept of numbers through six. With the transition into Fall, the children are exploring signs of the season. We are noticing change in the trees and weather. In Social Studies, we participated in Washington School’s Week of Respect. We also celebrated Columbus Day and are in the process of making our own treasure maps! The children are also following their talents and interests through meaningful experiences with blocks, loose parts, and painting.

1 st Grade:

In reading, first graders are learning how to read pattern books. We are seeing how our fluency can improve when reading the same words on each page! Soon, we will start looking for strategies to solve tricky words in the books we are reading. In writing, we have been learning how to use our mentor texts to write similar stories! First graders have been adding different crafts, like repeating words, rhymes, and question answer patterns to their writing. Soon, we will be starting personal narratives so we can write all about our lives! In word study, we are working through the short vowel sounds and practicing our sight words regularly. During centers we have been using many different tools to practice our words like sand, wikki stix, and loose parts. We are loving our homework menu because it allows us to have a choice in our word study practice. In Social Studies, we are finishing up talking about kindness and citizenship. We had a great time going through the #BEKIND21 challenge and the week of Respect. We are starting our first science unit on Sound and Light! We will be making math facts this month! First graders will be using strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems. It is important that these facts are practiced at home so that automaticity can happen! We are learning a lot and having tons of fun in first grade! We are looking forward to our trip to the Wyckoff library on November 2nd!

2 nd Grade:

In the month of October, we will learn different strategies to figure out ‘tricky words’ as well as retelling our stories in sequential order, identify problems and solutions in our books and making/revising predictions. We are working on revising and editing our Small Moment stories and will begin publishing soon. In Math we continue to review our basic addition and subtraction facts as well as place value. It is important to practice facts at home. In Science we started learning about solids. We will be conducting fun experiments. Be sure to ask your child about these activities.

3 rd Grade:

Happy October from grade 3! In math, the students just completed chapter 3, and they will be moving on to chapter 4. This next chapter focuses on subtracting with and without regrouping. In social studies, the students have been learning about the Constitution and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. In writing, the third grade is working on drafting their first writing piece, which is Personal Narrative. They are focusing on small moments, writing using the “I” voice, and other elements of narrative writing. We are very excited to see how they turn out! We are completing our first reading unit. This unit includes word attack skills and comprehension strategies. For word study, the students have been applying spelling rules that focus on the weekly pattern. We appreciate all of the support we have been receiving from the parents at home. Please continue practicing addition and subtraction facts with your children.

4 th Grade:

The fourth graders have done an excellent job adjusting to the new year and their new schedules. In reading, the students are understanding how a character’s actions and dialogue reveal their identity. They are developing questions to determine character motivations, as well as identifying how a character changes when faced with challenges. In addition, students will understand character’s relationship with other characters. In writing, the fourth graders have selected their small moment topics. They are working on breaking the moment into paragraphs and including details, small actions, and feelings. Students will be drafting and publishing their Personal Narratives on the Chromebooks. Lastly, the fourth graders are continuing to review word study patterns. They are spelling and defining the words, as well as applying all that they have learned in their other subject areas. In grade 4 math, students have settled in to routines and are thinking like mathematicians. This week, we begin a new unit on estimation and number theory. Students use rounding skills to estimate sums, differences and products. Compatible numbers are used to estimate quotients. Additionally, students will determine factors and multiples. Lastly, students will identify prime and composite numbers. It is essential for students to maintain fact fluency in class and at home. Students are encouraged to use the web based programs XtraMath and IXL. In social studies, the children in fourth grade have been exploring “Government”. They are examining the importance of government, identifying what it looks like in the United States, and analyzing parts of the Constitution. The first portion of the unit focuses on how our State and Federal Governments are organized. Students will understand how a representative democracy works. In the second half, the unit students will explore the responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic republic. We will keep an eye on upcoming local and state elections!

5th Grade: The fifth grade has had an excellent start to the school year. We are enjoying kicking off each day with a morning meeting. Students are building classroom communities, where they feel safe and comfortable to learn and take risks. Students are also learning the expectations of fifth grade which were written from their own hopes and dreams for this school year. In language arts students are developing independent reading skills. We are building the foundations slowly for a strong year so we can grow as deeper readers. In writing we are beginning our unit on personal narratives. We are using our own experiences to generate ideas to write these stories. In math, students are going to be starting off the year building upon prior knowledge of whole numbers. We are going to be learning new place values that we will build upon with both whole numbers and decimals later in the year. In social studies, the students started the year with learning about the importance of rules within our society as well as within our school. The students learned about democracy and voting as we conducted speeches and elections for this year’s Student Council. The students moved into an Explorer Project this week where they will be researching a famous explorer with a culminating activity of a Google Slide Presentation.


10/12/18 - WEF Gala - The Brownstone @ 7:30

10/15-19/18 - School Violence Awareness Week

10/15/18 - BOE Meeting @ Eisenhower - 7pm

10/18/18 - Harvest Festival @ 3:30

10/19/18 - Harvest Festival Rain Date

10/23/18 - Fall Book Fair - Evening Hours - Mr.Blake Reading at 7pm

10/24/18 - Fall Book Fair - Day only

10/30/18 - Wizard Challenge

10/31/18 - Halloween Parade @ 2:30

11/2/18 - Wizard Challenge Rain Date