HFCA’s Pee-Wee Basketball Team was invited to play a scrimmage game at halftime during the St. John’s Men’s Basketball Game! The kids had an incredible experience. Thank you SJU!
At Our Lady of Trust Catholic Academy we premiered our STEM Lab this September. Each grade has access to the STEM Lab which provides problem-based learning for our students. The students are now being given more opportunities to be problem solvers, risk takers, critical thinkers and innovators by taking positions on real world problems. By working through a combination of learning strategies the students discover the nature of a problem, understand the variables involved and gain a perspective viewpoint of those affected. Our faculty and students have been working wonderfully in the STEM Lab and are enjoying their state of the art lab.
Our Pre-Kindergarten teacher believes “our students are becoming star investigators as they use our new hands on STEM Lab to observe, investigate and interpret grade level appropriate scientific curriculum and experimentation.”
One of our 7th Grade students stated “I think the STEM Lab is a great way for students to interact with the world of science and to see it with their own eyes, and interact with the students around
them as well.”
After doing a Heat Transfer an 8th Grade student said “This experience was fun and interesting to me because it helped clarify things since I had the chance to see the chain reaction of certain elements. We were able to see it firsthand instead of reading it in a textbook. When my group saw the ice melt so rapidly we all understood what we were learning in the classroom.”
Sr. Elenita Meriz Ocampo, OP, is a member of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena. Sister visited the United States in late October for the ASCD conference held in Florida. While there, she met one of the Diocesan Associates at the conference and in conversation, found they would both be in Brooklyn the following week. Sister asked to visit a school while she was on vacation. Sister is the President of Siena College Quezon City Phillipines, whose community founded the College in 1958 in a rural area of the country. Sister Meriz, Mrs. Roxanna Elder ~District Superintendent and Dr. Elizabeth Frangella~Associate Superintendent visited Mrs. Kathy Buscemi~ Principal and the St. Bernard Catholic Academy community on All Saints Day.
On Wednesday November 1, we celebrated the Saints. They started with a procession around the block. Grades Pre-k 3, Pre-k 4, Kindergarten, grades 1 and 2 all dressed as their chosen saint. Third grade carried a banner of saints they researched in their new STREAM center, Sixth Grade created a Saint book that was presented to Pastor Fr. Tom Leach during Mass. Fifth, sixth and eighth grades dressed up to present their saint reports.
After the procession, they entered Church to celebrate Mass together. During the homily, two students from every grade shared their knowledge of their Saints. As always, their children’s choir, made up of more than 50 students from grades 2-8, enhanced the celebration with song.
It was definitely a joyous celebration that will be remembered!
The In Addition After-School Mathematics Project: Shaping the Teaching Self
The In Addition After School Mathematics Project is situated in a Catholic elementary school of a major metropolitan community. They serve twenty-four grade 3, 4, and 5 students and their parents. The families are of low socio-economic status. Their definition of “parent” includes any prime caregiver such as grandmother or uncle. The In Addition students are always selected by random lottery. The sole criterion for acceptance is a commitment for children to attend two hours a day, three days a week, from September through May. Parents and children attend two weekend retreats, Fall and Spring. They meet with parents once a month for math workshops at the children’s school- dinner served! The multiethnic group of children and their parents are of Latino, African-American, and European heritage. The first language of many parents is other than English. We provide translation services when needed.
Their philosophy echoes the recommendations of the National Research Council (National Research Council, 1989), the National Insitute on Out-of-School Time (National Institute on Out-of-School Time, 2000) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2000). These leading organizations emphasize that it is essential to provide children with opportunities to be active participants in the development of their own mathematical understandings. We believe instruction is most meaningful when teachers use strategies that begin with children rather than with themselves or with a school mandated mathematics curriculum.
In its after school hours, In Addition facilitates the teaching and learning of mathematics without regular classroom constraints such as high-stakes testing and grades. Their children do not take part in after school test prep offerings. Math skills are developed by empowering children to voice their ideas, to work cooperatively with others and productively alone. Everyone- children, teachers, parents and community members- are involved. Students’ investigations are often linked to their neighborhoods and homes. Parent participation through monthly parents meetings and weekend retreats, provides both a support system for students and links among home, school and community. They help children to turn everyday questions into child-powered inquiries, to value persistence, revision and struggle in learning. Their research efforts stem directly from their work; observing and documenting life in the In Addition classroom and community as well as the experiences of parents and children during weekend retreats and parent meetings.
St. Ephrem has partnered with the Guild for Exceptional Children.
St. Ephrem is committed to reaching out to our community and leading our students to a life time of service. The 7th and 8th students visited the Guild for Exceptional Children to read to their Pre-K Children. The Guild for Exceptional Children is a nonprofit organization in Brooklyn which offers schooling and other services for children and adults with a disability. Our students were given an opportunity to perform Good Work in order to strengthen their faith and give back to the community. We look forward to many more trips to the Guild as all of our students get to share in this special program.
Queen of All Saints Catholic Academy just recently received two exciting grants and donations that they are using in our school, as well as new programming. This month has been busy; their fifth and sixth graders just begun their ballroom dancing classes and showed off their Merengue skills at a school wide service night, where they collected donations for those affected by the disasters in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Additionally, they just received notice that out of 52 schools, they were chosen to receive a grant through EdTech, for a class set of Chromebooks and Google Console Management Programming! They will use this grant to slowly roll out the 1:1 program in the middle school, utilizing Google Apps for Education, including Google Classroom. Finally, after reaching out to collaborate with the Barclay’s Center, they received a generous donation of two NBA style basketball hoops from Spalding – now, they are setting up a CYO basketball team and have plans for girls volleyball and coed track in the spring. Stay tuned because they will begin their Mark Morris and Shakespeare residency in January, and are working on setting up a swimming program with the YMCA for their second graders in the Spring as well. They also have a few things that just began the process of initiating, such as the Mutt-i-Grees curriculum, which pairs comfort dogs with schools to build emotional literacy, exciting collaborations with Bishop Loughlin and St. Joseph’s College and a 4H club, in collaboration with Cornell University!