One Book, One School
Fulmar Road is reading Clementine, by Sara Pennypacker. Mr. Chadwick has promised to SPEND THE NIGHT ON THE ROOF if each student and adult reads the book!!!!
“If something is considered trash, or unwanted, does that mean we can’t use it?” That was the question Catherine Leist, program assistant for the Center for Environmental Education at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, asked Fulmar Road Elementary School students when she visited their classrooms recently.
The students’ response: “No, we can recycle it!”
Leist visited the students to talk about reducing or eliminating trash in their lunches, in their classrooms—and in their lives. “The great thing about human beings is that they are really smart,” Leist told students. “So, although people created the problem of trash in our environment, people are also coming up with the solutions!”
Among the solutions Leist discussed with students — reusing and recycling.
“Each person creates about four pounds of trash every day,” Leist said. “And each classroom creates about 100 pounds a day.”
Though the figures are daunting, “If you just make some simple changes, you can make a whole world of difference,” Leist said.
“Instead of buying individual-sized snacks packs, like potato chips, you can by them in a big bag and put them into reusable individual containers,” Leist told students. She added that using a reusable water bottle instead of bottled water can have an incredible impact, as can using reusable lunch containers and bags instead of plastic or paper products.
“If you are excited to recycle and reuse, you will get other people excited,” Leist told students. “And a change in attitude can make a change in habits — and that can change the whole world!”
How do animals survive in the winter? That’s what Fulmar Road students learned when Colin Remick, a naturalist from the Center for Environmental Education at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES visited their classrooms recently. Remick not only explained the different ways animals deal with cold temperatures—he also brought along some live examples.
“There are four ways animals deal with cold weather,” Remick told students. They can hibernate, or sleep for three months in the winter; they can migrate and go to a warmer location, as many bird species and butterflies do. Or, like humans, they can stay active in the winter, meaning they go on with their lives as normal, Remick explained. Wolves and deer are also examples of active animals.
Animals that belong to the fourth category, called torpor, “stay awake sometimes and sleep sometimes,” according to Remick. Racoons and skunks, for example, sleep for two weeks and are awake for two weeks when the temperatures drop.
The most interesting moment for students came when Remick displayed furs, a giant snakeskin and—best of all—some live animals. While the hissing cockroach made some students cringe, the tortoise and the hedgehog more than made up for it.
To compete in Fulmar Road’s Turkey Bowl, held the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, students had to be not only athletic, but smart too. Each team had to prove their math-fact knowledge in drills held before the start of the game. The more facts mastered, the more advantage the teams had, resulting in an exciting competition of wit and skill.
As students of all ages increase their use of social media, the Internet, and technology in general, online safety is becoming more crucial. To address this issue, all three Mahopac elementary schools participated in Digital Citizenship Week, where each school held lessons on Internet safety for every student.
Digital Citizenship Week is sponsored by Commonsensemedia.org, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children get the most out of technology in the safest possible environment.
“It is really important that students know how to behave when they’re online,” said Mahopac School District Instructional Technology Specialist John Sebalos.
Sebalos hosted a Digital Citizenship day at Lakeview, Austin Road and Fulmar Road elementary schools, along with each school’s building technology officers and staff.
“Each student, from kindergarten through fifth grade, got an age-appropriate lesson on safe, appropriate Internet use,” said Sebalos. “With Mahopac’s innovative and expansive use of technology within the K-5 classrooms, digital citizenship becomes increasingly important. It sets a model of how we want our students to behave and interact online both in and out of school while being able to collaborate and work in a 21st century learning environment.”
For younger students, talking about privacy online is particularly important. “Sharing things like your name, address, school or other personal information is never OK,” Sebalos told students.
“Through humor and interactive activities, our students were able to grasp the basic concepts of how to behave responsibly online,” said Austin Road teacher and safety presenter Tiffany Ziegelhofer, who was impressed by students’ reception of the day. “They were really attentive and motivated to learn.”
For older students, the lesson was more focused on appropriate behavior online and avoiding cyberbullying.
Addressing a group of fifth graders at Fulmar Road, Sebalos showed a film about Internet safety and then gave out game cards with prompts asking students what they would do in certain scenarios. “I wanted them to work as a group,” Sebalos said, “ so they could really discuss the options.”
Students were asked to consider what they would do if a person they did not know asked for personal information online; how to handle a fellow student making a rude comment about a teacher on a social media site; and what type of information is private versus public.
“The students did really well with their responses in class, but the real test will be how they respond when there is no teacher or friend around,” said Fulmar Road Principal Gary Chadwick, who also led a class on Internet safety.
Fifth grader Gabby said she thought people should use discretion when they are using social media. “There are some things we shouldn’t say online because they just aren’t nice,” she said.
Fifth grader Jayson said, “You can’t give out personal information online because you can’t trust someone you don’t know.”
Lakeview teacher Jenn Borst said she thought the day gave students a real understanding of what is expected of them and what is safe. “It was great hearing the children talk about their digital footprint,” she said. “They walked away with a real understanding of private information versus personal information.”
School may have just started, but students and staff at Fulmar Road wasted no time in helping victims of the devastating hurricanes that have left so many homeless.
Teachers Andrea Jones and Christine Czuy organized Fulmar’s Charity Walk/Run for Hurricane Relief, which raised more than $3,000 for the Red Cross’s hurricane-relief efforts.
More than 240 of “Fulmar’s Finest” joined together on the morning of September 19, including students, administrators, staff and MTA members, to rally for the cause. Each participant was asked to donate $5 to the Red Cross.
“We ran, played a version of freeze tag as well as a caterpillar tag game,” said Czuy. “To finish this beautiful showing of kindness, all of the participants spent a few minutes meditating and sending good thoughts to all those affected by the recent hurricanes,” said Jones.
Please check the Weekly Notices section of our web site each week to receive important information about school events and happenings. As a part of our "Going Green" initiative, we will continue to post this information in a downloadable/printable format.