P.S. 8 Proud Lions Newsletter – May, 2018

Principal's Message

Greetings PS 8 Families,

It is hard to believe that it is already May! We are looking forward to seeing all of you on May 15th during our Science Expo to share with you all of the great work your children have been doing, and to engage in exciting scientific projects.

We are also pleased to share with you that through our Character Education work this year, we are continuing to focus on creating an environment that is safe, respectful, and engaging for all students. Take a look at some of our work throughout the school highlighting our Pillar of the Month for May: "Dealing With Disappointment"

Lastly, through popular demand, we are happy to announce that this Spring we will be collaborating with two music partnership programs called Third Street Music School Settlement and Flamenco Vivo in an effort to offer students music and dance experiences taught by professional teaching artists!

Thank you for your support as we work together to provide your children with a well-rounded and rigorous education here at PS 8.


Claudia Tahiraj-Sadrija


3-5 Literacy Reading & Writing Coach

Ms. McCosh

Dear Parents,
During Reading Workshop your third graders have begun their Animal Research Clubs where they will learn to synthesize related information from at least two sources. They then will write about the animal they are researching. Your fourth graders are studying historical fiction. They are entering settings where buffalo roam the Great Plains inhabited by Lakota Indians, where people struggle to put food on their tables during the Great Depression, where a plague of grasshoppers descended on our prairie lands and destroyed crops –leaving farmers with no food to eat and no source of income, and many other times and places in history. Your fifth graders are also learning about the past. They are studying the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall and Rosa Parks are just some of the people they will encounter during this Unit of Study. The Montgomery Bus Boycott and other protests that led to change will also be discussed.

K- 2 Universal Literacy Reading Coach

Ms. Blackwood

A Glimpse into PS 8’s K-2 Reading and Writing Units


Reading: The students will be building stronger reading muscles and gaining more super powers during reading time by learning more reading strategies to help support them while reading level B- D books.

Writing: The students will be focused on writing opinion pieces in various forms such as letter writing, petitions, and posters.

First Grade:

Reading: The students will be meeting characters and learning lessons, such as role- playing while deepening their comprehension.

Writing: The students will have a choice of writing different genres independently.

Second Grade:

Reading:The students will be reading and role- playing different folktales and fairytales.

Writing: The student will be creating their own fairytale and fantasy stories.

Some Comprehension Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

Questions to ask before reading:

  • Can you look at the pictures and predict what you think will happen in this book?
  • What do you already know about this book?
  • What does the cover tell you about the book?

Questions to ask during reading:

  • Why do you think the character did that?
  • What would you have done if you were the character?
  • As you read, what are you wondering about?

Questions to ask after reading:

  • Describe how a character changed throughout the story?
  • Which of the characters did you like best? Why?
  • Were your predictions about the story correct?

If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Camille Blackwood, via email at cblackwood@schools.nyc.gov or stop by room 202. I look forward to working with you!

K-5 Math Coach

Ms. Chang

Units of study by grade:

Grade K: Students analyze, compare, and create 2-D and 3-D shapes. They use position words (above, below, beside, in front of, behind, etc.) to describe the position of various familiar objects in relation to surrounding objects. Students also analyze and compare 3-D shapes. They learn how to determine if a solid figure can roll, stack, or slide.

Grade 1: Students tell time to the hour using analog and digital clocks. Students use attributes to match shapes. They understand that 2-D shapes, such as triangles, circles, rectangles, and squares, have attributes that define them and make them different from one another. They understand how to determine the number of straight sides or vertices of a shape.

Grade 2: Students estimate measures and use a ruler, meter stick, or tape measure to measure length and height to the nearest centimeter or meter, and measure the length and height of objects in inches, feet, and yards.

Grade 3: Students measure the area of a shape by counting the number of square units that cover a region. They learn the amount of space inside a shape is its area. They learn to find the area of a square and a rectangle. Students understand that the area of a figure is the amount of surface that is covered.

Grade 4: Students identify and describe points, lines, and planes. They recognize and draw lines, rays, and angles with different measures. They explore points, lines, line segments, and rays in preparation for learning about angles. They use a protractor to measure angles. They identify angles as acute, obtuse, right or straight.

Grade 5: Students identify and classify polygons and triangles. They sort a variety of quadrilaterals to develop the hierarchy for quadrilaterals. They classify 2- dimensional shapes into categories based on their properties. Students identify and graph points on a coordinate grid.

K-5 Science - Ms. Rivas

    Third graders have been learning and engaged in many hands-on experiments bringing Science fun to the classrooms. They have been learning The Physics of Sound. Experiments include investigations of pitch, frequency and vibrations. Students have made many discoveries. Some of these discoveries include using tuning forks, making "telephones" using twine and two cups, and they have even played an African instrument called the Kalimba, to distinguish different pitches.

    Second graders have been learning Balance and Motion. The students have created mobiles using straws, rubber bands, paperclips and small cardboard pieces. This allowed the students to work cooperatively with the focus of maintaining a balance with their construction. They also experimented with creating tops and spinners, discovering different ways to make things go faster or slower. They learned that there are many factors that create movement and balance.

K-5 Science - Ms. Lukaj

Grade 4 - It's Electric!

     What do you think of when you hear the word electricity? Chances are you might be thinking of Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite experiment or Thomas Edison‘s improvement on the light bulb. But in reality, it was the Greeks (600 B.C) who found that rubbing a piece of amber with fur/cloth, gave amber the ability to attract small pieces of straw. What they discovered was static electricity (the electricity that makes your clothes cling, gives you fly-away hair and zaps you when you grab a metal door handle). The Greek word for amber is electron.

     Our 4th grade students have been “charged” to build and compare simple circuits with a focus on how connections are made. They used trial and error to build a circuit that lights a bulb. They learned that a D-cell (battery) is a source of electric energy, a bulb is an energy receiver that produces light, and a circuit is a pathway through which electric current flows. They used a switch to turn a motor on and off and build a circuit to test whether objects are conductors or insulators. The students learned that materials which allow the flow of electricity are conductors. For example, all metal objects and water are conductors. They also learned that materials that stop the flow of electricity such as rubber, plastic, and wood are insulators. The students were surprised to find that even though a small paper clip is made of metal, it didn’t conduct electricity. After discussing it amongst themselves, they realized that the plastic cover was an insulator and that is why it didn’t conduct electricity. They hypothesized that a metal paper clip without any covering would be a conductor. They tested their theory and to their delight, they were proved correct.

     They are excited to continue working with electricity. They will construct and compare series and parallel circuits before they dive into water!

Grade 5 - Landforms

     Earth is an amazing place. Great forces are constantly shaping and reshaping the face of the planet. Some of these forces form mountains and ridges. While others such as moving water and wind wear down the land and fill in irregularities on planet Earth’s surface. Our 5th grade students have been investigating Landforms. They have made observations on what happens to earth materials when water flows over them. They were amazed to learn that the Grand Canyon was created by erosion and deposition. They have used scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations, build explanations, and communicate/share their results with both teacher and peers. They have enjoyed making a splash with their investigations. To find out about erosion, the students set up the stream table with earth materials and the water source. They ran a liter of water through the system and focused their observations on the process of erosion. The students learn that erosion involves 2 processes; Weathering (wearing away of the earth materials by water, wind, or ice) and Transport (the movement of earth materials by water, wind, or ice) The 5th grade will continue to work on Landforms and they are excited to build mountains!