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April is National Poetry Month. To kick off the celebrations, Kindergarten learned to recite and perform Shel Silverstein's poem Boa Constrictor. Enjoy!

Kindergarten Performing Silverstein's poem "Boa Constrictor" from MJGDS Classrooms on Vimeo.

Students in Kitah Alef and Kitah Bet had the opportunity to virtually visit with children’s book author Michael J. Rosen. In preparation, they had read Chanukah Lights Everywhere, a story about a young boy and his sister counting more lights around them on each night of Hanukkah.

Listening to the story read aloud, the students had quickly picked up on the cats appearing on each page and the fact that their numbers matched the numbers of candles burning on each night. So the very first question a student asked was about the cats: “Why did you draw the cats in your book?” Mr. Rosen explained that this was the illustrator’s, Melissa Iwai, choice. The students loved the cats! Other questions during our 25-minute visit included, “How did you come up with your ideas and details for your book?” and “Do you take breaks when you are writing?” Also, “How long does it take to write a book?” This is a very nice story about Hanukkah that focuses on the traditions of the holiday.

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We know that talking about books promotes literacy by bringing books to life for children. Visiting with an author lends authenticity and credibility to the reading and writing process. It is a rich experience, allowing students to discover that authors are real people and not just a name on a book cover. Hopefully, this translates into a more personal connection with books. Thank you, Mr. Rosen!


What do you get when two incredible volunteers take charge of our annual Scholastic Book Fair? A super successful fundraising event right before Hanukkah! Melanie Setzer and Kim Millrood thoughtfully and creatively planned the entire event and together with many parent volunteers set up, ran, and then packed up the fair. The success of this fair showed once again how important reading is to our community. Because of our families’ generosity, our sales totalled over $3,200.00. Our profit from the book fair is 50% in Scholastic books.

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So thank you for helping us reach our goal of selling books and reaffirming the importance of reading. It was wonderful to see so many students and their families excited about the book fair. The Scholastic Book Fair is the way we are able to raise money for our library and help put new books in our students' hands.

I would like to give a special thanks to Melanie and Kim, who advertised the fair, recruited volunteers, restored a well-used prize wheel, miraculously found a pirate treasure box filled with gold gelt, and spent at least two hours daily running the fair. A special thanks also to Clifford, the Big Red Dog, who visited our fair -- aka Amanda Watsky, George S., and Samantha L. And a big shout-out to our parent volunteers from both the day school and the preschool:

Rachael Bunnell
Bert Ducali
Yakov Feig
Jeff Golden
Steven Gross
Renee Haire
Leora Holzer
Marissa Kempner
Whitney Kuvin
Diana Millman
Tmima Neihaus
Simon Schuster
Elena Shumilova
Emily Spector
Rachel Sullivan
Amanda Watsky
Jodi Weil

Thank you again for making our book fair a success.

For the 4th year in a row, our students in grades K-5 celebrated International Dot Day. Even the older students do not tire of listening to Peter H. Reynold's book, The Dot, and discussing its themes: creativity and perseverance.


Our 1st-grade students let their creative juices flow using the Doodle Buddy app.

Students in the 2nd grade played with the different paint tools in Wixie, new to several of the students, to create something special.

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Our 3rd-grade students experimented with augmented reality using the Quiver app. They colored in a sheet downloaded from the app's companion website, Quivervision, and then learned how to turn their one-dimensional drawings into 3D.


After reading aloud the story, our discussion in 4th grade was driven by the question: How will you make your mark this year? Students app-smashed Doodle Buddy and Chatterpix to tell us their answers. This activity was adapted from Karen Arrington of the Tech Tips blog.

Finally, our 5th-grade students created emojis in Google Drawings. They were challenged to draw a large circle using the circle shape tool, design the emoji, name the emoji, and add a brief description telling the idea or emotion it expresses.

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We are looking forward to celebrating creativity and perseverance again next year!