“Catch-Up” with the Lower School Newsletter


March and April

Finally it seems that Spring has Sprung!


March and April were busy months for us lower schoolers! We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by embracing all shades of green!  We decorated cupcakes and learned the jig thanks to Mrs. Arbisi. Grades K-5 had “Postcards from Scandinavia Day” where each student presented a different point of interest.  I was very impressed with the creativity of their presentations.   Kudos to the students and their teachers.


Kindergarten: (Mrs. Arbisi) March was a flurry of activity in Kindergarten. In math we learned how to subtract. In social studies we studied maps of the United States and the world with our new globe and made our own map of the classroom! In science we studied the weather and agreed the snow had lasted too long! Our green day celebration included cupcake decorating, coloring placemats and a step of the Irish jig taught by yours truly. We read “The Leprechaun’s Gold” as we created our own leprechaun. We celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday with our “Cat in the Hat” letter mix up and by reading several of his books. Our favorites were “Are You My Mother?” and “Go, Dog. Go!” In phonics we studied the -ing and -ug endings with our phonics wheels. In computer lab we learned how to research an assigned Scandinavian landmark and created our own postcard! Finally, to welcome spring, we created a bouquet of flowers using recycled egg cartons, pipe cleaners and pom-poms.  April began with our performance of “Spring is Here,” complete with a special dance, to the entire school.  In math we celebrated our victory over Chapter10, decomposing ones and tens, with the entire class achieving 100% on the assessment! In phonics we studied the -ight and -ack endings. In science, Earth Day was a focus. We made “Earth Men” while singing “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands.” Students created butterflies out of recycled toilet paper rolls and listened to several new books including “Emeraldalicious” and “Michael Recycle.”  Our Scandinavian focus was learning about the life of Hans Christian Anderson. The children enjoyed the fairy tales of Thumbelina and The Princess and the Pea. Lastly, in social studies we began the “All about Me” unit with a story called “Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods.”


First and Second: (Ms. Colangelo) First Grade finished their 100th day projects. (Thanks to all for donating the delicious treats). Marcus made a great detailed railroad scene incorporating 100 objects in various numerical groupings! Tej wrote 100 math facts that he knows! Second Graders finished their biography book reports on individuals from their culture. They each presented them to the class.First and Second Grade students will begin working on a nonfiction book report. First Graders will be reporting on a planet of their choice while Second Graders will be reporting on a United States President of their choice. An outline and grading rubic will be sent home early next week. Soon, we will begin our unit on fairy tales (focusing on Hans Christian Andersen). We have read several already with more to follow. Second Graders will be finishing  their science unit on sight and sound. First Graders are moving into their next science unit of Physical Science. Both grades are exploring various types of poems for poetry month.
Third Grade and Fourth Grade Math & Science: (Mrs. Beyrer) Third Graders started studying Energy in Our World focusing on forms of energy, how matter is heated, how light travels, and electricity. We ended March with sound and an outside walk to discover the sounds around us. In math we have been focusing on fractions. We focused on how fractions are made, comparing fractions, and beginning to look at equivalent fractions. We used many forms of manipulatives to help the children learn more about fractions. The hands on approach allowed them to “feel” and see fractions in a whole new way. Right before we left for vacation the children used chocolate bars and jelly beans to help them understand fractions and how they’re used in everyday life. Some of the chocolate and jelly beans may not have made it home.

Fourth Grade finished their study of division by dividing 4 digit numbers. It was a long road, but they pressed on and succeeded. We are now entering the world of fractions. We have looked at prime and composite numbers and multiples which will help the students find equivalent fractions and locate fractions on a number line. In Science we finished up our unit on Electricity and Magnetism and we began focusing on Light and Sound. We have investigated what light is, more specifically visible light and its sources, as well as how light waves work. We continue studying how light acts when it hits different objects, how the light bends, and concave and convex lenses. We will be entering the world of sound soon.


Fourth Grade and Third Grade English & Social Studies: (Mrs. Pugliese) All the students have  been anticipating Spring. During this past month, we have all been working earnestly. The Fourth Grade Revolutionary War News Reports were a great success. The students worked well in their groups, coming up with questions and reporting about the major players and events in the Revolutionary War. I applaud their efforts! We have been learning about the creation of the new nation, The United States of America; its newly formed government and its expansion. The Third Graders presented their Colonial jobs projects. They learned about the lives and responsibilities of American colonists, such as blacksmiths, coopers and surveyors and how essential these jobs were to the survival and development of the colonies. We continue to move toward studying the Revolutionary War. In grammar, the Fourth Grade has been mastering the essential role of verbs and their various forms, as well as diagramming sentences. They enjoyed dissecting sentences into their various parts of speech. The Third Grade has also worked on this, as well as learning about the important role adjectives have in sentence formation.


Both the Third and Fourth Grades enjoyed writing their third book report. The topic was biographies. They wrote about influential people, such as Harriet Tubman, Nicola Tesla and Marco Polo, among many others. Excellent work! The Fourth Grade’s final report was to create their own piece of literary fiction. I am eagerly looking forward to reading them.  Reading comprehension has been delightful. We have read and learned about folk tales, as well as plays. “Red Writing Hood” was exceptionally enjoyable. In this story, Red Writing Hood alters some very well-known fairy tales, causing chaos in the process.

The Arts Cafe performances were enjoyable and I am proud of the students in our classes who participated. We applaud all who took part in the event. Credit goes to Mr. Goodman, our fine music teacher, who directed and coordinated the performance. In Art, Ms. Leslie had the students construct double-sided dioramas, depicting the famous “Little Mermaid” statue and a Viking ship. The students enjoyed the project and the results were truly magnificent.


Fifth Grade: (Ms.Keating) A big shout out to both Madeline Bramel and William Giegerich who placed 1st and 3rd, respectively, in T-D’s Science Fair!  All those that entered should be commended for going the “extra-mile.”  On March 13th, several 5th graders stole the “spotlight” at the Art’s House Café.  Lucca and Marygrace played the ukulele while Ashley sang, and Errol amazed us with his rapping skills.  In Math, we are just finishing up a unit on fractions.  Students can add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions. In Social Studies we finished the Korean War and are moving on to the Vietnam War. The two sound eerily similar.  We also discussed the Space Race where I had to explain that the only moon walk I am old enough to have witnessed was Michael Jackson’s.  We did a unit on Ruby Bridges and I read her autobiography to the class. The story never fails to bring tears to my eyes.  We are all just finishing our rough drafts of the five paragraph essay.  We are writing about the heroes in our lives.  We learned that a good thesis statement makes the rest of the essay fall into place.  Our novel study of  The Egypt Game has taken a very interesting turn with a mysterious death. Now we are all playing the role of “amateur detectives.”  On April 29th, the 5th grade joined T-D’s 6-12 grades and enjoyed a wonderful music ensemble from Hiroshima.


The Lower School worked diligently on postcards from Scandinavia; researching, writing and creating their own postcards highlighting notable sights. They presented them on April first- April Fool’s Day! What a great day!


Finally, while many of you enjoyed a vacation here, I and many T-D students and family members were visiting Scandinavian nations and experiencing all the wonders these places had to offer. Lower School students Luke, William, Aaron and Yuriy were among the

T-D students who got to meet President Grimsson of Iceland, and wish Queen Margrethe of Denmark a Happy Birthday.  These youngsters were great travel companions and were great Lower School ambassadors.


Please make sure to look at the school’s newspaper, “The Overlook Journal” @http://overlookjournal.com.  I continue to be flabbergasted by our budding journalists


Upcoming Events:

May 9th-TD’s Gala at the Larchmont Yacht Club

May 19th-K-5 visit Central Park and The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre



Virginia Keating

K-8 Director