Past Classroom Spotlights

April 2023 PS 1 Classroom Spotlight on Fourth Grade!

Fourth grade is a year of academic growth fueled with imagination and a sense of discovery. Fourth graders are working hard to become vivid readers, imaginative writers, and well versed mathematicians. This year comes with a lot of responsibility, which fosters independence and academic advocacy. Fourth grade brings emotional and social exploration and development. To supplement our rigorous curriculum, we have integrated programs that further our students’ critical thinking and creativity. These programs include Seeds for Change, NDI, and City Lores. In addition, as a part of the dual language program, students are immersed in rich Chinese culture.

Fourth Graders participate in an amazing science program – Seed for Trees. Students are learning about ecology and exploring how the ecological aspects of science interact with biological systems. Students are exploring topics such as biodiversity and habitats. Students learn, engage in hands-on experience, and have fun learning about science!

Our fourth graders are fortunate to participate in a wonderful dance program – National Dance Institute. NDI (National Dance Institute) is a non-profit arts education organization that brings children together through dance and music. They believe that every child should have access to learning in and through the arts. The students dance, sing, create artwork and have fun!

Fourth graders celebrated Women History Month by choosing influential women to research and creating a presentation to teach others. Students completed their research by reading a variety of books and articles. They composed all their research together and created Google Slides. Students introduced their topics by using Flipgrid to create a 30 second video highlighting who they are researching, why they are important, and including a interesting fact.

Fourth grade is a year of building independence and finding their place in the world. Students are developing responsibilities and a sense of self. They are blooming socially and developing social skills. Fourth graders work on strengthening their repertoire of social- emotional skills and become more social- emotionally aware. Academically, students are learning to naivage a variety of different subjects and integrate the skills learnt in the core subjects to support other subjects.

Students in fourth grade Dual Language class had a great time exploring Chinese culture by learning how to use chopsticks properly and reading stories about the origin of chopsticks. Students really enjoyed playing the game of clamping pompoms to help them practice using chopsticks.

Students were developing their language skills by learning to speak, read, and write Chinese Characters. They work in pairs to help them build their academic language and concepts. Our dual language lesson also improves dual language students’ abilities to use their first and second language for social and academic purposes.

February 2023 – PS 1 Classroom Spotlight on Third Grade!

The class had special trips to the North Pole and Barnes and Noble.

They were invited to visit Santa at the “North Pole” this past Christmas. The kids met Santa and some of them tugged on his beard.

In third grade, the kids were also part of the My Own Book Fund where they chose $60 worth of books from Barnes and Noble to build their own home library. They are on the road to being life-long readers.

P.S. 1 has enthusiastic language learners. Students in the Dual Language class are busy learning how to speak, understand, read, and write in Mandarin Chinese. They are learning about and appreciating the Chinese Culture.

One of the wonderful programs these 3rd graders participated in was City Lore where they made puppets and spent time storytelling. They incorporated their knowledge of stories (narrative writing) such as story elements (characters, traits, setting, story problem, character relationships) as they developed their oral stories. We had a special treat and saw a marionette show at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park with professional puppeteers.

Students dancing on stage.

The kids also participate in NDI (National Dance Institute) every Monday. They learn how to move with music following choreography and listening to beats. They learn music and are singing as well. This year’s theme is on the life of Dr. Maya Angelo. She was a poet, writer, activist, dancer, singer, performer, and an inspiration and motivator. We are learning about her life so that we can be inspired by her words and actions.

Every teacher says that their year is important and third grade is no different. The kids are becoming more independent and motivating one another. They are becoming more independent in their academics as well as being citizens in their community. We work on character building and community building because we are all part of a bigger whole.

January 2023 Spotlight on Second Grade

Second grade is full of wonderment, curiosity and adventures. Our second graders at P.S.1 are busy learning how to be fluent readers, efficient mathematicians, impressive writers, flexible word solvers and responsible citizens.Second graders at P.S. 1 are enthusiastic language learners. Students in the Dual Language class learn how to speak, read, understand, and write in Mandarin Chinese and learn about and appreciate Chinese culture.

Students on stage.

Second graders participate in an amazing dance program – National Dance Institute. NDI (National Dance Institute) is a non-profit arts education organization that brings children together through dance and music programs. They believe that every child should have access to learning in and through the arts. The students dance, sing, create artwork and have fun!

Second grade was also fortunate enough to go on a class trip and become taste testers for New York City schools.  We were able to try new recipes, vote for which ones we like and write reviews.  It was yummy for our tummy!

Second grade is looking forward to more new adventures.  We will be starting to explore our neighborhood and its incredible landmarks with an expert from the Center of Architecture. We will learn about architectural and engineering concepts and vocabulary as well as designing and building structures based on our neighborhood.

Buildings created from cardboard and construction paper.

November/December 2022 Spotlight on PreK

Pre-K children at P.S. 1 are learning things about themselves and the people around them.  We are learning what makes us unique and important. A strong sense and understanding of one’s self supports children’s success in Pre-K. According to the New York State Prekindergarten Learning Standards (NYSPLS), these ideas are represented in Domain 3 (PK.SEL.2): Recognizes self as an individual having unique abilities, characteristics, feelings and interests.

What makes me important and unique?

Student self-portraits are displayed on the wall.
Students use playdough to create people with emotions.

Children used homemade playdough to create themselves.

Student pictures show different emotions.

Children use the classroom feeling chart to identify a wide variety of emotions and to manage and express their emotions. Our Feeling Chart for our children is a valuable tool to help them work through and better understand their emotions. This can help them understand that their feelings are common, and that they are not alone.

A bulletin board with labeled emotions in English and Chinese.

Emotions play an important role in developing self-concept and self-awareness and socialization in a group setting.

Three pictures of children sitting in the room in the cozy area.

Our Cozy Area is a safe space in the classroom where our children go to solve problems and regain control of their emotions. Learning how to solve problems and self-regulate their emotions are very important life skills. Our children need to learn these skill now, so they can be successful in school and life. In our Cozy Area, we have many different types of books, stuffed animals for holding/squeezing and sensory toys for social emotional learning. We have Mindful Maze Boards to help children focus through calm breathing exercises.

After taking a close look at what makes each of them unique and exploring their feelings, children will start to learn about the people around them. We will be learning about our families and homes.

October 2022 Spotlight on 3K

Students and teachers taking a picture with pumpkins.

On October 20, 2022, PS 1 held its Great Pumpkin Day event! We’re celebrating fall. It was such a fun day to be outside and see some of our parents.

Students making art with orange construction paper.

We’re making pumpkin art. We’re working with glue and noticing the orange squares on our round plates.

Students learning about a pumpkin while sitting on the rug.

We’re learning all about pumpkins.  We’re noticing the color and the different parts of the pumpkin.

3K is having such a wonderful start to the school year. We’re looking forward to winter and all the changes that come with it.  We can’t wait for snow and to continue to discover new things.

March/April 2022 PS 1 Classroom Spotlight on Second Grade

Our 2nd graders have had a very busy year with learning and growing with each other and our school partners.

Once again our second graders had the opportunity to work with the Center For Architecture. This year the focus was on the science and engineering behind bridges and skyscrapers. The children worked in partnerships to design a bridge together. They drew blueprints then constructed their bridges. Also, the second graders made their own skyscraper hats and costumes to celebrate what they learned about skyscrapers.

New for us this year is the Lego Bricks 4 Kids program. Each week of the program the children are presented with a three- dimensional figure. They are asked to study and think about the three-dimensional structure. Then they are challenged to follow the pictorial directions and build the structure with a partner. After they finish building their structure, they test their structure. If they are accurate in building the structure the motorized part will operate and their Lego structure will have a functioning mechanical part.

The National Dance Institute, or as we usually call it NDI, is a wonderful Art program that we have partnered with for many years. The program instills a love of the arts through dance and music. The children become more confident with each passing week. The teachers focus their work on a topic each year. This year it is the idea that we are all strong individuals but together we are stronger. We made a beautiful mosaic to represent this topic!

February 2022 Spotlight on Fourth Grade

Fourth grade is a year of growth, not only in academics but also social emotionally. This year comes with many student responsibilities, which fosters independence and academic advocacy. We have intentional selected programs to support our rigorous curriculum that further enhance our students’ critical thinking, identity, and creativity.

Our fourth graders are participating in a wonderful dance program with the National Dance Institute. NDI (National Dance Institute) is a non-profit arts education organization that brings children together through dance and music. We believe that every child should have access to learning in and through the arts. The students dance, sing, create artwork and have fun!

Our fourth graders are participating in Bricks for Kids in which they learn about engineering concepts and vocabulary. They are designing and building structures such as race cars, robots and carousels by applying what they have learned. First, students are introduced to the Lego models and are tasked with analyzing the building plans. Next, using specialized Lego kits, students create 3-D models of the structures in groups. For the Dual Language class, sessions are in Mandarin for another opportunity for learning language.

Fourth graders at P.S.1 visit our neighborhood library, Chatham Square Library. Our students learn the digital systems and procedures for taking out and returning books at the library. The library books are additional resources the students use to further their in-class research and studies.

January 2022 on Third Grade

Third grade is a year of wonderful discovery and achievable challenges. Our third graders are full of curiosity, innovations, optimism, and new adventures. They are enthusiastic about life and new experiences which you can see from all the amazing experiences they are involved with during the school year.

Our third graders are participating in the Center for Architecture in which they learn about architectural and engineering concepts and vocabulary. They are designing and building structures such as bridges and skyscrapers applying what they have learned. First, students build a model of an arch bridge using cardboard and boxes. Next, students create 3-D models of their own bridge designs using kit materials as well as home recyclables and materials.

Third graders are also fortunate to participate in an amazing dance program – National Dance Institute. NDI (National Dance Institute) is a non-profit arts education organization that brings children together through dance and music programs. They believe that every child should have access to learning in and through the arts. The students dance, sing, create artwork and have fun!

Third Graders at P.S.1 are thankful to participate in My Own Book, a program that was created to inspire a love of reading for children by having children choose books they really want. My Own Book program builds on students’ excitement for reading by introducing them to book shopping and encouraging them to build their own personal libraries at home by giving each student $50 to spend.

Our students had the opportunity to shop for their books in person at P.S.1 with Scholastic Book Fair. They created a list of various genres, series, and authors they were interested in and chose from their lists. They were passionate about adding on to their own libraries at home with wonderful and engaging books. Thanks, Burt Freeman and My Own Book.

Class 3-1
Class 3-2

November 2021 Spotlight on First Grade

In November, we continued to utilize our language tools in a variety of ways.

First Graders are on the case! We earned our Word Detective badges as we revisit reading strategy work that we already know. We are learning to figure out tricky words with determination, grit, and hard work! Like a true detective, readers are always on alert for problems and trouble, and do something to solve them. We are using what we know to try solving those tricky words. We also use SNAP WORDS (like here, come, and way), look for word endings and smaller parts in longer words to help solve unknown words. Word detectives are always looking closely at words!

Word Detectives use a magnifying glass to help us look closely at words. We can use SNAP WORDS as anchors to solving the tricky words like: bowl, glass and breakfast. We look at the pictures and use what makes sense to confirm our best guess. Word Detectives can also use a Checking Finger to do a s-l-o-w and careful check as we ask ourselves: Does it look right? Lastly, we scoop up the words into phrases to smooth out our reading. Stop by our classrooms and watch us in action!

Word detectives can break up the parts of a word that they want to read. They can break the word apart, trying it in different ways until they find a word that makes sense and sounds right. Reading Partners and Detective Rasheed reminds us to look for parts too! We are ready to take on even bigger challenges!

The First grade Dual Language classroom is full of excitement, fun, joy and creativity. Dual Language means that students will receive instruction in two languages: English and Mandarin. At PS1, the students will learn the target language (Mandarin) while learning science, Social Study, and language arts at the same time.

The students expand on their early language skills by learning to read, write and recognize Chinese Characters. They build fluency as they progress through academic material and social language throughout the year.

October 2021 Spotlight on PreK

In Pre-K, we start our day with a Breakfast Buffet.

Breakfast food on the table.

The children are exposed to a print rich environment. Our Breakfast Buffet is labeled with pictures and words with the food of the day. We believe that before children can begin to read, they must understand how books and print work. Here’s how labeling works: At first, your child will learn to “read” the pictures and figure out what they mean (“This frame has a picture of milk on it, so all the milk is here.”) Gradually, they will understand there’s a connection between the pictures and the written words. The next step? They will become aware that the letters on the picture represent both the object and the sounds we use to name the object—and this will begin their journey down the road to literacy.

Two pictures of students choosing breakfast foods at the table.

We are also learning to make choices and becoming independent. Giving children choices helps them feel like they have some power and control over what they do, and is a step in growing up. Everyone likes to have choices in the things they do. Making good choices is a skill that children will use for the rest of their lives.

Students are eating breakfast at the table.

At Breakfast Buffet, the children get to choose the food they want to eat. Not only are they learning to make good choices, the children are also learning to be independent by bringing their food to the table to sit with a friend to eat. Once breakfast is done, they clean up their space and transition to the next activity.

Maybe one day…you can come by and join us at our Breakfast Buffet.

Pre-K is looking forward to becoming more independent and curious about learning in the classroom. We are learning to make choices every day during our Work Time. The children will learn to choose, plan, and recall the areas they worked (played) in.

September 2021 Spotlight on 3K

3-K classrooms are full of inquiry, discovery, learning and joy. Teaching staff support and encourage your child to explore the classroom, learn daily classroom routines and express feelings and ideas in a safe environment. Children are active learners who develop language and knowledge of the world through positive interactions with adults and each other, and through hands-on learning and play. They have daily opportunities to build on his or her current knowledge by engaging with materials and concepts in learning centers such as blocks/construction, science/discovery, art and dramatic play.

Student painting on an easel.

Art encourages self-expression through creativity and imagination which helps children to build self-esteem, confidence and patience. Children are also able to expand their knowledge of math concepts and vocabulary by learning to recognize and identify different shapes, colors and materials.

Students and teachers gathered in a circle on the rug.

Circle time is a time for important social interactions among young children. It helps develop positive relationships between kids through engaging and fun activities.

Students dancing in the classroom.

Through partnering with ABT (American Ballet Theatre) we will be working on strengthening the children’s gross motor skills. When we continuously develop these skills, it helps a child gain strength and confidence in his/her body.

In the next few months, we will expand the focus beyond the classroom community and include the environment surrounding us. We will encourage children to observe the world around them, noting what they see in their environment. We will also encourage children to build on their observations and begin to think critically about the things around them.