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posted: Fri, Jun 10th, 2016


Fifth-grader fight gravity

What goes up must come down. For Mountain View fifth-graders, the challenge was to avoid having their project come down with a thump or a splat. 

The students recently participated in an egg drop challenge – the culmination to their year-end science unit on gravity, mass, and density. Students were charged with creating a container that would protect an egg when dropped.

They brought in materials from a list that included balloons, sponges, straws, twine, and masking tape, then each had about 45 minutes to come up with a design. 

There were three preliminary drops. With the students watching, teachers Jason Brodo and Patrick Murphy dropped the contraptions from heights of about five feet, 10 feet, and 15 feet. Designs that kept their eggs intact for all three rounds advanced to the finals: a 96-foot drop from the top of a ladder truck brought in by the Flanders Fire Department.

This challenge wasn't something the students took lightly. Many, such as James Moore, not only researched designs online but actually built prototypes to test at home. That's no doubt why the survival rate of the eggs was nearly 50%

"This was the best project," James said. "It pushed me to do more and think more." 

For the students, it was an opportunity to test their knowledge and ingenuity.

“We’re always working on ways to make learning more interesting and interactive,” said Mr. Murphy. “We thought this would be a fun thing to close out the school year.”

Participating in the egg drop competition were the classes taught by Jason Brodo, Melissa Ezro, Tammy Lash, Peg Maute, Patrick Murphy, and Cathy Wilson.

Artist visits Mountain View

Dar Hosta, an artist and author, recently visited Mountain View. Seen at right working with first-graders from Laura Markowski's class, Ms. Hosta worked with K-2 students and helped them paint a wolf-themed mural. Art teacher Laura Murdoch coordinated Ms. Hosta's visit.

You can learn more about her and see some of her work at http://www.darsworld.com.











Michael Soriano finds his family name on Ellis Island's Wall of Names

The gateway to America

It was an opportunity to step back in time and, for many, walk in the footsteps of their ancestors. Mountain View third-graders recently toured Ellis Island and stopped off at Liberty Island for a close-up view of the Lady of the Harbor. 

The visit to the iconic landmarks so important to the story of America allowed students to see the locations that they had read about earlier in the year in social studies. Inside the main building at Ellis Island, the students walked through the Great Hall and saw the "Stairs of Separation" where every Ellis Island immigrant between 1900 and 1924 once stood. Here at the threshold of the American Dream, there were three distinct aisles on the staircase for the three possible paths an immigrant would travel after a quick legal and medical inspection: to a ferry to Manhattan, to the train station, or to a detention area. 

For many students, finding the names of relatives on the island’s Wall of Honor was the highlight of the day.

The third-graders had studied American immigration and Ellis Island earlier in the school year. The teachers made the unit an exploration into the students’ own unique heritages. Students filled out questionnaires with the help of their parents and other family members that included details such as their ancestors’ countries of origin, years of arrival, and the reasons why their relatives left their native countries. 

“The whole experience gave students a sense of their own family heritages and history,” said teacher Mary Fisher. “I don’t think it’s a topic kids talk about at home. This really opened the door for them to have these discussions with their parents and understand who they are and where they come from.” 

The immigration unit ended with a multicultural day that celebrated the different heritages of the students and featured a feast of the typical foods from their ancestors’ countries of origin. 

About 60 students and 30 parents took part in the Ellis Island trip.

Camp Runamok

Summer got off to an early start for students in Mountain View’s fifth grade chorus as they faced bears and bugs at Camp Runamok. Their comic misadventures were part of the chorus’ production of “Summer Camp: A Musical Caper.”

Presented for one night to a packed house at Mount Olive Middle School, the high-spirited romp took the audience through the highs and lows of the archetypical summer camp experience, with just a bit of comic over-exaggeration thrown in for fun. From an ex-drill-sergeant camp director and corny camp skits, to the ever-present spiders and ants and horseflies, Camp Runamok had it all.

In the end as the campers prepare for a talent show, they discover that everyone has a gift inside them.

A cast and crew of approximately 75 students rehearsed for months to bring “Summer Camp” to life. In October, the leads began rehearsing twice a week at recess, the ensemble started rehearsing their songs in January during weekly music periods, and in February students began learning the dance routines.

The production marked the final time that the chorus would perform together as elementary students.

“This is a very special group,” said music teacher Laura Rutan, the show's director. “It's been a great journey watching them grow and develop over the years. I've know many of these kids since they were five. I’m so proud of the job they did.”

“Summer Camp” lasted about 45 minutes and featured seven songs.

The lead performers were Kayla Constantino-Marvin, Robert Grissom, Ricky DeLisi, Paige Capuano, Isabel Acevedo, Nicholas Frattina, Ava Shawl, Victoria Eagleson, Cara Batsch, Julia Klatt, Stephanie Zaycek, Shannon Jones, Giana Caputo, Gregory Hrynoweski, Grace Munich, Sarah Garcia, Ryan Melendez, and Sara Schwarick.

The student choreographers and lead dancers were Charlotte Mirsky and Jessica Peltz.

Art teacher Laura Murdoch designed the set and costumes.

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