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Writing Rocks—June 2018 Calendar


posted: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018
Stefano Tamayo and Alexander Pasternak compete in the half-mile run

Fifth-grade ninjas

On their recent field day, CMS fifth-graders took on the Ninja Warrior Course and other events both indoor and outdoor.

Students tackled the cargo net, ladder, and balance obstacles on the course and also competed in the 50-yard dash, co-ed relay, half-mile run, shot put, discus, soccer kick, and ball throw. The indoor events were basketball shoot and jump rope contest. 

Parent volunteers kept score at the events and cheered on students as they competed. The scores of each student were combined to tally a class score. Kristen Hare’s class was the overall winner and will receive a gold baton for the first place finish.

Juliana Moscatello and Angela Tobin go all out in a race
Nicholas Elko and Toshi Lleras run the half mile

Julian Walker gets ready for the soccer kick

Brooke Collins works on the layout of her magazine

Ready for the newsstand

The work of CMS fifth-graders is ready for the newsstand.  The students researched, wrote, and designed non-fiction magazines. The project was the grade-level assignment for Writing Rocks, the district’s annual elementary research project.

The students chose their own topics from themes in their Journeys language arts program. Art therapy, the fight for equal rights, endangered animals, Greek and Roman mythology, recycling, and athletes with disabilities were just some of the subjects.

“The project was interesting because you read magazines all the time, even whenever you wait somewhere,” said Jadelyn Joeley Anderson, a student in Britt Henricksen and Dani Marangon’s class. “Here you got to create your own and think about how others would see it.”

Teachers guided their students through the writing and content creation process, section by section. The kids spent the final week or so working independently on design and layout. They learned and used the application, Lucidpress, to compile their text and graphics into magazine format. 

Non-fiction periodicals that the kids knew were used as models, including Scholastic Math, Time for Kids, and Sports Illustrated for Kids. These publications frequently interweave informative articles with games and puzzles that reinforce the content. The fifth-graders’ magazines incorporated these elements as well.

“Creating these magazines was a lot for fifth-graders to tackle but I can’t believe what an amazing job they did,” said Mrs. Marangon. “The students were required to think back on everything they learned this year as well as focus on the specific elements of a magazine such as columns and side bars, all while working in an application that was brand new to them. Their parents were incredibly impressed, not just with their writing and knowledge of their subjects but also with how professional these magazines looked.”

The students presented their magazines to parents on June 19. 

Below are examples of pages from Jadelyn’s magazine about the ways that humans and animals affect each other. (Jadelyn loves animals and has five pets at home.)

The 2nd place dance team with PE teachers and judges

Special events mix fun and exercise

Two special activities show how much physical education teachers Doug DeMarco, Brigitte Geiger, and Mike Guli work to get kids moving outside of regular gym class. 

The teachers recently coordinated the school’s first dance-off with about 50 students participating. Thirteen acts, both solo performers and groups, showed their fancy footwork in front of a school-wide assembly. The kids, who work on their performances on their own, danced to including “Survivor” by Destiny's Child, “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, and “Salute” by Little Mix. 

A panel of four staff members judged the competition. 

The winners were:

1st Place: Sean Hawley and Andres Ochoa (Team 2 Boys and a Song)

2nd Place: Diya Rodriguez and Mikayla Wilkinson (Team Unstoppable) 

3rd Place: MaryCatherine Norris, Rihanna Ferreira, Deandra Buglovsky, and Brielle Magrini (Team Fantastic 4)

Another recent activity featured footwork of a different kind. Students in grades 1-5 participated in the school's mini-marathon. On a course set up on the back field, students in first through third grades walked or ran half a mile while students in grades four and five walked or ran a full mile. It was an event that not only provided students with additional exercise time but also also allowed them to exercise outdoors with their friends.

Before the race students donated new or gently used shoes for Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that distributes shoes and clothing to people in need around the world. More than 100 pairs of shoes were donated.

Brody Cumming, Parker Cooke, and Kai Collins are all smiles after running the mini-marathon
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Chester M. Stephens Elementary School
99 Sunset Drive Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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