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200 Carroll Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543

 

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Current News

Third-Graders Explore Informational Writing

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Third-grade students, who have been exploring the craft of informational writing, are creating their own books as part of the Writing Workshop curriculum at F.E. Bellows Elementary School.

“They possess a great deal of knowledge and have delved into the world of writing informational texts, teaching others about what they know,” said third-grade teacher Ann Cullagh, adding that the topics vary depending on the students’ interests. “The students nurture their writing identities and personal passions by sharing their expertise with their readers.”

As part of the unit, the young writers planned for their informational books by generating questions that go with the topic. They also wrote entries with cohesive answers to those questions and carefully considered the sequence of information they need to present to their readers. Throughout the process, the students were encouraged to revise their writing by including precise language and visuals and to make sure their questions and answers align.

“The students worked with their partners to provide more specific, meaningful feedback and get support with their own work,” Cullagh said. 

As a culmination to their informational writing unit, the students will host a writing celebration for their families on Feb. 14. 

Writing Workshop, a K-5 initiative at the Rye Neck Schools, was implemented at the beginning of the school year to engage students in the art of writing and empower them with the tools and confidence to see themselves as writers. Throughout the year, the students participate in five units of study to explore informational, narrative and opinion writing and build upon their writing techniques. 

 

Fifth-Graders Design Original Bridges

Fifth-Graders Design Original Bridges 1

Fifth-grade students at F.E. Bellows Elementary School – who have been meticulously researching and studying bridge construction – collaborated with their peers to build their own original bridges out of newspapers and masking tape.

“Working together, working hard and learning are all part of a lifelong process that started when they were toddlers building with blocks,” said William McKeon, the library media specialist at the school, who spearheaded the project. “The main objective of the Bridge Building Project was to allow students to collaborate with each other within an academic framework.” 

The students were challenged to use no more than eight pounds of newspaper and between one and two rolls of masking tape to build their bridges, which were required to span an open area of 30 or more inches between two chairs and hold at least 100 pounds of weight. In addition, the students used their math skills to budget for materials and understand how geometry and structure-building are connected. 

“Planning for job choices, budgeting for materials and collaborating with partners makes bridge building a real-world exercise,” McKeon said.

McKeon said that many of the successful bridges incorporated tubular columns that supported the load. Fifth-graders Alejandro Cadarso, Ella Sperling and Ruby Williams, whose design successfully supported the required 100-pound weight, said they enjoyed working together. 

“It’s difficult to get the bridge to sustain a lot of weight on it, so you have to put all the pillars underneath in the right position,” said Sperling, who got to stand on top of the bridge for a few seconds. “We tried to design it so it’s even and nothing slides out. We made all of the columns the same size.”