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A Theme Park of Their Own

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With assistance from representatives of the Long Island Explorium, fifth-grade students from Idle Hour Elementary School recently took their engineering capabilities to new heights as they crafted their own “rollercoasters.” During the activity, the young engineers were supplied a limited number of materials to work with in order to safely guide their “vessels” from the beginning of the track to the safety of the finish line. The students employed their critical thinking skills throughout, as they worked together to ensure that the most optimal pathways were taken in order to guarantee their vessels’ safety. 


A Comfortable Learning Environment

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Due to a generous grant put forward by the Connetquot Foundation for the Advancement of Children, third-grade students at Idle Hour Elementary School have been afforded the opportunity to enhance their learning in the classroom with assistance from “Flexible Seating.” 

The students are offered the option of selecting a rubberized stool or a Therapist’s Choice stability balance disk, in an effort to continue their studies in a more relaxed and focused manner. According to third-grade teacher Stephanie Zelinski, the students’ education is enhanced because the stools and wobbles allow for free movement, allowing them to complete assignments with more focus and less frustrations or negative behaviors.

The district would like to thank third-grade teachers Kathleen Bankoff and Stephanie Zelinski for proposing the “Flexible Seating” idea to CFAC, thus bringing the initiative into the classroom setting.

A “Visit” to Australia

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Third-graders from Idle Hour Elementary School recently “took a trip” to Australia without having to leave the comfort of their classrooms.

With assistance from presenter and native Australian Chris Pitkin, the students were offered a glimpse into multiple aspects of Australia, including culture, geography, wildlife and art. Mr. Pitkin first showed the students a slideshow featuring various forms of wildlife, and tested their knowledge of a handful of animals native to the continent. The third-graders were excited to learn that creatures such as kangaroos, emus and dingoes are abundant in Australia, and told Mr. Pitkin that they’d be happy to take a trip there in the future to visit them.

Mr. Pitkin then introduced the students to the didgeridoo, a wind instrument created by the Indigenous peoples of Australia more than a thousand years ago. They were highly impressed by the unique sound the instrument made, and encouraged Mr. Pitkin to create more sounds as he fascinated them with the history of the instrument. 

Prior to the conclusion of the event, the students engaged in a fun activity with assistance from art teacher Krystal Zaglool in which they made their own “art” boomerang using the aboriginal technique of dot painting and symbols to tell a story.

Becoming One With Nature

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To gain a real-world understanding of various forms of wildlife, third-grade students from Idle Hour Elementary School recently attended field trips to both Sunken Meadow and Caleb Smith state parks. After their visits, the students applied their newfound knowledge to create beautiful pieces of artwork portraying birds, along with in-depth reports about various types of owls.

“Super” Students

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To celebrate the completion of the second unit of their reader’s workshop, students enrolled in Kristyn Lineman’s kindergarten class at Idle Hour Elementary School shared their “super” reading abilities with the school’s faculty and staff members.

Dressing up as some of their favorite superheroes such as Captain America, The Flash, Batman and Wonder Woman, the young students were split up into groups to showcase their superior reading abilities with the invited guests. The students showcased their out-of-this-world reading capabilities with assistance from a reading light to help illuminate the text as they made their way across the pages. 

Prior to the conclusion of this super event, all attendees were invited to the back of the classroom, where Mrs. Lineman displayed a series of large character illustrations which the students created themselves.