Friday, June 22, 2007

Triangle Trade Play Video!

Watch class 408's Triangle Trade Play

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Brain Teasers by, Andromache

Brain Teaser 1
A man climbed a 100 foot tree. he jumped down. Why didn't he die?

Brain Teaser 2
Take the number of kids there are in rom 4-408 and add it to the number of states there are in the Unites States and subtract 16 and the number you get is ...

Brain Teaser 3
What fraction do both pieces put together equal?

Happy Gilmore Movie Review by, Luca

In the movie Happy Gilmore, the main character Happy Gilmore is playing golf to make money to get back his grandma's house. Gilmore's grandma lost her house because she did not pay her taxes for years.

Happy Gilmore used to be a hockey player, but he was not a good skater. Then he tried a little bit of golf and he was good at it and he played golf until he was very good.

I think it is a funny movie and I think it is very entertaining for golf players.

Happy Gilmore also cannot control his anger and his coach has one fake hand because an alligator bit it off.

In one part of the movie Happy Gilmore and the coach give each other a present and the coach falls out of the window and dies.

Interview with my Dad:

Q: What did you think of the movie?
A: Very funny and silly at the same time

Q: Who is your favorite character?
A: The coach because he was helpful

Q: Who told you about the movie?
A: Luca asked me to watch it with him

Q: What is your favorite scene?
A: The fight between Gilmore and the old man

Q: How many times did you see it?
A: Once, but I want to see it again

Friday, March 16, 2007

Class 408 Comic by, Zuri

Click on comic to see it enlarged

Skateboarding Comic by, Zuri

Click on comic to see it enlarged

Book Talk

Only 4 of use in class 4-408 are in Book Talk. They are Hannah, Raquel, Aliyah, and Malcolm. Allisyn's class is in Book Talk too, but 6 kids. They are Molly, Serina, Aly, Maya, Abe, and Mo.

We have to go to book Talk every Friday at 8:30 am on the second floor in the computer room. We are reading A Series of Unfortunate Events The Erstatz Elevator by, Lemony Snicket.

Three weeks ago we were given a vocabulary test. The next week it was Jeopardy Book Talk. We got prizes. I won juggling balls.

Ok, that's it for today, see you next time.

From the Book Talk kids,

Aliyah and Raquel

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Animals are in danger. The Polar Bears are not only ones in danger, Lions are in danger too. there are people in Africa killing them. Mexico is finding a way to save them and so is Africa.
Can we save the animals in danger? I know we can save wildlife!!!!!!!

by, Stephanie Wint


Hi, my name is Ziyad and I am going to tell you why I like N.Y.C.

What I like about N.Y.C. is that if you live anywhere you have everything. For example, candy stores, food markets, baber shops, great schools. and more. But I am going to talk about school because it is my favorite. I like school because of the writing, playing math games, recess, ceiebrations, and because I don't get in trouble.

Don't you like N.Y.C.?

by, Ziyad


In IRAQ there is a war going on. The presedent of America is sending more troops every month. I know some about the war that lots of people are dying in IRAQ. I think the presedent is really bad because he is risking more people's lives. I know oil is important but saving all of these live is more important.


Barnes and Noble by, Deonte

Last month class 408 went to Barnes & Noble to pick out a book with our reading partners. Some people say that the books were lot of money. Some people say it was fun, and some kids did not get to buy books. My class enjoyed reading all the books. Parents came along with us. Some parents paid for the childen who wanted a book really bad. Most reading partners already finshed their books from Barnes & Noble.

Book Reading with Miss Aba

Miss Aba said, "Good morning 408. Today I'm going to perform a book called Coy and the Kola Nut Tree. It's an African book and 408, did we have fun? And I want to know what genre is the book from. And do you now any characters from the book and who is the last character?"

by, Laron

Miss Aba (Zuri’s Mom) came to class 408 and told us a story about a boy who was being treated badly in his village. He was the son of a king who died so he took some Kola nut and ran into the woods. He met a snake and he needed some Kola nuts for his mom and so he gave him some Kola nuts. Later he met an ant who needed Kola nut for the rain god to save his family. So he gave him some Kola nuts for his family and ran off looking for another village. Much later he saw a crocodile who ate the rainforest god's dog and he needed some Kola nuts too, and he gave him some. Then he found another village who asked to do a lot of things and he succeeded in all of them. The boy was then treated well in that village and everyone respected him because he is the son of a king.

by, Jalan


It was us, After school v.s Non After School in a basketball game. After School was leading by 2 and then Non After School caught up. Then they took a 2 point lead so it was a very tough game, and a very exciting game. Then it went into overtime and then double over time! But Joe made a layup to win the game for After School.

by, Adrian


This is your final chance to enter the MATH MANIA CHALLENGE (from WME - World Math Entertainment) If their are NO entries in the next 2 weeks, it will be CANCELLED!

See 408 Reporter vol. 4 for
(from WME - World Math Entertainment)

FIGHT'S!!!!!!!!! by Zuri

Boys and girls,
Seeing is believing
You won't be breathing if you have FIGHTS!!!!!!!

What kind of fights are kids getting into? Physical or non-physical? Children are getting into all kinds of fights.

How do fights start?
In ridiculous ways I suppose. One way a fight could start is it could start out as a game and then something goes wrong!

What is the usual punishment for having a fight?
The consequence for some fights is detention. I know this because I had a fight and I got detention. Also, suspension is a punishment. I know this because my friend had a fight and he got suspended. Sometimes you can get a call or a letter home.

What are some ways to prevent fights?
Walk away when someone threatens you or tells you to fight them.

How do some children handle a fight?
Some kids walk away and some kids fight back.
I was guilty of fighting back.

What happens when people come to watch fights and cheer?
The people fighting are encouraged and egged on to fight more.

So boys and girls who are planning to have a fight... Beware of what might happen to you!

How to Make Peace by, Damaras obi

This is how peace works in my class
and at last I'm letting you know fast
and if your talking to me
you get advice for free.

Step 1
Never start fights that lead to trouble.

Step 2
Always be kind and lift a helping hand.

Step 3
Never put anyone down help put them up.

Step 4
Be yourself not anyone you would be proud to know/be.

Step 5
If you make a mistake that’s ok everyone makes mistakes just lift your self right up.

And Step 6
Always be kind and never become a bully and be a leader not a follower.

This was advice for you to know
on the dot and in the spot!

Signed Detective D.

Why do I have to clean my room? a poem by, Jack Prelutsky

Why do I have to clean my room
when I would rather play?
The crayons scattered on the floor
are hardly in the way.
I almost never trip upon
my basketball or drums,
and I don’t pay attention
to the cake and cookie crumbs.

Why do I have to clean my room?
I think my room looks nice.
There’s pizza in the corner,
but its only half a slice.
I'm not at all concerned about
the gravy on the chair,
my piles of model planes and trains,
my stacks of underwear.

I will admit some bits of clay
are sticking to the wall.
I scarcely even notice them
and do not mind at all.
Beneath my bed there’s just a wedge
of last weeks apple pie,
and yet I have to clean my room...
I simply don’t know why.

Selected by, Exavier and Veronika

“We chose this poem because it had rhyme and it was also funny. It reminds me of having a mess in my room with everything on the floor.”

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Parent-Teacher Conference Appointments

Hello Class 4-408 families!

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday March 20th from 1-3 and from 6 - 8.
I have some families signed up - but need to hear from all of you! Please check the most recent P/T Conf. Appt. Schedule and sign up for an open time slot (there are still times available Tuesday evening). If you absolutley cannot make it on the 20th, let me know and we can schedule a meeting another time.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Great Woman of the Civil Rights Movement: ROSA PARKS by Courtney Z. Knight

On February 4, 1913 Rosa Louise McCauley was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. She was named after her maternal grandmother, Rose. Instead of 'e' at the end it's Rosa with an 'a'. Her parents were James McCauley and Leona Edward McCauley. James, Rosa father went North when Rosa was a toddler. Leona, Rosa's mother was pregant with Rosa's' brother Sylvester so she stayed in the South. Rosa's mother became a teacher in a another town so she moved her children to Pine Level to live with her parents while she was teaching. The last 2 times Rosa saw her father was when she was 5 and when she was grown and married. Rosa was home schooled by her mother for a little while because schools for black kids in Pine Level only went up to sixth grade. So when Rosa completed her education in Pine Level at the age 11, her mother put her in Montgomery's Industrial School for Girls (a.k.a. Ms. White's School for Girls). This school was run by white Quaker women who believed that all people were equal.

There were Jim Crow Laws segregating the South and that made Rosa's life hard. Jim Crow laws kept whites separated from blacks and were meant to make whites believe they were better than blacks. It was harder than we can imagine because black people were beaten, lynched, and burned to death by the KKK(ku klux Klan) and mistreated by most whites. Even though slavery was over most black people still did house chores and picked cotton for white people. There were signs that said "whites only" and "colored" every where. At restaurants, on buses, in movie theaters, water fountains, etc. And white sections were always nice and clean. While the blacks sections was always dirty.
While in high school Rosa met a man named Raymond Parks who was a barber. Everyone called him Parks for short. Parks would come to Rosa's house with flowers and asking for a date but Rosa was very shy. Parks kept coming back until Rosa said yes. Parks and Rosa dated for a while and later they were married.
One day Rosa's' mother saw a picture of Rosa's' High School best friend, Johnnie in the newspaper and it said she was an NAACP worker in Montgomery. The NAACP is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Rosa Parks went to one of the meetings to surprise her friend and the members asked her to become a member and volunteer to be the secretary. She said "yes". Mr. Parks helped fight for equality too but he didn't join the NAACP.
December 1, 1955 was the night Rosa made history. After work Mrs Parks did a little shopping & went to Lee's Cut Rate Drug Store to get aspirin for her body aches; she had been at work on her feet all day. She was seamstress at a major department store, Montgomery Fair. Three stops after Mrs. Parks boarded the bus, a white man boarded the bus. All the white seats where full so he was left standing. According to Jim Crow Laws if the white section of the bus was full the blacks had to get up and move further back to make more space for the white passengers. Mrs. Parks was sitting in the first row of the black section with other black people. The other black passengers got up and moved to the back. Rosa Parks stayed seated. The bus driver told her to get up but Mrs. Parks said, "No". This was the same driver who had thrown her off of a bus 12 years before & she was tired. Tired of the oppression of black people. Mrs. Park had known and suffered this oppression her whole life. Mrs. Parks was arrested. A white couple Virginia & Clifford Durr helped get Rosa Parks out of jail. They talked to the police officers at the police station because the officers wouldn't talk to Mr. Parks because he was black. Mr. Parks came and E.D.Nixon (President of the NAACP in Montgomery) bailed Rosa out. A group of ministers including, Dr. Martin Luther King met to decide how they would fight this injustice.
They knew that the majority of the bus riders in Montgomery were blacks so they decided to have a boycott. This meant that no black people would ride the buses. The boycott started on the first day of Rosa Parks' trial. Black people walked to work, school, stores, church, EVERYWHERE. Finally on November 13, 1956 the US Supreme Court ruled that segregation on the Montgomery buses was against the US Constitution. On December 20, 1956 the Supreme Court sent papers to Montgomery ordering the buses to treat blacks and whites equal. The boycott lasted for one year and 16 days. On December 21, 1956 black people started riding the buses again and sat any where they wanted to!
Mrs. Parks continued to fight for equality in the world because she knew the JIM CROW LAWS of segregation were UNFAIR to the black community. There were only a few nice white folks she knew at all in her life time.
And that is why I have chosen Mrs. Rosa Parks as my African-American female hero.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Comment and Proof Read!

Hello Class 408 students. I'm glad to see you checking in on our blog during your vacation!

While you are here be sure to read and comment on your classmate's entries, AND check you own entries for typos that you can EDIT. I am seeing many careless spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. You are experts at correcting MY typos - now correct your own :)

Happy vacation,


4th Grade Math Test Info

Stephanie Slabic our math coach has complied some websites about the NYS Math Tests for me to pass on to you!

Your child should only do a few of their vacation homework problems a day and should mark any questions they find extra tricky.

3-5 Testing Information

New York State Pre and Post March Standards – Your children will NOT be tested on everything that is supposed to be taught in their particular grade. Because the tests are given in MARCH, there are many topics that will be covered afterwards, and thus will not be addressed on the test. This website shows you what standards are Pre- and Post-March.

Third Grade :
Fourth Grade :
Fifth Grade :

2006 Exams - The following link is to the website that hosts downloads for each grade's 2006 exam. This is the actual exam that was administered last year and is a good indicator of what this year's test will be like. This is the practice test we are using in class.

2005 Sample Test - This is a SAMPLE test to look at with your child. There is also a scoring guide which tells you how your child's answers will be graded.

Archived Tests - Here are more examples of previous years' tests. If you download these tests for practice - be VERY careful. These tests were given in MAY of the schoolyear and contain many of the POST-MARCH standards that I mentioned earlier. Not every question on the archived tests will be covered on this year's test!

Math Games For Practice

NCTM Illuminations
This website has many terrific games for all Pre-K through 12 Grade families. Just check the grade level you would like to work with, and scroll down to find the type of game is appropriate for your child. 3-5 Families - check out the Factor and Product Games!

National Library of Visual Manipulatives
This is another website that allows you to choose grade level - then find a particular activity that addresses a standard. This is a great website Pre-K through 12th Grade!
This website has a lot of fun "arcade" style games that give kids a chance to choose their grade level then complete many fun math problems.

NY Metro Parents Article on the 4th Grade Math Test

Friday, February 16, 2007

Black Histery Month By KATE MACRAE

Black Histery Month is made to celerbrat black people who made imporntant contributions to are life.
Some of the people we honer are people who tought us that just because we are differnt on the outside
does not mean we can't have the same good jobs and things. Black histery month foceses on blacks
who made a differins we should all houner people who made a differins in are world like Rosa Parks
,Harett tubmen and other great people like docters and writers.
Can you translate this poem?

"Warmblood born a blood born Death
Will rob your body of its breath
Mark your skin,seal your fate
The Underland becomes a plate

Turn and turn and turn again
you see the what but not the when
Remedy of wrong entwine,
And so they form a single vine.

to know the complet poem and more, read GREGOR & THE CURSE OF THE WORMBLOODS!

the Ela test

Hello my name is kimani and im going to tell you what was going on the day of the test! On the day of the ela test people were nervous and they said '' I wish this was the last day of the test !'' they said that because they were nervous and people {like me} thought they were gonna fail but maureen said''if you just try your best there will be no reason to be nervous about the test!'' so people stopped being nervous because of what maureen said! [ remember try your best on the math test thats coming]!

Short Sleeve Sampson

By Hannah Martin Malcomson.

Short Sleeve Sampson is a Professinal Wrestler,even though he is a dwarf of 4'2"!

Let me tell you a little about him.
Sampson's real name is Dan Dilucchio.
He has other ring names, including, Mini-Taker, Pocket Rocket, and Mini-Angle.

Sampson weighs 115 pounds.He was born in Brooklyn N.Y., and was trained by
Tiny the Terrible.

Here are some championships that he won:

*Chaotic Wrestling
*CW Midget Wrestling(1 time)
*CW Light Heavyweight Championship

Today he lives in Rhode Island, and mostly wrestles for the Micro Wrestling Federation.

When he enters the ring, he raps, "I've got the power of the hour.
All my opponents I'm going to devour."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dear Class 408 -- 2/13/07

Hi Class 408,


This is just a quick note to say hello and I miss you. I really appreciate the beautiful scrapbook you put together for me and the heartfelt things you said on my last day. I couldn't have asked for a nicer send off.

Thank you for delivering a copy of the 408 reporter to me on Mondays. I think you are doing a fantastic job with the paper.

Also, congratulations to everyone who particiapated in the Black History month assembly. You all are so talented!

All is well with me. The second graders are delightful and Ms. Jen Klein is a great teacher to work with. Once I've settled in to the routine on the third floor a bit better, I'll come back and spend some time with you guys.

I'm going to post some pictures from my time with you -- so keep an eye out for those.


p.s. Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Math Mania

From WME [World Math Entertainment] we bring you…
Math Mania

The following questions will test your brainpower. Please write your answers on a different piece of paper and label which question your answer belongs to. When you are finished give your paper to Elijah.
Side effects may include dizziness sleepiness & brain hurting.

1. There are 36 geese in a flock. Some got hunted and 29 remain. How many got killed?

2. Take the number of countries in North America and divide it by the number of continents on the globe. Add your answer [except the remainder] and times it to the number of states in the United States of America. Than add the remainder to your answer. What is your answer?

3. Panz famous Manhattan pizza has four main toppings. Ones string cheese, the other sausage, the next pepperoni, & the last olives. There are twelve pieces of toppings on the regular pizza. A greedy costumer came and ordered a pizza four times as large & four times the toppings. How many toppings will Panz need to put on the pizza?

4. 3,673 people clime MT. Everest every year.3, 473 don’t make it to the top. How many people make it to the top?

5. Infinity divided by 7=?

6.What is the square root of 81?

7. What always goes up and never goes down? [Balloons pop and fall down].

Spiderman vs. Sandman

The comic book chapters I am going to write about is Spiderman and the Sandman.

Spiderman is a teenager who got his power from a radioactive spider. Sandman is a villain who Spiderman stopped from doing wrong.

The story started with Sandman robbing a bank. It happened in a Manhattan Bank in the middle of the city. Sandman smashed Spiderman into the taxi and they were fighting, and fighting hard!

The city was busy and a lot of people were in the street. Sandman tried to get away from Spiderman and ran into a school. They started to fight in the school and Spiderman was trying not to make him hurt anyone.

At the end of the story Spiderman saw a vacuum and vacuumed the Sandman into it. Then Spiderman got all the money that sandman stole from the bank.

by, Myles

Class 408 Names Word Search by Aliyah

Word Search by Aliyah

You can make your own too at

Click on the picture to see and print a larger version

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Bolder vs The Meteor- A Fiction Story

On a cold day the Bolder felt some heat on him, it was a meteor! The scientest said “4 days and 24 minutes until the meteor comes. The Bolder prepared for the meteor. He grabbed his guns. The meteor came and the Bolder could not stop it. He rushed up to it and BAM! He was killed.



Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Wordsearch that makes your brainpop off!

Click on this to print a larger version
Good Luck!

by, Kimani

Math Word Puzzle by Kate

Click on this to print a larger version
Good Luck!


More on my Tour of the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims

History: Plymouth Church was founded in 1847 by transplanted New Englanders. 21 men and women founded the church in Brooklyn Heights. One was Henry Ward Beecher. He was an abolitionist born in 1813. In his sermons he also supported women’s rights!

by, Veronika Collins

From Maureen – People who wanted to “abolish” (or do away with or end) slavery in the United States were called “Abolitionists.”

Learn more about the Plymouth Church by visiting their website at:

How would you like to go on a field trip there?


WHAT'S up 408 in afterschool? There is a team that is not in after school, they are really good. But 408 I wonder if they going to play hard on defense. And I have to say that NO ONE IS GOING TO BEAT THEM IN A GAME OF BASKETBALL!



How Stealing Makes a Community Feel

It makes people feel like they can't trust other people.

It makes people feel sad that people wasted their money on something that someone stole.

It makes poeple think that people are greedy or liars. It makes people think not so great things about other people.

- Class 408

Time to write

Hi the unit we are studing in writing is Relistic-Ficton it is great.We put bits and peaces from our life into our stories. First we think of somthing that we have went throw in our life and then BAM we put Ficton on it but wait not on all of it some of it see Relistic -Ficton has to be something in your life that can happen but it didin't our teacher is teaching us ways of learning to help ourself's by making stories so hot that you cant but help reading it over and over again.That 's my report for TIME TO WRITE.

by damaras obi


In the school PS.261 if you are late you will get detention because many people have been coming to school late. The reason why the principal wants us to come in early is because we are missing a lot of lessons in our classes. So the next time your teacher asks you about lessons you may have missed for being late, you'll understand it.

If you take the bus it doesn't matter if you are late as it is not your fault, it is the bus driver's.

He is one tip to be early, come earlier than you usually do.

by, Ziyad

Insturment Quiz

1. What kind of music do you like better,

A. Jazz

2.What musican do you like the best,

A.Duke Ellington
C.50 Cent

3.Which insturment do you like better,


If you picked mostly A's,you like the insturments piano,trumpet,saxphone,and clarinet.

If you picked mostly B's,you like the insturments piano,harp,violin,viola,cello,and base.

If you picked mostly C's,you like the drumset.

The Peace Project by zora

IT"S PEACE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you get into a fight you should just walk away. And if someone is bugging you tell a teacher.
Peace can even help save your life!
So get off your chair and help make PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

all kinds of books

Books are very fun to read there all types of books there can be funny books, scary books, intersting books, and maybe there are some books that are just plain mysteries. There could even be story books in magazines, articles, and in news papers. Did you know that books can be real. Books are really intersting maybe you'll find yourself in a good book one day.Did you know that books can be chapter books chapter books are when there diffrent parts in one book.A picture book is a book is a book with lots of pictures.A non-fiction book is a book that is a true story.A fiction story is a story that was made up.A realistic fiction story is a story a story that can be real but isn't real.If you want to be a writer when you grow up try writing a book that everyone will love.

The Phantom of the Opera part 2

A song that made her feel so weird the phantom looked right at her she came right over to him and tried to take off his mask and it came off he got so mad at her that he said some mean things about her then he said "We must return".The wrote a letter to the manngers the wrote that he wants christine Daae to take Carlotta's place but they didn't swithed the part of Christine's.Christine had to play the slient boy the phantom didn't like that not at all.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PS 261 LEGO Robotics Team NANORAMA takes home a Teamwork Award at City-Wide Tournament

"3, 2, 1., LEGO!" The robots were off and running as the PS261 LEGO Robotics team Nanorama competed against 81 teams from elementary, middle, and high schools from across the 5 boroughs yesterday in the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition.

Nanorama was recognized early in the day when we discovered an article about the team in the NYC FIRST LEGO League newspaper (You can read the article here: We were recognized a second time at the end of the day when we were presented with a TEAMWORK Award!

The tournament was held in the Athletic Stadium at Riverbank State Park at 145th Street and Riverside Drive in Manhattan. Over 2,000 people were in attendance. Nanorama competed in 8 robotic challenge matches throughout the day and presented research on a new product they developed called "The Lip Zipper 3000" that uses Nanotechnology to help students to not call out in class.

The research team presented their information in front of a panel of judges without their coach's support. "The judges loved us and didn't ask us questions we couldn't find an answer for," exclaimed the research team as they exited the research room full of smiles and pride. Jennifer Lindauer-Thompson should be congratulated for leading the research team.

Lip Zipper 300o Research team:
Ciprian Alvarez, Carlos Baez, Joe Fernando, Max Gertler, Darean Fortune Lee, Tatiana Montes, Osiris Murdough, Damaras Obi, and Anya Oleck.

The 8 robotics matches throughout the day were intense, exciting, and showcased our team's determination, support, and problem solving abilities.

In the first round of the day Maya Howard Watts and Andromache Petridis experienced an upset when their robot "Big Bird" was not able to accomplish the challenges they had prepared to attempt. This duo persevered throughout their 2 1/2 minute match by aborting unsuccessful missions and moving on to attempt new challenges. Their determination and grace under pressure was recognized and applauded by all who witnessed their match.

Kani Biggs and Jack Schwartz also participated in round one with their robot "Grover." This pair remained cool and calm while the fans cheered. They accomplished two successful missions and earned Nanorama's top score of the day, 83 points! (That's 13 points higher than our top score in the Brooklyn Tech competition last month).

In round 2 Androcles Petridis and Nicholas Moore earned 30 points with "Big Bird" by successfully completing the "Smell" mission (by having the robot deliver 2 "Pizza Smell" molecules to a LEGO person). Mojique Tyler and Anastaia Meredith-Goujon earned 63 points with their robot "Grover." They successfully accomplished the difficult "Buckyball" mission where the robot must release a Buckyball containing medicine into a LEGO person's arm. You would be surprised how hard it is to design and program a robot that can carry and deliver a marble (representing a Buckyball) to a precise location.

Round 3 was a nail biter (not to mention that our principal Ms. Mills came to cheer us on too)! In the first match after lunch the robot team of Max Gertler and Tasia Rosborough worked with "Big Bird" to attempt a number of challenges. First they tried the "Smell" mission and met with difficulty. Then they attempted the "Nanotube Strength" mission and met with more difficulty. At last with the clock ticking and time running out they attempted the most difficult "Buckyball" mission. With only 5 seconds remaining on the clock, "Big Bird" moved its way toward the LEGO bone. The robot slowly turned and rotated the motor that held the marble. Everyone held their breath to see if the robot would successfully deploy the "Buckyball." Just as the timer went to "1" the ball made it in and the crowd went wild! Max and Tasiya have nerves of steel! One crowd member said, "I want that kid piloting my plane!"

Also in round 3 were the team of Waleed Yahya and Maya Terhune. Throughout the day and even during the lunch Waleed and Maya were testing a new mission, "Atomic Force Microscopy" with "Grover." They developed a new attachment and program, and tested the mission on different practice tables in the arena. However, even the best-prepared engineers can face challenges. Maya and Waleed tirelessly troubleshooted with "Grover" to attempt the challenge. Their ingenuity and hard work was not in vain as their engineering and programming design were successful in the next round.

In Round 4, the last round of the day, both teams were up at two separate tables at the same time. Maya Howard Watts and Andromache Petridis came back to try again with "Big Bird" and showed us that it pays to never give up! "Grover" was operated in this round by Carlos Baez and Tatiana Montes. The "Grover" team successfully accomplished the "Atomic Force Microscopy" mission based on Maya T.'s and Waleed's design, as well as the "Smell" mission with the same attachment! "It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen," said coach Allisyn Levy. "I was so glad that Maya and Waleed's work was able to work successfully today, that another team was able to utilize their design, and on 2 missions!"

After the rounds were complete the team packed up and waited for the awards ceremony. The team gathered around the trophy table with their fingers crossed hoping to take one home (but remembering that their goal today was to work together and have fun). During this time Nanorama did the "Chicken Dance" with the referees (twice), danced in a conga line with 81 teams, did the "Cha-Cha-Slide," and "Cotton-Eyed Joe." (We were all hoping to see Joe Fernando wow us with "The Robot," but he says that dance is just for PS 261.)

After the dance break the judges appeared and began the awards ceremony. The first award was for team spirit. They announced that team spirit award was for "teams that painted their faces," (we did), "had fun," (we did)… and so Nanorama crossed their fingers… "Handed out flyers." (uh oh, we didn't). This award went to a middle school on Staten Island with a HUGE team, and they deserved it – so we cheered them on! Then the "Team Work" awards were announced…

"The Teamwork Awards go to teams that best demonstrate extraordinary effort, enthusiasm, exceptional partnership, and practice of FIRST LEGO League values. Our first of three teamwork awards of the day goes to a team that meets this description by showing extraordinary teamwork throughout today's event, team 2625 NANORAMA!"

Nanorama screamed with surprise and ran down the stands and into the pits. Were ushered to the winner's circle by roaring cheers from the crowd and hand slaps from the team of judges. We were then presented with a trophy made out of LEGO (how cool) and took a team picture with the event organizers. The families, team members and coaches were thrilled to earn this award that recognizes our commitment to TEAMWORK.

Even without the award, team Nanorama had a fun and successful day. We would like to thank the families that joined us and gave their support, and Ms. Mills for coming and cheering us on throughout the entire 2nd half. Also thanks to all at PS 261 who came to cheer us on (and participate) at the Pep Rally – your support really helped!

Cipiran Alvarez and Courtney Payton – we missed you at the competition, but we hope you both had successful middle school interviews!

Please give your congratulations when you see the team members and coaches in the halls. And here's to a wonderful end to our 2nd successful (and fun) LEGO Robotics season!

Team Nanorama

Aedan Khang Miando
Anastasia Meredith-Goujon
Androcles Petridis
Andromache Petridis
Anya Oleck
Carlos Baez
Ciprian Alvarez
Cortney Payton
Damaras Obi
Darean Fortune-Lee
Jack Schwartz
Joe Fernando
Kani Biggs
Max Gertler
Maya Howard Watts
Maya Terhune
Mojique Tyler
Nicholas Moore
Osiris Murdough
Tasiya Rosborough
Tatiana Montes
Waleed Yahya


Allisyn Levy
Jennifer Lindauer-Thompson
Maureen Reilly


Team Parent
Marci Rosa and all the team parents :)

Thanks to PS261 PTA, Zip Mills, Lena Barbers, Chris Peyser, Danielle Taylor, The PS261 Cheerleaders, Michael Jasmin, The PS261 After School African Drumming Group, Karyn Fessler-West, and Donald Harnick

Photos by Gary He

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The First Edition of The 408 Reporter is in!

On Friday class 408 worked together to create our first (hopefully of many) class newsletters. Students worked in cooperative groups to develop a name, articles, comics, and brain teasers. Students also signed up to be reporters this coming week to develop content for the next edition of the "408 Reporter"

Download the first edition
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Some Great Websites to find information the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Login with the username: Bronx
and the password: Bronx
Click on the red “Social Studies” box. Click on the “Martin Luther King Jr.” box. Watch the movie and then take the quiz.

Click on “Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 15th”. Read about Martin Luther King.

3. Scholastic News
(If this link doesn’t work, do a google search for “Martin Luther King slideshow” and click on the Scholastic link). When you get there, click on “slide show”and look at the pictures. You can explore the other links on the main page, too.

4. Martin Luther King Jr. Comic Book

5. "I have a dream" Speech
Watch his famous speech

So what did you learn?

Comment on the blog and list three (3) things that Martin Luther King did to help end segregation and discrimination against African Americans.

What was Martin Luther King’s Dream?

If Martin Luther King were still alive today, what would you want to say to him? What do you think about what he did to help end segregation and discrimination? Do you have a dream for what you want your world to be like? What would you like to change about our world?

Write a letter to Martin Luther King, Jr. In your letter, please include

* One thing you are glad that he did. Look back at your research for help.

* What your dream is for the future. What kind of world do you want to live in? Do you think we should work to end homelessness? Is pollution a problem? Think about what YOUR dream is.

* You may include a drawing, poem, or photo that you think Martin Luther King would like.

* Anything else you think Martin Luther King would be interested to know.

You may write you letter on lined paper, construction paper, or nice notepaper, or post it on the blog.

Write a letter that you would actually be PROUD to show Martin Luther King.

Your letter is due Tuesday January 16th

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Phantom of the Opera Field Trip

We have been given the opportunity to attend this Broadway show on January 24th. The cost of tickets are $30 a piece…

We know this is a time of year when expenses may be tight for some. So please let us know of your interest in sending your child to see this show. (And if you are willing to chaperone – ALL attendees must pay the $30 ticket price). If we are going to take the kids, we need to secure our tickets ASAP.

Wednesday January 24, 2007
Matinee – 2:00 pm
(the run time of the show is 2:30 minutes - so we will be back at 261 at 5:00 – 5:15 pm)

***You must arrange for a late pick up of your child***

Majestic Theatre
245 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036

Travelling by:

Cost: $30.00

Students must bring a disposable bag lunch

Download permission slip

Sunday, January 07, 2007

ELA Test - This week!


Tuesday January 9 - Reading Section
Reading 5-6 passages
Answering 28 Multiple Choice Questions

Wednesday January 10 - Listening Section
Listening to a story read aloud
Writing: 2 short responses
1 essay (about a character’s change in the story)

Thursday January 11 - Writing Section
Reading 2 passages (1 fiction, 1 non-fiction)
Writing: 3 short responses
1 essay (comparing both passages)

Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep, eats a healthy breakfast and is ON TIME for school!

*Children who arrive LATE will not be allowed to take the test and will have to take a make-up test.

Testing Rules
(Please go over with your children)

* No talking during the instructions and during the test

* Questions can ONLY be asked when the teacher says, “Are there any questions?” and you CANNOT call out your questions (you must give a quite “thumbs up”)

* Teachers CANNOT help students during the test – students should work on doing their best INDEPENDENTLY

* Students are NOT ALLOWED to leave the testing room until the test is over (so NO bathroom trips)

* Students cannot talk to other students during the test

Testing Strategies

Download Testing Strategies

Highlights from our South Street Seaport Trip

Class 408 visited the Peking Ship in South Street Seaport in December. We were given a private tour of what life and work was like on board this "tall ship."

The Peking with all her sails unfurled

The Peking Ship sailed in the early 1900's - and was used as a cargo ship in the Nitrate trade (nitrate is a chemical that was used for fertilizer).

The four-masted Peking represents one of the last of the trading ships that are powered only by wind. The Peking was launched in Hamburg, Germany in 1911 and she was used to carry manufactured goods to South America and to return via Cape Horn with nitrate.

In 1932 (after 12 years of sailing), the Peking was retired and moored in England. There she was converted into a a boys' school under the name Arethusa. 4o years later in 1975, the Peking moved to New York City to be part of the South Street Seaport Museum.

The Peking has a steel hull as long as a football field, and masts as tall as an 18-story building, Peking is one of the largest sailing vessels ever built and the largest preserved by a museum.

Although the Peking is a modern ship as compared to what the early Explorers sailed to the Americas, we used the first-hand knowledge we gained on the Peking Ship to help up imagine what life must have been like on board sailing ships for the Explorers 400 years ago.

Captain Jen addressing Class 408's crew

The Peking crew

Class 408's crew

The Peking crew raising the sail

Class 408's crew rasising the sail

Peking Navigataor checking his Astrolabe

Class 408 entertaing NYC tourists

One of Peking's 4 masts and Yard Arms
(Imagine sitting way up on the Crow's nest!)

Aye Aye Captain!

Peking Ship Links

South Street Seaport Museum Website

Peking Ship on WikiPedia