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Building Teamwork Building Teamwork:   The students at Walberta Park take part in the Positivity Project movement. Each week, the students learn about different character strengths to help them build positive relationships. The students in Ms. Balla’s first grade class were working on teamwork, and students had to work together to create a letter from the alphabet. Can you guess what letter these students made?
Cultural Comparisons Cultural Comparisons:   Third graders recently worked on an inquiry-based social studies unit that allowed them to compare and contrast the culture in the United States to the culture of a country of their choice. Students were immersed in online research via Chromebooks as well as researching cultural elements through text. They enjoyed learning about “what makes culture” through reading about what children from other countries enjoy and take part in (sports, foods, languages and daily life). Students worked in partnerships or small groups to research and then complete an essay independently highlighting what they learned through their research. Pictured here are students hard at work from Mrs. Jackson’s class.
6th Grade Science in Action 6th Grade Science in Action:   The 6th grade is learning about Energy, Forces and Motion using the new Smithsonian Units, an inquiry-based science curriculum. Within the investigation, students are gently pushing a tennis ball and timing how long it takes for the ball to pass certain distances. By doing that, students are learning about gravity, friction, acceleration and speed through hands-on activities. Students are really enjoying learning these concepts firsthand! 
Classrooms for Innovative Learning Classrooms for Innovative Learning:   Teachers are taking full advantage of the new learning spaces in the third floor classrooms. Designed to foster a greater level of student engagement, teachers are providing students with the opportunity to work collaboratively, solve open-ended questions and share their results. Lots of white board space, moveable tables and chairs and multi-media display options have allowed students to be more engaged in their learning. Pictured are students in Ms. Berger’s OCC Stats and Pre-calculus working together to solve problems
Giving Back to Our Community Giving Back to Our Community:   This year, three groups of students volunteered at the Rescue Mission serving dinner. The Rescue Mission serves approximately 700 people on a daily basis. They offer many services for Syracuse’s homeless and families in need of help. In support of Rachael’s Challenge, Character Ed and CARE, students have been offered many volunteering opportunities this year with the Refuge Center and at the Rescue Mission. We live in a community that has many needs and organizations have many opportunities for students and their families to help.  Our students really love helping and leave feeling thankful and appreciative for what they have and excited with the chance to help others and give back.  Your family can get involved by contacting the Rescue Mission or another ...
American Heart Association Fundraiser American Heart Association Fundraiser:   On June 6 and 7, 2018, OHMS students participated in a fundraiser for the American Heart Association, and collected $2,393 in donations. The top fundraiser was Brynn Schneider, a 6th grader from Mrs. Stanton’s room, who collected $590! The theme for this year’s fundraiser was The Great Replay, highlighting games we played as kids.  Due to the weather, our original plan of playing Capture the Flag was scrapped for an indoor competition of Blue versus Red in three events; Bobsled Relay, Individual Scooter Medley Relay and Long Rope.  At the end of two days of tight competition, the final result ended in a tie. Thanks to all those who competed with your heart healthy spirit!
CRS Award Winners CRS Award Winners:   Each year two awards are given to four CRS fourth graders (one boy and one girl for each award) in honor of two past CRS principals.  Staff members nominate and vote for the students most deserving of these awards.  The Marion Parsons award is given to students who exemplify high standards of character, good citizenship, personal development, and scholastic achievement.  This award has been given since 1952; this year’s recipients were Ben Czaplicki and Molly Ryan.  The Ron Hill School Spirit Award was established in 1994 for students who best demonstrate patience, congeniality, sensitivity, perseverance, and a keen sense of humor.  Our 2018 winners are Eric Holstein and Auora Shewchuk.  Congratulations to these deserving students!  ...
WPS Drawing Contest Winners WPS Drawing Contest Winners:   Each year, OCM BOCES School Library Systems hosts a drawing contest for students in local school districts. Winners of the contest will have their drawing on display during an administrator awards banquet, and a few entries will be chosen to be part of the School Library Systems calendar. This year, four talented WPS artists received recognition. Annie Horning’s and Aurora Savelesky’s pictures were on display during the award banquet and Juliana Francisco’s and Tyler Light’s pictures are part of the 2018-19 School Library Systems calendar.  
Author Andrea Davis Pinkney Visits Walberta Park School Author Andrea Davis Pinkney Visits Walberta Park School:   Walberta Park School hosted award winning author, Andrea Davis Pinkney, for an engaging presentation about her books and the work of being an author. Mrs. Pinkney has written biographies for children about many significant African-American men and women. Students prepared for the visit by reading many of Mrs. Pinkney’s books. Librarian, Mrs. Linton, and music teacher, Mrs. Lutters, collaborated to introduce students to several important people from African-American history highlighted in Mrs. Pinkney’s books including Benjamin Baneker, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Ezra Jack Keats. Mrs. Lutters introduced students to jazz music and many students heard the music of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald ...
Eating Right! Eating Right!:   Fourth graders in Mrs. Lipke’s and Ms. Appel's classes engaged in a Project-Based Learning Unit on good nutrition. The unit began with keeping a food intake journal, which were then reviewed by Jenelle Donahoe, a Children's Dietician from St. Joseph's Hospital. After reading the journals and noting trends, she came up with a presentation to teach the children about good food choices. They learned what food does for your body and were surprised to learn that 58% of Americans skip the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Students got to see how much sugar is in some of their favorite drinks, were introduced to the food plate that helps balance foods from different groups and also discussed portion size. Perhaps the best part ...
OHMS Maker Club Showcase OHMS Maker Club Showcase:   Have you heard of the Maker Club at OHMS? The Maker Club is a student driven learning environment where students engage in inquiry-based learning that focuses on collaboration, risk-taking and critical thinking through a variety of STEAM related activities. This club is led through an innovative partnership between Onondaga Hill Middle School Librarian Penny Feeney and Onondaga Free Library Assistant Director Alyssa Newton. On May 7, the students had a Maker Club Showcase at the Onondaga Free Library where some of the students that participated in Maker Club this year demonstrated what they had learned over the past year and they let participants try their hand at making. It was an incredibly fun evening of learning! Check out this awesome event at https://goo.gl/9R7R8T ...
Honors Biology Students Prepare a Community Garden for Local Refugees Honors Biology Students Prepare a Community Garden for Local Refugees:   As part of a PBL experience, honors biology students were tasked with helping local refugees create a community garden. Students were asked to focus their attention on a specific garden pest (slugs, cats, cucumber beetles, etc.) and create a humane and environmentally safe way to keep these pests at bay. Students researched their pests, contacted local agencies for donations and then helped with the overall construction and deployment of these pest controlling methods.   As part of partnership between Rise (Empowerment) Refugee Resettlement and Cornell Cooperative Extension, refugees will learn how to properly garden, utilize the foods grown and sell them at local markets. For a small group of gardening enthusiasts, small plots of land will be provided (in the ...
Kindergarten Classes Learn About the Weather Kindergarten Classes Learn About the Weather:   Kindergartners have been learning about weather using science kits from the Smithsonian Institute. They have learned to measure temperature, rain and wind. The hands on activities have given the students a great opportunity to learn. Outside, they observed how their water paintings disappeared over time. Science journals are used to record their observations and scientific findings. Mrs. Merritt’s class also got a chance to see how news meteorologists use green screen technology to give their weather reports!
Games of Motion Games of Motion:   Third grade students had a blast learning about motion and how it applies to games. The students applied their knowledge of motion while playing the marble game of Ringer. They also used the character strength of creativity to design a model to demonstrate the language of motion, such as mechanical energy, force, inertia, and transfer of energy.
P.S. I Love You Day P.S. I Love You Day:   By Lily Young and Caitlyn Knohl, 6th Grade For the past three years, P.S. I Love You Day has been celebrated at OHMS and it is an interesting story of how it came to be. This day was created by Brooke DiPalma, who unexpectedly lost her father when she was in 8th grade. Taking the last three words her father said to her “I Love You”, she started a nonprofit organization and created an annual event to raise awareness about mental illness and the power of kindness. Introduced by Ms. Tooley, and now led by Mrs. Prince’s and Ms. Castracane’s ELA classes, students are taking initiatives through a PBL experience to end bullying, spread acceptance and improve our school community. This year on February 2, Brooke DiPalma came ...
Learning About Differences Learning About Differences:   Students in Mrs. Byrne's class studied Martin Luther King, Jr. They learned that even though we may be different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside. 
Erosion Projects Erosion Projects:   This year, for the first time, the whole second grade is being exposed to a new science unit all about erosion. The unit comes from the Smithsonian and is very hands on for all students. Our second graders became engineers faced with solving real life problems. The students learned the effects water and wind have on our earth. The first few days of the unit focused on finding the best models to use for our in school erosion projects. We then tested our models to find out which worked the best under the real life conditions. In teams of 3, our scientists had to choose their top 2 materials and build a design to stop the sand from eroding. We had a variety of designs and the students were able to test each. We then added a castle on their hill and tried to stop the erosion ...
Scholastic Art Award Winners Scholastic Art Award Winners:   Congratulations to OHMS artists who had their artwork selected to be in this year’s Scholastic Art Awards. Gracelyn O'Connell was awarded a silver key for her owl sculpture, Abby Miggiani received an honorable mention for her batik and Kate Heinrich also received an honorable mention for her ceramic piece. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the largest annual art competition in America, and the participating Central New York awards program has been honoring the creative work of junior/senior high school students for over 70 years. The program encompasses 13 Central New York regions, representing over 90 area schools. An exhibit of winning works is open through March 2, 2018 at OCC's Whitney Applied Technology Center.
WHS Academic Decathlon WHS Academic Decathlon:   On January 20, 2018, Westhill High School hosted the United States Academic Decathlon regional competition with four teams in attendance. All four teams, Westhill, Tully, West Genesee and Cazenovia, took a series of seven tests in seven different subject areas: math, science, literature, music, art, economics and social science, along with SuperQuiz, very similar to Final Jeopardy but in many rounds. This year's overall theme for the Decathlon was Africa, and the novel every student had to read was Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Westhill had several team members win individual awards. Medalists include: John Clancy (12) with a gold medal in social science and literature; Victoria Smolen (10) with a gold medal in literature, art and science along with a silver ...
WPS Teamwork WPS Teamwork:   Mrs. McShane’s kindergarten class had fun with a hoola hoop activity that incorporated the Positivity Project trait of teamwork. Students passed the hoola hoop around a circle while holding hands. They worked together and said encouraging words along the way!



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