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The PACE students voted last year, and....

the FOCUS TOPIC for 2017-2018 is OCEANS. 


SAVE THIS FESTIVAL DATE:  Thursday, February 1st




We can't wait to DIVE IN to this year's EXPLORATIONS! 





As in past years, we will use our 7 C's to support a growth mindset:





Critical Thinking





  A  P  R  I   L   2018 


Happy April!  I hope you had a nice spring break.


Here's what's going on in the PACE room:






- These students are studying insects, their parts, colors, & diversity


- Build-a-bug:  students are selecting their own insect to build with 3 body parts, 6 legs, antennae, compound eyes, etc.  Some have selected butterflies, others ants or bees, and most are building very interesting beetles.


- First graders will take their studies a step farther with journal diagrams and comments.




Did you know...


If you lined-up all of the animals on the earth, beetles would make up almost 1/3 of all those species?  Beetles are 30% of all animals. Fascinating!






- Students are exploring electronic circuits and energy transfer with Junior Snap Circuits and Little Bits.  These are highly praised educational, building kits that have endless possibilities, and the students are having a blast taking on the challenge.


- Third graders are building an alarm and a sound-triggered project.


- Soon we will move on to coding.




Fun Fact


The founder and CEO of littlebits is Ayah Bdeir, a 35 y/o entrepeneur, inventor, and interactive artist from Canada. She earned her MS at MIT and is now known internationally for her work with the Maker and Internet of Things Movements.  She is a stong, female, role-model and clearly demonstrates how science, technology, engineering, ART, and mathematics are interconnected in our work and play!






-Various projects demanding engineering and technology are the focus right now.


- Students are modifying their ROVs for speed and agility through a pool obstacle course which they designed.  Keys:  balance and buoyancy!   


-Students are learning about & trying out different types of note-taking and journaling, which is part of our goals for this year. 


- Next: Coding and programming using Dash/Dot, and Arduino 


ve is an important part of the learning process.  Younger students talk about what they liked and what they would change.  Older students hold discussions and give feedback to each other and me.  Students in grades 2-6 have given oral presentations about their ocean projects to peers.  Student-created scoring rubrics are filled-out by classmates (4th-6th grades), providing comments, "Stars" and "Wishes."  Self-reflections written in personal journals help solidify thoughts and ideas for next time.




This month:


KINDERGARTEN students continue to have enrichment classes twice a week.  They are exploring characteristics and grouping, with a focus on vertebrate (backboned) animal groups.  Identifying animal coverings (fur, feather, scales...) and sorting animals into mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians based on their characteristics.




FIRST GRADE - Testing for PACE PALS has been completed (prior to this, I was meeting with some first graders for enrichment, based on teacher nomination only).  The eligibility process includes multiple measures which are scored on a matrix.  These are: parent input, teacher input, MAP testing, SAGES-2 (3-part test with: Science/Math, Social Studies/Language Arts, and Reasoning), report card grades, and writing sample.   Students who have been identified as eligible, will continue with PACE activities.  Next up: Birds and coding!




SECOND & THIRD GRADE PACE PALS - These students are investigating energy changes and electronics with the use of Junior Snap Circuits.  Pairs of students are strengthening their skills in following directions and collaborating, while learning about batteries, open and closed circuits, short circuits, and changing energy (ex. electrical to mechanical; electrical to light; electrical to sound...).  Third graders also explored belt-operated, simple machines with the award-winning, interactive story/engineering toy, "Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machines."  The students give both of these educational toys a big "Thumbs Up."  




FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH GRADE GATEWAY - Students are finishing-up their individual, oral project presentations. This includes peer & teacher feedback via scoring rubrics and discussion.  As noted above, reflective journaling is also part of each student's responsibilities.


Tech Tuesdays - On Tuesdays, the students may choose to work independently or in small groups to explore electronics and/or robotics.  Currently, that includes: Jr. Snap Circuits, Little Bits, Arduino coding, Lego coding, and Dash coding. 


Movie Mondays - Soon, we will engage in several "Movie Mondays" to view educational videos that relate to student skill sets, ocean updates, electronics and SEL areas (Social Emotional Learning).


ROV Pool Thursdays - After students finish their oral presentations (just a few more to go), they will have the opportunity to participate in more ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) fun!  An obstacle course with timed participation should be a great team challenge.  HELP WANTED:   Any electrical "engineers" out there?  Several of our ROV motors have water intrusion and/or motor sluggishness.  We need help problem-solving and (most likely) some help switching-out motors, including some re-soldering.  This could be done at home OR, if you are available between 9:35-10:15 am, you could work with some of these wonderful students to demonstrate how to trouble-shoot and rehab the motors. (Contact info. below)




Parents, why don't you come visit us?  No need to wait for a special event. Just email or call - we'd love to share what we are "up to!"


609-884-8485 ext. 248           




   F    E  B   R   U  A  R    Y   


CONGRATULATIONS to students for a fabulous Ocean Festival!


The projects and art work were outstanding.




A BIG shout-out and THANK YOU to the many supportive groups that helped make this event SHINE




Hannah Toft and her students at Cape May County Tech


Mrs. Brost and Honor Society students from Cape May Regional H.S.


TLC (Technology Learning Center) located at CM County Library


Cape May Environmental Commission


Nature Center of Cape MAY


Wetlands Instritute


Littoral Society


Surfrider Foundation




Continuing gratitude to our school staff and parents who provide precious guidance and support!




  J      N  U  A  R  Y  


Happy New Year!








- a S.T.E.A.M exploration


Thursday, February 1, 2018






Cape May City Elementary 


auditorium & cafeteria






  D   C  E   B  E  R   




We've been busy with experiments, projects, and visitors!


Kindergartners and First graders have been exploring various properties.  During the past few weeks they have conducted tests and sorting activities as they focused on the concept of transparency.  The students used flashlights and many objects as they discovered objects that ...


  • let all light shine through ----- vocabulary word:  transparent
  • let some light shine through ----- vocabulary word:  translucent
  • let no light shine through  ----- vocabulary word:   opaque




Second and Third graders --  How is water sticky?


These students have been exploring important properties of water.  They have discovered the surface tension created because of the cohesive property of water.  After experimenting with cohesion, they watched those hydrogen bonds suddenly break when the tiniest amount of soap was introduced.  Water's adhesion to paper towels and the side of a test tube were additional observations.




Fourth-Fifth and Sixth graders --  ROV teams have been on the pool deck working on their first mission: Gather crabs for biological studies.   It is wonderful to watch students, under the direction of 6th grade captains, collaborate and problem solve to complete this mission.  Each team has had several iterations as they find what modifications (to their ROV's) work the best. They will continue to be "on deck" Tuesdays & Thursdays when a lifeguard is available.    In the meantime, each student is processing his/her ideas to begin an independent project for the upcoming festival.






5:00 - 7:30 PM




SOS  - Student Ocean Showcase  & Save Our Seas 




Happy Holidays to you and yours! 




 N  O  V  E   B  E  R 


November always flies by with many half days and days off.  The students and I lament this & wish we didn't have to miss PACE classes! 


However, November also brings Parent/Teacher Conferences, and I look forward to meeting many of you on Nov. 15th, 16th, or 17th.




Kindergarten and First grade - small group explorations


Properties - exploring with magnets and water




Second & Third grades - PACE PALS


Explorations about buoyancy.  Data collection.




Fourth, Fifth, Sixth grades - GATEWAY


Responses to ROV missions.  What modifications will be made to the submersibles?


Students form teams - name, collaborate on modifications needed.




Focus Math - 5th & 6th


Challenge problems and multiple-step word problems




 O  C   T  O  B  E  R 


  Evaluations have been completed for all nominated students and all classes are now meeting.




   K & 1: Small group explorations -  properties of matter


colors, sizes, weights, shapes, textures, density compared to water (sink/float)...




2nd & 3rd graders:  PACE PALS - Students brainstormed the topic of OCEANS and catagorized their ideas.  They are exploring the concept of a world ocean and buoyancy.  Ask them about the real story of "Ten Yellow Rubber Ducks."  What did this accident reveal?




4th-5th-6th graders:  GATEWAY - These students have been busy with the following:


Ocean areas of interest


Global ocean concept map  - What are 5 reasons that oceans are critical to life on Earth?


Submersibles - Can you name at least 3 types of submersibles?


Buoyancy experiments - What are the 3 types of buoyancy? 


 Name at least two factors that effect buoyancy?




Focus Mathematics: Classes start for identified 5th & 6th graders October 16th.