English TenP Talks Highlight Student Passions!

On Wednesday, 6 June1 May, students in our English 10P Honors courses invited friends, family and special guests to the second annual “Ten P Talks.” Modeled after the well-known Ted Talks, these student presentations aimed to answer the question, “What Matters?” Students chose topics that reflected their passions and interests, aiming to educate and inform the audience in under ten minutes.

The topics and presenters were quite impressive! Congratulations to the students, and thank you to Vanessa Mahnkens and Stephen Collier, who organized and helped the students through their presentations!

My one regret was that the format of the evening prevented me from seeing more than nine presentations!

The students and topics presented include:

  • Rahul Ajmera: LMFAO: Why It’s imperative that we laugh
  • Alison Amarain: Punch Stress in the Face
  • Kaya Amin: The Simple Step to Dealing with Stress: Mastering your Mindset
  • Kavina Amin: Listening and Learning from the Other Side
  • Zach Azevado: How Bad Decisions Lead to the Greatest Life Lessons
  • Alyssa Belle: Are Doctors Killing Us?
  • Robert Boubour: Observe, Question, Analyze, Reflect: Getting More Out of Less
  • Patrick Brady: Lost in Translation
  • Maggie Caroddo: Surfing Your Stress Away
  • Eric Chu: The Influence of Cinema
  • Matthew Cornacchia: A Thermostat for the Earth
  • Aidan Cozzolino: The Beauty of Video Games
  • Peter Cuomo: Memes: Ubiquitous and Potent
  • Deana Druz: My Anxiety Gives me Anxiety
  • Kaitlyn Ducroiset: Unequal Education is Barbarous
  • Sofia Fuertes: The Inspiring Power of Dance
  • Derek Gilbert: What Diseases Can You Smell on your Breath?
  • Mariam Goher: Let me sleep just 5 more minutes
  • Katie Gold: How Physical Activity Affects Stress
  • Elizabeth Ho: Hey Moms! Don’t Ban Me from Fortnit
  • Alex Horowitz: The Power of Words
  • Eileen Huerta: Should the Private lives of Famous People be off limits
  • Hitangee Jain: The Misconceptions of the Vegetarian Diet
  • Ansh Jhaveri: Why I’m Brown
  • Megan Kaye: The Dangers of Initiation
  • Sanjana Khanna: What the US could learn about learning
  • Teddy Koutsoftas: Riddle Me This
  • Hema Kumar: Are You Self-Diagnosed with Mental Illness?
  • Rachel Lee: Let’s Celebrate Procrastination…Later
  • Eliana Li: Feigned Ignorance is Bliss
  • Karen Li: How Are You?  I’m Busy!
  • Ilana Nimkoff: Food Allergies:  The effect they can have on people
  • Natalia Potrapeluk: The Power of Color
  • Madison Ramos: Why You should and shouldn’t be a Hermione Granger
  • Orell Rayhan: Seeking Discomfort
  • Brenden Resnick: Human Transit: Change Your Perception of Public Transportation
  • Diya Shah: So, You Think You Can’t Dance
  • Kiran Shaikh: Small Hands, Big Responsibilities
  • Dean Sheinman: The Power of Superstitions
  • Rebecca Sparacio: Does Starbucks Make Star Students?  The Coffee Diploma
  • Amanda Ustick: Striding for Success
  • Ashley Vincenzo: I Swear I’m Normal:  Only Child Syndrome
  • Aidan Wong: Play With a Purpose
  • Trenton Wong: College Applications: Are they too competitive
  • Erin Wu: The Key to Happiness
  • Emily Yagoda: How to Change the World with a Single Dollar
  • Alia Yamin: Why We should turn back time
  • Aaron Zachariah: Internet of Things and Future of Technology
  • Becca Zeltsman: We are More than just a number
  • Allison Zheng: Art’s Life Lessons
  • Brenda Zhong: Post-Colonial Obsession: America’s Fascination with the British Royal Family
  • Sharon Zhong: Community of the Not-So-Future

Long Island Maritime Traditions Share Expertise with Wheatley!

As part of an ongoing partnership between the East Williston School District, Long Island Traditions and the Regional Studies Program, students in Dr. Staudt’s course were treated to a wonderful morning of hands-on learning on Friday, 13 April.

As part of this partnership program, students learn about the history of the maritime industry on Long Island, examining its transition from a subsistence occupation to one that once supplied over 75% of the nation’s shellfish.   They also learn how technological and fiscal challenges affect the industry.  Students learn from fishermen and baymen what kinds of ecological and economic changes have occurred and how government, scientists and fishermen have both collaborated and differed on seeking solutions for problems.   In addition, students learn about the designs of tools used by fishermen such as nets, decoys, traps, boats and other objects that incorporate traditional design elements. They learn about the traditional design principles embodied in these tools and how they have changed over time. This program is part of the College Regional Studies course developed and taught by Dr. John Staudt.

Students from Dr. Staudt’s classes were thoroughly engaged by the presentations and the opportunity to try the hands-on work of these maritime artists.

Wheatley Students Earn Accolades at NYSSEF!

On 19 March 2018, four Wheatley students earned accolades at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair (NYSSEF):

  • Emily Wang – 2nd Place in Environmental Engineering
  • Vani Kumar – 2nd Place in Biomedical and Health Sciences
  • Rebecca Sparacio – 3rd Place in Plant Sciences
  • Vedant Singh – Honorable Mention in Biomedical Engineering

Emily Wang also received two special awards from The American Meteorological Society and from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award.  These awards recognized Emily’s project for excellence in environmental sustainability.

[Thanks to Alexis Pace, Secondary Chair for Science, for the photo and the write-up!]

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Students Present AP Seminar Projects!

Wheatley’s AP Capstone Program is College Board program designed to help students learn the research, collaboration and communication skills necessary for success in college and beyond. You can learn more about this relatively new two-year program here: AP Capstone Program.

The first year of our AP Capstone Program consists of the AP Seminar course. Taught by Mrs. Alexis Blondrage Pace and Mr. Andrew Ardito, the AP Seminar course requires students to investigate topics from multiple perspectives, collaborate with classmates, synthesize new information and deliver presentations in multiple modalities.

The AP Seminar course is a wonderful, accessible course for our 10th-grade students.

On 30 January, students in this year’s AP Seminar course presented their group presentations each other and to the three evaluators: Mrs. Blondrage Pace, Mr. Ardito and Mrs. Roberts. As you can see from the listing below, the presentations included a wide-range of topics. The score students earned on this presentation factors into the overall AP score given at the end of the academic year.

  • Affirmative Action: Zach Azevedo, Jason Koty, Aidan Wong and Dean Sheinman
  • War on Drugs: Chloe Lanese, Fernando Macedo and Sanjana Khana
  • Chemical and Nuclear Weapons: Sahil Jain, Emily Yagoda and Aidan Cozzolino
  • Foster Care System: Ally Keller, Eliana Li, Erin Wu and Alia Yamin
  • The Role of Technology in the Classroom: Ilana Nimkoff, Emily Blumberg, Izzy Avila and Becca Zeltsman
  • Native American Rights: Rahul Ajmera, Brenden Resnick, Ashley Vincenzo and Brenda Zhong
  • Women’s Health Care: Rachel Lee, Allison Zheng and Alyssa Belle
  • Gun Control: Danyal Zulfiqar, Derek Gilbert and Ashis Kumar
  • Capital Punishment: Maggie Caroddo, Hailey Ramalhete and Diya Shah

 

SWS Module 2 Wraps Up!

Last week marked the end of the second quarter at Wheatley. For our School Within a School program (SWS), it marked the end of Module 2. I am particularly fond of Module 2, for it is during this time frame that I have been fortunate enough to offer a class for these past four years.

This year, my class was based on Sean Covey’s The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make. It was a remarkable treat to be able to teach a group of wonderful students over the marking period. With SWS classes meeting twice a week, students in the program have an opportunity to take a wide variety of courses each module. During Module 2, a sample of the courses offered included:

  • Beloved
  • The 6 Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make
  • The Ethicist
  • The Little Prince
  • Rhinoceros
  • Cooking with Life Skills
  • The Visible Man
  • Mindfulness
  • Podcasts
  • Inspired by Dreams
  • Trip Around the World
  • Cultural Criticism
  • Contemporary Dramas
  • Poetry as Protest
  • Memoirs
  • AP Language and Composition
  • Mock Trial

We used our 16 class periods during the module to discuss the various “decisions” outlined in the book. Students wrote reflections on what they read throughout the module. As a final project, each student presented a topic to their peers.

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Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Connects Classroom to Career! (Part 5)

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into how English can be used in future endeavors. On Wednesday, over the course of two hours, students worked with acclaimed authors, poets, comedians and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in a way that can be challenging during the regular school day.

The Midterm Experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Secondary English Chair, Mr. Steve Collier, our extraordinary librarian, Mrs. JoBeth Roberts, and our dedicated English teachers.

previous post and another post and another post and another post highlighted some of the workshops. Here are a few more of the wonderful workshops:

Children’s  Literature: Cute or Controversial?

by MaryBeth Collins-Cook (Wheatley English Teacher)

Have you ever been offended by a picture book? It sounds silly, doesn’t it?  However, in this workshop, students explored children’s books that have caused controversy for some parents, teachers, or librarians, including titles such as Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Pinkerton Behave!, Little Red Riding Hood, Goodnight, Moon, The Stupids Die, and Where’s Waldo?  After students examined some published books, they created a piece of writing suitable for sharing with children.


Think Like an Improviser

by Elana Fishbein (Teacher, playwright and performer, Magnet Theater)

Whether you’re an actor, writer, athlete, programmer, musician, or community leader, learning how to think like an improviser can be an invaluable asset. Skilled improvisers know how to think on their feet and tackle challenges with creative agility. In this fun and fast-paced workshop, games and exercises will focus on building an atmosphere of trust and support, collaborating as a team, getting outside your comfort zone, and embracing your authentic voice. Students learned how to turn “mistakes” into opportunities by utilizing the most important rule of improv, “Yes And!” Elana Fishbein has been improvising for nearly 20 years and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Theater from NYU. Her play, Sisters Three, devised entirely through improv, was a New York Times Critics Pick.


What Can We Learn from a Turtle?  Analyzing and Creating Children’s Literature

The best children’s stories help us understand how to accept each other’s differences and cope with difficult thoughts and emotions. Many books use animals to do this. In this workshop, students not only explored the effectiveness of this technique in various children’s books (like But Not the Hippopotamus, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and Olivia and the Fairy Princesses) but also created their own fiction featuring animals.

 

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience Connects Classroom to Career! (Part 4)

Wheatley’s Midterm Experience is designed to give our 9th and 10th grade students hands-on workshops to provide insight into how English can be used in future endeavors. On Wednesday, over the course of two hours, students worked with acclaimed authors, poets, comedians and creative artists in activities designed to engage students in a way that can be challenging during the regular school day.

The Midterm Experience occurs thanks to the dedication of our Secondary English Chair, Mr. Steve Collier, our extraordinary librarian, Mrs. JoBeth Roberts, and our dedicated English teachers.

previous post and another post and another post highlighted some of the workshops. Here are a few more of the wonderful workshops:

Sports Broadcasting

Michael Chisena (School of Communications, Hofstra)

Dan Savarino (Instructor, News12 Varsity PxP, Freelance PxP, former NY Islanders Reporter/Color analyst, Station Manager of WRHU-FM)

Julia Esposito (student with the program, currently a freshman at Hofstra pursuing the field; member of WRHU-FM, Hofstra Sports Beat)

We hear them during Sunday football, we watch them on ESPN, and we read their columns and Tweets to get the latest news. Sports journalism comes in a variety of different ways, but how do they know what to say? In this workshop, students learned the on-air side of the industry. Learning from current professionals who have covered athletics from the professional level to high school, students had a chance to learn hands-on on what it’s like to read from a teleprompter or interview someone on camera.

 


Write Your Own Graphic Memoir!

by Todd Henao, Wheatley English Teacher

Do you love comic books? Do you like talking about yourself? Is there a story you’ve been itching to tell? In this seminar, students looked at examples from writers and artists of comic-book based, personal stories. They then deconstructed these comics to learn and analyze all of the things that go into creating an original comic. Finally, students adapted their own personal stories into an original graphic memoir! Can’t draw? No problem! Good storytelling can still happen even if you don’t have artistic skill.


 

Engage, Organize, and Act! Political Activism for Young Citizens

by Jen Fatone, Wheatley English Teacher

Political activism has been surging in recent years. Engaged citizens from all across the political spectrum are writing letters, making phone calls, signing petitions, marching in the streets…. But to whom are they writing? And how do they make sure that their message is heard? Whom do they call, and what do they say? Do petitions really make a difference? What is the purpose of a march or rally, and what do I do once I join one?

Participants explored these questions as they learn how to effectively take action to promote causes that are important to them. A healthy democracy demands that no matter what our political leanings, we are all active and engaged citizens. Whether you lean Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Progressive, somewhere in the middle, or none of the above, this workshop permitted students to decide what issue you feel passionate about and inspired students to take action. As a culminating activity, students will write a letter and/or compose an email to a local, state, and/or federal representative.