Mr. Hertz has been testing a new product in his PE classes recently. The product is called Heart Zone systems and it tracks students heart rates and displays them on the gym Smartboard. This allows students to monitor how hard they are working in their PE class. 'Whether you are teaching Kindergarten or 8th grade, the Heart Zones System transforms the way that you teach Physical Education. For the teacher, the Heart Zones System is the tool for motivation, engagement and assessment using wearable technology that empowers students to pursue a safe and healthy active lifestyles.' Here are some of the key benefits regardless of grade-level:
Easy to use with only 3 taps on your mobile device to start the program and only one button to push for your students and their individualized zones.
Objective assessment for each student based on student’s effort not their behavior
Seamlessly communicates student’s results to parents and guardian
Students tested out the new equipment and got in some needed practice for the upcoming tournament by playing Ramp Shot.
Ramp Shot Tournament 2018
Ronkonkoma MIddle School will once again be holding its annual Ramp Shot Tournament for all 7th and 8th grade students! Listen carefully to announcements for more information.
So how do you play?
Here's the quick overview: Teammates stand on opposite sides of the playing area and work together to score points by tossing and/or catching the balls. 3 points for a shot directly in the net. 1 point if your teammate catches the ball on a fly after bouncing off the top of the ramp. If the shooter's toss comes up short and hits the front of the ramp, the ball will bounce back in the shooter's direction. The opposing team member can now come in and catch the ball to gain an extra shot for their team. The first team to 15 wins! Three out of four players are involved in every play keeping everyone on their toes and ready to make the big play. The grooves on the ramp make for unpredictable bounces and highlight reel catches.
CO2 Powered Cars
Mr. Giagios and his 8th grade Tech students have been busy constructing CO2 powered cars made out of wood in class. Students initially cut out a rough shape of their car, and after days of sanding the cars began to take a more final shape. After adding plastic wheels with metal axles, the students were able to decorate their cars. There are many factors that determine how fast the car will go, including:
Mass: Obviously, this is how large and heavy the car is. Simply put, the less weight your dragster has, the faster it will go. This is the most important factor that will figure into your design. Keep it light!
Thrust: The gas escaping from the CO2 cartridge in the car. We'll cover this in a bit.
Friction: The second most important fact you'll face. Because the dragster has parts moving against one another, friction is created. You can help reduce it by making sure the axles are free to rotate, and that the wheels and tires are not rubbing on the car body.
Drag: Here's where aerodynamics come into play. As an object moves through the air, it is met with air resistance as speeds increase. This air resistance pushes against your CO2 car and prevents it from going as fast as it could in a vacuum. You can't completely ever reduce drag, but you can help reduce it by building a more aerodynamic car, but those are more difficult to create. (Howstuffworks)
In order to test the speed of the cars students all helped Mr. Giagios set up in the hallways. The cars were attached to a clear fishing line through eyehooks, after placing a CO2 cartridge into the rear of the car, Mr. Giagios punctured the CO2 propelling the cars forward along the guide string. A student recorded times with a real radar gun. Some cars reached speeds in excess of 50mph!
Lewis and Clark Journals
During the week of April 23rd, students in Mr. Rice's 7th grade Social Studies classes worked on a Lewis and Clark Journal project. "From 1803—1806, in an exciting journey to the Pacific Ocean and back, Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery mapped the lands, described the natural wonders, and encountered the people of western North America. But, as Walter Kim wrote in Time, "If not for the journals the captains scratched out while crouching on hillsides and squatting on riverbanks, we might not remember Lewis and Clark at all."
After learning about the history of Lewis and Clark, students took a walk outside around the perimeter of RMS along the woods line looking for things in nature. Students needed to observe 2 different trees, a bird, an animal, two different flowers or grasses, and two different insects. Students needed to describe each discovery in two sentences. Afterwards, students created their own version of William Clarks Journal and included their descriptions with sketches of each. The students did a great job with many different and creative journals.
7th Grade ELA "The Giver"
Students in Mrs. Pluth and Mrs. Edmonds classes recently worked on a one-pager assignment for the book "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. One of the most important themes in the book is the Importance of memory to human life. Lowry was inspired to write The Giver after a visit to her aging father, who had lost most of his long-term memory. ... To do so, they had to give up the memories of their society's collective experiences.
Students worked on a one page response to the novel that had the following requirements:
Title and Author of the novel
Two or three excerpts that are meaningful to you
Different and unexpected materials (colored pens, magazine clippings, craft paper)
Images that represent the plot, symbolism, and themes
Statement of a possible theme in a complete sentence
One question with a thoughtful response
Adjectives that describe the mood of the novel
The assignment allowed students to be creative and experimental and had to contain words and images. Great job 7th grade ELA!
Connetquot Showcase of The Arts
On Friday, April 13th, Ronkonkoma Middle School was part of the annual district wide Showcase of the Arts. This event is a chance every year for students of the arts to show off their talents in Music and Art. Students from RMS music Department enertained guests during the showcase. The RMS Art Department displayed students artwork in teachers Ms. Unser and Mrs. Tomassone's 6th and 8th grade classes. There was a wide variety of projects in different medias that students have been working on throughout the year. Experts agree that student exposure and participation in Fine Arts helps them to succeed in other areas of academics as well. "Sufficient data exists to overwhelmingly support the belief that study and participation in the fine arts is a key component in improving learning throughout all academic areas. Evidence of its effectiveness in reducing student dropout, raising student attendance, developing better team players, fostering a love for learning, improving greater student dignity, enhancing student creativity, and producing a more prepared citizen for the workplace for tomorrow can be found documented in studies held in many varied settings, from school campuses, to corporate America." It is clear by the turnout of this event how much the Connetquot Community values the Fine Arts. Great job done by all faculty and staff, as well as students and community members.
DEC Officers on Career Day
On Friday, March 23rd, Environmental Conservation Officers Nicholas and Carpenter visited Mr. Giagios Tech Ed classes as part of a career day program through Guidance. DEC Officers are tasked with the job of protecting the wildlife and waters of NYS. They are sworn law enforcement officers that attend a 27 week Training Academy in Pulaski, NY. Officers conduct undercover probes into illegal wildlife trafficking, and pursue the most serious environmental quality crimes. With the k-9 Unit officers and their dogs can identify concealed weapons and illegally taken wildlife and track lost, wanted or missing persons. The dogs search vehicles and crime scenes to recover evidence. "Mission: "To conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being. DEC's goal is to achieve this mission through the simultaneous pursuit of environmental quality, public health, economic prosperity and social well-being, including environmental justice and the empowerment of individuals to participate in environmental decisions that affect their lives."
RMS DASA Week 2018
Ronkonkoma Middle School recently held its annual DASA week from Monday February 12th- Friday February 17th. The Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act also known as DASA) was signed into law on September 13, 2010. The legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2, Dignity for All Students, and revising Section 801-a regarding instruction in civility, citizenship, character education, tolerance, respect for others, and dignity. It combats bias-based bullying, harassment, and discrimination in public schools, and includes awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people including individuals of different races, weights, national origins, ethnicity, religions or religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions. The week was full of events, including "Positive Affirmation day" on Tuesday in which students were able to write something positive about themselves on a large banner outside the cafeteria. Wednesday was "You Have a Heart for Dignity day", and staff was encouraged to identify students whom they have seen act kind-hearted toward their peers. Staff acknowledged those students by writing the student's name on a heart which was hung on the hallway wall. Thursday was not only crazy sock day, but students also attended an assembly By Lorraine Peragallo on Coping Skills and Resources. The week ended on Friday when students and staff were encouraged to wear their favorite team shirt or jersey.
Mr. Giagios and 7th Period Tech Class
Mr. Giagios and his 7th period Technology class have been hard at work on an interesting project of creativity and reusing materials. Since the class is on the small side, each student was able to build a full size Adirondack Chair made out of old shipping pallets. Students removed the wood slats from the old pallets and after much cutting, shaping, and sanding they assembled the pieces into a great looking chair. The reusing of shipping pallets can be seen in many creative DIY projects these days, from wood signs to spice racks. Reuse is different from recycling, although people often confuse the two. Recycling, while a good practice, uses a lot of energy and requires an industrial change to a product. This usually results in a new product of lesser quality. Reusing a product, however, does not require major manufacturing manipulation. A reused object is simply put back to work, whether for its original purpose or not. Students were able to take each of their chairs home where they could stain or paint them if they wished.
MST Classes Cardboard Boats
Mr. Carbonaro and Mrs. Campanelli have been working hard with their MST classes for the past weeks. Students are making boats out of only cardboard and duct tape. The boats are large enough to fit two people, and the goal is to make them waterproof with only those limited supplies. Students are choosing a variety of shapes and sizes for the boats. The lesson involves the science behind water displacement and buoyancy. Displacement occurs when an object is immersed in a fluid, pushing it out of the way and taking its place. The volume of the fluid displaced can then be measured, and from this the volume of the immersed object can be deduced (the volume of the immersed object will be exactly equal to the volume of the displaced fluid). An object that sinks displaces an amount of fluid equal to the object's volume. Thus buoyancy is expressed through Archimedes' principle, which states that the weight of the object is reduced by its volume multiplied by the density of the fluid. If the weight of the object is less than this displaced quantity, the object floats; if more, it sinks. The amount of fluid displaced is directly related (via Archimedes' Principle) to its volume. In the case of an object that sinks (is totally submerged), the volume of the object is displaced. In the case of an object that floats, the amount of fluid displaced will be equal in weight to the displacing object. On January 25th, students will test their boats at the Connetquot High School swimming pool. Best of luck to everyone, and we hope you stay dry!
Mrs. Weil Cycle for Survival
Ronkonkoma Middle School ELA teacher Mrs. Weil will be participating in her second annual Cycle for Survival, a stationary bike ride, held at Equinox gyms across the country, to raise money for researching rare cancers on March 2nd of next year.
We are raising money for Cycle for Survival, the movement to beat rare cancers.Rare cancer research is underfunded, but we can change that. While we can’t all be doctors or researchers, we can raise the money that makes their lifesaving work possible. Cycle for Survival supporters have funded over one hundred clinical trials and studies, leading to new discoveries that are helping patients today. But there is still more work to be done. 100% of every dollar you give funds pioneering research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center within six months of the events. About 50% of all people diagnosed with cancer are battling a rare cancer. Too many people are touched by this disease, and yet many with rare cancers don’t have a proven, if any, treatment plan—that’s unacceptable.
Mr. Giagios and his 8th grade classes have been working on Co2 powered wooden cars, and they recently tested them for the fastest speed. Students start with a block of wood and come up with their own aerodynamic design. After much cutting and sanding the cars are ready for the axles and wheels. Last comes the hole drilled in the rear of the car to insert the Co2 cartridge. The cartridges are filled with Carbon Dioxide, and when pierced, they expel the gas which in turn propels the cars forward. Mr. Giagios has a job for each student while testing to assure safety and accuracy of speed. One student uses a radar gun to clock the fastest speed, which was 57 mph!
RMS Veterans Day Ceremony
On Thursday, November9th, Ronkonkoma Middle School proudly hosted its annual Veterans Day Ceremony in the school cafeteria. The morning started with a breakfast to honor all the Veterans who attended. This years turnout was excellent, with Veterans from all military branches present. Many students had family members attend the ceremony. The RMS Jazz Band played each branches song. After the ceremony, some classes were lucky enough to have a Veteran speak to them about their experiences. Mr. Rices and Ms. Adkins 3rd period Social Studies class welcomed Veteran Mr. Foley who spoke about his time in the US Air Force. He spoke about military life and the interesting job he performed, as well as the places he traveled to while enlisted. Thank you to all past and present Military members.
Photo Credit - Joseph Maniaci
On Friday, October 27th, 8th grade students at RMS attended an assembly by Paul Failla on "Diversity/Tolerance/Substance Abuse". Paul has been part of RMS United We Stand Week since its beginning. Paul D. Failla, a retired twenty-seven year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department, New York, has developed a unique array of programs relating to Character Education, Violence Reduction, Tolerance, Human Diversity and Driver’s Safety Awareness. Paul is also a seasoned actor having performed in over forty- five regional theater productions, three feature films and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Theater has played a large part in the motivation of Paul’s programs, whereas he believes that entertainment is a powerful avenue in which to relay information. Paul’s background includes, but is not limited to, teaching, performing and educational consulting. Mr. Failla's presentation includes topics such as avoiding destructive decisions, conflict management, personal responsibility, tolerance, shared values, interpersonal relationship skills, and ethical conduct for the betterment of each student, our schools and our society.
On Thursday, October 26th, 7th grade students at RMS listened to a presentation by Kym Laube on reducing high-risk behaviors among our youth while fostering positive attitudes to improve all areas of life. Mrs. Laube spoke about some of the dangerous behaviors that some youths engage in and how to avoid them and make better choices.
Mrs. Laube brings over 25 years of experience as the Executive Director of Human Understanding Growth Services Inc. (HUGS). HUGS Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been serving the youth and communities of Suffolk County for over 30 years. HUGS programs provide individuals, families, schools and communities with prevention education strategies aimed at reducing high-risk behaviors among youth while fostering positive attitudes to improve all areas of life. Kym Laube’s mission has been to educate, inspire and empower youth and their families to make healthy choices, improve relationships, and to change their communities.
The RMS PTA is collecting new and gently used books (baby through adult level), as well as CDs and DVDs to be distributed to high poverty schools and organizations across metropolitan New York. The Book Fairies was founded by Amy Zaslansky, a busy mom who wanted to share her love of books, as well as her over-flowing home library, with less fortunate children. She discovered that it was difficult to place her used books with the children who would most benefit from them. Fueled by her desire to make a difference in her community, she created The Book Fairies, a Long Island based non-profit organization, that accepts donations of new and gently used books, and connects them with libraries, schools and organizations throughout metropolitan New York that do not have the funds to foster the love of reading for their children.
Dr. Saladino "The Shield"
On Monday, October 23rd, all 6th grade students of Ronkonkoma Middle School attended a presentation by our very own Dr. Saladino. The presentation is titled "The Shield", and it recounts Dr. Saladinos struggles growing up in an abusive home environment.
Dr. Saladino is a music teacher at RMS, and since students already know him, his message of respect and compassion towards others was really taken to heart by the 6th grade class. The concept that "Knowledge Is Power" is an overall theme during the assembly, with Dr. Saladino stressing that everyone has the ability to make a positive change on themselves and others.
On Friday, October 20th, students at RMS took part in a presentation about bullying and suicide prevention. John Halligan has presented to more than 1800 schools and well over 1 Million students reached throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Columbia, with his presentation about the suicide death of his son Ryan.
John and Kelly Halligan lost their thirteen-year-old son, Ryan, to suicide on October 7, 2003. At the time of his death, Ryan was a student at a middle school in Essex Junction, Vermont. It was revealed in much greater detail after Ryan’s death that he was ridiculed and humiliated by peers at school and on-line. "My son’s life story has an effect on students like no other presentation. It is a true story that inspires them to make positive changes in their lives towards reducing bullying, cyber bullying and preventing teen suicides. Students are reached in a deep and profound way to examine their lives and how they treat others. Bystanders are inspired to stand no longer by and let others get bullied at school or online. There is a very powerful lesson about forgiveness imparted too. They will leave this presentation feeling loved, hopeful and changed."
Ronkonkoma Middle school is hosting its annual "United We Stand for a Drug and Bully Free Community" initiative starting this Friday, October 20th. There will be a total of 4 presentations for students with the last one taking place on Friday, October 27th. Friday October 20th - John Halligan, Ryan's story/bullying/suicide prevention Monday October 23rd - Dr. Saladino, The Shield Thursday October 26th - Kym Laube, Reducing high-risk behaviors Friday October 27th - Paul Failla, Diversity/Tolerance/Substance Abuse
REMINDER - Open House 9/14
First Day of School 2017
Ronkonkoma Middle School students started their 2017-18 school year on September 7th this year. Students all hurried to their homerooms after exiting the buses. Students were welcomed by staff including Principal Charles Morea and Assistant Principal Joe Licato. Teachers were on hand and in the hallways to assist new 6th grade students to their classes and help with locker combinations.
Prior to the first day of school teachers and staff attended a workshop during Superintendent Conference Day. The workshop was about mindfulness and how to not only use it in everyday lives, but to incorporate it into education as well. Teachers used Teacher orientation Day to set up their classrooms and take care of any last minute details.
Later in the week the R.M.S. administration held an assembly for each grade level. Students were reminded of the school rules and the expectations of them for the upcoming school year. So far we've had a great beginning to this year and students seem excited to learn.
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