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Bay Avenue Elementary School Returns to Swan Lake

During the Fall of 2007, students from Mr. Alonso' fifth-grade class returned to Patchogue's Swan Lake twice to continue their exploration of the lake.

During the second visit on December 7, Keryn Fries, the class's writing mentor, worked with a writers' group even though the termperature that day was 32°F.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde


Like Jekyll and Hyde,
This tree is split.
Half good,
Half evil;
Half bare,
Half leaved.
Hyde creeps in with autumn,
Changing London and the leaves.
Half the leaves
Green transforms to yellow,
Yellow turns to gold,
Gold changes to orange,
Orange decides to be red.
And finally,
Half of The ONCE- GREEN Leaves
DOWN, down, down.
The other half,
Is rather slow,
But eventually,
The same will happen to the other half.
Jekyll and Hyde will be done:
With their battle between
The good
And the evil;
The bare,
And the leaved.

--Deirdre Crean

Real-World Science at Bay Avenue Elementary

On January 19, 2007, Mr. Alonso's fifth-grade students took a field trip with Principal Christine Finn to nearby Swan Lake to do some authentic scientific observation and data gathering. Working in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory's Open Space Stewardship Program, this was the first in a series of trips to the lake. Accompanied by several parents and teachers, students participated in actual scientific tests of the water in Swan Lake. Using scientific equipment supplied by parents and bought with the money received from grants secured by Ms. Finn and Mr. Alonso, students tested for oxygen content, pH, and the speed of currents. Students also participated in identifying the many water fowl that dwell in the lake. In the future, they will be supplying data on bird counts and migration to the Audubon Society.

This cross-curricular field trip also was the inspiration for poems and artwork that students produced as part of a well-rounded, authentic educational experience. Kudos to Ms. Finn and Mr. Alonso for taking the initiative to secure grant funding and enthusiastically encouraging their students, parents, and colleagues, Barbara Ruthaiwattana (art) and Maureen O'Shea (writing/poetry) to be part of this real-world science experience. Also, we would like to thank our parent volunteers Mark Fauci, Brian Pendergast, Bob Winowitch from the U.S. Geological Survey, and Byron Young the bird expert, for contributing their time and expertise to this project. This was a great day featuring parents, students, faculty, and administrators working together for education in our community.



Winter cold and quiet,
Squirrels sleeping in the old tree,
Kids running free,
The freezing air blowing,
That is how winter is...
supposed to be

--Maria Delgado, age 10

Fish and Ice

Fish and eels swimming,
Underwater, it's cold like ice,
I can see it all now!

--Steven Rubino, age 10


The Expert Talk

When I listen to the experts talk,
At one point I am interested,
As I begin to walk,
I learn, and Learn.

--Mike Molitor, age 10