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Students Learn Real-Life Skills in Economics Course

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Students Learning in The Classroom thumbnail209559

Gone are the days when students gleaned their knowledge primarily from textbooks. In Katina Cokinos’ economics class at Bayport-Blue Point High School, seniors are learning how to navigate the real world through their recently acquired knowledge of world and personal finance, retirement and retirement accounts, saving, spending, budgeting and so much more.

This month, the seniors learned the importance of writing an effective cover letter. After discussing what should be included in a cover letter, types of cover letters and what makes them effective and ineffective, the students were put to the task of writing one.

“Submitting a cover letter for every job you apply for is crucial,” Ms. Cokinos told the class. “The cover letter sets you apart and demonstrates your work ethic.”

In Goggle Classroom, students uploaded a cover letter template and wrote a letter as they applied to a fictional position as a retail sales associate, a pizzeria hostess, babysitter or for a position in a warehouse.

The economics class is mandatory for seniors. In addition to learning about supply and demand, economic systems, an introduction to economic theory and current economic events, students have explored personal finance, cryptocurrency, social media and its effects on spending and personal finance strategies.

Date Added: 1/18/2022

What is Your Family Story?

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James Wilson Young Middle School students unlocked their families’ history through a unique project which afforded them the opportunity to explore the past through Ancestry.com. Through a grant acquired by library media specialist Susan Henke-Brinkman, students in Peggy Vallely’s eighth grade social studies class explored their family history and elders’ immigration history using the district’s technology.

The project turned out to be more successful than initially intended with students accessing invaluable, digitized documents that told their relatives’ stories. For example, one student accessed a relative’s yearbook information and a World War II draft card, which a personal signature. Another student found a photo of the ship his grandfather sailed on to America. Interestingly, another student found information about his great uncle being the creator of the zip tie.

“I had always heard the stories about how he invented the zip tie, but now I can actually prove it,” the student said.

“The students were able to download digitized copies of the information that told their relative’s story,” Ms. Henke-Brinkman explained. “This project elicited so many conversations and opened the lines of communication between the students and their grandparents.”

One student learned more about his family tree by examining a 1930 census that explained his relative’s immigration data, where he lived and with whom. Likewise, another student learned from census information that her great grandmother was born in Germany.

Ms. Vallely said, “So many pieces of the puzzle helped the students fill in the gaps of their relatives’ stories. The project was an exceptional and invaluable opportunity for the students to learn more about their families’ history.”

Date Added: 1/13/2022

Learning Essential Life Skills

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Bayport-Blue Point High School Life Skills students recently combined community-based instruction with their desire to help others less fortunate. The students each received money to shop for mittens, gloves, hats and scarves at the Sayville Dollar Tree, which were in turn donated to the Sayville Public Library’s recent Mitten Tree collection.

Life Skills teacher Erika Seriano said the students are learning to recognize money denominations, identifying the total cost of items, recognizing if they have enough money to buy an item, using a dollar-up strategy to buy an item, and making sure they have enough cash prior to purchasing an item. They are also working on community-based instruction lessons that cover travel safety, planning ahead for what they need to buy, shopping and selecting items independently, getting on-line, waiting in line appropriately and independently, and interacting and communicating with the cashier.

Money collected from the high school’s recycle program was given to Life Skills students for a community service project, the purchase of items for the Mitten Tree donation. Each student was provided $5 to spend on five items totaling $1.25 each. The students also made a donation box, where donations from others was collected.

Not only did the students learn a valuable lesson about money, they fulfilled a desire to help others during the holidays.

Bot! The Secret World of Robots

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Sylvan Avenue Elementary School students took part in an informative STEAM program with Mobile Ed Productions called “Bot! The Secret World of Robots,” where they learned the history and fun facts about robots from presenter Peter James Phillips and his virtual friend Cozmo.

Students learned that to be considered a “robot,” a machine with moving parts must have sensors, a computer and an actuator to help it achieve physical movement. Mr. Phillips explained that most robots seen in television and film are not robots, because they lack one of the important components.

Using student volunteers, Mr. Phillips also expanded on the knowledge that robots take care of dull, dangerous and dirty jobs for humans. He demonstrated how a Rumba vacuum cleaner runs on sensors that prevent it from falling from a high location. He shared his drone and explained how these unmanned aerial vehicles are being used on Mars. One volunteer even tried to outperform a robot in the dull and tedious task of moving marbles from one location to another.

Sylvan Avenue Supports Kentucky Schools

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Sylvan Avenue Elementary School peer leaders, members of the Bayport-Blue Point Teachers Association, students, faculty and staff donated a $1,450 check to the Warren County Public School District in Kentucky on Dec. 21. The peer leaders donated half of the funds recently collected by selling handmade holiday decorations.

The school district was recently devastated during the unprecedented tornadoes that passed through the region in December 2021. The school district is comprised of 36 schools, 15 of which are elementary schools.

Speech pathologist Laurie James-Katz said, “Everyone in the school was extremely generous and we are happy to be helping a school district community that is in such need.”
Bayport-Blue Point Eagle