main content starts hereIncoming Second-graders

Welcome to our Pinewood Family

Please use the following resources to orient yourselves to Pinewood.

Letter to parents

Dear Parents,

We realize that these are challenging times, but what remains the same is our care and concern for our students and their families. We are excited to welcome our third graders in the Fall and to introduce you and your child to the many wonderful experiences, resources, and teachers at Pinewood.  This slideshow will give you a glimpse into a third-grade student’s life at Pinewood. We hope you enjoy taking this journey with us and encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions or need any support.


Your Pinewood Family

Principal’s Message

thompson headshotaide headshot

Hello Parents.  Mrs. Thompson, our School Administrative Aide, and I are so excited to meet our new third graders and to work together with you over the next three years to foster their growth and success.  It is a privilege to have this opportunity and we appreciate you entrusting us with this responsibility.

Click twice on the link below to view my personal message to you.  I look forward to seeing you in the new school year.

Pinewood Nurse

Welcome incoming 3rd-grade students, parents and guardians!

I look forward to meeting you and your child and will keep you updated as the year 2022 -2023 begins. As your school nurse, I am responsible for monitoring your child’s health and safety in the school setting throughout the year.  With your help, the school health program can enhance and maintain the highest level of health for each student and provide a rewarding school experience. Please contact me with school health questions and concerns at

Mrs. Ruth Borra

A few key pieces of information as we start the school year

Student physicals are required for incoming third graders.  Acceptable physicals will need to be dated from January of 2022 on.  If necessary, please make an appointment with your child’s physician as soon as possible and send a copy of the completed physical to my office.

An emergency card will be sent home on the first day of school that will need to be filled out as soon as possible with updated contact &  health-related information regarding food allergies and health conditions.  If your child has an allergy requiring an EpiPen or Benadryl, please provide it to the nurse as soon as possible with a doctor’s note regarding dosage and use for the year.  Also, include a parent/guardian note regarding the allergy and last known allergic reaction.  This will aid in creating a specific care plan for your child and make the teachers and kitchen staff aware of your child’s allergies.

Physical activity and education are a big part of third grade. Please advise the nurse’s office of any limitations your child may have and provide a doctor’s note stating the nature of the condition and the limitations with respect to physical activity and PE.

Third-grade teachers

A message from your teachers:

We strive to cultivate relationships with our students and to support their academic success and social-emotional development. Through differentiated lessons, large and small group instruction, targeted skill development, school-home communication, and compassion, we build on the skills and experiences our students have learned in second grade to foster their continued growth.  In the slides that immediately follow, we have provided an overview of third-grade expectations and the content of each instructional area to assist you in better understanding the third-grade curriculum.

We are eager to meet our new third graders and to partner with you to help them reach their potential.  Have a wonderful summer and we look forward to seeing you in the Fall.

Mrs. Krawiecki

krawiccki headshot

Mrs. Kuebler

kuebler headshot

Mrs. Pangman

pangman headshot

Mrs. Varley

varley headshot

Mrs. Elliott

Ms. Kruzinski

Mrs. Tyler

Third-grade expectations

Our expectations for third graders focus on helping them become independent and responsible learners as well as teaching them how to make healthy choices.

  • Write neatly and  full name & date on all work
  • Listen & read carefully to follow multi-step directions
  • Learn to take notes during lessons (ex. Science/ELA/SS/Math)
  • Use textbooks
  • Work independently for longer blocks of time
  • Increase sustained silent reading time to 30 minutes
  • Participate in longer lessons (range: 45 minutes – 90 minutes)
  • Write down daily homework assignments in the Assignment Planner at school
  • Complete daily homework tasks in both Math & ELA
  • Parent Signature required in Assignment Planner each night after all homework tasks are completed

Please note that:

  • More structured school day in 3rd grade – less transition time
  • Working Snack block  (vs “recess snack” as in primary grades)

English/Language Arts

In ELA, we work to deepen our students’ understanding of the English language through reading, writing, and speaking.

Reading: (minimum of 1 ½ hours daily)

  • Next Generation Learning Standards
  • Read aloud, guided, and independent reading
  • Decoding and comprehension strategy lessons
  • Reader’s notebook
  • Test prep for New York State ELA test


  • Next Generation Learning Standards
  • Writer’s notebooks: narrative, opinion, informational writing.
  • Paragraph writing
  • Written responses to books and reading passages
  • Writing in all subject areas: ELA, Math, Science, & Social Studies
  • Inquiry/Research (media and reference skills)

Language/Word Study

  • Spelling Connections Program
  • Spelling and vocabulary, spelling patterns
  • Conventions of print/grammar, usage and mechanics

Academic Intervention Services in Reading

Academic Intervention Services (AIS)  in Reading is a program which provides remediation to students who have not yet achieved grade level standards in Reading.

Qualifications for AIS Reading Services:

  • Teacher Referral-Classroom teachers contact the Reading Department if they are concerned
    about a child’s reading progress.
  • Running Record-A child reads a short text aloud and silently in a one on one setting.  Then discusses what was read to assess their decoding, fluency and comprehension.
  • Various Screenings-Classroom assessments, STAR 360 reading assessment.

Levels of Service:

  • Monitor: Instruction is provided by the classroom teacher. A Reading teacher monitors student progress and checks in with the classroom teacher.
  • Direct Intervention: Instruction is provided by a Reading teacher in addition to the classroom teacher’s instruction.  Students may see a Reading teacher 2-5 times a week.

AIS Reading Components

  • Guided Reading-Practice reading strategies with teacher support and differentiated instruction based on need in small groups.
  • Decoding-Using a variety of strategies to read words correctly.
  • Fluency-Reading with expression sounds like talking.
  • Comprehension-Being able to talk about, answer questions, and demonstrate an understanding of what was read!
  • Written Response- Responding to a prompt based on what has been read through writing. Students are encouraged to use text evidence to support their answers.

AIS Reading 3rd -5th Grade

Visit our Mohonasen teacher websites for resources!

Reading Specialists:
Mrs. Brianna Coughlin
Mrs. Heidi DePiero
Mrs. Sarah Kaiser

English as a New Language

Mrs. Winslow, ENL teacher

winslow headshot

Hi. My name is Mrs. Winslow and I am #PinewoodProud to be the ENL teacher here at Pinewood Elementary!  Here at Mohonasen, we recognize that English Language Learners have their own culture and language which are assets to their academic achievement and to their school community.  We believe that cultural diversity can add to the curriculum and broaden the educational experience of all students.  Our ELLs benefit from integrated co-teaching and stand-alone models of instruction; through integrated instruction students’ language goals are being addressed as they are learning and participating in content area instruction alongside their peers. Because my c0-teachers and I have different areas of expertise, ALL students in class benefit from the scaffolding, differentiation, and different forms of instruction that take place each day.


At Pinewood, we use the Eureka Math Great Minds Program. The program presents Math in a logical progression from Pre-K to grade 12.  It builds students’ knowledge logically and thoroughly and connects Math to the real world to help students achieve a deep understanding lesson by lesson and year after year.

Topics of study include:

  • Problem-solving strategies and estimation
  • Place value
  • Addition to 3 digits with trading (carrying)
  • Subtraction to 3 digits with trading (borrowing)
  • Data and graphing
  • Customary and metric measuring
  • Geometry
  • Fractions (including comparing and reducing fractions)
  • Multiplication concepts –  Students will learn multiplication facts.

*Students should study facts at home and memorize them. Regular quizzes will be given and quiz grades will count on the report card.

  • Division facts and introduction to long division.
  • Area and perimeter
  • Time
  • Liquid volume and mass

Academic Intervention Services in Math

Academic Intervention Services (AIS) in Math is a program that provides remediation to students who have not achieved grade-level standards in Math.  This intervention includes multiple approaches to learning that strengthens a student’s skills and strategies.  It utilizes a variety of materials and resources including technology to meet the differing learning styles and needs of students.  In addition, parents are provided with practical assistance to support their child’s learning needs.

Qualifications for AIS Math Services for Incoming Third Graders:

  • Teacher Recommendation
  • Class Performance

Levels of Service:

  • Monitor – Instruction is provided by the classroom teacher.  The Math teacher monitors the student’s progress and checks in with the classroom teacher
  • Direct Intervention:
    • Support within the classroom during Math (Push In)
    • Small group support outside of the classroom (Pullout)
    • After-school small group support (Not mandatory)

Ongoing Communication

  • Notification to parents regarding the commencement of services, a change in service level, or the termination of services
  • Reports on the student’s progress
  • Information on ways to work with your child to improve achievement
  • Consultation and collaboration with the student’s classroom teacher and other professional staff providing AIS

We look forward to working with your child and encouraging their love of Math.  Feel free to click below and view our teacher work pages for games, videos, and all kinds of Math goodness.

Social Studies

In Social Studies, we use the textbook, Our Communities.

The topics of study are:

  • Characteristics of communities
  • Geography
  • Our country’s history
  • Citizenship
  • Government
  • Cultures and civilizations around the world

Science Lab

sherman headshot

Mrs. Liesha Sherman

The Third Grade Science curriculum includes the study of:

  • Weather & Climate
  • Forces and Magnets
  • Fossils
  • Animal Adaptation
  • Plants Growth & Development
  • Variation of Traits
  • Measurement

I am excited to work with your child over the next three years to develop their inner scientist.  Through our study and experiments in Science Lab and their participation in our STEM-based activities, your child will have a wealth of experiences to promote their inquiry-based and real-world problem-solving. It will be a wonderful adventure.

Pinewood’s STEM Activities

At Pinewood, we facilitate a number of activities throughout the school year to foster students’ thinking skills and exploration around Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  These include:

  • Earth Day
  • Hour of Code
  • Cardboard Challenge
  • Science Fair

In addition, Pinewood has its own Makerspace and Peace Garden where students are able to explore and cultivate different learning experiences. The following slides highlight Pinewood’s STEM resources and project-based learning activities.

Makerspace and Pinewood STEM Academy

We have a brand new Makerspace at Pinewood equipped with robots, legos, and plenty of materials to enable our students to explore their creative Maker side.  Students can visit the Makerspace with their teachers and engage in meaningful STEM activities. Students track their participation in the Makerspace and in all of the Pinewood STEM offerings. Students who earn 10 STEM credits by the end of 5th grade will receive a certificate of completion form from the Pinewood STEM Academy.

Earth Day

Pinewood celebrates Earth day by inviting local businesses, college students, and community members to our school to present to our students how their jobs and careers can help our planet. Our students learn about recycling, geology, climate change, and solar power from our visitors from Union College, CNSE, County Waste Management, and Hudson Solar Power to name a few.

Hour of Code

This year we will hold our 6th Annual Hour of Code. Every student at Pinewood learns how to code by completing one hour of code along with millions of students around the world.  Fifth-grade members of our coding club help to teach our third graders and mentor them as they explore and learn how to code.

Pinewood’s Peace Garden

We have a Pinewood Community Garden which students plant in the Spring.  Students and parents are welcome to stop by and harvest vegetables throughout the Summer. Our students love to eat from the garden when they return to school in September.

Cardboard Challenge

In the Fall we will hold our 4th Annual Cardboard Challenge. Students are encouraged to be creative and to make anything they want out of cardboard.  We celebrate by setting up a Cardboard Museum where students are able to view, interact with, and vote for their favorite project. Click the link to tour our 2018 Museum.

Science Fair

The Science Fair is a celebration of our amazing Pinewood scientists.  Our young scientists’ research and conduct experiments based on their interests.  They learn so much while teaching their peers, teachers, and families. Click the link to view our 2019 Science Fair.

Special Areas at Pinewood

In addition to their academic coursework, students participate in Special Area classes where they are able to cultivate and display their creativity and/or athleticism.  The Special Area classes at Pinewood include:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Library

The following slides will provide insight into the activities that third graders will experience in these classes during their time at Pinewood.

Physical Education

Mrs. Murnane

murnane headshot

Mr. Vachon

vachon headshot

Sports that third-grade students will experience in PE are:

  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Cross Country
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Lacrosse
  • Bowling

In addition, third graders will participate in tag, flag, gator ball, and parachute games. They will also engage in cooperation stations, body awareness activities, and field day fun!

Monster Dash

A school-wide run held in October focused on building the school community and promoting physical activity.

Third-grade Field Day

A day of fun-filled physical activity and competition.


In third grade, students are exposed to a variety of activities in the library.  One of the most important is becoming familiar with their new library.  The initial focus is on its layout to help students become independent in finding books that relate to their interests.  During lessons, students discuss genres, where and how to find them, and the importance of spine labels and call numbers.  Third graders also learn how to use the OPAC, which is the online public access catalog to search for books in the library, online books, and audiobooks.  In addition, students participate in games, read aloud, and research in the library.  The librarian and library clerk are always available to assist and guide students in their search.


rosselli headshot

Mrs. Rosselli

Third graders will participate in a continuation of many of the activities in Music that they experienced at Bradt. They will dance, sing, and play instruments…but there’s more. Third graders learn how to play the recorder.  They will also learn how to work together to put together a classroom play.  Last, but not least, third graders get to create and explore musical ideas on Chromebooks with some special software just for us!

Pinewood Orchestra

Third graders are able to participate in the Strings Program at Pinewood.  The string instruments available to students are the violin, viola, cello, and bass.  The orchestra program entails:

  • Weekly 30-minute small group lessons during the school day. The lesson is held on the same day each week, but the time varies to prevent students from missing the same part of instruction weekly.
  • Participation in the Pinewood Orchestra which rehearses after school on Tuesdays beginning in January. Late transportation is available to students.
  • Daily at-home practice logged on a practice sheet.

Students will need the following equipment and supplies to participate in the Strings program:

  • Instrument including a bow, rosin, and case
  • Method Book: “Super Strings!” – purchased directly from Ms. Felberbaum for $7.95.
  • Folder
  • Pencil to be kept in the folder
  • Music stand to practice at home
  • Cellos and basses will need an “endpin stop” or “rock stop” – Due to their size, students who play cello and bass will keep their instruments at home for practice and will be assigned a second one at school for lessons and rehearsals.

Instruments are required for lessons.  There are several local companies with rental plans and good instruments.  Information regarding these companies is available in the packet on the next slide.  There are also a limited number of instruments available for loan from the school district at no cost.

Pinewood Orchestra Summary, Forms, Instrument Demonstration & Student Performance

Third Graders’ Brief Performance of Music They Learned this Year

Mohonasen Orchestra Program Instrument Demonstration 

Pinewood Orchestra Parent Information Packet

If you are interested in signing up your child for orchestra, click on either of the links below:

Online google form

Instrumental Music Google Sign Up Form- Orchestra

Printed Paper Sign Up 

Should you have any questions or require any further information regarding the Pinewood Orchestra Program, you may contact Mrs. Felberbaum at


Ms. Bojarcuzuk

In Art, students learn about the various authors/artists associated with the art we are creating such as Van Gogh, Ansel Adams, and the author, Matthew McElligott. They learn about the elements of art and the principles of design. Students strive throughout the year to create successful compositions through the use of elements of art such as making objects larger and spacing them around the page to create a sense of movement. They learn to overlap objects, use a range of values from dark to light to make their art more realistic, to draw from observation and not trace, and to paint, mix, and blend colors using only the primaries. In addition, they learn to blend using cray-pas and cut & glue and create from their imagination.

Special Education

Special education provides students with identified disabilities specialized instruction and interventions designed to meet their unique learning needs, giving them the opportunity to develop their fullest potential. Some students with special needs require intensive, systematic instruction to achieve success. Others, however, need to be taught skills to compensate for their difficulties or simply need accommodations and learn right along their general education peers.  The services students receive are outlined in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  The next five slides offer insight into some of the services available to our special needs students at Pinewood.

Ms. Felter

felter headshot

Special Education teacher

Mrs. Rossetti

rossetti headshot

Teacher Assistant

A message from your teachers

Hi Parents,

We have the pleasure of working with some of the third-grade students who receive special education services. We focus on building upon our students’ skills based on their IEP goals.  Some services are offered within the classroom and others are provided in our learning lab.  Our services include:

  • Resource Room
  • Indirect/Direct Consult
  • Special Class ELA
  • Special Class Math

We look forward to working with our third-grade special education students in the Fall!

Ms. Felter & Mrs. Rossetti

Speech and Language Therapy

amitrano and fraser embrace near sunflowers

Hi there!

We are Mr. Amitrano and Ms. Fraser! We are so lucky to work together at Pinewood School.  We are certified speech-language pathologists who work with grades three through five. Working with the children at Pinewood is a pleasure, and we love seeing our students grow and learn each year.  Specific services we provide include:

  • Articulation therapy
  • Language therapy
  • Fluency therapy
  • Speech improvement services
  • Speedy Speech for articulation

If you have any questions, please email us. We look forward to working with your child!

Occupational Therapy

coffey headshot

Mrs. Danielle Coffey

Occupational Therapist

Hi Parents,

School-based occupational occupational therapists use meaningful activities (occupations) to help children and young adults perform tasks they need and/or want to do in order to successfully participate in learning. Occupational therapy addresses the physical, cognitive, psychosocial and sensory components of performance.

Usually, occupational therapy is provided to students with disabilities. But occupational therapy can be made available to other children who are having specific problems in school.

Occupational therapy may be recommended for an individual student for reasons that might be affecting his or learning or behavior, such as motor skills, cognitive processing, visual or perceptual problems, mental health concerns, difficulties staying on task, disorganization, or inappropriate sensory responses.

Occupational therapists also work to provide consultation to teachers about how classroom design affects attention, why particular children behave inappropriately at certain times, and where best to seat a child based on his or her learning style or other needs.

In addition, occupational therapists look at the child’s skills and other problems and take into account the school, home, and classroom environments to find ways to improve handwriting or identify ways a child can compensate such as a computer.

I look forward to seeing you in the Fall.

Physical Therapy

kayla smith headshot

Mrs. Kayla Smith

Physical Therapist

Welcome parents!

Physical therapy services at Pinewood are very similar to the services provided at Bradt. These services are utilized by some students to help fully develop their gross motor skills to improve their ability to participate in physical education and fully access the school environment.  Activities utilized in sessions are:

  • Strength: Jumping Jacks, Scissor Jumps, Sit-ups, push-ups, & Mountain Climbers
  • Balance: Balance beam, a balance disk, tiptoes, & hopping on one foot
  • Motor Coordination: Criss-cross, crawls, elbow to knee, windmills, skipping, and obstacle courses

I’m excited to work with your child!

Self-Contained Special Education Programs

Mrs. Vumbaco

vumbaco headshot

Special Education Teacher

Mrs. Cipriano

cipriano headshot

Special Education Teacher 

Hi Parents,

We have the privilege of working with the students at Pinewood who require the most intensive level of support.  Within our classrooms, students receive instruction at a modified instructional level and pace.  They also participate in a number of related services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling based on the services delineated in their IEP.  Our team focuses on building our students’ skills, providing them community based experiences, and facilitating their opportunities for integration.

We are excited to meet our incoming third graders and to welcome back our returning students in the Fall.

Mrs. Vumbaco & Mrs. Cipriano

Counseling Department

Pinewood’s Counseling Department works together to:

  • support students to grow academically and socially
  • collaborate with teachers, administrators, parents, and community
  • based providers to promote student success
  • facilitate a connection between home and school

The Department is comprised of:

  • Mrs. Michelle Gaffney, School Psychologist – conducts psychoeducational services, oversees the Committee on Special Education meetings, and provides behavioral support services.
  • Mrs. Amy Stannard, School Counselor – facilitates classroom based lessons and provides short term school based individual and group counseling services.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Haynesworth, School Social Worker – provides services to students who have counseling on their IEP as well as short term school based individual and group counseling services.

We are excited to meet our new third graders and to work together with you and their teachers to promote their success and social-emotional well being.

Tips & Strategies from the Counseling Department

Tips to Help your Child Make a Smooth Transition:

  • Maintain a positive attitude about school and discuss all the new and exciting experiences your child will encounter.  Explore and talk about your child’s feelings about starting a new school.
  • Visit the school over the summer, to include attending the Pinewood walkthrough in August, to help familiarize your child with the layout of the building and some of its faculty.
  • Write a brief statement about things you would like the teacher to know about your child.
  • Establish and practice school routines during the last week or two of summer in preparation for the transition (ie. consistent bedtime that allows your child enough sleep, an order for getting ready and leaving for school, and a special, but brief, goodbye routine, for instance a hug and high five).
  • Read and review Math facts over the summer to maintain and bolster your child’s skills
  • Talk with your child about key people that may be a support to them in their new school – i.e. teachers, members of the counseling dept., administrators, etc.

Strategies to Help Your Child Cope with Anxiety

  • Help your child identify and communicate feelings- Acknowledge, validate, and reflect your child’s feelings.
  • Teach your child relaxation techniques- Deep controlled breathing, positive visualization (ie. imagine a calming place while taking deep breaths), and progressive relaxation.
  • Teach your child positive self-talk- Encourage your child to say things that help them feel good and have your child recognize their strengths
  • Teach “Thought Stopping” to help your child break the cycle of negative thoughts- Help your child replace negative thoughts with ones that are more positive and realistic.

Schoolwide Programs and Activities

Character Education Program

Recognizes students monthly for displaying specific character traits and facilitates school-wide activities to promote character.

Classroom Guidance

Classroom-based lessons focused on character trait development and personal-social, academic, and career readiness skills

Study Buddy Program

Pairs PW students with middle schoolers to assist with HW, Org. & Studying. Held after school once a weekly during a certain time of the year. time of the year.

Service Learning Program

Students are encouraged to perform acts of community service and to track their hours of service.

Chess Club

Students learn about and play the game of chess.  The club is held weekly after school during certain times of the year.

Art Club

Students have the opportunity to paint, draw, and expand on their creativity.  The club is offered in sessions after school during certain times of the year.


Physical games/activities offered by the PE dept before school to students grade 3-5.  Two sessions are held, one in the Fall and the other in the Spring.

Schoolwide Programs and Activities: Fourth and/or Fifth Graders Only


An ensemble of singers comprised of 4th & 5th graders.  Rehearsals are held after school.

Student Council

Share the concerns and interests of students, facilitate school-wide activities, and raise funds for programs.  Comprised of 4th & 5th graders. Meetings are held after school once a month during a certain time of the year.

Math Olympiad

A team of fourth and fifth graders  (35 maximum) who are typically recommended for the challenge. Students participate in 5 contests during the year and attend practice and learning sessions. Contests include answering as many challenging questions as they are able.


Musicians rehearse after school weekly and perform in the Fall and Spring concerts. Comprised of 4th & 5th-grade students.

Color Guard

Perform choreographed dances and routines with various equipment.  Held after school weekly.  Comprised of 5th graders only.


Thank you for taking this time with us to learn about the many wonderful opportunities you and your child will  experience at Pinewood.  We are looking forward to our next three years together and the growth that we will observe in your child’s academic and personal-social development. Have a wonderful summer. We look forward to you joining us in the Fall!