Project Based Learning at PS32

At P.S. 32, we’re taking the steps towards integrating the Project Based Learning (PBL) model within the school. At the last Jan 2017 PTA Education Policy Committee meeting, Mr Powers, our Social Studies teacher, gave an update on the Project Based Learning initiatives taking place within the school.

Here’s a brief list of Project Based Learning projects PS 32 students, teachers and community are working on:

dear reading

Drop Everything And Read!

PS32 2016-2017 Student Government exploring the following topics:

  • Indoor Recess – Are the students enjoying the activities offered during indoor recess? (Not including the days when Kids in the Game offer activities)
  • School Safety – Is there a network of students in the community available to talk, kid-to-kid?
  • D.E.A.R TIME – Are students able to enjoy this type of fun reading in their classrooms? D.E.A.R. TIME is an initiative to make leisure reading important and valued in the PS32 community. 

Third Grade’s Community Service Projects:

  • Posing the question, “What can we design/build/create that would make PS 32 a better place?”
  • Groups of students working toward a mutual goal to answer the question/solve problem concerning their community. Last year, the third grade organized a December Toy Drive, a Thanksgiving Food Drive, and a Coat Drive

Student lead Environmental Science projects with Farmer Fred, including:

  • Studying how climate change effects our community
  • Analyzing Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) from our backyard
  • Problems with rain water in the drains in the school yard
  • Economics in our community (Carroll Gardens)
PS 32 Celebrates Black History Month

PS 32 Celebrates Black History Month


Social Studies Enrichment Cluster work with Mr Powers, including:

  • First Grade P.S. 32’s Post Office; experiencing a job in our community  
  • Multicultural Events –  Providing an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge as teachers themselves
  • Studying the new Second Avenue Subway during the Transportation in NYC Unit 

The Project Based Learning model allows our students to develop non-cognitive skills:

Puzzle Challenge

PS32 students from different grades working on a Puzzle Challenge

  • Patience
  • Compromise
  • Determination
  • Working through disappointment
  • Logistics
  • Building relationships
  • Getting along with others
  • Respecting alternative points of view
  • Prioritizing group goals
  • Verbal communication
  • Teamwork/collaboration
  • Critical thinking/problem-solving

PS 32 leadership is supporting  Project Based Learning  by enhancing teacher preparation, training, and support:

  • Current Professional Developments, such as Restorative Circles and Mindfulness
  • Peer Mediation
  • Teacher College Mini-workshop
  • June Planning/Project Based Learning
  • Grade planning
  • Building Resilient Students

To further explain the Project Based learning approach, Mr Powers shared an excerpt from the Economic Policy Institute,  Making the whole-child education the norm:How research and policy initiatives can make social and emotional skills a focal point of children’s education by Emma García and Elaine Weiss • August 24, 2016

View this report at Continue reading

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2017 PS32 Annual Science Fair

Picture of Ms Ellerbee at the Science Fair

Ms Ellerbee, our PS32 Science Teacher

Dear PS 32 Parents and Science Fair Participants,

I am pleased to announce PS 32’s 5th annual science fair!  Last year, was another great showing of students’ hard work and scientific skills. I am looking forward to seeing the amazing work of all of our young scientists this year!  This year’s science fair is once again mandatory for students in grades 3-5, but voluntary for 2nd graders who submitted permission slips back in December.  All participants are required to submit their science project ideas by February 13th in order to participate.   Click here to download the PS 32 Science Fair Information Packet.

This year the science fair will be held on two separate dates.  The 2nd and 3rd grade science fair will be held on April 6th and the 4th and 5th grade science fair will be held on April 21st in the gym.  Parents are invited to come to the fair during the open viewing times for families.  

In this packet you will find information to help guide you along the way.  Please make sure you review all of the information carefully and refer to it as you progress.  

See you at the Science Fair Scientists!!

Ms. Ellerbee

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Upcoming District 15 Events

There is a lot happening this month in District 15. Save the dates:

Wednesday, January 18
School Construction Authority presents the Capital Plan for District 15
6:30 – 8:30 pm at PS 172
825 – 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

2016MAR_cec15_summercampTues, January 24 – CEC 15 District Wide Fair
Topic: Summer Camp Options
6:30-8:30 pm at MS 839
713 Caton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11218

At 6:30 there will be a presentation by the Office of Space Planning about our District schools

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1st Grade Author-Illustrator Visit

Dear First Graders and Parents,

We arAdobe Photoshop PDFe excited to bring acclaimed author-illustrator Abby Hanlon to our library on Thursday, January 5th to speak to our first grade classes. In her talk, Abby will share Dory Fantasmagory and talk to students about how she created the story and illustrations with a lot of help from her first grade twins.

Please note, this talk is during school hours and is for the students only but we want to let parents know so they can help their kids get familiar with Abby’s books before the visit. Continue reading

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Farmer Fred’s Note: Fall 2016 – Edition 1

Learn more about our Garden & Environmental Science curriculum! Download Farmer Fred’s 2016 Fall Garden Newsletter here


Click here to download the PS32 Fall Garden Newsletter

Hello PS 32 Community,

After a wonderful start to the 2016-17 school year, the garden newsletter is finally here! I am Farmer Fred, Mr. Fred, The Garden Guy, Mr. Beard, the environmental educator at PS32. Some of you may not know who I am, and I would like to change that fast.

This is my third year at the PS 32 garden, and each year is has grown almost as much as the students. That is because of the continued support of parents, teachers, and staff. Thank you.

As I’m teaching your children how to grow sustainable food, about the urban environment, and their local community, I’m constantly learning from them as well. Your children are inspiring and make me want to head to the garden each day.

To use a metaphor, my garden classes are like a pepper plant. You may eat the pepper and think that was good. The end! However, the pepper is only the fruit of a pepper plant. There are flowers, leaves, stems, roots, soil, insects, compost, water, and time that went into the formation of that pepper. Most of this is unseen to the eater.

My garden classes start in the garden. However, like the fruit of the pepper, the garden is only the beginning, an opening to the local environment, to interactions with the community, to chances for place, project, and service-based learning, and to lessons I firmly believe will instill lasting values in your children.


Farmer Fred in our PS32 Garden “classroom”

If I were only teaching the students how to plant seeds, this would be very boring for all of us.  Please enjoy some of the following tidbits and photos about garden lessons. Download Farmer Fred’s 2016 Fall Garden Newsletter here

Peace, love, and plants,

Farmer Fred

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4th & 5th graders Author Visit Zetta Elliot

16dec_zettaellison_birdDear 4th & 5th graders and Parents,
We are excited to bring award-winning author Zetta Elliott on Wednesday, Jan 11th to speak to our 4th and 5th grade classes.

Please note, this talk is during school hours and is for the students only but we want to let parents know so they can help their kids get familiar with  Zetta’s books before the visit. Continue reading

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Winter 2017 PTA After School Registration


Registrations for our new trimester will begin on Monday, December 5th at 8:00 a.m.

The new trimester will run from January 3 until March 24.  All classes will from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Regular pick up time will be at 4:45 p.m. and late pick up time will be from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Click here to register for the 2016 Winter session Continue reading

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Computer Science Education Week @ PS32!

hocDear Parents,

We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly depend on understanding how technology works.

But only a tiny fraction of us are learning how technology works. Fewer than half of all schools teach computer science.

That’s why our entire school is joining in on the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11). More than 100 million students worldwide have already tried an Hour of Code.

Our Hour of Code is making a statement that P.S. 32 Samuel Mills Sprole School is ready to teach these foundational 21st century skills. To continue bringing programming activities to your students, we want to make our Hour of Code event huge. I encourage you to volunteer, reach out to local media, share the news on social media channels and consider hosting additional Hour of Code events in the community.

This is a chance to change the future of education in New York City.

See for details, and help spread the word.


Denise Watson-Adin
P.S. 32 Principal
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