Author Archives: Jenna Cosentino

We’re Back! Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year!

We are thrilled to welcome students, staff, and families inside our castle walls for the first day of school on Wednesday, September 5th! Everyone has been working tremendously hard to make sure the building, classrooms, and shared spaces are ready to go! We can’t wait to kick-off what will be an incredible year of curiosity, growth, and learning! See you SOON!

Don’t sweat the test! Just try your best!

It was an especially warm and cheerful welcome for all students at Castlewood today as KC members lined up outside the main entrance with pom-poms in hand cheering,

“Don’t sweat the test! Just try your best!”

This kind, energetic reminder brought many smiles and helped to ease some jitters.

Good luck to all test takers!

Just try your best!

FUN SPRINGS up at the Kindness Cone this season!

The Kindness Committee is so excited for the spring season!

With spring comes sunshine, outdoor recess, and…


Please join the KC with these fun recess options:

Thursdays: American Sign Language Lessons

(learn how to introduce yourself and have a chat in sign language)

Fridays: Flossing Fridays

(floss with friends or learn how to do this dance from an expert flosser!)


Full STEAM Ahead in this Wacky Literacy Week Event

All Aboard… READ! was the theme of this year’s literacy week and Castlewood’s PTA and administration took a “full STEAM ahead” approach to this wacky fundraising experiment below.

With two stools, duct tape, and our very brave, fun-filled principal and assistant principal, Castlewood set out on a school wide STEAM event, where yes, students attempted to tape our administration to the wall.

Some questions students had to consider were:

  • How might their height affect mass and weight?
  • Would the distance above the ground impact the amount of tape needed?
  • How many rolls of tape would be needed, based on our predictions?
  • Is one brand of tape more sticky than another?
  • What would these supplies cost?
  • What should each strip cost, in order to be able to raise funds for the school, less cost of goods?
  • In what ways/patterns need the tape be applied to create the most secure structure?
  • Which type of wall surface would be best for maximum adhesion?
  • What safety issues need be addressed?
  • What colors should be used that compliment each other?
  • Could this finished product be considered art? If so, what genre and why?

Due to the nature of the activity (what kid wouldn’t want to tape their principal and assistant principal to the wall?!) students were very motivated to address these questions. In honor of literacy week, students were also able to read a book in order to earn a strip of tape.

Starting at 11:50AM, Dr. Haidary and Mrs. Sci took their places in the gym, each on their own foot stool, against the wall in the gym (the smooth wide tiles with minimal concrete grout – deemed best surface for adhesion). As students came, strips were added horizontally, diagonally, and then vertically along the edges to secure the horizontal and vertical strips from peeling off due to force of gravity on their bodies’ weight.

Using 100 rolls in strips of 3-5′ (depending on what body part and direction it was being placed), our very own administration team was bound and  seemed successfully suspended to the wall.

Onlookers couldn’t help but notice the beauty we created. The colors and lines, the size, the simplicity of the medium, the various interpretations possible. We created a very unusual piece of modern art and thought perhaps The Dia or MoMA may be interested in displaying it!

Around 1:00PM, as students began to chant, “Remove the stools! Remove the stools!”, we knew it was time for the ultimate test: Will they remain suspended to the wall once the stools supporting their feet are removed?

…Drum roll please…

YES! A successful STEAM event indeed!

Both Dr. Haidary and Mrs. Sci remained stuck to the wall, suspended over one foot above the floor in the air!! After a few minutes, gravity took over and both began to lower, and while we would have liked to time how long they would have lasted, how long could we really have kept them there as a RFA school?!

HUGE THANKS to Dr. Haidary and Mrs. Sci for being such great sports, our PTA for launching this idea, our Parent Teacher Coordinator for organizing the event and making many tape purchases, and our dream STEAM team for supporting students in exploring questions, possibilities and answers.

This event was a tremendous success and sparked learning, inquiry, reading, and a great amount of laughter at Castlewood!


Kindness Committee & PTA Team Up for Gently Used Book Drive

In honor of Literacy Week, The Kindness Committee and PTA teamed up for another charitable drive in efforts to share the joy of reading with others. Families, students, and staff have donated over 250 gently used picture, non-fiction, and chapter books this week. Our generous collection will be donated to Reading Reflections, an organization that will help share the books with fellow bookworms across the city. Thanks to the wonderful PTA who helped with logistics of the drive, and The KC members who gave up recess to sort through our overstocked shelves in the auditorium; it takes a village, and we’re oh so lucky to have you in ours!


A Cast of Characters at Castlewood Kicks Off Literacy Week

Castlewood’s Literacy Week kick-off began on Monday, February 26th with an opportunity for students and staff to dress up as their favorite book characters. Characters from a a variety of genres, authors, and reading levels were brought to life. What a great way to welcome Jennifer Sodoni, author of The Unity Tree, for her assembly on the connection between reading and writing, the power of spreading one’s message through literature, and the importance of kindness in today’s world.

Thanks to all who participated in this spirit day, and a special thanks to Jennifer Sodoni for joining us!



Kindness Committee’s STAND UP Game had Students LOL at Recess!

KC Members Masadah, Neha, Matthew, Katherine, and Malcolm have been working during their recess for the past three weeks to create STAND UP!, a new indoor recess game!

This game was to give students a laugh while discovering silly things students have in common with one another.

KC members took turns shouting out silly things, like “Stand up if you ever cried during a Pixar movie!” or “Stand up if you ever picked your nose!” Students who identified with the topic stood up and had a n opportunity to make a connection with everyone else who was willing to admit to the act.

A ton of fun was had by all! Thanks for your hard work, members! You found a fun way to bring our community together in honor of Respect for All Week!


This is ME Day at Castlewood

This is Me Day was a huge success! Check-out these awesome shirts proudly made and worn by students of PS 186 and P 224!

What a great way to celebrate our individuality and learn more about each other.