• Contact Hours: Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM. I will be checking my email for your work and review the results from Castle Learning throughout the afternoon.

    Week of April 6th - April 10th

    Good Morning,

    I do hope that you and your family and friends are well and staying home to protect yourselves.  

    For my Regent Prep students, I am monitoring your progress on Castle Learning, and still waiting for a few that need to submit their short answer responses and thematic essay as well. Please continue with Castle Learning and provide any written responses daily.

    For my Creative Writing and Journalism students, I enjoyed reading the first essay drafts, quotes, and Latin Roots that you sent. The last part of our Literacy Project will continue once we return to school and share our work. This week we will focus on Poetry, Quotes Week 3, and Latin Roots Week 3 and all work is due this Friday, 4/10.

    Please share with me daily a poem that you found meaningful.  The choice of poetry is yours, so be selective! Share with me your poems and thoughts each day, and by Friday, I should have a better understanding of what your interests are. The week of April 13th, we will begin our formal lessons on poetry, learning the lingo, and investigating song lyrics as well.

    Quotes – Week 3 


    • "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”   

    ~Albert Einstein 

    1. List skills, talents, or interests you have now that you remember having to learn. Example: hunting, knitting, singing, riding a bicycle. 
    1. Record one thing you cannot do now that you want to learn.  
    1. Explain: What is Einstein’s point? 



    • “If an individual wants to be a leader and isn't controversial, that means he never stood for anything.”  

    ~Richard M. Nixon  

    1. Read between the lines: What can we infer (conclude) from this statement?  
    1. Give your opinion on this statement. 
    1. Name at least one person in history or in our current culture who would support this statement. 


    • “A child who is protected from all controversial ideas is as vulnerable as a child who is protected from every germ. The infection, when it comes—and it will come—may overwhelm the system, be it the immune system or the belief system.” ~Jane Smiley 
    1. Comprehension: Based on this quote, will Jane Smiley talk about controversial topics with her children? 
    1. Contrast the child and the parent’s perspective on this quote.  


    • “Do you have to have a reason for loving?” 

    ~Brigitte Bardot 

    1. Defend the answer “Yes” with one example. 
    1. Defend the answer “No” with one example. 
    1. Circle the number question with which you agree. 


    • “Great minds discuss ideas; 
      Average minds discuss events; 
      Small minds discuss people.” 
      ~Eleanor Roosevelt 
    1. Discuss the meaning of the quote. 
    1. Opinion: Do you agree or disagree? 


    Remember Your Roots #3 – these words have prefixes, roots, and suffixes that are part of hundreds of words.  Know these word parts and you’ll be able to decode a ton of higher-level vocabulary. 

    Directions:  For each of the following, write two other words that also use the given root or affix (prefix/suffix).  You may NOT use the same word for more than one answer. 

    1.  extracted 

    ex- (out of, from, or not): ____________ 

    tract (drag or pull):  __________   _____________ 

    1.  autograph 

    auto- (self or by itself):  ____________   ______________ 

    graph (to write):  __________________   ________________ 

    1.  conclude 

    con- (with):  _______________   __________________ 

    clud/clude (shut or close):  _______________   __________________ 

    1.  submarine 

    sub- (under or below):  _______________   __________________ 

    mar (sea or ocean) ____________________  _________________ 

    -ine (nature of):  _______________  _________________ 

    1.  philosopher 

    philo-/phil- (love): _____________  _________________ 

            soph (wise or wisdom):  _______________  _________________ 

    -er (person who/thing that does something):  _______________   _______________ 

    1.  precise 

    pre- (before):  _________________   ___________________ 

    cise/cis (cut):  ______________   _________________ 

    1.  biped 

    bi- (two or twice):  _____________   _____________ 

    ped (foot):  ____________   _______________ 




    1.  carnivore 

    carni/carn (meat or flesh):  ____________   _________________ 

    -vore (devour): ________________   ___________________  


    Directions:  Combine at least two of the roots and affixes from above to create four words not already on your paper.  the words you choose may have additional letters or parts.  You must underline or highlight the roots/affixes from above that you’ve used. 

    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 
    1. _______________________ 


    Directions:  Using at least three word pieces and parts from above, create a never-before-seen word.  Include the definition of your new word creation. 

    New word: ______________________________________ 

    Definition:  ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Please remember to email me daily with your work or if you should have any questions.  Enjoy your day! 


    Mrs. Vaccaro


    Week of March 30th - April 2nd  

    Regents Prep Students:  For those using Castle Learning, I understand District is working on their website.  It should be up anytime now.  Be patient and check back in an hour.  Thank you....


    Creative Writing/Journalism Classes:  Please submit all your work via email by April 2nd.  For those that submitted their essay drafts, you should have received back your edited draft.  Please review and share your thoughts.  Literacy Project is due along with Quotes for Week 2 and Latin Roots 2.


    Week Two:  Quotes March 30th – April 3rd   

    First: Write down the specific quote/puzzle/statement/prompt with the date. 

    Second: Follow the numbered steps. Pay attention to the VERBS (Evaluate, Describe, Argue, etc).  

    Third: Be prepared to share with a partner or the whole class, when we return to Roosevelt. 

    In Addition: These are graded for participation points on a weekly basis and need to be submitted daily via email. 


    • “The only way to grow wise is to get old.” ~Orson Welles from The Lady from Shanghai 
    1. Agree or disagree with the quote.  
    1. Write two examples to support your opinion. 
    1. Write one example that contradicts your opinion. 


    • “I only followed orders. I only did my duty. I am not a criminal.” 

     ~Nazi war-criminal Orson Welles echoes a familiar line in the movie The Stranger. 

    1. List a reason that condemns the Nazi soldiers as criminals. 
    1. List a reason defends the Nazi soldiers as mere soldiers.  
    1. Select one and expand your reasoning into a paragraph. 


    • “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”  

    ~Aibileen Clark 

    1. Pretend you believed this quote. How do you believe you would think or act differently? 
    1. Imagine this was your first thought about everyone else. Do you believe your actions toward others would change? Explain your answer. 


    • “Do small things with great love.” 

    ~Mother Theresa 

    1. Recall a time someone did a ‘small thing’ for you or of a time you did a ‘small thing’ for someone else. Describe how this affected you or the person.  
    1. List three small things you could do for someone you love (Or one thing you could do for three different people).  
    • Brownie Points: Do them! 


    • “A diamond is a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well.”  


    1. State your opinion: Does stress always “create diamonds”? (In other words, is stress always a good thing?) Defend your answer. 
    1. Support your opinion with an example. 



    Remember Your Roots #2 – these words have prefixes, roots, and suffixes that are part of hundreds of words.  Know these word parts and you’ll be able to decode a ton of higher-level vocabulary. 


    Directions:  For each of the following, write two other words that also use the given root or affix (prefix/suffix).  You may NOT use the same word for more than one answer. 

    1.  Intersection 

    Inter- (between): ___________________   ______________________ 

    sec/sect (cut or separate):  _________________   ______________________ 

    tion (the action of or the result of):  ________________   __________________ 

    1.  Destruct 

    de- (down, from, off, or concerning):  ___________________   __________________ 

    struct (build or assemble):  ______________________  __________________________ 

    1.  Credible 

    cred (believe or trust):  __________________   ______________________ 

    ible/able (capable of or suitable for):  __________________   ________________________ 

    1.  Superfluous 

    super- (over or above):  ________________________   __________________________ 

    flu- (flowing):  ______________________   _______________________________ 

    -ous (possessing or full of):  _________________________  _________________________ 

    1.  Illegible 

    il- (not):  _______________________   ___________________________ 

    leg (read or the law):  ________________________   ________________ 

    -ible/able (capable of or suitable for):  _____________________   ___________________ 

    1.  Verify 

    ver/veri (truth or true): ________________   __________________ 

    -ify:  (to make or cause to be):  ___________________  ____________________ 

    1.  Mishap 

    mis- (ill, mistaken, or wrong):  __________________  _________________________ 

    hap (by chance):  ________________________   ___________________________ 

    1.  Patriarch 
    1. patr-/patri- (father):  _________________  ____________________ 
    1. -arch (chief or most important):  ______________________   ________________ 

    Directions:  Combine at least two of the roots and affixes from above to create four words not already on your paper.  the words you choose may have additional letters or parts.  You must underline or highlight the roots/affixes from above that you’ve used. 


    1. ______________________________


    1. _______________________________


    Directions:  Using at least three word pieces and parts from above, create a never-before-seen word.  Include the definition of your new word creation. 

    New word: _______________________________________ 

    Definition: ______________________________________________________________________________ 


    Students in Creative Writing and Journalism should be following the Literacy Project and emailing me daily with their logs and drafts, along with their quotes and Latin roots responses.

    Students preparing for NYS Regents in June should use Castle Learning as I have practice lessons for English Language Arts, Biology/Living Environment, Integrated Algebra, Global History and Geography, and U.S. History and Government. I will be monitoring your process daily and expect you to email your short answer and essay drafts for review.

    Each morning you will receive an email from me updating your lessons and your answering questions. As I receive your work, I will review and send you my feedback daily.

    Email: mvaccaro@yonkerspublicschools.org




  • Castle Learning for our Regents Prep Classes:

    You will continue your preparation by signing into "Clever" and begin working on the given Regents assignments that apply to your needs. You will find Regents material for English Language Arts, U.S. History, Global, Algebra, and Living Environment. Please email me daily so we can review your responses to the multiple-choice, short answer responses, and essays. These practice regents will be a work in progress, focusing daily to each task to prepare for your given Regents in June.  If you are having difficulty signing into "Clever" I will send you attachments to the given Regents material that you need.   

    For those able to access "Clever" I would like you to follow these steps: 

    1. Sign in using your ID number (follow the prompt) 
    1. Use your computer password 
    1. Once signed in, go to Castle Learning. 
    1. My assignment pages covers all the Regents that we have been working on in class. 
    1. The drop down bar will take you to the following:  English Language Arts - Biology/Living Environment -Integrated Algebra - Global History and Geography and U.S. History and Government 

    Please remember that if you are experiencing problems signing in, let me know.  I will be happy to send you attachments to each assignment.


    Literary Exploration Project for our Creative Writing and Journalism Classes:

    Context: All writers make some kind of argument, or advocate for something in their work, even in fiction, poetry, film or drama. In these fictional genres, writers enter a conversation about social issues and questions, whether it be whom we can love or befriend, how to create a worthwhile and satisfying life, how to fight for justice in the world, or even how to avoid the apocalypse. These arguments can be called the author’s “project” because taken as a whole, the literary work is the author’s attempt to shape the reader’s understanding of social issues, problems or struggles. Sometimes fiction can give readers more space and time than non-fiction to reflect upon these big issues and questions. 

     In this Unit, you will read within fictional genres to continue thinking about the social issues and questions that we have been discussing during the school year. During your reading, you will keep a reading journal, using the close reading skills you have practiced during the year. After your reading, you will write an essay that discusses what you have observed within the work(s), and what the author’s “argument” or project, is. What issues or questions is the author’s work prompting you to think about, care about, or understand?  

    Assessments: 100 points possible  

    4.1 -- Reading Journals x6 (5 points each, 30 points total)  

    4.2 -- Reflective Literature Essay (30 points)  

    4.3 -- Literary Fair (20 points)  

    4.4 -- StepUp Year End Reflection (20 points)  

    Guide:  Reading Journals In a series of 6 reading journals, identify the passages that interest you, and work to understand the topics and social questions the author is concerned with. Reflect upon things that stand out to you. Using annotation and close reading, use key quotes to develop your thinking in writing. Use metacognition strategies (thinking about your thinking) to reflect upon the big ideas within the text. For each reading journal, reflect upon at least two key quotes in the reading you did during the time. The 6 reading journals should roughly go from the beginning of the work to the end of the work. Divide the work in approximately 6 parts and do a reading journal for each part. Make connections between the journals to find patterns, big issues and questions, and the writer’s concerns.  

    Guide for Reading Journals:  

    Do you explore your mental processes in reading and working towards an understanding of the text? 

    • Do you reflect on the meaning ofparticular passages, and develop your interpretation of the author’s topics/concerns/big ideas?? 
    • Do you use specific evidence (quotes) from the text to develop your points? 
    • Do you make connections between the journal entries to discover patterns, big ideas and issues, and the author’s concerns? 
    • Is your writing clear and do you use word choice, punctuation and sentence structure effectively? 
    • Do you use MLA format for in-text citations and Works Cited, as appropriate for literary essays? 

    Reading journals are worth 5 points each X 6 = 30 points  

    Reflective Literature Essay Using your reading journals, write an essay that explores your experience reading the work(s), and the big ideas, concerns, issues and concerns that the author’s work positions you to reflect upon. In writing the essay, use the following outline as a guide. Be sure to use a quotation sandwich for all quotations from the book, with in-text MLA citations for all quotations.  

    Title: Create an interesting and unique title Introduction:  

    • Identify the works to be considered in the essay using the full title and author’s name. 
    • Include a brief (1-3 sentences) summary of the work(s) 
    • Briefly describe what you will discuss in the essay 
    • Include a focused statement of what you are claiming about the significance of the work and about literature in general. Body Paragraphs: 
    • What is the literary work about? 
    • What was your experience like reading the work(s)? What did you enjoy/ struggle with? What were the challenges? What were the moments of illumination for you, as a reader? 
    • What are the themes of the work and how does the writer develop these themes? 
    • What is the writer’s project or argument? What is he saying about society or people, and what does he want his readers to know/understand/believe/feel about society or people? 
    • How does this fictional work inform readers about a significant problem/issue/struggle going on now in the world, that affects readers right now? 
    • Use plenty of quotations to back up your points, with quotation sandwiches for each quote, and MLA in-text citations. 

     Ending Paragraphs and Conclusion:  

    • In what ways can this literary work serve a political or social purpose? 
    • How can this literary work help us to understand the world or ourselves? 
    • How can literature, such as this work, influence society as much as news reporting? 

    Works Cited Section: Include full MLA citations for all works used in the essay.  

    Reflective Literature Essay Rubric: (The Literature Essay is worth 30 points.)  

    • Establishes a clear focus on the meaning and impact of the literary work. 
    • Demonstrates comprehension of the literary work. 
    • Thoughtfully explores the experience of reading the work. 
    • Contains an accurate and effective summary of work. 
    • Reflects upon and delves into the themes of work. 
    • Identifies author’s project/argument. 
    • Demonstrates engagement with the text. 
    • Demonstrates effective writing strategies, including clear and varied sentence structure, precise use of language, strong verbs, organized paragraphs. 

    Literary Fair Context: 

    Now that you read and wrote about your literary work, you have the opportunity to share something that you have learned with a wider audience. Respond to the literary work in a medium of your choice, other than an essay, and by sharing the literary project with the class. This can be a painting, poem, video, song, collage, drawing artistic rendering, or other medium (except an essay). The goal of this project is to convey the author’s project or argument, and what it means to you. Be as creative as possible! Accompany this creative assignment with a 1 -page reflection on:  

    1. How does the literary work connect to you, to others, and the world? 
    2. What is the author’s project/argument? What is the writer trying to convey about people or the world? 
    3. What is it you are trying to convey in your project? What you would like your audience to know/understand/feel? What is a Literary Fair? 

    Students will present their literary project in class, with student viewers asking questions of the presenters, and the presenters answering questions about their work. This is a good opportunity to get feedback on your interpretations, and to hear what others think about the same work. It is a good opportunity to have a conversation about the literary work and the ideas that are sparked by it.  

    How will this assignment be evaluated 

    You will receive 20 points if you:  

    • Come prepared to class on time, on the day scheduled, with your literary project, ready to present. 
    • Demonstrate effort to create a literary project that conveys your interpretation of the author’s project or argument, and how it speaks to a social issue/problem/concern. 
    • Present the literary work, the questions and issues that arise from it, and your interpretation of it, based on evidence from the work.
    • Include quotes from the text, to demonstrate your interpretation of the text. 
    • Hand in your 1-page reflection (or submit it online) on time. If you are basing your interpretation on outside research, include MLA citations.


    Time management is essential, so please find a schedule of study that works best for your family situation, as your family members will be needing internet time as well.  I will be available throughout our online learning period, and will respond to each assignment as you submit them. 

     I hope to hear from each of you daily, and please remember to be safe, and take care of yourself, family, and friends by practicing good hygiene, social distancing, and patience. 





Mrs. Vaccaro



Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Vaccaro

1993 - Master of Science:  Elementary Education - Concentration:  Reading

1992 - Bachelor of Science:  Education

N.Y.S. Nursery through Sixth Grade:  Permanent Effective 1996

N.Y.S. Reading Nursery through Twelfth Grade:  Permanent Effective 1996

N.Y.S. Common Branches:  Permanent Effective 1993

Teacher of Title 1 Reading/Writing

Facilitated students' progression from reading and listening to comprehending and writing in order to prepare them to excel on their N.Y.S Regents by designing lessons that provide strategies which will enable each student to become an avid and capable reader, writer, speaker, and thinkers.