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Long Beach Middle School

English Language Arts Department

Core Values

We believe in cultivating a sense of community in our classrooms wherein students feel nurtured, safe to express themselves, and encouraged to take risks. These class communities will be challenged to work together to solve problems, and students will be required to be fair and respectful. We strive to help them to understand the inherent value of effort. We value students' individuality and talents, and we teach to diverse learning styles using multiple strategies. We believe students deserve multiple opportunities to be successful, but they must also be held accountable for their work and behavior. It is our goal to make clear connections between what is happening in the classroom and what is happening in the world at large. We work to help students develop an appreciation for literature and how it relates to their own lives. Ultimately, we want students to grow as individuals, readers, writers, and thinkers.


The LBMS Language Arts program uses an integrated language approach to teach reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Teachers provide activities which encourage students to:

  • read for content and enjoyment
  • write complete sentences and well organized paragraphs
  • employ correct usage in writing and speaking
  • speak well before a group
  • listen and follow directions
  • use library reference and research skills
  • use new and colorful words in writing creatively
  • build vocabulary
  • compile narrative, argument, research, explanatory, and expository samples of writing in a person writing portfolio.  See an example of the range of writing experiences our students will create this year: See MS Writing Portfolios

Whole-Class Novels List

Current News

Recycling and Innovation Yields Mini Greenhouses

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Long Beach Middle School’s WoodTech students are repurposing the acrylic desk dividers from last school year to create miniature greenhouses/terrariums while exploring the design cycle. Under the guidance of teacher Brian Pross, they have been tackling various problem-solving challenges while constructing and fine-tuning the projects.

After starting the school year with rigorous safety and tool use lessons the students were ready to take their skills to the next level. They determined through brainstorming sessions that the greenhouse would require fully adjustable exhaust and air intake vents to address potential moisture problems. They also decided on an average size, with the goal of projects small enough to fit on a shelf in the average Long Beach dwelling.

With the design constraints established, students got to work constructing the first prototype, then gathered feedback from peers and staff members. They are currently constructing the second sample, which features more durable materials and structural enhancements. Students are already discussing additions to further optimize their products, such as use of a hygrometer or humidistat as well as felt feet at the base.

LB Students Get on Board with Surfing

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The Long Beach Public Schools Athletic and Special Education Departments have partnered with Surf for All to introduce Life Skills students to the ocean’s soothing, healing and strengthening powers. This program is a new development in the district and was held for two weeks in September, with additional spring sessions anticipated for 2022.

Surf for All instructors paddled out with students and guided them through the excitement of standing up on their boards and riding waves to shore. The students smiled and cheered as they overcame fears, developed new strengths and soared across the water’s surface.

Surf for All is dedicated to assisting individuals and exposing them to the ocean, helping to cultivate a joy for surfing as well as maximizing surfing potential. The non-profit organization believes the ocean is a source of healing and spiritual strength that should be accessible to all.

“You can’t believe the giant smiles on these students’ faces when they actually surf for the first time,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Gallagher said. “Surfing is a great metaphor for education: it’s about harnessing knowledge, experiencing the excitement of discovery, and finding new ways to move forward. And in Long Beach, EVERY child gets to ‘catch that wave’ if they want to!”

Reading Relays at LBMS

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Long Beach Middle School students in Heather Fischer’s sixth grade class exercised their literacy and fitness skills during reading relay races on Sept. 29. They ran to and from various stations on the track, each of which featured an assortment of books to select from. Students paused for several moments per station and read excerpts from the books while taking notes about those that interested them. The activity served as an opportunity for the students to sample different books and identify those that they would like to read in full. After they completed the course, participants shared their feedback and top choices.

LB Odyssey of the Mind Teams Win NYS State Competition, Advance to Worlds

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Three of the Long Beach Public Schools’ Odyssey of the Mind teams earned top results in the virtual State competition and have qualified for World finals. Two groups from Long Beach Middle School won first and second place in their division and an elementary team placed second as well.

Each group took on a different challenge. The first place winners, who worked on the “Super Socks” problem, included middle school students Sydney Bergstein, Aaron Blau, Shane Haglich, Jordan Soriano, Mia Rose Techera, Aaliyah Trichter and Sebastian Triola. The middle school’s second place team completed the “OMER and the Beanstalk” problem and is comprised of Isabelle DePalma, Catherine Maguire, Marin Meola, Lucinda Nash, Kate Ragona and Kasper Yanowitch.

The second place elementary group, which solved “Problem 2: A Virtual Odyssey,” included Nathan Bregman, Emilio Diaz, Patrick Maguire, Sofia Milito, Calie Spitz, Jackson Spitz and Maximo Vitolo. Two other elementary squads did an excellent job as well. Maven Aull, Maya Cohen, Bianca Leible, Max Mason,  Shayna Tozer,  Christopher Montoya, Katherine O' Brein took on “Problem 3: Classics…OMER and the Beanstalk” and placed fourth, while Charlotte DePalma, Arlo Fox, Victor Zolley, Jack Biancamano, Colby Donaldson and Brooklyn Quigley came in eighth place for “Problem 5: Super Hero Socks.”

Middle school teams were coached by Susan Kasper and Douglas MacConnell, and the elementary students were coached by Mr. McConnell and Justin Sulsky.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international competition that provides its participants the opportunity to solve defined problems using a predetermined set of rules for the team to follow. Participants were required to write skits, create costumes and scenery, and perform an 8-minute skit according to the guidelines. The World level will feature students from each state and more than 20 different countries.






LBMS Students Earn Flawless Scores in WordMasters Challenge™

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Two sixth grade Activities Promoting Thinking students representing Long Beach Middle School recently received perfect scores of 20 in the second of three meets in this year’s WordMasters Challenge™—a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 125,000 students annually.

Competing in the very difficult Gold Division of the WordMasters Challenge™, sixth graders Ronin Morita and Jordan Soriano are among only 24 sixth graders across the nation who achieved perfection. Long Beach Middle School sixth grader Sydney Bergstein also attained outstanding results in the meet.

The students were coached in preparation for the WordMasters Challenge™ by sixth grade APT teacher Walter Kramme. Students are now looking forward to taking the third and final challenge at the end of April.

The WordMasters Challenge™ is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of logical relationships. Working to solve the analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically.