•  family
    Meet Mrs. Lucido
    Hello! My name is Melissa Lucido. I am a life-long Pascack Valley area resident, having been raised in nearby Montvale, where I continue to live with my husband John and our three beautiful children Michael (22), Gianna (20) and Ava (11). We love animals, dogs especially, and enjoy spending time with our three pugs Bella, Darla and Romeo. I love being an early elementary school teacher and have been blessed to work with eager, young learners for two decades now. Time flies when little minds are being shaped!
    My love for education dates back to my nursery school years at Lollipop School in Park Ridge and then continuing on. To this day I have endearing memories of those early, formative years. My mother recalls stories of how I burst through the school door, eager and excited to start my journey and never looked back (much to her dismay.) School continued to be an enriching experience for me right through college. Out of all of my favorite memories over the years however, nursery through second grade remain among the most cherished years with special memories of special teachers, friends and learning. It is for this reason why I enjoy teaching young students so much. I continually strive to create a learning atmosphere that is diverse with opportunities for exploration, creativity, passion, positive praise and most of all provide fun, meaningful learning.
    The daily creativity and structure that occurs in my classroom is due in large part to the fabric of who I am. This includes a life-long love for the performing arts. I studied all forms of dance for most of my youth (tap being my absolute favorite!) and teenage years as well as theater and vocal performance in high school and college. I performed in many musicals and continue to choreograph theater groups with elementary through collegiate level students. I serve as an adjunct professor/ choreographer for the Aquin Players Thespian group at Dominican College in Blauvelt, NY for eighteen years now. Additionally, I co-direct our Smith School Fourth Grade Theater Program which is a fantastic learning experience for both the students and myself each and every year. A distinct performance opportunity came to me some years back and I had the unique honor of singing at the White House in 1998. Each one of these performing arts experiences helps mold and shape the style of educator I am today. There is so much joy in learning, especially when it can be touched, explored, acted out, danced, performed and discovered with the heart. 
    While I firmly believe in honoring and integrating classic and pertinent first grade learning, today's core curriculum standards and advances in technological learning deem the necessity and importance of instruction to the twenty-first century learner. First-grade students are challenged with meeting goals today that vastly differ from our own personal school experience. In order to meet the needs of every student, both academically and socially, the following activities and routines take place in my classroom: Morning meeting with daily current events, oral discussions, review of skills and sharing of life-events with students; instruction and immersion in Reading and Language Arts in various forms all throughout the day: group read-aloud, small group, partner pairs, one-on-one; a focus on word work which builds phonics and phonemic awareness skills; engaging students in inquiry-based learning and critical thinking; writing opportunities through author as mentor studies, teacher modeling, personal narratives and on subjects they are "experts"in; cross-curricular centers, with students self-managing their progress and working collaboratively with peers; hands-on learning in Math using the SMART board and manipulatives to thoroughly practice and understand math concepts; Science and Social Studies exploration through STEM learning; interactive cross-curricular learning experiences using the Smartboard projector, laptops, online educational programs and resources that broaden our learning beyond classroom walls; time to promote social development, peer interaction, sharing and conflict resolution; daily routines with students including students learning about classroom responsibilities, practicing at becoming independent and self-sufficient students, caring for personal items, tying shoes, managing school-to-home folders, becoming familiar and autonomous with daily, consistent routines; observing and demonstrating care, compassion and respect for all: teachers, peers, adults and self. After reading all of this, one can see and appreciate the importance of first grade and its powerful impact on work habits and future learning.
    The overall goals I have for each and every student of mine are the following: to set a positive example, be a caring, nurturing role-model and demonstrate how fascinating and exciting school and the learning process can be. This is accomplished by introducing your children to as many meaningful learning opportunities as possible, engaging them in various and creative ways, offering positive praise and encouragement to delicate, developing minds and esteems, maintaining consistent, practical and effective routines and structures in class and lastly, giving them a solid educational foundation as they begin their educational journey. I want to see each student of mine enter and exit school each day with a smile and excitement about their day! I invite you to drop in and visit with us. We bustle about with activity and are engaged in exploring each and every day. We are happy to share with you our newest learning adventure and love when visitors can contribute to our experience in some way!
                                                                                                   All the best,
                                                                       Melissa Lucido 
Last Modified on September 2, 2020