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Unity Charter School class visits Loantaka Brook Reserve for hands on learning

Written by Cat D. Posted in Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Education, Sustainability, Whole Child Education

loantaka3To make their unit study of water and the states of matter come to life, Jen’s 2/3 Learning Group took their first “in the field” trip of the year at Loantaka Brook Reserve in Morristown.

The students created underwater-scopes in class out of old yogurt containers and plastic wrap. They used these tools to help them observe the animals, plants and other items found in the brook. The children enjoyed lovely weather, fresh air and time in nature.

loantaka2The class found three frogs, a worm, fish, spider webs, bone fragments, algae and many leaves. We used our Science eyes to collect data both with and with out our scopes and record the data with sketches and words in our Water Logs. We look forward to at least two more adventures in local waterways this school year!

Unity Charter School Field Day 2014

Written by Cat D. Posted in Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Positive Discipline, Whole Child Education

By Jen Carcich Field Day 2014This year, Unity Charter School had the picture perfect field day! The weather was sunny and warm with a faint breeze blowing. The entire school walked over to Collinsville Park for a morning packed with activities. The children were broken into multi-age groupings K-6 with the 7th and 8th grade students being the group leaders. Group leaders instructed the group how to play each game, made sure everyone had a turn and that the games were played fairly. Teachers facilitated as well but the day was very much student lead. Shoe fly, parachute games, wet noodle tower and the wet sponge relay were just some of the great activities. Our PE teacher, Alyssa, had all of the children practice the games in during PE in the weeks before field day.Field Day 2014 2 The Parent Association provide watermelon and veggie sticks for snack. This year the events ended with a water balloon toss with teams comprised of eighth grade students and the staff member of their choice. It was a very close competition, but in the end Danielle and Ethan were the winning staff/student pair. It was a great way to end out final full week of school.

Unity Eco-School Interest Group Creates a Healthy Crunch Recipe

Written by Cat D. Posted in Health and Nutrition, Interest Groups, Sustainability

By Amy Hoffman
Healthy Crunch photo4
Healthy Crunch photo6
Healthy Crunch photo1

The Eco-School’s Healthy Foods group is working each Thursday to redefine snacking here at Unity! We worked tirelessly to investigate produce that we could grow quickly and here at school.

We have been fortunate to have been able to use the grow station that, parent, Rich Hoffman generously donated to grow Sprouts! So, the group needed to think of a snack that we could “invent” using sprouts…. Here is Unity’s very own snacking creation – Healthy Crunch!

Ingredients:
  • Gluten Free Bagel Chips
  • seeds for sprouts, soil, water, and sun.
  • hummus
Procedure:
  1. Plant seeds. Grow sprouts. Harvest. To harvest, cut near the bottom. Cut in small pieces. Wash well.
  2. Get a bagel chip. (G-F)
  3. Spread the hummus on chip.
  4. Sprinkle sprouts on hummus.
  5. Eat!

Personal Learning Plans: Unity Charter School’s unique approach to project-based learning

Written by Cat D. Posted in Education, Whole Child Education

Annie 2Football Player BiagraphyMath Word ProblemsMedieval Board Game

By Catherine Delett

In December, Amy V’s 4th grade students invited parents into the classroom to see their PLP presentations.

PLPs, or Personal Learning Plans, were the topic of a Community Coffee last year.

Being able to see the kids present their hard work really underscored what a wonderful learning strategy PLPs offer.The projects came in all shapes, sizes, and topics – but one thing can be said for all of them – the children were clearly enthusiastic about learning, creating, and presenting them. Some worked alone, others in groups, and all appeared to be having a wonderful time showing parents what they learned about the selected topic.

Here is a sampling of projects that were presented to parents:

  • The creation and filming of a sequel to Annie, for which the students had to work together to write a script, learn lines, and learn how to film a movie, among other things.
  • A presentation of a series of more and more complex math word problems, a few of which, I’m not embarrassed to admit, had me stumped. Not so for our intrepid presenter, however, who called on parent audience members and let us know if we were correct.
  • An elaborate board game based on Medieval times and weapons which included not only creating a usable game with set rules but also extensive research into Medieval weaponry and history.
  • A presentation of a series of programs written using an Arduino.
  • A detailed biography of a well-known pro football player, presented as a PowerPoint presentation, complete with music and animations.
  • An exploration of the Greek gods through facts and information displayed in an elaborate ancient Greek-inspired MineCraft world, complete with temples, pillars, and movable levers revealing information about each god.

Each project was based on topics of interest to the students involved, but also interwove other areas of learning such as study skills, research techniques, and presenting. There is nothing like being in a room of confident, enthusiastic learners!

New Feature on the Unity Web Site

Written by Cat D. Posted in Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Uncategorized

By Catherine Delett

My first grader has been using a cool new feature of the Unity web site recently – the “shortcuts” link at the top of the homepage.

Shortcuts link

See it? Right there in the top corner above the menu banner.

If you click it, you get a grid of icons that link to web sites the kids use at school, as well as a convenient link to the Realtime Parent Portal.

Shortcuts Having a first grader, we usually click once more on the K-4 icon to get this:       K-4-Shortcuts   It’s really helpful because my son knows how to find what he is looking for because this is how they find the web sites in the classroom. Thanks, Unity, for helping to make some homework days a little easier!