Students Celebrate the Birthday of the Trees!

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Education, Uncategorized, Whole Child Education

by Kimbelry McCurnin Tu BShevat Meaning

On Wednesday, February 4th, Benjamin’s mom came in to visit our classroom and share the Jewish Holiday of Tu B’Shevat with us! We learned that Tu B’Shevat means, “The 15th of Shevat” in Hebrew, and that it is a holiday that celebrates the birthday of the trees!

Story Time

We began our cultural celebration by reading Madelyn Rosenberg’s wonderful book, “Happy Birthday, Tree! A Tu B’Shevat Story.” In the story, a little girl, Joni, is celebrating Tu B’Shevat, and she tries to think of the best gift for her favorite tree. After reading the story, the children responded to the question, “Which gift do you think is the most important one that Joni gave her tree?” Many children decided that Joni’s gift of her promise to always do her best to respect and take care of the trees was the most important one of all. The children really resonated with this story, and many commented at the end, “This is a perfect book for Unity Charter School!

Trying Food2

After reading our book, we had a delicious snack of pomegranates, olives, and grapes. Many children had never had pomegranates or olives before; so, many children were brave and gave them a try! Many decided that they did prefer these new snacks and happily enjoyed them with their classmates!

In our final activity to celebrate Tu B’Shevat, we each used an old container to plant seeds. We planted parsley and basil, and we gave our seeds the gift of water, just like Jonni. It was a wonderful cultural celebration that truly embraced the importance of our impact and effect we can have on the natural world. Thank you, Benjamin’s Mom!

Planting2 Planting3

Happy Tu B’Shevat!

The African Wild Dogs

About the Author

Kimbelry McCurnin is the lead 1/2 Grade Teacher at Unity Charter School. She graduated with high honors from Boston University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She began her teaching career here at Unity working alongside Jennifer Carcich as her teacher’s assistant from 2011-2012. Kimberly is thrilled to rejoin this special, close-knit commUnity and honored to be part of such a talented, passionate staff. In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys attending yoga classes and taking advantage of the wonderful culture and arts that New York City has to offer.

5th Graders Rock at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Field Trip, Middle School, Uncategorized

by Christopher Imbriaco Sterling Hill Mine

This past month, the Snow Leopards (fifth grade) took an exciting trip to Sterling Hill Mining Museum, a zinc mine from the 1900’s. This served as an extension on what the children learned in class. Students were first set out on a scavenger hunt to learn about rocks and minerals. Following this, the Snow Leopards were taken on an underground mine tour where they saw machinery equipment that was used in the mine to get an idea of what it was like to work in the mine. Afterwards, they explored fluorescent minerals under fluorescent lights! The students then had a hands on experience by participating in a frigid rock discovery activity. Overall, it was a fantastic trip and thank you to all those that helped!!

Rocks Sterling Hill Mine Flourescent

About the Author

Christopher Imbriaco has been teaching fifth grade for the school year and so far his time has been extremely rewarding to say the least. He has been teaching for nearly four years with his prior teaching experience including teaching middle school math and business courses at the high school level. Prior to embarking on his teaching career, Chris worked in corporate business for over five years. Some of his interests include sports, the global economy, and any activity that involves being outside. He would like to thank everyone who has been a part of his journey at Unity and looks forward to branching out and making new connections down the road.

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Unity Charter School. Unity Charter School is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.

5th Graders Bring Creative Idea To Unity Morning

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Middle School, Uncategorized, Whole Child Education

by Christopher Imbriaco Art Gallery

In January, the fifth grade class ran the morning meeting for the entire school. The students wanted to add something fresh to the meeting and came up with the concept of having an art gallery. The Snow Leopards came up with their own system that allowed two students each day to present their artwork in front of the whole entire school! The work was displayed for a week in the common room. The fifth grade should be proud of the idea and system that they created. Also, an additional thanks goes to the students who took on the initiative of taking on more work so that this idea would materialize. Job well done!

About the Author

Christopher Imbriaco has been teaching fifth grade for the school year and so far his time has been extremely rewarding to say the least. He has been teaching for nearly four years with his prior teaching experience including teaching middle school math and business courses at the high school level. Prior to embarking on his teaching career, Chris worked in corporate business for over five years. Some of his interests include sports, the global economy, and any activity that involves being outside. He would like to thank everyone who has been a part of his journey at Unity and looks forward to branching out and making new connections down the road.

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Unity Charter School. Unity Charter School is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.

Valentine’s Day the Unity Way

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Health and Nutrition, Sustainability, Uncategorized

by Jennifer Carcich

Valentine’s Day at Unity Charter School means a time to share kind thoughts through sustainable and unique expressions. This year the students shared a wide variety of eco-minded and crafty Valentines. From paint color cards and re-purposed calendar hearts, from hand crafted clay hearts to birdseed hearts for our feathered friends, Unity’s Valentines are one of a kind. Natures bounty let children state “You are the apple of my eye.” and “Orange you glad it’s Valentine’s Day?” along with the quick witted “Stick with me.” Enjoy looking through some of this year’s creations:

20150214_094630 image 4 image1 (1) image1 image2 imagejpeg_0 imagejpeg_1

About the Author

Jennifer Carcich is the 2/3 Grade Teacher and Lower School Team Leader at Unity Charter School. This is her fourth year teaching at Unity Charter School. She is certified to teach both general education and special education students and has been in the teaching field since 1994. Jennifer takes pride in helping Unity Charter School continue to strengthen its unique and innovative approach to education and bring forth the school’s mission.

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Unity Charter School. Unity Charter School is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.

Join Students to Raise Funds for Special School in Haiti

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Civic Responsibility, Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Uncategorized

by Julia Kelly

Unity’s mission of sustainability has always incorporated a major commitment to social responsibility in our school, our homes, our lives and the greater community around us. As part of this mission, Unity is involved in a special effort to provide financial assistance to a very special school in Haiti that needs our help.

IMG_3264

Unity students pride themselves on monthly service learning projects. Many of the fundraising ideas and community outreach come from the students themselves. The study body at Unity realize the great need in Haiti and would specifically like to raise funds for the School Cite of Soleil, since they realize how difficult it is to obtain the proper materials and supplies needed to have a great learning experience. The students also plan on setting up several skype sessions with the students of Cite of Soliel to connect on a more personal level.

In order to raise money for these students in Haiti, Unity students will be having bake sales, art shows and talent related fundraisers. Go Fund Me site is a simple way for us to connect virally to the world and help raise funds for the school in Haiti. Won’t you please join us in this effort and donate whatever you can afford towards this very worthwhile cause. All donations will go directly to the school and the children that attend it.

About the Author

Julia Kelly has been working at Unity Charter school since 2002 and has predominantly taught third and fourth grade. Although she did teach second and third grade for three of those years. She was drawn to Unity because of the mission and loves to help students understand how preservation of our planet is so important. Julia has been gardening and been dedicated to preserving our planet from a very young age. She has been overseeing the Unity garden since 2012 and enjoys sharing this with her students. Julia is a skier, hiker and musician and loves to read and travel. She currently lives in Sparta, NJ with my husband Jim. I have two grown children and three step children.

The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Unity Charter School. Unity Charter School is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the author.