Unity Middle School Students Launch a News Show

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

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For our PBL (Project Based Learning) project, we thought of ways to improve the middle school. First, we made a survey for the middle school students and staff. The results came in and many people said that they wanted a middle school news show. We film the news on Wednesdays and Fridays. The news plays on a large tv in the middle school hallway on Mondays, Wednesdays,and Fridays. The news consist of 4 parts; upcoming events, birthdays, weather and lunch. The members of the PBL Group include Lizzie, Desiree, Venya, Shamaya, Becky, and Veronika.

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Student & Teacher Reviews

“I think it’s very entertaining and the weather portion is very helpful.”

-Brynn Johnson


“The weather is a great addition to the Unity News! very helpful.”

-Sierra Gastelu


“I am very impressed with the production of the Unity News. The show elicits excitement from all of the students each morning and I look forward to seeing future episodes!”

– Lindsey, Social Studies & Project Based Learning teacher


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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.

Unity Doubles the Fun with Two Events in One Day!

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

by Sheena Sullivan
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Unity hosted its annual Harvest Happening on Friday, October 30th. The morning was full of excitement as the children and teachers took part in the festive fall activities. Class parents were on hand to help with set up, games and chaperoning the groups. The fifth and sixth graders did an excellent job helping the younger students throughout the morning. Students in multi-age groups happily moved from station to station. Stations included zombie tag, push the pumpkin, pumpkin relay race, craft, wax museum, creeper and monster toss. The students enjoyed popcorn and cider at the PTO snack station.

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After the Harvest Happening, parents were invited to Bring Your Parents to Lunch Day. Students and parents ate lunch in the beautifully decorated common room. Parents took part in an authentic Unity lunchroom experience and everyone seemed to enjoy it! Thank you to all the class parents, event volunteers, parent attendees, lunchroom helpers, kitchen helpers and dishwashers for making Friday so special. Thank you to the garden and beautification club for the beautiful centerpieces.

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About the Author

Sheena Sullivan is the mother of Adam and Samer Anshasi and PTO president. She loves volunteering at Unity and helping parents connect with their children’s school. She enjoys spending time with her family and gardening.

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.

Our Field Trip to Cooper Gristmill in Chester, NJ

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Education, Field Trip, student post

by Haydn Salmon
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During our trip to Cooper Grist Mill, the first thing we saw was the keystone on the mill that had the initials “N.C.” which stood for the builder’s name, Nathan Cooper, and the year the building was created, 1826. We also saw the river and talked about a couple of animals that lived in the river or went there for water.

Then, we went over to the mill and the flume. The flume is super cool and deep! It’s 29 inches deep. The Black River got its name from the iron and algae that turns the rocks on its banks black. Then, after that, we went down to look at the giant water wheel. It was really cool, especially when it turned on. It is also very fast! We saw the elevator for lifting grains.

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Next, we learned about leather and how they use it to get power from the water wheel. The leather belt is the converter belt that helps power everything in the mill. Then, we got to use the pulley to pull up a big rock that weighed 100 pounds. It was hard, but then we added three more pulleys which made it easier to pull. I just went BEAST MODE when it was my turn to pull. We also got to the lever where we tried to lift a 45 pound rock with our body weight. We could not do it. Then, we made it easier by putting the fulcrum closer to the rock.

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Finally, after many people repeatedly saying that they were hungry, we got to eat lunch and take a bathroom break before we went on the bus to go back to school. It was a great trip to help us with what we learned about simple machines in science.

About the Author

Hadyn Salmon is a second grader in Jen’s learning group. He enjoys learning about black holes and anything to do with space. He likes electronic music.

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.

Students Pretend It’s 100 Years Ago on Field Trip

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Education, Field Trip, student post, Uncategorized, Whole Child Education

By Sarah Marcus FullSizeRender

Last week, everyone in Jeff and Julia’s 3/4 classes went to The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts. We looked around and had to guess what the building used to be, since it is 119 years old. It looked like a church because of the high ceilings and glass work on the windows, but it was actually once a library!

The classes broke out into two groups. One went down stairs and the other stayed upstairs. Since kids made their toys out of clay, feathers and wood. Julia’s class got to make marbles out of clay, as it was one of the toys that kids would make on a farm. We got to play games with marbles just like kids did more than 100 years ago. We even got to take our marbles home with us!

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After the classes switched activities. Julia’s class went downstairs. They got to pretend it was 100 years ago and we lived on a farm. We learned that children had lots of jobs before and after school and after dinner. The instructors picked volunteers to perform different chores. The chores included making breakfast (collecting eggs from chickens, milking the cows, churning butter, making bread and picking apples), gathering water, making a fire, making candles, getting wool from the sheep and cartering the wool.

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We learned about the different clothes that boys and girls wore. Girls wore long dresses and had to be careful of getting them wet and dirty in water and mud. Boys wore really high socks and short pants because it was easier to clean socks then pants. We learned that living on a farm was hard work!

We hope to go back again soon because it was so much fun!

About the Author

Sarah Marcus is in Julia’s 3/4 learning group. She has been at Unity for four years and she thinks it is a very fun school. Her favorite subjects are PLP, technology, and writing. Sarah likes to write, sketch, and play with dolls and Legos in her spare time.

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.

Students Go Mad For Mad Science

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

By Jacqueline Messano
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On October 6th, Jen’s 2/3 learning group attended the science of toys workshop located in the common room at Unity. Bionic Bonnie was our toy specialist, representing the company Mad Science. The children were instantly enthused when they walked into the room, and saw the neat toy display. Each of these toys applied to the science concepts we have been exploring so far this year. These scientific terms include motion, friction, force, gravity, energy, air resistance, electricity, kinetic energy, and potential energy. Bionic Bonnie showed us 4 toys at a time, what they were called, how they operated, and proceeded to apply the laws of motion to each. The children were broken into groups according to the tables they are seated at in the classroom. Four stations were set up with one of the toys in each. The children rotated stations utilizing each toy, while making connections between the toy and laws of motion. Bionic Bonnie displayed 12 toys in total so the children broke into their groups to do their 4 station rotation 3 times. Every child was given at least 2 turns with all of the toys.

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Toys such as the Popper, and Switch Pitch addressed the concept of gravity. Bionic Bonnie emphasized that no matter how much energy we use to toss these toys into the air, they will always come back down because of Earth’s gravitational pull. Many children offered many creative and inventive names they thought the toys should be called instead. In the classroom, we explored friction by working with toy cars, and ramps made of aluminum foil, wax paper, sandpaper, and cardboard. They were able to apply their knowledge of friction to one of the toys involving a bird attached to a rod. The piece the bird was connected to caused it to move slowly rather than drop quickly when it was coming down the from the top of the rod. One of the toys that the children were very fascinated by was the magnetic wand. A plastic wheel with two small metal pieces on the sides attracted to the rod, and spun around when it was moved from side to side. Those were just a few of the impressive toys we worked with!

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As you can see, the students were very engaged in the activities! The children were very happy to find out that each of them would be taking home their very own yo-yo. This toy couldn’t have been more perfect for them to take home because just the day before a student mentioned how this toy applies to Newtons Third Law, action and reaction. Overall, the assembly was a great and enjoyable experience for everyone! It was great having that chance to really get that hands on experience while working with each one of the toys. It teaches us that science is and can be fun. Bonnie did a great job reinforcing each of the scientific terms by showing them how they apply.

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Bionic Bonnie noted that most of the toys that she used can be found in a Cracker Barrel store. If you are interesting in playing some fun and educational games with your child, the company website is www.madsciencekidsclub.com, and the promo code is SYS4407. They are located in Morris and Sussex and can be contacted through the number (973)983-6030.

About the Author

Jacqueline Messano is a student teacher in Jen’s 2/3 learning group. She is currently finishing up her last college semester at William Paterson. She couldn’t be more thrilled to have been placed at Unity with such a great group of children, and cooperating teacher! During her free time, Jacqueline enjoys the outdoors, a good book, and nice cup of tea. 🙂

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.