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.

Students Harvest Their Spring Crops at Grow It Green Garden

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

Written by Deb Marcus FullSizeRender

It was a cool, crisp fall day when Kimberly’s 1-2 Learning Group took a walking field trip to the Grow It Green Garden at the Urban Farm in Morristown. The children, accompanied by Kimberly and 4 parent chaperones, walked 2.5 miles round trip to experience the garden. When they arrived at the Grow It Green Garden, Farm Shaun gathered the children and reviewed the rules. Children listened closely and were quick to participate and share ideas and thoughts.

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Since it was fall, the children had the opportunity to taste some of the crops that Unity classes had planted this past spring. The children started by tasting leafy green vegetables, like swiss chard, collard greens and kale. One child curiously asked if the red swiss chard tasted different than the green swiss chard, so Farmer Shaun and Rachel, his assistant, let the children taste both kinds to compare. The children’s opinions were varied, but most agreed that the vegetables tasted great.

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While tasting the collard greens and kale, one student observed a bee on the ground. Farmer Shaun gently returned the bee, which had a broken wing, to a flower. He went on to explain how bees and wasps were valuable to gardens as they eat the insects on the plant leaves which help keep the leaves healthy.

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Next, the children had the opportunity to try both red and orange cherry tomatoes. While waiting by the cherry tomato vines, one child observed some ants. Farm Shaun explained to the class that ants are good for plants because they make tunnels where air and water can pass through to the roots of the plant.

While walking across the garden to the next crop, Farmer Shaun and Sarah invited the children to rub their hands against lavender bushes and to then smell the fragrance it left on them. The teacher and chaperone explained to the children how lavender oil may help calm and soothe people and may be used in baths as well as tea.

The last vegetable that the children tasted was green wax beans. Each child was able to pick a ripened bean off the vine and eat it while watching the 9 chickens play in the coop. Sarah checked for eggs but there weren’t any at the time.

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The children had a wonderful time trying new vegetables, learning about plants and insects, as well as seeing the chickens. This field trip was important in forging garden-to-table connections that make the children more likely to try new foods. Many of the children were sad to leave and look forward to returning again soon.

A big thank you goes out to Kimberly, and parents Ankita Roelofs, Pinal Patel, and John Daily for making this a successful field trip for the 1-2 Learning Group!

About the Author

Deb Marcus is a mother of two daughters at Unity. She has been a parent at the school for three years and has managed the school’s Facebook page and blog for a year. Deb is a part-time marketing consultant and enjoys exercising and spending time with her family.

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.

Washington DC Field Trip: A Student Perspective

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

by Sierra Gastelu FullSizeRender2

I just returned from a great trip to Washington DC with grades 7 and 8. This trip was educational, historical, and overall a really great way to close the year. We visited many places, learned about our country and had fun with friends and teachers. FullSizeRender3

One my favorite parts of the tour was visiting Lincoln Memorial because of the beautiful artifacts and the amazing view of Washington DC. We also went to Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s Memorial and actually stood on the very steps where he told his “I Have a Dream” speech. This made me think about how things have changed over time and how important it is to make a difference in the world. I enjoyed seeing the United States Navel Academy and learn about the history of navel officers and their bravery. The campus had amazing buildings and monuments to honor these officers.

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Mixed in with lots of learning experiences were fun activities and time to hang out with friends that will soon be graduating. I loved the Ghost Tour led by a tour guide who told us legends about the geographical places in Washington DC and historical figures. On our last day we visited the Smithsonian Zoo. We ate dinner one night at the Hard Rock Café where they had great music and everybody in the restaurant was enthusiastic and interactive which made it fun. What a way to end the school year!

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About the Author

Sierra Gastelu lives in East Rutherford, NJ She has attended Unity Charter School for two years starting in sixth grade. In her spare time she likes music, plays piano, is involved in performing arts and snowboards.

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.

Snow Leopards Take Over The Liberty Science Center

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Education, Field Trip, Middle School, Uncategorized, Whole Child Education

by Christopher Imbriaco

In May, the fifth grade had their heads in the clouds. No, not because they were day dreaming about summer, but because the Snow Leopards participated in a lab called, “Head in the Clouds” at the Liberty Science Center! The students engaged in hands on activities that extended their knowledge on weather. Some of the topics they explored were cloud formation and the water cycle. Thanks to everyone who shared in this event!

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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.