The Fifth Grade Takes A Visit To The Seeing Eye

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

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In February, the fifth grade took a trip to The Seeing Eye. The Seeing Eye is the oldest guide dog school in the entire world! The students learned about the history of the facility. More specifically, the life story of Frank Morris and how he overcame the life obstacle of being blind in 1928 with his guide dog, Buddy. The story of Frank Morris serves as an inspiration for all by demonstrating that we can overcome life obstacles. The fifth grade learned about how the facility has trained 16,000 guide dogs that have served over 800 individuals who are blind.

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A few months ago, the entire Unity Community raised money for The Seeing Eye through fundraising event, Pennies For Puppies. The fifth grade took great honor in making the donation on the behalf of the Unity Community! Thank you for everyone who was involved especially Megan Higgins and Stephanie Litwin who led Pennies For Puppies!

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 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!!

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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.

Criminology Interest Group Students Investigate CSI Through Field Trip

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

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Officer Heather Glogolich is leading a Criminology elective in the Middle School and arranged a unique field trip for 7th and 8th grade students to visit the Public Safety Complex in Morris County on January 8th. The Criminology elective is focusing on dissecting a true-life case. To date, students have learned about the role of the police and investigators, investigative procedure, Miranda rights, the function of 911, and case review procedure.

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Before the field trip, Detective Sarah Weiler from the Criminal Investigation Division visited the class at Unity to field questions with regards to the case they are currently studying. Detective Weiler is familiar with the case the students are analyzing and shared her expertise in evidence analysis for the entire period.

Students joined Officer Heather, Middle School teacher Mike Braverman and parent Susan Ilias on the trip to The Public Safety Complex, which includes the Office of Emergency Management, the Communications Center – including 911 Operations, the Crime Lab, and the Bomb Squad. In addition, this complex houses the training facilities for police and fire.

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Upon arrival, students were welcomed into the situation room of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) by OEM Coordinator Jeff Paul. Jeff spent close to an hour describing the room, the function of the room and the functions of the staff that work within the main management room. In addition, he fielded questions from the students and adults. Questions ranged from procedure and process to real life situations like Hurricane Sandy and school violence. A state trooper joined the group and was able to detail the characteristics and educational background a student would need to pursue a career in law enforcement. From there, Jeff brought the students to see the county 911 operations room and 911 operators in action. Students then bundled up and walked outside to get a tour of OEM vehicles including a mobile crime scene unit.

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The group then visited the Crime Labs with Detective Sarah Weiler and Detective Craig Brooks of the Morris County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigative Division. The detectives walked the students through the Crime Labs explaining evidence, fingerprints, and DNA. Students were able to see where the detectives do their crime lab work and were even able to walk through an evidence room. The students visited another part of the Labs where photographic evidence is analyzed. They met two civilian photo experts working within the OEM and learned about their backgrounds and how they could have a career within a crime lab without a law enforcement background.

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Aside from the obvious benefits from this trip such as experts sharing their expertise and watching adults inspire the students, this field trip hit upon many of the 21st Century Life and Career strands of the Common Core Standards. Students witnessed how the OEM needs to use collaboration, teamwork, intrapersonal communications, media fluency, accountability, ethics, critical thinking, problem solving and leadership. In addition, students were introduced to many different careers and learned what they needed to do in order to prepare for such a career. The careers touched on abilities in all core content subjects – language arts, mathematics, science, and social sciences.

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Students returned to school and had a Criminology class with Officer Heather. Officer Heather started the class with a video of the Junior Police Academy. In doing so, she provided the students with a tool to begin career exploration this summer as well as a link between their field trip and their future career planning. Several students in the class took applications.

The remaining four classes of Criminology will focus on the true-life case the students are studying. The class will culminate in a mock trial with half the class acting as the defense and the other half acting as the prosecution with Officer Heather playing the role of judge. Students will take their knowledge from the course, their independent research (which included a hands-on project of recreating the scene of the crime) and what they learned from this amazing field trip to present persuasive, evidence-based arguments in this simulation of a real life event.

About the Author

Michael Braverman was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelors in Sociology. He received his masters in elementary education from Wheelock College in Boston. He taught fifth grade for six years in Natick, MA and taught fourth grade for two years in Randolph, NJ. He is currently in his eighth year at Unity, where he has taught a 4/5 classroom, middle school Science and middle school Math. Michael is also the Positive Discipline mentor for the staff as well as the middle school team leader. He has recently begun a program to obtain his supervisors certificate.

Michael has been married to his wife Diana for 10 years. They have a daughter Beau (8), a son Ty (4) and another daughter Finn (3). He loves to play sports, watch sports and coach sports. When Michael grows up, he wants to be a professional athlete.

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.