Unity Kids Have a Passion for Spices

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Education, Field Trip, Health and Nutrition, Whole Child Education

by Jen Carcich

To extend the fun and enriching experience of the Lower School classes cooking soups in class as part of the PTO’s fundraiser, Souper Game Night, students from the 1/2, 2/3 and both 3/4 classes went on a trip to become mini-chefs!

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Each learning group traveled to a commercial kitchen in Summit where a diverse set of professional chefs from Passion for Spices taught the children how to make authentic, healthy, Mexican foods. Handmade tortillas, salsa, guacamole,grilled peppers, onions and a yummy vegetable called chayote were all on the menu. Students sliced, diced, mashed, mixed and grated everything! Mango/avocado ice was created for the children and was a semi-sweet way to end our meal. Every child was engaged and encouraged to try a bit of everything. Most children loved it so much they they had second helpings of their meal. Copies of each recipe went home with the children and they are excited to cook them at home.

Some quotes from participants:

Alicia Silvestri, Chaperone: ” My favorite part of the trip was to see the kids learn how to cut vegetables, make dough and shred cheese, I believe all these new skills will help them develop a healthy self-esteem, also how almost all dared to try foods that never tasted before, like “chayote”. This field trip was a great experience!!”

Greydon Carcich, Student: “My favorite part was making the guacamole. The food was awesome!”

Alexis Smock, Student:“My favorite part was when we made the tortillas. We flattened them.”

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About the Author

Jennifer Carcich is the 2/3 Grade Teacher and Sustainability Coordinator at Unity Charter School. This is her fifth 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 and continuing 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.

Popcorn Helps Learning Group Understand the States of Matter

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

by Jennifer Carcich
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Last spring, Jen’s learning group planted non-GMO popcorn in the school’s organic garden. It was a tough summer, but the harvest this fall allowed for the students to pick and dry just enough ears of corn to use for their science unit.

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The students have learned about the states of matter and how heat is the variable that makes matter change to various states. Just in time for Thanksgiving, the students were able to use their kernels to see what happens when the tiniest bit of liquid water is heated inside of the kernels. The water heats, changes to steam and explodes through the kernel’s non-permeable skin causing the kernel to “pop” open. It was an exciting and delicious way to learn about the states of mater! Yum!

About the Author

Jennifer Carcich is the 2/3 Grade Teacher and Sustainability Coordinator at Unity Charter School. This is her fifth 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 and continuing 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.

Apples and Learning at Sun High Orchards Field Trip

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

By Daisy Illescas
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Last week Dina’s K class and Megan’s K/1 class had the privilege to go on a field trip to Sun High Orchards in Randolph, NJ. It was perfect fall weather with the wind blowing on a beautiful sunny day. Once we arrived at the field trip, we were greeted by Farmer Karen who was our guide. We went to four different stations in which Farmer Karen shared important information with us.

She shared how corn is actually in many products that are eaten at home and in certain products that are biodegradable. Both classes were able to participate and see how if a certain item is biodegradable it dissolves in water.

Farmer Karen then took us to another station where we discussed animals. Farmer Karen shared how certain animals help protect the farm from other animals. For example, dogs are an important animal to have on a farm because they help protect the crops. If animals such as deer and turkeys go to the farm, they can eat apples, pumpkins and even damage trees!

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Just like in our gardening science lesson, we were told by Farmer Karen how certain insects are helpful and others are harmful. We played a game of guessing which animal was helpful or harmful to the plants at the farm. We learned that caterpillar even though they are cute little insects, are actually harmful to plants because they eat the leaves. Ladybugs are very helpful insects because they eat the very harmful very harmful aphid, which prevents the aphids from damaging plants.

We also learned the importance of having bees! Bees are responsible for pollination. Farmer Karen explained to us that bees help with creating more apples on the apples trees. The bees transfer pollen from one flower to the next and once pollinated, an apple will grow. We then learned an apple rap song, “Way up high in the apple tree, two little apples smiled at me. I shook that tree as hard as I could, and down came the apples. Mmmm, they were good!”

After our fun educational tour, we were able to get apples, choose a pumpkin, and try some delicious cider! We couldn’t leave the farm without seeing some animals. We saw rabbits, chickens, ponies, and a pig.

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About the Author

Daisy Illescas is a student teacher in Megan’s K/1 learning group. She is currently finishing up her last college semester at William Paterson. She is enjoying her time at Unity, and glad to be in such a great classroom of children and cooperating teacher. She loves to watch movies as well as spend time with her nephews.

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.

Unity Fun Run Generates Fun and Funds

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

By Jennifer Carcich image3

This year, the rain held out and our Unity Fun Run went off as planned on Thursday, October 1st. Our physical education teacher, Alyssa, became the DJ and played pumping music for the runners. The students, siblings, parents and teachers ran/walked five laps on the driveway and Evergreen Place for a total of one mile. Several spry students ran more! Some staff members positioned themselves on the course to ensure safety and to cheer on the runners while others ran the course with the children. Before and after run, the children played on the playground, ate snacks and enjoyed some relaxing time together. This great time outdoors was a great way to raise funds for sustainable projects for Unity Charter School. We raised $710 just by running in circles! Keep training and we hope to hold this energetic event again in the spring.

About the Author

Jennifer Carcich is the 2/3 Grade Teacher and Sustainability Coordinator at Unity Charter School. This is her fifth 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 and continuing 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.