Arts Alive at Unity!

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

By Karen Bloch
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On Thursday April 30th, the Panda Learning Group hosted an Artists Cafe as the culmination of their project based learning. We had an amazing turn out and were so excited to see so much lovely art and so many talented performers come together for this special night. As a fundraiser for the Middle School overnight trips, we raised $798.69!

As a teacher, I often refer to myself as a guide or a coach. This project was born from a class brain storm about ways we could raise funds while doing something to bring the community together. The students organized into teams to handle art, food, talent and advertisement. Each team worked collaboratively to focus on their area as part of the larger picture.

It was wonderful to see the students so excited about owning this project and to witness them problem solving, collaborating and reaching out to the community with grace and professionalism. By the night of the event they had taken ownership of everything from food tables to art prices, from hosting the event to inspiring performers.

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I do believe we have created a new annual event as this brought out teachers, families, alumni and community members for a wonderful time. We truly hope you all enjoyed the night and we cannot wait to host it again as we go forward!

About the Author

Karen is in her thirteenth year as a teacher at Unity and her twenty third year of her teaching career. With a background in Theater, holding a BA in Theater Arts from Gettysburg College, she is enjoying her work as Unity’s Performing Arts teacher tremendously. She lives in Sussex County with her husband, daughter and a small menagerie of animals.

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.

Toy and Book Drive a Huge Success!

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

By Becky Donahue, Shamaya Fable, and Brynn Johnson
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On Saturday April 18, 2015, Teresa’s Project Based Learning Class hosted a toy and book sale in the Common Room of Unity. We collected toy and book donations for a few weeks. We priced and organized the toys and books for a few days and by Friday we were ready to go! It was a very successful day and we made over $550 for middle school class trips. We would like to thank all the people who donated and the people and teachers who came to support us at the sale.

Shamaya , Desiree , Brynn , Grace picture About the Authors

Becky Donahue is in 6th grade and enjoys dancing and playing with her dogs. Shamaya Fable is in 7th grade and enjoys cheer and gymnastics. Brynn Johnson is in 6th grade and she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and playing with her dog.

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.

Middle Schoolers Experience Poetry at The Lincoln Center

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

by Amanda DiBattista
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On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the Unity Charter School Middle School took a tour of Lincoln Center and saw a slam poetry performance. Mike, Amanda, Teresa, Deb (who was subbing for Karen), Sandy, Sandra, Marie and Joeleen were the chaperones. The students were given a tour of Lincoln first before seeing the performance. We toured The Metropolitan Opera house and some students even got to see them rehearse! The tour then moved to the building where the New York Symphony plays and then to the building where the New York City Ballet performs. Fun fact: the opening scene of West Side Story was filmed on the spot where Lincoln Center now sits!

The students then saw a slam poetry performance by Slam 103: Historical Remix. There were three performers who spoke about everyone from Cleopatra to Albert Einstein. The students were then challenged to make their own poetry and come up to speak. Two of our students spoke their poetry before the audience!

Overall, the students had a great time exploring Lincoln Center and learning about slam poetry! Thank you Karen for setting up this trip!!

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About the Author

Hola! My name is Amanda and I have been the Spanish teacher at Unity for 4 years! I teach all grade levels K-8 and I love how enthusiastic the students at Unity have been about learning Spanish. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking, traveling and watching my favorite team, The Mets.

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.

Middle Schoolers Partner with Kindergarteners for a Coding Adventure!

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

by Eileen Fishter OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Kindergarten and K/1 Learning Groups (Monica and Meghan) teamed up with Marie’s 7/8 for a BeeBot coding adventure! Marie’s class was given certain BeeBot facts, such as it travels 15mm with each forward/backward command and right/left turns are 90 degrees. Using this knowledge and online graph paper, they designed a grid or maze requiring up to 40 commands for the BeeBot to navigate through.

The 7/8 Graders took their design and drew it out on a 36 in. X 48 in. cardboard and added a maze theme with illustrations. Volcanoes, pets, and sports were some of the chosen themes. The 7/8 Graders also needed to make command cards for each step the K and K/1 classes had to program. On game day, students moved from maze to maze manned by the 7/8 creators, seeing if they could successfully program the BeeBots to reach the end of the maze. The students really worked together to make this a fun learning project!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

About the Author

Ellen Fishter came to Unity Charter School as the technology teacher last March. Prior to that she taught in Clark for 4 years and before that, Livingston for 15. When not working, she enjoys watching her children play collegiate lacrosse, photography, biking, and sewing.

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.

Middle School Students Embrace Community Beyond the Classroom

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Civic Responsibility, Education, Middle School, student post, Sustainability, Uncategorized, Whole Child Education

By Ben Heineman and Peter Ilias

The 6th and 8th grade Education for Sustainability classes are exploring the idea of community, specifically the history of Morristown and how Morristown (and other communities) are structured. We learned how communities create support systems to help its citizens. Our final project was to choose a small, meaningful idea that will help improve one of the following communities – our family community, our neighborhood community, our school community, or our town community.

Ben and Brandon decided to make snack packs for the middle school teachers during conference time since they often meet several hours in a row without breaks.

Peter, Nick, Matthew, Shavar and Alejandro put together a once a month plan to assist Chuck with cleaning hallways, common room and middle school floors and generally tidying the middle school classrooms.

But then something happened in our community.

On January 30th, a fire broke out on Elm Street in Morristown and firefighters fought it in the freezing cold from 11 o’clock at night until approximately 10:00 in the morning. It was so cold that the trees were frozen solid with ice. Above some of the stores on Elm Street, there were apartment. And in them were families. There were three kids. Two six year old girls and one eight year old boy.

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On February 6th, the 5th grade EFS class, watched a video about what happened on Elm Street. After that, the class came up with ideas on how to help the people in the fire. Some of the ideas were to put little pieces of paper with names of needed items on the door to the common room. Then people could take a piece of paper and get that item for the people in the fire. Some other ideas were to bring in items in which Susan (one of the EFS teachers, and parent of two Unity kids) could then donate directly. The class has decided to make backpacks full of school supplies for the three kids. Please consider donating.

About the Authors

Ben Heineman was born in Manhattan, NY, and currently lives in Maplewood. He has been attending Unity since 2nd grade. In his free time he enjoys playing, and watching sports.

Peter Ilias was born in Summit, NJ, and lived in Maplewood until he moved to Morristown. He still attends Unity,and is good with technology.

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.