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
ArtistCafe_192304 ArtistCafe_174403 ArtistCafe_201158

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.

ArtistCafe_195533 ArtistCafe_191725 ArtistCafe_174431

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.

Students Organize Litter Clean Up Event

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Civic Responsibility, Sustainability, Uncategorized, Whole Child Education

by Michele VanSciver
Litter clean up

Two children in Jens 2/3 learning group decided to study litter and the impact it has on our planet. As part of their study, they created a litter clean up event on April 18th at Burnham Park in Morristown.

Elizabeth and Ethan’s PLP (Personal Learning Plan) litter cleanup was a success! The kids were very enthusiastic about the project and spent more than an hour cleaning up the area. They collected several bags of garbage and a bag of recycling from the field behind the Burnham Park baseball field parking lot.

They were visited by a Whole Foods cyclist when they lined up for the picture. She gave out Gerber daisies and lettuce seed packets. A nice way to close the event!

About the Author

Michele Van Sciver is a parent of a third grader and kindergartener at Unity. She has been a member of the CommUnity for four years and enjoys watching the students learn about the world around them and how to protect it.

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.

Gardening at The Urban Farm

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

By Deb Marcus
Grow it Green 1

On Thursday, April 23rd, the Kindergarten, K/1 and 1/2 Learning Groups had a walking field trip to The Urban Farm, New Jersey’s largest school garden which is located at the Morris School District’s Lafayette Learning Center. Despite the unseasonably cool weather, the kids were enthusiastic walking to the garden and excited to see Farmer Shaun.

Grow it green 2

Farmer Shaun met us at the entrance and invited the kids in. He quickly reviewed the rules of the farm before bringing the students over to a vegetable bed. Here, he and his assistant explained how the vegetables we were going to taste had been growing all winter while protected by coverings. They handed out pieces of kale, collard greens, and spinach for the kids to taste. Believe it or not, most of the children liked what they tasted and asked for seconds!

Grow It Green 5

After tasting the various vegetables, the children were given shovels and provided the opportunity to dig small holes and plant new vegetables that could be grown during the spring. The children loved getting their hands in the dirt. One child found a worm and desperately wanted to take it back with her!

Grow it Green 4

The last activity at The Urban Farm was checking out the chickens and new chicks. The children were amazed by how fast the little chicks were running around the pen. We tried to be quiet so as not to startle them or upset the chickens.

The field trip ended with a walk back to school. It was a wonderful time and it seems we all walked away with a new vegetable we’d consider at the dinner table!

About the Author

Deb Marcus is a parent of a second grader and kindergartener at Unity and an active member of the Communications Committee. She has been a member of the CommUnity for three years and enjoys managing the Facebook Page and Blog as well as participating in classroom events.

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.

The Grand Falloons Teach The Environment Through Theatre

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Education, Sustainability, Uncategorized

By Kim Roberts

IMG_4483

On Wednesday, April 22nd, Unity students in grades k-4 were thrilled to welcome the Grand Falloons for an informational, theatrical performance on environmental topics, including the water cycle, ecosystems, and recycling. Led by two performers, the children were enthralled by the acts put on, as they laughed in their seats and starred attentively for the hour-long production.

IMG_4509 cropped

As a duo, the performers played off one another in a fun manner to demonstrate and elaborate on each topic discussed. Using their “Commensensanator” machine, the performers talked about how much garbage people use, giving insight to what it is, where it comes from, and what we do with it. Student volunteers were chosen to demonstrate an ecosystem, including the roles and functions of air, water, the earth and the sun. The water cycle was presented through a song, as volunteers rang bells. We learned that “everything comes from something,” as they spoke about plastic and where it originates. They touched on “where does trash go? Is it ever really away?” and demonstrated this with props that gave clear visuals for the audience. Lastly, they talked about recycling and the steps involved. Volunteers were called up to show the cycle, again, using props to make the experience fun, but also memorable.

IMG_4524

The Grand Falloons’ performance was a great addition to our Earth Week here at Unity Charter School. The students left with smiles and a greater understanding of our place in this world, what we as individuals can do to help the Earth be a healthier, cleaner place and had a positive vision for our future!

About the Author

Kim Roberts is in her second year at Unity Charter School. She currently works with Megan in the K/1 class as the teacher assistant and enjoys working at the school more everyday. Kim comes with a background in environmental studies, sustainability and art, as well as teaching experience in schools and at an environmental education center. Besides working at Unity, Kim enjoy photography, gardening and exploring the world with her 3 year old.

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
FullSizeRender FullSizeRender2

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.