Integration of Technology, Writers Workshop and Social Studies

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

By Jennifer Carcich
Kaden Bowie

Students in Jen’s 2/3 Learning Group were able to share their “All About Me” slide shows to younger student’s in Megan’s K/1 and Dina’s Kindergarten learning groups this week. The slide shows were part of several units of study combined by Jen and Diane, the technology teacher.

In Social Studies, the students learned about how the homes in the United States are built and compared them to the homes in Guyana through Skype sessions with children in Guyana. After this lesson, students took the information about their homes and began creating “All About Me” slide shows that explain who they are, what they like, the members in their family and where they live. Students learned how to import pictures, videos, sound and use graphics options to enhance their slide shows. This informational writing kicked of their unit on expository writing in class and helped the students improve their keyboarding abilities as well.

Students had lots to say about this unique lesson:

“I liked adding the video and that I got lead some of the lessons.”

– Bowie


“I liked how I was able to put everything that I liked into the slide how and using one video.”

– Haydn


“My favorite part of the project was that we got do it all about us.”

– Juliette


“We presented to the Kindergarteners!”

– Juliette


“We got to learn about how to do the slides.”

– Rebecca


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Now that the students have mastered Google Slides, they will be utilizing this knowledge to create slide shows as part of their personal learning plans in the second trimester. It was a winning combination all around!

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.

Unity Middle School Students Launch a News Show

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

by Veronika Dolak, Desiree White, Becky Donahue pic1

For our PBL (Project Based Learning) project, we thought of ways to improve the middle school. First, we made a survey for the middle school students and staff. The results came in and many people said that they wanted a middle school news show. We film the news on Wednesdays and Fridays. The news plays on a large tv in the middle school hallway on Mondays, Wednesdays,and Fridays. The news consist of 4 parts; upcoming events, birthdays, weather and lunch. The members of the PBL Group include Lizzie, Desiree, Venya, Shamaya, Becky, and Veronika.

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Student & Teacher Reviews

“I think it’s very entertaining and the weather portion is very helpful.”

-Brynn Johnson


“The weather is a great addition to the Unity News! very helpful.”

-Sierra Gastelu


“I am very impressed with the production of the Unity News. The show elicits excitement from all of the students each morning and I look forward to seeing future episodes!”

– Lindsey, Social Studies & Project Based Learning teacher


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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 Terminators Tackle the Lego League

Written by Deborah Marcus. Posted in Daily Life at Unity Charter School, Technology

by Jeffrey Mrozak

We are excited to announce the kickoff of Unity Charter School’s first Lego League team. It is an exciting premise bringing STEM into friendly competition as students complete project and design challenges. This after school enrichment group is held on Thursday for students ages 10-14. This year’s theme for the project challenge is “trash trek”.

Our team (“The Terminators” – as chosen by the team members) must utilize the engineering design process to help design a solution to the building trash problem that our society has. Our team must work together to develop a method to help reduce the garbage problem in some form. They decide which problem they would like to research, and then must design a method to help. They also must complete a presentation of their ideas. The Terminators will also compete in a series of “robot challenges”. They will be responsible for the design, programming and building of these robots. We are looking forward to a very exciting season in the Lego League and cannot wait to work together as a team and have fun!

About the Author

Jeff is a 3/4 Learning group teacher at Unity. He currently lives in South Orange and has a Siberian Husky named Cali. He enjoys all forms of art and creating it, and also love playing and watching soccer. Jeff has a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s Degree in Education as well as a Supervisor’s Certification from Seton Hall University. He is trained in S.T.E.M (the interdisciplinary approach to science, technology , engineering and math) and loves using this approach for all subjects in the classroom. Jeff enjoys working at Unity and embarking on exciting learning adventures in our classroom!

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.

Unity Students Learn to Code

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

by Ellen Fishter Avery Cropped

Unity joined thousands of schools last week in celebrating National Computer Science Education week. In K, K/1, and 1/2, students were introduced to coding using Bee-Bots. Students followed command cards to program the Bee-Bots then pushed go to watch their bumble bee “dance.” We also programmed a flash mob of Bee-Bots.

Bee_Bot_Docking_Station

For grades 3-8, classrooms were set up with Tynker – Hour of Code. Students signed in using their school account so their progress can be continued. In Tynker, coding is achieved by sequencing a series of blocks. We started off with the beginner game, Puppy Adventure, then moved on from there. Many students asked for a copy of the logon information so they can continue at home. There will be follow up lessons in coding in the lower school using Scratch and the middle school using HTML.

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.