22 Jan

Digging and Hovering

In the late fall, the third-grade students studied archaeology in conjunction with their study of the Lenape.  As a way of having students experience the work of an archaeologist, they conducted a “dig” on our Lower School grounds.

The children were assigned a spot on a gridded area to begin their dig.  Before long they were weighing and measuring artifacts, writing detailed log entries, and putting together a hypothesis about what existed here many years ago.

Although they didn’t think they would find much they discovered coins, a wooden comb, bones, pottery shards, and even an arrowhead!

Currently, third-grade students are building their own hover craft.  They were motivated by the recent “hover board” craze and decided to build one after completing some research.

Watch our homemade hover craft in action

They decided to build a hoover craft that would actually “hover” without wheels.  So far they’ve been successful and each student has had a ride down the hall on the hover craft powered by an electric leaf blower.  As an extra engineering challenge, the children have decided to alter the hover craft so that it would take adults for a ride also!  By changing one variable at a time, the children will discover how to enhance their hover craft and possibly let adults have some fun, too!

Ben explains how the hover craft was made.

22 Jan

Preschool 4

The preschool 4 students have been learning about animal tracks.   When we first began this study, it was important that the students could relate this to themselves.  What better way to achieve that than to learn about their own tracks!  We read “The Foot Book” by Dr. Suess and then got down to serious business.   All feet and toes were painted which resulted in several red, blue and yellow preschool 4 “tracks”.

08 Jan

Fourth-Grade Publishing Celebration

Ronda Sowa and Michael Rodenbush

The fourth-grade students invited their parents in to present and celebrate the publishing of their persuasive essays.

Prior to the presentation of the essays, the children and parents gathered in one classroom so the students could share what they learned about crafting persuasive essays.  The children learned how to outline the basic essay structure using ‘Boxes and Bullets,’ a method developed by the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Within a ‘box’ the writer puts their thesis statement. As fourth grader, Daniel, states, “A writer’s thesis statement is your big idea.” Each ‘bullet’ listed below the ‘box’ is a supporting statement that is used to develop the body of the essay.  Uma shared, “A writer’s supporting paragraphs need to prove the thesis statement.”

The fourth graders also learned about backing up their supporting statements with personal anecdotes, research and statistics. They also learned to incorporate the use of transitional phrases and how to write a compelling conclusion.

During the celebration, all of the essays lined the halls just outside the fourth-grade classrooms. Parents spent their time reading the essays and providing written feedback and encouragement to the authors.

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08 Jan

Second Graders Tour to Learn about Englewood, New Jersey

Submitted by: Marina Byrne, Kristin Geller and Jessica Rullo

The second-grade classes embarked upon a “Tour of Englewood” after learning about the similarities and differences among three types of communities: urban, suburban and rural. The students enjoyed touring our local suburban community of Englewood, New Jersey.

The tour included the following:

  • a drive down Palisades Avenue and into the business district to observe and learn about commercial spaces
  • a visit to Englewood Florist to learn about a local small business;
  • a stop at Englewood Police Station for a tour;
  • a close look at City Hall;
  • a drive by Mackay Park to see community recreation space;
  • a stop at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center to tour and learn about our community healthcare;
  • a drive amongst local streets to observe and learn about residential space

The tour was complete when we drove by our own Head of School’s residence!

Mrs. Byrne, Miss Rullo and Mrs. Geller were the tour guides for this trip and they highlighted the physical characteristics (landforms, buildings, roadways, transportation), the human characteristics (workers, residents, volunteers, government) and the cultural characteristics (history, food, languages, recreation) of Englewood.

The students absolutely loved this trip, and it was a great way for them to see a suburban community in action!