06 Apr

Dr. “G” visits the Lower School

Submitted by Jessica Pomeroy and Michael Rodenbush

On Thursday, April 5th, fourth and fifth grade students had the opportunity to attend a presentation with Dr. Deborah Gilboa.  Dr. “G.” is a well-known parenting and youth development expert, family physician, media personality, author, speaker and social influencer.  Her primary focus is character development in children ages 2-22 and helping children develop crucial life skills. Her work with 4th and 5th graders emphasized responsibility, respect and resilience.  Dr. G was received extremely well by our fourth and fifth grade students. Noelle said, “I like how she was funny, but she was also very informative at the same time.  She helped keep us engaged.” Jake, another fifth-grade student, shared that he learned skills to interact with parents and earn privileges by being responsible. Fourth grade Adina’s take away applies not only to parents but anyone you are trying to negotiate with: “When you get in an argument, make eye contact, use a quiet voice and don’t tell someone to calm down. Don’t tell them how to feel.”

Communicating styles with peers and with adults have similarities but also differences, and Dr. G helped students see the differences so they understand some of the skills involved in communicating needs and wants.  A fun, informative and very relevant presentation for our students, we are most grateful the Parents Association for sponsoring this event.

06 Apr

First Grade Houses and Homes

Submitted by Madison Farrar, Rachel Brainin, and Dorothy-Ann Muus

The first grade recently celebrated their Houses and Homes projects with an exciting and informative assembly that showcased the models they constructed. It was the culmination of their Social Studies unit which introduced the study of human shelter in the six habitable continents.

To begin the unit, their teachers led them on a walk to view the unique features in the neighborhood homes close to our school. Next, the first graders studied the important jobs and trades in the construction business. They visited a local lumberyard and hardware store for a scavenger hunt to learn about the materials used to build real-life homes. While in class, the children excitedly teamed up to build one of the model homes that represented the six inhabitable continents, and then began to plan their communal creations.

Thirty-four six and seven-year old children were transformed into six distinctive construction companies with the goal of working together to create a specific type of home using available materials. To learn how to work together, the first graders focused on the words Collaboration, Cooperation, and Communication. During discussions about the 3C’s, their teachers improvised little skits to model the language and behaviors people use to work effectively as a team. They were encouraged to pay close attention to their teachers’ mannerisms, tone, and words and to articulate what they noticed about the interactions. Walking around later as the groups decided and designed, we overheard remarks like, “Let’s use both your idea and my idea!” or “Let’s try your plan and see, and then we’ll try mine.” The Three C’s were a recurring theme throughout the first-grade Social Studies unit.

In addition to practicing the three C’s during the design and building phases of their model shelter, the first graders explored the concept of shelter in various other ways. In math, they graphed necessary materials used for shelters. In Word Study, they became familiar with words related to the building trades. In science, they studied the natural materials used world-wide to erect shelters for families. Individually and as a group, our first-graders enjoyed reading and writing factual books about different types of shelters.

Once the groups decided on names for their construction companies, they collected recycled materials and began the process of designing and constructing their models. For several days, the classroom was filled with hustle and bustle and lively activity – a happy flurry of discussion and movement and industry with parents providing needed help with hot glue guns and cutting tools. The final projects were colorful and distinctive structures that included inventive, practical features such as solar panels, water collection systems and even an entrance ramp for a wheelchair!

The first graders took their jobs very seriously, and truly lived by the three C’s. The project brought out the best in everybody and really fostered a sense of accomplishment and community pride amongst the entire grade.

06 Apr

2nd Graders meet Canine Companions

Submitted by Marina Byrne and Jennifer Koteles

Seven years ago, D-E second graders began their community service journey with CCI (Canine Companions for Independence). Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® is a non-profit organization that “enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.”

We were first introduced to this wonderful organization through a partnership with D-E’s neighbor, Caryl Swain, who is a puppy raiser for CCI. As part of our study of communities, we invited Caryl to come and speak to us about what she does.

Fast forward seven years later as our current second graders continue the tradition of learning about CCI. Caryl paid us a visit several weeks ago to explain what she does as a volunteer and introduced us to her dogs, Forest and Andy. Caryl has a new puppy that is 8 weeks old named, Swain. It was named in her honor by CCI as the 10th puppy she has raised. Before the break, we had a Read-a-Thon and raised $919.15! With this money, we purchased items from the CCI wish list on Amazon.

On April 5th, the second graders took a trip to Medford, Long Island to visit the facilities where the puppies continue their training before being matched with families. We had the opportunity to see dogs at work, visit the doggy playground, speak to a veterinarian and ask lots of questions. The children were so proud to give CCI their donations and to see where Caryl’s puppies continue their training. Thank you to all the families who helped us with this wonderful service project, and we look forward to continuing this second grade tradition for many more years!

06 Apr

Lower School Students Lend A Hand To Project Cicero

Submitted by Kristin Geller

Saturday, March 17 was the first day of D-E’s Spring Break, yet the campus was full of teachers! Over 350 teachers from under-resourced school districts in New Jersey came to campus to participate in Project Cicero. Under the leadership of D-E alumni Teddi Hunter ‘87 and Jen Backer ‘87, Project Cicero Northern New Jersey organized book drives that collected and offered FREE new/gently used books to build and supplement classroom libraries in schools across northern New Jersey.

This year a group of Lower School 4th and 5th graders volunteered with Project Cicero by helping to sort and organize the thousands of books that were collected. Additionally, students from D-E’s Middle and Upper school volunteered to make this project a huge success.

Project Cicero is fueled by the prolific words of Cicero himself, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

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16 Mar

Jump Rope for Heart Reminder

Jump Rope for Hearts donation envelopes went home this week.  Donations can be made either online or return envelopes to Mrs. Franco after the spring break by Friday, April 6, 2018.  Contact Mrs. Franco at francok@d-e.org if you have any questions.  To learn more about Jump Rope for Heart please click here or go to: http://american.heart.org/jump-hoops

16 Mar

¡Si, Se Puede!

Contribuido por  Doctora Collado and Senora Harrison

Yes, our students can see their growth in Spanish! Using the Can-Do Statements, a framework developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in collaboration with the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL), our teachers, Señora Harrison and Doctora Collado are fostering Spanish proficiency through comprehension, conversational and writing tasks.

Using culture and literacy as a foundation, the students build their Spanish skills while having fun. In Preschool students make their own huevos verdes con jamón, green eggs and ham, based on Dr. Seuss’ story. Kindergarten and first graders build their Spanish vocabulary through the making of piñatas and casas respectively. Second graders are starting to create sentences in Spanish using the Symtalk picture system. In third, fourth and fifth grades, learners engage in reading, conversational and writing tasks in themes such as music, sports and leisure, and heroic figures. Through teacher feedback and self-assessments students set individual goals that help them grow.

16 Mar

The Power of the Dream

Submitted by Mary Heveran

On Thursday, March 15 the second, third, and fourth grade presented their annual spring concert which featured music and artwork. The concert is a combination of singing, dancing, and playing instruments such as recorder, xylophone, metallophone and glockenspiel.

Each year the concert has a theme. This year the theme is the power of a dream. Students have been preparing songs that reflect the types of dreams that one has and the idea that we must all realize the power of our dreams – no matter what they are. Reaching a goal, dreaming of a new place to live, believing in yourself, and always remembering to follow your heart…wherever they make take you.

I am so proud of all the hard work the children have done and I am so thankful that I followed my dreams of teaching a love of music to children. My dreams come true each and every day as I watch and listen to these magnificent children who bring love and joy to my heart. Thanks to my colleagues Lisa Dove and Melissa DeJesus for making this evening exceptional.

30 Oct

Wild West Book Fair

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We are looking for Wild West Book Fair 2017 volunteers. Flexible hours are available for various shifts. Please check Just the Facts for details. More sign-up information coming soo.

“What’s YOUR Superpower?” Special Event Guinness World Records is designing a fabulous family-friendly show especially for our LS Book Fair that aims to bring you closer to discovering your answer to that question. Two shows: Join us Monday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 PM or at 6:30 PM for these special events. Pizza will be served!

RAFFLES! Already generously donated to this year’s raffle are: an Echo Show, Garmin Vivo Fit Junior, Gazillion Bubble Show Tickets, and Sponge Bob Squarepants Tickets! If you are willing to donate an item, please visit https://goo.gl/UNm5Xs and place your name (or “anonymous” if you’d rather ) next to the item, and send an email to Catherine Eby (2017 Book Fair Raffle Coordinator) at catherine.eby@gmail.com to coordinate item pickup at school. If there is any item that you would like to gift to the Book Fair that is not listed, please feel free to do so. We greatly appreciate all of your generosity and school spirit!

  • Monday, Nov. 13: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Hajjar Auditorium

30 Oct

Diwali Assembly

The  Lower School experienced a beautiful assembly celebrating the Indian holiday of Diwali, the Festival of Lights!  Lower School students learned that Diwali is the biggest and brightest of festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs all over the world.

Lower School students of all ages taught us that Diwali commemorates the victory of good over evil, and is a time for new beginnings and the Indian New Year.  Many people celebrate by going to the temple and offering sweets to Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity.

During our assembly, students who celebrate Diwali shared their traditions through song, dance and story. After a brief lesson about the significance and origin of Diwali, pre-school through fifth grade boys and girls performed a series of fun Indian dances set to popular Bollywood music.  The energy in the room was incredibly joyful as children in the audience celebrated along with the performers by clapping and waving their arms with tremendous enthusiasm.

The response of the audience showed how much the Lower School students appreciate the opportunity to learn about other cultures and celebrate with one another!  This beautiful assembly helped us learn about a holiday important to so many of our students and their families, and we are most grateful to the families who organized, performed and helped us celebrate! Happy Diwali!