Monthly Guide - April 2014

Set your DVRs for 7:30 a.m. on April 6, 13 and 27. NJTV will be pre-empting Classroom Close-up, NJ  at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. due to fundraising drives.

Show #13 April 6

number the starsNumber the Stars - Fifth-grade students at Alan B. Shepard Elementary School in Old Bridge work on a holocaust education project that incorporates character education, art, and language arts. Students read the book Number the Stars and then create paneled works of art called triptychs using historical photos to show how their lives were transformed.
Rewind: Science - Over the past two decades, New Jersey educators have found creative ways to not only teach science, but to inspire children to want to become scientist. From Marsville to the Liberty Science Center, see how teaching science has changed over the years. Classroom Close-up has featured stories on dozens of rocketry and robotics programs, in addition to lessons on Bread Science, Project Egg , archaeological digs, and dozens of science programs that bring the parents back to school. Don’t miss the mad science lab, Buehler Challenger, Culinology, Girls Rock Science and Zombie Apocalypse.
Authors & Educators - Many educators are also authors. Former Haddonfield teacher and author of "The Silver Linings Playbook," Matthew Quick joins current and retired educators to discuss balancing writing with teaching and how each inform the other.
Take a Vet to School – There is no better way to learn about Veteran’s Day than to spend time with a real veteran.  The students at Toms River's Hooper Avenue Elementary School celebrate Veterans' Day by inviting veterans into their school to share their stories of service. The program begins with students and veterans participating in a flag-raising ceremony. Then the veterans - who have served in World War II, Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, among other conflicts - visit classrooms to tell their stories and answer students' questions.

Show #14 April 13

Help for DrewHelping Drew - Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Teaneck's Bryant Elementary School get an early anti-bullying lesson from a teacher-produced puppet show called "Helping Drew". Elementary school educator Alex Ishkanian combines his passion for the performing arts and his education background to create engaging, dramatic program for elementary-school-aged students. Watch a clip of "Helping Drew" at www.upinarms.biz.
Career Choices - Middlesex County Vocational School staff are giving eighth-grade students a sneak peak at the possibilities for their professional futures through the Career Choices program. The program brings middle school students to the vocational school for a 90-day rotation through three distinct areas: digital media technology, construction technology, and food and health technology.
Rock-n-Roll Shop Class - Mercer County Teacher of the Year Michael Friedman introduces his eighth-grade students at Albert E. Grice Middle School, Hamilton Township to the rock-n-roll side of shop class by teaching them how to make their own guitars. Friedman and his students built a "Restore the Shore" themed guitar with his students that they are currently working to get autographed by celebrities. They hope to auction it off to help raise funds for Sandy relief efforts.
Seuss Day - Seuss Day is the culmination of a week-long celebration of Read Across America at Wanaque Elementary School. The day starts with a green eggs and ham breakfast sponsored by the PTA. Guest readers visit the classrooms and the library is turned into Mulberry Street mall. Older students lead Seuss-centered activities for the younger children. The entire school is involved in this event, and this year the theme is “Reading is a Shore Thing.” The goal is to raise money for Superstorm Sandy recovery. The day ends with an assembly where the Cat in the Hat makes a surprise visit.

Show #15 April 20

Rewind – State Teachers of the Year –  Ever wonder what happens to those educators who have been selected to represent New Jersey teachers? Classroom Close-up, NJ has featured the NJ Teachers of the Year for the past 20 years. From the 1994-95 Teacher Thomas Tracey Fallon to last year’s  Lauren Marrocco, see what impact they’ve made over the years.
Yale Distinguished Music Educator - What makes an outstanding music teacher? Ask Tom Murphy who is this year’s Yale Distinguished Music Educator. Murphy teaches at the Randolph K-12 school district, and after 27 years of teaching, still loves his job. His enthusiasm and energy engages the students’ performances. Murphy, who teaches at Randolph High School, Randolph Middle School and Center Grove, was chosen from an applicant pool of more than over 300 entries that represented 45 states. This award entitles him an all-expense paid trip to the 2013 Yale Symposium on Music, which features workshops, break-out sessions, concerts, and an awards dinner.
Write Type of Mentor - Even professional writers know the value of finding the right writing mentor. 2012-2013 Passaic County Teacher of the Year Mary  Duffy and her colleague at West Milford's Marshall Hill Elementary School help their second grade students find the "write" type of writing mentor from among the fifth-grade students. For their efforts they won grant money to implement their program which is designed to empower their students as authors.
TOY 20142013-14 Teacher of the Year - Teaching is not about the textbook, it’s about the kids, according to Kathleen Assini, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Delsea Regional Middle School and the 2013-14 NJ State Teacher of the Year. Her dream was to become a math teacher, but after only a semester in college, she decided to quit and go to cosmetology school. She worked as a hair dresser for the next 25 years, but it was her involvement with her son’s school that encouraged her return to her dream.

Show #16 April 27

C:Reboot –Students across the country build robots and compete for national recognition, but for many schools, the cost of constructing robots is not in the budget. But thanks to a Frederick L. Hipp Grant, students at Howell Memorial Middle School can join in the fun. C:REBOOT stands for Construction: Robotics Engineering that Builds Original Opportunities through Technology. The program incorporates engineering standards within STEM based learning. During an afterschool program, sixth through eighth graders build a functional robotic prototype vehicle designed for competition.
Carbon FootprintCarbon Footprint - Most people don’t think about the carbon footprint that they leave on the environment when they buy a product. But students at Samsel Upper Elementary School in Sayreville are not only paying attention, they are working on ways to reduce their carbon footprint.  The children are looking at ways that products, food, energy consumption, and transportation impact our environment.  They also have a Waste Free Lunch competition in which different grades are pitted against each other to determine who can make the least amount of waste at lunch.
Music Makes a Difference – Music makes a difference in the lives of students with disabilities who attend Joseph F. Cappello School, which is part of the Mercer County Special Services School District. Eric Marozine teaches children with autism and cognitive impairments how to enjoy music and develop some motor skills. For these children, small miracles consist of a smile or a simple nod to the music.
Rewind – Reading - Since the day schools were first created, reading has been a staple. Over the past two decades, educators have worked hard to come up with ways to get children hooked on reading. They use the Cat in the Hat, pirates, dogs, iPads, and much more to get children excited about reading.