Monthly Guide - July 2014

Show #7 – Aug. 3 

Cardboard Regatta - Honors engineering students at Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale compete in the annual Cardboard Regatta Boat Race. Students must design and build boats out of cardboard and plastic that will hold two students. The students then take their boats down to the lake by the school and race each other approximately 50 meters across the lake.Cardboard

Rewind: Parental Involvement – In this Rewind segment we take a look at how parental involvement programs have changed over the past 20 years. Research continues to stress the impact parental involvement has on student achievement and self-esteem. 

They are Heroes Too - For the past five years, military spouse and Roland Rogers Middle School teacher Terry Dougherty has run a tutoring program for the children of military families who move into the Galloway Township community. Terry began the program when she encountered the children of military families who were transferring into the school but who were not at grade level. Terry organized her colleagues from Atlantic County and students at nearby Stockton State College to tutor students over the summer to help ensure that they are ready to learn when school starts in September.

Cooking with Culture - Students and their families celebrate their cultures through food at Florence Riverfront School's Heritage Day. Fifth-grade students work with their families to learn more about their own cultures by preparing a cultural dish that is shared with their classmates. Families come in to help serve the food and talk about their cultural heritage. 

Show #8 – Aug. 10 

EdCamp - Edcamp STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) is an “unconference,” an opportunity for educators to work together to provide free, participant-driven professional development in a conversational format. EdCamp was created by New Jersey teachers who wanted to get more out of their professional development opportunities. Each EdCamp also provides participants with an opportunity for hands-on learning. 

Building Kids Program - Students at Haleyville-Mauricetown Elementary School are building boats to apply the concepts they are learning in math, science, language arts, art, and other subjects. The students in Commercial Township are part of a self-contained special education class for third through fifth grades. Under the guidance of their teacher and through the Building Kids Program, students use power tools to build two canoes that they will launch and race on the township's Lake Audrey in June. Building kids

Music Integration – Fort Lee’s School No. 1 is using music to extend concentration among general education and special education students in kindergarten through second grade. In addition, working one-on-one using dials to analyze a student’s response to various genres of music, educators are studying the impact the music has on a student’s ability to focus, which will help to improve and enhance student learning. 

Rewind: Educational Support Professionals – In this Rewind segment, we take a look at the role of Educational Support Professionals in New Jersey public schools. They make sure the buildings are clean and safe and they assist in the classroom, the hallways and the playgrounds. They drive school buses and run cafeterias and the front office. Educational Support Professionals (ESP) include maintenance workers, custodians, security guards, school secretaries, paraprofessionals, cafeteria workers, and many more job titles but their goal is the same: to make schools safe, caring places in which children can learn. 

Show #9 Aug. 17 

Milken Award  - Patrick O’Neill has one goal for his fourth-grade students at Ocean Township Elementary School in Oakhurst -  to love coming to school. He uses technology to grab their attention and track their learning. O’Neill pilots new programs and his students’ assessments are showing impressive gains.

Rewind Holocaust  - Twenty years ago New Jersey became the first state to mandate a holocaust/genocide curriculum.  Since then educators across the state have developed powerful lessons ranging from the holocaust to modern day genocide, and most recently the 911 curriculum. 

Sign of Distinction – Juliana Frankenfield teaches American Sign Language at Vineland High School.  She was nominated by one of her students for a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars.  The organization was founded by Claes Nobel, a nephew of Alfred Nobel, who established the Nobel Peace Prize.

Señor Solis – His students at Eisenhower Middle School know him as Merced Solis, but his fans know him as World Wrestling Federation Champion Tito Santana.  From a migrant worker as a child to a Spanish teacher in Roxbury, Señor Solis shares his gratitude for education.

Show #16 Aug. 24

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 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.Carbon Footprint

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.

Show #17 Aug. 31 

Future City - What is it like to be an engineer and build a city of the future? Just ask the students at Valley Middle School in Oakland. Last year they won the grand championship in Washington D.C. and this year they are hoping for another national title. Future City is a national competition for middle schools that fosters math, science, engineering and literacy skills. They work in teams using SimCity 4 Deluxe software, a program that requires students to incorporate details about the environment, quality of schools, budgets and everything city planners must consider. They also write a research essay, construct a tabletop model using recycled materials, write a city narrative and design a five to seven minute presentation.

Slow & Steady - How does a school district go from failing, with the looming threat of a state takeover, to the gold standard for good urban education? The answer is through the hard work and long-term vision of educators and the community, reaching out to parents, providing resources for parents and professional development for teachers. A quarter of a century ago, Union City’s schools were failing. Today, test scores compete with their suburban cousins in reading, writing and math, despite the challenges they face. Union City is the most densely populated city in the country. 80 percent of the students speak Spanish as their first language, and that same amount of students are on free and reduced lunch. In 2011, 89.4 percent of the students graduated - that’s 15 percent higher than the national average. Nearly 60 percent head to college. Many of the staff and administrators who work in the Union City schools walked in the shoes of the students. They were immigrants or children of immigrants, grew up in Union City and then returned to give back to their community. This is a lesson on how unions, administrators and the community can work together to improve the schools.

Rewind – Art – New Jersey public schools value art in the classroom. Over the past two decades, we’ve visually documented amazing art in the classroom. The art programs range from art therapy, to face painting inspired by impressionists, to detailed portraits of an aging face, and much more. Don’t miss this visual inspiring story.