If you follow national trends in education, you probably know that a lot of kids don’t know much about history.
A report on MS-NBC this June revealed that only 20 percent of all eighth-graders nationally were considered to be proficient or better at American history. Nationally, only 9 percent of all fourth-graders could identify a picture of President Lincoln. As trends in education go, it’s not an encouraging one.
Although it doesn’t usually grab the headlines the way that math, science and literacy do, history is an important part of education. Like all good literature, history tells us how we as a people came to be where we are now, and it does this by making reading something other than a mindless function.
Who can read Frederick Douglass’ autobiography without feeling enraged over what he suffered as a slave? Who can study the Caesars without getting wrapped up in the layers of court intrigue? History isn’t just the remote past; taught right, it’s as living as the present.
While we can’t claim to have the answer for the rest of our nation, we do think that we’ve found a resource that’s going to be an excellent fit for Greater Brunswick Charter School. If you have a child in at least third grade this year, you’re going to like what we’ve done with our social studies program.
This summer, the school bought the History Alive curriculum. Published by TCI, History Alive is a curriculum that will lead our students across America’s past, along the heights of ancient civilizations, and through the medieval world. And because history isn’t just a series of important dates .and famous people, we love it that History Alive invites students to dig deeper.
As students study the Industrial Revolution, they can learn how industrialization led to an increase in productivity and profits – but they’ll also learn about the physical demands of working in cotton mills, and the conflict between the owners of cotton mills and their workers.
Through lessons like this one, we’ll encourage your children discover history through the lives of the people who were there, and to discover how history grew out of the interaction of these different viewpoints. As they look at the issues that defined an era, they’ll be asked to evaluate issue and to render their own judgments.
We’re not a school that is dependent upon textbooks to the exclusion of other resources. We never will be.
But there’s no denying that a well-written and well-designed textbook can do a lot to enrich a class, with succinct, to-the-point writing and generous use of photographs to connect the writing with the reality.
In the past few years, we’ve improved our math program with the Investigations curriculum, and we’ve seen a lot of progress with the Writers Workshop program. And now we’ve added social studies to the programs we’ve improved. I think you’ll like what you see.
History will never be the same again.
Photo Credit: Anthony Lardaro Photo Credit: Maria Marshall Photo Credit: Anthony Lardaro Photo Credit: Maria Marshall
Family after family filed into the Art Room at GBCS on January 12, 2012 for our second “Make Your Mark” Art Night. When the room filled, we pulled tables into the hallway so the artmaking could continue!
Our friends from First Investors joined us for an evening of painting. Their creativity and enthusiasm was contagious.
See you at our next “Make Your Mark” Art Night on Thursday, February 23 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm.
On Thursday, February 23 we had our third “Make Your Mark” Art Night. Artists cut and glued scraps of fabric. Our next event will probably take place in April.
El jueves, el 23 de febrero tuvimos nuestro tercer “Hacer su marca” Noche de arte. Las artistas cortaron y pegaron pedazos de tela. Probablemente tendrámos el próximo evento en abril.
This Wednesday, February 29 marks the end of our first official round of enrichment clusters at GBCS. Thank you to all the students and facilitators who made these past six weeks a learning experience to be remembered.
You are invited to a gallery opening for the “I Spy…” cluster Wednesday, February 29 at 3:30pm in the school hallway.
Este miércoles, el 29 de febrero marca el final de nuestra primera serie de grupos de enriquecimiento en GBCS. Gracias a todos los estudiantes y facilitadores que crearon una experiencia de aprendizaje inolvidable durante estas últimas seis semanas.
Usted está invitado a una exposición para el groupo “Yo veo …” el miércoles, el 29 de febrero a las 3:30 pm en el pasillo.
September 28 Deadline to submit children’s art Over the Moon Toys
Create art using or depicting one or more Everyday Objects, any medium. Artists 18 and under may submit art to Over the Moon Toys by Friday, Sept 28th. All artwork will be displayed during Arts in the Park, Highland Park’s Art Festival on Sunday, Sept 30th. Please submit the artist’s name, age, and contact information with the art. For more information, email email@example.com or call 732-545-0096.
September 28 7:00 pm New Jersey Film Festival Screening
September 29 Zimmerli Art Museum
Free Admission: Museum Day Live!
Highlights for the day include several exhibitions to engage family members of all ages, including “Lynd Ward Draws Stories: Inspired by Mexico’s History, Mark Twain, and Adventures in the Woods.”
September 29 4:30 pm – Hub City Sounds, Family Friendly Programs by George Street Playhouse and American Repertory Ballet
George Street Playhouse’s touring production of Austin the Unstoppable — a musical for families about health and wellness by Barry Wyner and Daniel Israel. At Hub City Sounds, the dancers of American Repertory Ballet will present excerpts from two dances, “Grumpy Bird” and “Drive”. “Grumpy Bird” brings Jeremy Tankard’s children’s book to the stage in an interactive format for the community.
September 30 11:30am-4:30pm Arts in the Park: 2012
Highland Park’s annual Arts in the Park festival is a day-long outdoor street festival that celebrates our creative, multicultural, dynamic, artistic community.
Zimmerli Registration open for Drawing Club for Children and Youth
Meets five Wednesdays from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m.; 6 to 8 year olds begin October 3
ZAM Session for Teens and Young Adults meets six Saturdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m., beginning September 29.
Exhibit: “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” New Brunswick Free Public Library, 60 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ
October 1 7-8:30pm Will Allen-Visionary Farmer
Will Allen created an urban food network that today distributes food across seven states, produces 40 tons of vegetables a year, and provides a serious challenge to the industrial agricultural system. This 2008 recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, shows us how urban farming can not only provide a solution to our ecological and energy crisis, but can also lead us back to a time of community, sustainability and self-respect. LOCATION: Ruthie’s Bagel Dish, 70 Raritan Ave., Highland Park, NJ 08904
October 3 5pm – 9pm Art After Hours @ Zimmerli
Art After Hours Welcomes Visual Artist Rita Leduc and Rap Artist David Rush. Rita was a visiting artist in our cluster program at GBCS last year.
October 4 7pm Alfa Art Gallery
“Reflections” – Watercolors Group Exhibition Opening Reception (a First Thursday event)
October 4 5-7pm Princeton ArtWalk:The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society
Meet at the Arts Council of Princeton/Paul Robeson Center for the Arts
102 Witherspoon Street
Walk to include The Fertile Crescent exhibits at the Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton University Art Museum, Bernstein Gallery, Princeton Public Library and a performance by artist Nezaket Ekici at the Lewis Center for the Arts (185 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ).
October 5 7:00 pm New Jersey Film Festival Screening
71 Hamilton St, New Brunswick, NJ
October 6 8:30am-11:30am Global Cardboard Challenge @GBCS
I don’t know about all of you, but I am ready for spring. This cold weather is difficult to deal with on a personal level and it creates unique problems for schools. We have used three snow days so far this year and our calendar allows for two. This means that we need to make up one day. That day will be on February 14th. This was scheduled for an in-service day for teachers and a day off for students, but instead it will be a regular school day for everyone. Teachers and students will be off on Monday, February 17th. If we have another snow day, we will need to use the Monday after spring break as a regular school day. Please remember that when making plans.
In bad weather, dismissal is always a struggle. Parents want to get their children quickly and the school wants to do what is the best for all of us. We tried a new dismissal procedure last week during our early dismissal which was successful. Walkers and those taking a bus were dismissed normally and everyone else was dismissed from the gym. We will be using this in the future for bad weather. That means heavy rain, snow or extreme cold. Dismissing from the gym keeps your children and the teachers safe from the effects of the bad weather.
The office was swamped last week with people picking students up prior to dismissal. We can’t prevent you from doing this but it does create a bit of chaos with crowds in the office and many phone calls to classrooms. We encourage you to wait until normal dismissal time whenever possible. Regular dismissal is three and early dismissal is 1:35. There is one restriction, however, that we will follow. Students will not be dismissed in the last 15 – 20 min before the scheduled time. That means 2:45 on a normal day and 1:15 on an early dismissal day. Teachers need that time to get their classes ready for dismissal and if we continually interrupt them it makes it very difficult.
We ask that when students are dismissed from the gym parents make sure they speak with the teacher before taking their child.
Thank you all for your help and cooperation on our last early dismissal day. It was a stressful day for all. I appreciated the cooperation and patience of parents and I appreciated the efforts of our teachers. Teachers stayed around making sure that all students were safe before they left for home themselves. For some, the ride home turned into a 3-5 hour adventure.
Stay safe and warm through the remainder of this cold spell.
The Dual Immersion Language Program services both Spanish speaking students who need to learn English and students who want to learn Spanish as a second language. The Design of the Dual Language Immersion Program reflects the most current research on second language acquisition.
? Classes are integrated to promote cultural and language exchanges among the students.
? Students learn both languages through content area instruction
The 50/50 model is delivered at the elementary level for all core subjects. This year the program goes through 3rd grade and will eventually expand through 5th grade. At the Middle School level we are planning for students
to participate in advanced level Spanish classes to support current ability, which will prepare them for higher levels of Spanish classes in high school.
The Dual Language Immersion Program is committed to preparing our children for success in the XXI century. Mastery of
more than one language and understanding and appreciation of cultural and linguistic diversity, greatly contributes to the success in our community. In a speech, President Barrack Obama spoke about Education Reform and said “We
should be emphasizing foreign languages in our schools from an early age”. Furthermore research has shown that
early childhood is an excellent level to begin second language learning and to develop cross-cultural appreciation. To this end, our Dual Immersion Language Program takes advantage of the diverse linguistic and cultural natural resources our children can bring to the classroom from their homes.
? To develop bilingual, bilateral and cognitive skills in English and Spanish
? To reach higher levels of achievement on standardized tests in both English and Spanish
? To promote positive cross-cultural understanding and appreciation by integrating culturally and linguistically
diverse students in classrooms.
? To develop positive self-esteem through sharing family and cultural traditions.
? To develop a respect for multiculturalism through the use of a variety of literature and other materials.
Learn more about Dual Language by reading the following articles:
September Lunch Menu
GBCS 9-2014 Lunch Menu (2)
Mark your calendars!
Here at GBCS, we are getting super excited for our 3rd Annual Global Cardboard Challenge at Greater Brunswick Charter School.
Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM
This event is part of the Imagination Foundation’s 3nd Annual Global Cardboard Challenge, a worldwide celebration of child creativity inspired by the short film, “Caine’s Arcade.”
It is a time to celebrate the creativity and imagination of kids everywhere! Thousands of kids (and adults!) from all over the world design and build awesome creations using cardboard, reused materials, and imagination.
Highlights from last year include an elaborate castle with knights in cardboard armor, luxury homes, a rocket ship, and an obstacle course!
We hope you’ll join us!
The beginning of the school year is such a great time to make a fresh start. Here in the art room we are doing just that, with the help of some new equipment that has just arrived.
Last year, thanks to an Arter Charter grant, funded generously by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, we were able to purchase equipment to grow our art and music program. For visual art, our main goal was to create a ceramic program and make space for the display of student artwork.
Our new wedging table has allowed us to recycle all the scrap clay we have collected from previous years. We love sticking our hands in wet clay!
Our shiny wheel will allow us to throw pots and teach us about physics. Even our teachers are excited for some lessons!
Here is Mr. Garcia helping to make large bulletin boards for our hallway by stretching some linen over large sheets of Homasote.
And finally, kiln posts stand at attention, ready for the day we will fire our kiln.