Show #13 March 2
Number 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.
- 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 March 9
- 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.
- 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 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 March 16
– 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.
2013-14 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 #11 March 23
- Mullica Township fifth graders learn all about New Jersey's number one cash crop. Working with researchers at Rutger's Blueberry and Cranberry Research Center, the "cranbassadors" become experts in all things cranberry. In October, they share their knowledge with visitors by leading bog tours during the Chatsworth Cranberry festival.
Butterflies and Voices
- Research reveals an ancient and intimate connection between language and landscape, so the students at Glassboro High School walk into the woods to create art from nature as part of Voices from the Land project. Once the art is complete, the students use digital technology to document their work. This project originated from the Monarch Teachers Network, which shares the lesson of the migration of the monarch butterfly.
Barcode of Life
– Through DNA, High Point Regional High School students can predict the future of a species and the effect that man has on the environment. Their research is published in the International Barcode of Life (iBOL) database, a feat that normally only happens to graduate students. The class is a new Hybrid-Virtual research course, where the student studies molecular biology and combines online course work with work in the lab. For more information, go to www.ibol.org.
- Over the years, Classroom Close-up has interviewed dozens of celebrities – ranging from actors, astronauts and musicians to politicians and athletes. They all have something in common – education. Many of them attended school in New Jersey, and for those who didn’t, they have direct ties to education in the Garden State. The list includes President Clinton, environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., former Congressman Barney Frank, actor John Amos, CNN’s Soledad O'Brien, Academy-award winner Christopher McQuarrie, actor Cynthia Nixon, astronauts Garrett Reisman, Leland Melvin, Mark Polansky and Greg Linteris, Olympians Carl Lewis and Andrew Valmon, and former Philly Pops music director Peter Nero.
Show #12 March 30
Run 4 Vets
- Students at Jackson's Christa McAuliffe Middle School organized a Run/Walk for Vets that brings together students, staff, parents, veterans, and community businesses to raise money for local veteran causes. Run 4 Vets is the culmination of the "Honor our Vets" service learning project. Additionally they collect supplies for Military Support Packages that are sent to soldiers overseas.
– The hot button during the NJEA Convention this year is teacher evaluation. Districts across the state are implementing the new evaluation regulations under the TEACH NJ Act. Many districts have adopted the Danielson model for teacher evaluation. Charlotte Danielson explains an overview of the system and offers guidance on how to merge demands for accountability with professional learning. The ideal model involves collaboration between observer and staff. Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf is also on hand to address educator’s concerns about the implementation of the new regulations.
- Students at Tulsa Trail Elementary School in Hopatcong learn life skills alongside math, language arts, speech, and art during their Cafe Kids course. Each child is responsible for a job at the cafe, and smoothies are one of the favorites on the menu. For information about the ING Unsung Heroes grant, go to http://ing.us/about-ing/responsibility/childrens-education/ing-unsung-heroes
- In 1853, a group of men organized the New Jersey State Teachers Association, and one year later, they held their first annual meeting. What is now known as the NJEA Convention will conduct the 159th event that has become the world’s largest educational gathering. More than 30,000 educators travel to Atlantic City for professional development. They can choose between hundreds of workshops, presentations by national education experts, a high tech hall where educators share technology tools for the classroom, and rows of vendors that have the latest and greatest in educational materials.