With support from a $9,500 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, three different communities will form a strong bond with science and the natural world while developing meaningful relationships with each other.
Through Habitat Partners, approximately 250 fourth- and fifth-grade Hillside Intermediate School (Bridgewater-Raritan School District, Somerset County) students will partner with children from two different urban districts. Students will have the opportunity to get to know students living in communities very different from their own, as they explore jointly the principles of ecology.
Teachers Mark Heinbach, Tara Hueston, Katrina Macht, Christine Pelcak, and Lauren Rissmeyer will work together, and with their urban counterparts, to guide students through inquiry-based investigations that incorporate themes related to ecology. Participating classes will integrate strategies and skills in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies as they interact with their partners throughout the year. Specific scientific investigations will correlate with concepts presented in the districts' fourth- and fifth-grade life science units.
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