11.26.2013

Happy Thanksgiving - In Spanish

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Mrs. Barile's second grade class learned to say happy Thanksgiving in Spanish and practiced saying thank you for the people and things they love the most!

11.22.2013

EMS Students Excel in Math League Competition!








By Carol Toth, Math Teacher 
On Wednesday, November 13, 24 elementary students (two teams of four students each in third, fourth and fifth grades) traveled to Rutgers Preparatory School to participate in the Math League elementary school contest. This is the third year that our students have participated. Nine schools were at the contest with approximately 125 students. The contest consisted of many parts including a team part, a number sense round and some sections where a calculator could be used. The students from Elisabeth Morrow did exceptionally well. Our third grade teams came in first and sixth place. Our fourth grade teams came in second and fourth and our two fifth grade teams garnered both first and second place in their respective grades. Individually, our students excelled as well. In third grade: Harrison White came in second, Yoel Zachariah came in fifth and Andrew Hyde came in 10th. In fourth grade we had six students in the top ten: second place went to Henry Choi, fifth to Ian Maloney, sixth to
James Grant, seventh to Andrew Hyde, ninth to Rohan Buluswar, and 10th to Thomas Grant.  Our fifth graders made a clean sweep. Shelby Kim came in first, Peter Staphos second, Aidan Kim third, Garo Amerkanian fourth, John Mauro fifth, and Ronit Malde seventh. Congratulations to our outstanding competitors.

Not to be outdone, on Thursday, November 14, 21 of our middle school students traveled to Far Hills Country Day School to participate in our first ever middle school competition with the Math League. In this competition, we fared extremely well also. Five schools with 26 teams and approximately 100 students were there. Our teams took second, third and fifth place. Our students scored well individually as well. In sixth grade: Sangmin Lee was 10th, Cole Knie was seventh, Cameron Woo was fourth, Oren Berkowitz second and Reha Mathur was the first place winner. In seventh grade: James Wedgbury placed seventh, Allison DeRose placed fifth and Tanvi Jonnalagadda placed third.  Austin Kwak was the second place finisher and Shant Amerkanian was the first place winner. In eighth grade,Kira Trout placed 10th, Chrissie Anagnos fourth, and Emily Yu place third. The contest also had a countdown round pitting students against one another in 45-second bouts. Only the top students from all the schools were invited to participate. As the anticipation mounted to see which students would be chosen, once again Elisabeth Morrow outshone all others. Of the 12 students chosen to be in the countdown round, we had seven: Austin Kwak, Tanvi Jonnalgadda, Reha Mathur, Chrissie Anagnos, Allison DeRose, Shant Amerkanian, and Emily Yu. It was very stressful being under the time constraints but we made it to the semi finals, being beaten at the last moment by two students from Warren Township Middle School Schools. Kudos to all the students who participated.
  

11.20.2013

Happy Birthday Gettysburg Address!



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President Lincoln said in his Gettysburg Address,
“The world will little note nor long remember, what we say here.”

 In fact, the nation long remembers the short remarks delivered in that two-minute speech.  It reinvigorated our national ideas of liberty, equality, democracy, and unity.
The inspirational 273-word speech marked a turning point in American history and has become one of the most important statements on liberty ever written.

The eighth graders accepted the challenge to memorize and recite the words of the Gettysburg Address as they commemorated the  150th anniversary of its poetic words and powerful message. 

11.19.2013

Visual Literacy and the Lenni Lenape


I Notice and I Wonder



Research shows that children need multiple opportunities to apply and practice what they have learned, particularly those important skills that they carry across the disciplines. At EMS, giving students opportunities and time to think creatively and critically is embedded into the curriculum design.

The third grade Lenape Research Unit provides an excellent example of how technology enhances the research process. Third graders took photographs of a recreated Lenape village on a field trip. Utilizing iPhoto, airdrop, and ComicLife, children learned to communicate and collaborate more effectively. Students uploaded photos to iPhoto, enhanced and edited, and then imported the images into ComicLife. It is through ComicLife that students began to see more clearly how to answer questions about the photos. As they looked at their images, “What do I wonder?” and “What do I notice?” were the questions students asked themselves. Noticing questions required students to look for clues in the pictures. Wondering questions led students to new sub-questions. Children collaborated by sharing their photos through AirDrop.

Whole to Part Relationships, Digging Deeper
Visual literacy is a key aspect to reading and writing. These digital tools help support picture analysis by helping to evaluate, organize, and categorize images. While looking at the “whole” image, students practiced thinking skills such as collecting evidence, identifying the main idea, and inferring. ComicLife supports children in their ability to arrange ideas in a visual format.  The design of the comic allows children to “zoom in” and “zoom out” of a picture to notice different details.  The integration of knowledge and ideas gleaned from pictures is a literacy skill that supports the development of how children demonstrate their understanding of information.




11.13.2013

EMS Educators Bringing Maker Culture to the Classroom

Recently a team of educators from the Lower School attended a one-day workshop in New York City led by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Dr. Gary Stager, the authors of Invent to Learn, Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom.  These authors explained how to bring powerful ideas from science and the Maker Culture to the classroom. 
 
One of the most attractive aspects of bringing the maker culture to schools is how it values the contributions of children as inventors and innovators.  In the workshop, Dr. Stager was very direct in his message - knowledge is a consequence of experience. In the Lower School, we are constructing these kinds of problem-solving experiences for our students that emphasize doing, thinking, creating and making things better!

 

11.08.2013

EMS Students Present at National Chemistry Week Celebration At LSC




 

Seventh grade Physical Science students at the Elisabeth Morrow School once again presented demonstrations for the North Jersey Chapter of the American Chemical Society as part of their National Chemistry Week celebration. Taking place at Liberty Science Center, this event had traditionally only featured presentations by high school and college students and teachers, as well as pharmaceutical and chemical companies. Elisabeth Morrow students have participated for the last several years-the only middle school group to do so.  Almost every seventh grade student at the school participates.

“I believe it’s important for students to see a wider community of people  getting excited about science,” says Gail Weeks, science teacher. “When students have the opportunity to feel that they are doing science, not just passively learning facts, it can be very exciting and empowering for them. Having such a positive first-hand experience at an early age can help students feel more confident in what can sometimes be viewed as an intimidating subject.”  She adds, “Students may be more likely to view science as a career option, a profession to respect, or just an area of interest as they get older.”

Volunteering to present also is a great service learning experience for EMS middle school students. “They have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and practice public speaking while having a great time- our students always tell me how much they enjoyed the day,” Weeks says.

After the event at LSC, each student receives a letter from the American Chemical Society thanking him or her for doing a presentation. A copy of this certificate goes in the students’ permanent school records. “Our students feel such a sense of accomplishment and pride after their participation. I feel so fortunate to be able to share my own enthusiasm about science with such capable students,” Weeks says. “I also love being able to show off the high caliber of our students and our science program.”

11.06.2013

So Many Ways to Learn -- From a Pumpkin!




After an exciting visit to a pumpkin patch, Kindergarten students engaged in a variety of activities with the pumpkins at school. Each child carefully observed their own special pumpkin in order to describe its attributes through words and representational drawings and paintings. They also compared the pumpkins by identifying their similarities and differences. After putting them in size order from smallest to largest, the children predicted which would weigh the most. Predictions were also made of how many seeds there were inside...would it be more or fewer than 100? Finally, the seeds were planted to to grow a new crop for next year!