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posted: Fri, May 19th, 2017

Showcasing student artwork

More than 1000 pieces of student art was recently on display at the Sandshore art show. Coordinated by art teacher Richard Heckman, the show featured works in a variety of mediums and representing many time periods. Also exhibited were student versions of artwork made famous by artists such as Picasso, Henry Moore, and Jean Miro.

Art through the ages is a major part of the district’s art curriculum and the fourth-grade’s medieval-inspired shields were popular examples. Before students began work, Mr. Heckman taught a lesson on heraldry, discussing its development during the 12th Century and the meaning behind various symbols that were commonplace on shields and family crests. The fourth-graders also learned from examples about the various ways that shields were divided.

The students planned their shields with personalized symbols, then embossed them in a malleable heavy foil and painted them. 

Also of note were the superhero sculptures done by the fifth-grade. The project underscored the “Be a Superhero” theme adopted by the school as a way to teach the qualities of good character. The paper mache superheroes, each about 9 inches tall, depicted famous characters such a Batman as well as characters that students developed on their own.

The art show was held in the gymnasium but also included works exhibited in the hallway and school showcase.


Inspiring kids to stay active

One recent afternoon the front parking lot was filled with dancing students, nearly every one in the school, as Sandshore participated in Project ACES. Known as the world’s largest exercise class, Project ACES (All Children Exercising Simultaneously) is the signature program of the Youth Fitness Coalition and highlights National Physical Fitness and Sports Month and National Physical Education Week. Sandshore students joined millions of children in more than 50 countries to engage in some form of organized physical activity on that day.

As part of Project ACES, each school can choose its own activity, from walking or jogging to martial arts. At Sandshore, it was dancing. Students performed a number of fun dances that physical education teachers Doug DeMarco and Kit Thompson had taught them over the course of the school year, including perennial favorites Cotton Eye Joe and Tony Chestnut. The two teachers and about a dozen student leaders led the dancing from the front sidewalk.

The 20-minutes of activity served as a reminder to the students that exercise isn’t just sports and working out, it’s anything that gets the heart pumping and the muscles working.

Project ACES was created by a New Jersey physical education teacher as a method of motivating kids to exercise. Sandshore has been participating in Project ACES since its inception in 1989.


A sample math problem with the wolf theme

Wolves keep kids engaged in afterschool program 

STARS, the district’s afterschool academic support program, was given a fresh, innovative structure this year that centered all activities around a single theme – wolves. The new curriculum and focus of the 16-week program kept students engaged and excited to learn. 

STARS is an acronym that stands of Students and Teachers Achieving Rigorous Standards. The program was designed for elementary students in grades 3-5 who need extra help in meeting today’s tough standards in language arts and math.

The wolf theme was incorporated into both subject areas in every imaginable way. In language arts, for example, students read literature and informational articles to compare the ways that wolves are portrayed in fiction versus their real-life behaviors and characteristics. In math, students completed word problems that incorporated wolves and wolf facts into the narratives.

“Kids of this age think wolves are fascinating,” said Tinc Road teacher Kathy Diefes, facilitator of the program. “They loved the lessons and learning about the wolves. It kept them motivated and engaged as they worked on their language arts and math."

As a culminating classroom activity that allowed them to hone their computer skills, students completed projects to show off what they had learned about wolves over the course of the program. Some students developed Powerpoint presentations while others chose to show off their creativity with novel projects such as the wolf Jeopardy game created by one group. 

As an incentive, students with high attendance were allowed to be a part of an end-of-the-program field trip to the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Colombia, New Jersey.

STARS was run at each of the four elementary schools. In total, 75 students and 10 teachers participated. Sessions were held twice per week, for an hour each.

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Sandshore School
498 Sandshore Rd Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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