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last updated: Tue, Apr 22nd, 2014
Emma Conway puts the finishing touches on her spring shades

Shades of spring

The ability to write descriptions that incorporate the sensations of all five senses is an essential component in a writer's toolkit. A sensory experience for the reader makes a story vivid and real, and evokes emotion on a conscious and unconscious level. That's what storytelling is really all about. 

Second-graders at Tinc Road recently practiced their descriptive writing by tuning their senses to the coming of spring.  

The classes read books about spring and spent time remembering from their own experiences the sights, sounds, and scents of this magical time of year. Teacher Jeanne Santucci, for example, had her students imagine that they were outside on a warm spring day and asked them to describe it. She also discussed with them the activities that the students typically do with their friends and families during this time of year. The class even took a short walk outside, listening to the sounds of nature and paying close attention to how things felt as well as smelled.

When it was time to complete the descriptive writing exercise, the second-graders were more than ready. This cold, dreary, forever of a winter wasn't just that way for adults; kids have waited perhaps even longer for Old Man Winter to pack his bags and skedaddle. And the second-graders put that natural excitement into their work.

In their springtime stories, flowers bloomed, birds chirped, bees buzzed, fireflies flashed, and fuzzy newborn animals played with their parents. There were picnics and bike rides, kite flying and gardening, and backpacking in the woods. Not to mention long overdue farewells to snow and snow boots.

To illustrate their hails to spring, the students drew springtime scenes in the lenses of paper sunglasses, reflections of what they would soon be seeing themselves. Together, their essays and spring shades decorated the walls of the second-grade corridor.

Grayson Vittitow works on his spring shades

District to offer summer science camp

This summer, something bold and imaginative is coming to Mount Olive. The district will introduce Innovation Station, a two-week-long program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Designed for students in grades 1–8, Innovation Station features hands-on learning in various topics ranging from CSI-style investigative technology and kite flying that teaches the fundamentals of flight, to rocketry and robotics.

“STEM isn’t the future, it’s the present,” said Dr. Larrie Reynolds, Superintendent of Schools. “Innovation Station will teach students the principles of STEM and also show how fun they are to apply. The goal is to inspire kids to explore their scientific interests and expand their curiosity. More and more careers will involve STEM and this program will help better prepare students for the world that they’ll live in as adults.”

The program will run from July 28 to August 8 at Mount Olive Middle School. Tuition is $200 per week and includes free transportation for Mount Olive students. Before and afterschool care will be available through the Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center at an additional cost.

"STEM is the future for our economy and we need to encourage students to think, explore, and create within these subjects," said Peter Hughes, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. "I'd love to take all the workshops myself. Who doesn't want to fly a drone or launch a rocket?"

The deadline to register is May 15.

For more information and to register, go to http://www.mtoliveboe.org/summercamp.

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Tinc Road School
24 Tinc Road Flanders, NJ 07836
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Phone: 973.927.2203 Fax: 973.927.2200

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