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Writing Rocks—June 2018 Calendar


posted: Mon, Nov 12th, 2018

Philip Luto, Frank Lindeblad, and William Smitreski prepare to dominate the world

Thankful for friends to share with

Thanksgiving and the holiday season are a time to appreciate what you have in life. Third-graders taught by Janet Dino and Kate Brady recently gave thanks for having friends in school.

On the day before Thanksgiving recess, the students in the two classes joined together and read with each other in groups of two and three. Anything age-appropriate could be read and the most popular were issues of “Time for Kids,” books about gaming, and story books.

“They love to read together,” said Ms. Dino. “They love the experience of sharing stories and talking about them.”

The partner reading was also a way for the teachers to thank the kids for their hard work and positive behavior throughout the year.

Gabrielle Mgbemena and Sophia Honda read together

Making the connection

A group of 15 CMS students recently visited the Mount Olive Public Library as part of a new series of community field trips. This was the inaugural trip of Take It Out, a program designed to help kids understand how the knowledge and skills they learn in school are used in the real world.

Upon arrival, a librarian took the students on a tour of the various departments. She described the duties of each worker and discussed how they all play important parts in making the library run smoothly so that the best services can be provided to the community. Then the young career explorers performed some typical library duties themselves. They checked in books, read to preschool children, and wrote book reviews.  

“It’s important for kids to use their reading, math, and problem-solving skills in whatever facility they are visiting,” said Ann Scotland, a teacher on the Take It Out committee. “We want the trips to be hands-on experiences that provide a taste of the types of tasks typically found in each profession.” 

The library visit also taught students how to take advantage of the library’s vast resources. They learned how to use the library’s computers and access the internet, borrow books, do research, check out DVDs, and participate in different programs such as children's story time, knitting club, movie showings, book club, and painting class.

Reflecting on the experience

An important part of the Take It Out program is the opportunity for reflection. After returning from the library trip, participants ate lunch with school principal Kevin Moore. Mr. Moore guided the students through a discussion of their experiences and underscored the importance of the skills and knowledge the kids saw in action. (Research shows that when students can connect and understand the value of their school work to the real-world, learning improves.)

Mr. Moore also underscored the ways that character traits such as collaboration, kindness, respect, and patience are vital in the workplace.  

A different Take It Out trip to a community business or service agency will be conducted per month. Each trip will provide students with an introduction to a unique skill set.

Take it Out participants are randomly chosen, one from each classroom in grades 3-5.

On November 28, the next group will visit the Mount Olive Police Department.


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Chester M. Stephens Elementary School
99 Sunset Drive Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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Phone: 973.691.4002 Fax: 973.691.4030

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