Lower Grades Intensives Update

January 2017

Intensives, Fieldwork and Experts

EL Education students learn from fieldwork, experts, and service in addition to learning from text. They use the natural and social environments of their communities as sites for purposeful fieldwork and service connected to academic work, and they use professional experts and citizens with firsthand knowledge of events and issues to ensure accuracy, integrity, and quality in their work. (EL Education Core Practice 6)


Last week all lower grades students at Brooklyn Collaborative Participated in week long intensives where they had the opportunity to explore one topic in depth. Take a look at highlights from each intensive here.


Special thanks to the PTA and to the annual appeal donations that made some of this work possible!

6th Grade Intensives

Debating Hamilton: Hip Hop, History, and Legacy

In 2016, the musical Hamilton had the whole world talking. This intensive focused on Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant with a big mouth who used the power of debate to rise up and change the world. We will use the musical and the art of debate to explore topics such as hip hop, politics, history, and New York City. Students will supplement their exploration of the musical with primary sources, debates, current events, and finally debate the questions: If it is not possible to have both: is it better to live a comfortable and happy life, or leave a positive legacy for the world?


Students on this intensive participated in field work to the Old Stone House, Trinity Church, Fraunces Tavern and the Hamilton House.

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Graffiti of NYC, Vandalism or Street Art?

Have you ever wondered why the buildings of New York City are covered in spray paint? Are you curious as to who painted the walls, why they left their mark, or what the piece stands for? In this intensive students answered those questions by researching the question, Is the Graffiti of NYC: Vandalism or Street Art? As an intensive group they walked neighborhoods, read articles and watched documentaries to help them answer this question.


Student culminated the intensive by creating their own, street art inspired, t-shirts.

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Truth Be Told

Do you have a lot of thoughts and ideas that you're ready to express? Is it sometimes hard for you to find the right way to get those words out? Well poetry might be the answer! Students joined this intensive if they had strong opinions and wanted to find ways to express them powerfully. They focused on reading and writing poems about identity, self expression, global issues and empowerment.


Students participated in fieldwork, including reading their poetry at Barnes and Nobles and also had an expert visit from a local poet.

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Investigating Potential and Kinetic Energy

Students had an opportunity to explore the differences between Potential and Kinetic Energy. Each student completed a scientific investigation including following a multi-step procedure, taking measurements, and performing technical tasks. They determined how chemical reactions affect two fixed objects through carefully planned science experiments.
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Art and Our Shared Experience

Students explored the art of mural making as a collaborative process and one that depicts multiple experiences of a common theme. They collectively considered themes that represent diverse perspectives on the human experience. They explored and researched professional artists and their works, met with a guest expert, a local artist, and traveled through the neighborhood to view works as inspiration.


Students together created this beautiful mural which will be hung on the 4th floor.

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Putting Pen to Paper: Creative Story Writing

Are you eager to test the waters of creative writing but not sure where to start, or how? Do you have ideas and stories that you've never gotten out on paper? These were the questions that drew students to this creative writing intensive. In this intensive, students got the opportunity to explore the realm of creative writing--to see with a writer's eyes, gain confidence, and experiment with fiction writing.
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Math Skills Academy

Are you struggling to understand all the concepts you're learning in Math? Do you feel like you need a little extra help to feel more successful? Students who answered yes to these questions participated in this intensive where they focused on building stronger numeracy skills. They practiced identifying patterns, building mental math skills, and developing strategies they can apply to the CPM curriculum through games and a variety of projects.

7th Grade Intensives

Lyrical Warfare

Students in this intensive learned how to slam their opponents to win a spoken word debate! They learned how to effectively use the power of words to convey their message and win the crowd. When spoken word is done right, it almost forces the audience to feel and understand your side.


Take a listen to some of their spoken word pieces shared here.

Brooklyn Collaborative

Haikus by Brooklyn Collaborative

Brooklyn Collaborative

Class Choral Reading by Brooklyn Collaborative

You're Being Lied To! Fake News

How do you know if the news you watching and listen to is true? In this intensive students learned to distinguish between fake news, opinion, satire, and actual news.


They went on fieldwork to the NY Times.

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Down with the King!

Students were asked, do you want to crush kingdoms and save your people? Do you like to be in rooms full of brilliance, focus, and determination? Are you someone who likes to learn new things - or - improve your strengths? Get ready to put all of this to practice when you pull up to the board and jump into the world of CHESS! Down with the King was designed for both brand new players and experts in the game. They learned all about the game of chess including strategies, and playing the great game in school and out of the building in popular New York City gaming areas!


Students participated in fieldwork to Washington Square Park and to a local gaming store for a chess workshop.

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Sew What?!

This intensive was designed for the students who hate throwing away their favorite t-shirt or sweatshirt because of tiny tear or rip and wish they could repair it. It was for students who were tired of dull boring square pillows? In this intensive students learned about angles, 3-D shapes and protractors and also how to SEW. At the end students created their own diamond or soccer ball shaped pillow.


Students participated in fieldwork to a local fabric store.

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Puzzles and Problem Solving

This intensive was designed for students who love riddles and puzzles. In this Intensive student spent their time solving lots of different math-y riddles/ puzzles/ games/ and WEIRD problems.

Say Cheese!

Students in this intensive applied chemistry to produce one of the world's most loved foods: Cheese! In this intensive, students practiced working collaboratively and persistently by utilizing scientific process and applied chemistry to create a design investigation for making cheese.

8th Grade Intensives

Wellness Intensive

Are you stressed? Feel overwhelmed by school and life in general? Would you like learn how to relax your mind and body? Students in this intensive learned about basic yoga and meditation techniques that will help them manage the daily struggles of life.


They had a guest expert professional photographer come in and snap these gorgeous photos.

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Makey Makey

Are you creative? An inventor? A scientist? Have you ever wanted to invent something to make school more engaging? Students who answered yes, selected this intensive. They used "Makey Makey" tools to design and build a technological project that will help the BCS educational community. FYI a "Makey Makey," is 21st century invention kit that turns everyday objects into touch pads and combines them with the Internet.
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Unlikely Heros and Superzeros

As famous author Beverly Clearly once said: "If you don't see the book you want on the shelf, write it!" In this intensive, students used the prompt of an "unlikely hero" to draft either their own picture book or chapter book.


This intensive included fieldwork to the Center for Fiction to see a presentation from a published author as a way for us to get inspired and get advice about creative writing!

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BCS TV News Broadcast

Ever want to be on television? Ever want to investigate scandals and crime? Maybe you love sports and would love to commentate. Maybe it's not being in front of the camera that gets you excited but being behind it, editing video, sound and transitions. Well now you can! Welcome to the first ever BCS TV News Broadcast.


This intensive featured fieldwork in the neighborhood as students reported on community issues.


BCS TV News will also be a regular club this spring so stay tuned for more BCS News!

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Companion Books

Need support in ELA? Want to start the second semester off strong? This course gave students extra help with learning ELA skills, such as analyzing literary elements and supporting an original claim. Through a project, students had a chance to use art to illustrate their literary responses and to use creativity to write fan-fiction. The course ended with students making their very own Companion Book to share with an audience.