New Brunswick C&I News

November 2019

How do we group in math class? Wonderings from Math PD

The professional development sessions on November 5th provided opportunities to learn, reflect, and grow in our instruction and pedagogy through the lens of student voice and agency. In the math sessions, there was conversation and questions about the grouping of students in mathematics.

You may wonder, "How do we group students in math class?" There are lots of things to consider!

If we group homogeneously (based on prior knowledge of the concept at hand OR the strategy/model they use):

  • Students can solidify their understanding of the strategy they are using and clarify why it works.
  • The same advancing question can be asked of the group because they are all coming from the same point of understanding. Students can be pressed to further explain their thinking or can be asked to collectively try a new strategy or model.

If we group students heterogeneously (based on their strategy/model):

  • Students can build connections between their models.
  • Teachers can press students to compare and contrast strategies.

Why don't we group a high-flyer with a student who is struggling?

  • Research says the student who is more advanced is not being pressed to deepen their math understanding and the student who is still grappling is simply the receiver of information.
  • There is not an advancing question that moves both students forward in the same way.

New Brunswick P-TECH Engineering Class Receives Grant for Drones

A New Brunswick Public Schools technology team led by Ms. Carla Segarra, Supervisor of Instructional Technology, was awarded a grant from OnCourse Systems to give our students an opportunity to build and program indoor drones. These drones will reinforce the engineering and design process of building, redesigning, testing, collaborating, and problem-solving.

This will enhance the curriculum in our Engineering Course and will provide opportunities to use project-based learning along with a hands-on experience of building, designing, and programming one of the most recent technological advancements today. Students would be responsible for building drones to certain specifications to fly and program them to accomplish goals in distance, speed, and time. Can't wait to see the drones flying around P-TECH!

Exciting Plans to Infuse National History Day Project Based Learning!

Humanities Department (Grades 6 - 12)

Research has shown that Project Based Learning merges content with engaging tasks that enable students to delve deeper into their learning and provide meaningful connections. It is a transformative approach that fosters creativity, collaboration, better decision-making, academic achievement, and equity. This rich experience enables students to be assessed in multiple approaches and to showcase skills and intellect that may not be evident in the traditional format.

The Humanities Department has launched Project Based Learning in grades 6 - 12 Social Studies classes via the use of the National History Day Model. This form of Project Based Learning and Civic Engagement allows students to experience an array of intellectual exercises that include: enhance comprehension, critical thinking, utilize writing as a tool for reflection, creative problem solving, High Level Tasks, and Accountable Talk. This is a natural cross-curricular technique that channels students to deeper learning.

Click Here to View Presentation

Implementing National History Day

New Brunswick SHINES at the New Jersey Science Convention

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At the 2019 New Jersey Science Convention, New Brunswick Teacher, Robin Mayer-Carroll (Roosevelt Elementary School) was honored as the Anton Banko Award recipient. The Anton Banko awardee is celebrated for being an exceptional elementary science teacher and inspiring the next generation of inventors, scientists, and engineers.

In addition to this honor, two sessions during the convention were lead by New Brunswick Public Schools teachers and the science supervisor. Kathryn Galasso (New Brunswick Middle School) lead participants through a hands-on learning experience by engaging in geocaching to understand analog and digital signals. Dr. Jessica Monaghan, Danielle Ruffino (New Brunswick Middle School), Angie Alva (Livingston Elementary School), and Robin Mayer-Carroll provided participants with their process for designing 3-Dimensional Assessments as well as resources for administrators and teachers to begin designing their own NJSLS-Science aligned assessments.

Deepen Literacy Opportunities Thanks to Our Partnership with Newsela

In order to support the Humanities Department’s new novel selections for the 2019-2020 school year, a partnership was developed with Newsela. This partnership focused on connecting the new texts with nonfiction content to create a perfect blend of culturally responsive fact and fiction. To help roll this out, a Newsela Teacher Leader Team made up of staff from schools was developed to help spread this work across the district. To put it lightly, the team was excited!

If you haven’t already, log into your Newsela Pro Account and take a look under the “collections” tab to see the amazing New Brunswick specific custom content text sets.

Our Math Department Rolled Out the Zebra Carpet for a Special Visitor!

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The Mathematics Specialists and Supervisors had the honor and privilege to meet the creator of Game 24, Robert Sun. Game 24 is a game that gets the answer out of the way and asks students to create 3 equations that arrive at the answer 24.

The Math Department is excited to announce an Annual District-Wide Mathematics Competition in February using Game 24 for grades 4 through 8! Stay tuned for more information from your building based Mathematics Specialist!

In the meanwhile can you find the solution 24?