Central Elementary School

Soaring to New Heights!

Excellence in Academic, Athletics and the Arts

Kindergarten  

In Kindergarten, the students learn the foundations of reading and writing. Through Reading Workshop, shared reading and interactive read aloud, the students will receive an introduction to good reading habits, be introduced to the concepts of print, and learn how to ask and answer questions and talk with others about books. We also utilize the phonics program Fundations which is a phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling program. In Writing Workshop, the students are introduced to narrative writing, informational writing, persuasive writing and poetry.

In Math, using the program Everyday Mathematics the students learn to identify numbers, count by ones, twos, fives and tens, measure objects and add and subtract. 

In Science, students have the opportunity to learn about both Life Science and Earth Science. The Life Science unit examines trees, which introduces students to the basic components of plants and living organisms. The Earth Science unit is Sunshine and Shadows which examines the observable properties of light. 

Our Social Studies curriculum focuses on Rules, All About Me, Families, Neighborhoods, Community Helpers, Seasons and Holidays, Geography and Character Traits. 

In Health students learn about personal growth and development, nutrition, safety, interpersonal communication and decision making. 


First Grade 

In Reader's Workshop First grade students are learning reading strategies to help them become lifelong learners.  Writer's Workshop provides the opportunity for guided practice which will enable them to express their experiences, thoughts, and ideas in a written format.  In Math they develop good number sense, an understanding of place value, and fact fluency for addition and subtraction to the sum of ten.  They learn to identify, count, and record the value of groups of like coins.  They tell and record time to the hour and half hour.  In Science they study various living organisms and their habitats, weather, and the nature of plants.  Social Studies provides the opportunity to learn more about the world we live in.  We begin with the students' immediate world, the family, and move on to the larger world.  We focus on good citizenship, geography, map skills, history, and economics.  Lessons in Health instruct the children about the importance of conflict resolution, good hygiene, and safety.  This curriculum emphasizes the importance of respecting others and ourselves. 


Second Grade 

In the Second Grade, students concentrate on increasing reading and writing skills. They learn about different genres of literature and use real authors as mentors to improve literacy skills. Through the use of a writer’s notebook, they apply these skills to their personal narratives and other writing units of study such as realistic fiction, letter writing and fairy tales.

Math muscles are flexed as second graders learn multiplication and division. Fractions become more complex and time is measured by minutes. In science the students participate in hands-on experiments that include investigating solids and liquids, balance and motion and butterflies.

Another of the year’s highlights is our field trips to the Monmouth Museum and to see a play. 


Third Grade  

Through reader’s and writer’s workshop, students become versed in various genres, reading and writing stories with a personal interest at their own grade level. One of the most essential aspects of literacy that students focus on is writing a research paper. They use various sources as they research their topics and organize their facts for presentation. Some of the skills they have gained in the computer lab come into play also. For the first time they will use online resources to find a book about their topic. They use Encarta, Grolier, and the Internet to find facts and photos.

Mathematics continues to be a hands-on program with a focus on understanding the mathematics process and connecting these skills to real-life experiences.   The spiraling curriculum ensures that students have the opportunity to continually practice skills ensuring a deeper understanding of the content.

In the sciences the students are tackling more sophisticated subject matter. In physical science the students are learning to experiment, record, and discuss the results of their hands-on experiments. Units include rocks and minerals, magnetism and electricity, and structures of life. 

Third grade class trips include excursions to the nearby East Brunswick Museum to enhance the study of local government and a health fair at a local hospital.


Fourth Grade  

Fourth Grade studies range from local politics to the universe and back again. Students are learning about New Jersey from demography to geography. They top it off with field trips to the Washington's Crossing Park in Pennington, NJ, the Trenton Museum and the State House. Studies also encompass a broader history of the United States and a research project on a specific state.

Fourth graders are privileged to spend time in the district’s touring planetarium. They learn about the solar system and constellations.

Of course, there continues to be a significant focus on literacy skills. Students continue to explore the writer’s craft and work to read higher level books that require inference skills and deeper comprehension.


Fifth Grade

Fifth graders are striving for lofty goals. In order to become productive citizens of the planet, students will need to be able to deal with situations in a constructive manner. They will be building positive character traits and learning to utilize the tools at their disposal so that they may be successful in life.

During this term they will be honing their researching skills, culminating in an oral presentation with accompanying power point slideshow before a panel of judges. 


 Library Science   

Library Science has never been as exciting as now! Students are learning about books. They are introduced to prizewinning literature such as Caldecott Medal winner The Three Pigs by David Wiesner and Newbury Award winners Bridge to Terebithia and Holes. Harry Potter novels are wildly popular, as are any in the Magic Tree House series. Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Eric Carle are among the favorite authors.

Technology has been integrated into the curriculum with the use of a wide spectrum of programs. Students use InfoCentre to locate books of their choosing in the library. After they have enjoyed a book they may take a quiz about the contents using Accelerated Reader. AR can be used to track their reading skills while encouraging recreational reading. Following is a link to the list of books in the Central School library for which we currently have quizzes. They are listed by title and author. The list is sorted alphabetically by title name.

Students from kindergartners to upper classmen are also instructed in technology skills in our Computer Lab. They are learning research skills and techniques that will benefit them as they continue their lives through junior and high schools, college, and even their professional careers.

Students become familiar with the use of a variety of programs. When conducting a research project they use the InfoCentre program to locate a library book about their topic. They use Encarta, Grolier, and the Internet to find additional facts and photos. An intensive course of Type to Learn prepares them for the task of typing their report.

Our computer lab is currently equipped with 35 Dell computers. They are loaded with the standard Windows XP Professional package. There is a SmartBoard available which is very conducive to a charged learning atmosphere. Students become proficient with Word and PowerPoint as well as the aforementioned programs. There are a number of other programs also available. Even kindergarten students are introduced to KidPix. Older students enjoy more art programs such as Printshop, Flying Colors, and Microsoft Paint. Our students are also privileged to have access to a baker’s dozen of excellent math programs that painlessly hone calculating skills while the children have fun.

SmartBoard technology is widespread throughout Central School. A majority of our classrooms are now wired for this wonderful interactive tool in our effort to integrate technology into the 21st century classroom. We are also privileged to possess a Senteo response system which provides a direct wireless connection between the students and teacher in conjunction with SmartBoard technology. Another piece of technology that partners with the SmartBoard is the ELMO visual presenter, which delivers real time presentations which can be digitally integrated. Our latest acquisition is a pair of Digital Blue microscopes, which will allow us to explore the microscopic world in a whole new way! Our primary classrooms also are equipped with a Point 2 View USB Document Camera which provides live image capture for documents, pictures, textbooks, and three-dimensional objects.

Our  students always exhibit the capacity of the young to adapt to new things and they have done it while demonstrating their capabilities. They have exercised great caution and responsibility in the handling of this equipment that we have been privileged to receive.


Physical Education   

The East Brunswick goals of the Physical Education program are to help students develop through physical activity and to foster awareness and appreciation of the importance of fitness.

At Central, students participate in a variety of cooperative fitness games as well as team sports such as soccer and basketball to help achieve these goals. Students have a great time learning new ways to stay healthy and fit! They are encouraged to carry over activities they learn in P.E. to the home environment. Activities such as walking, hiking, playing catch, jumping rope, or riding bikes are great ways for your child to develop and maintain strong, healthy body images!

Field day and Fitness Night are two of the highlights of our school calendar. Everybody participates in Mrs. Olear’s fitness activities cleverly disguised as fun and games.


Music 

Students at Central School experience, explore, create, and appreciate the world of music. From keeping a steady beat to performing original compositions students are learning to express themselves using the tools they acquire in music class. Fourth and fifth graders have the opportunity to join and sing in the Central School Chorus which meets weekly before school and has two concerts.  Mrs. Kauffman is thrilled to showcase the Central School Chorus and all of her music students!


 Band

Instrumental music study promotes skills that are tremendously beneficial to students during and long after their school careers. Please visit the website for information on our wonderful elementary band program.


 


Art

Art classes provide to students activities that foster creative expression, communication through artistic endeavor, and appreciation of culture and heritage.  Activities may include those that enable students to refine their technique, increase their artistic vocabulary, and strengthen their critical abilities.

The elementary art curriculum serves as the foundation for the district’s K-12 art program.  The Elements and Principles of Design (color, line, texture, shape, form, balance) are introduced and reinforced through hands-on projects and other classroom experiences.  Students develop fine motor control and eye-hand coordination as they explore art media as a means of creative expression.  They become acquainted with the works of various artists and verbalize their ideas.  As students progress through the art curriculum, they will learn to consider the use and function of an artwork, as well as the role art serves today and that which it served in the past.  Students will develop an awareness of art as a means of expressing creative ideas about themselves and their world.  They will learn that art of different countries and times informs us about people, places and things.  They will recognize that the study of art involves creating, looking at and responding to art.  Emphasis is placed on aesthetics, production, art history, criticism, as well as visual sensitivity, creative problem solving and adherence to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for Visual and Performing Arts.

 


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