The Cottage School Version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Based on our curriculum for the 2016/2017 school year (Animals and Plants), The Cottage School students wrote and performed The Cottage School version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  for our annual end-of-the year play.

In learning how to read, children are often taught that “reading” is a skill that one develops to decode words, but it is not always offered related to context. One of the fundamentals of The Cottage School is to educate the children to become “life-long readers,” with an appreciation for the literature that they are being read or reading by themselves. In play acting, children not only develop literary skills and a love for literature, but they also develop confidence in expressing themselves through the creative process.

Each year, our elementary school students initiate their research at the beginning of the school year.  Then, they start the creative writing process.  They learn the editing process and how to revise.  The group works together during many classes to create a cohesive story that includes all members of the school through dialogue, singing, and dancing.   All students take part in the production; they are involved in the entire process – from painting scenery and helping with costumes to acting without the script.

The end of the school year play nurtures creativity linked to what they are studying. In addition, the experience of being part of a story, teaches children to appreciate literature by creating an environment in which the literature makes sense to them. By play acting the story, they “re-create it”; they comprehend it, and thereby, unite the learning experience.

To learn more about The Cottage School, an alternative school in Somerset County, New Jersey, visit http://www.thecottageschool.net.

Alternative School Somerset County, NJ

Poetry Workshop – Thursday, April 13th 7pm – 8:30pm

As part of our ongoing series of workshops for The Cottage School parents and community members,  our adult-ed poetry instructor, Phil Rosenbach, will lead a poetry class beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 13. No experience  is necessary and all are welcome!

Poetry enthusiasts and newbies alike will look at short, understandable, well-written poems. We will also look at some poorly written poems to try to determine what makes a poem good or bad.

Participants will discuss  their own view as to what makes a poem good or bad, interesting or boring, fun or tedious,  or that there there may be no way to determine the difference.

If you have a favorite poem, bring it to the class for reading and discussion. Poems written in English are preferred, but we will do the best we can with poems written in other languages.

This workshop is open to the public so feel free to bring a friend!

RSVP: juana@thecottageschool.net or (908) 719-9610

The Cottage School 2017 Folk Dancing Performance

This week,  we hosted our 13th annual Folk Dancing Performance.   Our long-standing folk dancing program positively influences student development and the desire to learn, and nurture their love for the school and sense of community. Students dance weekly, building stamina and learning new dances as the year progresses. Every April, the students in our Young Kindergarten and Elementary Programs are ready to perform for thirty minutes non-stop; parents and grand-parents join to dance afterwards. The performance makes them feel capable, confident, accomplished and most importantly, very happy. This is an experience that they will always remember.

We believe that physical arts are an essential aspect of education for the development of the whole child and for a healthy society. By incorporating folk dances in our programs, the students not only exercise, improve rhythm, coordination and balance, but they are also learning about traditional music and dances from around the world.

This year, students in our Young K, Kindergarten and Elementary Programs performed the following International Folk Dances.

  • Kadril – Russia
  • Deer – France
  • Camels – Israel
  • 7 Jumps – United States of America
  • Hey Yanana – North American Indians
  • Horses – Russia
  • Koryak – North Russia
  • Bamboo – International

They danced the following with parents and grandparents:

  • Irish Jig Medley
  • Nafarroa – Spain/Basque
  • Sri ram Jai ram – India

You can watch the performance below.

A Day in the Life of The Cottage School Students – Thursday, March 23rd 7:30pm-9:00pm

New Jersey Private School This Thursday evening we’ll be hosting “A Day in the Life of The Cottage School Students.”

Come back to school to catch a glimpse of what the children here do, including opening circle (which includes story time, songs and rounds​), math, language arts, and Spanish class.

We have so many unique teaching tools here at the school and this is your opportunity to experience them  hands-on.

This event is great for current Cottage School parents to come see what their children are up to as well as families who are considering the school to gain a better understanding of our teaching methods and atmosphere .

Bring slippers if you want to get the full experience.

A Day in the Life of The Cottage School Students  – Thursday, March 23rd 7:30pm-9:00pm

RSVP: cottageguglielmino@gmail.com or 908-719-9610

To learn more about The Cottage School,  visit www.thecottageschools.net

The Cottage School Open House – Wednesday, March 8th from 9am -11am

Once a month, we host an Open House at The Cottage School. Our next Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8th from 9am-11am.

This is a wonderful opportunity for current parents, family members and those of you who are interested in seeing what The Cottage School is all about, to come see the school in action.

You’re invited to our opening morning circle where we sing rounds, tell stories and begin our daily lessons. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet the teachers and ask questions about The Cottage School.

This is a great opportunity to see first hand  how activities at The Cottage School  are presented free of pressure and sustained by the spirit of play.

RSVP by emailing cottageguglielmino@gmail.com

To learn more about The Cottage School visit  www.thecottageschools.net

The Cottage School 2017 Summer Program

We are pleased to announce The Cottage School 2017 Summer Program schedule.  Throughout the month of June, we will be offering three separate language and art immersion sessions for children ages 2 yrs -14yrs. 

Week I (Tuesday, June 6 to Friday, June 9)  : Costa Rica (Spanish/Art Immersion)

Week II (Tuesday, June 13 to Friday, June 16)  : Argentina (Spanish/Art Immersion)

Week III  (Tuesday, June 20 to Friday, June 23) : Peru (Spanish/Art Immersion)

Starting at 9:30am and ending at 12:30 pm, each day will be divided into two parts :  1 hr. 30 min for Spanish language immersion, where children learn about the country of study: its geography, people, traditions, food, music, and dances, and 1 hr. 30 min. for art, inspired by that particular country.

The children will be immersed in Spanish by singing folk songs, play-acting, art activities, traditional games, writing and drawing in books and reading aloud original prose, poetry and folktales. The teacher speaks only in the foreign language in much the same way a mother would at home. This natural approach to learning also helps students master other foreign languages later in life.

In addition to our Spanish and Art Immersion Program, we will be offering an optional Children’s Zumba class daily from 8:45am – 9:30am and an optional Spanish Language Enrichment Class from 12:30pm-2:00pm.  

We’re looking forward to a wonderful summer season at The Cottage School and we hope you will join us! 

You can download our registration form HERE. 

For questions and for more information, email us at cottageguglielmino@gmail.com.

The Cottage Elementary School Informational Meeting – Thursday, February 16th at 9:30 am

Elementary students at The Cottage School work on painting scenery for the end of the year school play.

We will be hosting a discussion on Thursday, February 16th at 9:30am for parents who are curious about The Cottage School elementary program.

Update:  Below is a live recording of our discussion for those that weren’t able to attend.

Our elementary school teaches children ages 5 through 14, with its unique, well-rounded academic program integrating traditional subject areas of language arts, literature, foreign languages, mathematics, natural sciences, world  studies, physical education and the fine arts, in a cooperative- not competitive environment.

Using the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards as its foundation, The Cottage School has developed its own curriculum and materials to exceed expectations on many levels.

The students gain knowledge and understanding using an interdisciplinary approach, where they explore these concepts both in real-world contexts in the social and natural sciences, as well as through original literature from around the world (prose and poetry), visual art, music, dance and drama. The emphasis is on the joy of discovery and creative thinking while learning, rather than on the recitation of isolated facts.

Andrea Fillippone, whose daughters stayed at The Cottage School through 6th grade, will be attending so that she may offer her thoughts and experiences in keeping her daughters through elementary school.

Toni Welsh, who has a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Seton Hall University,  will be discussing the benefits of small multiage classes on socialization and building meaningful relationships at school. The depth of relationships formed in this setting has positive implications, not only for children’s sense of belonging, but also for their classroom performance. She will be presenting research in this area and its application to The Cottage School will be discussed.

Toni Welsh is a Licensed Psychologist and works as a Neuropsychologist at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation. She has experience working therapeutically with children in various clinical settings and schools.

Mondays on Education – The Benefits of Bilingualism

Kids learning at a bilingual school in New Jersey Once a month, The Cottage School hosts Mondays on Education. It’s an opportunity for the parents of children who attend the school as well as members of the community to come together and discuss important topics on education.

In February, we will be discussing The Benefits of Bilingualism. We will be offering this workshop onThursday, February 23rd from 6:30pm to 7:30pm and again on  Monday, February 27th, from 9:30am to 10:30am .

The workshop will be presented by Juana Guglielmino, who wrote an honors thesis at New York University about bilingualism and the benefits of living with multiple languages.

Bilingual education is not only about learning more than one language, it has shown to increase functioning in various areas of healthy brain development. Learning multiple language requires being able to switch between them; this process consists of paying attention and inhibiting one of the languages. In bilingual education, students highly develop attention and focus, as well as self-regulation skills.

At The Cottage School, the story of the week is told in both English and in Spanish. We sing songs in various languages and dedicate one day per week to solely Spanish. At The Cottage School’s sister school in Argentina, casadoce, we focus on teaching foreign languages through immersion in a bilingual education setting.

There are numerous benefits of bilingual education and we’re looking forward to lively discussion at our next workshop!

RSVP below or email : cottageguglielmino@gmail.com or 908-719-9610

To learn more about The Cottage School visit  www.thecottageschools.net

The Cottage School Open House – February 8th from 9am -11am

Once a month, we host an Open House at The Cottage School. Our next Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th from 9am-11am.

This is a wonderful opportunity for current parents, family members and those of you who are interested in seeing what The Cottage School is all about, to come see the school in action.

You’re invited to our opening morning circle where we sing rounds, tell stories and begin our daily lessons. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet the teachers and ask questions about The Cottage School.

This is a great opportunity to see first hand  how activities at The Cottage School  are presented free of pressure and sustained by the spirit of play. 

RSVP below or by emailing cottageguglielmino@gmail.com

To learn more about The Cottage School visit  www.thecottageschools.net