Classroom Close-up

Classroom Close-up


NJTV’s Classroom Close-up is a weekly television series that features innovative projects in New Jersey public schools. This collection of videos highlights strategies and practices that aim to enhance classroom instruction and shape a positive school culture.

Use the links to browse the video collection by topic area. 

  • #1 in the Nation

    US News ranked High Technology High School in Lincroft, NJ the #1 STEM high school in the nation in 2012. Criteria to determine the top schools included evaluating student participation rates and performance on AP exams in math and science.The school's pre-engineering curriculum emphasizes the interconnections between math, science, technology, and the humanities. During their time at the school, many students participate in high level research projects and mentoring programs with top science and technology companies.

    Grades: 13+
  • 21st Century Learners

    In this Classroom Close-up video, the NJ County Teachers of the Year (NJCTY) hold a 21st Century Learners forum at Mainland Regional High School in Linwood. Educators explore how public education can best meet the needs of the modern workforce and discuss technology infusion in the classroom. One of the main purposes of this forum is to provide a platform for NJ teachers to collaborate and share their ideas with each other. NJCTY hopes to empower and engage teachers to make quality, impactful decisions by providing opportunities such as this forum.

    Grades: 13+
  • Art of Comprehension

    An art teacher, a fourth grade teacher and a fifth grade teacher teamed up at Elms Elementary School in Jackson Township, NJ when they realized that the cognitive processes involved in reading comprehension were almost identical to those involved in pictorial comprehension. They developed a program called the Art of Comprehension, which integrates visual anaylsis into lessons across the curriculum. The program aims to increase students' critical thinking skills and make art more accessible and understandable. Early data also suggests that the program is increasing students‘ standardized test scores.

    Grades: 13+
  • Authors' Day

    Each year, creative writing teachers at Ocean Township Intermediate School hold an "Authors' Day," where published writers and illustrators teach sixth grade students about their crafts. On the day of the event, the students rotate through various workshops in the school library. The teachers' hope is that hearing from "the experts" will encourage their pupils to continue sharpening their writing skills. The aim isn't necessarily to inspire future authors, but instead to help mold students into "effective communicators for life."  

    Grades: 13+
  • Beyond Recycling

    In this video, a teaching artist from Young Audiences New Jersey helps students from two sixth grade classes at Lawrence Intermediate School write skits about sustainability and perform dramatic readings of their original works to fourth grade students. As part of the Beyond Recycling initiative, this program aims to make the students conscious of their actions, encourage behaviors that "protect the earth," and promote awareness about environmental issues. It also combines the efforts of Sustainable Jersey, a program for municipalities to go green, save money, and sustain quality of life over the long term.

    Grades: 13+
  • Block the Bullying

    Glen Ridge, New Jersey’s Ridgewood Avenue School emphasizes the importance of anti-bullying education by having all the students simultaneously participate in the school-wide Block the Bullying program. The theme-based curriculum is collaboratively developed by the school’s Character Education Committee, which consists of volunteers from the school’s faculty. The Character Education Committee meets regularly to plan the curriculum and to discuss bullying.

    Grades: 13+
  • Digital Citizenship

    As a student at Paterson No. 12 Elementary School, teacher Carlene Anderson experienced discrimination and felt voiceless. She returned to her alma mater to encourage students to study and value diversity. After budget cuts, Anderson paired with William Paterson University to create a low-cost program combining technology with global studies. The third grade teacher uses dynamic lessons created by the college that focus on the arts, languages and more. Through Skype, this knowledge is shared with colleagues across America and around the world. Paterson students share cultural lessons with students in Denmark, Guyana, Maine, and Hawaii in this video.

    Grades: 13+
  • Educaching

    Students at Woodland School in Barrington, NJ strengthen 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication through educaching (educational geocaching). Before the students begin this interactive project, they learn about GPS and satellite technology in the classroom. The 5th through 8th graders then use coordinates and GPS devices to locate physical clues and puzzles hidden on school grounds in a scavenger hunt format. Educaching incorporates language arts, science, history, and math curricula.

    Grades: 13+
  • Empowering Girls | Classroom Close-Up, NJ

    Each year, students from Clearview Regional School in Mullica Hill, NJ research, design and develop a Women’s History Museum at their school. Students learn about the life of New Jersey native and suffragette Alice Paul and other positive role models for girls, such as Amelia Earhart and Malala Yousafzai. As a culminating project, the students bring the achievements of these inspiring women to life through art projects and performances.

    Grades: 13+
  • Films in Elizabeth

    In this video, budding young filmmakers from Dr. Antonio Pantoja School No. 27 in Elizabeth, NJ create short films that simplify complex science and social studies topics. Students use computers and iPads to shoot and edit the videos, which help them learn and serve as teaching tools for other students. Vice Principal and filmmaker Antonio Di Fonzo collaborates with science teacher Connie Sanchez and social studies teacher John McGuire on this initiative. Di Fonzo explains that the filmmaking encourages creativity, builds self-esteem, and helps prepare the students for 21st century careers.

    Grades: 13+
  • Fiscal Responsibility

    Seventh and eighth grade students at Jersey City's Julia A. Barnes No. 12 Elementary School gain financial literacy skills through a four-week classroom curriculum created by Junior Achievement. Students explore topics such as budgeting, debt, mortgages, taxes, and credit cards, and learn the importance of making informed financial decisions throughout their lives. The program culminates with a field trip to the JA Finance Park where students apply their classroom learning in a real-life activity where they create and maintain a family budget.

    Grades: 13+
  • Girls Rock Science | Classroom Close-Up, NJ

    The Girls Rock Science after school program at Hurden Looker School in Hillside, NJ empowers 3rd and 4th grade girls to explore science through hands-on experimentation. A group of female teachers were inspired to start this club after attending the Merck Institute for Science Education Leadership Program one summer. The goals of this enrichment program are to foster scientific curiosity and boost girls' confidence. In this episode, observe the group members completing an activity in which they use playdough to visualize the relative sizes of planets.

    Grades: 13+
  • iPads

    Every student and teacher at Delaware Valley Regional High School in Frenchtown, NJ participates in the Integrated Plan for Academic Development (iPAD) by using an iPad to enhance learning. This project implements 21st century skills and helps prepare students for successful careers and college pursuits. STEM, humanities, and fine arts teachers alike use the tablets to have students complete tasks such as reading ebooks, writing equations, drawing, and researching.

    Grades: 13+
  • K6 Buddies

    Sixth graders at Ft. Lee’s School No. 4 in New Jersey buddy with kindergartners for activities once a month. The kindergarten and sixth grade teachers collaborate to determine what projects the buddies will work on together. Each month, the sixth grade buddies write about the experience in a journal and the kindergarteners illustrate the entry. The K6 Buddies program was started six years ago by a school counselor who wanted to increase student engagement at School No. 4.

    Grades: 13+
  • Kids at College

    Over the past two years, more than 1,400 Old Bridge Township, NJ fourth graders experienced hands-on learning at a college campus, thanks to the federally funded Kids at College program. Old Bridge Township has established partnerships with ten New Jersey higher education institutions, including community colleges, technical schools, and private and state universities. The university and elementary school faculties work together to create programs aimed at the early cultivation of a college-going culture.

    Grades: 13+
  • Learning in the 21st Century

    Despite budget cuts, the Washington Township School District in New Jersey made technology integration a high priority during the 2011-2012 school year. The district used federal stimulus funding to create a technology push in grades 3-8 that allowed teachers to integrate smart boards, laptops, and interactive games into the curriculum to engage their students and prepare them for 21st century careers. Teachers also focus on fostering collaboration and communication skills in their students, skills which are also vital for today's workforce.The initiative has now expanded to the district's elementary schools.

    Grades: 13+
  • Math Bowl

    How can you get children excited about math? Teacher Brian Corcoran teamed up with his school's technology coordinator to create the "Math Bowl" -- an annual math competition with a football theme -- at Uptown School Complex in Atlantic City. Sixth grade students earn coveted spots on the three small homeroom teams based on good grades and good behavior. During the competition, teams compete to gain the most "yards" by correctly answering questions based on four major curriculum benchmarks. In this "working assembly" students in the audience participate by using clickers. This competition also serves as practice and review for the NJ ASK, New Jersey's statewide assessment for grades 3-8.

    Grades: 13+
  • Math Teach In

    In this video, Newark New Jersey's Marion P. Thomas Charter School hosts their annual Math Teach In, where eighth grade students spend the evening teaching their parents math concepts. This educational event serves as an outlet for the students to showcase what they've learned throughout the year and helps students to better retain the information. Math coach Patricia Harris uses the event to help eighth graders review for New Jersey's statewide assessment, the NJASK test.

    Grades: 13+
  • Music Learning Theory

    Music teacher Natalia Sigmund believes music can help children socially, emotionally, and even academically. She believes the secret to learning music successfully lies in the way the student is taught. Sigmund, who also runs the award-winning after school chorus "Music Makers," abides by a music learning theory developed by Dr. Edwin Gordon. In this video, her students demonstrate that there is a close parallel between the way individuals learn music and language.

    Grades: 13+
  • NJ Dodge Poetry Festival

    The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, the largest poetry event in North America, returns to Newark for its 14th biennial event in this Classroom Close-Up video. Bill O'Neal takes his pupils from Trenton Central High West Campus to the High School Student Day. The budding poets participate in readings, attend performances, and converse with world-renowned poets about their craft.

    Grades: 13+

Funder: