January 30 - Ski Club
January 31 - 'Clash Day' at Blake (see details below)
NAEP Testing at Blake
February 3 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
February 5 - Tri-County Interviews
February 7 - Teacher Professional Day (No School for Students)
February 10 - iPad and Mobile Learning Information and Highlights Night (see details below)
February 11 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
February 14 - Happy Valentine's Day!
February 17-21 - Winter Vacation
February 24 - School Resumes
February 25 - Subway Night for Blake
February 26 - Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night (7 p.m.)
March 6 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Night (7 p.m.)
March 13 - Incoming 7th Grade Parent Night (7 p.m.)
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about learning from those around you, our Topic/Questions for the Dinner Table this week is: How do you balance the beliefs below, putting them into action and folding them together? And if you do, what can you imagine?
- laughter and learning go hand-in-hand
- honor and value the people sitting in front of you
- ask tough questions, and push people to think deeply about their work.
School Survey - Executive Summary
The Blake Site Council has taken time throughout the year to review the data collected from last year's survey. Focus areas on the survey centered on the topics of school culture, academic workloads, stress, and habits. I have posted an Executive Summary of the compiled data for your reference, and I hope you are able to find some time to read the highlights. Our intent is to distribute the 2013-2014 survey in the next week in the hopes of gathering the data by February vacation.
Term 2 Interim Reports
This Friday students will be bringing home their interim reports for the second term. They will be spending time in their advisories reflecting upon the work they have accomplished thus far, and setting healthy/measured goals for the second half of the term. Our hope is that this communication tool will give you an update on the progress your child is making in school. If you have any questions about your child's work or the reports, please start by having a conversation with your own child. If questions still exist, you should contact the teacher directly to gain more insight.
From Student Council
Student Council invites Staff and Students to join "Clash Day" on Friday, January 31, 2014. Wear your mismatched colors, patterns, and prints to show your school spirit!
Student Council announces our Blake Gear Logo Design Contest. If you would like your design to be on school t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants, pick up a design form from your Homeroom representative or the main office and submit by Friday, February 14th to Ms. Dengos, Ms. Hurley, or your Student Council Homeroom Representative!
iPad and Mobile Learning Highlights and Information Night
In an effort to continue our dialogue and share information with the Blake community about our 8th Grade iPad Initiative and mobile learning endeavors at Blake, we are inviting all parents/guardians to attend our iPad Highlights and Information Night on Monday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m. Our hope for the evening is for the entire Blake community of parents and guardians to hear and see highlights from the pilot, answer questions, and learn about the progress that has taken place. This event is for parents and guardians only. Please RSVP via our Google Form link (Blake iPad Highlights and Information Night) to let us know if you are planning on attending so that we can make sure we are prepared. Please fill out the form for each parent/guardian attending the presentation.
Technology Initiative Planning for the 2014-2015 School Year
Last week I sent out an e-mail to both incoming 7th and 8th grade families with preliminary information about our mobile learning plans for the 2014-2015 academic year. As shared in the correspondence, the feedback we have gained from our initiatives and pilots has been a critical factor for both the school and district's future implementation and direction we will take with technology. Through classroom observations, professional development, informal and formal feedback from parents and students, and staff input, we have been pleased with the efficacy of the iPad initiative and have determined that it is worth continuing and expanding our collective work with iPads for the 2014-2015 academic year for our incoming 7th and 8th grade students. While our work with the Nexus tablets has been positive, at this point in the educational landscape for schools, it is our belief is that the iPad is the preferred device to maximize the benefits of learning, creativity, and curricular integration for our students and staff.
In order to help us effectively prepare our planning, we need your feedback on the questions that are on these Google Form Surveys: Incoming 7th Grade iPad Survey and Incoming 8th Grade iPad Survey. Your responses are not binding and we recognize that your plans may change, but the initial feedback will help us with our planning. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief survey and am hoping for 100% participation. As part of our program, we will have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need. We are committed to providing an equitable learning experience for our students and appreciate your responses.
Parent Information Nights - Mark Your Calendars!
The planning for the 2014-2015 school year has already begun, and our parent information nights have been scheduled. The nights are scheduled as follows...
2/26 - Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night at 7 p.m.
3/6 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Night at 7 p.m.
3/13 - Incoming 7th Grade Parent Night at 7 p.m.
More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Tilden Village Dinner
The annual Tilden Village dinner was attended by a wonderful group of happy villagers, who modeled so well for the 8th grade volunteers what it means to appreciate and honor these students for being there. They gave the Tilden folks this opportunity to eat, talk, play together while having their appetites satiated with tasty foods brought to them through the efforts of and with the loving care of students and parents together. The student volunteers were amazing, and deserve all the praise given them, plus more. Reports from home about them beaming - and red-faced sheepishness at school when fellow classmates applauded them for what they have done - are part of this worthwhile venture. Well done by all and for all.
Photos for Yearbook - 8th Grade!
8th Graders!! We are collecting childhood or baby pictures for a special section in the Yearbook. Write your name on the back of the photo and hand it in to your Advisory teacher by Friday, January 31st. Remember that we DO NOT return the pictures.
Food Drive - 8th Grade
8th Grade is responsible to help replenish the Medfield Food Cupboard with donations for the month of January. Items in need include: Cookies, Applesauce Cups, Raisins, and Juice (Boxed and Canned).
Curriculum Highlights - English and Music
This week's curriculum updates come from the Social Studies (Kathleen Emerson, Content Specialist) and World Language (Ellen Toubman, Content Specialist) departments...
6th Grade - students are wrapping up their investigation of developed and developing countries by exploring various economies of the world and the quality of life amongst different nations. They will shortly begin their study of Africa. Some students have explored a variety of physical landscapes and climates that makes Africa unique. This unit will stretch throughout March and students will investigate many topics including culture and Apartheid.
7th Grade - After participating in a thrilling Geography Bee to open up the 2014 calendar year, students in 7th grade Social Studies have been sailing the Mediterranean Sea, learning about the ancient Phoenicians and Hebrews. Students learned about trade and transportation in the ancient world when they participated in the Phoenician trading game (ask them what "murex" is!). The 7th graders will work on a timeline project next, and they will examine the connections between various civilizations occurring at the same time.
8th Grade - Students are continuing their study of the High Middle Ages in Europe. They are exploring the formation of the nation-states of France and England. In addition 8th graders are preparing for the 2nd common exam.
Our World language classes have been very busy with many delicious and fun projects!
Grade 7 Spanish students did a wonderful job drawing and writing about their actual bedrooms and their fantasy bedrooms! There were lots of "piscinas" and "trampolines" in their imaginary rooms!
Grade 8 Spanish students in Mrs. Batts' classes are beginning puppet shows this week with the theme of "en un restaurante". What will happen when "Sr. Tomate" meets up with "Sra. Manzana" at the restaurant?!
Grade six French students have just completed a unit on food, learning about cultural differences between an American restaurant and a French café, terms for various drinks and menu items, and how to place and order in a café. Classes enjoyed a food tasting of French breakfast treats, and performed skits of a café scene. The next unit will be about the seasons and the weather.
The 7th grade French classes have just started a new unit on Sports and Hobbies. They will learn to discuss their activities, incorporating specific seasons and days of the week vocabulary. We are continuing to add to their repertoire of verbs to conjugate, with a new irregular verb (faire) in this unit. The chapter will culminate with puppet shows, which is always fun!
In Chinese class, students are going to write some stories, act out some skits to review what we have learned. This year, the Chinese lunar New Year's Eve is on January 30th,2014. As part of culture introduction, Mrs. Ma and her students are going to celebrate Spring Festival .They are going to learn some Chinese Spring Festival traditions and work on an introduction Chinese New Year project, learn to cook some Chinese Spring Festival food, such as Spring Rolls, Chinese Dumplings, Dandan Noodles, etc.
Pajama Collection - 7th Grade
The seventh grade will be collecting new pajamas for Cradles to Crayons starting Feb 3rd and continuing until the 14th. Students should give pajamas to their advisory teachers. Blake was in the top 3 schools for pajama donations last year. We'd love to continue this trend!! Thank you.
Blake Ski Club Update
Please be sure your bag is clearly labeled, we have had a few bags accidentally taken from the lodge. I suggest putting brightly colored duct tape on bag with first and last name. Also, similar to last week be sure all items (including equipment, clothes, technology, etc) are clearly labeled with child's name as well. It may even be in your be interest to put a phone number to contact on the label in case your child's bag is accidentally taken.
Please check the theater page for changes to the rehearsal schedule. All students scheduled to be at rehearsal are expected to be there unless they have talked to Mrs. Caprio or Ms. Allen in advance. Costume ideas for both shows are also on the theater website. Please check your closets and send in any pieces that may work. They will be well taken care of. Stage crew will meet Wednesday and Friday this week. Please make sure you where clothes that can get paint on them and no Uggs.
Second Annual Boxtops for education drive! Tuesday, January 21- Wednesday, February 26th
Please have your child hand in boxtops to his/her advisor or label with advisor's name and put in the collection box located in the main office. The top advisory will be eligible for a special advisory activity such as open gym or extra outdoor recess!
Sign up on the Boxtops 4 Education Link and you can get printable coupons on certain box top products.
You can earn box tops at over 400 online stores by choosing a store, clicking on its logo and ordering as you usually would but box tops will be credited to the school account with every qualified purchase. Please see Forms and Documents tab for participating providers.
Music at Blake - Guess the Blake Pandora Jockey!
We have a new Blake DJ this week. The direct link to the form is: Blake Pandora Jockey Form Encourage your students to participate!
Boys Basketball Update
This past week the 8th grade basketball team had a rematch with Wellesley. The boys lost by 4 points. John Lowell tied the score with 25 seconds left hitting 2 free throws. Wellesley then answered with 2 free throws of its own to take the lead for good. Wellesley won 58-54. Tough loss for the boys but they fought hard. Last time these teams met Wellesley won by 30 points. The next game is Thursday at Trottier Middle School in Southborough where Medfield will try and avenge another close loss. Medfield is 2-4 with 3 of its losses coming by 4 or less points.
Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box is in the office.
Mark your calendars for the MCPE Spring Fling! This exciting fundraising event will be held Friday, May 2nd at the Spring Valley Country Club in Sharon, MA. This event will feature a silent and live auction to benefit our schools. Spring Fling tickets will go on sale Feb 25; at that time you can order your tickets on the MCPE website: www.MedfieldCoalition.org.