June 25 - Subway Night for Blake
Cluster Placement Letters go home
June 26 - Transition Day
8th Grade Closing Assembly (7 p.m.)
June 27 - Last Day of School for Students/Staff
August 27 - Teacher Professional Day
August 28 - Teacher Professional Day
September 3 - First Day of School
September 5 - Rosh Hashanah (No School)
'Topic/Question for the Dinner Table'
To help bring the idea of belief in others and oneself this week, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: When you say "I believe in you", how much more does it mean when you carry on that belief through the hard times?
7th Grade Field Trip Recap
7th graders boarded busses last Tuesday with their mathematical creatures, scale drawings and fiction stories and headed to the Medfield elementary schools. Kindergartners, first, second, third and fourth graders got to enjoy our 7th graders spending time in their classrooms, with their siblings in many cases, reading their stories and sharing their creatures. It was a great day for everyone!
On Friday 7th graders spent the beautiful spring day "Walking through Courage." In conjunction with the 7th grade theme of courage and many of their academic lessons this year, they visited the Public Gardens, the Boston Common, the Holocaust Memorial and made many other stops along the Freedom Trail. They had questions to answer in their student guides and made many connections to material they had covered during this school year.
Grade 8 Cookout
The Grade 8 cookout will take place on Wednesday, June 26. Students will be outside and should be prepared with a sunscreen, hat, and a pen to sign yearbooks.
8th Grade Closing Ceremony
Our 8th grade closing ceremony and goodbye evening will be on Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m. This evening will be our opportunity to thank and recognize our 8th graders for their years at Blake and wish them well as they head off to high school. Families are welcome, and there will be a reception with refreshments, including allergen-free treats, in the cafeteria following the ceremony. We are hoping for a 'cool weather' evening.
Cluster Placement Letters
Tentative cluster and advisory assignments are being finalized and will be shared with students/families via a letter that students will receive at the end of the school today (Tuesday, June 25). Transition Day is Wednesday, June 26 and on that day students will get the opportunity to meet their teachers and get a preview of next year's curriculum and grade level events. Clusters and advisories are always subject to change based on budget, staffing, and curricular needs, as well as the possible influx of new students.
This past week, SIPS installed its first bluebird nest box. The next box was placed at the middle school on the far end of the practice field outside the sixth grade wing. Next year, Mr. Gow and some students plan to engage in the community service project entitled Nest Watch. This is a citizen science project that helps actual scientists monitor the populations of vital species of birds. Our goal is to install at least four more boxes next year. If your child has an interest in SIPS, please contact Mike Gow (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mobile Learning Initiative
I encourage everyone to take a look at our iPad Blog (iPad Blog) to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place this year at Blake. We are excited about this initiative and look forward to our work together to enhance our students' education. As always, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have (email@example.com).
Incoming 7th Graders
Ms. Allen is hoping to stay connected to all the incoming 7th graders this summer. She's created an online post-it board that can be found on the guidance page under her name or by clicking http://padlet.com/wall/lcc64reb5f. The kids are encouraged to post pictures from their vacations, reviews or pictures of the new favorite book they're reading or anything else they want to share with their classmates over the course of the summer. Please email her if you have any questions.
As we approach the summer months and take a formal 'break' from the routines of school and academics, I have asked our content specialists to provide updates from their respective departments...
Art (Jim Cousens)
We have had a wonderful year in the Blake Art department this year. Our students have created so many great artworks as they scaffold their art experiences each year. We've used social media (@Medfieldk12Arts) and our website (www.medfieldk12finearts.net) to communicate some of these experiences to families and friends. Also this year, our students have displayed their artwork at the Zullo Gallery Student-Faculty Art Exhibit, our Annual Blake Art Show, throughout our halls and the Principal's hallway, and have represented Blake MS at the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards. As our 8th Graders move on to the high school we know that they will have many more opportunities to pursue their interests in art, while this year's 6th & 7th Graders will experience new media and concepts as they move up in the Blake ranks. We also look forward to meeting and sharing our Art Curriculum with our incoming 6th Graders from Dale Street. We hope everyone has an enjoyable summer, and returns to Blake in the fall ready to be creative!
English (Gail Duffy)
There are only 168 hours in a week. That's true for Einstein. And everyone else. During the busy days of the school year, 168 hours hardly seems enough. And, so, as summer nears, the English department at Blake would like to encourage you to use at least some of the 168 hours of summer's 7 weeks to try something a little different! Here are a few suggestions. Try one. Or two. Or think of some of your own. Most of all, try to use more of the 1,176 hours of summer to discover or rediscover parts of yourself that passed you by during this busy school year at Blake.
Here are a few suggestions!
1. Make a scrapbook of some of your summer activities.
2. Have a picnic.
3. Write a letter to your best friend.
4. Make dinner for your family.
5. Take a boat ride.
6. Sketch a picture of your house from the outside.
7. Make up a new kind of sandwich.
8. Go backpacking.
9. Read a story to someone. Use dramatic voices when you do!
10. Visit a zoo. They're just as much fun as you remember!
11. Recycle bottles and donate the money to a local charity.
12. Read a poem. Then write one yourself!
13. Spend some quality time looking up at the summer clouds. See any giraffes? Elephants?
14. Visit a museum.
15. Go see Shakespeare for free on the Boston Common. July 6-28: Two Gentlemen of Verona.
16. Fly a kite.
17. Research your family tree.
18. Build a time capsule.
19. Go without TV for an entire day.
20. Have some good old fashioned fun!
Some of these suggestions (and more) can be found on http:///www.homeschool.com/articles/101thingsToDoThis Summer/
Library/Media (Joanne Schmidt)
Reading for pleasure has many benefits. Decades of research shows readers perform better on standardized tests than non-readers. Reading helps improve vocabulary and writing skills. Recent research shows that readers also tend to be more able to empathize with others and see multiple points of view. We hope our summer reading program is both beneficial to students and FUN! Current 8th graders should go to http://mhslmcsummerreading.blogspot.com to sign up for the high school's summer reading program. All the information parents and students need is on the blog. Questions should be addressed to the high school library teacher, Joanne Schmidt, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-242-8511x1001.
Mathematics (Susan Bycoff)
The members of the Blake Middle School would like to take this time to wish you a healthy and restful summer. We recognize this is a necessary and important time to take a break from schoolwork. Each family places a different lens on maintaining math skills over the summer. From summer skills workbooks to playing chess to a trip to the mall with real money, the opportunities are endless. If you are looking for computer-based math games, visit www.sheppardsoftware.com or www.hoodamath.com. For more traditional outlines of middle school math topics, visit www.ixl.com. However you choose to spend your time, make it as relaxed and enjoyable as possible. See you in the fall!
Science (Orla Berry)
Rising 7th graders, take the opportunity this summer during your vacations/ “staycations” to explore the world around you. This will be a great opportunity to see the geologic wonders of the world both near and far. Be it Crystal Cave in Medfield, Purgatory Chasm in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, Howe's Cavern in New York or more exotic landscapes such as the Grand Canyon or Volcanoes of Hawaii - they all have connections to the 6th grade Science curriculum H.A.G.S.!!! Have a geologic summer!!! Our current 7th grade students spent this year exploring living organisms from the size of a unicellular organism to those that interact in an ecosystem. This summer students should take some time to be scientists and observe the natural world around them. When you are swimming in a pond remember the wee beasties are in there too!! For those of you enjoying your last summer as a middle school student summer take the time to ponder some everyday topics that you encountered in 8th grade science such as: Why do heavy things like boats float in water but light things like pebbles sink? If you mix two types of substances together how can you tell if they make a totally new substance and when does this happen in everyday life? How many stars are there is our galaxy, the universe? The Science Department would like to wish everyone a wonderful summer and we hope that you all take some time to observe science in action!
Social Studies (Kathleen Emerson)
6th grade - World Geography
Highlights of the 2012-2013 year include studying the geography and diverse cultures of Africa - making tribal masks, using Animoto etc. Of all the areas of the world - 6th graders voted this unit their favorite. Another great memory was visiting the Peabody Essex Museum, in particular seeing the Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese House. 6th grade teachers would like to invite next year's World Geography students to pay attention to current events during the summer; in particular happenings in Asia, South America and Africa.
7th grade - Ancient Civilizations
One of the highlights of the school year for 7th grade Social Studies students was a visit from Paulette Morin of Fun with Science who presented a fast paced, interesting and hands on assembly about life in Ancient Egypt. Students were able to tie together classroom lessons with the artifacts and stories presented. Another favorite was the always popular Greek Week. The competition was truly fierce. Incoming 7th graders are invited to “experience history” this summer. Visit a historical site, talk to someone over the age of 70 about their childhood or read a historical book/novel.
8th grade - World History I
Students immersed themselves in world history including a study of feudalism and the Middle Ages. 8th graders were able to try reproduction longbows similar to those ones used at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. In addition, a visit from a representative of the Higgins Armory Museum proved to be very entertaining. Students handled “medieval “weapons and armor and learned about the incredible skill and strength needed by the knights of the time. Good books for summer reading include The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman.
Wellness (Susan Cowell)
The Wellness Department had an action-packed year! We would like to thank the students, the Blake staff and administration, as well as many members of the community who supported our school-wide events this year. We believe that the best types of fundraisers are those based on physical activity. This way, everyone wins! It's great for the students participating and it's great for those receiving the donations! We want to wish all of our students and our colleagues a healthy, happy summer and leave you with these helpful tips: get up early and exercise before the sun gets too hot, apply sunscreen whenever you'll be exposed to the sun, try to avoid mid-afternoon sun, drink plenty of water, and catch up on your rest!!
World Language (Ellen Toubman)
As we wind down the 2012/13 year in the World Language department, we are proud of many moments. Our sixth grade students met their teachers three times a week this year for the entire year and will enter the seventh grade with a solid foundation from which to build. We have worked hard as a group to bring many real life and useful situations to our classes. For example, students have shopped virtually on line in other countries, listened to music, and communicated with pen pals in other places. We are rapidly expanding upon our use of our textbooks so that the actual book has become a jumping off point for future language learning. The IPad initiative next year will invite us to look even further beyond our traditional texts toward other available authentic sources around the world. Teachers will continue their planning and collecting of authentic sources over the summer and Medfield will be creating some of our own native speaker dialogues for our curriculum in the next few years. We hope all our students will seek out opportunities to practice whatever language they are studying over the summer. Use the resources that are at your disposal and learn about the world, its languages and cultures!
As the school year quickly winds down, we want to share some exciting news. Thanks to the enthusiastic participation and generosity of community members and area businesses, the MCPE 25th Anniversary Appeal recently met its goal of $100,000! We are thrilled to report that families and individuals contributed $79,464, corporate sponsors donated $15,250 and online auction bidders brought in $5,764. This could not have happened without your support, and we sincerely thank you! All the funds raised during this 25th Anniversary year will be applied to grants for the upcoming school year. We look forward to keeping you informed about next year's grant initiatives. Grant investments for the 2012-2013 school year totaled $72,052. Please refer to our website for descriptions of all the grants funded this year. Enjoy your summer and mark your calendar for the return of our "Spring Fling" - Friday, May 2, 2014.
Thank you to all of the dedicated and hardworking volunteers that make the Blake Middle School CSA successful! This year we were able to fund numerous programs and initiatives that were brought to us. We look forward to another successful school year and we wish you all a great summer!! Please be sure to send in all of your boxtops before the end of the year. Also, please designate an envelope/box in your house to collect boxtops over the summer months!