October 22 - Postcard Booklet Turn-in Day
October 23 - Red Sox Spirit Day
1/2 Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Staff
October 24 - Student Council Mtg at 2:15 p.m.
October 25 - First Turn in Day for Magazine Drive
Term 1 Interim Reports go home (see note below)
7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
October 29 - Picture Retake Day
October 30 - MCAS/Common Core Information Session for Parents (see details below)
Second Turn in Day for Magazine Drive
8th Grade Field Trip to Salem
October 31 - Happy Halloween!
Costume Day at Blake (see details below)
November 4 - Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. at Blake LMC)
November 5 - 8th Grade Field Trip to Tri-County
November 7 - Deadline for last Washington, D.C. SCRIP Order
XITC Charity Basketball Game (see details below)
November 11 - Veterans Day (No school)
November 12 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
November 14 - Student Council Mtg at 2:15 p.m.
November 19 - Subway Night for Blake
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about shared learning and growth into the dialogue this week, our Topic/Questions for the Dinner Table this week is: Are there rewards in store for the teacher who asks the students to provide their insight? What gain may the master attain by learning from the apprentice?
Term 1 Interim Reports
This Friday students will be bringing home their interim reports for the first term. The interim report is a mid-term progress report on grades, conduct, and effort based on the first five weeks of school. It is not a report card and the expectation is that students will follow up on any suggestions that teachers provide in the interim report. Time will be spent in advisory reflecting upon the work they have accomplished, as well as setting healthy goals for the second half of the term. The signature sheet that accompanies the report should be returned on Monday, October 28th to advisory teachers. 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.
Please be sure that you returned your child's emergency card to the main office. It was sent home in the first day packet of information and ensures that we are able to contact you in the event of an emergency.
7th/8th Grade Dance Information
The first 7th & 8th Dance will be held on Friday, October 25. Next week, students will receive Dance Contracts that must be signed by parents and returned in homeroom to Student Council Representatives by Thursday, October 24, 2013. Extra contracts and Guest Contracts (for children who are 7th or 8th grade Medfield residents not attending Blake) will be available in the Blake office and online. Please review the expectations for behavior at dances with your children prior to dance night and make arrangements to pick up your child promptly at 9:00 pm. If a student will be arriving late from sporting events, please email Kelly Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the dance.
Friday, October 25th is the first turn in day for magazine orders. Through our magazine drive sponsor, Blake has partnered up this year with "Save the Children". Every student who turns in 3 magazine orders will earn a chick to send to an impoverished village in Bangladesh. These chicks will produce eggs to feed families and provide a source of income.
MCAS and Common Core Information Session for Parents/Guardians
Do you have questions about the MCAS assessments? Do want to learn more about the 'Common Core'? Would you like to better understand the data that has been provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education? Do you want to gain insight about the terminology (growth percentiles, CPI, PPI, etc.) and understand the context for your students and the schools? If the answer to any or all of these questions is 'yes', we would like to extend an invitation to all parents/guardians in the Blake community to join us for parent information coffee on Wednesday, October 30 at 9:30 a.m. at Blake. Nat Vaughn and Susan Bycoff, our Mathematics Content Specialist, will give a brief presentation, followed by a question and answer and 'open discussion' about the tests. This is not a forum to discuss individual scores, but rather to better understand the assessments, data, and reports from the DESE. If you are interested and able to attend the session, please RSVP via our Google Form link ( MCAS and Common Core Info Session on 10-30-13) so that we can make sure we are prepared.
4th Annual Student/Staff Charity Basketball Game
The 4th Annual Student/Staff Charity Basketball game will take place Thursday, November 7, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Middle School gym. Tickets cost $3 each. All money raised goes to benefit Christmas in the City, a non-profit organization which receives donations each year to throw a Christmas Party for homeless children in Boston. This year, 8th grade students and teachers will spend two days helping to set up the party and purchase gifts for homeless children. Students can purchase tickets during advisory or at the door the day of the event. Any additional donations are welcome.
Student Council would like to invite Blake Staff & students to join in showing your Blake spirit for "Costume Day" on Thursday, October 31st. Participation is not mandatory, but encouraged! Rules for the spirit day are NO masks, NO full face paint, & NO weapons (real or fake) of any kind. Prizes for the best costumes!
Visitors from Bengbu
Our two visiting teachers from Bengbu, Xu Chongwei and Chen Feng, arrived Sunday evening and will be in Medfield until November 18. We are thrilled to host them during our stay - thanks to Sara Callahan, Brian Gavaghan, Kathleen Caprio, Sarah Pratt, and Erin Winter for serving as their host teachers. They will also be visiting other classes and participating in activities throughout their stay.
Connected Educator Month - Twitter Account (@nat_vaughn)
As noted in the weekly blog update, October is Connected Educator Month and I am encouraging both staff and students to explore the world of Twitter. For the past year I have used this technology as a communication and resource tool for both the Blake community and my own learning network. If you are interested in exploring with me, my account is @nat_vaughn. In addition to the weekly blog to our community, I plan on continuing tweeting up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles of interest on a daily or more frequent basis. We have established the hashtag (#bmsed) for education-related tweets of interest and Blake events and (#bmstech) for technology tweets of interest at Blake, so be sure to check them out! Admittedly I had some reservations at first, but Diane Horvath (one of our Technology Integration Specialists) encouraged me to get out of my 'comfort zone' - thanks, Diane! This is by no means an expectation for anyone, but I thought you may find it of interest - I have found the 'dialogue and network' via Twitter to be relevant, engaging, tangible, and simply put - useful.
There are two ways to get my tweets...
1. To get the 'real feel' for Twitter- you should sign up for your own twitter account and follow me. This works well when you use the twitter app to get the live feed.
2. Go to this link: http://twitter.com/nat_vaughn where you'll be able to see all my tweets without a twitter account.
Health Information from the Nurse's Office
Medications from the 7th grade Nature's Classroom trip should be picked up in the main office by parents within the next two weeks. Medications not picked up by Friday, October 25 will be disposed of in an appropriate manner.
Curriculum Highlights - Mathematics and Wellness
In our continued efforts to keep families informed and updated about the curriculum at Blake, each week we will be 'highlighting' curriculum updates from two different departments. This week's updates come from the mathematics (Susan Bycoff, Content Specialist) and wellness (Susan Cowell, Content Specialist) departments...
Charts and graphs are a great way to organize data. Blake Middle School sixth grade students are learning about line graphs, pie charts and histograms. Classes are deciding which chart or graph works best, given different data sets. From a young age, students learn to look for patterns. Blake Seventh graders are busy studying all types of patterns, from arithmetic to geometric. They will even look at one of the most famous number patterns from Fibonacci. Ask them where it appears! Eighth grade students continue to use their iPads to enhance learning. Whether experiencing a Nearpod to learn the Pythagorean Theorem or using iBook Author to document the rules of Algebra, students are busy combining technology and mathematics. Well done, Blake students!
In both 6th and 7th grade physical education classes, the students competed in a "cluster vs cluster" track meet to be a culminating event for their track and field units. Students signed up for their events of choice and cheered on fellow classmates as they participated in events such as the long jump, 200m, 4X100 relay race, 50 dash, 400m, shot put, javelin throw and 1 mile race. Top three finishers for each event gained points toward their cluster in a friendly competition.
The 8th graders are finishing up units in Golf and Ultimate Frisbee. Students are encouraged to try these activities outside of the class as they are games they can continue for a lifetime. Students were introduced to the basic skills and strategies of the games as well as the health benefits to each sport.
Coming up next in Grade 6 is Team Handball and Yoga, in Grade 7 is Lacrosse and Rebounding, and in Grade 8 is California Football. The Grade 8 California Football unit will lead up to our annual Turkey Bowl Football Tournament that will collect food donations for the Medfield Food Cupboard.
Medfield Food Cupboard Drive for 6th Grade
Attention 6th grade families: October is the 6th grade's month to support the Medfield Food Cupboard. The most needed items this month are:
- Toilet paper - individual or 4-pack
- Hair products
- Laundry products
- Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.)
- Peanut butter
- Juice - juice boxes or jugs
- Thank you in advance for your generosity!
Nashoba Valley Ski/Snowboard Club
SAVE THE DATES: The Nashoba Valley Ski/Snowboard club will be running again for six consecutive Thursdays (January 2nd - Febuary 6th) this year. Paperwork to sign-up will be available near the end of October. Students participating will be expected to attend a mandatory meeting on December 19th from 2:15 -2:45. If a student is renting, staff from Nashoba Vally Ski Area will be available to fit your student on December 11th from 2:15-2:45. Please email Marjorie Heim at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Private School Applications
Students who plan on applying to private school need to contact their guidance counselor. For more information, please call the guidance office or visit the guidance website: http://blakeguidancepage.weebly.com/index.html. Reminders of application deadlines will be noted in future blog updates.
Student Council is currently holding our annual October Pumpkin Decorating contest. Each advisory will design a pumpkin according to the rules laid out by the Student Council and the faculty will vote for their favorite pumpkin the morning of November 1st. There will be a prize for the winning pumpkin!
Music at Blake - Guess the Blake Pandora Jockey!
Last week's Blake PJ/DJ was Brenda Perachi, although no student guessed the correct winner! Our new PJ/DJ will begin this Tuesday. We encourage all students to participate by voting at our Blake Pandora Jockey Link, and all entries must be registered by Thursday evening at 8 p.m. An 'electronic selector' will highlight a winner each week, and the winning student will be the Blake PJ for the following Monday. Each student may register only one vote. Encourage your students to participate!
FSMA Yard Sale – Saturday, October 26th 8:00-11:00
Through the generosity of the Schilling family, the leftovers from their recent estate sale have been donated to create this charity yard sale to help their friend William Johnson. Please come to 3 Hospital Road, Medfield on the 26th to shop the sale for small furniture, Christmas, Halloween and other décor, videos and games, toys, frames, and other household items. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the New England Chapter of Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy to fund vital research to find a cure for William and others with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. See Forms and Documents tab for more information.
Olivia Fund Bracelets
Some of our sixth grade students are selling loom bracelets to benefit the Olivia Fund. 100% of the profits for these bracelets will support the fund. They will be sold before school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays until November 1. Thank you for helping to make a difference.
MCPE is pleased to report that the following grant initiatives have been funded for the current school year at Blake Middle School.
- Spanish books reading cart
- iPad Summit professional development conference
- NEASCD professional development conference
- Wagner Percussion Group student performance for 8th grade
- Mac Minis for the library and tech help room
Buy SCRIP to save on your trip to Washington, D.C.
Parents of 8th graders, please note we are extending the promotion another week to allow more participation. The last day to put in your SCRIP order for tuition credit on the trip is now November 7th. The Washington Trip tab on Blake's website has instructions for setting up your account. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.