October 8 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
October 8-9 - Charles River/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip for Stripes Cluster
October 8-11 - 7th Grade to Nature's Classroom
October 10, 11, 15 - Charles River/Russian Icon Museum Field Trip Rain Dates
October 14 - Columbus Day (No School)
October 15 - Subway Night for Blake
'Thinking Outside the Classroom' (see details below)
October 16 - Blake CSA Mtg (7:00 p.m. in Blake LMC)
October 18 - Magazine Drive Kick-Off Assembly (Info coming soon)
October 25 - Term 1 Interim Reports go home
7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
October 29 - Picture Retake Day
October 30 - 8th Grade Field Trip to Salem
October 31 - Happy Halloween!
November 11 - Veterans Day (No school)
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help foster the spirit of connectedness and conversations into the dialogue this week, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: What courageous conversations are we not having?
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.
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.
Music at Blake - Guess the Blake Pandora Jockey!
Last week's winner of the Blake Pandora Jockey was Lauren Tritcak, correctly guessing Mr. Marenghi as the Staff DJ. Each week I will ask a different staff member to be the DJ, or PJ (Pandora Jockey) for Blake Tuesday-Thursday. The teacher will select different music 'stations' to be played and students will be able to vote who the Blake PJ of the week is. Diane Horvath, our Technology Integration Specialist, has set up an online system for voting, 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!
The students and staff left without a hitch this morning and we will be sure to update parents/guardians throughout the week. I would like to thank and recognize Judy Silva, Tricia Williams, Tracy Allen, and Kelly Campbell for all of their work over the last several months, helping to prepare for a safe and beneficial experience for our students. The anticipated arrival back at Blake is Friday around 3 p.m. Parents/guardians should park in the parking lots and not around the flagpole circle. Please be mindful to leave a clean pathway for all of the busses to pull into the drive and park around the flagpole, assuring a safe smooth arrival for the students and staff.
Curriculum Highlights - Social Studies and World Language
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 Social Studies (Kathleen Emerson, Content Specialist) and World Language (Ellen Toubman, Content Specialist) departments...
Grade Six just completed their introductory unit for the year's study of World Geography. Students learned about the "5 Themes of Geography." The five themes of geography were created in 1984 by the National Council for Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers to facilitate and organize the teaching of geography in the K-12 classroom. They are location, place, human/environment interaction, movement and region. Students will be able to analyze their upcoming unit on South America using these themes. The seventh grade has just completed the unit on Early Man and has spent the last week discussing essential questions such as what makes a civilization, why the earliest civilizations were built on flooding rivers, and how learning to farm changed man from a nomadic people to members of a permanent society. The 7th grade will be studying Mesopotamia for the month of October. This early civilization was located deep within the "Fertile Crescent" in what is today the middle east. They were among the first to create cities, write down laws, and learn to harness the rivers for farming through irrigation. Grade 8 recently studied the Byzantine and Russian empires. As part of their study, each cluster traveled to the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, MA - the largest collection of Russian icons in North America. Russian icons are paintings of a sacred person or event that bears religious meaning. Students learned that Russian artists discovered and adapted Byzantine icons with the spread of Christianity to Russia in the 10th century.
The academic year has begun with great energy. World language teachers are welcoming various technology initiatives into their classrooms and integrating them into their lessons. Our department continues to stress learning language for use in practical situations so students can see an immediate relevance to their lives. For example, the 6th grade Spanish students started the year exploring where they see or hear Spanish in their daily lives. Students searched around their homes and brought in examples from food labels to magazine clips of Spanish language. Most recently they have combined their language and artistic skills to create short comic strips to share with the class. In Grade 7 Spanish, they are becoming experts at introducing friends to one another. Their focus on speaking Spanish with great accents is really showing during their in class presentations. The eighth graders have been finishing a review of some of last year's material in Spanish, and experimented with some Explain Everything activities. Students are also using GoogleEarth and Evernote to track their online "mini-trips" to the capital cities of all Spanish speaking countries. Other recent activities include talking about how to make plans (accepting and declining invitations politely) as well as things that are going to be done in the future. Today they started a 5 frame "comic strip" about things that we need to do to get ready in the morning. In French they are talking about family and describing people. It is culminating in a family tree project (in which their family consists of celebrity family members of their choosing) where they will be introducing their family as well as describing them.
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!
Creativity at Blake - A Message from Mr. Cousens
I am happy to inform our Blake Community that we have created a new web page for Blake students (and their families) to upload images of their CREATIVITY! This web page is part of our K-12 Fine Arts website, and can be accessed by this link: Blake Creativity Gallery
Once we begin receiving uploaded images we will be creating a Gallery on our site to showcase these images as well (all images are verified for content prior to posting). We are looking for images of creativity from all areas of our students' Blake experience, so please share! Also, if you are not following us on Twitter yet... @Medfieldk12Arts please do so for updates and information about this set of pages as well as our Blake Art Program and the rest of our K-12 Fine Arts Program. Feel free to pass this along as well. Thanks, and I can't wait to see what shows up!
Thinking Outside the Classroom
On Tuesday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m. the Medfield SEPAC will host 'Thinking Outside the Classroom', a presentation about executive functioning skills offered by Jackie Stachel.
MCPE Community Trivia Night -- Sign Up Now!
The MCPE is pleased to report that teams from across our community are signing up to compete in the first ever “MCPE Community Trivia Night.” This fantastic, fund-raising event will held at the Senior Center on Ice House Road on Friday, November 15th at 7 pm. Enjoy a fun night with friends, test your knowledge of trivia, and raise money for our great Medfield Schools. There will be music, refreshments and prizes! Teams of up to four adult players (21 and over, please) can register NOW at www.MedfieldCoalition.org. The cost is $100 per team.
8th grade parents, please note, for students going to Washington, D.C. fundraising through SCRIP is happening now! Register with ShopWithScrip and Presto Pay asap to get going. The last day to place orders is October 31st. All information can be found under the Student/Parent Information tab on the Blake website under "Washington Trip". Contact Diane Smith with any questions at Grade8scrip@medfieldcsa.org.