November 19 - Subway Night for Blake
CSA Meeting (7:00 p.m.)
November 26 - Celebration of Voice Assembly
November 27 - No School
November 28 - Happy Thanksgiving!
November 29 - No School
December 2 - Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
December 2-6 - Scholastic Book Fair at Blake
Musical Auditions (see details below)December 4 - 7th Grade Parent Coffee (see details below)
December 6 - 7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
December 10 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
December 11 - Ski Club Rental Fitting
December 13 - Higgins Armory Presentation
December 17 - Subway Night for Blake
December 18-19 - Christmas in theCity Field Trips for 8th Grade
December 23-31 - No School
January 1 - Happy New Year! (No School)
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about failure, our Topic/Questions for the Dinner Table this week is: As a parent - or a teacher - if you used this approach: "Try having your child - (your student) - teach you the homework (concept). The teacher always learns more than the student." Would you allow them to fail to teach it correctly, or well? If so, when and how would you provide them the knowledge and opportunity to teach it better?
Student Council Officers
Student Council had a number of highly qualified and committed 8th graders run for Officer positions this week and we are proud to announce our Officers for the 2013-2014 school year:
President - James Cawley
Vice President - Connor Haskell
Secretary - Devan Venkataraman
26 Days/Acts of Kindness
The one year anniversary of the tragic events in Newtown will be upon us shortly. At Blake, we want to honor those who were lost that day by asking everyone in the Blake community to participate in 26 Days of Kindness. In the posted document, you will see the acts of kindness are not 'big', nor are they complicated, yet each can make an impact on someone, including each of us. On Friday of each week you will see that the acts are a little 'bigger' in nature. Our first Friday, November 22, we are asking kids to bring in books to fill the class libraries of Medfield's K-8 teachers. If you include our summer reading book Wonder in your donation, that book will be given to a middle school in New Bedford so the students our former principal Peg Mongiello is working with can have the wonderful experience of sharing Auggie's story. We are going to document these days and put them together in a way that we can refer back to easily and remind ourselves that kindness is something we all can practice every day. During the weekend or over the Thanksgiving holiday, if you see your student partaking in an act of kindness and could take a picture or video, please send it to Tracy Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
iPad Initiative Highlights Info Session
It was great to have a nice cohort of parents attend our first set of iPad Highlights sessions. Our intention is to have more nights throughout the year. For those who missed the presentation, the 'Google Presentation' can be found at iPad Highlights November 2013 Presentation. I also encourage you to visit our Mobile Learning in Medfield blog to gain a greater understanding of the work that is taking place.
No Homework Weekends for Blake
I once again want to thank all of the staff for their support and help in making our 'No Homework Weekend' for Blake a reality. For planning purposes for families, we have designated MLK, Jr. and Memorial Day as two other 'No Homework Weekends' for the Blake community.
An update about the upcoming Turkey Bowl from our PE department: Blake Middle School will once again be holding the annual 8th Grade Turkey Bowl Tournament. The Turkey Bowl, which will take place on Tuesday, November 26, is a charitable football tournament supporting the Medfield Food Cupboard. Teams for the Turkey Bowl will consist of four players and must be co-ed. In order to register for the tournament, students must bring in a canned food item (one for each member of their team) and give it to the physical education staff. The Turkey Bowl is a great event and a great way for Blake Middle School to support the Medfield Community. Last year we had 28 teams entered in the tournament, and hopefully we will exceed that total this year. Our hope is to begin the holiday season with a true spirit of giving.
On Tuesday, November 12, 2013 seventh grade students were treated to a Fun with Science program entitled "Having Fun with Pyramids and Pharaohs." The speaker, Paulette Morin, is an experienced Egyptologist who has traveled extensively throughout Egypt and has much experience working with middle school students. The interactive presentation features visuals and artifacts that bring ancient history to life as students are able to model a variety of Egyptian style jewelry and head pieces. Student questions posed at the end of the program demonstrated their rich understanding of the material covered in class as well as an opportunity for them to delve deeper into the fascinating lives of the Ancient Egyptian people.
7th Grade Parent Coffee - Change in Date
Our 7th graders are no longer adjusting to middle school life, nor are they preparing to step across the campus to the high school. So what are they doing? Join Tracy Allen for a parent coffee where you can ask "What is 7th grade all about?". The coffee will take place Wednesday, December 4 at 9:30am. Hope to see you there. Please RSVP via our Google Form link (7th Grade Parent Coffee) to let us know if you are planning on attending the session so that we can make sure we are prepared. Please fill out the form for each parent/guardian attending the presentation. You may register questions in advance via the link or walk in with your list.
This is a reminder for parents that a student's absence or tardiness must be reported by a written note or a parental telephone call to the school absence line (508-242-8501) by 8 a.m. Absence from school for vacation purposes is discouraged. However, we are aware that some parents make the decision to take their student out of school based on specific circumstances that may allow for the family to be together or for the student to gain a different educational experience. We strongly request that student vacations or family obligations be scheduled within the framework of the school calendar. When parents/guardians do remove students from school, we request that two weeks notice is provided to the administration so that teachers can be notified. Should parents keep a child out of school for vacation purposes, they are assuming the responsibility for their child to make up the work. It should be recognized that teachers can not realistically provide work to take the place of instruction missed during planned absences. Since assignments are based on material that has been previously taught, work can not in most cases be identified until after the child returns Academic and special education teachers will not provide make-up instruction or tutorials.
Curriculum Highlights - Mathematics and Wellness
This week's curriculum updates come from the mathematics (Susan Bycoff, Content Specialist) and Wellness (Susan Cowell, Content Specialist) departments...
6th graders at Blake Middle School are formalizing their knowledge of positive and negative numbers. They are busy examining every-day language including 3 degrees below zero, profits of $1000, 4,500 feet below sea level and increases of 15% in stock-value. Using their new knowledge, they are expressing and manipulating these values using integers.
100%. That is the probability that students in 7th grade are visiting math stations and learning about all different types of probability. From independent & dependent through conditional probability, student are rolling dice, selecting colored chips and drawing tree diagrams all in the name of assigning percentage values.
Blake students in 8th grade are finding new uses for a balance scale. Students are learning to solve linear equations using a virtual scale. This is a foundational algebra skill that allows students to bring all their pre-algebra skill together. Nice job Blake math students!
The Blake Middle School Turkey Bowl is Tuesday, November 26th! All 8th grade students are encouraged to participate. Sign-ups will continue this week. Each co-ed team of four is asked to donate four canned goods and/or non-perishables to compete in the tournament. All donations will go to the Medfield Food Cupboard.
In Health Education, sixth grade students are discussing the impact of self-esteem, which segues next into the topic of decision-making. We know that our self-esteem impacts the choices we make, so this will be an opportunity for students to look at their own self-esteem and their decision-making analytically. In Physical Education, the sixth graders are currently practicing yoga, and learning to play team handball. Next, they will be challenged in a new speed and agility unit, as well as participating in the ever-popular, cardiorespiratory challenge: scurry hockey!
Seventh graders are finishing up units in lacrosse and rebounding, which utilizes a mini-trampoline to develop balance, coordination, and cardiorespiratory health. Soon they too will be challenged by the new speed and agility lessons, along with the grade seven hockey unit.
In Health Education, seventh grade students have been discussing their independence, as well as the expectations that adults and their peers have for them. Recognizing this as a time of significant physical and emotional growth, we will be learning about the importance of communication within the family, and the very important role that seventh graders can play in maintaining a peaceful, respectful, caring home environment.
Eighth graders have been discovering the psychology involved in learning in Health Education, and will soon be discussing the many, important social issues teens face today. In Physical Education, Blake's eldest have been learning to play California Football, and are preparing for the Turkey Bowl, which will be played on the high school's turf field on November 26th. After the Thanksgiving break, eighth graders will be playing indoor soccer, as well as taking on Blake's most challenging speed and agility lessons.
The second rotation of Consumer Science classes are underway, with students learning to safely use a variety of kitchen appliances such as blenders, electric griddles, waffle irons and ovens. Students will be preparing nutritious and delicious fruit smoothies; pancakes, waffles, or french toast; and pizza during their first three weeks of the course. In addition, they are learning safe food handling techniques, how to properly measure and follow a recipe, and how to clean up their kitchen as a team. Each year, the skills practiced in Consumer Science class build upon the skills taught and practiced in the previous year's course. Ask your child to share with you at home, the skills and recipes he or she has learned in class! All recipes can be found on Mrs. Cowell's Consumer Science webpage under the Academics tab.
Blake Theater Information
Auditions for Blake's 2 theatrical performances this year - Aladdin and The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Comic Thriller Starring Shirley Holmes and Jennie Watson - will take place December 2-6. If you think your student might be interested in being in or doing tech for one of these shows, please note that Tech week will be the week of April 7th and performances will be April 11-13. We will be putting on one play and one musical. Forms, including audition sign-ups, will be on November 15th on the theater website (under the Activities tab on the Blake site). See Ms. Allen with any questions.
Lip Sync Information
The 15th Annual Lip Sync will be held on January 24th. There will be one night of performances; therefore the first 20 acts to submit their completed paperwork by the due date will perform. We are only opening the show to 20 groups. Important upcoming dates...
11/28 forms are due to Mrs. Dondero
Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail Mrs. Dondero (508-359-2396 ext. 2003/ email@example.com) with any questions or concerns
Nashoba Valley Ski/Snowboard Club
Ski Club sign ups are full, but there is a wait list on Mrs.Heim's Ski Club website. If enough students sign up to fill a third bus, we will be able to host any students on the waiting list. Please do not send checks if you are on the waiting list, if there is room your spot will be confirmed by Monday 11/18 in an e-mail from Mrs. Heim.
Private School Applications
Anyone applying to private school should notify the student's guidance counselor. Information about the process is on the guidance page. All application materials should be to the guidance office by December 6, 2013.
Music at Blake - Guess the Blake Pandora Jockey!
Last week's Blake PJ/DJ was Tracy Allen, and we did not have a student 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!
Blake Middle School winter athletic registration is open to all 8th graders interested in participating in basketball for both boys and girls. Blake 8th grade basketball will begin on December 2nd. Please visit the athletics page on the Blake Middle School web site or click the following link to register:
Please contact Eric Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Please join us for the Blake CSA meeting on Tuesday, November 19 at 7 pm. We will be discussing a new format for the 2014 meetings. We hope to see you there!
Your trash, Blake's cash! Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box in the office.