December 10 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
December 11 - Spaghetti with Santa
Ski Club Rental Fitting and Meeting
December 13 - Higgins Armory Presentation (Grade 8)
December 17 - Subway Night for Blake
December 18-19 - Christmas in the City Field Trips for 8th Grade
December 19 - 7th Grade Field Trip to A Christmas Carol
December 23-31 - No School
January 1 - Happy New Year! (No School)
January 2 - School Resumes
January 2-3 - Geography Bee Preliminary Rounds
January 3 - Ski Club
January 6 - Geography Bee Grade Level Finals
Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
January 9 - Ski Club
January 10 - CSA Mtg (9 a.m.)
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about creativity back into the fold, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: Would the level of accomplishment rise when you find a way to involve constructive creativity, whether planned or spontaneous?
26 Days/Acts of Kindness
Our 26 Days of Kindness campaign ends this week. The students and staff are enjoying the small, easy gestures that honor Sandy Hook victims as well as build a stronger school culture. Please continue to send Tracy Allen any pictures, videos, or feedback on your student's participation in the daily activities. She will be putting a visual representation of all the wonderful things we're doing. Her email is email@example.com.
Reminder for all Blake Students and Families - Gift Giving
This is a reminder that as a school we will not be orchestrating 'Secret Santa' type activities for students in which gifts are being purchased and/or given. For a number of reasons, school is not the proper forum for the exchange of gifts, and we appreciate your understanding and support. During this holiday season we will continue to do our best to keep in mind the diverse faiths of our community and student body. The season/culture in our society is certainly predominantly geared towards Christmas, and we all need to keep this in mind when creating activities for our students.
Twitter Account (@nat_vaughn) and Blake Hashtags (#bmsed and #bmstech)
I continue to encourage both staff, students, and parents/guardians 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.
Christmas in the City
Permission slips must be turned in for the 8th grade's field trip to Christmas in the City. 8th grade advisories have been busy shopping for gifts for children attending the Christmas in the City Event. Each 8th grade advisory is responsible for purchasing a gift for a child off of his or her wish list, worth up to $50, in order to help keep the magic and spirit of the holidays alive for these children. The 8th grade will be purchasing gifts for 15 children and will deliver these gifts when they attend the Christmas in the City community service field trip on December 18 and 19. Contributions towards the cost of the buses are greatly appreciated - checks should be made out to Blake Middle School with Xmas in the City Transportation in the memo line.
Community Service Club Message
It is the time of year that the Community Service Club at Blake participates in its annual Coat Drive, sponsored by Anton's Cleaners. Each year we gather over a hundred new or gently used coats and donate them to needy families all across the region. If you are interested in helping with this cause, please drop off any new or used coat in the box outside the library near the main entrance. The drive runs from December 9th to Friday January 10th. Thank you and have a great holiday vacation.
Higgins Armory Visit - 8th Grade
On Friday, December 13th the 8th grade will enjoy a presentation from the Higgins armory museum in the auditorium. The presentation will offer students an opportunity to interact with samples of the armory's extensive collection of Medieval armor.
The Higgins armory in Worcester has one of the largest collections of armor in North America and the museum presenter, Neal Borbeau, will interact with a number of student volunteers during demonstrations. The 8th grade Social Studies teachers would like to thank the CSA for their continued support of this engaging educational opportunity for our students.
Curriculum Highlights - Social Studies and World Language
This week's curriculum updates come from the social studies (Kathleen Emerson, Content Specialist) and world language (Ellen Toubman, Content Specialist) departments...
The 6th grade recently completed a unit on South America, which included map skills, physical features, altitudinal zonation in the Andes (student created mountains are in the display case outside of gym), Amazon rain forest, and culture of people in the Andes. Up next is an economics unit, beginning with levels of economic activity, which will lead to developing vs. developed countries, and per capita GDP and an analysis of factors involved in economics. Very heady stuff for grade 6!
The 7th grade has just completed an in-depth look at Ancient Egypt. ~Over the course of the unit, they built virtual pyramids, decorated a sarcophagus with meaningful symbolism, and did some preliminary research on a pharaoh for the ankh project. ~Egyptologist Paulette Morin presented "Having Fun with Pyramids and Pharaohs.” Several photos of seventh grade students modeling Egyptian jewelry are displayed on the TV video in front of the library. While these projects were fun, they also laid the groundwork for more computer use, more abstract thinking about big picture topics, and a larger research project in the spring. ~The next few units are all smaller but help students focus on a particular aspect of ancient civilizations. ~They will learn about urban planning while studying the Indus River Valley, learn about monotheism from the Hebrews, and focus on trade while studying the Phoenicians.
World History I
8th graders have competed the Islamic unit and are now moving into the Middle Ages. They will learn about Charlemagne, the development of feudalism, the rise of the Roman Catholic Church and economic expansion and change. This is a fun unit full of projects. Projects will not only be iPad based, but students will be completing hands on projects as well. In addition students will prepare to take their 2nd comprehensive common assessment.
Recently Mrs. Dalpe integrated two of her long term projects and created an interesting series of lessons designed for individual student iPad use. The Nearpod presentations feature videos specifically created in Paris and Madrid for her and her classes, and were shared with other grade eight World Language teachers. The interface also continually tallies each student response to show that every student is engaged throughout the entire class with opportunities for open response, free text, polls, little quizzes, and student drawings to often check for student comprehension. All of the teachers are looking forward to integrating these authentic videos into the curriculum. Students really seem to be enjoying them so far.
Music at Blake - Guess the Blake Pandora Jockey!
Last week's Blake PJ/DJ was Kath McCullough and our student winner was Sarah DeMille! Our new PJ/DJ will begin next Monday. 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!
Message from MHS's National Honor Society - Gift Wrapping Service
On Saturday, December 14 Medfield High School’s National Honor Society is holding a gift wrapping service for parents and members of the Medfield community. Parents can drop off gifts at the Medfield High School main office on Friday December 13th or anytime Saturday December 14th between 9:30 AM and 1 PM. Final pickup for all wrapped gifts will be at 1:30 PM on Saturday. No wrapping supplies are need. They will be supplied. This is a free service to all parents in Medfield. We ran this service last year and it was a huge success. Please consider using the National Honor Society service, we want to help all parents in Medfield.
Recyclables for Lowell Mason House
Please bring in any old, empty, ink cartridges as well as old cell phones or electronics to the collection bin in the office of the middle school to be recycled and used to help fund the refurbishments of the Lowell Mason House.
Your trash, Blake's cash! Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box in the office.
Please consider making MCPE part of your family’s annual charity gift giving. The Medfield Coalition is so grateful to its supporters for their past contributions. As a non-profit fundraising organization, we work hard to raise funds to support enriching programs for our Medfield schools and for our children. As we approach the end of 2013, we ask that you consider making MCPE part of your family's annual charity gift giving. Please visit www.medfieldcoalition.org/support-contribute/donate-now/ to make your year-end tax-deductible donation and to learn more about our events and the recent grants we've awarded. Thank you for making the success of our schools a community effort.
Do you want to recognize excellence and outstanding service in our Medfield Schools? The MCPE's Blue Ribbon Program recognizes teachers and school staff for making a difference in a student's life. It is an easy and thoughtful way to recognize the efforts of a member of our school community during the holiday period or at the end of the school year. For more information, simply go on line to www.MedfieldCoalition.org, select Events and Programs and then select the tab for the Blue Ribbon Program.
The MCPE Spring Fling, a fundraising gala to benefit the Medfield public schools, is scheduled for Friday, May 2nd at the Spring Valley Country Club in Sharon, Mass. All Medfield residents are invited to participate in an exciting auction and enjoy an evening of friendship, dancing and refreshments while supporting our schools. The Spring Fling requires a significant amount of planning to make the event a success. Volunteers are needed for many roles, big and small. For those interested in helping with the Spring Fling, please visit the MCPE website: www.MedfieldCoalition.org or email Springfling@MedfieldCoalition.org for more information.