December 2-6 - Scholastic Book Fair at Blake
Musical Auditions (see details below)
December 3 - 7th/8th Chorus and 6th-8th Orchestra Concert - 7 p.m.
December 4 - 7th Grade Parent Coffee (see reminder below)
Lip Sync Meeting
December 6 - 7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
December 10 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
December 11 - Spaghetti with Santa
Ski Club Rental Fitting
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
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?
7th Grade Parent Coffee
Reminder that our 7th Grade Parent Coffee, which was postponed from November 20th, will take place Wednesday, December 4th at 9:30am. There's still time to get your questions in. 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.
26 Days/Acts of Kindness
We have had a great first week of our 26 Days of Kindness. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Dance Information from Student Council
Our Winter Wonderland dance for 7th and 8th grade students is this Friday, December 6 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The cost to enter is $5.00. Attire for this dance is 'dressy optional' - we recognize that some students do desire to dress up for this dance, but this is NOT a requirement and the dance is NOT a semi-formal. For ALL of our dances, students are expected to abide by the guidelines of decency, cleanliness, and safety at all times. We recognize that the dance is a social event outside of the classroom, and as such, rules for attire are more flexible than during the school day. Strapless dresses or spaghetti straps will be permitted with appropriate undergarments and adequate coverage. If, however, a student's clothing is deemed inappropriate, the students' parents/guardians will be contacted. The use of mobile phones is prohibited, except in the designated 'Cell-Phone Use' zone. If a student has not yet turned in a dance contract for the 2013/2014 academic year, he/she should see Ms. Dengos or Ms. Hurley before Friday, December 6th.
We at Blake also recognize that the December 6th dance coincides with some of Medfield's holiday festivities 'uptown'. As always, families should plan accordingly to pick students up at 9:00 p.m. The school encourages that students are greeted by adults, rather than walk uptown unsupervised at night.
Recess Reminder for All Parents/Guardians
This is a gentle reminder to families that students are going outside for recess and should bring weather-appropriate clothing like winter jackets and gloves so that they will be warm outdoors.
Reminder for all Blake Students and Families
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 - Grade 8
Permission slips will be going home this week for the 8th grade's field trip to Christmas in the City. In the next few weeks 8th grade advisories will be 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.
As with the past two years, two lucky families are invited to help Santa in the Santa Booth at Christmas in the City! You and your family will be able to experience first hand, the incredible magic of Christmas for thousands of homeless children. Chief elf duties include dressing in red and green holiday hats, lifting children onto Santa's lap and being helpful to Santa. Family helpers are very welcome as long as they are at least 11 years old. The party is Sunday, 12/22 , from 1-4 p.m. at the Boston Convention Center, then helpers will pitch in to clean up. If you are interested, please talk to your families and let us know by Friday, December 10 (e-mail Jason Heim at email@example.com to express your interest). We will draw 2 family names and let you know by December 14th if you have been chosen to be Santa's newest elf!
8th Grade Families - Save the Date!
February 27, 2014 @ 6:30pm
High School Auditorium
Please join members of the high school faculty as they present an overview of the Medfield High School academic curriculum. Additional information will be sent home as the date becomes closer. If you have any questions prior to the event, please contact Katie Nunes, Dean of Academics at firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Mandosa, Guidance Content Specialist at email@example.com or call the high school at 508 359-4367.
Scholastic Book Fair
The Scholastic Book Fair began yesterday and ends on December 6th. An amazing selection of books is headed our way! At the Book Fair you will find the latest and finest titles for kids, as well as books of interest to parents and teachers. The Book Fair is a great way to get everyone excited about reading. You can also help support our school by shopping online at Blake Middle School Scholastic Book Fair from November 27th to December 9th. Thanks for your support!
Curriculum Highlights - English and Music
This week's curriculum updates come from the English (Gail Duffy, Content Specialist) and Music (Doug Olsen, Content Specialist) departments...
Students in Grade 6 English are hard at work practicing open response essay writing. Using their ET graphic organizer to help them create essays that clearly answer the question and provide specific evidence, students are making remarkable progress in this important skill.
Students recently completed their first five-paragraph essay of the year on an influential person. While each cluster is at a slightly different place in rolling out Google docs as a useful tool for this assignment, feedback from both students and the seventh grade English teachers has been positive. This tool is extremely helpful in allowing students to better understand the editing process and truly reflect on their strengths and weaknesses as a writer.
The seventh grade is now moving into reading A Christmas Carol. Work on the novella will begin after Thanksgiving break, and one of the culminating experiences of the novel will be a trip to the North Shore Music Theatre to see a performance of the story.
Using the analytical study of Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, Grade 8 students have been practicing open response essays. After an in-class practice essay, students participated in a teacher-led editing exercise designed to increase clarity and specific detail in each student's work. In addition to working on open response essay skills, students have also been hard at work on a geometric poster project where, working in character committees, they created symbols representing one character from The Crucible and how that character's role in the drama connects symbolically with others.
The 6th, 7th and 8th grade Orchestras have been busy preparing for our first concert of the year. We will be playing pieces from a variety of genres and styles - Spanish, hoe down and traditional just to name a few! The concert is on December 3rd starting at 7:00 p.m. at the high school. We look forward to performing for you!
7th and 8th Grade Chorus are both eagerly preparing for our Winter Concert in conjunction with the 7th and 8th Grade Orchestra on Tuesday, Dec 3rd. The evening will feature several soloists and students are looking forward to this evening. The 6th Grade Chorus is
also preparing for a concert on January 14th in conjunction with the Dale Street Choruses. All three grades 4-6 will present a combined piece at this concert. General Music is going strong as well at Blake, and students have been learning about the history of Jazz Music. We hope to see you at our concerts in the near future!
Lip Sync Information
The 15th annual lip sync is now full. At this time, all songs have been approved unless Mrs. Dondero has requested the group change the song. Songs are due on a CD by 12/11. We will have a mandatory meeting on 12/4. All group members must attend.
Miss Amazing Pageant Information
Come join us for the Inaugural "Miss Amazing Pageant" this Saturday, December 7th, 6pm-8pm held at the Blake Middle School Auditorium. Doors open at 5:45pm. Let us celebrate, together, the abilities of girls and women with disabilities;http://missamazingpageant.com. Tickets ($10) are available online (Miss Amazing Pageant Tickets), or you can purchase tickets at the door. Tickets purchased online are preferred so you are guaranteed a seat!
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 Brandee Franciosi, and we did not have a student winner! 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.
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 start saving your box tops for a Blake Box Top Drive - details to follow soon.
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 http://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 this a successful event. 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.