February 5 - Tri-County Interviews
February 6 - Blake Ski Club
Blake Ledger Meeting (see below)
February 7 - Teacher Professional Day - #DLDMedfield (No School for Students)
February 10 - iPad and Mobile Learning Information and Highlights Night (see details below)
February 11 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
February 14 - Happy Valentine's Day!
School Spirit Day
February 17-21 - Winter Vacation
February 24 - School Resumes
February 25 - Subway Night for Blake
February 26 - Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night (7 p.m.)
March 6 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Night (7 p.m.)
March 13 - Incoming 7th Grade Parent Night (7 p.m.)
March 17 - 6th Grade ELA MCAS
March 18 - 7th Grade ELA Long Composition MCAS
March 19 - 6th Grade ELA MCAS
March 21 - 7th Grade ELA MCAS
March 24 - 7th Grade ELA MCAS
March 25 - 8th Grade ELA MCAS
MCPE Spelling Bee (see details below)
March 26 - 8th Grade ELA MCAS
March 27 - 7th Grade ELA Long Composition Make-Up MCAS
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about continual learning, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: Our students make us a most effective teacher when they are motivated; we make our teachers most effective by being a motivated student. The trick is finding the power inside of us to be that student.
Our safety drill practice with the students last week went well and we want to thank and recognize students and staff for their cooperation and participation. If you have any questions or your students need additional support, do not hesitate to contact your student's guidance counselor, Kelly Campbell, or me. As always, the safety and well-being of the students and staff in our community is of utmost importance.
Digital Learning Day for Blake and Medfield Staff - 2/7/14
The official Digital Learning Day is on Wednesday, February 3, 2014, but in Medfield we are recognizing it on our professional day this Friday, February 7, 2014. I encourage you to check out our blog ( DLD Medfield 2014) and to follow the hashtag #DLDMedfield throughout the week and on Friday to stay current with the Blake and Medfield tweeters. Some of our Blake students will be helping out throughout the day as well. We are excited about this opportunity to learn from one another and expand our understandings of technology integration.
Twitter Account (@nat_vaughn) and Blake Hashtags (#bmsed and #bmstech)
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! My account is @nat_vaughn, and I will continue to tweet up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles of interest on a daily or more frequent basis.
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 (@nat_vaughn). This works well when you use the twitter app to get the live feed.
2. Go to this link: https://twitter.com/nat_vaughn where you will be able to see all my tweets without a twitter account.
Museum of Science Visit - 6th Grade
The Museum of Science did a presentation on the phases of matter for the 6th graders on Friday. Their presentation focused on phase changes with materials that we may not commonly see in our everyday lives. Liquid nitrogen boiled at room temperature and was used to freeze and shatter balloons. The presenter keep everyone on the edge of their seats as he inflated and exploded a balloon with the nitrogen vapor. The students were also captivated by the demonstration of extremely hot water vapor setting a piece of paper on fire!
School Survey - Executive Summary
The Blake Site Council has taken time throughout the year to review the data collected from last year's survey. Focus areas on the survey centered on the topics of school culture, academic workloads, stress, and habits. I have posted an Executive Summary of the compiled data for your reference, and I hope you are able to find some time to read the highlights. Our intent is to distribute the 2013-2014 survey in the next week in the hopes of gathering the data by February vacation.
Term 2 Interim Reports
This past Friday students brought home their report cards for the second term. Please note that the reports contain the first term narrative comments with the new second term narrative comments directly below them. Time has been spent in advisory with students reflecting upon the work they accomplished, as well as setting healthy goals for the second term. 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 to send back the signature form to your child's advisor indicating that you have seen the term two interim report.
From Student Council
Several items/reminders from Student Council:
1) SIPS is promoting a Box Tops Competition for the month of February - pitting homeroom vs. homeroom in a race to the top!
2) Blake Gear Logo Design Contest - turn in designs by Thursday, February 13th to your homeroom Student Council Rep!
3) Share your Heart - purchase wooden hearts the week of February 10-13 to give to friends or have them delivered! (Proceeds go to Dana Farber Cancer Research)
4) Valentine's Spirit Day - Friday, February 14th - Student Council invites Blake staff & students to wear red, white, and pink!
Blake Ledger Information
Our online newspaper, The Blake Ledger, is back and ready for action! We are looking for members and publicity! The Blake Ledger has had a total transformation. We now have a news show that will be posted every week (hopefully) on our website, all about Blake. We will still have articles, comic strips, and pictures from the students but we are most excited about the news programming.
Our first informational meeting will be this Thursday after school. If kids are in student council or ski club, they can still join! We still need people interested in taking pictures and videos for school wide events. We also would love to have any artists or writers and they can submit their work ANYTIME to email@example.com If you hear kids are interested please have them check in with Ms. Kirby (firstname.lastname@example.org).
iPad and Mobile Learning Highlights and Information Night
In an effort to continue our dialogue and share information with the Blake community about our 8th Grade iPad Initiative and mobile learning endeavors at Blake, we are inviting all parents/guardians to attend our iPad Highlights and Information Night on Monday, February 10 at 7:00 p.m. Our hope for the evening is for the entire Blake community of parents and guardians to hear and see highlights from the pilot, answer questions, and learn about the progress that has taken place. This event is for parents and guardians only. Please RSVP via our Google Form link (Blake iPad Highlights and Information Night) to let us know if you are planning on attending so that we can make sure we are prepared. Please fill out the form for each parent/guardian attending the presentation.
Technology Initiative Planning for the 2014-2015 School Year
Last week I sent out an e-mail to both incoming 7th and 8th grade families with preliminary information about our mobile learning plans for the 2014-2015 academic year. As shared in the correspondence, the feedback we have gained from our initiatives and pilots has been a critical factor for both the school and district's future implementation and direction we will take with technology. Through classroom observations, professional development, informal and formal feedback from parents and students, and staff input, we have been pleased with the efficacy of the iPad initiative and have determined that it is worth continuing and expanding our collective work with iPads for the 2014-2015 academic year for our incoming 7th and 8th grade students. While our work with the Nexus tablets has been positive, at this point in the educational landscape for schools, it is our belief is that the iPad is the preferred device to maximize the benefits of learning, creativity, and curricular integration for our students and staff.
In order to help us effectively prepare our planning, we need your feedback on the questions that are on these Google Form Surveys: Incoming 7th Grade iPad Survey and Incoming 8th Grade iPad Survey. Your responses are not binding and we recognize that your plans may change, but the initial feedback will help us with our planning. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief survey and am hoping for 100% participation. As part of our program, we will have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need. We are committed to providing an equitable learning experience for our students and appreciate your responses.
Parent Information Nights - Mark Your Calendars!
The planning for the 2014-2015 school year has already begun, and our parent information nights have been scheduled. The nights are scheduled as follows...
2/26 - Incoming 6th Grade Parent Night at 7 p.m.
3/6 - Incoming 8th Grade Parent Night at 7 p.m.
3/13 - Incoming 7th Grade Parent Night at 7 p.m.
More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Incoming 7th Grade - Save the Dates for Nature's Classroom
The seventh grade trip to Nature's Classroom at Silver Bay will be Monday, September 29, 2014 to Thursday, October 2, 2014.
Curriculum Highlights - Art and Science
This week's curriculum updates come from the Art (Jim Cousens, Content Specialist) and Science (Orla Berry, Content Specialist) departments...
Mrs. Delaney has been working with a group of Blake students creating a mural in the Blake Guidance Office. Each week it gets a little closer to completion, and it is looking spectacular. We'll have more information and images on our K-12 Fine Arts website when it is finished.
Also working with a great bunch of Blake students, Ms. Deveno has been helping to paint sets for this year's Drama performances. Much work has been going on with painting the backdrops.
Our Art classes have been working with a variety of media (painting, clay, graphite pencil, and ink) on concepts such as; perspective, mono-chromatic painting, figure drawing, ceramics, and composition. There's always allot of great work taking place by our Blake Artists.
To keep track of news and information about our Blake Art Program and our K-12 Fine Arts Program, follow us on Twitter @Medfieldk12Arts.
Grade 8 science students recently concluded a Technology unit centered on the urban planning video game Sim City. This game, built on a systems dynamics model similar to those used by economists and meteorologists, provides a fun platform by which students learn how towns and cities function, how to interpret and analyze data, and how to utilize the scientific method in a "real world" setting.Student teams must build a city from scratch, using data to intelligently allocate areas for residential, commercial, and industrial zones so as to promote growth in their cities. Once cities are established, students must make funding decisions for departments such as public safety, education, finance, and utilities - as is the case in actual towns and cities. The game provides numerous data reporting interfaces, such as graphs and color coded maps of the city, that allow students to receive feedback on multiple status metrics of their cities, analyze the data, and reach informed conclusions regarding their city development decisions. The data that the game reports also provides information that can shape future decisions as students seek to stimulate growth in their city, while maximizing citizen's life spans and income levels, and balancing the city budget at the same time. The grade 8 teachers report that the students developed exceptionally well-performing cities this year, learning about how systems work and applying engineering design concepts while enjoying themselves (and getting to play a video game in school!).
Ms. Chiasson, one of our 8th grade teachers attended a STEM conference this week and hopes to integrate some of the activities to which she was exposed into the science program.
In Mrs. Musto and Mrs. Silva's 7th grade classes students are exercising their creative digestive juices to make a tour brochure of the digestive system. They will be highlighting all the trendy spots and exciting activities that happen along the way. Students in Mr. Bowles' class are creating a Digestion Thinglink (a web-based interactive diagram). Students will "tag" the various organs in the digestive system and add text, images, photos, music, and even videos to help explain the functions of the digestive system in their own unique way.
6th grade students were dancing to music this week as they represented the density and energy of the three main phases of matter by acting them out with music. A presentation by the Museum Of Science highlighted the effect of temperature on phases of matter for substances other than water e.g. nitrogen.
Pajama Collection - 7th Grade
The seventh grade will be collecting new pajamas for Cradles to Crayons starting Feb 3rd and continuing until the 14th. Students should give pajamas to their advisory teachers. Blake was in the top 3 schools for pajama donations last year. We'd love to continue this trend!! Thank you.
Starting this week, as explained in our commitment letters to the students, Hounds and Aladdin will each have rehearsals Monday - Thursday. There may be some updates to times so please keep checking the theater page. This week, rehearsals on Wednesday, 2/5, will end at 3pm. Stage crew will take place Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Also, we are looking for empty gallon milk jugs and costume pieces that could work for either show.
Second Annual Boxtops for education drive! Tuesday, January 21- Wednesday, February 26th
Please have your child hand in boxtops to his/her advisor or label with advisor's name and put in the collection box located in the main office. The top advisory will be eligible for a special advisory activity such as open gym or extra outdoor recess!
Sign up on the Boxtops 4 Education Link and you can get printable coupons on certain box top products.
You can earn box tops at over 400 online stores by choosing a store, clicking on its logo and ordering as you usually would but box tops will be credited to the school account with every qualified purchase. Please see Forms and Documents tab for participating providers.
Music at Blake - Guess the Blake Pandora Jockey!
We are taking a break from the contest this week and having 'folk week' at Blake. The direct link to the form is: Blake Pandora Jockey Form Encourage your students to participate!
The girls are now 8-2. We won on the road last Thursday against Trottier Southborough team. Trottier beat us by 30 points the first time we played them. On Thursday, we beat them by 15! Our zone defense and zone press was the key to our success. Maggie McCarthy scored 20 points and had 4 steals. Emma Anderson recorded 10 points and 2 steals. We are looking forward to meeting with Hopkinton Thursday night, as they were the other team we lost to in the beginning of the season. We are hoping for an undefeated last two weeks for the end of the season.
Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box is in the main office.
The MCPE Annual Spelling Bee will be held on Tuesday, March 25th at the High School Auditorium. Grades 6-8 will participate from 2:45 - 4:00 PM, and grades 3-5 will participate from 4:00 - 6:00 PM. Form your teams now and register them starting February 27th at www.MedfieldCoalition.org. Check the website or the Thursday packet for more information.
The MCPE Spring Fling fundraising gala will be held on Friday, May 2nd from 7:00 - 11:30 PM at Spring Valley Country Club, Sharon. Event and raffle tickets go on sale February 25th and are limited. Be sure to buy your tickets early at www.MedfieldCoalition.org.