5/19 - Subway Night for Blake
5/19-5/22 - 8th Grade Memorials, Monuments, and Museums Trip
5/21 - Grade 6 Orchestra Concert
5/26 - Memorial Day (No School)
5/26-5/29 - Blake Art Show
5/27 - Blake Art Show Reception
MCPE Annual Meeting
5/28 - Navigating Through Online Lives as Modern Learners - Parent Workshop (see details below)
5/29 - Blake Six Flags Music Trip
6/1 - Grade 6-8 Band, 7-8 Orchestra Concert
6/2 - Blake Chorus Concert
6/3 - CSA Meeting (7 p.m.)
6/4 - Go Fresh Night for Blake
6/10 - PEM Field Trip for Koalas
MHS Athletics Info Night (see details below)
6/11 - PEM Field Trip for Otters
6/12 - PEM Field Trip for Sea Turtles
Grade 8 Mandarin Field Trip
6/17 - Grade 7 Creature Feature Field Trip
6/19 - Grade 7 Field Trip to Boston
6/22 - Transition Day
Grade 8 Closing Ceremony/Graduation
6/23 - Last Day of School
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To help encourage conversations about the importance of delving deeply to better understand our students, our topic/question of the week is: What would work better for a student in the long run?
1. taking away the distractions the student self-generates, in order to assume focus on the primary lesson of the class.
2. finding out if the student's self-distraction helps that student process the primary lesson of the class.
3. determining whether a compromise of some sort between no distraction vs. some distraction is better for that student than either of the first two options.
8th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C.
I encourage the entire Blake community to follow our hashtag #blakeindc throughout the week to stay current with the Blake tweeters as we look to share and 'record' the trip. In addition you can follow me on Twitter (@nat_vaughn), as I am using this account as a communication and resource tool for the Blake community - tweeting up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles on a daily or more frequent basis. You can also follow the hashtag #bmsed for Blake-related announcements and items of interest.
Navigating Through Online Online Lives as Modern Learners
Throughout the year we have worked to establish a school-wide Digital Citizenship curriculum for our students. With every student using a mobile device, it’s more important than ever to begin "empowering students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world.” (Common Sense Media). This work of empowering our students in understanding their digital life and your commitment to it is important. As with all of our endeavors, we are striving to make sure that this Digital Citizenship work is in line with our mission: Blake Middle School believes in a living mission statement, based on the concept that our community seeks and respects knowledge, integrity, character, wisdom, and the willingness to adapt to a continually evolving world.
Please join us for a Parent Workshop focused on this topic on Thursday, May 28 at 9:30 a.m. Our Digital Citizenship team comprised of teachers and administration will provide on overview of our work over the past year as well as outline the work that lies ahead. Please RSVP via this Google Form...
Navigating Through Online Lives as Modern Learners (5/28/15)
To help frame your thinking about this discussion, I encourage you to read What's Behind Bad Behavior on the Web? by Elizabeth Englander in Educational Leadership (this post is highlighted in this week's blog) and keep these questions in mind...
1. What points in the article do you feel are most important, and does this coincide with you think is most common?
2. How would you proceed if your child is involved in an unhealthy online situation? After the issue is addressed, what are the next steps?
iPad Planning Inventory for 2015-2016 - Please Complete
As you know we are continuing with our mobile learning program at Blake for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2015-2016 academic year. To help us effectively plan for next year, we are asking all current 5th-7th grade parents/guardians (incoming 6th-8th grade parents/guardians for the 2015-2016 academic year) to let us know your plans for your student (Lease-to-Own, Bring an iPad from home, Borrow) for next year, by completing this brief survey by Thursday, May 14: iPad Planning Inventory at Blake Middle School for 2015-2016. This inventory is different than the initial survey sent back in January. Please fill out this inventory for each child that will be attending Blake next year. This decision is not binding and we recognize that your plans may change - confirmation and final decisions will be made by mid-June, 2015. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief inventory and am hoping for 100% participation.
We have outlined the 2015-2016 Participation Options (Lease-to-Own, Bring an iPad from home, Borrow) for Blake students for this program. We are committed to providing an equitable learning experience for our students and appreciate the shared commitment and investment in the education of our students. As such we have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need.
The 'minimum specifications' will still remain as the iPad 2, meaning the following are acceptable devices for students to use: iPad2, iPad Mini, iPad4 and the iPad Air. Although the iPad 2 is no longer manufactured by Apple, it will suffice for the students' needs in school as long as Apple continues to update the OS (operating system) on that device. If your family intends to purchase a new device this year, then the iPad4, iPad Mini, or iPad Air are the recommended devices. Our work over the last three years has provided a foundation as our teachers and staff continue to thoughtfully implement and review the effectiveness of this initiative. It is important to keep in mind that teachers and students will be following the same curriculum frameworks and the common core Blake curriculum.
For your reference I am sharing links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Mobile Learning in Medfield
Blake iPad Program Update for 15-16
Blake Mobile Learning General Information
Blake Mobile Learning FAQs 15-16
Blake Mobile Learning Participation Options 15-16
iPad Program Estimated Lease-to-Own Pricing Structure 15-16
We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with meaningful technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive and relevant learning experience. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (email@example.com) with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have.
Got Fish Tanks?
We are currently looking for old fish-tank(s) with materials to be donated to Blake to help us add to our new "Blake Collaboratory" (Interactive library space). If you are looking to get rid of old tanks, filters, pumps or decorative fish tank materials we would love to to have our students put them to good use.
The 3rd annual Blake Marathon is here!!
Who: Blake staff, students, & families
What: Runners/walkers will be grouped into 3 waves, by grade level.
When: Thursday, June 4, 2015
Where: The race will snake around the Middle and High School campuses for 2.1 miles.
Why: To bring our Blake Community together and raise money for a good cause - Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine!!
What do we need from families?
1) Parents MUST sign the attached Indemnity Form for ALL students (Runners, walkers, and cheering group) in order for students to participate.
2) This year’s registration “fee” is a suggested donation of $5.00 to Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine (Click on the link to find out more). “Fees” can be submitted in cash or checks made payable to Camp Sunshine.
3) Parents/guardians interested in helping with the following roles, should indicate in the Google form below – we’d LOVE any support you can offer, especially in providing cases of water!
Parent Help sign-up - Click here!
Runner check-in - before the race
Recording running times– during the race
Runner water stations/ recovery zone set-up & clean up
Dropping off a case of water 6/2 or 6/3
8th Grade Closing Ceremony
Our 8th grade closing ceremony and goodbye evening will be on Monday, June 22 at 7 p.m. This evening will be our opportunity to thank and recognize our 8th graders for their years at Blake and wish them well as they head off to high school. Families are welcome, and there will be a reception with refreshments, including allergen-free treats, in the cafeteria following the ceremony. We are hoping for a 'cool weather' evening.
Seventh Grade Heads to Boston!
Last week seventh grade students will be receiving field trip forms for the June 19th trip to the Freedom Trail in Boston. Students should return their permission slips and checks to their English teachers by the end of the week. Any parents interested in chaperoning on the trip should contact Brian Gavaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Parent Information Nights for 2015-2016
For your reference and information, here are links to the presentations and handouts from the parent information nights...
Blake Incoming 6th PIN 2015 Presentation
Blake Incoming 7th PIN 2015 Presentation
Nature's Classroom Trip Slideshow
Nature's Classroom Trip Documents and Forms
Blake Incoming 8th PIN 2015 Presentation
Blake Parent Resources Handout 2015
Blake Program of Studies 2015-2016
High School Athletics Meeting
On Wednesday, June 10, at 7:00pm, there will be a meeting held in the gymnasium at the Medfield High School for all athletes and their parents interested in playing high school athletics this coming fall season at Medfield. This meeting is very important and will cover many questions and concerns you may have, as well as introductions to all high school coaches and staff. Immediately following this meeting, coaches will meet with their respective sports to speak about the season and answer any questions you may have.
*Sports offered for the fall season are:
Cross Country (Boys and Girls)
Soccer (Boys and Girls)
Field Hockey (Girls)
Thanks to MCPE - Recent Grant
Thank you to the Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) for supporting our grant request entitled 'Mobilizing the Blake Computer Lab'. This funding will further support our efforts to to update our structure and environment for our students by providing a cart of chromebooks that can be used in our new Innovation Lab at Blake - a space for traditional work, video production, flexible grouping, teaching, professional development, meetings, video production, and creativity.. The grant included 28 chromebooks (enough for a full class, teacher, and ‘replacements’), a cart to house/power up the chromebooks, chromecast, and the Google management software. Thank you!
The last CSA meeting of the year will be on Wednesday, June 3rd at 7pm. We will be introducing our new board, along with approving our budget for 2015-2016.
Please continue to support our ongoing fundraisers - BoxTops, SCRIP and the Textile recycling. And as always - we thank our generous local food vendors who contribute a portion of their proceeds on designated evenings.
Have you seen the new flowers in the planters at the Blake entrance? Thank you CSA board member Joellyn Ripp for helping to beautify our school.
Blue Ribbon Program for Showing Appreciation. As we approach the end of the school year, are you looking for a way to let a member of our school community (teacher/administrator/coach) know just how much you and your child appreciated them? Consider MCPE's Blue Ribbon Program: www.medfieldcoalition.org/events-programs/blue-ribbon-program. It’s an meaningful (and easy) way to say, “Thanks!” Requests need to be submitted by June 19th.
The AmazonSmile Program is perfect for Father’s Day shopping and graduation shopping and is an easy way to support Medfield Public Schools, at no additional cost to you. Every time you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to MCPE, and, good news: your Amazon Prime account will continue to work the same way. As always, please support our local businesses when you can, but for those items you can't purchase locally, think of AmazonSmile and MCPE!
MCPE Annual Meeting Scheduled
The MCPE Annual Meeting is scheduled for May 27th at 7:00 PM at the Zullo Gallery. The public is welcome to attend.