May 6 - 6th Grade Math MCAS
May 7 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
Author Christopher Wilson Presentation - 7 p.m. (see details below)
May 8 - 8th Grade Math MCAS
May 9 - 1/2 Day for Students; Professional Afternoon for Staff
Term 3 Interim Reports go home
May 12 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
May 13 - 8th Grade Sci/Tech MCAS
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
May 14 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
Early College Planning Information Night (see details below)
May 15 - 7th Grade Math MCAS
May 16 - MCAS Make-Up
7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
May 19 - Grades 5/6 Band Concert
May 20-23 - 8th Grade Trip to Washington, D.C.
May 20 - Subway Night for Blake
May 21-22 - PARCC Field Test for Grade 6
May 28 - Grades 4-6 Orchestra Concert
CSA Meeting (7 p.m.)
May 30 - Six Flags Music Trip
June 2 - Site Council Mtg (3:15 p.m. in Blake LMC)
Grades 7/8 Orchestra/Band Concert
June 3 - Grades 6-8 Chorus Concert
June 10 - Royal Pizza Night for Blake
June 16 - 7th Grade Creature Feature Field Trip
June 17 - 8th Grade Math Final
Subway Night for Blake
June 18 - 8th Grade Math Final
June 19 - 6th Grade Rock-n-Bowl Field Trip
June 20 - 7th Grade Boston Field Trip
June 23 - 7th Grade Boston Field Trip Rain Date
June 24 - Transition Day
8th Grade Picnic
8th Grade Graduation
June 25 - Last Day of School
Report Cards go home
Topic/Question(s) for the Dinner Table
To encourage conversations about relationships and appreciation, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: For the sake of establishing healthy relationships, is it more of priority to appreciate your own contributions or appreciate the contributions of others?
Term 3 Interim Reports
Divide & Conquer!
Thank you to all who attended the Divide & Conquer presentation, Solving Algebraic Equations: A Parent's Guide to Understanding and Surviving! We have included the link for those of you interested in viewing the presentation. Please look for our next Divide & Conquer presentation, Fractions: Understanding all the Parts coming Fall of 2014.
Click here to view Divide & Conquer presentation, Solving Algebraic Equations
Round 2 of MCAS testing began this week. Please find the May MCAS schedule listed above. While we do not want to foster undue anxiety or pressure for students, a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast will ensure that they come to school prepared to do their best. Please be sure that students arrive at school on time. If your student is sick on the day of a scheduled test date, it is best for your child to get some rest and take it on a make-up day. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Kelly Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your child's guidance counselor.
Washington, D.C. - 8th Grade
The D.C. itinerary was sent home this past Friday and all forms need to be signed and returned by Friday, May 9.
This is a general reminder to all parents to be sure to follow the parking regulations in the parking lots and around the 'flagpole circle'. When dropping off or picking up students, vehicles should not be parked ('stationary' or 'live') in the fire zone. We need to make sure that we are providing a safe environment at all times for our students and community. Thank you for your cooperation.
Peabody Essex Museum - Grade 6
Sixth Grade students attended the Peabody Essex Museum last week. Each cluster traveled on separate days but each received the same two programs. The first program was a visit and lesson on the Yin Yu Tang House. This house was dismantled in a small village in China, shipped across the world, and reassembled in Salem, MA at the museum. Kids were able to walk through the structure and learn about Chinese history and culture. The second program was all about America's trade connections with Asia. This portion of the field trip ties in with our current unit on Trade. Students discovered that merchants collected and brought back artifacts to the museum from their trips overseas. As the kids are learning now, the trade connection established hundreds of years ago is alive today. To help foster a connection between the old and the new, students stayed with their Advisory on days of the field trip and learned about modern trade. Kids discovered about containers, container ships, ports, and new ways to use old containers no longer needed for trade. Overall, the connections students make between PEM and their lives is important. Kids should see how the world they live in today is somewhat similar to the world of 200 hundred years ago. Places in our world have always been closely linked with one another. The uniting factor was and will always be through trade.
ADL Peer Training Program
We are pleased to announce that, with the very generous support of the Medfield Coalition for Public Education, Blake will train its first cohort of 7th and 8th grade Peer Trainers in the Fall of 2014. For some students, the Peer Training Program, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute, is an opportunity to inspire others to challenge all forms of prejudice, including bullying and cyberbullying. For other students, it is an opportunity to actively promote respect for cultural and other human differences. And for others, it is an opportunity to build greater unity in community. For everyone who participates, the Peer Training Program is an opportunity to transform their schools and communities.
The Program begins with a series of dynamic training sessions led by adult facilitators from A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute. Participating students engage in fun activities and meaningful discussions on cultural, racial, socio-economic and other human differences, and on how these differences sometimes divide rather than unite people. In addition, the students explore what they can do, individually and collectively, to help foster a world in which human differences are valued and respected.
Students also develop their leadership potential, and their communication and presentation skills, so that they, too, can lead activities and discussions on these topics. When the trained students are fully prepared, they will facilitate workshops for their peers during the school year.
Any student with an interest in fostering a more accepting school community, facilitating workshops for their peers related to identifying and responding to bias of all types in our world, and learning more about how to build a more respectful environment for all people is welcome to apply to be a part of the Peer Training Program. A representative from ADL will be visiting Blake in the coming months to share more information with students in the current 6th and 7th grades. Students will receive application materials at that time, and parents will also receive an email with more information, including time commitments involved for training and participation. Commitment to this exciting program does entail a weekly commitment to the program as well as several days of training which would require students to check in with teachers to get any missed work. Heather Gonzalez and Matt Marenghi will be sharing the role of the Peer Trainer program advisor at Blake, and Heather and Kelly Campbell are both looking forward to a three day training by the Anti-Defamation League' s A World of Difference Institute in Vermont this summer.
More information will be coming soon but please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com if you have questions or would like more information.
Blake will be running our 2nd annual Blake Mini Marathon - The Race will take place on Thursday, May 29, 2014 starting around 9:15am and ending around 10:49 a.m. The event is designed to bring the Blake Community (students, staff, & families) together around a common purpose. About a 2 mile course will weave students (& staff who choose to run) around the Blake & High School campus. It is our hope that ALL staff and students participate in some role (registration, water stations, cheering support, walking/running).
Parents are welcome and encouraged to volunteer as well. We are looking for water bottle donations this year. If you plan on donating water or volunteering to help with the race in any way please contact Jeff Cincotta at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kelly Dengos at email@example.com. Water should be dropped off at the main office the week of the race (Monday-Wednesday).
Registration and goal setting will take place in Advisory classes, with the hope of 100% participation (within various roles). This year, there will be a suggested registration "fee" (donation) of $5.00 to a charity to be determined. Last year we raised over $3,600 to the One Fund. More details coming soon!
Early College Planning Information Night
Mark your calendars! Blake Middle School will be hosting MEFA's Early College Planning Seminar for Parents on Wednesday, May 14th at 7:00pm in the auditorium. Seminar topics include:
- How can I best support my student to make good choices in middle school and high school.
- What is important to understand about admissions and financial aid now?
- How much should we save for college and when is a good time to start saving?
- Will savings affect financial aid?
- If we can't save enough, should we bother saving at all?
Please feel free to contact Matt Marenghi (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Course Selection Forms
Reminder to all 6th and 7th grade parents that course selection forms for the 2013-2014 academic year need to be turned in asap.
7th Grade Field Trip to Boston
Calling all seventh grade parents! We are looking for chaperones to help with the seventh grade field trip to Boston on Friday, June 20th. The rain date will be Monday, June 23rd. Students will be going on a walking tour of Boston documenting examples of courage along the way. There will also be ties to Johnny Tremain which the students will be reading in English. In order to join us, you will need to fill out a current Cori form. Please contact Kara Farrell by May 1st at email@example.com if you are interested. We hope you can join us in Boston!
iPad Planning Inventory Information for Incoming 6th-8th Grade
As you know we are expanding upon the current 8th grade iPad Initiative and implementing a 1:1 iPad program for the entire 6th-8th grade for the 2014-2015 academic year, with students purchasing their own iPads or taking part in a 'Lease to Own' program through the school. The details of the 'Lease to Own' are tentative and still being finalized, as we are looking to find the most cost-effective program for families. As part of our program, we will have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need. To help us plan our efforts, we are asking all current 5th-7th grade parents/guardians (incoming 6th-8th grade parents/guardians for the 2014-2015 academic year) to let us know your plans for your student ('Providing iPad' or 'Participating in Lease to Own Program') for next year, by completing this brief survey by Thursday, April 17: iPad Planning Inventory at Blake for 2014-2015. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to complete this brief survey and am hoping for 100% participation. This decision is not binding and we recognize that your plans may change, but the initial feedback will help us with our planning. We currently anticipate asking for 'final decisions' mid- to late May, 2014.
Please read the link below to a letter regarding our planning for the iPad Initiative...
iPad Planning Inventory Letter to Blake Families 4-2-14
For your reference I have posted links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Mobile Learning Update from Blake 3-26-14
iPad FAQs 3-31-14
iPad Initiative Estimated Lease-to-Own Program 3-31-14
I continue to encourage you to peruse our mobile learning blog (Mobile Learning in Medfield) to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place. We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with the new technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive learning experience.
iPad and Mobile Learning Resources
For those who were unable to attend our iPad Information Sessions last week, here is the link to our Google presentation: iPad Info Sessions April 2014. As we have shared one of our ongoing goals with the iPad Initiative is to share resources for parents/guardians as well as students. With this in mind I have listed links below that I hope will help you to better support and monitor your students at home...
How to Share a Google Doc or Folder
This resource will allow you to access your student's work in their Google drive account.
Understanding Restrictions (Parental Controls) for iOS
This resource provides directions from Apple for enabling parent restrictions. Options include, but are not limited to, turning off installing and deleting apps and restricting access to the iTunes Store.
If you have any questions regarding the iPads or the initiative, do not hesitate to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our help e-mail address (email@example.com).
Parent Information Nights
Thank you to all who came out for parent information nights. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out. For your reference and information, here are the links to the presentations for the other grades...
Incoming 6th PIN 2014
Incoming 7th PIN 2014
Incoming 8th PIN 2014
Blake Site Council Survey
The Blake Site Council this year has been working on the development of a survey to be distributed to the Blake community. The survey was administered the last two years and we are committed to having parents and students take it annually as part of our continual efforts to examine our programming. Focus areas include the topics of school culture, academic workloads, stress, and habits. The results will help us to gather information and examine our current practices to better meet the needs of our students. Please complete the survey for each child you have at Blake, and base your responses on your student's experiences this year. The questionnaire is anonymous, and your identity can not and will not be discovered through the completion of this survey. We sincerely appreciate your honest responses and are hoping for 100% participation from the Blake community. If you have any questions or have difficulty accessing the survey, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Link to the survey: 2013-2014 Blake Middle School Survey
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...
Grade 6 recently finished its poetry unit by creating Poetry Showpiece booklets highlighting student work. We are ready to begin our last book of the year, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This classic piece of literature is a true gem and is well - loved by the sixth graders. Sixth graders will also continue working with the parts of speech.
Seventh grade will be researching important historical figures and events surrounding the American Revolution. This work will prepare students for our final novel of the year, Johnny Tremain. This novel will build on the coming of age themes that students explored in our recent short story unit.
Grade 8 will be wrapping up performances of the dramatic re-telling of our short stories. We will also be beginning an exploration of important background information about the setting and author of To Kill a Mockingbird.
The 7th and 8th grade Choruses at Blake are preparing for our annual trip to Six Flags on Friday, May 30th. We will sing at the Great East Festival and then travel to Six Flags Amusement Park for the afternoon and early evening. All three of the Choruses are working hard to prepare for our Spring Concert on Tuesday, June 3 at 7pm in the MHS Auditorium.
General music students at Blake are working on creating Form projects, Research projects on a favorite musician, and learning about opera.
The boys' track team opened their season yesterday in a tri-meet against King Philip and Holliston. Noah Garfield started Blake’s scoring with a 3rd in the high jump. Jack Morrill took 1st in the long jump and Griffin Murphy took 1st the shot put with Joe Johnson taking 2nd and Justin Newman taking 4th. Jack Morill continued his winning ways with a 1st place finish in the hurdles with Ryan Eng taking 3rd and John McNeil taking 5th. Owen Drometer ran an unbelievably fast mile, taking 1st place. Justin Newman continued his two year domination in the 100 meter, again taking 1st place in the event. Scott Tatro took 5th place. Mike Mangiafico ran a strong 800 meter, taking 3rd place with Matt Morgan taking 4th and John Churchill taking 5th. Dylan Hogan won the 400 meter with Kyle Heaney taking 3rd, Eric Plumb 4th, and Mike Cantonese 5th. Justin Newman ran a great 200 meter, just missing a second 1st place finish. Jack Morrill took 3rd place. The Blake 4X100 relay team of Trevor Ruzzo, Jack Morrill, Braddon Jackson and Scott Tatro took first place cementing a strong opening day victory. The final score: Blake 122, Holliston 83, and King Philip 49.
The girls' team also opened with a strong performance. In the running events, Megan Hawley placed 2nd in the 100 meter hurdles, Madison Colleran placed 3rd, and Sophie Lussier took 5th. Breanna Morgan was impressive in the mile with a 1st place finish in just under six minutes. Sophia Gustafson and Jamie Hirshfeld placed 1st and 2nd respectively in the 100 meter. In a near sweep of the 800, Julie Letai placed 1st, Ali Clower placed 3rd, Carina Christo placed 4th and Anna Terry placed 5th. Maggie McCarthy ran a strong 400 meter, taking first place in the event. Sophia Gustafson also took 1st in the 200 meter with Jenna McNally taking 4th. In the field events, Maggie McCarthy placed 1st in the high jump and Sophia Gustafson placed 2nd in the long jump. Jacqui Shortsleeve took 2nd in the shot put with Macy Musto taking 3rd and Shannon Davis taking 5th. Medfield girls were dominant in the relays. The 4 x 100 team of Riley Drometer, Megan Hawley, Jamie Woods, and Maggie Baker grabbed a 1st place finish. Also placing first was the 4 x 400 team of Julie Letai, Ali Clower, Breanna Morgan, and Maggie McCarthy.
Monday’s home meet with Miscoe and Medway will be covered in next week’s blog. The team has a day off on Tuesday, a practice on Wednesday, and an away meet at Westwood on Thursday, May 8. There is no practice on the Friday half-day, May 9. The rest of the schedule is: Monday, May 12 at Ashland, Thursday, May 15 at Hopkinton, Wednesday, May 28 home vs. Needham and Friday, May 30 at North Attleboro.
Bring your friends and join the Medfield Teachers' Association for a night of fun and painting. Artwork designs are original works from Medfield students, teachers and friends. Your instructors for the evening will also be Medfield students, teachers and friends. Supplies, including your canvas, as well as food and beverages, are included in the $30 ticket price. These paintings will make great graduation gifts, Father's Day gifts, or can be just a lovely way to brighten a room. Tickets are on sale through Wednesday, May 28th, at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/683425. All proceeds go to the Medfield Teachers' Association and MTA scholarships. If you have any questions, please contact Tracy Allen at email@example.com.
Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box is in the office.
Next Tuesday, 5/13/14, is Royal Pizza Night for Blake.
Spring Fling Thank You
The Board Members of MCPE would like to thank all of those who were involved with making the Spring Fling such a tremendous success. We are so grateful to the people and businesses who donated their time and talent to make this year's event wonderful and beneficial to our schools. We feel truly blessed to live in this amazing community! In the coming weeks we will have a better sense of how much money was raised by this event. Stay tuned for more...
Author Christopher Wilson to Speak at Blake
What does a person have to do to achieve success in the workforce, or more broadly, in life? Find out on May 7th at 7PM, when author Christopher Wilson comes to Blake Middle School to offer pragmatic usable advice on how to affect positive change and practical growth in one's career and personal life. This will be an entertaining and educational evening for all, especially students and those with children entering, in or graduating from college. High school and college students will gain important skills for a job search, resume writing, interviewing, and how to handle themselves once they land that first job. Each attendee will receive a FREE copy of Wilson's book: "BA to Boardroom with no BS, Skills For Life". This lecture is hosted by the MCPE and is sponsored by Needham Bank. Registration is free, but seats must be reserved in advance. Walk-ins will be allowed if space is available. Click here to register for the lecture: https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1720638-RHOdGcgKwC
MCPE Annual Meeting Scheduled
The MCPE Annual Meeting is scheduled for May 14th 7:00 PM at the Zullo Gallery. The public is welcome to attend. At this meeting the annual report will be shared, the new MCPE Board Members and Officers will be announced, the recipients of the Robert C. Maguire Global Perspectives in Education Award, the Elizabeth G. Busconi Memorial Education Fund Grant, and the Thomas A. Reis Award will also be recognized.