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
Cluster Placement Letters go Home
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 the role that 'environment' plays in learning, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: If it will improve focus and make it easier for us to feel acceptance in and of our environment when we eat and sleep well, drink plenty of fluids, and while on the job take relaxing and reflective breaks, then will that make it more likely for us to be creative?
Theme of Acceptance for 2014-2015
Our theme for the next academic year at Blake is one of Acceptance. We believe that this theme will extend the work we have done over the last few years with our themes of Community, Perseverance, and Creativity. As a staff we have begun brainstorming ideas and I encourage all families to join us in the brainstorming process as well. As ideas and thoughts come to mind, do not hesitate to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kelly C. (email@example.com).
In a continued effort to keep the dialogue and lines of communication open, we would like to make you aware of an app called Yik Yak that seems to be increasing in popularity with teens. Jeff Sperling, Dean of Students at Medfield High School, sent a message out to families this week to let them know that students are using Yik Yak, and posting/reading posts about other students. All this can be done anonymously, but cannot be done from a school address. This app is GPS-based, and school addresses are flagged immediately. We join Jeff in encouraging parents to research this app, and discuss it with your children; a quick Google search yielded several very informative articles that I have pasted below.
As a reminder and ongoing concern, last spring we sent home information about ASK.FM. ASK.FM is a social networking site where members can send and receive anonymous questions and comments. Students can potentially access this website through their Instagram accounts. Without revealing one's identity, students can make comments and participate in online conversations, as well as share photos for others to comment on. This is similar to an older website known as Formspring with which you may be familiar. Due to the anonymous nature of the site, it can be nearly impossible to determine who is commenting or responding to a question, leading to speculation and hurt feelings when comments are not favorable or kind. Many students set up ASK.FM accounts hoping to hear positive feedback from classmates and online friends. Unfortunately, the anonymous nature of the website increases the temptation to use this site for unkind behavior and cyberbullying.
For more information, please check out the following links to articles about this site:
Our intent is certainly not to cause alarm but rather to share information and encourage families to talk to their children about whether they have a YikYak or ASK.FM account and warn them of the potential dangers. If you decide that it is not a good choice for your child, you must unsubscribe in order to stop receiving the notifications linked to an account. As always, the physical and emotional safety of our students is of utmost importance. We value your partnership in this endeavor and encourage you to reach out to a member of the guidance department, Kelly Campbell or me with any questions or concerns.
Grade 8 Cookout
The Grade 8 cookout will take place on Tuesday, June 24. Students will be outside and should be prepared with a sunscreen, hat, and a pen to sign yearbooks.
8th Grade Closing Ceremony
Our 8th grade closing ceremony and goodbye evening will be on Tuesday, June 24 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.
There are a few extra yearbooks for sale. If your child forgot to order in the fall, they can bring in a check for $30 (made out to: BLAKE MIDDLE SCHOOL). Please bring all checks to Mrs. Boulos in Room 129. All spring yearbook orders will be placed on a waiting list for the extra books.
Cluster Placement Letters
Tentative cluster and advisory assignments are being finalized and will be shared with students/families via a letter that students will receive at the end of the school day on Monday, June 23. Transition Day is Tuesday, June 24 and on that day students will get the opportunity to meet their teachers and get a preview of next year's curriculum and grade level events. Clusters and advisories are always subject to change based on budget, staffing, and curricular needs, as well as the possible influx of new students.
Navigating Social Media with Your Tweens/Teens - Save the Date!
Monday, November 3rd at 6:30 p.m. in the Blake auditorium
Please join us for an evening with Dr. Elizabeth Englander from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridegwater State University. Dr. Englander was part of our two-part series on technology use last fall and received very positive feedback about her practical and engaging strategies for parents children in the age of social media.
Parents of children of all ages are welcome to attend!
Lost and Found Items
The number of items in our Lost and Found has certainly increased! We will be clearing out the Lost and Found after school gets out, so I encourage all students and parents/guardians to come take a look.
Special Summer Reading Bonding Opportunity for Parents and Students
Have you thought about reading The Wizard of Oz with your son or daughter this summer? You could have a great time comparing your childhood memories of the movie with the very different book. Our summer reading guest speaker, Michael Patrick Hearn, the world's leading Oz scholar, will be appearing at Blake to speak with parents on Thursday night, September 11th and with students on the 12th. He’s written The Annotated Wizard of Oz, which not only reacquaints readers with the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion, but also illuminates the colorful background of this treasured American classic. The book explores numerous contemporary references, provides character sources, and explains the actual meaning of the word "Oz." More importantly, Michael will once and for all clarify whether or not listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon matches visually with The Wizard of Oz movie. Please consider reading this great keepsake (available for purchase from the summer reading sale but you don’t have to buy it to see Michael though!). Please contact Jon Haycock with any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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: 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 (email@example.com) or our help e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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...
Things are hardly "winding-down" with just days to go until another fantastic school year comes to a close. Not quite at the level of "scrambling"... our students are, however, busy putting the finishing touches on their final artworks of the year. Our 8th Graders are just finishing their acrylic paintings, while our 6th & 7th Graders are putting together sketchbooks for use over the summer... a great way to spend a rainy summer afternoon or during a road trip, drawing in a sketchbook.
A couple of weeks ago we held our Blake Art Show 2014. It was a great success! Our Blake artists are pretty impressive, if I say so myself. And I do! Please check our website soon for images of the show, www.medfieldk12finearts.net
Many students have already started bringing their Art portfolios home, so parents should be on the lookout for them in the next few days. Also, a few students will have their artwork on display all summer at the Medfield Public Schools' offices on the third floor of Town Hall. We hope to continue this with more work being displayed once we return in the fall.
Lastly, Mrs. Delaney will be spending time this summer developing Art lessons around our Summer Reading, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. Drawing & Painting & Art... Oh My! I can only imagine the possibilities... so excited!
6th grade science is about to round out the year with a Geologic Time activity that will tie together many of our Earth Science experiences from throughout the year! Together, students will participate in a cross-cluster activity where Koala students will pair with Otters and Sea Turtles to share Layar videos on the Nexus Tablets. They'll journey up and down the hallways, scanning pictures of events in Geologic Time, experiencing the scale of the Earth's history. Multimedia will bring the many biologic and geologic events that mark Earth's history to life right at their fingertips!
7th grade science students have just finished a unit on Ecology in Life Science. This is a great time of year for students to observe and think about the natural world around us and to consider how human behavior can impact and change our environment. During this unit of study we challenged our students to think of ways they could become a part of the solution, instead of the problem. We are now beginning our final unit on classification. Students will kick off this unit by observing and identifying protozoans under a microscope; then learning how to use a dichotomous key to classify living things.
8th grade science students are wrapping up a unit on astronomy and finishing up with the production of their solar cars which they will race that week. As a final culminating activity 8th grade will be building and then launching soda bottle rockets!
Susan Norton is hosting the 8th grade graduation reception on Tuesday evening 6/24. She could use the assistance of a few people to help set up and serve. Any available parents (other than 8th gr parents) and high school students who are interested can email Susan directly at: Subee777@aol.com
This year Blake has collected 15,738 box tops which is great news and that translates into $1,573.80. Box tops really do mean YOUR TRASH, BLAKE'S CASH. Please continue to send in box tops through the end of the year, please have your child drop them off in the office. Remember to save your box tops over the Summer as well. Thank you.
It's going to be a hot one on Tuesday June 17th , so why not skip cooking and help Blake out at the same time. The last Subway day of the year will be this Tuesday from 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM! Thank-You Subway for supporting our school!
MCPE is Pleased to Launch the AmazonSmile Program
The Medfield Coalition for Public Education is pleased to announce an easy way to raise money for the Medfield Public Schools through AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Medfield Public Schools every time you shop at Amazon, at no cost to you. Once registered, every time you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to MCPE. Please note, you can still use your Amazon Prime account for free shipping.
"Of course we encourage people to buy locally whenever they can and to support our Medfield shops and other local businesses," said Kim Price, Co-President of MCPE, "but for those items you can't purchase locally, and would typically buy on Amazon, this program is a nice way to help raise money for the Medfield Public schools."
On your first visit to smile.amazon.com, you will need to select "Medfield Coalition for Public Education" to receive donations before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember the selection, and then every subsequent eligible purchase made through AmazonSmile will result in a donation to MCPE. To register at AmazonSmile, simply go to http://smile.amazon.com, and to learn more about the program, please go to http://smile.amazon.com/about.
Blue Ribbon Program for Showing Appreciation
School is almost out! Are you looking for a way to let your child's teacher, a school staff member or an administrator know just how much you and your child appreciated them this past year? Consider MCPE's Blue Ribbon Program. This program is an easy and thoughtful way to thank a member of our school community at the end of the school year while at the same time making a donation to the Medfield Coalition for Public Education. Each person recognized with a donation will receive a card, customized with a thank you note from you, indicating that a donation was made in his or her honor. To thank a school member with this blue ribbon recognition, please go online to the MCPE website: www.medfieldcoalition.org/events-programs/blue-ribbon-program.
Fitness Together Medfield Partners with MCPE
The Medfield Coalition for Public Education is pleased to announce a partnership with Fitness Together Medfield to raise money for the Medfield Public Schools. Here’s how the program works: Dan Goulet, the owner of Fitness Together, will donate $200 to MCPE when a new client signs up for a fitness program and mentions MCPE. For more information please see the Thursday packet flyer or the MCPE website: www.medfieldcoalition.org/event-programs/fitness-together-partnership/.
Green & Clear Cleaners Partners with MCPE
Medfield Coalition for Public Education is pleased to announce a partnership with Green & Clear Cleaners to raise money for the Medfield Public Schools. Here's how it works: mention MCPE and get 10% off your personal cleaning order for that visit. For every subsequent visit, Green and Clear Cleaners will donate 10% of the total order to MCPE. (Please note, business shirts, specialty items and alterations are not included in the 10% donation.) What a great way to be eco friendly and help support MCPE!