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 the role that 'environment' plays in learning, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: If you accept that “Students' involvement in the process of creating their environment can empower them, develop community and increase motivation” and also accept that teachers should allow for an environment in which students may access the “unconscious state of mind”, it can lead to this question: Does the potential reward of abdicating control of the classroom environment outweigh the risk of losing time and structure?
Great East Music Festival
The 7th & 8th grade band, chorus, orchestra and jazz band joined together for Blake's 13th annual music trip to Six Flags this past Friday, May 30. School music groups from all over New England participated in the Great East Music Festival hosted by various schools across Massachusetts. Approximately 200 Blake students performed at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School early Friday morning before traveling to Six Flags New England in Agawam. The performances were adjudicated by veteran music conductors who also led each of the ensembles in a short clinic. All of the BMS music ensembles were outstanding and earned a Gold Medal rating! The weather turned out to be ideal for most of the day and a fun time was had by all at Six Flags. Thank you to all of the teachers and parents who chaperoned. Congratulations to all of our music students on this wonderful accomplishment!
The last day for students to check out books from the library will be Friday, June 6th. Students have been notified if they have books that are past due. The library has an unusually large number of books that are overdue this year; please be sure to return any books found by the last day of school in order to avoid a fine. Thank you.
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 in the cafeteria following the ceremony.
ADL Peer Training Program
We were thrilled that over 80 students applied for the ADL Peer Training program. Students will be receiving notification early this week about their status in the program, and those who were not selected this year will have opportunities to support this program during their years at Blake. Thank you once again for your support of the program and for encouraging students to apply.
Blake Marathon - Run for Leukemia & Lymphoma
We just wanted to thank everyone for your support of and participation in the Blake Marathon. What an amazing and wonderful way to bring our community together around a noble cause. We raised over $2,300 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and were able to cheer as one in celebration of our collective accomplishment!
"There is a unique energy surrounding the Boston Marathon that you can't help but feel. It includes every runner and every person along the course. It brings every person there together as one." - Amy Hastings, USA
Every member of our Blake Community was integral to the success of this day, so congratulations on a job well done!
Blake Summer Reading
The summer reading sale is on through this Friday, June 6. We hope you'll make your summer reading book purchases through the Blake Summer Reading Sale. Thirty per cent of profits from the sale are kindly returned to the Blake Library Media Center (courtesy of Park Street Books) for the purchase of new books for the 2014-2015 school year. We only get those funds if you buy through our sale. Rising 7th and 8th grade students are viewing videos of books for sale on Tuesday and should have some good ideas on which books they are interested in reading as a result. Please also consider reading our all-school book, The Wizard of Oz, along with your child as well (or the in-depth Annotated Wizard of Oz by our summer reading speaker, Michael Patrick Hearn, who will be presenting to parents the evening of September 11 and to students the following day). The link for extra order sheets is http://www.medfield.net/blake/summer-reading.html
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!).
All profits from the sale go to the Blake library for the purchase of new fiction. Thanks to Park Street Books, the Blake CSA, and to Diana Mileszko for organizing the sale. Please contact Jon Haycock with any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Washington, D.C. Trip - #blakeindc
I encourage the entire Blake community to check out the hashtag #blakeindc to view the pictures and 'online journal' of our excursion last week. 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.
Thank you for all of the 'cooler' donations. They can be picked up this week at the Blake office. Mrs. Williams has also asked that medication from the trip can be picked up at Blake this week. Please contact her with any questions that you have (email@example.com).
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our help e-mail address (email@example.com).
Curriculum Highlights - English
This week's curriculum updates come from the English (Gail Duffy, Content Specialist) department...
Grade 6 students are ringing in the year's end with our favorite scamp,Tom Sawyer. The sixth grade students continue to be surprised by some of the similarities between kids in Tom Sawyer and kids today while we chuckle at the superstitions and satire in the book. Simultaneously we are wrapping up parts of speech.
Students are gaining valuable insights into coming of age themes as the class wraps up the last novel of the year, Johnny Tremain. Students are also working on literary analysis and sharing ideas about the novel with each other through book buddy letters. In writing lab, finishing touches are being put on creative short stories that will be shared with students at the elementary schools on June 16.
Grade 8 students are in the midst of reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Class focus points continue to focus on the 8th grade theme of Individual in society, but the novel also provides rich discussion topics about racism and prejudice and its role in Tom Robinson's trial and its effect on the characters of Scout and Jem. In Writing Lab, students will be finishing Scrapbook pages representing the main characters/victims from our Holocaust books.
This year the Warriors softball team won 10 of their 13 games. More than being a winning team this is a team to truly be proud of, as sportsmanship was displayed in all of their games. Teams always walked away with a fun and positive experience - what a great team! All of the players should be commended for their efforts: Ally Carlin, Alana Cooney, Kat Corzilius, Molly Glasheen, Mary Cronin, Jasmin Chan, Rachel Kornet, Michaela Anton, Alana Potts, Sarah DeMille, Lane Whitla, Maddy Holm, Caroline Arcari, Caroline Davenport, Lindsay Bogar, and Jessica Coulombe.
Our meet with Needham was canceled last Thursday, May 28 and will not be re-scheduled as Needham has closed down their team for the year. We traveled to North Attleboro last Friday for our final regular season meet with seven other teams. About 20 team members will be traveling to Fitchburg State College this coming Saturday for the state middle school meet. A season wrap-up will appear in next week's blog.
Clip and send in your box tops. Collection box is in the office.
Blue Ribbon Program for Showing Appreciation
Are you looking for a way to let your child’s teacher, a school staff member or an administrator know just how much you 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 making a donation to the Medfield Coalition for Public Education. Each person recognized with a donation will receive a personalized card. To learn more and to make a donation in someone’s name, simply go online to http://www.medfieldcoalition.org, select "Events & Programs" and then select the tab "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.
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!