June 5 - Blake Mini-Marathon (see details below)
June 6 - 6th-8th Chorus Concert
June 7 - Grupo Fantasia Concert for 8th Grade
June 11 - Ben Speaks Presentation for Parents (see details below)
Royal Pizza Night for Blake
June 19 - 7th Grade Creature Feature Field Trip
June 21 - 7th Grade Field Trip to Boston
June 25 - Subway Night for Blake
June 26 - Transition Day
8th Grade Closing Assembly (7 p.m.)
June 27 - Last Day of School for Students/Staff
'Topic/Question for the Dinner Table'
To help bring the idea of reflection into our conversations this week, our Topic/Question for the Dinner Table this week is: Why do we think about the things we have done?
8th Grade Closing Ceremony
Our 8th grade closing ceremony and goodbye evening will be on Wednesday, June 26 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.
iPad Program Selection Inventory for Incoming 8th Graders
Thank you to everyone for completing the iPad Inventory Survey last month as the information we gathered has helped in our planning. As the next step in our planning process, we are asking all current 7th grade parents/guardians to indicate your plans for your student ('Providing iPad' or 'Participating in Lease to Own Program') for next year, by completing this brief survey asap: Incoming 8th Grade iPad Program Selection. Even if your decision has not changed since the last correspondence, we are asking all families to complete this survey as well. As part of our program, we have a system in place for families with demonstrated financial need. If you are in need of financial assistance, please contact me directly (email@example.com). I have also copied the link to the iPad site (iPad Blog) and I encourage you to visit it to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place. We are excited about this initiative and look forward to our work together to enhance our students' education. As always, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Curriculum Highlights - English and Wellness
This week's curriculum updates come from the English (Gail Duffy, Content Specialist) and Wellness (Susan Cowell, Content Specialist) departments...
Grade 6 English: Sixth grade English is looking forward to finishing the year with the Adventures of Tom Sawyer presentations. The students have been working hard to understand new terms such as satire and dialect. They have been fully enjoying Tom's adventures and his growth as a character throughout the book.
Grade 7 English: In seventh grade English, we are learning about coming of age themes in the novel Johnny Tremain. On June 21, students will be able to see many of the historical places, like Old South Meeting House and the Boston Massacre site, when we take our walking tour of Boston. In writing lab, students are putting finishing touches on their creature stories that will be presented to the elementary schools on June 18.
Grade 8: Grade 8 English will have the final vocab test June 6. They are finishing reading and discussing To Kill a Mockingbird and will have the final test June 14. They will be writing the To Kill A Mockingbird essay the week of June 17, and they will be seeing the movie. They are finishing the Holocaust literature unit.
In health classes, 6th and 8th grade students recently completed brand new lessons in nutrition education. 6th graders learned about the six essential nutrients that make up food, and 8th graders investigated the nutritional loss that occurs as food goes from fresh to processed. Student-created posters which are displayed throughout the school, advocate for everyone to choose fresh food whenever possible! All grades are now currently discussing adolescent growth and development at age appropriate levels.
Please join us in supporting The One Fund as the Blake community raises money and awareness for the families of those lost or seriously injured as a result of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. The First Annual Blake Mini Marathon will take place Wednesday morning, June 5th. This is a school-wide event, with all students and staff either running, walking, or supporting those who are. Through this experience, students practice thinking of others while they engage in a fun fitness activity. Opportunities like this build relationships and strengthen communities, and allow students to feel connected to real world events. Thank you for the donations that have already been sent in, and for those which will come in over the next few days.
The ballroom dance unit in physical education classes led to success both in and out of the gymnasium. While nearly all students were learning brand new dance movements, two of the most valuable skills we expect to see as outcomes, acts of kindness and acceptance, were prevalent at all grade levels. These are skills which, like motor coordination skills, develop at different rates for different children, and are skills we continue to reinforce at Blake through many varied opportunities. As a result of student interest, classroom teachers reported students dancing in their classrooms, and there was more dancing than ever at the most recent school dance!
In the fourth rotation of consumer science classes, 6th graders have learned how to measure effectively, use a blender, electric griddle, the stovetop, and the oven safely. They have collaborated within their groups and have all learned to wash dishes by hand. Ask them to show you what they can do at home! 7th graders have learned to safely use a chef's knife to chop vegetables, and are beginning to understand the relationship between nutrition information and the nutrients in the food they eat. They are building on the measuring and safety skills they learned as 6th graders and are able to read their recipes and follow instructions more independently. Definitely ask your 7th grader to help you prepare meals at home! Following a brief demonstration, 8th graders are able to utilize their available resources to create nutritious and delicious meals that one might find on a restaurant menu. They have become much more independent this year, relying on their collective expertise within their kitchen group rather than needing regular help from me. Your 8th grader is able to prepare food for 4-5 people, so sit down together with them and plan out a meal they can make for your family with your supervision or assistance as needed!
Music in the Parks
This past Friday the 7th and 8th grade Chorus members traveled to the Great East Festival and Six Flags where each ensemble earned a Gold medal! The orchestra played very well and received a gold medal at the Great East Music Festival for their performance! The 7th & 8th Grade Band was awarded a Gold Medal for its performance of March of the Irish Guard, Korean Folk Rhapsody and Dances from Terpsichore. Jazz Ensemble I performed Manteca, Ready Freddie and The Sermon and earned a Platinum Medal - the festival's highest possible rating.
Rock 'N Bowl
The eighth annual Grade 6 Rock N Bowl Event will be held this year on Friday, June 7, 2013. Our students and teacher chaperones travel by busses to and from North Bowl Lanes in North Attleboro after school where they enjoy cosmic bowling, all request dj music, disco lights, concessions, and an arcade. The venue is closed to the public during our event and it is a safe, fun, age appropriate, and memorable event enjoyed by all. Connie Doolan coordinates the event each year and she is happy to answer questions you may have. Please feel free to email Connie if needed at email@example.com.
MCPE in conjunction with a Blake Destination Imagination team, are pleased to present Ben Speaks (flyer posted on Forms and Documents tab), a presentation about fostering resilience and compassion in our teens. Judy Giovangelo is a local parent who lost her son, Ben, to suicide. She speaks with parents and students across Greater Boston about themes of empowerment, resilience, and compassion. We are pleased to offer this uplifting presentation to parents on June 11th at 7:00 p.m. at Blake Middle School followed by three grade level presentations for Blake students on Friday, June 14th. Students will be previewing the presentation in wellness classes the week prior to the presentations as well as spending time discussing it in class the week following it. Please feel free to contact Kelly Campbell (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Blake is in the process of planning our first annual Blake Mini Marathon - This year's race is titled "Run for One." It will take place on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 (Rain Date - Wednesday, June 12, 2013). The event is designed to bring the Blake Community (students, staff, & families) together around a common purpose. About a 1.3 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 to volunteer as well. Registration and goal setting will take place in PE classes, with the hope of 100% participation (within various roles). This year, there will be a suggested registration "fee" (donation) of $5.00 to The One Fund. More details coming soon!
First Aid Supply Drive
The Blake Middle School will be hosting a drive to raise First Aid supplies. These supplies will be going to the families at The Medway Family Shelter. The Medway Family Shelter is located in Medway, Ma, and houses up to 10 families at a time, last year the shelter was able to support around 40 families through their community services. However the shelter is in desperate need of First Aid supplies, for instance the shelter only have 3 thermometers to share amongst 10 families. Please help by donate items on the flyer to help out these local families in need.
Is there a special teacher or school staff person that you would like to recognize for making a difference in your child's life this year? MCPE's Blue Ribbon program helps you acknowledge that outstanding service simply and easily. All entries are due by Friday, June 21st. Please see the flyer in the Thursday packet or visit www.medfieldcoalition.org for additional information about the program.