With summer now in full swing and a formal ‘break’ from the routines of school and academics, our content specialists have provided end-of-year and summer updates from their respective departments...
Summer is the time to relax, unplug, and pursue your own interests. Here are a few ways to feed your creative needs:
Stay in town: Register for class at the Zullo Gallery. This summer, there are classes for student artists:
- Art Explorations--drawing/mixed media
- Artists’ Studio--and open choice studio for free thinkers
- Cartoons and Clay --bring your cartoons to life!
- Beginner’s Digital Art Class
Medfield’s Public Library is open all Summer long and has a teen advisory board! The library also has a Dungeons and Dragons club, a middle school book club (Hooked on Books), a Pop-Up Art School, Laser Tag club, and air conditioning! HERE is a link of summer events and groups geared for teens.
Go to Boston: Massart has Creative Studios for students entering 7-9th grade. Experience one of the nation’s best art schools, work collaboratively with art educators and develop your technical skills and creative problem solving.
To all students---- Take a hike, go for a bike ride, get yourself to a beach, lie in a hammock, and above all, connect with friends and family! Enjoy your summer and best of luck to the 8th graders!
- a vacation spent in one's home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.
- Children’s Museum
- Boston Harbor Islands
- DeCordova Museum
- Fairbanks House
- Griffin Museum of Photography
- Harvard Museum of Natural History
- Institute of Contemporary Art
- Isabella Gardiner
- Massachusetts State Parks
- Museum of Science
- Mystic Aquarium
- New England Aquarium
- Roger Williams Park Zoo
- Peabody Essex Museum
- Tower Hill Botanic
- Trustees of the Reservation
- U.S.S. Constitution Museum
- Zoo New England
"Experience + Reflection = Wisdom"
From the Blake Counselors, we wish everyone a fun-filled summer! We hope students and families have a chance to read a few good books, rest, and recharge. We look forward to working with our Blake students on the next year of their journey.
Mental Health Resources
In the event that your child needs additional supports this summer, please refer to our website for a thorough list of mental health resources available to you.
Please keep in mind that Medfield subscribes to a mental health referral helpline called INTERFACE. Everyone in the Medfield community has access to INTERFACE with the intent for children, adults and families to become connected with mental health and wellness resources. Please know that all information shared with INTERFACE is confidential, and client privacy is paramount.
If anyone is interested in exploring reading options related to middle school social-emotional learning, please check-out these book recommendations:
Recognizing and Managing Emotions:
- Bird • written by Zetta Elliott, illustrated by Shadra Strickland
- An African American boy nicknamed Bird uses drawing as a creative outlet as he struggles to make sense of his grandfather’s death and his brother’s drug addiction.
- www.leeandlow.com/ books/bird
- Chess Rumble • written by G. Neri, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson
- In this longer story told in free verse, a troubled boy learns to use his mind instead of his fists through the guidance of an unconventional mentor and the game of chess.
- Martí’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad • written by Emma Otheguy, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal
- José Martí dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty: the abolishment of slavery, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual independence from colonialism for all Latinos.
- This bilingual biography is written in verse with excerpts from Martí’s seminal work, Versos Sencillos. (Bilingual English/ Spanish.)
- www.leeandlow.com/books/ marti-s-song-for-freedom-marti-ysus-versos-por-la-libertad
- The Wind Called My Name • written by Mary Louise Sanchez
- In this heartwarming historical middle-grade set in the 1930s, Margarita Sandoval and her family try to navigate the shifting winds of belonging in their new Wyoming town.
- www.leeandlow. com/books/the-wind-called-myname
Grit & Perseverance
- Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas • written by Gwendolyn Hooks, illustrated by Colin Bootman
- The life story of Vivien Thomas, an African American surgical technician who developed the first procedure used to perform openheart surgery on children.
- Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle • written by Hilda Eunice Burgos
- The Penderwicks meets In the Heights in this sparkling middle-grade debut about a young Dominican American girl in New York City.
- www.leeandlow.com/books/ ana-maria-reyes-does-not-live-ina-castle
- Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty • written by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke
- This graphic novel is based on the true story of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer, an eleven-year-old boy from Chicago’s South Side who was killed by his own gang members.
- www.leeandlow.com/ books/yummy
Have a wonderful summer!
We would like to remind you of Blake's Summer Reading Program...
Blake Middle School believes that independent reading for pleasure is invaluable to students' life-long learning, and it needs to be encouraged and cultivated. The middle school's summer reading program strives to foster a love of reading through student choice and also encourages students to read a carefully selected book which reflects Blake Middle School's values around literature. Ultimately, we would like each student to read at least two books this summer: one from our grade-level core list and at least one of their choice. Here is the link to the
The math teachers at Blake encourage students to explore during the summer months....get outdoors...travel near or far...learn something new...try something that is a little hard or a little 'scary'...practice making new friends...cook a meal...arrange some flowers...build a fort... It is a great opportunity to put your 'learning skills' to work. Learning skills include working collaboratively, attending to precision, thinking creatively, attending independently, clearly explaining and summertime happenings are a great way to build them up so they are ready to transfer to the math classroom in the fall.
Strengthening math skills may take different forms for different students. Some may visit math websites (www.ixl.com) for completing summer skills workbooks. In addition, we encourage families to connect over board games such as Pay Day, Mastermind and chess. A tried and true recommendation for math summer work can be summed up using M3- Money, Measurement, and Maps. Spending cash, using rulers and tape measures and reading maps are the best ways to work on your math skills.
Some Blake teachers will be participating in the Brilliant.org 100 Day Challenge. It has already started but it is not too late to participate. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, through the app or using your web browser, you can access 100 logic based, challenging math problems on a wide variety of topics. Other resources are available so check it out!
For the past few years, we have used a series of workbooks published by a company called Summer Skills (www.summerskills.com). We have found these books to be successful in helping students practice and sharpen their math skills. This book is entirely OPTIONAL. The Blake Middle School Math Department wishes you a happy and healthy summer!
The end of the year brought lots of different activities into 8th grade science and engineering. Students worked on their Genius Hour projects, coded with Mind storms, and designed, built and raced solar cars. Some classes focused on Climate Change while other classes had several options for final projects, including - creating a geological disaster video, creating a scale model of the solar system, or creating an artistic symbol, super hero, or villain for an element on the periodic table. 8th grade science students and teachers alike look forward to the daylight hours increasing as we approach the summer solstice! Best wishes for a restful and enjoyable summer to all our now former students and their families from Grade 8 science.
In May seventh grade students actively learned in groups as they completed their Ecology Projects. By visiting stations, students learned the content that they then applied to their research on an endangered or threatened species in Massachusetts resulting in the creation of a presentation on their species. It was very impressive to see what they put together! After the presentations students learned about plant reproduction as they dissected a flower to learn about how the male and female plant reproductive parts work with wind, water, and animals to form the next generation of plants. Students finished the year by creating their own flower to match a given animal pollinator. 7th grade students should look for the many pollinators present in New England and other areas they visit this summer.
6th grade students were very excited to use microscopes to observe that all living things are made of cells. Students examined plant cells, animal cells, protists, and a number of other cool samples. Some students made their own slides with hair, pond water, paper towels, or insect parts. Once students determined that all living things are made of cells, they participated in the Great Cell Organelle Debate as they became experts on the cell parts and their functions. The students really enjoyed this project with the conversation continuing in to the hallways and at home for some! Students then learned about the connections between human body systems and were then responsible for teaching the basics of one of the eleven systems to their classmates. As a wrap up to this unit, students created cartoons discussing the relationships between three systems drawn in their cartoon. The students have had a tremendous year of exploration in science, we are so proud of all that they have learned!
The Blake science department wishes our science students a wonderful summer full of questions about the world in which we live. For those who would like to practice some science here are some links to a free program to keep those skills in good shape.
Here are some virtual field trips that you can take over the summer
Sixth Grade Social Studies teachers just wrapped up a year in which we implemented Standards Based Reporting with a brand new curriculum for a brand new course entitled, Geography and World Cultures 1. Through various projects, assignments, debates, and discussions, students explored ancient history starting with the evolution of humankind and ending with the powerful dynasties that control China in the late BCE time period. As we move into next year, the teachers have discovered new ideas that will enhance and improve many of the lessons taught throughout the school year. Additionally, teachers will look into possible field trips that will enhance our understanding of ancient history. Enjoy the summer and see you in September.
The Seventh Grade Social Studies team has ended the year with the completion of their unit on Rome. Students were tasked with a final project which encouraged them to choose topics relating to Rome that interested them. They were then pushed to explore a series of focus questions designed to further enhance their understanding of the subject and topics they researched. We are wrapping up the year with presentations and sharing of our work. Teachers and students will continue this style of learning for next year, hoping that student driven interest will improve performance and collaboration.
World History I 8th graders concluded the year by focusing on topics relating to Medieval European history, the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation. Students created and completed various projects and assessments related to topics such as the Black Death, the Crusades and the great artists of the Italian Renaissance including Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Next year will mark the first year of the new 8th grade Social Studies Civics curriculum which promises to be an exciting opportunity for incoming 8th grade students! We wish everyone a wonderful Summer and look forward to a bright future!
The Wellness department wishes everyone a safe and restful summer. We encourage you to make time each day to eat well, be active, reflect on your blessings, and enjoy the company of those you love!
As the school year comes to a close, this is a good time to take a breath and reflect about the progress you’ve made in leveling up your second language proficiency this year. We are proud of our students as they taken some positive steps to move up the proficiency ladder (see official ACTFL image and the more user-friendly ice-cream cone from SpanishPLans.org below). To move up a whole sub-level in language really is a big deal and for most students it takes hundreds of hours (more as you start to move up the ladder). So, what can you do to help yourself move up faster? More input! READ children’s books or websites about your favorite topics in the language you are studying. Look for shows, movies, podcasts in your language. Songs, youtube videos and the like are other possible sources. Do you know a native speaker who might be willing to chat with you a few days a week? Or someone else who is studying the language and wants to practice?
The World Languages and Cultures department wishes you a proficiency- filled summer!
Mandarin: The Mandarin students finished all three units. They built their mandarin folder with the study guide for each lesson, so they can review during the summer. In addition, they also learned Chinese card game called The Train and Pinpang. Can’t wait to see them in 7th grade! 放假了！
French: French students finished a successful year with a presentation about their families. They were able to have a conversation by answering various questions about themselves and their relatives. Their “photo albums” were put into their portfolios to reflect on later in HS to see how much they have learned over the years.
Spanish Sixth grade Spanish students finished their year practicing and then showing off all they have learned about basic conversations throughout the year. We are so proud of what they have accomplished and know that great things await them in 7th grade Spanish; it will be great to see them five days a week in 7th grade! ¡Feliz verano! ¡Felices vacaciones!
Mandarin: The Mandarin students finished their final writing and recording project which includes all they have learned last year and this year. They built their mandarin folder with the study guide for each lesson, so they can review during the summer. We are going to have a Ping pong tournament at the end of the school year. Looking forward to seeing them in 8th grade! 放假了！
French Our students finished up the year with a reader called Pauvre Anne, following a high school student's adventures from NY to a family stay in Belgium. Students also each created a Flipgrid in which they talked about their summer plans. I hope that they will have the opportunity to hear or speak French in their travels. Happy summer et bonnes vacances!
Spanish Seventh grade rounded out the year with a novel, a movie from Mexico, and lots of storytelling! Their ability to maintain a conversation on a variety of topics has increased greatly, and we are so proud of their hard work and determination! Enjoy el verano!
Mandarin: The Mandarin Students had a great trip to Chinatown and Kam Man supermarket! Students finished Chinatown and Kam Man supermarket presentation and shared them with their classmates. They built their mandarin folder with the study guide for each lesson, so they can review during the summer. We are going to have a Ping pong tournament at the end of the school year. Best wishes to their high school study! 放假了！
French Following the wonderful D.C. experience students impressed us with their developing ability to talk and write about such a great trip in the past, present, and future! Looks like many WILL want to return some day! Have afantastique summer!
Spanish While engaging in topics such as emergency medicine (¡Ay! ¡Me duele!), bargaining at a market, our trip to D.C., and current events in the news, our students proved themselves to be great conversationalists and writers! They are so ready for all that high school has to offer in World Languages! We wish you a healthy, happy verano, and will miss you!