As we approach and enter the summer months and take a formal 'break' from the routines of school and academics, I have asked our content specialists to provide updates from their respective departments...
Opportunities to recharge and refresh are everywhere in summertime. Here are some suggestions for making the most of it:
Staying local - Take a creative vacation at Massart in Boston--- or check out Saturday studios to learn with student artists from around the state.
Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham—they offer classes in all media for all ages and intern opportunities for HS students. The MFA also offers classes to students of all ages.
At the beach - If you are going away, you might want to check out the following places on the Cape and Islands that offer art classes and workshops to break up the monotony of sun and sand…. Truro Center for the Arts The Artists’ Association of Nantucket and the Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs are worth checking out as well.
Remember- Summertime is for relaxing, so make time for family and friends, go to a concert, attend an art festival, read a book, unplug your devices, and enjoy the outdoors!
English Department Suggestions for Summer Fun!
Start the countdown! With vacation beginning on Friday, June 24, there are 68 days of summer to enjoy! Medfield is 29 miles from Boston, 70 miles from Newport, Rhode Island, and 122 miles to Provincetown, MA. You can choose to fill up your gas tank and visit some of these wonderful venues, or you can stay close to home and find equally wonderful alternatives!
- Medfield Parks & Recreation offers tons of fun alternatives like karate, babysitting certification, drama, learn-to-skate programs, flag football, and minecraft.
- Medfield Public Library summer programs has Lego clubs, yoga, outdoor movie nights and much, much more.
- The Butterfly Museum - Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Butterfly Museum offers a unique family experience with outdoor picnic areas.
- Volunteer opportunities - This searchable site lets you look for ways to help others by location and by type of serice.
- One web site, Mommy Poppins lets you search for summer activities by age group and interest. Included on this site? Fitness camps, robotics camp, digital media camp, songwriting camp and many more!
- Interested in learning to ride a horse? You’ll learn how to giddyup-’n-go at this family- friendly horse riding site.
- Small zoos = big family fun! Capron Park in Attleboro offers family passes to enjoy a whole summer of fun.
- Spend an afternoon looking at clouds, writing a poem, talking with a friend, reading a book you love for a second time, drinking lemonade...you get the idea! The way you really spell summer is f-u-n.
The 8th Grade Group Guidance continued to reflect on their middle school experience and discussed concerns they had with transitioning to high school. We also identified who their high school guidance counselor will be and how to utilize that person as a resource. The 7th Grade Group Guidance classes have been working on their "If I were principal projects." In this assignment, they work in small groups to design a homework policy (and reasons to defend it) and their test corrections/test retake policy. It has been fascinating to have them constructively debate their different perspectives and come to an agreement on how the school would run under their guidance. In 6th Grade Group Guidance, we are ending the school year working on videos to help our incoming 6th graders navigate the Blake building. The final rotation of Embracing Diversity has been discussing appreciating cultural diversity and watched segments of the film "he named me Malala".
From Mrs. Dondero,
To the class of 2021,
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful relaxing and fun summer. Read books, go outside and explore. Put down your devices and engage with your friends and family face to face not on FaceTime. Enjoy your time away from school and I hope you will come back to Blake ready to take on your 8th grade year and make it your best one yet.
From Mr. Marenghi,
Class of 2020. Enjoy the summer and look forward to high school. I will miss you. Keep in touch.
From Ms. Allen,
Happy Summer Class of 2022. You've made a wonderful transition into Blake and have added a great deal to our community. I hope the summer brings you lots of fun, sun and relaxation!
It’s hard to believe the end of the 2015-2016 academic year is upon us. Early last fall, our school was honored and inspired by Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott’s presentation. She compared her real-life experience in losing a limb with what the protagonist in our all-school summer reading book, The Running Dream, went through. Her performance inspired our school to dedicate the remainder of the year to raising money for Heather’s foundation, which provides running limbs for people in need. The Blake Student Council, under the direction of Kelly Ruminski and Eileen Hurley spearheaded many of the fundraising efforts along with lots of help from Marissa Gumas. Our fundraising culminated with early June’s Blake Mini-Marathon. The proceeds from which pushed our year’s total to $5,000. The money raised helped Heather’s foundation pay for a new running leg for 9-year-old Swapna Oslund from Beverly. Both Heather and Swapna spoke to the entire Blake community at the marathon’s conclusion. This was the first time in the 18-year history of the all-school summer reading program that the reading of the book led to such an all-year event. Thanks to Heather Abbott for her inspiration!
In addition to our regular LMC collaborative research projects and the helping of students in choosing pleasure reading books, the other big news this past year was the founding of the Blake Makerspace, which is located in the back right corner of the LMC. All 6th grade students participated in an 8-week coding rotation class, taught by Diane Horvath and half of the 8th graders participated in a 12-week rotation class which taught them not only how to code a project but to actually code and build a controller to run the project. The Makerspace found its way out into the classrooms with Diane Horvath working with 7th grade teachers on the annual Creature Feature projects. Thanks to a grant from the CSA, enough Makey Makey kits (circuit kits which can power electronic projects) were purchased to allow all 7th graders to animate their creatures – a great new dimension to the endeavor.
All in all, it’s been a strong year – lots of new and exciting things and activities, but please remember: it all begins with reading! Have a great summer.
The Blake Middle School math department has found it beneficial for students to work on strengthening their math skills over the summer months. We recognize this may take on many different forms from visiting math websites (www.ixl.com) to completing summer skills workbooks. In addition, we encourage families to connect over board games such as Pay Day, Mastermind and chess. Finally, a trip to the mall with good, old-fashioned cash is a great way for children to learn about money.
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. As a team of teachers, we feel that summer work is beneficial; however, this book is entirely OPTIONAL. Please click on this link for further information. The Blake Middle School Math Department wishes you a happy and healthy summer!
Grade Six General Music - Students recently completed a final project which involved creating a short film with an accompanying soundtrack. In this final project students were able to apply all of the concepts they worked so hard on this year.
Grade 8 General Music - Students recently completed a final project where they created an outline for an original musical. Many students chose to explore bullying through their musical. Staying true to oneself despite the opinions of others was another popular theme.
Orchestras 6-8 - Congratulations, Blake String Orchestras on wonderful Spring Concerts! Mrs Evans is proud of the progress you've made this year and is eagerly picking out new music for the Fall. Be sure to practice over the summer to hold on to the new skills you've learned this year- every little bit counts! :) Thank you parents for all your support!
It has been a great year for the Blake Middle School Choruses! Both Grades 7 and 8 won gold ratings this year at the Great East Festival (That famous Six Flags Trip!). To have both ensembles achieve this rating was a fitting achievement to end a successful year.
The Spring Concert presented by the 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Choruses was entitled Weathering the Storm. Each chorus performed selections with lyrics that addressed coming through difficult times with a positive outlook and with a song in the heart. It was good to see the choral students supporting one another as each ensemble took their turn to sing. The program concluded with all the Blake singers blending their voices together in a large 120 voice ensemble to close out the year beautifully.
Ms. Nothnagel's general music classes are closing out the year with a project on music and movies and a glimpse into the musical masterpiece Sheherazade which tells the story of 1001 Arabian Nights. We learned about programmatic music and were even inspired to write our own stories.
Best wishes for a safe and happy summer.
As the summer solstice approaches us (the beginning of the astronomical summer) on Monday, June 20, and the sun's zenith is at its furthest point North of the equator,8th grade students have been engaged in an inquiry based project where they must use solar energy to power a model car to complete a course. Students have to create a theme, design and test the car as they work towards a solution, in order to compete in a 10 meter race. Most students, after hours of designing, testing, failure, and redesign, find success. The hope is that they leave Blake with the same mindset as Thomas Edison on failure.
He said - - - "I haven't failed. I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.
Students in seventh grade science finished the year presenting their projects about endangered, threatened, or special concern species found in Massachusetts. It was wonderful to see the variety of creative elements to the presentations. Students also spend some time this month learning about evidence for evolution and the evolution fo humans. With their new found knowledge of Life Science, we encourage students to spend time enjoying the natural world. Students should look for signs of primary and secondary succession, take note of any endangered species, search for their trout in MIll Brook, and always remember to ask questions about anything they see, hear, touch, or smell.
Students in 6th grade science have been exploring topics in Earth Science. They have utilized textbook and online resources, and the Explain everything app as a platform to collect, examine, and create evidence of their understanding of layers of Earth and the concepts of continental drift, seafloor spreading, and plate tectonics. Our final journey this year will be through Geologic time, exploring the Earth's timeline. Students will work with a scaled version of the Earth's timeline that spans the length of the entire hallway of the school. They will focus on the major biological and geological events throughout Earth's 4.6 billion years of existence, scanning to watch videos of what the environment would have been like all those years ago.
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 is a free program to keep those skills in good shape.
CK-12 Brainflex - A summer Program for Math and Science Practice
Sixth grade World Geography classes just completed a global trade unit with a concentration on trade with Asia. The unit of study culminated in a field trip to the Peabody Essex Museum to visit the global trade exhibit and the Yin Yun Tang house. Third term also focused on different kinds of governments and economies all over the world with a focus on how government and economy affect different cultures. This summer, sixth grade social studies teachers are reevaluating and reflecting on the pilot program that was implemented two years ago. The goal of research and development this summer will be to redesign and develop ways to enhance student learning and understanding of basic map skills, geographic locations and integrating more civic and cultural activities that celebrate the similarities and differences among people throughout the world.
In Ancient Civilizations, 7th graders finished their year by studying ancient Rome, a truly fascinating civilization. They examined the changes Rome underwent in its transition from a republic (representative government, rule by law) to an empire. During this process, students made some valuable connections between ancient Rome and the modern United States. There were some rich discussions about the role of leadership in society, as they looked at particular Roman emperors who did a wonderful job for their civilization, and others that were disastrous. This summer, students are encouraged to continue their learning about history. It'd be great if they could visit a historic site, learn more about their family history by speaking with a family member about their past, or by visiting the library and taking out a book about a historical topic.
This month World History I students completed their study of the Protestant Reformation, then switched gears to Asia to learn about China and Japan. 8th graders learned about Japanese cultural contributions including the role of the Samurai warriors and the importance of the Japanese tea ceremony. Over the summer while traveling, check out the history around you. How does history leave its imprint on the world? You can do this traveling abroad, or in the next town.
6th graders are finishing the year learning to advocate for health enhancing positions. With the recent viewing of Screenagers, many of our students have opted to research and promote limiting screen time. Others are advocating for exercising, participating in team sports, drinking more water, eating healthfully, staying away from drugs and alcohol, and many other relevant health issues. Students have been creating slogans, posters, Google Slides, and short videos as ways to get their message across. They have done a great job with this unit and it has been a pleasure to work with these students all year long!
7th graders are also finishing up their advocacy projects, where they have created health enhancing messages under the umbrella of respect. Messages to avoid bullying and stereotyping were included, as well as messages developed to protect our environment. Students have created posters that advertise their websites. Check them out! www.blakerecycles.weebly.com
Students in 8th grade are also presenting their final advocacy projects for the year. Advocacy topics have included Bullying/Cyberbullying, Drinking and Driving, Texting and Driving, LGBT Rights, Environmental Issues and much more. One component to the skill of advocacy is "acting passionately and with conviction." It has been fun watching the students present their causes in such a fun and creative way. Best of luck to the 8th graders as they go off to high school!
Students in consumer science have now completed the full rotation of classes, and are ready to demonstrate all that they have learned for you at home! The slower pace of summer provides the perfect opportunity for your kids to show off their skills without feeling rushed. Cooking together is a wonderful family activity, and provides great opportunities for important family conversations. Ask your students from the 4th rotation to show you their digital portfolio of recipes, which demonstrate the progression of challenge they experienced during the course and from year to year. Have a wonderful summer!
The World Language teachers at Blake are excited about the great strides our students have made this year. Teachers have worked together to emphasize speaking skills and proficiency above all this year and we are very pleased with the progress our students have made. As you peruse our grade level summaries for June, notice how much language your children can produce and don’t be afraid to ask them to practice over the summer.
Ask your children if they could order food in the target language or show you a shopping website that they may have used in class. Any outside interest can help.
Additionally, there are websites available in all languages and topics, a simple google search in the language can find them. Duolingo is an app that can help students practice basic language skills. BBC languages is another resource. If your students study Spanish, there are also several radio stations and television stations available for practice. We wish you a great summer and hope you find some time for language in your life!
6th grade Spanish is ending the year learning to tell time and how to describe one's house. Our favorite new word is "la cama"...bed! Hopefully, all will get to rest lots in their camas this verano! The 6th grade Spanish teachers gave students a chance to reflect on their year and to think about how great it will be to have Spanish five days per week next year! We are thrilled with all the students have learned and, especially, how beautiful their pronunciation has become!
Grade six French students have been delightful this year! They are always full of surprises, sharing dances, songs and poems. They enjoyed making Raclette so much, they are looking forward to their next French culinary experience. We are finishing the year with a family tree! With great big smiles they declared, "Ok, but it's a little complicated!" The family tree can be real or imaginary!!
6th grade Mandarin students finished Unit 3 Lesson 3--Who is......? By the end of the lesson, students were able to look for a person by asking " Who is......?" and make an apology.
7th grade Spanish finished their last unit in which students learned to say where they are going...finally, the verb "to go"! It will come in very handy as students have wonderful plans for where to go and how to use their Spanish this summer! The 7th grade Spanish students have impressed their teachers with their blossoming language skills this Spring! We cannot wait to see all that they will accomplish in 8th grade Spanish!
The 7th grade French students have been very productive this year. From the France project to the many skits they performed, we are so proud of the progress they have made! The highlight were the café skits which were so entertaining! I hope you continue to speak French during the summer- whether through conversations or watching a movie. Bonnes vacances et à bientot! -Madame Welling
7th grade Mandarin students finished Unit 8 Lesson 2 and are now working on Unit 8 Lesson 3--An Invitation. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify and ask about someone’s house number and telephone number and invite someone to come over.
8th grade Spanish students in Sras. Batts and Boulos class are proud of their developing medical Spanish vocabulary as they finish up their last unit! Their last speaking assessment proved what wonderful medical professionals they could be some day (Do you feel better? worse? Where does it hurt? You need to take this medicine, etc) , and what capable patients they could be too should the need arise! We are so proud of our 8th graders, and expect amazing things from them at MHS!
The other 8th grade Spanish students delighted and impressed in their final oral assessment of the year. Students have gained confidence in expressing their ideas in the present, past and future tenses. ¡Feliz verano a todos!
Many of my grade eight French students, I have taught for two years and it is bittersweet saying goodbye. I am so impressed with the progress my students have made.
All good things must come to an end, to make room for other good things! As I end my 30 year teaching career, I am so happy to have spent this time with you and I wish you the very best! Madame Dalpe
Our 8th grade Mandarin students went to to Chinatown in Boston and Kam Man Marketplace in Quincy on Friday June 10, 2016. We also met 8th graders from Jonas Clarke School in Lexington and interviewed them in Chinese. One of the student groups made a presentation about this trip and said, " We all had a great time in Chinatown and had a lot of fun. The purpose of this trip was to see into the Chinese culture and everyday life. It was very eye opening to see the day to day life of the people in Chinatown. We believe that we greatly benefited from this trip and learned a lot about the culture. We found out about the food, music, art."