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, they 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
Did you know that the town library has a teen advisory board? Medfield’s Public Library is open all Summer long (with AC). Here is the list 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!
Here’s what a few fine folks have to say about summer:
- “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."--F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
- Elisha L from Ms. Fratolillo’s class shares: “Being able to hang out with my friends.”
- “In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes and every sunset is different.” John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent
- Dom N.from Mr. Gagne’s class believes: “What makes me look forward to summer is the upcoming sports and the nice weather. Summer is so special because of biking with friends and hanging out with lots of my friends.”
- “Going to sleep-away camp for seven weeks, because you are like sisters instead of friends, and there is always someone to talk to.” Rebecca G. Mr. Hellerstein’s class
- "The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change."―E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
- Audrey P. from Mr Hellerstein’s class adds: “Going to the beach to swim every day, along with boating and sailing.”
- "The castle grounds were gleaming in the sunlight as though freshly painted; the cloudless sky smiled at itself in the smoothly sparkling lake, the satin-green lawns rippled occasionally in a gentle breeze: June had arrived."―J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Olivia P. from Mr. Gagne’s class contributes,” I look forward to summer because I am able to create my own schedule and do what I want when I want. Summer is special because it’s a time where you can really express yourself with unlimited freedom.”
- Sina O. from Mr. Hellerstein’s class loves summer because it means “Being able to share special moments with friends and family.”
- Max G from Ms. Fratolillo’s class believes: I look forward to going to the Cape. .
- "Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill."―Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
- “ I feel sorta free.” Brendan L. from Ms. Fratolillo’s class.
- Samantha R. from Mr. Gagne’s class notes that, “ Summer is very special because it brings freedom along with the nice weather and fun. I can do what I want to do with my day instead of having a scheduled plan that I need to follow.”
- “The fact that I will control my schedule, not school. “ Austin F-C from Mr. Hellerstein’s class
The last rotations of the Blake Guidance classes had a busy final few weeks! The 6th grade Group Guidance students met with Mr. Becker, our School Adjustment Counselor, to learn more about anxiety and how to manage it. In their final week, the students wrote letters to themselves which they will receive back in 8th grade! The busy schedules of these final months of school certainly limited the amount of opportunities the 7th Grade Group Guidance class met. However, the classes discussed what to expect as they head toward their final transition within middle school and what it will mean to be "the leaders of the school". The students in Embracing Diversity examined how people develop a concept of "race" and how it might affect our attitudes about society. As we head into the summer and the 8th grade prepares for that next step of high school, Mr. Marenghi hopes that all students who took Embracing Diversity will take a heightened social consciousness with them.
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.
We wish all our students and families have a safe, happy, fun, and relaxing summer!
Blake summer reading: Each summer we ask Blake Middle School Students to read a minimum of two books. Students should read one of four books from their grade level Required Reading list and also choose a minimum of one book from the suggested list or one that they choose on their own. The Pre-K-12 #MedfieldPS community is excited to embrace the theme of LOVE as our first ever “One Community, One Theme” for the 2018-19 school year! Click here for more details.
A tried and true recommendation for math summer work can be summed up using M3...
Money, Measurement, and Maps
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. 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. 7th grade students may get a summer work optional challenge. Students will receive this information on Transition Day.
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. Please click on the link for further information. The Blake Middle School Math Department wishes you a happy and healthy summer!
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!
6th-grade science students learned about waves through the use of slinkies, garage band and other forms of science play! They finished the year exploring digital signals through the use of the Little Bits from the Maker Space. The students have had a tremendous year of exploration in science, we are so proud of all that they have learned!
As we moved into June, seventh grade students were eager to present their endangered species project to their classmates. The projects varied from Instagram accounts, posters, Google Slides presentations, student created websites, and documentary style movies. After our presentations students learned about plant reproduction. Students 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. To finish the year, students created their own flower to match a given animal pollinator.
As the summer solstice approaches, a great year in grade 8 science comes to a close. A whole year’s worth of lab investigations, virtual labs, projects and activities have been very successfully completed, and the grade 8 science teachers are confident that as the students transition from the cozy confines of Blake to the hallowed halls of MHS, they carry with them a strong foundation in the physical sciences. If (when) extreme weather occurs this summer, be sure to ask your former Blaker for some meteorological / climatalogical explanation - they should be prepared to do so! Best wishes for a restful and enjoyable summer to all our now former students and their families from Grade 8 science.
6th grade World Geography students have finished up a fantastic year with the culmination of the global trade unit and the annual trip to the Peabody Essex Museum. Over the summer, the sixth grade social studies teachers will be working together to implement standards based reporting for the 2019-2020 school year. The 2018-19 year will also consist of a new curriculum that focuses on ancient civilizations and geography. Teachers will be collaborating on new exciting lessons that focus on project based learning and critical thinking skills. Happy summer!
ROME HAS FALLEN! Ancient Rome that is... The 7th grade Ancient Civilizations teachers finished the year with a unit on the Roman Empire. Students examined several of the more notable emperors, examined the public entertainment practices which included theater, gladiatorial games, and chariot races, and discussed the challenges of trying to rule an empire as large as Rome in the ancient world. In the end, western Rome ends but eastern Rome will change its name to the Byzantine Empire just in time for students to enter the 8th grade and begin that unit in the city of Constantinople.
Rising 7th graders are asked to continue the tradition of going out and “Experiencing History” this summer. They are asked to visit a historic place (lighthouse, fort, ship, old home etc), interview a person over 70 about their childhood, or read a book on a historic topic. They will receive all the information from their new social studies teacher during Transition Day. The information will also be posted on the 7th grade social studies teachers’ websites.
World History I students 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 100 Years War and the great artists of the Italian Renaissance including Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Students can continue to engage in Social Studies in a "summer manner" by keeping up with current events with a focus on Medieval connections to modern world events and issues because, as Shakespeare wrote more than 400 years ago, "What's past is prologue."
Summer should be time to rest, unwind and recharge. The school year can be challenging and exhausting for many students. But there are still fun and creative ways to keep skills sharp without breaking out the worksheets.
Here is the “Top Ten” list from the Special Education Department:
- Read. Read anything. Silly books, comic books, articles, magazines, a recipe...anything with words. All reading is good reading!
- Write - thank you notes, grocery lists, journals, postcards
- Word Challenge- give your child a fun and interesting word each day ( or each week) talk about it, try and use it, break it apart. No need to write it, just talk about it!
- Do Math- Take your child shopping and talk about prices, taxes and sales. Make a budget for for a summer activity- a party, day trip, a vacation. Set up a savings plan for a desired item. Follow a recipe. Go for a walk amd notice fractions and patterns in nature. Math is everywhere!
- Play board games- the lessons are many- planning, strategizing, and winning and losing with grace.
- Limit screen time and go outside and play! No explanation necessary :)
- Have a chore chart - chores help with time management, organization and task initiation...important school skills...plus it teaches kids to be good family members!
- Let them be bored- this gives kids’ brains time to rest and recharge and encourages creativity
- Unstructured playtime- no help from grown ups...let them make the rules and resolve conflicts. They are better at it than you think!
- And last but not least...a few fun typing resources for a rainy day:
Typing.com - create a free username and password, pick up where you left off typing.com
Typing Club - another free typing resource typingclub.com
Dance Mat Typing http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr
Test yourself with typingtest.com!
A great article from our School Psychologist Kristen Corcoran:
Have a great Summer!
6th Grade Health:
We finished the year with a review of what it takes to be a healthy middle school student. Classes worked very hard to come up with slogans, pamphlets and commercials for their advocacy campaign for middle school health focused on the topics of sleep, screen time, stress, nutrition, fitness and hygiene. It was a great year, and we hope that all students have a happy and healthy summer filled with outdoor activities!
7th Grade Health:
Students made movies, Google Slides and public service announcement-style videos advocating for cyber bullying awareness, self care, respecting the maintenance and cafeteria staffs of our schools and sportsmanship. Here’s one example of a slide from a presentation:
8th grade health:
Students completed their final projects on Advocacy and had the opportunity to present and practice the skill of standing up for a cause. It was great to hear the variety of topics and see students show passion and conviction for their cause. Now that summer is underway, we encourage our incoming 9th grade students to practice setting some new goals for high school, continue to make healthy choices and take time to enjoy physical activity with friends and family. Take care and have a wonderful summer vacation!
June brought the Blake Mini Marathon and badminton instruction and practice. Students wrapped up the unit with singles and doubles games. With an emphasis on serving technique, students also learned about the game strategies to create space and move their opponent. This has been such an amazing group of students and we’ve had a great time working with all of them! The 8th graders have represented themselves and the school well, and we are all excited to see the things they will accomplish at the high school. We will miss them all and hope that they have a great summer!
The summer brings opportunities for special family gatherings outdoors, most of which include food and drinks for refreshment! Please remember that food safety is very important, and it’s easy to lose track of time while having fun in the sun. Follow these guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration to keep it safe during your pool parties, barbeques, and days at the beach this summer! While your kids are home this summer, ask them to pitch in with the meal planning, cooking and cleaning up. With your supervision, they can do it, and it gives them a sense of pride when they can show you how much they can really create when given the responsibility. We wrapped up the school year with a culminating activity called “Raid the Fridge.” This was an opportunity for kitchen groups to see what was available in the fridge, and to put together a meal with whatever they could find. They assigned their own jobs, made all the decisions, and completed all the work from start to finish. They came up with some amazing dishes, and it was very gratifying to me as an educator to see them apply the skills we had practiced in class!
We are so proud of the improvement that our students have made this year. Summer is a great time to think about leveling up on the proficiency scale.
How can this happen? Input, input, input! Take some time to look for items that you can read and understand in your second language. Look for podcasts, videos, commercials that you can listen to in your second language. Language research shows that the more you read, listen and absorb, the better all your skills will get! Have some fun with your new language skills and enjoy the summer.
The Mandarin students are using all the sentences we have learned to make skit/story for upcoming 6th grade mandarin students and are going to present their project in the class next week!
In Spanish, students finished up the year writing a short story about an animal. In addition to narrating and animating the story, they were able to show off all the language that they have learned this year. We are so proud of their achievements this year! Can’t wait to see them 5 days per week in 7th grade!!!
The Mandarin students finished their final writing and recording project which includes all they have learned in last year and this year. They just finished making story book/skit by using what they have learned in past two years and presented in the class. Next week, we are going to lean Chinese square dance!
French students finished up the year with a final project on a topic of their choosing. This was a fun way to talk about what interests them, using vocabulary learned as well as incorporating new terms. They were extremely creative, bravo! We hope that they will have the opportunity to hear or speak French in their travels. Happy summer et bonnes vacances!
Spanish students learned how to express themselves in the future and shared with one another their great plans for the future! They have had an excellent year in Spanish and we can't wait to see them all again in September! ¡Feliz verano!
French students recently shared presentations of their trip to New York and Washington DC and described the highlights using the past tense. We finished our year with a song called “C’est les vacances”, à propos to the beginning of summer, as well as a terrific animated French film, Une vie de chat. Bonnes vacances!
The Mandarin Students had a great trip to Chinatown and Kam Man supermarket! Students are working on Chinatown and Kam Man supermarket presentation now and going to share them with their classmates and parents next week .
Spanish students finished out their year with an introduction to medical Spanish and focused practice on speaking about the past! We enjoyed being able to describe our trip to Washington D.C. in Spanish and create scenes between doctors and patients. ¡Feliz verano--esperamos que se descansen y se diviertan mucho!
Staying in touch with the language is key to our students’ success. We have some suggestions, and hope you will try some. For French and Spanish learners, we would HIGHLY recommend Duolingo. Maybe two 15 minute sessions a week? It is a free app that you can use to learn many languages. Most of it is free, but you can pay for a subscription if you want to get more time, but what is available free is great. Many of us have tried this and it is an unbelievable free resource.
Additionally, in Spanish you can find some good interpretive listening sources on
- The BBC series Mi vida loca: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/mividaloca/
- On NETFLIX, there are MANY kids shows and movies in Spanish. One that some of my 6th and 7th grade girls are watching is Violetta. It is PG and is a bit like the Disney shows "Austin and Ally" or "Girls Meets World" (teenage focused).
- There are also some great Youtubers in Spanish - directed at all different ages - a quick Google Search will get you there!
In Mandarin, reviewing all the Questions List will prepare you for the next year’s learning. You can also find many Mandarin learning apps in app store such as Memrise, ChineseSkill, HelloChinese.
In any language, we think it’s always fun and helpful to listen to music, explore websites and read in the language you are studying! The world is always at your fingertips...explore!
We hope your summer adventures are relaxing and fun with a little room to practice your new language skills. Enjoy!