May 14, 2012

  • May 14 & 16 – We will be hosting students from the  Cape Elizabeth Middle School Chorus on Monday for rehearsals and for a joint concert with our “World Renowned” GMS Chorus. It should be a wonderful night of music and high energy. Join us at 7:00 for this great evening.
  • May 16 – Celebration of Middle School Pizza Fundraiser pick up day. The pizzas will be ready for pick up by parents at 12:30. 8th Grade teachers please let your students who sold pizzas that this is the day their parents should plan to pick up.
  • May 16  - Leadership Team Meeting in Melanie’s room beginning at 2:30 pm. An agenda will be forth coming.
  • May 17 - All 8th grade students and teachers will be attending the annual Physics Day at Funtown. The buses will leave at 9:00 am.
  • May 17 – Sue Huff will be in the conference room next to the nurses office beginning at 10:30 am until noontime for the open enrollment period for the district health, dental and vision plans. If you want to add someone or change your existing plan, you should plan to meet with Sue.
  • May 18 – Progress Reports to go home with students at dismissal.
  • May 23 – Faculty meeting in the Library beginning at 2:30 pm. Food will be provided by the Office Staff.

Other Stuff

I think we all remember the fun we had with the Lip Dub activity during the March Early Release Day. I am still surprised at how many hits we got, pretty amazing. Well, I wanted to share this with you from the Harvard College Baseball Team on one of their road trips recently. This has been the buzz of Twitter World and, they are promising that the young man who appears to be sleeping, really was during the entire filming. Enjoy! Harvard Baseball Team

Content Area Stuff from the Web

STEM

Before I link this site to this Memo, I need to offer a disclaimer. STEM is trying to co-opt what good Middle Schools have been espousing for years, an integrated curriculum. They seem to think they have discovered this NEW idea that will save education as we know it. If only they had listened to us at the Middle Level!

So, now that I have said that, I offer you this link that tries to bridge a perceived gap between the Science, Technology and Engineering with the Math. It appears that this is just a beginning and that there are plans to make this an ever-growing page, so you may want to book mark this for future reference. Check it Out Here.

Curiosity in the Classroom

Curiosity in The Classroom is a web site dedicated to asking the burning questions of life for students. It has several interviews with some pretty interesting people who are on the cutting edge of their professions and they offer age appropriate responses that will intrigue your students enough to have them want to ask more questions. Give it a try here.

Awesome Stories

This site could be used for several content areas, but certainly social studies could use the video and audio selections in their classes. Check out his interesting site here.

Other Stuff

Memorial Day Holiday

Remember that May 28th is Memorial Day and we have no school (like I needed to remind any one!)

District Priorities for Next School Year

Earlier this year, we distributed to all faculty and staff the K-12 Citizenship Plan for the Gorham Schools. The plan is a blue print for our Affective education expectations for all adults in the district. This will always be a priority at the Middle School, as it is consistent with what we know about adolescence and adolescent behavior. The review of this plan and the continuation and improvement of our Student Advisory program will be among the top priorities of our work next year.

We also have several curriculum areas that are, or have, undergone the Curriculum and Assessment Committee review. Math, Science and Social Studies have, within the last two years completed their review and recommended to the district changes in what we teach and when. English/Language Arts will be “on the hot seat” for the coming year. This, too, will be among out top priorities for the coming year.

We would be fool hearty to think that we will not have to continue to be vigilant on the topic of bullying. The news has been full of lots of incidences of this behavior and the consuming public is raising their voices for us to respond. I would expect that there will be pieces of legislation coming from both Augusta and from Washington, D.C. that will place even greater responsibility upon us to act appropriately. We will make this a top priority.

Finally, but not really, the Common Core State Standards in math and ELA will consume copious amounts of our time in the next few years. Together with the Science Frameworks, these will try our patience, but also will need to be examined.

End of the Year Memories

I know that we have several field trips going out over the last few days of school and that lots of photos and videos will be shot. In this blog post from Joyce Valenza, a school librarian, she offers several ways to capture those special moments. Check it out for your end of the year field trips.

Worst Things to Say

Mindful that teachers often face lots of end-of-year stress, ‘Get in the Fracas’ blogger Dan Brown shares the “5 Worst Things a Teacher Can Say to Students.”  Reading over Brown’s list reminds us that a teacher’s words may undermine learning goals, and sarcasm can cause deep wounds. In the comments, readers have added their own phrases to avoid. Some also question #4 on his list. See what you think.

Activities Calendar

Remember to continue to check in on the First Class site for updates to the activities calendar. Please check to see that your field trip is listed on the correct date. If you activity is not on that calendar, we probably don’t know about it yet, which means that buses may not be ordered, the Nurse isn’t aware and the cafeteria doesn’t know. So, please check to see that it is listed.

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