Off and Running…

Important Upcoming Dates

  • September 4 – GMS Open House 6:30 – 7:30 pm
  • September 5 – Faculty Meeting in the GMS Library 2:30 – 4:00 PM
    • Agenda will focus on debriefing the opening of school
    • Learning Teams Make up and Notebooks
    • School Dance Assignments
    • Other items
  • September 6 – Grade level Assemblies for grades 7 & 8 during EICAL Period/
  • September 10 & 11 – MLTI Parent Nights for parents of 7th & 8th Graders only.
  • September 12 – Leadership Team Meeting in Melanie’s Room 2:30 – 4:00.
  • September 13 – School Picture Day for students and staff. A scheduled will be published and distributed later this wee.
  • September 13 – Math and Social Studies Curriculum Committees will meet at the Central Office Please check with your Chairperson for exact times and agendas. We have secured half day subs for the members of these committees.
  • September 13 – ELA Common Core Committee will meet at 2:30. Where are securing a location and will let you know where later this week.
  • September 14 – School Dance sponsored by the Student Council 6:00 8:00 pm.
  • September 18 – ELA Curriculum Committee (not to be confused with ELA Common Core Committee) will meet at the Central Office from 12:30 – 3:00. We have secured hald day subs for those members.
  • September 19 – Faculty Meeting 2:30 – 4:00 pm.

Ideas for the 2012 Presidential Election

As a former Social Studies Teacher I used to love it when the Presidential Elections came around. I always figured there were several really good and engaging lesson to be had, and lessons that the kids would really get into. I do miss those days!

Over the next few weeks I will post anything that I find that pertains to the elections and the election process and how you can use it in your class… and not just for the Social Studies Teachers, I think there are some writing projects and math projects and, yes, even some science projects available. Also, lets not forget about how the arts play a huge role in getting a person elected.

Check out this site from the good folks at MiddleWeb.

Science Contest

I received an email from the good folks at S. W. Cole Engineering about their second annual Dig Into Science Contest. S.W.Cole Engineering Co does business in Maine and New Hampshire and this contest is only for schools in these two states and it is open to students in all grades. They offer 7 $1,000 prizes to the successful contestants. For more information check out their contest web site at S.W.Cole

Speaking of Contests

The people at Chewonki and  Poland Spring are joining forces to sponsor the Zero Waste Challenge for Maine Middle Schools. I know we do a lot of work with this already, with recycling of paper and cardboard, the geothermal system the school uses for heating and cooling and the work we have done to reduce our electricity consumption, but I am sure there is still much we can do. I would be looking for someone to help us help our students take on this challenge. If you are interested, please see me.

Gorham School Department and Gorham Middle School Take on Bullying

There has been much written, published and broadcast about the subject of bullying in America’s schools over the summer. I wish I could report that we are immune to this, but, unfortunately, we all know that we are not. That doesn’t mean that we throw up our hands in resignation!

Over the course of this year, there will be several opportunities for Professional Development on this subject and how we can best help our students and our community become better at handling bullying events when they occur.

I would like to put together a team of very interested faculty members to attend a workshop on November 30th (Friday) being offered through the Department of Education and Chuck Saufler, Safe Schools for All. I would like to have 4 or 5 folks who would like to delve into this project with the energy and commitment that will help us make our school safe for all of our kids. Please let me know if you’re interested.

So, What is 21st Century Learning?

We are now entering year 11 in the experiment called MLTI. It really is hard to believe that we have had one-to-one computing at the middle level all of this time, and we have come a “long way baby!”, haven’t we?

However we still have considerable debate about learning in the 21st Century. How much technology is too much? Our kids are so dependent on technology they have lost the necessary social skills to interact “off-line”. There is no replacement for taking pen to paper and writing a letter with complete sentences. These are all reasonable concerns for our future generations.

I came across this list of 9 characteristics of 21st Century Learning from TeachThought, a blog offering advice on technology and learning. These characteristics are interesting in that there is a noticeable lack of technology mentioned.

9 Characteristics Of 21st Century Learning

1. Learner-centered
2. Media-driven
(this doesn’t have to mean digital media)
3. Personalized
4. Transfer-by-Design
5. Visibly Relevant
6. Data-Rich
7. Adaptable
8. Interdependent
9. Diverse

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