November 15 – Teacher Workshop Day
November 20 – Lock Down Drill at 10:00 am
November 22 – School Dance Sponsored by the 6th Grade
November 27 -29 – Thanksgiving Break
December 3 – Leadership Team Meeting 2:30 in Melanie’s Room
December 4 – Faculty Meeting Library, 2:30 – 4:00 Food provided by 8th Grade
December 11 – Early Release Day
December 13 – School Dance Sponsored by the 8th Grade
December 17 – Leadership Team Meeting
December 18 – Faculty Meeting food provided by Allied Arts
Please check the calendar and the duty schedule to make sure that all duties are covered. I also think that it is that time of the school year where our students have become very familiar with routines and yet, feel that there are certain liberties that can be taken. Liberties such as going to visit their former teachers during advisory time in the morning or those who are playing a team sport leaving their classrooms when the buses are called.
We need to tighten up a bit with all of the “little things” that we expected back at the beginning of the year. Please make sure that your students sign out and sign in to your classrooms when they go to use the restrooms, making sure that dates and times are legible. Please don’t let your kids leave your room to wander, unless that is part of the day’s lesson.
Lock Down Drill
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the security of our building, we will be holding a “managed” Lock Drown drill on Wednesday morning, November 20 at 10:00 am. We will use this time to also check on our communications systems with outside services to our first responders, so the alarm will sound and a voice will give instructions for all to follow.
If you have any questions about what you need to do, please see me.
Teacher Workshop Day
Friday, November 15 will be a Teacher Workshop day. We have several activities planned that focus on the Standards work that we must do in each of the content areas. The schedule will be as follows:
8:00 – 10:00 Content area work
Science – Will continue to work on NGSS alignment – Mike’s Room
Math – Review and analysis of Common Core Work – Mel’s Room
ELA – Common Core work looking at text complexity – Jane’s Room
Social Studies – Review of the New Social Studies Standards – Rick’s Room
Modern and Classical Languages – Standards alignment Kelly’s Room
Health and PE – Unit work – Martha’s Room
Visual and Performing Arts – Standards Alignment – Tracy’s Room
10:00 – 12:00 Collaborative Learning – Library
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch on your own
1:00 – 2:30 More Collaborative Learning
Paper Use at GMS
For some unknown reason, we are using far more paper this year than we have in years past. We cannot sustain the level of use for the entire year, at some point (probably early May) we will run out of paper. Please help us and your students consume less. It not only save us money for more important things that we need, it is being very ecologically responsible.
We have had some ideas passed on to us to help stem the tide of waste of paper and we are exploring them. We will pick up the pace of our exploration between now and Christmas Break to see if we can begin to implement some changes that will conserve our resources.
If you have ideas, please pass them along to the office.
Proficiency Based Learning
You have heard us talk many times about the changes that will be coming to how schools will be awarding diplomas and what the impact will be for middle schools. The law, L.D.1422; An Act to Prepare Maine People for the Future Economy, is a wide reaching attempt to bring Maine schools to a Standard Based Model of teaching and learning. While we may initially think that this law is intended only for high schools, when you really think about it, it will have a demonstrable cascading effect on all grades.
School districts across the state are working diligently to, first understand the ramifications of the law and second, what will be required of each district to comply. We are no different! Over the course of the next year, or so, we will be putting forth our plan to comply with the law. I do, however, think that we are very well situated because of all the work that e have done in the past on Standard Based Teaching and Learning, that our load will be considerably lighter than many other schools.
I will keep you all informed in our progress.
The good folks at MLTI have announced the most current Professional Development schedule for November and December. The part that I like best about these Professional development opportunities is that they are free to us. The second best part is that they are geared to what we need in our classrooms and what we can bring back immediately and implement. They will also provide support beyond the workshop to help overcome some of the challenges faced while you are implementing.
If you want more information about the workshops, dates, times and locations, please check out the MLTI Link.
Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale
It is that time again, the people at Scholastic Books Warehouse open their doors to teachers and offer many of their titles at a greatly reduced rate. Plus, if you sign up online, you will receive a coupon for an extra $10 to $25 off the total purchase price.
For the dates and times and to download your coupon visit Scholastic Books.