News from TMS
June Newsletter 2022
From the Principal's Desk
Hello Viking Families,
It is with bittersweet emotions that I write to you today. As some of you may have heard I will be switching positions from Torrington Middle School Principal to Torrington High School Principal. While I do look forward to the opportunities and challenges that this new position will bring I will also miss our TMS community. Together we made it through an unprecedented period in education these past two years. I do look forward to working with our students again when they come to the high school and continuing to work with them moving forward. We are rapidly closing in on the end of this year and I hope that all of you are looking forward to summer days and plans. Have a wonderful summer break and I will see many of you in a new place next fall.
Brian Scott, Principal
Hello TMS families! We have reached the end of the school year! The language arts department would like to send a very special THANK YOU to all of the students and their families for putting effort into preparing for the SBA test! We are proud of you!
8th grade is reading Soldier Boys with a focus on characterization and narrative perspective. This novel juxtaposes the World War II experiences of two soldiers: one an American and the other, a German. Students will take their final STAR test in early June. We will be looking for individual growth from Fall STAR test results.
7th grade is wrapping up their first novel in the dystopian unit. Students are analyzing what factors create a dystopia and how the author uses real world characteristics of society to make it more realistic and relatable. 7th grade students have also just finished their SBA and STAR tests for the year. Through a series of short stories we will continue to analyze and collaborate on dystopias, make real world connections, explore individuality and community and look at cause and effect.
From teen activism to following, “A Path to Dreams,” students in 6th grade classes have been immersed in researching a variety of topics. Students have chosen to read about topics that they are interested in. Research shows that choice in the classroom has been linked to increased effort and engagement.
In order to encourage reading over the summer, it is important for students to have access to books and reading material that is interesting to them. The Torrington Public Library is a great place to visit over the summer! Wishing all of our TMS families a safe, fun-filled summer!
Sixth grade students are ending the year learning how to write and graph inequalities. Then the focus will be on how to justify, interpret, and represent data. They will learn how to read and create dot plots, histograms, bar graphs and box plots.
Seventh grade math students will complete Unit 6 by learning about inequalities. Our next unit on geometry will finish out the school year.
Eighth grade students just finished up a unit on the Pythagorean theorem and began a new unit on exponents and scientific notation. They will learn that there is a more efficient way to represent very large or very small numbers. They will discuss where they will see these numbers in the future and what careers might deal with such numbers.
Trimester WINN Math classes have completed the design process for their carnival games and will start to assemble them this week.
Algebra 1 students have their final exam on Thursday, June 16th. They just completed a unit on exponent rules and exponential functions. Students are currently working on multiplying polynomials and factoring. When multiplying polynomials, they must use their knowledge of exponents rules and know how to combine like terms to simplify the expression. As always, students are able to practice their Algebra skills on their school Khan Academy account and view the helpful resources on Google Classroom.
All math students will be taking their final STAR math assessment on June 2nd and 3rd. The results will be available before the end of the school year. Please contact your child’s math teacher if you need more information or have any questions.
Currently, sixth grade science students are learning about the natural causes, as well as human impact on global warming. They will then explore how climate changes impact organisms. Our sixth graders will end the year investigating the ways we can reduce human impact on the environment.
Our seventh graders just finished their Explanatory Models illustrating what is happening at a Contaminated Recreation Area, applying all of the learning from our Ecosystem unit so far. Next, they will be starting a Yellowstone National Park Wolves Project that will continue through to the end of the school year.
In 8th grade science, students have explored the properties of waves and looked closely at light and sound. They finish the unit by exploring how waves are utilized in our current technology using analog and digital signals. This is in an effort to understand how smartphones work. Students will be creating explanatory models to demonstrate how a "Snap" gets recorded and sent to someone else.
The sixth grade social studies classes are finishing up our unit on the Byzantine Empire. The students worked in pairs to create posters to display what they learned about the empire. We are about to begin our final unit of study on Latin America. The students will explore the geography, culture and economy of Latin America. They will also learn about the Native American tribes of Latin America.
Seventh graders will demonstrate their learning this year by preparing and presenting their “Leadership Projects”. Students were able to select the leader of their choice and use the 5 Traits of an Effective Leader to answer the question: “How did my leader impact the world?” For three weeks, students will use the skills they practiced all year in various lessons by finding and evaluating resources, reading for information, determining primary and secondary sources, organizing research, writing a thesis, supporting their thesis with evidence, and composing paragraphs that explain their findings. Mini-lessons, graphic organizers and resources will be provided to help each 7th Grade World Regional Geography student be successful with our end-of-the-year Leadership Project.
The big news to report for June was 169 students attending the Washington D.C. field trip! The students will now be studying the Civil War and begin to explore the Reconstruction Period. Students will be presenting a lesson to their class within this unit.
Extended Core Curriculum Corner
We all have faced many challenges during this school year. We all have had our ups and downs. Life is not perfect, but it is the life we have! The year began with us all wearing masks. This was an enormous challenge for all of us as we began to move our precious bodies.We explored various ways to work together with each other. This was one of our most challenging tasks of the year. The PE staff instituted core values to be experienced in the gymnasium. This was our focus during the year. The social/relational aspect of our lives needs continual growth. This included our verbal and non-verbal communication skills. We learned how to read the facial expressions behind those masks. This was very important as we progressed to the lifting of the mask mandate in our schools. Remember, school is a process of learning and not a final destination. Did you realize that most people spend at least 13 years in school and those impressionable years have an impact on 75% of our lives outside of school. How have you invested your time this year?
This year has definitely flown by and it is hard to believe that the last day of school is quickly approaching! As the third trimester comes to a close, we continue to use the online program iReady, as well as one-on-one instruction to help our students make mathematical gains. We strongly encourage students to continue practicing math skills and concepts throughout the summer so that they are better prepared for the next school year. Thank you for your support at home. It has been wonderful working with your children and watching them gain not only mastery, but also confidence in their math abilities. Their persistence and perseverance are commendable!
The ESL/Bilingual department had our annual Release of the Butterflies on Friday, May 27th. We study the life cycles of butterflies and praying mantises to learn about metamorphosis and incomplete metamorphosis. The caterpillars (larval stage) of the butterflies and the praying mantis egg sac (ootheca) came in April. We got to see first hand as the caterpillars ate and grew and eventually attached themselves to the top of the cups to become chrysalids. Then we got to see the adult butterflies emerge about ten days later. There were about 60-70 praying mantis nymphs that emerged from the ootheca. Our timing was a bit off this year, so the mantis nymphs were released in my garden. It was nice to share the butterfly release with the students. We spend a lot of time on the vocabulary in Spanish and English so the students learn to recognize cognates, the words that are similar in both languages.
El departamento de ESL/Bilingüe tuvo nuestro lanzamiento anual de mariposas el viernes 27 de mayo. Estudiamos los ciclos de vida de las mariposas y las mantis religiosas para aprender sobre la metamorfosis y la metamorfosis incompleta. Las orugas (etapa de larva) de las mariposas y el saco de huevos de la mantis religiosa (ooteca) llegaron en abril. Pudimos ver de primera mano cómo las orugas comían y crecían y finalmente se adherían a la parte superior de las copas para convertirse en crisálidas. Luego pudimos ver emerger las mariposas adultas unos diez días después. Había alrededor de 60-70 ninfas de mantis religiosa que emergieron de la ooteca. Nuestro tiempo estuvo un poco fuera de lugar este año, por lo que las ninfas mantis fueron liberadas en mi jardín. Fue agradable compartir la liberación de mariposas con los estudiantes. Dedicamos mucho tiempo al vocabulario en español e inglés para que los estudiantes aprendan a reconocer cognados, las palabras que son similares en ambos idiomas.
The TMS Band returned to the Memorial Day Parade for the first time since 2019- working on the basics of marching and memorizing music. Along the way, the TMS Band won the Mayor's Choice Award at the parade!
End of Year Activities!
ELL Bilingual Speaker Series
In May, the English Language Learning (ELL) department organized a Bilingual Speaker Series. We invited five English-Spanish professionals from the Torrington community to come and speak with our bilingual students. We welcomed:
Luis Gonzalez, Translator/Interpreter at TMS
Judy Batista, Clerk for Torrington Probate Court
Lian Sheppard, U.S. Air Force Member
Maria Gonzalez, Manager of New Opportunities, Inc. of Greater Torrington
Talia Castro, Administrative Assistant at New Opportunities, Inc. of Greater Torrington
This was an excellent opportunity for our students to hear about the experience of other bilinguals, learn how their bilingualism shaped their professional lives, and receive some life advice!
We are pleased to announce that two student leaders are recipients of this year’s National Junior Honor Society Outstanding Achievement Award!
Alina Lopez and Annabel O'Marra
Congratulations to these 8th graders on this recognition!