The Tiger Tribune

November 2019: HMS Marking Period 1

Principal's Message

HMS Parents/Guardians,

Marking Period 1 has been an amazing time for learning and discovery. We have covered tremendous ground in transitioning 78.2% of students to a new academic setting. It seems like just yesterday that we first met at the showcase of excellence.

For the month of September, HMS participated in the Read-Believe-Achieve reading incentive. In total, the school logged over 52,600 minutes of extracurricular reading. This achievement was both locally and nationally recognized. Most importantly, Eric’s visit taught staff and students the importance of resilience, determination and self-confidence.

Five students from HMS took part in the STEAM Tank competition where they brainstormed, developed, and presented their concept of “Bag in a Box”. This idea was created to reduce the level of plastic bag waste within our city. Our students did an incredible job and advanced to the state competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I am proud each day to witness student-centered learning and critical thinking skills applied in every content area. In ELA, students enjoyed their first core novels and the powerful messages which they so vividly delivered. In Math and Science, students enjoyed hands-on lessons and activities that provided an array of strategies to solve complex equations.

The HMS Community Book Club has been a terrific success. In total, the program services 130 families. I’d like to express my sincerest appreciation to the Hoboken Public Education Foundation for their generous funding of our program.

Passport to learning featured activities unrivaled by any other middle school in the country including Golf, Tennis, Road Runners and Rock Climbing. The program is one that truly separates Hoboken from any other district.

Our Math-infused Cardio Club program currently boasts over 20% of the student population and it continues to grow. Students enjoy rigorous, yet enjoyable fitness sessions before school that undoubtedly enhance the quality of their academic day.

Last, but certainly not least our school PTO has become a powerful school resource. We currently have (30) dedicated members that have worked diligently to bridge the gap between home & school. We thank them for their efforts and participation towards the Back to School BBQ, Read-Believe-Achieve reading incentive, and Mindfulness Yoga Event. Each of these events has played a major role in facilitating a positive school community.

Thank you for your continued support.

Dr. Harold Abraham

Hoboken Middle School


Classroom Highlights: English Language Arts

7th and 8th grade English classes have spent the first marking period traveling to Dystopian societies. 7th grade students have been reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Mrs. Taglieri, Ms. Rozmester, Ms. Painter, Ms. Flora, and Mrs. Dickerson's classes have been been analyzing figurative language, theme and symbolism in the novel. Students have demonstrated their understanding of these literary devices through annotations and night writes.

Meanwhile in the 8th grade, Ms. Painter, Ms. Goodwin, and Ms. Falcone's classes wrapped up The Giver by Lois Lowry. Throughout the marking period, students focused on the main ideas of identity, ignorance, and conformity through night writes and fishbowl discussions. At the end of the unit, 8th grade students composed their Performance Based Assessments; the culminating assignment for the novel. Students utilized their time during Writer's Workshop to draft, peer-review, and revise their PBA's in an effort to perfect their craft.

In the last week of the marking period, 8th grade ELA began there unit on Lord of The Flies by William Golding. In anticipation for this novel, students were put on stranded islands and created survival maps. Through this exercise, students were able to infer the main ideas of the novel: survival, leadership, power, and good vs. evil in their night writes and fishbowl discussions. Students are very much looking forward to diving into Lord of the Flies!

Classroom Highlights: Social Studies

Students in 6th-8th grade have been thoroughly engaged in the Social Studies curriculum. Ms. Anderson, Ms. Koerner, and Ms. Loughlin's students have been learning to communicate their opinions along with supported evidence through Fishbowl discussions and debate. Students have been utilizing skills, such as close reading and annotating as well. In addition, students have been keeping up with current events through resources, such as CNN 10 and Newsela.

Classroom Highlights: Science

Throughout the first marking period, students have been working diligently in groups to explore how to use the scientific method effectively. The engineering groups were given the task of creating a paper structure that could hold the weight of six textbooks. The structure only could be created using four sheets of paper, and were not able to be held together by any outside fastening materials such tape, glue, staples, etc. The structures also had to be six inches in height. All groups worked hard to collaborate and never gave up. They were able to work through testing failures, and eventually accomplish what they thought was impossible. All classes have done an amazing job, and have shown excitement for future engineering projects.

Students in 7th grade spent the first marking period with a focus on identifying parts of a microscope in their Science classes. In addition, students were engaged in learning about the dichotomous key and binomial nomenclature. Students had the opportunity to venture to Church Square Park to collect leaves, and examine them; combining their knowledge of the microscope and scientific content.

Classroom Highlights: Math

This marking period, students in 6th grade learned about factors, multiples, exponents, ratios and unit rates through the Connected Math Series. Students worked through various investigations and strategies to enhance their math skills. Classes used a variety of resources to master these skills through Kahoot, solving problems on whiteboards and utilizing online resources, such as Khan Academy.

One of the activities that students enjoyed the most in Mr. Zayas' class was playing the "Product Game." Using concepts taught thus far, students were paired up and they played against each other. Students enjoyed this activity and they always when they could play it again.

Halloween at HMS

Students at HMS celebrated Halloween several ways on October 31st! In ELA, students read short stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe. Students focused on analyzing the mood of Poe's works, specifically The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and "The Raven." In addition, students participated in a 'brain break' by dancing to the hit, Thriller. Both students and staff had some creative costumes and it was an overall, fun and exciting day!

Personal Growth Period

Photography: Students in Mrs. Taglieri's Photography PGP were assigned to take pictures of objects and shapes around Hoboken that resemble letters. Within their selection of objects they needed to include the skills of focus and lighting while taking the pictures. The end result will be to create a Google slide show to present to the class and school.

Introduction to Robotics & Engineering: In Mrs. Gennarelli-Lyons' Engineering PGP, students worked in small groups to design and build bridges out toothpicks. Students used the design process to sketch scale models of their bridges and made revisions as necessary. As a culminating assignment, students tested the bridges using weights. Students were enthusiastic throughout the design process and even mentioned how they want to architects or engineers when they grow up!

Student Council: Students in Ms. Loughlin and Ms. Falcone's Student Council PGP's focused on promoting a positive mindset throughout Hoboken Middle School. Both groups created bulletin boards titled, "Take What You Need." The objective with this project was to provide students with motivational quotes to help them in different areas in which they feel need a little pick me up!

Passport to Learning

Hoboken Middle School offers Passport to Learning in an effort for students to enjoy their areas of interests and learn new skills. Throughout the fall rotation, students had the opportunity to participate in kickboxing, oil painting, golf, coding, tennis, rock climbing, and open gym.

Passport to Learning also offers a study hall period for students to complete homework and study for upcoming tests.

Any questions or concerns regarding Passport to Learning, please contact Ms. Fasolino (