Around the Courtyard

June 2016

Williams Middle School

Taylor P. Wrye, Principal

Jean Fontaine, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events


31 - Grade 6 Music Concert @ 7


1 - 7/8 Band Concert @ 7

3 - Field Day

6 - 8th Grade LPVEC Field Trip

8 - WMS Jazz Orchestra Tour

10 - Career Day

13 - Boston Science Museum Weather Presentation - Grade 6

13 - 7/8 Chours Concert @ 7

14 - Step Up Day for Incoming 6th grade students

15 - 6th Grade Field Trip to Interskate 91

15 - Incoming 6th Grader Parent Night @ 6:30

17 - 8th grade picnic at Bliss Park

20 - 8th grade Graduation @ 6:00 in LHS Auditorium.

20 - 8th grade dance - 7:00 - 9:00

21 - Last Day of School - Early Dismissal


29- First Day of School

The Principal's Desk

Hello Williams Community,

There are only a few weeks left in the school year but there is so much going on at Williams! We just completed our MCAS testing and are beginning the exciting stretch of field days, concerts and many end-of-the-year events and activities. Our eighth grade students are finishing strong and preparing for their move to the high school. We are also looking ahead to next year at Williams and getting student information loaded and ready for a summer of scheduling and course building. A new group of sixth graders will be welcomed soon, and we are looking forward to meeting them on the morning of June 14th during Move Up Day. I am very excited to meet parents of our incoming 6th grade students on the evening of June 15th at 6:30 PM at 6th Grade Parent Night. I hope to see all of you there! Please be sure to check the calendar of events on our website for important upcoming dates.

As we wrap up the year, I consider myself extremely fortunate to be working in a community where education is valued. The support Williams receives on a regular basis is unparalleled, and I continue to feel privileged to come to Williams each day. Thank you all for your continued support of a strong and engaging education. I look forward to seeing everyone on August 29th for the first day of school.


Taylor Wrye
6th Grade Summer Reading List

This list is for students entering 6th grade in the fall.

7th Grade Summer Reading List

This list is for students entering 7th grade in the fall.

8th Grade Summer Reading List

This list is for students entering 8th grade in the fall.

LHS 9th Grade Summer Reading List

This list is for students entering LHS in the fall.

Notes from the Nurse

This is a reminder for 6th grade parents whose children who will be entering 7th grade in the fall:

Please make sure your child is ready to enter 7th grade in August 2016. DPH regulations state that all 7th graders must have a Tdap immunization, 2 doses of Varicella vaccine and 2 doses of MMR vaccine by the first day of school in August 2016. An up to date physical is also requested for all 7th graders. This means that physicals dated before September 2015 are not current and need to be updated. If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 565-4260. Thank you.

I hope you all have a happy fun and safe summer!!

Liz Gartman, RN

Lost & Found

Please check out the lost and found table in the lobby before the end of the school year. Items left behind will be donated to the local clothing banks.

Field Day

Field Day is Friday, June 3rd. Students have already begun meeting with their teams during advisory, led by the 8th grade captains. T-shirts have been distributed. There are a few extras available on a first come- first serve basis. Contact Mr Leahy if your child still needs a shirt.

WMS 7:45 Ensemble - Star Spangled Banner at Fenway Park

Grade 6

Social Studies

What a busy year it has been! The sixth graders have gone from studying early humans all the way to the Ancient Greeks. Next up is Rome. The students will learn the advantages of Rome’s location, the features of its government, and why Rome fought wars to expand its territory. They will also learn about many of the influential people such as Julius Caesar and Augustus. Please remind your children to study their vocabulary by using Quizlet.


We’ve been working hard connecting the concepts we’re learning in class to the novels we’re reading. Students continue to develop their vocabulary and utilize critical thinking skills to understand the plot of the text. In extension, we’ll work on grammatical concepts like using quotation marks correctly, study the parts of speech, and read a choice biography. They should be commended for their efforts during the three days of MCAS testing.


Students kicked off the Weather unit by watching demonstrations to show that oxygen and carbon dioxide are present in our atmosphere even though they can’t be seen. They also learned how to properly fill in a lab report. Working cooperatively, they developed layers of the atmosphere songs. Finally, we are continuing to use the science tech book to enrich our curriculum.


The students worked hard to prepare for the math MCAS and it is safe to say that we are all happy to be done with it until next year! We are ending the year discussing statistics and data analysis. Statistics is the science of learning from data. As a field of study, it focuses on the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data, as well as the effective communication and presentation of results. Statistics lies at the very center of all disciplines, such as medicine, the sciences, and even education.

Grade 7

Social Studies

The 7th graders have learned about people and places all over the world this year in geography. Our unit on Africa examined the variety of cultures from this vast continent, as well as the many challenges facing the peoples of Africa today. Our unit on Asia paid special attention to India and China as the two most populous countries on Earth, as well as being economic powerhouses in the 21st century. We are ending the school year looking at Europe, including a case study on World War II and Holocaust.


7.1: Mrs. Bradshaw

In Mrs. Bradshaw’s 7.1 class the students are working on line angle relationships and continuing to explore geometry. Students will look at transformations including rotations and reflections. We will finish our year off with more geometry working on volume of 3D figures. Students will review their skills using IXL.

7.2: Mrs. Bradshaw

Mrs. Bradshaw’s 7.2 math class is currently exploring functions, equations and graphing. We will continue to look at slope and finally round out our year with line angle relationships and geometry. The students are also

practicing their skills with IXL. Encourage your child to review math throughout the summer with IXL.

7.2: Mrs. Lawson

MCAS tests have been completed!! Mrs. Lawson’s classes have finished up geometry by exploring polygons and the formula to find the interior measures of the angles. Next will explore functions, function tables and constant rate of change, which will lead into slope. A great summer activity to keep those math skills fresh is logging into IXL. The student’s usernames and passwords should work throughout the summer months.
Math Summer Learning with IXL

We’ve used IXL to reinforce our curriculum this year, and your child will continue to have free access to the online program over the summer. IXL is a fun way for your child to maintain the skills he or she has worked hard to learn!


We are continuing to watch the growth of our Brassica raps plants for our month long lab as they are coming to the end of their life cycle. Students will begin to harvest the seeds from their seed pods which is always a great natural competition for who ends up with the most! As we mentioned previously, the students enjoy caring for these plants every day and the content goes along with our Bacteria to Plants material.


7th grade French - We are finishing up a year of learning new vocabulary and grammar. Students, who have come from just saying "Hello!", are now writing short paragraphs. A very productive year!


Grade 7 Spanish students are learning to tell time, ask questions and talk about their school day. They have been using Quizlet Live and Kahoot, which are interactive games, to help practice their knowledge while competing against their classmates.


In both Mrs. Cangemi and Ms. Cottam’s classes the seventh grade students have been very busy this year developing their skills as readers and writers. As readers, the students have developed close reading skills to become strategic readers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. By modeling the work of professional writers, the students have become skilled as writers as well. With narrative writing, students have used a variety of techniques to write stories that develop plot and theme while keeping their readers engaged. In their informational writing, they have learned to develop a thesis using evidence to support and validate their ideas. Additionally, the students’ choice reading has given them the opportunity to explore all kinds of genres and topics!

Grade 8


Students are finishing up the Physics unit with the racers they designed using simple materials. We will be discussing seasons, moon phases, electromagnetic radiation and galaxies. As part of this unit, students will watch "If We Had No Moon" which was kindly purchased by PAC. Thank you!

U.S. History

Our 8th graders have covered 100 years of American history over the last year, from the American Revolution to the Industrial Revolution and the Constitution to reform movements. We finished exploring the causes of the Civil War - specific events and "big idea" causes – last month, and now we are looking at the war itself. Many 8th grade students were able to see the history they have studied come to life on the Philadelphia/Gettysburg trip last week. We will end the year linking post-Civil War society to the Civil Rights Movement.


Mrs. Aveyard's ELA classes are reading Killer Angels to support social studies and their Civil War studies. We will be finishing the year with students choosing their own novels to read, using the buddy book system which incorporates small group discussion.


Mrs. Lawson’s Pre-Algebra:

MCAS tests have been completed!! Our classes finished up geometry with a bang. We are now focused on completing our last few chapters. The first chapter is on scatter plots and lines of best fit. Next we will explore probability with lots of fun hands on activities to finish off the year. The students will create board games to connect the concepts to real world applications. A great summer activity to keep those math skills fresh is logging into IXL. The student’s usernames and passwords should work throughout the summer months.

Mr. Scanlan-Emigh’s Pre-Algebra:

The last part of the year is about bringing together everything we’ve learned this year. Lines of best fit give us a real-world use for equations of straight lines as we make predictions based on data and judge how reliable those predictions are. We’re in the middle of an engaging unit on probability, where we figure out how many ways there are to toss combinations of coins and dice, and which games are fair and why. Keep your skills sharp over the summer with IXL! Recommended topics: fractions, linear equations, linear functions, exponents.


In Algebra we continue to add to our list of different types of equations - earlier in the year we examined linear, exponential, and quadratic equations (straight lines, population growth, objects in motion). We’ve finished up quadratic equations knowing how to change the shapes of graphs and are applying that to square root and rational equations, which relate to objects in motion and averages. We are also working on related arithmetic rules built on earlier work with exponents and fractions. If you want to keep your skills sharp over the summer, then linear equations and functions, systems of linear equations, quadratic equations and functions, and exponent rules are recommended.


8th grade French - We have just completed our "Tour Guide" projects. Every one of them was unique and interesting.
Students going on in French have a good basis to be successful in high school.


Grade 8 students and a few teachers enjoyed a Mexican lunch at nearby Acapulcos Restaurant in Enfield. Students sampled enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, and churros for dessert. A few students tried flan, a typical Mexican dessert made of caramel custard. The lunch was a nice way to end the unit on food and ordering in a restaurant. We will finish the year by learning how to make purchases and bargain in a Mexican marketplace.

Related Arts

Math Lab

This was an amazing year! Our curriculum aligned with the core math classes to assist all individuals with current concepts they are learning. Students also use the Ascend Math program to practice foundational skills. For a second year Williams and Glenbrook were named Ascend Math Gold Medal Schools. Our students achieved this award for all of their hard work and dedication. We are currently participating in the St. Jude Math-a-thon and working hard on completing grade level math problems while raising money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Have a great summer and continue practicing math skills on IXL and Ascend Math during your summer vacation!

Literacy Lab

The countdown begins and with it thoughts of summer vacations, lazy days and no homework are close behind. My hope is, that in between baseball games, summer camps and video games, your students will find a book that they can’t put down this summer. It is so important to maintain a reading routine during the summer to prevent the summer “slide.” I know that your students will have required reading for school next year, but if they can find any reading that they can do for pure fun that would be great. It is my goal to help your students not only want to read, but to enjoy reading. Some great ways to start might be DIY books and cookbooks if your child is interested in building or creating something. Magazines provide another great source of reading because they aren’t perceived as “reading” because we don’t usually ask our students to respond to questions. Don’t forget that listening to books on tape while reading along with the book is another great way to keep students reading over the break. Lastly, talking about whatever your student is reading is a great way to engage them in reading and get them to think about the text.

Finally, I would like to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the Literacy Lab this year and am looking forward to great things next school year. Your students are energetic, curious and conscientious and it is my pleasure to work with them in the lab. Lastly, I want to wish your rising 9th graders much success in the high school. They will represent Williams Middle School well. Have a great summer!

Music Notes

For 6th and 7th grade students signing up for classes next year, it is NOT too late to sign for Men's and Women's Chorus. See Mr. Smith or Mrs. Morrissey to be added into what promises to be a fun and musical experience!

Here is a breakdown of the after-school rehearsal schedule for Men's and Women's Choruses:

Men's Chorus

Tuesday, May 31(2:55-3:20)

Tuesday, June 7 (2:55-3:10)

Women's Chorus

Wednesday, June 1 (7:45-8:20 am)

Thursday, June 2 (2:55-3:20)

Thursday, June 9 (2:55-3:20)

The extra Women's Chorus rehearsal is due to our missing 4 of the last 5 in-school classes (events out of our control like MCAS and Field Day).


Grade 6: May 31st, 7:00 at Williams

Grade 7/8 Instrumental: June 1st, 7:00 at Williams

Grade 7/8 Choral: June 13th, 7:00 at Williams


Studies show that learning to code allows students with learning disabilities to shine! Interesting article by the Huffington Post.

Pencil code

Learn professional programming languages using an editor that lets you work in either blocks or text. Create art, music, games, and stories. Or invent a program that will change the world. This is an open source site.

Snapchat interesting facts:

6th-8th: Students are finalizing their portfolios and finishing up all projects for the year. They have been working hard to think critically about the information they include in their projects. Learning how to communicate and collaborate online safely has been a large part of our curriculum while utilizing Google Drive and Google Classroom.


Third trimester is wrapping up for all grade levels. The 8th graders have just finished learning about the circulatory system and will be moving on to the nervous system and how drugs and alcohol alter the body. The 7th graders just completed a unit on nutrition and are presently learning about the digestive system. Thier next unit will be on the immune system along with communicable and noncommunicable diseases. The 6th graders are exploring the respiratory system and will learn about the effects of tobacco on the body in the next unit. It has been a wonderful year in Health!!!

Visual Arts

The Grade 8 students are completing their paper mache’ sculptures. They are also working on animation projects using laptop computers and Power Point.
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All the bands are preparing for our final spring concert! It has been an amazing year of learning and musical growth.

Congratulations to these 8th graders who have successfully auditioned into the Longmeadow High School Honors Wind Ensemble.

Erica Li, flute

Megan Erwin, flute

Tommy He, oboe

Chris Hulbert, clarinet

Lachlan Berry, horn

Quinn McGrath, alto saxophone

Wynton Jarvinen, trumpet

Physical Education

Students are just wrapping up completing the FitnessGram for the spring semester. We had a couple of school records broken or tied this spring:

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We had some classes improve their class average for the mile but 1 minute and 30 seconds from their fall scores which is incredible. Overall, it was a very successful year like always with the kids pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to better themselves. Great job Williams!!


WMS Drama Club - The Hobbit

Thank you to 8th grader Ben Moss for filming and creating the following:
The Hobbit: A Tale of Middle Earth

Student Council News

The awesome group of students has been very busy lately. They planned and implemented a “Star Wars” day, and they collected boxes of items for our furry friends at Thomas J. O’Connor Adoption Center. At our next meeting, the students will make posters advertising our last hat day. It is scheduled for May 18th. We ask that everyone donate at least one dollar to benefit the Wally White Fund. Thanks for your support.

Math Counts

Math Counts:

This was a fun and successful year! This year we were recognized as a Silver Level Club and competed at the regional & state competition. Congratulations to all Math Counts members for their hard work. Math Counts will start up again in October. We will continue to meet every Friday after school. Enjoy your summer and I look forward to another great year!


The yearbook committee has completed its work for the year. The yearbook was submitted for publication April 30th and will be delivered to grade 8 students during the picnic June 17th, and to other students during advisory that same day. Thank you to all of the students for their hard work and dedication, in particular Julia Cardaropoli, Julia Cummings Lily Henshaw, Isabelle Lewis, and Alyssa Wright in grade 8; Shelby Carman and Erica Fontaine in grade 7. The committee spent many hours opening order envelopes, taking photos and working on the layout. Also thanks to photographers Matthew Harty in grade 6 and Katerina Sanchez-Farina in grade 7.

Jazz Band

The jazz band has done an outstanding job performing at the Grinspoon Award Ceremony and Longmeadow Days. Thank you for transporting your child to Glenbrook Middle School over the past two weeks for our combined rehearsals. The students sound fantastic and we can wait to perform on our annual Jazz/Orchestra Tour on June 8.

Longmeadow Summer Music

If your child would like to keep playing or singing in an ensemble over the summer, please join us for Longmeadow Summer Music! The LSM Orchestra, Chorus, Concert Band, and Jazz Band rehearse every day between July 11-15. Please visit this link for more information.