Winthrop Middle School Newsletter

February 2019

Important Dates

  • Wednesday, March 6th - Early Release Day
  • Saturday, March 9th - Quiz Bowl Competition at Malden Catholic
  • Wednesday, March 13th - Term 3 Progress Reports Distributed
  • Thursday, March 14th - Full Court Frenzy (evening event)
  • Friday, April 5th - End of Term 3
  • April 5th through 7th - WMS Drama Spring Showcase
  • Friday, April 12th - Wellness Fair
  • April 15th through April 19th - April Vacation
  • Saturday, April 27th - Drama Fest

WMS MCAS Calendar

  • Wednesday, April 24th - 6th/7th/8th Grade ELA
  • Thursday, April 25th - 6th/7th/8th Grade ELA

  • Wednesday, May 15th - 6th/7th/8th Grade Math
  • Thursday, May 16th - 6th/7th/8th Grade Math

  • Tuesday, May 21st - 8th Grade Science
  • Wednesday, May 22nd - 8th Grade Science

Winthrop Public Schools Calendar

Follow WMS & WPS on Facebook!

It's a great way to see all the great things happening at Winthrop Middle School and Winthrop Public Schools.

WMS "Stands Up As One"

During school vacation, over thirty WMS students volunteered to serve lunch at the nursing home. Thank you to "Odyssey Grill" for providing the food.

We have such a great group of kids at Winthrop Middle School who continue to rally around each other to make a difference.

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Student Council Donates to WINARC & Mr. Honan

Student Council presented WINARC a check for $250 for the Special Olympics for Winthrop students. The check was presented to James Fabiano and Joey Guifre who also spoke to our students about the importance of including kids of all levels of competition especially those who are mentally or physically challenged.

Student Council donated $150 to Mr. Honan's Veterans Program. Student Council held a movie night and sold candy can grams to raise the money.

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WMS Crowns 6th Grader Piper Florio the Spelling Bee Champion!

Congratulations to Piper and all of the WMS Spelling Bee Finalists!

Grade 6 - Piper Florio, Samuel Winters, & Michelle Lencastre

Grade 7 - Astrid Moline (3rd place) & Muhammad Waqas

Grade 8 - Chris Raney & Christian Buonopane (2nd place)

*Big shout out to Mrs. Baxter & Ms. Gallagher for organizing such a great school wide event.

Students of the Quarter - Specials/Electives

Congratulations to the students who were recognized for the effort & achievement in their 2nd quarter specials/electives. This includes Physical Education, Drama, Spanish, Art, Music, STEM, and Instrumental/Band.

Grade 6:

Izi Hain, Sky Rodriguez, Svetlana Hetherton, Emily Walker, Dylan Sykes, Sophia Bocchio, Nick Cappuccio, & Hannah Gorman

Grade 7:

Emily Maddalone, Sam Dinh, Nadia Aldweib, Matt Desaulniers, Joe Cataldo, Carlos Aravena, & Sage Calinda

Grade 8:

Francesca Conner, Eric Mendoza, Nick Masello, Maha Fawzi, Manuela Correa, Lillygrace Mulligan, & John Rice

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Elks Students of the Month - December 2018

Every month, the Winthrop Lodge of Elks honors two students from each grade. The students chosen are those who show strong leadership, put forth a great effort, and demonstrate our core values "Stand Up As One". They set the example for others to follow and illustrate the promise of the young generation for the community and our nation. These students receive a certificate, bumper sticker, and a $25.00 gift card to Winthrop Book Depot.

Grade 6 Tigers - Mateus Oliveira & Lola Internicola

Grade 7 Falcons - Matthew DeSaulniers

Grade 7 Wolves - Robert Rich

Grade 8 Bruins - Hanna Essaouabi

Grade 8 Patriots - Lily Tallent

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Elks Students of the Month - January 2019

Grade 6 Lions - Matthew Reardon & Alexis MacElree

Grade 7 Falcons - Alessio Marcoccio

Grade 7 Wolves - John Tracy

Grade 8 Bruins - Nicholas Marchese

Grade 8 Patriots - Daniel Healey

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Chess Club

Chess Club students have begun their first tournament. Here's a look at our first round competition!
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February 2019 Activities Calendar

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Health & Wellness Update

What's your child learning about in their Health & Wellness class? Please click HERE to learn about the important topics that our students are engaging in. The curriculum presented is a key component in your child's social/emotional learning experience. It is recommended for parents to have follow up discussions at home because these topics are important life long lessons.

During the 2nd and 3rd term, students participate in their Health/Life Skills class one day in a six day cycle in addition to their Physical Education which is also one day in the cycle.

Music Update

Love songs filled the air in the Music Room on Valentines Day! All classes enjoyed our traditional Valentines Cake Walk that featured fun classic hits - all about love, of course!

Grade 6 Music students are exploring the elements of music in their quest to become musically literate. Activities include listening, singing, and playing percussion instruments. Students will be flashing back to the 1960’s this week, and will be listening to a suggested hit song from that decade. Let them know what your favorite 60’s song or artist is!

Grade 7 Music students are exploring the African roots of American popular music through spirituals and folk songs. Several students had the opportunity to showcase their talent for the class before winter vacation.

Grade 8 Music students have just selected their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees for their tribute project. They have enjoyed using our new headphones to get familiar with some classic recordings. Students will be learning and incorporating various tools on Google Slides that will help them creatively package and present their artist’s music and information.

Elvis Impersonator...Flashing Back to the 50’s!

Elvis Impersonator - flashing back to the 50’s!

Curriculum Updates


Grade 6 ELA students have begun reading the Newbery Honor book The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, in conjunction with their study of Ancient Egypt in Social Studies class. A unit on Figurative Language is taught simultaneously - focusing on identifying and using simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and personification. Work continues on helping students become more successful writers. All students are encouraged to do independent reading!

7th grade ELA classes have finished reading The Giver and are now working on summative assessments related to theme and beginning our narrative writing workshops.

8th grade ELA has been finishing up a five paragraph literary analysis on our most recent novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. After February Vacation, we will have a Socratic Seminar on Alexie’s novel and begin pre-reading activities for The Book Thief by Markus Zusack. Students will also be having their outside reading test for Quarter 3 on March 1st.


In second quarter, Grade 6 students learned to represent values as ratios and used ratios to solve real-life problems. Students used a variety of methods to solve problems including drawing tape diagrams, calculating unit rates, and converting standard & metric measurements. They continue to build their knowledge of ratios in third quarter by developing fluency in changing percent to fractions and decimals. They applied this experience to set up proportions to solve real-life problems using percent and part to whole reasoning. They will continue their study of percent by applying these skills to real-life situations like discount and sales tax.

At the end of Term 2, 7th grade students worked on calculating surface area of three-dimensional solids. They continued exploring solids at the start of term 3, learning to and reviewing the process of calculating volume. They took part in multiple station activities, where they practiced these concepts. Currently, students started a unit on statistics. In class, students discussed what makes a sample reasonable, a conclusion valid, and how to make inferences based on the results of a survey. Students also reviewed how to analyze data provided through a line plot and box and whisker plot. They will continue to explore the world of statistics throughout term 3.

8th Grade has started learning about Geometry. They are currently working on transformations and congruence of shapes. Students have learned to slide (translation), flip (reflection), and turn (rotation) different figures. After February vacation, we will then be looking at dilations and similarities of shapes. In grade 8 advanced math (algebra 1), we have been working on simplifying exponential and radical expressions. After February vacation, we will be looking at how to use exponential equations to predict growth and decay in finances, populations, elements, etc.


Grade 6 has started our unit on Force and Motion with a focus on automobile safety. Students will be experimenting with mass, speed, inertia, and braking distance to evaluate how these impact automobile safety. We will also be studying Newton’s Laws of Motion and how the understanding of these laws guide automobile safety.

In 7th grade science, students began January learning about the types of waves and how they change direction, as well as basic wave properties such as wavelength, frequency, amplitude and speed. They also made observations about the waves they created with slinkies to determine which has the highest and the lowest frequency. With this knowledge, students better understand waves and are a step closer to understanding how humans hear sound. At the end of January, students began learning that all living things are made of cells. Students created their own slides and viewed it under a microscope to look for evidence of plant cells (from onion) and animal cells (from human cheek). They also looked at a variety of other bacteria and animal cell slides.

The past month and a half of grade 8 science class has been devoted to finding out where we come from. Students have been learning the concepts that allow us to understand patterns of inheritance and heredity. Students have looked at and recorded the traits of various organisms (both real and hypothetical) to understand the connection between gene combinations and the traits that they express. Students have developed their comprehension of genetics through the use of various punnett squares and pedigree puzzles. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be transitioning into evolution.

Social Studies

The Jaguars and Lions are discovering the various pharaohs and deities of ancient Egypt. As part of the curriculum changes to social studies, the Tigers are researching the origins of Islam and its expansion during the Middle Ages.

7th grade geography students are currently learning about the political, physical, and human geography of Africa. Current topics include primary source work and research on African empires prior to and during the age of European colonization, and how that colonization changed the human and political geography of select countries in Africa.

8th Grade Civics students are learning about the processes and procedures of the Senate and House of Representatives. This includes the roles in each house, the committee process, the budget process and how a bill becomes a law.


Grade 6 is currently working on Unit 4 which includes days of the week, months of the year, how to tell and ask the time, and how to tell and ask the date. They completed cultural unit with much success as many kids presented their research on specific spanish speaking countries and cultural highlights.

Grade 7 is currently viewing and analyzing parts of the HBO documentary : The Latin Explosion: A New America. The purpose of this unit is to help provide information for students who often ask "why do we need to learn spanish." The documentary highlights some of the cultural changes that have occurred in the US over the past 50 years due to growing artistic, musical, and cultural influences. The students are engaging in questions and discussions around the topic.

Grade 8 has been working on the group project called "Walk in someone else's Shoes". The project required each group to seek out and research a crisis in a latin american country. The students had to research their topic and answer many key questions during class about their specific country. In addition, students had to present their research and create and argument for the importance of their crisis while suggesting solutions to help people who are currently dealing with that issue.


We are off to a creative start in art this quarter! Grade 6 classes have examined the artwork of M.C. Escher. Escher was a graphic artist known for his perspective drawings, optical illusions, interlocking shapes, and tessellations. Each student cut a unique shape to morph into a tessellated design. Grade 7 classes started perspective cityscape drawings. They are strategically using line to create a 3-dimensional illusion on a 2-dimensional surface. Architects and interior designers work with these types of drawings all of the time. Grade 8 classes looked at the illustrations in the Caldecott Award winning book The House in the Night and are marking line drawings on scratch paper to show the influence of the illustrator Beth Krommes.


6th Grade - Students are exploring setting and "Tableau" (frozen pictures on stage). As a class, we explored the different traits that separate one setting from another. We then created a fictional "Island" using these various setting traits. In small groups, students are imagining that they are a family going on vacation to the Island. They have to narrate what their family did and create "Tableau" that show what their family did.

7th Grade - As a class, we are defining and exploring "Soundscapes" (audio sounds from a specific setting). In groups, students are selecting locations and creating soundscapes that they will perform live for the class. Their "sounds" must be made either vocally or using props/their bodies. Students will also continue using "Projection," and "Diction" in their performances.

8th Grade - Students will be further exploring how "Production Teams" work by stepping into the roles of "Set Designers." In small groups students will read "Hansel and Gretel" and design their own version of the candy house. Using supplies provided, groups will then create set models of their designs.


Sixth Graders watched a film showing how dangerous a simple trip to school can be for some children. To reach their school, a group of students in Colombia take a thrilling ride on a zip line crossing a river valley and thick forests. Our students designed a zip line car that would safely deliver "Little Man" and his school books (from the top of the storage cabinet) to his school (the floor). This was the students' first introduction to the Engineering And Design Process.

Seventh graders are currently immersed in the Hydraulics And Pneumatics project. After learning about pressure devices, small groups conducted research and chose a device to build. A visit to the STEM Lab will let you see pneumatic hands, hydraulic claw machines, hydraulic cranes and so much more. The projects are coming out great!

Eighth graders have chosen partners and and are researching subjects for their Transportation Systems Poster Project. Transportation and communications systems are tested objectives on the Spring Science, Technology, and Engineering MCAS test. Students will present their research about how specific systems such as airlines, package delivery, and subways are organized and function.