J.M.S. News...

By Donald F. Gately, Ed. D - January 2016

Quote for the week of January 4:

"Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will." - Vernon Howard

Quotes for the Month of January:

January 11-15: "My philosophy is that doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." - Oprah Winfrey

January 18-22: "In the middle of difficulties lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein

January 25-29: "We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated." - Maya Angelou

Monthly SEL Theme for the Month of January: Cooperation (Tolerance & Brotherhood)

Brotherhood is the habit that reaches beyond comfortable relationships to extend a welcome to those who may be different. Brotherhood demonstrates the dynamics of Understanding, Tolerance, Sensitivity and Acceptance.

These dynamics are such powerful habits of the heart that even when only one person reaches out to do right, the impact can be life long.

I would like to share a beautiful and meaningful story entitled "Starfish."

"The Starfish Story"

There was a man who lived along the ocean. One morning, at about 5:00 a.m., when he could sleep no longer, he decided to take a walk along the beach. It was a foggy morning, and the first rays of the sun were slipping above the horizon. The man enjoyed the walk; it was as if the beach belonged to him. He glanced down on the beach and saw a figure that seemed to be dancing. He wondered why anyone would be on the beach so early; his curiosity caused him to quicken his pace. As he drew nearer, he realized that the figure was that of a young man, and he wasn't dancing --- he was throwing something into the water. As he drew very close, he realized that the young man was picking starfish off the beach and was tossing them back in the water.

"Why are you throwing starfish into the water?"

"The tide is going out, the sun is rising, and the starfish that are left on the beach will surely die." said the young man, continuing his task.

"But that's such a waster of time and energy! There are so many starfish, and there are miles and miles of beach. What difference does it make?"

The young man thought for a moment. He reached down to pick up a starfish and said, "It makes a difference... to this one."

As you can see, brotherhood, to be preserved, must be practiced and lived each and every day. A good community cannot exist without it.

Classroom News!


Team 6A participated in the Metric Olympics where they vied for the gold in demonstrating their understanding of the Metric System. They weighed to the nearest gram in the "Right Handed Marble Grab, " measured length in the "Paper Plate Disc Throw," and measured to the nearest milliliter in the "Right Handed Sponge Squeeze," to name a few.


Team 6B explored density by comparing cans of Coke and Diet Coke. We used water displacement to find the volume of each can and a triple beam balance to find each mass. Can you tell from the picture which has a greater density? Hint: Look for the sinking can!


Students were challenged to create a meal that author Michael Pollan, from the book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” would enjoy. Students created meals that were locally grown and not processed. Sample meals ranged from cauliflower grilled chicken pizza to fruit smoothies. Yum!


6D Revving up to read for the holidays!!


Team 6E presented their Ancient Egypt research projects. Students presented their findings using Google Slides. Each project was inquiry based and student driven. 6E had a great time researching and exploring the lives and culture of Ancient Egyptians

TEAM 7A & 7C:

On Wednesday, December 9th, Teams 7A and 7C had the privilege of meeting Linda Sue Park, the award winning author of A Long Walk to Water via Google Hangout. Having just read the book, the students eagerly asked many questions regarding the writing process and the true story of Salva Dut. We learned more about how the geography of Africa, as well as the civil war in Sudan, led to many challenges that seemed insurmountable. Through perseverance and bravery, Salva not only survived, but saved the lives of countless others through his charitable organization, Water for Sudan. This was a very informative and enlightening experience for the students and the teachers.


The students on Team 7B did a laboratory investigation by performing wall sits, an isometric muscle contraction, to help determine the athletes with the best leg strength. Pictured is Ryan, with textbook form on his wall sit. The team record was 36 minutes and the overall results of the experiment showed that soccer players appear to have superb quadriceps and biceps femoris muscles!


Students from Team 8A working hard on their research and creating their final projects for National History Day 2016.


“Using Differentiated Instruction to Engage Students”

Students on team 8B discussed solutions to systems of linear equations with the use of differentiated instruction. Students with strong bodily-kinesthetic intelligence use movement to develop and express concepts. This around the world activity gave them the opportunity to make sense of what a solution to a linear system looks like while enhancing their interpersonal intelligence.


Team 8C ELA students read John Steinbeck's The Pearl, a haunting novella about one man's intense desire to provide a better life for his family. Students completed a careful study of Steinbeck's use of imagery, symbolism, motif, and themes. Students then learned about the various components that make up a strong paragraph such as topic sentences, how to incorporate supporting quotations, and how to organize ideas and sentences through the use of appropriate transitional words and phrases. Students then paired up with a classmate to write a paragraph revolving around the careful reading and analysis of a single page of focus from The Pearl. Students completed most of the work in class using Chromebooks. They loved using Chromebooks!

Dates to Remember...


January 4 - Middle School Coat Drive Begins (Ends 1/29)

January 8 - Middle School Geography Bee

January 12 - 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Guidance Evening Hours - 7:00PM–9:00PM

Recognizing that other commitments often make it impossible for parents to find time to meet with counselors during the regular school day, we will continue a program of evening meetings this year. If you would like to meet with your child's counselor but are unable to do so during the school day, please call the counselor in order to schedule an evening appointment.

January 13 - Middle School PTSA Meeting & Incoming 7th and 8th Grade Parents Meeting - Middle School Library - 7:00PM


January 19 - Middle School Winter II Sports Season Begins

January 20 - Middle School Winter Band Concert - Sam Springer Gym - 7:30PM

January 25 - SEPTA College and Post-Secondary Night - Middle School Library - 7:00PM
January 29 - 2nd Marking Period Ends

Notes from the World Language Department...

The Middle School World Language Department wrapped up 2015 with parties to reflect upon our success with our annual service-learning project and to celebrate our class communities. We wish everyone at Jericho Middle School…

Felice anno! ¡Próspero año! Bonne anne! Xin nian kuai le! & Happy New Year!