November 5, 2013
From the Principal
I am incredibly honored and privileged to be part of this wonderful community and I look forward to sharing Unami happenings with you on a regular basis. Teams have a wide variety of activities planned, including two 7th grade assemblies dedicated to our theme of "Choosing Kind", one of the many inspirational precepts from our summer book, Wonder, by R. J. Palacio. Teachers from all grade levels and subject areas continue to weave the themes of Wonder--respect, acceptance, perseverance, courage and empathy into their everyday lessons and discussions with students.
Thank you for all that you do to partner with us in nurturing a positive school environment, where every student feels valued and accepted.
END OF 1ST MARKING PERIOD
This Wednesday, November 6, marks the last day of the 1st Marking Period and students have an early dismissal. Wednesday also marks the beginning of Fall Conferences. Our fall conference schedule is as follows:
Wed. 11/6 12:00 to 3:00pm (early dismissal for students)
Mon. 11/25 4:30 to 8:00pm (full day for students)
Tues. 11/26 12:00 to 3:00pm (early dismissal for students)
Author, Lauren Kate, visits Unami!
Unami was privileged to welcome best-selling young adult fiction writer of the Fallen series, Lauren Kate, on Monday, October 28. Ms. Kate spoke to Unami students in the library about the joys and struggles of writing for a living. She immediately related to our students by discussing her own middle school experience and how one of her teachers served as a charismatic adult, encouraging Ms. Kate’s burgeoning desire to be a professional writer. She went on to touch upon many of the themes we promote with our students each day, including her resilience through receiving nearly 10 years of rejection letters from submitted manuscripts and working to consistently challenge herself to go “deeper” in her writing. She also spoke with our students about how she handles the all too frequent problem of writer’s block, many of the origins for her individual scenes and overall book ideas, and the excitement of (and her role in) having one of her books made into a movie. Ms. Kate was even kind enough to sign copies of her books for our students. Special thanks to our librarian, Ms. Kilpatrick, for coordinating the event. It was wonderful for our students to see and hear from such a talented and hard-working individual!
Our Fall Play-Politically Correct Bedtime Stories
Bravo to the student writers, actors, directors, producers, and stage crew of the Fall Play, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. Unami students served in all of the aforementioned roles, as adult director Ms. Kazman provided students with these opportunities through a unique approach of having students start with existing scripts. The students served first as writers in revising the scripts, then directed their own scenes, put out their own press, and performed /staged six stories on Friday, November 1. The stories, including clever spins on Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs, were a rousing success!
Magazine Disruption Day
Friday, November 1, was an unusual day at Unami, as nearly 200 students participated in a yearly tradition known as Magazine Disruption Day. The day was the primary celebration of students' hard work raising money to benefit educational and extra-curricular programs at Unami. It included a "Wipeout"-style party with an inflatable obstacle course race, human hamster balls, and more. There was also a limosine ride to lunch at Dairy Queen (yes, ice cream was included!) for students whose sales totals qualified them for participation. While, true to its name, the event did briefly disrupt the normal educational day for students who earned participation, they had great fun and were deservedly rewarded for their hard work to benefit Unami!
Student Council Car Wash
Saturday, November 2, between 9 AM and 1 PM, student council members washed cars and sold delicious baked goods to raise funds for two CB students, Ryan Liney and Hailey Bekos, who are battling serious illnesses. Through their hard work and tremendous generousity from the community, they raised $1175.61! All proceeds will go directly to the families of the students.
7th Grade English
Seventh grade students in Mrs. Good, Ms. Miller, Mrs. Siegel, and Mrs. Wingerter’s language arts classes recently completed their first major writing piece of the year. The assignment asked students to create a narrative detailing a “photoshopped” adventure that supposedly took place this past summer. Students celebrated their accomplishments as authors with a cross team sharing session in the library. Students read their essays to a small group of peers, provided positive feedback to each other, and reflected on their writing pieces before final submission to their teachers. We have very talented writers in 7th grade!
9th Grade Activities
9th grade English classes celebrated the National Day of Writing by creating 6-word Memoirs, publishing and proudly sharing them on the sidewalks of our school.
At the Freshman Class assembly, students competed to see "How Well Do You Know Unami?"
As an enrichment activity after learning about the weapons, technology, and trenches of the 1st World War, 9th grade students engaged in a simulation of trench warfare, where students had the opportunity to "experience" the chaos and challenges of WWI while having fun with history.
Team Phoenix Happenings
Team Phoenix traveled to Philadelphia to visit the historic sites and compete in a team-building scavenger hunt on September 27th. Team Phoenix held a t-shirt design contest and the new team t-shirts will be delivered soon. Students who helped create the winning design enjoyed a pizza lunch.
The Orion team finished its string of weekly pizza lunches, which was a great opportunity for the teachers to get to meet all the students on the team. These lunches provided an opportunity get to know the students in a more relaxed atmosphere and let them get to know each other better, thus building a tighter knit community here at Unami.
Unami Wear Sale
Unami will be conducting its annual Unami Wear Sale now through November 15. Orders will be taken online (using PayPal) at www.kampusklothes.com.
To see the flyer, please click on the link below.
Opus Literary Magazine Accolades
Every year participating Unami students publish an Arts and Literature magazine called Opus, which almost annually wins some kind of national recognition through American Scholastic Press Association under the direction of Dr. Richard M. Plass. For the last four years, not including the last school year of 2012-2013, Opus won the distinguished honor of the Most Outstanding Literary/Arts Magazine for a middle school of its size (500-1,000) in the country for the summer issue. A major influence in this accomplishment is the synthesis of art to the literature under the direction of Mrs. Patricia Jones and her staff. Her expertise and gentle guidance is one of the major reasons why we are so successful. American Scholastic publishes three issues per year, but the summer issue which Unami enters is the toughest to win, because this issue is the one that most schools in the country enter.
This year the number of students who were accepted for publication numbered 80. This is quite an honor and accomplishment. Dr. Thomas Worthen, who directs the publication of student poetry has commented in his cover letter more than once, that Unami students are extremely talented, and he has even wondered how Unami and its sender elementary schools turn out so many accomplished writers. So congratulations to those amazing students and to Unami Middle School English teachers for helping our students reach for immortality through the publication of their poetry.
-Dianne M. Pizzi
Opus Literary Advisor
Kid's Care Project
7th grade "B" day art students recently participated in the Kid's Care Project, a collaboration between the Woodmere Art Museum, St. Christopher's Children's Hospital, and Philadelphia area schools. Students made clay tiles, which will be exhibited at the Woodmere until December 15th. Afterwards, the art will be wrapped and distributed as gifts to the children at St. Christopher's hospital. Some students also wrote a message of good cheer, to let others know they were thinking of them through the holiday season. An artist's reception will be held at the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill on December 14th from 2-4 pm
CB Cares' Boomerang Youth Recognition Award
November’s Asset is #33. Interpersonal Competence.
Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. Young person cares about and is aware of other people’s feelings.
The Boomerang Youth Recognition Award, a partnership between CB Cares Educational Foundation, Outback Steakhouse in Jamison, and the Bucks County Herald newspaper, is entering its 10th year! CB Cares is proud of all of the past nominees and looks forward to another great year, recognizing students in the Central Bucks School District who best demonstrate one of the 40 Developmental Assets.