Principal's Newsletter

Winthrop Middle School / October 2016

Welcome Back!!!

We have recently completed our first month of school in our brand new Winthrop Middle School. Students and staff have been so excited to be in such a beautiful state of the art building - there is definitely a buzz in the building! We would like to thank the Town of Winthrop for making this happen,


Here are some pictures of our students and teachers in action!

Curriculum Updates

Mathematics

Mathematics at WMS is off to a strong start this year with the introduction of SMI Testing across the grades. This program will provide important data that will help teachers differentiate for their students, build on student strengths and help students make effective progress in mathematics.


In Grades 6-8, the students will be following the Go Math program, a text series aligned to the Common Core. They will continue to explore mathematics with a variety of math websites, in a large part due to our one to one Chromebook initiative. Teachers will be creating assignments on Google classroom, TenMarks, and a variety of math websites to challenge and excite students about mathematics. There are accelerated, co-taught and remediation classes at each grade level, as well as flexible grouping within classes, designed to help students develop strong math fluency, whatever their starting skill level, and with the goal that all students meet grade level proficiency.


Science

6th grade is currently working on a unit titled Plate Tectonics. This includes: Layers of the Earth, Continental Drift, Sea Floor Spreading, Volcanoes and Earthquakes.


7th grade is currently working on a unit titled Cell Structure and Function. Students have used microscopes to observe several types of cells, including animal, plant, protist, and bacteria. Next week, students will culture bacteria and investigate the effects of various growing conditions. They will also be presenting their research on infectious diseases.


8th grade is towards the end of our unit titled Studying Materials Scientifically. The students have been testing an unknown mixture to identify the liquids and solids in the mixture. These tests will be used to determine if any part of the mixture is considered a hazardous material. They have tested for density, conductivity, corrosiveness, miscibility, and whether it reacts with certain substances like copper chloride. Our next unit is titled The Chemistry of Materials. We should be moving into that unit sometime towards the end of next week.


English Language Arts

Grade 6 ELA -Students began the year discussing the concept of Theme in a piece of literature; They have worked on vocabulary development; begun preparation and acquiring background knowledge necessary to read a piece of historical fiction; Students have participated in activities to boost reading fluency and comprehension.


Grade 7 - Students are practicing character analysis and making predictions while reading a novel.


Grade 8 - Students started reading S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Over the next few weeks, students will be reading and exploring the themes of the text through writing and projects, culminating in the students' first literary analysis in November.



Social Studies

Grade 6 students are exploring Ancient Civilizations. They are tracing the development of human society starting at the end of the last Ice Age, in an era known as The Stone Age. Students will examine the development of the early river civilizations, highlighting the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Students will explore the development of our own western civilization by studying its origins in Ancient Greece as well as Rome.


In seventh grade, students are completing our introduction to geography unit in which they are learning to: analyze different types of maps, charts and graphs, geographic terms, atlas skills, latitude and longitude and time zones.


In eighth grade, students are learning about ancient Rome and its influence on world history.


Art

Students are focusing on the elements of art & design. Grade 6 is using shape and line to create fantasy creatures. Students looked at mythology creatures found in literature and in animation to generate ideas. Grade 7 has started on futuristic city-scapes in perspective drawing, paying attention to line to create a 3-dimensional illusion on a flat surface. Grade 8 students are looking at the elements found in famous paintings as they mimic a masterpiece with a creative twist.


Music

Grade 6 is currently learning music literacy through performance on the recorder. Many of the students received their new instrument last week and are very excited to start playing. They are also exploring and becoming familiar with different genres of music.

Grade 7 is learning about the history of American popular music, starting with spirituals. The students have learned and performed several of them. It's a great way to combine American history with music! We will follow up with the blues, folk, and jazz.

Grade 8 is learning about the Rick and Roll Hall of Fame. Each student has selected an inductee and will create a tribute that will be shared with the class. Students are also learning the song "We Are The World" which features several inductees, including songwriter Michael Jackson.

Extracurricular Activities

Drama Club has already started but we have a few more activities starting up this week such as:

- Intramural Sports (see Mr. Mallios)

- Yearbook Club (see Mrs. Dankner)

- STEM Club (see Ms. McCarthy)

- Newspaper Club (see Ms. Leavenworth)


Sign up this week!!! They are going to be a blast!!!

Students of the Month!!!

Congratulations to our Students of the Week and/or Month!!! These students displayed a wide variety of strong characteristics such as effort, being a leader, and being a good classmate.



Grade 6 Lions - Zoe Long and Christian Buonopane

Grade 6 Jaguars - Eno Meco, Mila Pimenta, Sara DeGennaro, & Manuel Cruz


Grade 7 Falcons - Mia Martucci

Grade 7 Wolves - Bruna Oliveira


Grade 8 Patriots - Dea Alabaku

Grade 8 Bruins - Michael Gillis

Important Dates

- Friday, October 7th - Early Release, Dismissal at 12:30

- Tuesday, October 11th - School Picture Day

- Friday, October 14th - First Quarter Progress Reports will be distributed

- Tuesday, October 25th - School Site Council Meeting

- Thursday, November 17th - Parent Teacher Conferences