Marking Period 2, 2019-2020
Acting Principal's Message
Dear Parents and Guardians,
It is with great pleasure and excitement that I introduce myself to you as the newly appointed Acting Principal of Hoboken Middle School. It is truly an honor to become a part of the Hoboken Middle School family and community. I am eager to get to know each and every one of you, your families and your children.
I am a firm believer in the following guiding principles that will provide the framework of my leadership as the Acting Principal of Hoboken Middle School:
- Open Dialogue & Communication - At the heart of all successful schools are relationships that include the ability to communicate and discuss all aspects of your child's needs. I welcome discussions with all students and families as I work to learn about and meet the needs of all members of this school community. I encourage you to reach out and schedule a time to meet with me if you have any questions or concerns I can assist you with.
- Structures & Systems That Maximize Learning - All structural foundations, both academic and behavioral, are critical to a successful learning environment. My seven years as Vice Principal at Hoboken High School has been instrumental in allowing me to become masterful at systematizing and operationalizing all aspects of the structures that are the critical foundation of all schools. I will work diligently to create systems at Hoboken Middle School that meet this need.
- Cultivation of Student Relationships & Management of Behavioral Expectations - As students are evolving from their elementary years, they will each need support and guidance to navigate the increasingly complex social relationships that exist among pre-teen and teen-agers. Guidance and support is critical to ensure the social aspects of middle school students develop in healthy ways. While some students may need gentle reminders of behavioral and social norms, others may need reflective opportunities that include time away from the school community to process their choices and return with a better understanding of how to conduct themselves in a manner which is healthy for themselves as well as those around them.
- Academic Excellence & Secondary Education Preparedness - With expertise in the area of high school curricula, I will be viewing the academic engagement and rigor at HMS through a critical lens with particular attention toward future academic requirements and challenges that high school will bring. I will strive to maximize the ability for all students to meet their needs within their core academic classes while warmly demanding they push themselves to strive for academic excellence.
I have been a part of the Hoboken Public School district for the past 17 years. I have been the Vice Principal at Hoboken High School for the past seven years and prior to that, a math teacher for 10 years. It is quite possible that I may have met many of you previously or taught some of you when you were in high school. For those of you who already know me, you know that I am consistent and fair, passionate about instructional rigor and open to assisting you in any way I can. If I’ve known you from the past or I am meeting you for the first time, I can’t wait for you to see how my approach will transform Hoboken Middle School; as such I will hosting a Meet & Greet prior to the next PTO meeting, February 19th. Please join me in the Hoboken Middle School auditorium at 6:00 p.m.
Ms. Anna C. Marra
6th Grade Humanities:
The second marking period allowed students in the 6th grade to become acquainted with two stories: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. While reading A Christmas Carol, students explored themes such as greed and gratitude. In addition, students in Ms. Painter’s class participated in “Reader’s Theater.” Students not only read the classic play, but acted out scenes in A Christmas Carol. The 6th Grade Humanities team rounded out the marking period by reading and analyzing the central ideas of change and growth in Mockingbird. Through night writes and whole-class discussions, students not only demonstrated their knowledge of the plot, characters, and themes in the novel, but also voiced their opinions on how change is necessary for growth; using evidence from both the novel and their own lives to support their points of view.
6th Grade STEM:
Ms. Gerson, Mr. Zayas, and Ms. Bagnoli have been busy in STEM with the 6th grade. The second marking period began with graphing on a 4-quadrant coordinate plane. Students were engaged in plotting points, labeling quadrants, distances, and reflections. Students continued to utilize the Connected Math Project 3 (CMP3) platform. By engaging in CMP3, students strengthened their skills in writing expressions, writing equations, solving equations, evaluating algebraic expressions for a given variable, writing and graphing inequalities, and even had an introduction to income, revenue, and profit. Meanwhile in Science, students focused on animal adaptations. This included learning about natural selection and evolution. This quarter students also continued to become familiar with the microscope and examined cells.
7th Grade Humanities:
In the second marking period, students in 7th Grade Humanities completed reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Throughout the marking period students focused on some pivotal themes, such as societal conflicts, isolation, and education. Students demonstrated their understanding of the lessons learned in the novel by creating digital storyboards as a culminating assignment. Storyboards were required to include significant events in the plot that represented the themes in The Outsiders. Additionally, students began reading A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. Students not only analyzed characters, tone, and mood, but also identified the similarities and differences between a graphic novel, and novel such as The Outsiders. Lastly, in an effort to strengthen their vocabulary, students have been utilizing the platform, vocabulary.com. The 7th Grade Humanities team has created vocabulary lists aligned with the core novels for students to practice in class and at home in preparation for “vocabulary jams!”
7th Grade STEM:
Students in the 7th grade have done a fantastic job of using ratios and proportions in real-world situations, such as markup and commission problems involving car dealerships and different types of jobs requiring these skills. In addition, students looked at different recipes to identify the constant of proportionality; ultimately seeing how we need math in our everyday lives! The STEM block has also provided students with the opportunity to learn about fossils, as well as the impact of Camouflage in Natural Selection.
8th Grade Humanities:
The 8th Grade Humanities team read two novels this marking period; Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Animal Farm by George Orwell. Both novels allowed students to explore the literary element of allegory. Through night writes, Socratic Seminar, and Literary Analysis Tasks, students analyzed and identified how setting in Lord of the Flies represented World War II in Europe, as well as how Animal Farm represented the rise of Communism in Russia. Students also focused on how propaganda played a role during World War II and the rise of Communism, in addition to the role it plays in our society today.
8th Grade STEM:
Throughout the second marking period, Ms. Airey, Mr. Grothesun, and Ms. Goodwin worked with students in mastering the concept of units on exponential factors, which included growth rate and decay rate. Students also began working with operations with exponents. By collaborating with one another, and utilizing the CMP3 resources, students excelled in the second quarter in 8th Grade STEM.
Art with Ms. Fasolino
In Art, students were thoroughly engaged in the Visual Arts Portrait Unit. Each grade focused on a different aspect of self-portraits.
Grade 6: Expressive Self Portrait Collages
Grade 7: Value Study Self Portraits
Grade 8: Celebrity Value Scale Self Portraits
Ms. Fasolno would also like to highlight Shai Warshawsky in Mixed Media from the second marking period. Shai has been writing and illustrating an original graphic novel. She is using her IPad to digitally create and construct using her sketched thumbnail storyboards. I told her when she is finished I will help her print these and turn it into an actual novel. It could even turn into a year long endeavor with quite the cumulative work to show for it. It's exciting!
Passport to Learning
New to Passport to Learning this winter is skiing! Students have been traveling to Mountain Creek on Wednesday afternoons to learn and improve their skiing and snowboarding skills!
If you would like to learn more about Passport to Learning or register for the spring session, please reach out to Mrs. Fasolino (email@example.com).