We also encourage YOU to use the hashtag #WestbrookMiddleCT when you post about Westbrook Middle School on any social media site! Let's get #WestbrookMiddleCT trending and show the world how amazing we are!
7 - Early Release - Teacher Professional Development
12 - BOE Meeting @ 7:00pm
15 - Logic Block
15 - WMS Annual Spelling Bee
18 to 22 - No School - February Vacation
1 - Q2 Mid-Term
7 - PTO Family Fun Event
8 - No School - Teacher Professional Development
14 - Parent Teacher Conferences
15- WMS Career Day
23 - Lights on Westbrook at Oxford Academy
29 - Logic Block
*** SBAC Dates ***
ELA - All Grades
- Wednesday, May 22
Math - All Grades
- Session 1 - Thursday, May 23, - Session 2 - Friday, May 24
Science - Grade 5 & 8
- Thursday, May 30
Hello Westbrook Middle School,
It is hard to believe that we passed the halfway mark of the school year! As they say, time flies when you are having fun! A lot has happened recently at Westbrook Middle School. We had a very competitive Geography Bee and two former champions went head to head for the title. It was exciting! Ultimately 8th grader Kyle Malazzi took 1st place and 8th grader Daniel Genovese came in 2nd place! The student council helped raise over five hundred dollars for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) during the PJ Day For The Kids event. We are looking forward to upcoming exciting events such as the Geography Fair and our annual Spelling Bee.
SBAC dates have been finalized (below). Please make every effort to get your child to school on time during SBAC testing.
ELA - Wednesday, May 22
Math - Session 1 - Thursday, May 23, and Session 2 - Friday, May 24
Science - Grades 5 & 8 only - Thursday, May 30
I hope that everyone has a restful and enjoyable February Vacation.
Taylor P. Wrye, Principal
Technology Tips - Google Calendar
Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards
WMS SCHOOL ID# 11165
YOUR STOP & SHOP POINTS CAN EARN WMS MONEY JUST BY USING YOUR STORE CARD!
TO PARTICIPATE - NEW SUPPORTERS OR EXISTING SUPPORTERS WISHING TO MAKE CHANGES:
· Please visit giantfood.com and select SIGN IN at the top right to log into your online account. Once logged in, select MY ACCOUNT, MANAGE MY ACCOUNT, then REWARDS & SAVINGS to select your school.
· If you do not have an online account, visit giantfood.com and click REGISTER. Follow the prompts to create your online account. Once logged in, select MY ACCOUNT, MANAGE MY ACCOUNT, then REWARDS & SAVINGS to select your school.
· You’ll need your 12-digit Giant Food Card number (Stop & Shop card) and the School ID # - OR - if you need assistance call 1-877-366-2668 OPTION #1.
To earn points:
· Use your registered Giant Food Card each time you shop at any Giant Food, and you will earn CASH for our school. You can confirm your school selection by logging into your account.
· At the end of each month, your points are calculated and converted to CASH rewards. These CASH rewards for our school are updated monthly. You can track our progress when you sign in to your online account.
· Our school will receive one CASH rewards check at the end of the program and can use this cash for any of our educational needs.
WE WILL UPDATE EVERYONE ON OUR PROGRESS AS THE YEAR PROGRESSES!
The Annual National Geographic Geography Bee
Two former champions gave each other tough competition. Eighth grade student, Daniel Genovese, won second place this year. He was our school winner when he was in 6th grade. Eighth grade student, Kyle Malazzi, won first place for the second year in a row! Best of luck to Kyle in the upcoming challenge to earn a spot in the state championship.
December Student of the Month
Grade 5 - Hailey Peterson, Grade 6 - Ethan Dazey, Grade 7 - Simone Morris, Grade 8 - Vincent Naccarato, Art - Matthew Izzo, Band - Danya Velez, Chorus - Michael Valiante, Computer Science - Stella Blair, FACS - Abby Demers, French - Natalia Fineza, Health - Tucker Davis, Library - Leland Murphy, Physical Education - Elliot Koplas, Spanish - Joshua Davey, STEM - Mayte Calle
January Student of the Month
Grade 5 - Anjali Cotton, Grade 6 - Giovanna Silva, Grade 7 - Abby Demers, Grade 8 - Myan Nguyen, Art - DeMarcus Ciastko, Band - Evan Bransfield, Chorus - Alyssa Leandri, Computer Science - Emma Baxter, FACS - Reilly Peterson, French - Ethan Angelini, Health - Emma Bransfield, Library - Brendan Hampton-Valentin, Physical Education - Amy Caguana, Spanish - Lucas Blair, STEM - Allison Brajczewski.
The Health Department
Please by aware that the WMS and the WHS have a population of students and staff who are at high risk for developing flu related complications. The flu can be deadly for the old, young, and people with compromised immune systems. On behalf of our high risk population, I ask for people to be responsible and do not enter the school with flu-like symptoms.
Schools are a prime location for the flu virus to spread. It is hard to prevent kids from getting the flu this time of year for various reasons. The flu virus is spread by respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, and talking. Droplets can spread up to six feet away and land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. It can also be spread by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
Complications of the flu virus can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
Spanish - Señora Cassidy
Spanish - Señora Cassidy
Hello everyone! These past few weeks I have been getting to know your children and the school. We have been continuing topics that had already started in December as well as adding a few more.
Semester 1 students just finished clothing and body parts. Semester 2 students are beginning to learn greetings, farewells, and mini-conversations in Spanish.
Students just finished a mini-project for a pretend yearbook. They were able to use adjectives to describe people. They will soon be starting Unit 2 in the context of Mexico.
Students just finished discussing food with ~er and ~ir verbs. They will soon be starting the second part of Unit three where they will be talking about the family.
Students just finished a project/skit on the house, where they played roles of being an agent and buyer(s). This project also took place of their mid-term exam. We are now moving to the Dominican Republic where students will be learning about sport-related vocabulary.
Spanish - Senora Ferro
6th Grade Spanish with Sra. Ferro
Students are currently working on a project that reviews adjectives, definite and indefinite articles. They have been learning about adjective agreement, and how to describe people, places and things using the verb SER. They will soon start a comic strip project using storyboardthat.com to reinforce nouns, adjectives and the verb SER.
7th Grade Spanish with Sra. Ferro
Students are currently reviewing Unit 3 Lesson 1, and will be taking a test. Students are now able to talk about what they and others eat and drink at breakfast, lunch and dinner using the present tense of er/ir verbs. They just finished a Google slides project on this topic, and will be starting family vocabulary, and numbers through a million in Unit 3.2.
8th Grade Spanish with Sra. Ferro
Students just finished their midterm exams and are very happy! :) They are currently working on the verbs saber and conocer; studying their differences and forms in the present tense. Shortly after, they will start to learn about health, body vocabulary, and making healthy choices. The grammar topic will be the past tense of ~AR verbs.
Grade 8 - Students will create a video in which they will use slang and casual vocabulary and idioms used by French people on a daily basis. This is a “Talk like a French person” type of project.
Grade 7 - Students will create a skit taking place in a French café, using ad hoc props and costumes.
Grade 6 - Students will create a (digital) book in which they will use as many expressions with AVOIR as possible.
Grade 5 - Students will continue their exploration of French basic conversation, numbers, and culture through games and interactive activities.
Over the past few weeks, students have been engaged in dystopian book clubs. Students were able rank their favorite book options from over twenty dystopian selections. Groups of two to four students worked together to create a pacing calendar for how they would finish their first book in two weeks. Several groups were able to get through two and even three books during this unit. Students worked on preparing for meaningful group discussions and delegating equitable roles to members of a group. During this unit, students also analyzed dystopian short stories by Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut. We wrapped this unit up with mini literary analysis essays in preparation for writing longer analysis pieces in the spring. We are now moving into a narrative writing unit where students will be crafting their own dystopian/ fantasy short stories.
One of our main goals this year is to increase reading volume. Eighth-graders have read over 850 books so far this year! That is an average of more than 14 books per student! Building a reading life is a cornerstone of 8th grade ELA, so ask your favorite 8th-grader what they are currently reading!
Image Michael S. is one of many eighth-graders who enjoy listening to audiobooks. Check out the Libby by Overdrive app to check out free audiobooks on your smartphone or device using your library card!
Grade 6 science students have been super busy learning through different techniques. They used chalk markers to create concept maps to wrap up their chemistry unit. Who doesn’t love to draw on tables?
The fun and excitement doesn’t stop there. We also have been using our knowledge of mass and volume to find the density of various substances. As a culminating activity, students tried to be the first to break out of the science “Escape Box” by solving eight different puzzles, all with codes, some numbers, and letters. Once they correctly solved the puzzles, they got a code, and the locks would open. Engagement and competition at its best! (Density too!)
Grade 5 mathematicians began 2019 focusing their attention on place value and most importantly, decimal places to the thousandth place. They worked on the “Great Wall of Base Ten” in Bridges along with practicing all four decimal operations for fluency. By the end of January, students were making the connection between decimal and fraction equivalents and practicing adding, subtracting and multiplying fractions and mixed numbers for fluency.
In February grade 5 students continue to master their fluency skills with both decimals and fractions. They will use their juggling skills and get timed to the hundredth of a second. Students will work with this data in small groups to practice their decimal skills. They will write in expanded, standard and word form, round and finally add and subtract decimals to the hundredth place. They will also create story problems around the theme of juggling and multiply decimals. As the month progresses students will revisit fractions.
A Study of the Size and Scale of the Sun, Stars and Planets
This lesson teaches about Earth and Space science using an inquiry approach. It covers objects in the sky and changes in the earth and sky, as students learn the size of each planet, the vastness of space, and some special features of our solar system.
Below Students decided that if they were to make Geoglyphs to signal people from space these are the images they would construct!!!!
Family Consumer Science
It has been such an awesome first semester teaching middle school Family & Consumer Science. I am amazed how far my students have come in our Culinary Arts class. They have built skills and knowledge that is truly impressive. My hope is that each student comes away from my class knowing these four things:
What wonderful & capable young people they are.
That their health & wellness are their most important assets.
That even though they are young, they are not too young to think about what they put in their bodies.
Making their own food is the most important way to create wellness for themselves & their families.
As always, it has been a joy and honor to teach at Westbrook Middle School. I am grateful for the opportunity to positively impact the lives of young people every day.
The Importance of a Reading Habit! It’s the time of year when everyone is working on their New Year’s resolutions. It’s not too late to start a new one. Why not creating a reading habit? Here are some reasons why you will be better off with a habit of reading.
It’s no secret that reading increases your vocabulary, but also makes you a better writer. There’s written language that is not always found as we speak to one another. The more we are exposed to different writing through enjoyment reading, the easier it will be for us to write.
Reading regularly to children from an early age, develops their attention spans. People are better able to focus and concentrate longer when reading is part of daily life. You will have an easier time in your classes as you find more and more of your knowledge is gained from reading. As you progress through the grades, the learning environment is more reading-focused with class discussions on the assignment.
Not only does reading lead to a lifelong love of books, but builds a thirst for knowledge as you enter new worlds – different cultures and places, a time in history, as well as different points of view. Reading makes us ask questions, which leads to learning more each day.
Parents with a reading habit are more likely to pass the pleasure of reading to their children. It’s never too late to start. Ask your family about books you see them reading and share what you are reading. Choose a book to read together. There are many books that have been made into movies. It’s fun to read the book first, and then watch the movie to compare which was better.
As the February vacation approaches, be sure you have enough to read. You may want to pick up the next book in the series you’re reading or get started on a new one! Come down and check one out!
Still Time to Read a 2019 Nutmeg Book! –There’s still time to read a 2019 Nutmeg book until we vote for our favorites in April! Some students have read books from the Intermediate, Teen and High School categories and will be able to vote in each. Whether you like realistic fiction, adventure, or historical fiction, there’s a Nutmeg book for you! See how many you can read before we vote.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
Our second semester together has been filled with immense creativity! All grades have to opportunity to enter into this year’s Doodle for Google drawing competition.
Grade 5 began their Romero Britto inspired pictures. This Miami artist’s biography and picture was on display first semester before the library. Britto intertwines Cubism, Pop Art, and graffiti to make his unique style. Most students were drawn to representing animals or the human form in this fun style. They look great!
Grade 6 began their perspective desert landscapes. Students learned about animals that live in our U.S. desert habitats. They included five of these animals in their pictures. Can you find them? This assignment was a mixed media project which means students used multiple art materials to complete it. We hope you like them!
7th graders completed birch tree paintings using painter’s tape, acrylic paint and card stock paper. They learned that these trees are used for firewood, basketball courts, shampoos and cosmetics. Students are now working on their surreal one point perspective pictures where they get to create fantasy worlds. What they create is up to each student; however they must follow the rules of perspective and placement. This is challenging but fun!
8th grade started their Wassily Kandinsky renditions where they have to convey emotion through only objects and color. They also intertwined hidden objects to make their pictures even more exciting. I can’t wait to see the finished products!
Great job to all students thus far!
Physical Education - Mr. Marshall
Johnathan B. and Caroline Dias in 7th and 8th grade
Brady Pill and Adrianna Spash in 5th and 6th grade
Physical Education - Mr. Gombos
5th grade PE - Students are in the final week of floor hockey, we will move on to invasion games as we approach the staff student basketball game.
8th grade PE - The students have designed their own choices for 6 6 day units in PE. The students have selected activities such as fishing, archery, fitness center, hockey and tennis. I look forward to allowing the students choices to come reality this semester.
Health - Mr. Marshall
8th grade health students have learned about setting goals and the impact decision making has on those goals. We will be moving on to a debate about marijuana legalization.
5th grade health students are learning about the parts of health and are now creating a decision making animation.
Google classroom is the platform that we use for all information so check in on our website to find out what your student is up to in class. As always feel free to email me with any questions.
Health - Mr. Gombos
6th grade Health - Students in 6th grade health are diving into the cardio-respiratory system. They will develop movies in small groups to educate lower grade level students on the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the system and how it and where it moves around the system. After this unit we will start CPR first aid training.
7th grade Health - Students are constructing life size digestion system study guides in small groups. Students will work on understanding the chemical and mechanical digestion and the organs that facilitate this in our body. After this unit we will be moving on to nutrition.
We have just started the second semester with all new classes and I am excited to share some basic computer science with the students. 5th graders will be starting a fundamentals class that will give the vocabulary and experience to understand and communicate about what computer science is, and what it is not. We will be doing some coding, both on computers and off. They will have the opportunity to work with mechanical computers, and finally we will be working on improving their study, note taking, and assessment taking skills. 6th graders and 7th graders will both be doing part of a Computer Science Discoveries course. We will explore different problem solving techniques and then look at how computers were invented to help humans solve problems of many different sizes and types. We will also be creating our very own personal websites using html. Students will learn the differences between sites and pages, html and css, and opening and closing tags. They will take that knowledge and start to build a multiple page website of their own. The 8th graders will be exploring digital media. They will learn basic image editing, graphic design, and videography skills. All of these skills will be brought together to create a video that will be shared with friends, family, and peers at the promotion ceremony in June. If you have any photos or videos of our 8th graders while they were at the middle school, we would love to see them. Email them or google share them with firstname.lastname@example.org. (We’d also love any pictures of them as babies!)
Notes from the Band Room
The bands are working steadily through their band method books and are beginning to work on music for the May concerts. The concerts this semester are on May 22 for grades five and six and May 23 for grades seven and eight. As a reminder, these concerts are in the high school auditorium and start at 6:00 PM this year.
The eighth grade band is preparing to team up with the high school band for our annual combined concert. This concert is on March 13, and we will perform a beautiful ballad called “Simple Song” and a lively march from The Music Man called “Seventy-Six Trombones”. This concert will take place in the high school auditorium at 7:00 PM.
Speaking of The Music Man, the music department will be taking all seventh and eighth grade students to the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT to see a production of The Music Man on May 29, 2019. Look for more information about that very soon.
Finally, on March 1 and March 2, several of our Westbrook students will be rehearsing and performing in the Southern Region Music Festival. Instrumentalists Lucas B., Jonathan B., Sofia F., and Myan N. will be taking part in the festival this year. Congratulations to those students!
Notes from Chorus
Students in Chorus have started the new year working on music reading skills: counting rhythms, identifying note names, identifying notes on the keyboard and sight reading.
We are all hard at work on our music for the spring concert and beyond.
From the beginning of the year the Fifth Grade Chorus has stated that they wanted to sing a cappella music. We are tackling two unaccompanied pieces a beautiful rendition of “Shenandoah” which has the students singing in four parts and “The Best Day of My Life.”
In addition, we are working on ukulele and the song “Lava”.
The Sixth Grade Chorus students had a strong interest in rap music, so to satisfy that need we are working on a piece called “My Shot” from the Broadway musical Hamilton. We are also singing the jazz standard, “Route 66” and hope to take you with us on a virtual field trip along that historic road.
In 7th and 8th Grade Choruses we are continuing to work on our music reading skills and part singing in three parts. Some pieces to look forward to: “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, “A Million Dreams”, “Seasons of Love” from Rent, and some American folk songs.
Please see Mr. Talmadge’s info above about concert dates and information about our 7th & 8th Grade Field trip to see The Music Man at the Goodspeed Opera House.
Lastly we have twelve students in Grades 6-8 who have been working diligently to prepare for the Southern Region Music Festival on March 1st and 2nd. Congratulations and good luck to Selena E., Alaina L, Kimberly B., Emily B., Joslyn H., Nora SO, Gabrielle W., Alexa K., Brooke M., Caroline B., Emma B, and Demetrios B. who will all be attending.
Technology Education (STEM)
Students are learning about bridge engineering principles and design. Students are learning about stone arch bridges, beam bridges, suspension bridges and the most modern bridge design, the cable-stay bridge. Students are watching a video that traces the history of bridge engineering and design. They will see the making of the Brooklyn Bridge and one of the longest bridges in the world, the Akashi-Kiako bridge in Japan.
Students are learning engineering and design principles as they relate to towers and skyscrapers. Students will build a balsa wood tower then test and perform a structural analysis.
Students are going to design, build and race C02 powered Dragsters. Currently they are learning about C02 in our world. Students will understand how C02 is formed,where it is used, and the positive and negative impacts related to our environment.
Students are going to design and make a wooden tic-tac-toe game-board. Students have taken an online general Lab safety quiz. Currently they are learning Machine safety and procedure for specific machines in the woods lab. Students are researching and making slideshows and color posters for the Technology Lab.
Before the holiday break, our student council hosted a successful winter dance for 7th and 8th grade students. Student council members planned, promoted, and decorated for the dance. There was a great turnout which made for a fun night for both students and staff in attendance. This January and February, our student council worked on numerous service projects. At our January meeting, student council members made and posted signs all over the building to promote the PTO’s pasta dinner. In February, students made Valentine notes and goodie bags for all of the faculty and staff at the middle school and sent virtual Valentines to the patients at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
In March, the student council hopes to celebrate Read Across America week by making welcome bags filled with books for all new babies born in Westbrook. Mrs. Selmont and Mrs. Fredrickson have been so impressed by this group’s eagerness to get involved in both their school and community. The student council loves when new faces join us, so whether you have never been to a meeting or are a regular attendee, we would love to see you at our next meeting!
Images of student council members making Valentines and goodie bags for WMS students and staff and patients at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center: