Winthrop Middle School

November 2017 Newsletter

Important Dates

December 2nd = Bake Sale in French Square 11am-2pm

December 5th = PIcture retakes

December 8th = WMS Holiday Fair

December 8th = Deadline for 8th grade parents to sign up for Washington D.C. trip

December 8th-10th = Bye Bye Birdie Production (WMS Drama Society)

December 18th = Progress reports distributed this week

December 19th = WMS band to perform at Holiday Concert at Massport

December 22nd = Early release day

December 25th - January 1st = Winter vacation

*MCAS Dates

April 10th-11th = Grade 7/8 ELA

April 26th-27th = Grade 6 ELA

May 15th-16th = Grade 7/8 Math

May 17th-18th = Grade 6 Math

May 22nd-23rd = Grade 8 Science

*We will notify if any changes are made.

WMS Drama Society Presents Bye Bye Birdie

Here are the show times!

Friday, December 8th @ 7pm

Saturday, December 9th @ 7pm

Sunday, December 10th @ 2pm

Tickets are now on sale, buy now before it sells out. Please click HERE to purchase tickets for the show.

WMS Food Wars!

Student Council collected over 1,200 food items over the course of a week. All of those items were delivered to the Winthrop Food Pantry prior to Thanksgiving to help those families in need. We had great participation from all three grades. WMS continues to give back to our community as we "Stand Up As One".

Grade 6 was our winner and they will receive a grade-wide dodgeball game in the next couple of weeks! Please check out the pics below!

Winthrop Elks - October Students of the Month

Grade 6

Jaguars - Mira Ivanis & Drew McLaughlin

Grade 7

Falcons - Benjamin Prew

Wolves - Colin Kinsella

Grade 8

Bruins - Megan Goudge

Patriots - Nora McCarey

Congrats to the students above for making the right choices and being great role models at WMS. Students received a certificate, bumper sticker, and gift certificate to the Book Depot.

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Specialists' Awards for Term 1

The students below were presented certificates for their academic achievements and effort in our specials/electives:

Art - Jack Osburn, Haley McCormick, & Sophia Kennedy

Instrumental/Band - Jake Cataldo, Milla Pimenta, & Maddie Tolliver

Drama - Hayes Kennedy, Kayla Ferullo, & Michael Soares

Music - Andrew Stangle, Connor Murphy, & Nora McCarey

Physical Education - Jake Galuris, George Galuris, Ana Baurle, & Chris Cappuccio

Spanish - Hannah Parker, Benjamin Prew, & Maddie Tolliver

STEM - Sara Thomaj, Colin Kinsella, & Tatyanna Lewis

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Spirit Week at WMS!

Student Council recently held Spirit Week here at WMS as way to help pump up the school for the Thanksgiving Day football game.

Our hometown Vikings lost to Revere 17-14 but the Vikings played with great effort and had strong support from the Viking faithful as they played at the new Miller Field Complex. I would like to thank our WMS band for performing at the game. Viking fans just saw a snapshot of what our band has to offer!

Below you will find some pictures from "Twinning Tuesday".

Instrumental/Band News

Our instrumental students kicked off the month of November with a Band Social held at the Winthrop Elks Club. Students from grades 4-10 attended the event, a wonderful time was had by all (photo below). The Winthrop Middle School Band also had the opportunity to perform at the Veterans Day Ceremony (photo below) and Thanksgiving Day football game in the month of November. The students did an outstanding job at both events.

We will be holding a Bake Sale in French Square on Saturday, December 2nd from 11am-2pm, please stop by and support our students! There will be lots of yummy treats. We have many upcoming events with our touring holiday band in the month of December! You can catch us at the Cottage Park Yacht Club Santa Breakfast (12/9 10 am), the Deane Winthrop Barn (12/9 12:30 pm), the Winthrop Day Center (12/13 3:30 pm), or The Arbors (12/18 3:30 pm). We also plan to perform at the Winthrop Public Library!

On top of all of our touring events, we are finalizing our preparations for our Winter Concert on January 10th at 6:30 PM in the Neil Shapiro Auditorium at Winthrop Middle School. Admission is free, please join us and show your support for our outstanding instrumental students!

Curriculum Updates


Grade 6 math students are exploring decimal operations by practicing the standard algorithms for operations and modeling operations using number lines, decimal grids, and the area model. We are applying decimals to real world situations and solving a variety of problems using problem-solving strategies highlighted in the Go Math series and Tenmarks.

In seventh grade, we just completed calculating unit rate and looked at proportional relationships both in graphs and equations. We're now setting up and solving proportions and solving problems with percents. After break, we will be moving into solving one-step and two-step algebraic equations.

8th grade math students have been working on evaluating relationships for their rate of change. They have also been learning how to decide if the relationship given is proportional. Moving forward, they will apply these skills to non-proportional relationships and finding the equation of various linear relationships. Algebra 1 students have been building the base understanding of how function notation works. They have also been learning how to determine if a relationship is a function, and how to identify the domain and range of any given relationship.

English Language Arts

Grade 6 has just wrapped up their reading of historical fiction piece, Maroo of the Winter Caves, and finished our interdisciplinary work with Social Studies. Students demonstrated comprehension, acquired new vocabulary, engaged in character analysis, and produced a piece of narrative writing. We will be moving on to our unit on Literary Elements and short stories.

7th Grade ELA classes are continuing their study of analyzing themes in literature. Several texts are being used, depending on class choice, including Gone by Michael Grant, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Legend by Marie Lu. Students are also simultaneously practicing grammar and mechanics to improve their writing.

8th grade ELA is currently finishing up a unit on S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. Students recently completed a formal, five-paragraph literary analysis on The Outsiders and participated in a mock trial of the character Johnny Cade. After Thanksgiving, the 8th grade will begin a Types of Writing unit where students study and practice biography writing, the elements of a fairy tale, speech writing, and advertisements. Students will have individual in-class projects for each type of writing.


Grade 6: During the month of November Grade 6 students have been finishing their unit on Plate Tectonics. This unit encompassed the internal structure of the earth, the concept of sea-floor spreading and how this relates to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Students were asked to reflect on the practice of burying dangerous materials in the ground and consider the consequences of these decisions. Students will next engage in a unit on Weather and Atmosphere.

Grade 7: Throughout the month of November, grade 7 science classes have been participating in a unit on scientific argumentation. Students were introduced to this through a series of lessons and were able to practice their skills using an interactive computer game. As a capstone project, they will present their claims and evidence they have gathered on the best energy source to use on a newly discovered (fictional) planet that NASA is interested in colonizing.

Grade 8: During the last month, grade 8 science classes have been running activities out of the Chemistry of Materials unit. We have learned about atoms and elements, molecules and compounds, as well as create many chemical reactions to observe how matter changes in form chemically, to create new materials. We have discussed the structure of matter and how the pieces of an atom (electrons) allow certain atoms to bond together to create new molecules with new sets of physical and chemical properties.

Social Studies

6th grade is starting its Mesopotamia unit and discovering the five common characteristics of an advanced civilization.

7th grade geography is currently learning the political, physical, and human geography of the continent of South America. Topics include, but are not limited to, languages, resources, mining the Andes Mountains, the role of geography in the conquest of the Inca, and Simon Bolivar and the fight for independence.

8th grade is working on the Middle Ages in Western Europe. This includes the Bubonic Plague, Viking invasions, Feudalism, the role of the Catholic Church and key leaders like Charles “the Hammer” Martel and Charlemagne.


Grade 6 - Cultural Unit 1 - Influential People of spanish speaking countries.

- Students were assigned a personality (history or current) to research. Part of the project is to have the students create a Google Doc and write a report about the personality. The second part of the project consists of the students creating and presenting a Google Slide show to teach students about their Influential Person.

Grade 7 - Cultural Unit 1 - Documentary "The Latin Explosion, a New America" Students are watching, discussing, reflecting, and taking notes about the topics presented in the HBO documentary about immigration and spanish speaking influences in our culture. Unit wraps up with a test consisting of facts taken by students during the documentary.

Grade 8 - Working with the textbook "Como te va?". Their current unit works with conversational, written, and listening skills for daily practical use. The topic in this chapter is "Shopping".


6th Graders are continuing their exploration of character. The next step on the journey will be taking on the role of "playwright" and creating their own characters and settings for a play.

7th Graders are exploring how to use their voices on stage. Students learned the definition of projection and diction and are now engaging with the material through the creation and presentation of their own tongue twisters.

8th Graders just started a new unit on improvisation. Through theatre games and activities they are learning how to spontaneously create a scene without a script.


Grade 6 students are examining fantasy creatures throughout literature and in Greek mythology to generate ideas for their own drawings.

Grade 7 classes have been using repeated shapes and lines to create unique kaleidoscope designs that show symmetry or a rotation.

Grade 8 students read the Caldecott Award winner, The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson to show influence of the illustrator Beth Krommes with line drawings on scratch board.


Grade 6: This coming week is a celebration of the 1960's. Students will be learning songs that focus on rhythm and harmony, and will play our new percussion instruments in groups.

Grade 7 students are focusing on the foundation of the blues and American popular music, and are performing spirituals in a call-and-response format. They are sharing their own examples of prodigies, which is a theme that runs throughout the quarter.

Grade 8 students have been getting acquainted with the current inductees of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They will be selecting one artist/band that they will pay tribute to through a creative magazine project.


Grade 6 students viewed a video of the different ways that students around the world commute to school. In one mountainous town in Columbia, kids pack up their books and hop on a zipline that speeds across a roaring river! The sixth graders' challenge was to design and build a zipline vehicle that could transport a model student and three books from the top of a mountain to a school in a valley. The fastest times were achieved by Younass and Caleb of Ms. D Foley's class (5 M in 1.82 sec).

The Holiday Fair is fast approaching and Grade 7 students are busier than Santa's Elves designing and building games. By using Technology, Engineering, and Math skills teams are creating original carnival-type games or improving an existing game design. Students must make scale drawings of their designs and write the rules of play in addition to making and testing them. These games were a big hit last year and this year should be no exception!

Eighth Graders are attempting to break the first quarter record for best Balloon Car rate. After designing and building balloon-powered vehicles, the students will measure the distance and time travelled by their Balloon Cars and then calculate their rate. Math skills are an important component of STEM Lab activities.