22- Picture Retakes
26 - Logic Block
26 - PTO Harvest Fest - 6 pm to 9 pm
2 - Grade 6 Field Trip to Mystic Seaport
6 - No School - Teacher Professional Development
9 - End of Quarter 1
12 - Start of Quarter 2
13 - Board of Education Meeting at 7 pm
14 - 12:15 Dismissal - Day 1 of Parent Teacher Conferences
15 - 12:15 dismissal - Day 2 of Parent Teacher Conferences
17 - Daisy Dash
21 - 12:15 Dismissal
22 to 23 - No School - Thanksgiving Break
30 - Logic Block
** Check the school calendar on our website for the most up to date information on school events **
The Principal's Desk
It is hard to believe that we are halfway through October, but as the saying goes; time flies when you are having fun! New this year, middle school staff took part in the PIRATE challenge called the #1st3Days. This challenge focused on building and strengthening student-student and student-teacher/administrator relationships during the first three days of school, instead of jumping immediately into subject instruction. The idea for this challenge came from the WMS staff summer reading book “Teach Like a Pirate,” and a subsequent discussion with the author, Dave Burgess, via Google Hangouts. It was a great presentation and we were very grateful to be able to learn from this amazing educator. You can watch one of his many presentations here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-c3-tdSo6s.
So far this year we have already had many exciting events. Every student in grades five to eight received their own Chromebook. Thanks to the generosity of the PTO students also have their own heavy duty name tags to prevent any mix-ups. 6th grade students recently participated in Mountain Workshop, and 5th and 7th grades are off to the Science Museum in the coming weeks.
We encourage you to regularly check your child's grades on Powerschool and his/her assignments posted on Google Classroom. It is important to review your child’s work and to stay up to date. Parent-Teacher conferences will be on the afternoon and evening of the November 14th and the afternoon of the 15th. Teachers are always available to meet during team time as well. Please contact the grade level team leader or Amy Spagone, our school Guidance Counselor, to schedule an appointment.
This year, we started a weekly event called #PostiveSignThursday. This is part of an effort to show students how much they mean to the WMS staff, and to start their days on a positive note. We want the students to know that we appreciate, support and enjoy having them here. The event has caught on and even the Board of Education got involved! See below for some of the photos from #PostiveSignThursday. You can find the complete display of photos on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
I look forward to the many exciting things to come this year!
Taylor P. Wrye, Principal
Access to affordable high-speed internet at home by Comcast. No Credit Check, No Installation Fee, No Term Contract and In-Home WiFi included
Reminders from Mrs. Banach and Ms. Bauer in the office:
* Absences - Please remember to call as soon as you can or email us when your child will be absent and state the reason for their absence so that it can be marked accordingly.
* Late Arrivals - Students entering after 7:45 am need to come to the Front Office to sign-in and receive a pass before starting their day.
* Early Dismissal/Pick-Up - Please call the Front Office or send in a note the morning of anticipated pick-up stating the time and reason for the pick-up and whether the child is expected to return.
* Communication - Please check School Messenger Email/Athletic Page on Website for daily "real-time" updates about sports/games cancellations or postponements before calling into the school.
* Bus Pass - A request for a bus pass for a student to take a bus other than there own is subject to Administrative approval and only permitted for daycare purposes. A note or call from the Parent that day stating the address the child is going to is necessary.
Ms. Banach - email@example.com
Ms. Bauer - firstname.lastname@example.org
WMS Students of the Month - September
5th - Emily Franco, 6th - Selina Erekson, 7th - Leticia Pires, 8th - Hever Gomez, Art - Dayna Portillo, Band - Anjali Cotton, Chorus - Ayla Czenthe, Computer Science - Matthew Izzo, FACS - Braden Porter, French - Jerli Espinoza, Health - Lilly Freeman, Library - Emily Bonner, Physical Education - Giovanna Silva, Spanish - Adriana Stranieri, Technology - Will McCarthy
Governor's Reading Challenge
The following are the top readers in each grade:
5th grade: Katie F.(15) Miles H.(12) Ela O.(18) and Patrick P.(22)
6th grade: Megan B.(12), Emily B.(25), Alaina L.(22), Emily P.(31) Jealynne S.(32)
7th grade: Norah H (10) Christopher L. (32)
8th grade: Myan N. (31) Andrew S. (11)
Congratulations to all of our readers!
On October 19, Mrs. Spagone and grade 8 students hosted a breakfast for those students new to Westbrook Middle school!
October 26 kicks off grade 8 Mental Health Awareness Week, facilitated by Mrs. Spagone and WYFS.
Mrs, Spagone is looking for presenters for this year's Career Day, for grade 7 & 8. If you or anyone you know may be interested, please reach out to Mrs. Spagone.
Rally for Kindness and Positive Change
Middle school students had the opportunity to participate in the Community Foundations's Campaign for bully-free communities Rally on October 4. The event, held at Empower Leadership Sports and Adventure Center, featured team building activities and encouraged students to "be an agent of change". The student pledge stated "I will be an agent of change. We are all different but we all deserve respect. Silence ins participation. I refuse to be a part of the problem. No longer will I be silent if you need help. If you need help, come to me. If I think you need help, I will get involved. I've got your back."
Language Arts 5
Social Studies 5
In Social Studies students just finished researching a continent of their choice. After much researching, note taking and writing, the end result was a poster filled with all the information gathered. Students taught the class about their chosen continent and presented their posters!
The weather was perfect on October 4, 2018, for the sixth grade Mountain Workshop. Students spent the day working together to complete a variety of problem-solving activities. They especially enjoyed building go-carts and creating commercials to promote their products. It was a day full of team building and fun!
6th Grade field trip to Mystic Seaport
In 6th grade Language Arts class, students are reading The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. This is an exciting adventure about a 13 year old girl who takes a Transatlantic journey from England to Providence R.I. in 1832. As the only passenger on the ship with bitter and decrepit sailors out for revenge, and a vicious, murderous captain, Charlotte realizes that things aren’t always as they seem! As a culmination of the novel, we will visit Mystic Seaport where students will experience what life was like during the 1800’s. We attend the field trip regardless of the weather, and it can be quite breezy on the water in November so please make sure your child dresses appropriately. You should have received a permission slip with additional information.
English Language Arts 7
Social Studies 7
Social Studies 8
English Language Arts 8
Algebra I students began the year by studying expressions, equations and algebraic properties. They learned to solve equations with variables on both sides and how to determine when equations have one solution, no solution, or infinitely many solutions. They are currently solving equations involving absolute value. The next unit will focus on solving problems involving ratios, proportions and percents.
Spanish - Senora Ferro
6th Grade Spanish
Students have been reviewing greetings, making introductions, talking about origin, seasons and weather. They are currently working on comic strips to review these topics using www.storyboardthat.com.
7th Grade Spanish
Students just finished filming skits to review how to express in Spanish their likes/dislikes and those of their peers. They are currently reviewing adjectives in Spanish and are masking comics using www.storyboardthat.com to describe characters that they chose in story form.
8th Grade Spanish
Students just finished their 7th grade review. They have started a unit on house vocabulary and related grammar concepts. They will begin their real estate skit project where some will play the roles of agents and others will play the roles of prospective buyers. These will be recorded and played in class.
Spanish - Senor Donovan
Welcome back a la escuela. We have successfully transitioned to a full immersion class.
The 8th grade has begun the second half of Spanish I. Students who successfully complete this course will receive high school credit and move on to Spanish II. We have been using our house vocabulary in conjunction with learning ordinal numbers and ser versus estar. We will next move on to sports vocabulary, u to ue verbs, and saber versus conocer.
The 7th grade will complete the first half of Spanish I this year. We have been reviewing verb conjugation, the verbs ser and tener, and subject pronouns. We will learn about the verb estar, er/ir verbs, stem-changing verbs, and a variety of new vocabulary that includes clothing and food. .
The 6th grade has moved on to Spanish each day for the entire year. We have been reviewing the basics: the alphabet, numbers, greetings, etc. We will then learn new material such as subject pronouns, verb conjugation, and the verbs ser and tener. New vocabulary will include activities, adjectives, time, classes, and school supplies.
The 5th grade has Spanish everyday for half the year and then switch to French for the remainder. We are focusing on immersing the students in the language while learning the basics of the Spanish language such as greetings, days of the week, the alphabet, numbers, and months.
If you would like to learn with your child, there are wonderful resources on the internet. I recommend Duolingo, Quizlet, PurposeGames, and avancemos.conjuguemos. You can follow along by going to my google classroom as well.
I am looking forward to a great school year.
French - Monsieur Beauchamp
Grade 5: Students will soon use their newly acquired French knowledge in order to create a script for their skit presentation.
Grade 6: Students will, in a few weeks from now, act out in a French comedical mini-play on classroom objects and classroom commands.
Grade 7: Students will create a VLOG on their daily activities and likes/dislikes.
Grade 8: Students are working on a family project, the format of which is of their choosing (live presentation, video, skit, slideshow, etc.)
They're also supposed to bring an object representing each person/pet.
Unified Arts - Grades 5 - 8
Computer Science is taking off and we are having so much fun learning about computational thinking and how computers work. All 4 grades started the year off with a problem solving unit where we discovered a 4 step process that can be applied to any problem encountered. To experiment, the kids got to build a boat out of a single sheet of foil and see how many washers the boat could hold before sinking. Then they took the first experiment, revised their plan, and tried again. Not only was it fun, but the kids learned about perseverance, reflection, and teamwork while problem solving. 6th and 7th graders are working on html coding, 8th graders on digital poster design, and 5th graders are doing some basic coding to learn about loops, algorithms, and variables.
“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”
~ Salvador Dali
In this first semester we have worked diligently, experimented and had a lot of fun!
5th grade learned about Romero Britto, a Miami artist who combines Pop Art, graffiti and cubism in his pieces. His mission is to restore happiness in the world, which students then had to do in their own works of art. Students then experimented in high pigment watercolor to enhance their pumpkin paintings just in time for fall. Currently, students are working on an acrylic painting that focuses on value, texture and new painting techniques.
6th grade was introduced to the concepts of placement and tone which are represented in their desert landscapes. Students also learned what animals/species’ live in the U.S. deserts as well as the types of terrains. They then constructed clay owls using common objects found around the room to apply texture and details. When applying color to their pieces, many chose to use our new crystal glazes which came out amazing! Grade 6 is currently working on a Pop Art drawing of their favorite candy. Students must focus on one piece of the bar or candy rather than drawing the entire object.
7th grade’s Birch tree paintings are one of the highlights of the hallways! Teachers as well as other students have commented how outstanding they look. To achieve a more realistic look, students used small square matte board pieces which they pressed across the tree. They also learned about the correct placement of shadows and light sources. Following this, students molded clay fish using a variety of tools and techniques. Currently, students are working on surreal one point perspective pictures inspired by Salvator Dali, the most infamous surrealist painter in history.
Grade 8 flourished in their first assignment based on abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky. To enhance these colorful works and make them more interesting, many students placed hidden objects that represented themselves in their drawings. Students then moved onto constructing clay monsters which will be glazed and complete for Halloween! Students are currently working on Aboriginal Dot painting inspired by the native people of Australia. We learned about their culture and how Native American history mirrors the aboriginal peoples.
I am excited to keep challenging, learning and thriving with you!
Fifth through Eighth grade bands are full steam ahead. Besides the jazz band being in full swing, the fifth graders are working on Ode to Joy and Yankee Doodle, the sixth graders are learning Bach’s Minuet in G Major (though they are playing it in Bb Major), and the seventh and eighth graders are learning Jamaican Farewell and Erie Canal. We are building our musical vocabulary and gaining skill on our instruments. We will be ready to showcase what we have learned in our December concerts.
Sixth through eighth grade students wishing to audition for the Southern Region Music Festival need to speak with Mr. Talmadge right away, as when October ends, so does their chance to be a part of the December auditions. Students audition to be a part of the prestigious ensembles that rehearse and perform in March, 2019. Students that make these ensembles are really playing at a high level.
Note that our December 4 (for fifth and sixth graders) and December 6 (for seventh and eighth graders) concerts are the same; however, there has been a change to one of our May concerts. Although the fifth and sixth graders will still perform on May 21, the seventh and eighth graders will now perform on May 22 (not may 23). In addition, all concerts this year will start at 6:00 PM instead of 7:00 like in years past.
Students in grades five through eight chorus has begun work on our December program. Students in fifth grade are working on partner songs, such as Hushabye Nanita Nana and Carol of the Elves. Students in 6th grade are working on 2- part pieces, Angels in the Snow and Cold Snap. Students in 7th grade are singing a beautiful piece called Remembering December and the fun Candy Covered Gingerbread House. Eighth grade students are working on jazz arrangements of Jingle Bells and Ring Silver Bells (a version of Carol of the Bells). It is looking to be an exciting concert. All students are working on reading skills and creating beautiful singing through breath support and strong vocal technique.
Some dates to keep in mind for the upcoming months are:
Friday, November 16th, at 6:00 p.m. Students in the 5th, 6th and 7th Grade Chorus have been invited to sing at the Westbrook Outlets for their Tree Lighting Event.
Tuesday, December 4th at 6:00 p.m. our 5th and 6th Grade Concerts.
Thursday, December 6th at 6:00 p.m. our 7th and 8th Grade Concerts.
Students in Grades 6-8 who wish to audition for Southern Regional Festival in chorus need to speak to Ms. Floyd by the end of the month. The auditions are in December and the festival takes place in March of 2019. This is a truly wonderful opportunity for students to sing in a large ensemble with students from the southern part of the state.
Physical Education - Mr. Marshall
Physical Education - Mr. Gombos
Health - Mr. Marshall
The 5th graders are creating a website to inform their peers about the consequences of using tobacco alcohol and Vape.
In 8th grade Health students are learning about advocating for a positive choice and creating videos to demonstrate that.
Health - Mr. Gombos
In health we are settling into our new room located in 106 in the 5th grade wing. 6th grade health students are finishing up on CPR first aid training. They also recently went over the abcde’s of a skin check. By recognizing changes with the abcde’s of a skin check they can help prevent melanomas from developing or spreading.
While 7th grade health is working on producing an opioid abuse video PSA. The opioid epidemic is devastating America and in particular CT with over two overdose deaths a day on average in our state.
Family Consumer Science
It has been an awesome start to the semester in Family & Consumer Sciences. After years of teaching high school, I jumped at the opportunity to work at Westbrook Middle School. It has been absolutely wonderful.
I became certified in Family & Consumer Sciences to share my passion for wellness, health, & nutrition. My goal is to empower students with skills and knowledge to positively enhance their lives. I believe that what we eat has a profound effect on how we look, feel, think, and play. I want my students to love the process of making great food and sharing it with others.
I believe that we learn best by doing. I love that my class is a creative, hands on opportunity for students to collaborate and produce amazing things. I want my class to be a fun, exciting place where they feel supported to build skill every day. I tell them often that “it’s not what you make, it’s what you learn”. So far, we have learned a great deal.
Please feel free to contact me with any information that can help me make my class a more positive experience for you child.
If you are in the library between 7:30 and 7:55 in the morning, there are students hustling as the countdown to the morning bell nears. Crew members have a 15-minute window to gather the latest details of yesterday’s soccer game, a “just in” announcement from a teacher, researching, editing and setting the speed and font size on the teleprompter, hooking up the camera, checking the battery life of wireless mics, reading through the script, preparing the sound check station and setting up the Tricaster with the music, camera, captions and of course audio inputs. Someone else might be prepping a special guest. Thanks to our dedicated and hardworking crew, who arrive at 7:30 each morning, the news, which is usually no more than 5 minutes, is ready to roll by second bell at 7:45! The daily newscast is shown to each homeroom on the Smart board.
Any 6th, 7th or 8th grade student is invited to join Morning News Club as an anchor, camera person, or video production crew member. Students must be able to arrive at 7:30 a.m. in the morning. We realize there are days when members are not available due to morning band, student of the month breakfast, or just a slow start. Students can volunteer for any of the positions, since training is on the job. Members train one another and we just ask that students who wish to be anchors see Ms. Runkle of Mrs. Goad for training during academic enrichment or after school for a few minutes. All students rotate through their desired jobs, including “today in history” or weather researchers.
We are excited about our returning crew, as well as, our new 6th grade members. One of our longtime members, Dan Genovese, was just named “producer”! Dan can problem solve technical difficulties, train new members, and can fill any position! Each day crew members experience the spirit of teamwork, dedication, and developing new friendships. This year we hope to invite 5th grade students to join us closer to the end of the school year. If you’d like to be part of our team, talk with Ms. Runkle or Mrs. Goad and come down to see the behind the scenes production.
An exciting new afterschool math club for 5th grade students will begin on Tuesday, October 30th. Math Olympiads is a national math competition that provides students with the opportunity to engage in creative problem solving activities. The program consists of five contests as well as practice sessions throughout the winter. The questions are fun, enriching, and intellectually stimulating math problems that encourage students to develop their ability to reason, use logic, and be resourceful. Math Olympiads is open to all 5th grade students.
Math Olympiads will meet on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30-3:15 beginning Tuesday, October 30th. We will meet each Tuesday through the middle of March. Contests will be held during our club meeting time. On the alternate weeks, students will practice with previously used contest questions. Students are not required to attend every Tuesday, but it is helpful to attend as often as possible.
Please contact Brenda Maselli (email@example.com) with any questions.
Intramural tennis has begun this year with some great weather and excited players. So far we have worked on ground strokes such as forehands, backhands and volleys. We will soon move on to the ever important and difficult serve. Every day we end with a game of King of the Court and already students show improvement in returning shots and their movement around the court. Luckily this year we have the help of two high schoolers, Nate Comment and Jack Lyman, who both play on the high school tennis team. They have already introduced drills and warm ups students can expect and look forward to in high school.
Looking forward to the rest of the season and many dry and nice days!
Art Club has been proven to be popular again! We have had a fantastic turn out with as many as 30 students who have been busy experimenting with slime, pottery, paint and more.
Some have created clay houses, intricate bowls, boxes and mugs. Others have painted space scenes with sharp contrasts and colors or have made gifts for someone they know.
Currently, art club is working on painting pumpkins in the Library for Halloween. Students used sharpie and acrylic paint to make these masterpieces. Check out the “Wonder” inspired pumpkin, Garfield the cat, Crookshanks from Harry Potter and a black and white cat. More pumpkins are to come!
Remember art club is always open studio, so come, create and have fun!
Newspaper Club & Literacy Magazine
Newspaper Club is well on its way with its fall issue. The Knightly News staff meet weekly on Tuesday afternoons in room 203 from 2:30-3:40 pm. New members from any grade are always welcome. Our three issues (fall, winter, spring) feature current school events, staff and student spotlights, crosswords and comics, sports, etc. ~ Mrs. Gallagher