HMS Quarterly Newsletter

Marking Period 3

Principal's Message

Greetings Hoboken Middle School Family!

Congratulations to all of our Hoboken Middle School Tigers, on the successful completion of the third marking period and showing your resilience, either remotely or onsite, to try your best within all areas of your academic journey. Remember to make good choices, give every aspect of your day 110% effort and be kind to all of those around you.

Throughout the third marking period, our students and staff have covered our curricular topics and concepts with enthusiasm and focus. Our staff is working diligently to maximize the instructional experiences for all students in the virtual and traditional settings. I am looking forward to the end of the school year. Please take some time to view our third marking period reflections below. As always, stay safe and let us know if you need any support along the way.


Ms. Marra

Special Events

Acceptance & Kindness Door Decorating Contest

In February, HMS hosted our first Acceptance & Kindness Door Decorating Contest. Each door celebrated quotes about acceptance and kindness. Winners from the contest received a prize of a $25 donation made to the Hoboken Homeless Shelter in the names of the winning classes. On March 19th, representatives from each winning class presented the donation to the Hoboken Homeless Shelter.

Please click here for all the virtual and remote doors our students created.

Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, HMS observed Black History Month. A highlight from the month was the work completed by Ms. Loughlin's 7th grade classes. Students focused on the Civil Rights Movement and key individuals who have paved the way for freedoms and rights. Ms. Loughlin led her 7th Graders in identifying Civil Rights giants Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and John Lewis who the students were originally unfamiliar with. The eager 7th Grade students could not believe how little they knew about Lewis and his long and deep history in the Civil Rights Movement. In a multi-lesson project, students read, watched, reflected, and produced a final poster that connected Lewis' work with the ongoing fight for social justice and civil rights around the world. Students also listened to "Master Class: John Lewis." Social Studies students were able to hear from Mr. Lewis himself about his work on the Freedom Rides, The March on Selma, lunch counter sit-ins, and his speech at the March on Washington. For the Social Studies Night Write, students read how Lewis used his "good trouble" mantra in the US Congress as he continued to fight injustice for decades. They learned how non-violent tactics can still be used today.

In an effort to push the students artistically, classes used the program Canva to produce a high-quality poster that could be displayed around the school to educate other students about Lewis and his work. Students worked together to produce, peer-edit, and craft a poster they would be proud to share with Lewis himself. Linked here is 7th Grader Polina Kulinchenko’s John Lewis Canva Poster.

Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 17th marked Random Acts of Kindness Day. In an effort to promote being kind, students and staff were encouraged to wear the color purple, which represents kindness, understanding, and compassion. Please visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation's website on ways to continue to spread kindness at Hoboken Middle School and our community.

PTO Yoga Event

On Feburary 27th, the HMS PTO hosted a virtual yoga event. Kate DeCock, HMS parent and certified yoga instructor, led the yoga class for HMS families. Thank you to all who attended!

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Kean University Council: Building CommUNITY 2021

On March 5th Hoboken Middle School students in grades 6-8 had the opportunity to participate in another virtual conference focused on building leadership skills while implementing the concept of commUNITY in school hosted by Kean University. Students were fully engaged in the inclusive virtual conference where they were able to meet students from other districts and could discuss relevant and meaningful topics about diversity and acceptance. Diversity Council members from Kean University presented ways for students to have a stronger leadership presence while being mindful of diversity and embracing diversity. The virtual conference was a wonderful way for our Hoboken Middle School students to network with peers from around the State and engage in meaningful conversations. We look forward to working with Kean University for future learning opportunities.

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HMS Sends 18 Teams to STEAM Tank Regionals

Congratulations are in order for the 18 teams who have qualitied for the STEAM Tank Regional Competition, which will take place on April 26th. Best of luck!

  • Solar Case: Ali Kaddour, Ben Gordon, Dominic Magaletta, Matthew Marinello, Azaad Bhalla
  • Holo Call: Nikko Rodriguez, Avery Martinez, Christopher McKenzie, Benjamin Gabriel
  • Walk with Wifi: Heli Cuevas, Kymani Hill, Jayda Ditripani-Acevedo
  • Forest Fire Awareness Program: Paz DelaTorre, Mackenzie Cohen, Zoe Magaletta, Maddison Tindall
  • Rain Ramps: Peter Franco, Chris Marinello, Ace Levine, Teagan Clark, Joseph Checkley
  • Flood Fixers: Dusan Dobric, Sava Tomin, Miles Angley
  • Battery Bin: Camila Suarez, Shy Warshawsky, Aleksander Gray
  • Pollution Clean up: Jayla Dale, Briana Frias, Luke Batcha
  • Eco-Drizzle: Morgan Walia Peters, Joseph Frangie, Madison Walia Peters
  • We have added an additional NINE Teams to our STEAM Tank Regional Competition Line-Up
  • The Inner Eye Team: Vivian Allen, Skylar Colvin, Gabby Pollack, and Noah Hyman
  • Everything Vogue: Camila Torres, Halle Kramer, Alexa Cooper, Dakota Cohen, Sarah Burns
  • Meow Machine: Tasha Fu, Sophia Lopez, Aaliyah Cleffi, Ariana Feola, Sihana Alaj, Janessa Eusebio
  • Aquafinity: Jenna Sirio, Raine Saayan, Elizabeth Bright, Arya Khanna
  • Cozy Campers: Nijel Colon, Adrian Calle, Jose Marin
  • Pasti: Polina Kulichenko, Sophie Katz, Addison Rumph
  • Plastic Pollution Solution: Axel Hultstrom, Ava Di Giacamo, Claire Snider, Isabella Pisano
  • Bio Change: Savannah Jones, Anabella Pena, Brayah O'connor, Bryce Hampton
  • Museum of Natural Trees: Audrey Backstrom, Gabriel Rivas
  • Will be joining the already selected teams of:

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Women's History Month

During the month of March, students at Hoboken Middle School observed Women’s History Month in each of their classes by experiencing hands-on lessons, writing opportunities, webinars, and creative art projects. Social Studies classes were able to celebrate Women’s History Month by joining the National Constitution Center’s LIVE online civics class, which discussed the 19th Amendment. During the LIVE Zoom class, students were able to listen to the powerful words of Martha S. Jones, professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and Society of Black Alumni, and her take on the struggle for women’s voting rights and the women’s rights movement. The event, hosted by the National Constitution Center, educated middle schoolers on exploring constitutional arguments over women’s suffrage and studied the historical context of the fight for suffrage. This wonderful opportunity assisted all learners on the importance of why we observe Women’s History Month.

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Four Perfect Pebbles

On Monday, March 22nd, Hoboken Middle School students had the opportunity to listen to the amazing story of survival from Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan. Marion’s incredible story reached the hearts of all of Hoboken Middle School’s students which encouraged them to be reflective about Marion’s life and their own life experiences. Students in all Social Studies classes worked diligently on creating original poems, essays, digital videos, or visual pieces of art to express what they learned about themselves and modern day society by hearing all about Marion’s story of survival. Student work has been shared with Marion so show their level of appreciation and reflective thinking. Check out some student writing pieces below:

Vivian Allen

Sophia Castiglione

Raine Sayaan

Sarah Burns

Additionally, here is the link to Marion Blumenthal Lazan's Assembly for Hoboken Middle School. Thank you for virtually visiting our school community and sharing your story with us.

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Best Buddies Match Day

March is "Inclusion" Month, and at Hoboken Middle school we aim to celebrate all year long!

Sometimes we may wonder how one small action can make a difference. An inclusive world can be created through individual acts of inclusion – finding and welcoming those who have been left out, being a teammate, becoming a friend.

We believe that inclusion is a skill that we can all practice – and when we do, we become better at including all people. To celebrate Inclusion Month, the HMS Best Buddies Friendship Chapter is asking everyone to pledge to include, to commit to an act of inclusion in their school, workplace, or community. These actions can be as simple as sitting with someone alone at lunch, inviting someone who has been excluded to join a pick-up sports game, or welcoming someone by saying hello during the school day.

How will you pledge to include?

On March 5, our Best Buddies Friendship Chapter pledged to include by holding our very first “Match Day” event! During this virtual event, our buddies met to play Kahoot, meet their buddy pairs, and just have fun. If you are interested in joining Best Buddies, there is always room! Please contact Ms. Beriloff or Ms. Episcopo.

"Alone we can do so little; together can do so much."-Helen Keller

Spirit Days

Throughout the third marking period, students participated in Spirt Days! Click on the links below to view the highlights from our Spirit Days:

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Law Day Essay Contest

Students throughout Hoboken Middle School have been eagerly working on their Law Day 2021 Contest submissions in their Social Studies and Language Arts classes. As part of the middle school’s strive to challenge our students in all academic aspects, students in grades 6th through 8th were given the opportunity to create original writing pieces and art pieces using Advancing the Rule of Law Now as the theme. Hudson County students from grade 6 to high school seniors were invited to express their creativity by means of artwork, photography, essay, poem, or rap on the topic of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. For almost 30 years, Justice RGB was a legendary presence on the United States Supreme Court. Through her majority opinions and famous dissents, she truly advanced the rule of law. Students were responsible for understanding their personal view of the law and were tasked with expressing their ideas through original written and/or artistic form. All submissions have been delivered to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County Bar Association & Foundation as we eagerly wait for judging in late April.

Please take a moment to view some of our submissions:

RBG, She Fought for Us to be Free- Audrey Backstrom

Before R.B.G.- Sophie Katz

Ruth Bader Ginsberg Essay- Anna Krystofik

RBG, Supreme Court Justice- Ace Levine

Student Development Day

On April 1st, HMS students participated in our Student Development Day #4. Lessons were created by Dr. Baskinger, Ms. Beriloff, and Ms. Falcone, and facilitated by students' teachers. Students were engaged in lessons from the Persist Kids curriculum, as well as mindfulness and team building exercises. Students took great pride in the Classroom Community Expectations they created with their homerooms. This Student Development truly focused on working as a team. Students were provided with opportunities to reflect on their own actions, thoughts, and feelings that contribute to our social, emotional, and academic success. Students also learned what it means to be empathetic, and the different skills we can use to understand how others may feel. All lessons have been uploaded to the Counselor's Corner Google Classroom for students to reference at any time.

Hoboken High School Class Scheduling

As the end of the third marking period came to a close, 8th grade students met with Ms. Falcone to schedule their freshman year classes at Hoboken High School. This is such an exciting time for our 8th grade students as we begin to prepare for the transition from middle school to high school!

Classroom Highlights

6th Grade ELA

The third marking period was certainly a busy one for HMS 6th grade students! Students not only wrapped up their their novel, Holes, but they also immersed themselves in research. By the end of the unit, students were able to identify the significance and accountability of identifying reliable sources as established by responsible writers. Students practiced using an investigative checklist to determine the credibility of sources; some strategies included analyzing the source and corroborating information read. Students used these strategies to locate reliable sources for their feature article assignments.

Meanwhile, in Readers' Workshop, students began their whole-class novel, Chasing Vermeer. We explored the elements of the mystery genre such as alibis, red herrings, suspects and clues/evidence. After completing their reading and final assessment for Chasing Vermeer, our 6th grade scholars put their sleuthing skills to the test! Students were given a case file for “The Canine Caper: Who Stole Snowball?” complete with background information, witness testimonies and evidence exhibits. Students had to use their critical thinking skills to gather evidence that proved their “client” was not-guilty. Our scholars quickly learned that circumstantial evidence can be manipulated using valid reasoning; a skill that can prove to be a valuable tool when writing and presenting arguments. The 6th grade ELA team is so proud of students for the work they accomplished in the third marking period.

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6th Grade Social Studies

Throughout the marking period, students learned about the power of judicial review in the Supreme Court, and how it affected the earliest court cases in Marbury v. Madison. This coincided quite nicely in drafting essays for the Law Day Essay Contest. Through night writes and discussions, students were provided with the opportunity to share their views of young people and teens involved with politics. Ms. Bennett and Ms. Ratliff also worked with students to prepare them for Mrs. Blumenthal-Lazan's visit to HMS on March 22nd, and learned about the suffrage movement during World War I in honor of International Women's Day. Students wrapped up the marking period with learning about the equal protection clause and high-profile Supreme Court cases, such as Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education.
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6th Grade Math

From studying percentages to celebrating Pi Day to a unit on Geometry, our 6th grade mathematicians were busy in the third marking period. Students were exposed to real world situations when learning how to to calculate percentages, such as tip, tax and discounts. Throughout the Geometry unit, students focused on the area of parallelograms, triangles, trapezoids, kites, and rhombi. Additionally, students learned the concepts of nets, surface area, and volume. Students continue to utilize Google Jam boards to solve, organize, and share thoughts with their peers as well.

Pi Day took place on March 14th. During the week leading up to Pi Day, students learned why we celebrate Pi Day, the definitions of radius and diameter, and used various aspects of circles to complete a fun activity.

6th Grade Science

Our 6th grade scientific journalists have been hard at work in the third marking period. Students were provided with the opportunity to write a STEAM explanation essay on a science topic they felt passionate about; we certainly have some future journalists in the 6th grade class! Students also explored the inheritance of traits through genes, allowing them to inquire about their own genetic traits. Throughout this unit, students also were able to distinguish between inherited and acquired traits, as well as physical and social factors that could play a role in an organism's traits.

7th Grade ELA

Throughout the third marking period, 7th grade students continued to work on their Photo Essays during Writer's Workshop, wrap up their novel A Wrinkle in Time, and begin their memoir unit. In Writer's Workshop, students explored a new editing skill--pauses punctuation. Students peer revised and edited the second drafts of their Photo Essays, and then added different types of pause punctuation to their final products.

Students also began their new class novel, The Wednesday Wars. The protagonist in the novel studies William Shakespeare, so our own students were provided with the opportunity to study two Shakespearean plays, The Merchant of Venice and The Tempest. The Tempest features a monster, Caliban, who curses and insults at others. 7th grade students put themselves in the mind and spirit of the narrator of the play, allowing them to craft their own Shakespearean insults. As the marking period came to a close, students began to explore mentor texts for the Memoir unit. Students learned ways in which purpose and audience influence the form and structure of a memoir in an effort to prepare for their own memoirs in the fourth marking period.

7th Grade Social Studies

In Ms. Loughlin and Ms. Ratliff's Social Studies classes, students were immersed in their Central America studies as they chose specific themes and topics that interested in them. These themes and topics included: eco-tourism, micro-credit, dictatorships, democracy, and religion. By researching and crafting an "Infographic" on Canva, students were able to connect to different cultures and people of the region, demonstrating their knowledge of a real world problem using digital tools. Students also celebrated Women's History Month by researching one woman who changed the world and creating a "Gallery Walk" for a "Great Women in History Museum." Students profiled scientists, civil rights leaders, politicians, performers, and all around amazing human beings. Lastly, students began their unit on Africa. Students read about 13 year old Natalia in Mozambique, Africa and how her schooling, health, and life have been greatly impacted by the limited access to clean and safe drinking water. This lesson allowed students to make the connection with their science lesson on "water footprints." Students also researched and crafted country profiles of the 54 nations for an "Africa Gallery Walk." The combination of content and design have allowed students to really work with the material and teach other from their designs.

7th Grade Math

In the third marking period, 7th grade students continued to utilize Nearpod and Edpuzzle as learning platforms in Math. Students also focused on Populations and Samples, and even participated in a Statistic Escape Room to reinforce their skills. Additionally, students learned about Probability. Through activities such as the Jelly Bean Math Project, students were able to calculate probability, and make fractional, decimal, and ratio comparison statements. This activity also introduced the difference between Theoretical and Experimental Probability. To wrap up the marking period, students learned how to determine the outcome and probability of compound events.

7th Grade Science

From identifying relationships to Women in STEM, it was a busy quarter in 7th grade Science! Students began the marking period by learning that all organisms interact with and depend upon each other and their environment to satisfy basic needs. Additionally, students learned about symbiosis and demonstrated their understanding by creating a StoryBoard Comic Strip. Students also focused on food chains, and how they are an important aspect to any habitat or biome. Ms. McHugh and Ms. Fernandez also worked with students to help them gain an in-depth understanding of key water issues by viewing a presentation about water resources and water footprints. Students used a water calculator to calculate and analyze their own direct and vital water use, which provided our 7th grade scientists the opportunity to design their own water footprints based on their water usage categories.

8th Grade ELA

In the 8th grade, students wrapped up To Kill a Mockingbird, completed a Research Report, and began to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. While reading To Kill a Mockingbird, students analyzed how different characters responded to the verdict of the trial in the novel using a Responses to the Trial chart. Students focused on the development of significant characters as the novel came to a close. Students also viewed the film version, which allowed them to compare the similarities between the novel and film. As students began to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, they focused on background information, as well as character analysis and significant themes.

In Writer's Workshop, Ms. Donnelly, Ms. Gomez, Ms. Nodine, and Ms. Rienzo worked with students in writing their Research Report. In addition, students were introduced to their new writing unit, Multi-Genre Memoir. Students learned what a memoir is while exploring multiple mentor texts across the different genres of memoir. Students have begun brainstorming ideas for their own memoir writing pieces as well.

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8th Grade Social Studies

In the beginning of the quarter, 8th grade students took a close look at the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Students explored how she broke barriers and silences in the Supreme Court, especially in defense of women's rights and social justice. 8th grade students also focused on Europe in Modern Times with a focus on World War I. Students assessed the major causes of World War I, such as militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism. Students then transitioned to the next topic of World War II, examining the rise of dictators and how propaganda was used to control Germans and unite them behind the Nazi regime. While learning about World War II in the 8th grade, students prepared for Marion Blumenthal Lazan's virtual visit to HMS. After listening to the inspiring Holocaust survivor, students completed a Holocaust reflection task where they created an original essay, poem, digital video, presentation, or visual art piece that clearly expressed what they learned about themselves and modern society from listening to Marion's survival story.
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8th Grade Math

Pre-Algebra: Throughout the marking period, students continued to work on interior and exterior angles of triangles, as well as applying concepts of triangle-angle relationships to solve problems. Students also focused on the relationship between angle pairs when a parallel line is cut by a transversal and determined the missing angle measures. As students became more fluent in these concepts, students then began Topic 7: Understand and Apply the Pythagorean Theorem. Students explored lengths of triangles to ensure a triangle is a right triangle and apply their knowledge of Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths of a triangle and identify right triangles.

Algebra 1: In Algebra I, students focused on special cases that form when multiplying specific binomials, such as the square of a binomial and the sum and difference of binomials. Students explored patterns of polynomials expressions, as well as factoring two binomials. Algebra 1 students also learned about two methods of factoring polynomials by factoring out the greatest common factor and what that means in terms of both coefficients and variables with a polynomial expression. At the close of the marking period, students continued to work on their of quadratic equations in vertex form and transitioned into standard form.

Geometry: Ms. Tank and her Geometry class focused on identifying rhombuses, rectangles, and squares by the characteristics of diagonals for parallelograms in the beginning of the 3rd marking period. Students also learned to dilate figures on and off the coordinate plane, as well as understand how distances and lengths in a dilation are related to a scale factor and center of dilation. In addition, Ms. Tank worked with students to use dilations and rigid motions to prove triangles are similar. As the marking period came to a close, students defined and calculated sine, cosine, and tangent ratios and used trigonometric ratios to solve problems.

8th grade Science

Throughout the third marking period, Ms. Gentile and Ms. Fernandez worked with 8th grade students to finish their unit on Minerals, Rocks, and Fossils, study plate tectonics, and the human body. While studying the theory of plate tectonics, students learned about the continental drift, seafloor spreading, the different types of plate boundaries. Students put themselves in the shoes of engineers working to design earthquake resistant buildings, using the engineering process to guide their experiences. Students constructed their own buildings based on their design and then tested their structures using a shake table to mimic an actual earthquake. Students continued with their hands-on science experiences during their unit on the human body. Using different materials to model the actual anatomy in our hands, students designed a 3-D hand model to pick up objects. Students tested their models, and reflected on how their models could be modified over time.
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World Languages

Ms. Jette, Ms. Sha, and Ms. Trinidad worked with students in continuing to master their target languages. Students have mastered their numbers up to 100 in French, while learning how to introduce family members in Mandarin class. In Spanish, students compared and contrasted family units twenty years ago and today, discussing how immigration has an impact on families and their future generations. In addition, Ms. Jette took her students on a virtual field trip to Choc O Pain, an authentic French bakery in Hoboken!
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Visual Art

Please take a moment to view our HMS artists' pieces from the marking period!

Physical Education

During the third marking period, students continued to master their kickball skills in competitive games, and began to learn the rules of Ping Pong. HMS students really enjoyed our table tennis unit, allowing them to socialize and compete at the same time. Students participated in a couple of grade level tournaments as well. Congratulations to our winners, Noah Hyman and Peter Franco!