Winthrop Middle School

October 2017 Newsletter

Important Dates:

October 24th - WMS Band will be performing in Takeout Tuesday in French Square 5:30-6:30

November 7th - No School (Staff Professional Development)

November 8th - End of Term 1

November 10th - No School (Veteran's Day Observed)

November 13th - Report Cards Distributed

November 16th - Parent/Teacher Conferences 6:00-8:00pm

November 23rd - Early Release (Thanksgiving)

November 24th/25th - No School (Thanksgiving)

*MCAS results (parent/student reports) will be distributed end of October or beginning of November.

"Stand Up As One" - 8th grade volunteers to clean up Ingleside Park the day before the Fall Fair.

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Student Council "Stands Up As One" to Help Others

STUCO collected over $700 and sent all donations to the Humble Texas School Department. The money will be provided to help families resettle after the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

STUCO collected over $1,600 at their recent bake sale in French Square. All proceeds collected will help families in need in Puerto Rico after being devastated by Hurricane Maria.

*Thank you to all WMS families who made financial contributions and/or provided baked goods for both causes. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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October - Activities/Club Schedule

Please click below to download

- November calendar will be out before 11/1

Curriculum Updates

English Language Arts

Students in 6th grade are engaged in reading Maroo of the Winter Caves, a piece of historical fiction which aligns with their study of the Old Stone Age in their Social Studies curriculum. Through the course of the study of this novel, students will focus on developing vocabulary, making connections, identifying conflict, analyzing characters, and writing a piece of their own historical fiction.

Students in 7th grade are continuing their practice of Character Analysis and Predictions in order to master using evidence to support analysis, argument/analytical writing, and proper grammar/mechanics. Students will have a final assessment on these skills on November 2nd. Students are also being introduced to lessons on determining themes and using context to determine the meaning of unknown words. These skills will be assessed next quarter. Various books are being used across 7th grade classes based on individual class interest.

Students in 8th grade are continuing their practice of writing literary analysis using the book The Outsiders. Further, students will be participating in a Socratic Seminar in order to engage with other students in meaningful discussion of the book. In November, students will move into work on identifying themes and recognizing how themes develop over the course of a text.


Grade 6 math students are busy learning operations with rational numbers. They are reviewing operations with fractions started in 5th grade (addition, subtraction & multiplication) leading to a new concept of dividing fractions. The students will then transition to the study of decimal operations.

7th grade students are currently adding and subtracting rational numbers. They will soon move onto multiplying and dividing rational numbers for the remainder of the month.

8th grade students are currently working on solving one step and multi-step linear equations. We recently just finished Laws of Exponents and Operations with Scientific Notation.


Grade 6 is finishing their unit on Plate Tectonics. We are exploring the Earth’s structure; as well as, the mechanics behind plate movement that cause earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain formation.

Grade 7 has completed their Energy unit and is now beginning a unit on Waves. Students will use diagrams of simple wave diagrams to identify the amplitude, frequency, and wavelength of a wave, and they will explore the properties and behaviors of a variety of types of waves.

Grade 8 has completed their Studying Materials Scientifically unit and is now beginning a unit on The Chemistry of Materials. As they explore the characteristics of various plastics, they will use plastics to learn about physical and chemical properties, the conservation of matter, the structure of the Periodic Table of Elements as well as modeling molecules, monomers and polymers.

Social Studies

Grade 6 is studying the development of human society through the Stone Ages. They will be analyzing the changing lifestyle in the Stone Ages from nomadic hunting & gathering to a settled agrarian life. The students are also reading Maroo of the Winter Caves in ELA, a novel set in the Old Stone Age.

7th Grade Geography is currently learning the political, physical, and human geography of North America from Canada all the way down through Central America and the Caribbean. Topics include, but are not limited to: Population patterns, reading contour maps, US Westward Expansion and the Transcontinental Railroad, Mayan and Aztec culture, Human Development Index, and the Panama Canal.

8th grade is studying the rise and accomplishments of the Byzantine Empire. Topics include Constantine the Great and the shift of the Empire's capital from Rome to Constantinople. Also students are studying the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and his accomplishments including the construction of the Hagia Sophia church and the Code of Law and its influence on today.


The Winthrop Middle School band is excited to welcome about 25 new sixth graders to the program this year, some from ATC and some are just starting out! Our middle school students are working hard in a variety of ensembles this year. In sixth grade beginner band students are just starting to master their first few notes and practicing reading notation. Advanced Band and Select Band students are working hard on repertoire for their winter concert on January 10! New this year: our middle school students have the opportunity to be a part of Jazz Ensemble! Bill Anderson, a Winthrop local and outstanding percussionist, has been coming in during morning rehearsals to work on some drumset technique with our students. Charles Kircher, saxophonist and jazz performer from the ATC, has joined us in the morning to help out with woodwind technique and jazz ensemble.

We have a few exciting performances coming up! Tuesday October 24th 5:30-6:30 PM WMS Band will be performing at Takeout Tuesday in French Square. We will also be having a BAKE SALE so save room for dessert! Our performance will include Seven Nation Army, Wicked, Crazy Train, Jersey Boys, Lion King and more! The WMS band will also be performing at the Thanksgiving Day football game! This is the first time there has been a pep band at a Winthrop Game in about 20 years!! Our popular holiday band will be forming in the coming weeks and will be gigging around town the month of December. If you are interested in hosting a performance please reach out to Mrs. Da Paz at! We hope to see you at one of the upcoming gigs!


Grade 6 students are putting their math and creative skills to work. Their task is to design and build a chair for an international wildlife society. The designs should reflect nature and be built as a 1/4 scale model of a typical chair.

After viewing a documentary about the history of the Mars Rovers, Seventh and Eighth Graders were tasked with designing, building, and testing their own rovers. The challenge was to engineer their vehicles using only pasta and glue. The students will roll their vehicles down a ramp and record the distance and time and then calculate the rate.


All classes are having fun experimenting with color! Grade 6 classes are mixing secondary and tertiary colors with a variety of different mediums. We examined the bold use of color and visible brushstrokes in many of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings and the students in Grade 7 have started landscape paintings to show the influence of this artist. Grade 8 classes are working with monochromatic color using different values of one color in fall drawings


6th Graders are exploring what makes a character (Character Traits) through theatre games. They are also delving into how an actor researches a character by creating "I Am..." poems for characters in their summer reading book - "Turtle in Paradise." Using info from the text as well as context clues they are outlining what each of these characters like, dislike, want, and are afraid of.

7th Graders are stepping into the role of a production team for a film and creating new "endings" for the summer reading book "The Bully." They are imaging that the book is being turned into the film and they have to create a new way that Darrell (the main character) could have dealt with the bullying situation. In small groups students are brainstorming and outlining new endings. They are also exploring what "Storyboards" are in the film world and how they can be used to plan out the shots for a movie.

8th Graders are creating commercials! Their last class project was to create a "Food Product" inspired by their summer reading books and actually build the prop. Working collaboratively, students are scripting and rehearsing commercials to sell their props. Through theatre games, students explored how to effectively pitch an item, and used this as the backbone for the commercials they are creating.

Physical Education

6th grade students are learning soccer. The soccer unit provides activities for students to practice, develop, and apply skills such as ball-handling, dribbling, passing, trapping, and shooting; as well as offensive and defensive strategies required for successful game play. Soccer (known throughout the world as football) is one of the world’s most popular team sports. It is played by young and old alike, in nearly every country.

7th and 8th grade students are learning basketball. The basketball unit provides activities for students to practice, develop and apply skills such as dribbling, passing, pivoting, and shooting as well as offensive and defensive strategies required for successful game play. Activities follow a high-activity skill progression which utilizes small groups, simplifies rules, and equalizes play and touches to maximize student participation and enjoyment.