Auburn Middle School Monthly

December 2018

The Principal's Perspective

"Dance While You Still Can."


“I can’t dance anymore, but if I could, I would.” With these words, 94 year old Edwina Elbert punctuates the recurring theme of Cornell University Human Ecology Professor Karl Pillemer’s book 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.


In a novel take on the self-help book, Dr. Pillemer basically interviewed over 1,000 Americans ages 65-94 to get their advice on what happiness and success truly mean. The results are somewhat predictable, yet still very interesting. Among the points made: “Slow down; savor the moment.” “Don’t worry so much about things you can’t control.” “Find a job you like - but if that’s not possible, make the most of the one you can get.” “Be curious; explore.” “Live freely and adventurously.” “Do not end up with regrets for things you wish you did – to the extent possible, do them.”


This book came to my attention at a particularly good time as had just finished making the mistake of watching the news and feeling down about all the bad things it promoted. If we’re not careful, it would be easy to think the bad guys are winning. But deep down, I don’t really believe that. I know there is more good in the world than bad. It just doesn’t play well in the media so we rarely hear about it.


On the opposite end of this is the wonder, hope and possibility of a school aged child. As I write this, it is December 1, and I do not yet know what my professional New Year’s Resolution will be. One thing I do know, however, reinforced everyday, is that kids are extraordinarily pure and excited about learning when they are young, and that’s the way it should be. I recall when he was little, my son was so excited about everything – it was all a huge adventure for him. He regularly said things like, “Look…I can write my name…I can color within the lines…I can spell…I can read…I can paint…I can run fast…I know capitals from lowercase…” and the list goes on. Every day was a new discovery of things that we adults have long since taken for granted. It was a very energizing time in my life. Now, like many of you, I’m lucky if he tells me he got to another level on Fortnite!


Where along life’s road do we lose our innocence and enthusiasm? It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the more we learn about the world, the more jaded we become. Instead of feeling childlike wonder about new things, we sometimes treat new things as another inconvenience. Our middle school students are not immune to this phenomenon either. By this time in their lives, many of them have lost their love for learning, their feeling that each new unit of information is a grand journey. I’d like to try to bring that back for as many of our students as possible. Toward this, I will continue to work with our staff on a daily basis to make learning as joyful and adventurous as possible for our students and to make sure that they always feel welcome and cared about at school. Why not try to keep them pure, excited and eager, in a learning sense of course, as long as humanly possible? That, to me, is a worthy ambition. And it is best accomplished when worked on both at school and at home.


But how do we infuse our middle school children with positive energy? Well, though it may be slightly different for every child and family, maybe these 7 “if/then” scenarios will help at least a little:


1. If we show enthusiasm for our lives, then maybe our students will show enthusiasm for people and learning.


2. If we compliment children when they deserve it, then they will feel better about themselves and compliment others.


3. If we give children permission to laugh and have fun, then they will bring more joy to others.


4. If we are willing to try new things, then our children may be willing to take appropriate risks like learning new material in school, making new friends or trying productive new hobbies.


5. If we express gratitude outwardly, then our students will become more appreciative of the good in their lives.


6. If we can reject the allure of negativity, then our kids may become more positive, hopeful people.


7. If we constantly remind students about life’s infinite and still wonderful possibilities, then, just maybe, they will grow up believing that great things are possible for them in life...and aside from parents, that belief is the most powerful factor I know of in the life of a child.


If you read the above list carefully and gave it some thought, you realize the simple irony here – that we make our children more curious, kind, courageous and enthusiastic by being all those things ourselves. Our children get happier when we are happier. Though there are exceptions, this simple formula almost never fails. And so as I write this in the heart of the holiday season and at the brink of a new year, I ask you to join me in heeding the advice of a 94 year old woman who has seen it all – from the Great Depression to the iPhone XS – life is short; let’s “dance while we still can.”

Please allow me to express gratitude for all that you do for our students and our community and for the support you have shown for our school. You have my very best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season and 2019.

Student Council Update

STUCO has been very busy already this year. We had Halloween Dances for all three grades. Their costumes were the best yet!

This year’s STUCO is a wonderful bunch of volunteers: from heading over to Auburn Life Care weekly, working dances, parents night, helped book fair set up, to even assisting at the AYFS 5K in the rain! Some students even had a 6:30 am arrival to assist with the Camfel Production set up the day before Thanksgiving!

We are very proud of this group of students and the efforts they give each day to help spread the positive vibe, civility, and expectations we want to see here this year at AMS! They are proudly working to have the entire school get on board with our different events.

Toy Drive

The Student Council is partnering with Auburn Youth and Family Services to hold a toy drive to benefit families in town that need a little extra help this holiday season. Please bring in your new, unwrapped toy to your homeroom teacher. As always, the homeroom with the most toys will win a special prize!

A Successful Food Drive

The Student Council would like to thank all students and staff that donated food to our Thanksgiving Food Drive. AMS was able to donate 45 completed turkey dinners, complete with all the fixings!
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National Junior Honor Society News

What Are You Thankful For?

In November, NJHS made a large turkey for each Grade Level wing to display a “What are you Thankful for…?” wall. All students and staff were asked to write on a feather what they are thankful for which decorated the Turkey! Teachers were also given the task to name the feathery friend....Grade 6- Butterball Gus Stuffington, Grade 7- Ruffles, & Grade 8- T.T.

Positive Accolades

The NJHS compiled a list of all the great things about each staff member at AMS. They displayed the accolades on the wall for all to enjoy!

6th Grade News

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7th Grade News

Hanover Theatre Trip

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, all grade seven students and teachers are traveling to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, Massachusetts to view a production of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. This production, adapted and directed by Hanover Theaters president and CEO Troy Siebels, is sure to entertain with its extraordinary music, colorful costumes, and spectacular special effects. Students are reading another play adaptation of the Dickens classic as a component of the seventh grade ELA curriculum. The purpose of this trip is to enrich the seventh grade English Language Arts curriculum by exposing the students to the genre of drama and allowing them to see how the written word comes alive upon the stage.

In addition, in what has become an annual tradition at Auburn Middle School, the Emerald and Ruby students participate in a grade-wide brunch before departing for the theater. Each homeroom is assigned to bring in a food item for the event.

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, all grade seven students and teachers are traveling to the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, Massachusetts to view a production of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. This production, adapted and directed by Hanover Theaters president and CEO Troy Siebels, is sure to entertain with its extraordinary music, colorful costumes, and spectacular special effects. Students are reading another play adaptation of the Dickens classic as a component of the seventh grade ELA curriculum. The purpose of this trip is to enrich the seventh grade English Language Arts curriculum by exposing the students to the genre of drama and allowing them to see how the written word comes alive upon the stage.

In addition, in what has become an annual tradition at Auburn Middle School, the Emerald and Ruby students participate in a grade-wide brunch before departing for the theater. Each homeroom is assigned to bring in a food item for the event.


Homeroom Teacher

Mrs. Moran and Mr. Bastien : Juice boxes/bottled water

Ms. Bushe and Mr. Reid: Fruit

Mrs. Berg and Mrs. Pezzella: Muffins/munchkins

Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Gauvin: Bagels/cream cheese

Mr. Kahn and Mr. Camoreyt: Silverware/plates/napkins

To continue with the theme of giving, all remaining items will be donated to Auburn Youth & Family Services.

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7th graders were sent home with fundraising packets for their field trip to Boston in May. The total cost of the trip will be $100. Informational packets on the trip will be coming home in the near future. Each Entertainment Coupon Membership is $20 with $10 coming back to the student for each sold. That $10 will be credited directly to their individual field trip account and will be deducted from the total cost. Order forms and payments are due to homeroom teachers by December 3rd.

On May 1 grade 7 will be extending their day to travel around Boston. We will be walking the Boston Common, State House, and the Public Gardens; all part of the Boston Freedom Trail. We are going to the Museum of Fine Arts and ending our day with our World Champion Boston Red Sox! Students will enjoy the sights of the city inside and out! More information will go home after the 1st of the year. The cost of the trip is $99.00.

CROSS-CURRICULAR PUMPKINS

Students in Ancient Civilization worked in pairs to map the world on a pumpkin. Pumpkins were displayed in the front of the school for Halloween. Each discipline did something with the pumpkin during this time; Science students wrote a pumpkin themed “Creepy” story utilizing 7 science vocabulary words and created a movie trailer of pumpkin diseases.

In ELA, students were able to apply their knowledge of a traditional Haiku in order to write a three-line poem about the fall using the appropriate 5-7-5 syllabic pattern. These poems were proudly displayed at the front of the room as a cheerful reminder of Autumn and all that we are grateful for.

Working in small groups, students completed, “Pumpkin Math,” an activity designed to cover a few of the seventh-grade geometry standards. Visualizing horizontal, lateral and diagonal slices, students needed to predict the resulting two-dimensional shape.

Math Workshops

New this year, students have the opportunity to earn extra credit in math class by completing Math Workshop activities. Math Workshop is a trimester long opportunity students can work on either in class, during enrichment or after school. For more details, please see your student’s math class Schoology page.

Wingmasters

WINGMASTERS is scheduled to provide the seventh-grade students a glimpse into the life of Birds of Prey as Juli Collier, AKA “The Bird Lady”, is coming to AMS in the new year. On January 25th, she brings a variety of predatory birds that call New England their home. Most birds that Wingmasters cares for can be reintroduced back into the wild; but, those with injuries that require continued long-term assistance are made to be ambassadors to the public. We are pleased to continually support this conservation program!

8th Grade News

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8th Graders are selling calendar raffles to help fund their trip to Washing, DC in the spring. Calendars are $10 each and 100% of that amount will go towards the cost of student's trip. Each day in February, we will draw a prize that has been graciously donated by area businesses. The deadline for calendar sales is January 25th. To purchase a calendar, contact an 8th grade student or teacher!

Patriots Place Field Trip

The 8th grade will be taking part in a STEM related field trip at Patriots Place on January 8th (Diamond Team) and 9th (Onyx Team). Permission slips will be going home with students and can also be found below.

Unified Arts News

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All students will be participating in the annual "Great Skate" at Horgan Skating Arena. Students may bring their own skates or rent a pair for $5. Students are invited to bring extra cash for snacks if they so choose. Permission slips have been handed out in homeroom and should be returned as soon as possible. Please have your students dress accordingly for the cold. Hats, gloves, and cold weather accessories are encouraged. Permission slips can also be found below.


Monday 12/17: 8th Grade Teams- Onyx first(8:00) Diamond second(9:30)

Tuesday 12/18: 7th Grade Teams-Emerald first(8:00) Ruby second(9:30)

Wednesday 12/19: 6th Grade Teams- Sapphire first(8:00) Pearl second(9:30)

Wellness Fair

The wellness fair was a great success. Approximately 600 students were trained in hands-only CPR. All 7th graders completed the heights/weights, vision and hearing screenings. All students completed the postural screening. Students were trained in how to use the AED, participated in heart healthy activities, and, thanks to food services, were provided a heart healthy snack and water. Thank you to Mrs. Collins and the UA team for putting together such a wonderful event!

News From the Health Office

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Please be extra mindful this cold and flu season and know the difference between the common cold and the flu. If your child is experiencing flu-like symptoms please keep them home and see your pediatrician. As always, be sure to encourage hand-washing, as it is your first line of defense when it comes to keeping germs away!

Ski Club Information

Ski Club dates for 2019 are Jan. 3rd,10th,17th,24th, 31st & Feb. 7th.

If we have a school cancellation on a ski club day, we will just extend ski club to the next week after Feb 7th. If you have not signed up for ski club yet and are interested there are 3 spots available. Email Mrs. Berg at aberg@auburn.k12.ma.us for more info

Basketball and Cheerleading Schedules

Basketball schedules coming soon.

December Holiday Break

Monday, Dec. 24th, 7:45am to Tuesday, Jan. 1st 2019 at 11pm

9 West Street

Auburn, MA

Enjoy some time off with your loved ones!