HMS Quarterly Newsletter

Marking Period 4

Principal's Message

Greetings Hoboken Middle School Family!

Congratulations to all for the successful completion of the 2020/2021 school year! I am so proud of all my students. I would also like to extend a special congratulations to our 8th grade class. From all of us at HMS, we wish you the best of luck in high school!

Please take some time to read through the highlights of the 4th marking period.

As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions. Have a wonderful summer!


Ms. Marra

Special Events

Inaugural U.S. Physics Olympiad at HMS

On Thursday, April 29th, students across Hoboken Middle School competed in the first ever Physics Olympiad hosted by Physical Science Research Associates (Physcira). This virtual competition gave students in grades 6-8 a chance to showcase their physics and science skills through multiple choice questions and open-ended questions that allowed students to truly be challenged and think outside the “physics” box.

The Inaugural U.S. Physics Olympiad for Middle School students was a one-day, virtual event. The competition asked students to answer questions and solve problems in the fields of mechanics, optics, and electricity & magnetism. The first part of the competition gave middle schoolers 90 minutes to answer 25 multiple-choice questions. Many students were eager to begin the Olympiad and prove their deep understanding of physics in the real world. The second part of the competition consisted of 6 open-ended, pre-algebra-based physics problems to be completed within 90 minutes. Though tricky, Hoboken Middle School students gave it their all and competed to win!

The results of The Inaugural Middle School Physics Olympiad will be announced on May 17th. Hoboken Middle School is proud of their students and recognizes their academic excellence and efforts throughout this competition.

STEAM Tank Regional Competition

In the third marking period, the following teams competed in the STEAM Tank Regional Competition:

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

Inner Eye: Vivian Allen, Skylar Colvin, Gabrielle Pollack, 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

Bio Change: Savanah Jones, Annabelle Pena, Brayah O'connor, Bryce Hampton

Museum of Naturlal Trees: Audrey Backstrom, Gabriel Rivas

Plastic Pollution Solution: Axel Hulstrom, Ava DiGiacomo, Clair Snider, Isabella Pisano

LLM Masks: Lila McDonough, Louis Dirx, Mariah Dale

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

Eco Drizzle: Morgan Walia Peters, Joseph Frangie, Madison Walia Peters

Battery Bin: Camila Suarez, Shy Warshawsky, Aleksander Gray

Pollution Clean Up: Jayla Dale, Briana Frias, Luke Batcha

Job well done to all our teams!

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander month. We have partnered with Kean University to host a panel in an effort to amplify the voices of the AAPI community. Two of our very own will serve on the panel. Ms. Jin Park, Hoboken High School Supervisory and Ms. Joyce Simons, Member of the Board of Education and one of our very own HMS Parents will serve on the panel.

During the month of May, students at Hoboken Middle School will celebrate and learn about Asians and Pacific Islanders and their many accomplishments throughout history. Like most commemorative months, teachers will dedicate lessons throughout May in the areas of STEM, history, art, music, and literature. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a rich heritage that has shaped the history of the United States. Hoboken Middle School recognizes their vital contributions and is proud to educate our students and the Hoboken Community on Asian American and Pacific Islander pride.

HMS Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Hoboken Middle School and Hoboken High School Best Buddies chapters are off to a wonderful start. On Tuesday April 27, 2021, the Best Buddies Hoboken Middle School and High School Friendship chapters participated in our inaugural “Friendship Walk”. The Best Buddies Friendship Walk is the leading walk in the nation that promotes inclusion and acceptance for all. During the walk, our students, among the 40,000 other walkers across the nation, walked together to show our pride and support for Best Buddies. Together we raised over 2,000 dollars to support Best Buddies’ Mission of inclusion and empowerment for individuals of all abilities. With that said, our Hoboken Public Schools community is truly amazing! On behalf of our chapters, Best Buddies would like to thank everyone who supported, walked, and donated. We look forward to sharing the New Jersey Best Buddies Friendship Walk video with you so you can see how successful Hoboken’s walk was as well as other chapters in the state!

Click here to view the video of the HMS Best Buddies Friendship Walk.

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With much anticipation, the results of The Inaugural Middle School Physics Olympiad were announced this spring! Several students in Grades 6-8 have placed nationally amongst peers and have been awarded with placements such as second place, third place, and placing in the 90th Percentile. These students were not only highly successful in their knowledge of physics, but were also able to think critically using pre-algebra skills. The following students placed in The Inaugural Middle School Physics Olympiad:

1. Ava DiGiacomo (7th)- 90th Percentile
2. Dusan Dobric (8th)- 90th Percentile
3. Peter Franco (8th)- Second Place
4. Adrian Jianksy (7th)- 90th Percentile
5. Nikoline O'Keefe (7th)- 90th Percentile
6. Beatrice Olney (8th)- Third Place
7. Ethan Sikernitsky (6th)- 90th Percentile
8. Arcadio Torres (8th)- 90th Percentile
9. Madison Walia Peters (8th)- Second Place
10. Morgan Walia Peters (8th)- Second Place

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Stevens University Math Olympiad

Hoboken Middle School students in grades 6-8 participated in the Stevens University Math Olympiad this past Saturday. Eighteen students competed in various math problem solving activities. The day began at 10am with a welcoming ceremony followed by Math Olympiad Testing where students worked independently throughout a series of problems. Later in the day, participants were able to join Stevens for the Picture Hanging Puzzles lecture led by the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology. After speaking with several HMS students, they agreed they had a wonderful and competitive time doing what they enjoy: math! A special thanks to Stevens University for hosting this LIVE virtual event so that our students can have access to interactive learning experiences. And a special thanks to our competing Hoboken Middle School students. You did a wonderful job in representing our school and the community of Hoboken!
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HMS National Junior Honor Society Induction

The National Junior Honor Society Committee of Hoboken Middle School is happy to announce that 6th Grade NJHS candidates were inducted into the Pulchra Varietate Chapter on Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021! These candidates have shown exemplary academic performance throughout their first year at Hoboken Middle School. The formal induction ceremony was a beautiful event celebrating each new member and their commitment to the National Junior Honor Society.

New members were able to make their pledge, understand their role as members, and were able to participate in the special Candle Lighting Ceremony. 7th and 8th grade NJHS members along with Hoboken Middle School teachers and staff were able to celebrate the event with words of congratulations and encouragement. The recorded event is available for viewing on the Hoboken YouTube channel.

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HMS Field Day

On June 24th, HMS hosted Field Day! Please take a moment to look at some highlights below!
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8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony

On June 25th, HMS celebrated the 8th grade class with their Moving Up Ceremony! Joined by administration, faculty, family, and friends, the HMS Class of 2021 were recognized for their dedication and perseverance during this unprecedented school year. The recorded event will be available for viewing on the Hoboken YouTube channel. Congratulations to our HMS Class of 2021!
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Classroom Highlights

6th Grade ELA

During the 4th marking period, 6th grade students enjoyed reading The View from Saturday. This novel is about a group of sixth graders that join an academic bowl and their intertwined journey that brought them together. The author, E.L. Konigsburg, a two-time Newbery Medal winner, created the characters from real life. Students focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the multiple points of views in the novel. E.L. Konigsburg took an interesting approach in writing this novel by including multiple narrative perspectives and intertwining storylines through flashbacks. Students practiced identifying and analyzing the effectiveness of authors’ use of third-person limited (subjective), objective and omniscient point of views in texts and applied these skills when reading. Our writers’ workshop focused on argumentative writing in the 4th marking period. Students immersed themselves in this writing genre by exploring argumentative essay structure and multiple writing techniques utilized by our mentor text authors.
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6th Grade Social Studies

Students in 6th grade Social Studies celebrated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Developed by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Creating Hawaii lesson taught students about how culturally diverse the island of Hawaii truly is with key concepts on the people, places, resources, and immigration history of these beautiful islands.

In this lesson, students read a newspaper article about Hawaii’s diverse population and had to solve one key question: Why does Hawaii have such a diverse population? To understand this, Social Studies students looked for clues using the Smithsonian exhibit Creating Hawai’i which is easily viewable online. Ms. Bennett led the lesson by showing the exhibit to the students and asking questions about Hawaii’s population, the U.S. Census Bureau, the industry that thrives on the islands.

Students were able to work in small groups to find additional information on Hawaiian immigration using 3 sources: an encyclopedia, a Hawaii Tourism site, and the official site of Hawaiian Senator, Daniel Inouye. Since the culture throughout Hawaii is so incredibly diverse, music and art were shared with students. Hoboken Middle School continues to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander culture and heritage by recognizing vital contributions through hands-on lessons and activities.

Please click here to view highlights from the Creating Hawai'i lesson.

6th Grade Math

Students in the 6th grade utilized their time in the 4th marking period to master their Math skills! Students explored Statistics, mastering skills in calculate the measures of central tendency to analyze data and turn data sets into box plots and histograms. Students also learned how to determine which measure of center and variability best described a set of data. In addition, students reviewed ratios, unit rates, and percentages.

6th Grade Science

Our scientists in the 6th grade were certainly busy in the 4th marking period! From learning about nonrenewable to renewable energy, to participating in the second round of STEAM Tank to competing in Physics Olympiad; students enjoyed exploring the different realms of Science. To close out the year, Mr. Metcalfe and his students explored world of Applied Chemistry. Students collaborated with one another in using the scientific method to identify a problem, plan an experimental approach o solving the problem, and continue to apply prior knowledge, while learning new content. Students thoroughly enjoyed 6th Grade Science this year!

7th Grade ELA

In the 4th marking period, students finished reading The Wednesday Wars. Students explored Static and Dynamic characters, while analyzing the ways in which characters changed throughout the plot of the novel. Ms. Painter, Ms. Rozmester, and Ms. Muhammad-Jones also worked with students to develop a well-structed Memoir with intended purpose and audience.

7th grade students also read We Beat the Street. Students were enaged in the plot of the novel and thoroughly enjoyed analyzing the different stories told by the narrators. Our 7th grade authors finished out the year by finalizing their book reviews of We Beat the Street in Writing Workshop. Students focused on maintaining a formal writing style while making strong claims about the novel. By ending our year with the book review, students were able to show off their ability to not only analyze a text, but to evaluate the worth of a text using a critical eye. Our students will take these skills with them to eighth grade, and we are so excited to see the writing they will produce in the years to come!

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7th Grade Social Studies

Over course of the year, our classes have learned about various cultures and the sad, racist treatment of native and indigenous peoples by colonizing governments. The Native Americans in the US, the First Nations people of Canada, and now the Indigenous people of Australia. Students learned about Australia’s “Stolen Generation,” the children taken from their families from 1910-1970. Through the story of 3 young girls - Daisy, Molly and Gracie - the students saw first-hand the forced assimilation and destruction of culture by the government policy. Students then learned how these destructive policies can have a long term ripple effect generations later. Students used their social media know-how to create a fake Instagram post highlighting 2 of the lasting impacts on the Stolen Generations and their families. This activity to close out the year required students to combine their new knowledge, compassion and creativity into a simple social media post.

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7th Grade Math

In the 4th marking period, students continued to investigate how geometry is used to solve realistic problems. Students mastered drawing geometric shapes with given conditions using protractors and rulers; additionally, students researched, classified, and constructed quadrilaterals according to their properties. Through an exploration activity, students concluded that not all given side lengths complete a triangle and the sum of smaller lengths of a triangle need to be greater than the triangle’s largest length. To close out the year, students compiled portfolio of all the topics reviewed to use as a resource for 8th grade mathematics. The 7th grade math team wants to thank everyone for their hard work, patience, and resilience during this different year.

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7th Grade Science

During the 4th marking period, our 7th grade scientists were hard at work analyzing the theory of Plate Tectonics. Students wrote an evidence-based position statement defending or refuting continental drift. Additionally, students examined how the Earth's systems interact when plates collide and even took a deeper look into "The Ring of Fire." Ms. McHugh also worked with students in becoming Medical Detectives during their Project Lead the Way Unit! Students learned about the different parts of the nervous system, the functions of a nerve cell, and how white blood cells fight infections. To demonstrated their understanding and knowledge of this unit, students competed in a final Kahoot game!

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8th Grade ELA

Students in the 8th grade finished reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, completed their Memoir unit, read Angela's Ashes, and provided some advice for the upcoming 8th grade class throughout the 4th and final marking period at HMS. Through Writing Workshop, students fine-tuned their Memoirs and created finished products that each and every one of them should be proud of! Additionally, students continued to master their vocabulary and continued to strengthen their writing in their Night Writes. During the final week in ELA, students created “Advice Memes”, in which they reflected on their year and gave advice to next year’s 8th grade students! Students also completed activities on figurative language vocabulary. Congratulations to all of our wonderful ELA students on completing the year!

8th Grade Social Studies

During the 4th marking period, students in 8th Grade Social Studies continued exploring the Soviet Union and the Cold War. We learned about different alliance systems during the Cold War: NATO and the Warsaw pact and the goals of these groups such as spreading communism or expanding communism. Students then examined how exactly the soviets tried to spread communism and how the US tried to contain this expansion. Students read informational text and analyzed primary sources about these specific Cold War hot spots: the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis and completed a timeline for reference. Additionally, students analyzed the diverse cultural characteristics of the people who live in Southwest Asia. Students were ultimately able to explain the difference between an ethnic group and religious group and then explored the diversity of religions within Southwest Asian ethnic groups. Ms. Anderson and Ms. Ratliff are so proud of their students and hope you all have a great summer!

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8th Grade Math

Pre-Algebra: This week in Pre-Algebra students reviewed for and completed Topic 7:Understand and Apply the Pythagorean Theorem and took the Topic 7 Unit Test. Later in the week, students worked on a project called the “Wheel of Theodorus” and used their knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem to calculate the hypotenuse and legs of various different triangles in their project creation. Next week we will begin Topic 8: Solve Problems Including Surface Area and Volume. This week in Pre-Algebra students began Topic 8: Solve Problems Involving Surface Area and Volume. To begin this unit, students reviewed finding area and perimeter of plane figures, area and circumference of circles, and area and perimeter of composite figures - all skills needed when we begin finding surface area of 3D shapes. Students practiced solving problems involving these skills in real world contexts. Students also continued to review and master their Pre-Algebra skills in an effort to prepare for the 9th grade!

Algebra 1: Students worked on Topic 9: Solving Quadratic Equations in the 4th marking period. Students used graphing calculators to identify solutions in graphs and tables of quadratic functions in standard form. Using these features of technology allowed students to identify what different types of solutions in quadratics functions look like such as two solutions, one solution and no solution. In addition, students focused on Topic 10: Working with Functions. Students continued to prepare for the 9th grade by demonstrating their understanding of all functions, such as linear, exponential, absolute value, quadratic, square root, and cube root functions.

Geometry: Ms. Tank worked with students to write the equation for a circle given the graph of the graph of the circle or given the center and radius of the circle. Students are also able to Graph a circle from its equation. Additionally, students learned to calculate the lenght of an arc when the central angle is given in degrees or radians, and some of Ms. Tank's students participate din the Physics Olympiad! At the conclusion of the marking period, students reviewed 3D Geometrical figures.

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8th Grade Science

Ms. Gentile and Ms. Fernandez were busy with our 8th grade scientists throughout the final marking period! Students not only explored Heredity and How Traits Change, but they also learned how design an app. Through the App Inventor Program, students practiced how to design parts of an app that a user would interact with and were able to see the designs come to life on an actual app. Students thoroughly enjoyed designing and coding their own apps!

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World Languages

Throughout the marking period, students in French demonstrated both written and oral proficiency. The content in this unit covered topics from the preceding 14 units, and was thus an opportunity to reflect and build upon what we have learned so far this year. The project culminated with a one-on-one speaking assessment for which students answered a variety of questions about a special member of their family. Finally, students in French focused on animals by creating a storybook in their target language. This helped students reinforce the identification of various animals, as well as common activities, characteristics and habitats associated with them. Linked here is the storybook written and designed by 8th graders Genevieve Fink and Hayley Dobson.

Meanwhile in Mandarin, focused on identifying animals and their actions in their target language. Students engaged in different class activities to help students reinforce these words, such as singing a song, playing Simon Says, and various animal-themed games. Students closed out the year by learning about art of Chinese Painting. Students explored the Chinese philosophy related to art, which is that the human being is a part of nature.

Lastly, in Spanish, students learned how to communicate and give directions using the four cardinal points. Students labeled and answered comprehension questions using preposition words for placement and the four cardinal points. Students were engaged in a speaking and comprehension activity for which students were given a city map, and the task was to give directions to a tourist in the target language to help them find the location of a place they needed to find. Students enjoyed conversing and engaging with one another this year in Ms. Trinidad's class!

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Visual Art

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

Physical Education

During the fourth marking period, students began to master their volleyball skills. Students learned how to begin a match and serve. In addition, students practiced ways to enhance previous and new skills learned in the game.