The Bear Necessities
4 - ELA SBAC - Session 1 - All Grades
5 - ELA SBAC - Session 2 - All Grades
10 - Math SBAC - Session 1 - All Grades
11 - Math SBAC - Session 2 - All Grades
13 - NGSS Assessment - Day 1 - Grade 8
14 - NGSS Assessment - Day 2 - Grade 8
28 - No School - Teacher Professional Development Day
31 - No School - Memorial Day
1 - Welcome to GMMS - Grade 5 Virtual Parent Night @ 6 PM
7 - 8th Grade Promotion Celebration @ 6 pm
9 - Early Dismissal - Activity Day
10 - Early Dismissal - Beach Day
11 - Early Dismissal - Last Day of School - 8th Grade SBP
The Principal's Office
Dear GMMS Families,
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the fantastic teachers of Granby Memorial Middle School during national teacher appreciation week. Although this is a nationally recognized week, we really appreciate our teachers everyday! The staff at GMMS has gone above and beyond to provide students with an inclusive, safe, and supportive environment while providing the highest quality of education both in-person and online.
As we count down the last few days of school, we have a lot going on here at GMMS. We will welcome 5th graders to the building for an in-person walking tour, and a virtual 5th-grade parent presentation on Tuesday, June 1 @ 6 PM. June 9th will be our first annual Activity Day! On Activity Day, we highly encourage your child to show his/her school spirit by wearing maroon and gold. You can get your GMMS T-shirt HERE for 10 dollars.
Last week I sent an email regarding course selection for Band, Chorus, or WIN. Please make sure you log in and complete this course selection for next year. The 2021/22 student schedules will be released via PowerSchool around August 15th. I will send out a notification once the schedules are live.
This year, we will celebrate the 8th-grade students with a promotion ceremony on Monday, June 7th at 6 pm. This celebration will take place outside on the Middle / High School Campus. The actual location is TBD. Parents/guardians are welcome to attend as we acknowledge the hard work of the 8th-grade students. Everyone is required to wear a mask and maintain proper physical distance from other families. In addition, the 8th-grade team of teachers has a lot of fun end of the year activities planned and will provide more information as we get closer to June.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for making this a fantastic year for teachers and students.
GMMS End of the Year Parent Staff appreciation luncheon: Wednesday, June 9th
Please help us show the staff at GMMS our sincere appreciation with a year end staff luncheon. To comply with covid guidelines we appreciate cash contributions so we can have the luncheon catered by a local eatery. Questions should be directed to Whitney Sanzo at WMSanzo@gmail.com. Donations can be sent via Venmo: @Whitney-Sanzo or PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org, or coordinated with Gennie Bussie: 832-248-2871.
Being a new student can always be tough, but this year is just a little tougher. Typically, the first impression that people get from each other starts with a friendly face and a smile. Unfortunately, the mask requirements that are in place due to Covid make it a little more difficult to read the friendly expression this year.
This school year, Granby Memorial Middle School has had 39 new students join our school. School Counselors have been working with these students and their families throughout this school year, and we are working with The GMMS Student Council and the Unified Arts teachers to celebrate these students arrival to Granby before this school year ends. We hope to share some information about what makes Granby such a great place to live and offer these children and their families some ideas of activities in the area that they might enjoy.
Please keep these children and their families in mind as we approach summer. If you see them in your neighborhood, or hear about them during your family discussions, please consider how you might help them to feel more welcome in Granby as well.
School Health Clinic News
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CURRENT 6TH GRADERS ENTERING 7TH GRADE FOR 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR
Section 10-206 of the Connecticut General Statutes requires that “all students enrolled in the public schools have a health examination by a legally qualified practitioner of medicine”. For 6th graders in the Granby School System, the required physical exam must be completed by the child’s physician after the last day of 5th grade (June 16, 2020) and submitted to the school prior to the first day of 7th grade (August 26, 2021) If your child has not had the required physical exam yet, please download the 3-page Health Assessment Record from the clinic web page, or request a copy of the blue form from your school clinic, and schedule a physical. The first page is to be filled out by the parent, and the physician completes the rest.
If your child has already had his/her physical, please check your records or ask the physician if your student has met the immunization requirements. In most cases, it is easy to schedule a quick office visit for immunization only. There are 2 required immunizations for all 7th graders. These are the Tdap and Meningococcal.
The physical examination is a condition of enrollment and MUST include the following (starred areas on the form):
1. Height and weight
2. Blood pressure, pulse
3. Hematocrit or Hemoglobin
4. Immunization Record (completed dates M/D/Y)
5. Screenings (Vision, Hearing, and Postural)
6. Gross Dental
7. Immunization requirements starred on the form.
8. Chronic Disease Assessment
Please note: Children are not permitted to begin grade 7 without having had the state-mandated physical. Completed physicals may be turned in to the clinic at any time. They may also be emailed to email@example.com or faxed to 860-413-3854. After the end of the school year, forms not already turned in should be mailed to the middle school care of the nurse.
If you have any questions please call the nurse at 860-844-3038
Students are encouraged to carry water bottles in school. There are refilling stations in designated areas of the school which students are allowed to refill their water bottles as needed. They should only carry water, no juice, soda, energy drinks etc… As a reminder, the water bottle should be labeled with the student’s name and there should be absolutely NO SHARING of water bottles.
Schoolwide Enrichment - Mrs. Cowles
A Year of Reflection: Engagement, Excitement, and Enthusiasm Around Learning
This year marks our third year of program implementation for our schoolwide Enrichment model at GMMS. Over time we have laid the foundation for our program, and educated our school community around enrichment thinking, teaching, and learning. Community partnerships have been established and numerous practicing professionals have either visited the school or conducted virtual classrooms with our students. Enrichment classes and clusters have evolved, nurturing the talent and abilities of our students exemplifying high levels of critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. This past year, students have been immersed in creative writing, math and science explorations, future problem solving, general enrichment, and independent study. Seventy-five students participated in a variety of enrichment classes across academic content and interest-based areas, despite the numerous restrictions placed on learning during this pandemic year. I’m so proud of our students and how they have grown over time. They have shown me that resilience, in the face of adversity, will always overcome obstacles. It has been a joy to watch them develop as learners and understand that education truly is a life-long journey.
Topics of interest investigated and researched: cartooning; sports equipment redesign; car redesign; etymology; climate change; youth in competitive sports; The Stock Market Game; architecture; world instruments; medicine & vaccines; photography; herpetology; endangered animals, treatment of animals and animal habitats; human rights; coral reefs; natural disasters; astronomy; and osteology.
Will Sleavin, Science Explorations - Herpetology/American Toad
Lindsay Pugliese, Independent Study - World Instruments, Chinese Erhu
Ella Henze, Future Problem Solving - Human Environmental Impact “Liquid Life”
Awards and recognitions:
Daughters of the American Revolution American History Essay Contest - The Boston Massacre - Lily Vincenzo - Second place, Sierra Ashe - Third place
Letters about Literature National Writing Competition - State Semi-Finalist: Rachel Ehrenwerth - personal reflective letter to author Erika L. Sanchez - I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
CT Student Writers Magazine - Three Honorable Mentions: Amelia Hosack poetry; Cecilia Estrada nonfiction; Lauren de los Reyes nonfiction; Two Gold Awards: Savannah Castle nonfiction and Will Sleavin artwork - All students will be recognized during UConn’s award ceremony on May 14th.
Sixth grade students are in the middle of an algebraic expressions and equations unit. This unit sets the foundation for students learning algebra in seventh grade. Sixth graders have learned important vocabulary such as variable, constant, coefficient, and inverse (opposite) operations. Hanger diagrams, which are very similar to balance scales, help students visually see how inverse operations are used to solve for the value of the variable. Students know that the goal is to keep the hanger diagram balanced and that any action done to one side of the hanger must also be done to the other side of the hanger in order to remain balanced. Students have been enjoying hanger diagram “puzzles”, which can be found on Google Classroom. Using their algebraic reasoning skills, students need to find the value of the variable, or symbol, in various types of hanger diagrams. Next, students will be learning how to represent real-world situations with algebraic expressions and equations.
Sixth graders are currently learning how to develop claims and arguments using relevant evidence and language. We have read and debated the efficacy of TikTok in schools. Currently, we are researching and building background information on the benefits and detriments of rats in our society. Students are learning how to evaluate, paraphrase and take notes while reading and watching videos about rats. Students will write an argument - either pro or con about rats in society.
During our independent reading time, students are being asked to examine the use of craft, punctuation and vocabulary. They are looking for examples of interesting punctuation and vocabulary choice and explaining how it enhances the story. Bringing their independent reading to school and reading at home will reinforce the students' awareness of craft in writing.
We will be using the craft techniques we recognize in independent reading into a historical fiction book club - where students will be reading historical fiction books of choice, studying the genre and learning how to participate in academic discussion.
Social Studies 6
Last month, students in grade six finished examining Chinese culture, beliefs, and government. They created projects on the Silk Road, learned about China’s government and economy, and examined the issue of China’s Left Behind Children. Below is a sample RACE writing response on how China’s government and economy impacts families by Logan Beckwith.
Did you know in the communist country of China, some parents have to leave their kids to get better jobs in the city so they can have more money? They are called China’s left-behind children.I think China’s hukou system is bad since families are impacted by the economy and government because there is a thing called a hukou card which you get at birth and it pays for school, health insurance, and other things, but only in the town/city you were born in. Say you were born in western China and wanted to move to eastern China. You would have to pay for public schools and other free services that your hukou card normally would pay for. That’s why parents leave their children. Since it’s so expensive, they can only afford to pay for themselves, not their children.“According to rough estimates, there are about 61 million left-behind children in China—one-fifth of all kids in the country.”-Brooke Ross, Scholastic News. It means that a ton of kids don’t have parents, which is bad since you should always have your parents with you, and if you don’t, you’re missing a big part of your life. Also, “In 2015, four siblings living by themselves in rural southwest China died of pesticide poisoning.”-Brooke Ross, Scholastic News. It means since you don’t have parents, nobody can really help you clean the place, and your parents know how to clean better since they were alive for longer, and it could cause you to die from bacteria or viruses. Those are just some of the reasons why I believe the Hukou system is really bad and should get changed. If you believe the Hukou system is good, I’ll let you believe what you want to believe, but think how bad it would be to live your whole life without your parents. You would never be able to wake up early for your dad to drive you to a breakfast diner, you would go to movies with them, you wouldn’t be able to have someone to talk to and many other things. Just think about that.
We have just recently begun our unit on Greece. Students will start with an overview of Greece’s geography, followed by a comparison of Athens vs. Sparta. We’ll finish the year with this unit on Greece followed by our unit on Rome.
If you’d like to help your child learn during this unit you can ask your child to explain whether they think life in Athens or Sparta would have been better and why.
Students will continue to study the environment until the end of the year. We will investigate cause and effect relationships to analyze and interpret data and see how populations are affected by the resources available to them and how populations affect the availability of resources. Students will also participate in a simulation to experience ways that humans’ use of resources is managed to prevent overuse. In addition, data will be interpreted to see the effects of introducing organisms to another ecosystem where they have never been before, and lastly students will design solutions to environmental problems. Unfortunately, we will be unable to take our field trip to the Long Island Sound this year, but we will participate in a virtual field trip to the Sound to see how the concepts that we have studied affect this very important Connecticut Ecosystem.
Plant Experiment - to answer “How would an ash cloud affect the flow of energy, cycling of Matter and the organisms in an ecosystem?”
Students have been working their way through the Algebraic Reasoning unit. They are currently learning how to solve two-step equations and will be applying them to real-life situations. In both sixth grade and earlier this school year, students learned about the order of operations, commonly referred to as PEMDAS. Now they will make the connection to how following the order of operations in reverse can undo a problem in order to solve for an unknown variable. The end of this unit will focus on inequalities. Students will learn how to solve and graph inequalities. This unit will conclude around Memorial Day with the Unit 3 Summative Assessment. For the remainder of the school year, students will do a mini-unit on Geometry.
The Summer Math Calendar is an opportunity to continue engaging with math in a low-key way over the summer. This can be found on the GMMS Media Center site, and more information will come by the end of the year.
Students in seventh grade ELA are beginning the final unit of study for the year. This unit focuses on argumentative reading and writing. Students will study the structure of a good argument and analyze various examples of argumentative writing (essays, speeches, etc). Additionally, students will practice constructing their own arguments by pulling from sources, and organizing this information in a claim/reasons/evidence format.
Even with the school year winding down, students should still have independent reading books that they are bringing to and from school. We encourage families to engage their students in conversations about independent reading.
Social Studies 7
We just started our final unit of study for the year, which is on the Middle East. Students have been examining the physical and political geography of the region and most have drawn a free-hand map. Ask your student to see their map. Below is a map drawn by Kodiak team student, Sophia Clark.
If you’d like to help your child learn during our next unit on the Middle East you can discuss bias in sources and start pointing out when you see it in your everyday life.
Eight grade students will continue to explore physics, focusing on the properties of energy and waves. After learning about the fundamentals of waves, we will be exploring the phenomena of how waves create the sound and music that we hear. We will wrap up the year studying a different form of energy...electricity!
Below are examples of student work, exploring the forces of gravity, acceleration and velocity during a staged car and ramp experiment.
Algebra 1 - Students are working on graphing and factoring Quadratic Equations. We will continue to study quadratic behavior and learn to solve quadratic equations through the remainder of the year.
Algebra A - Students are reviewing foundational algebra concepts such as solving multistep equations and graphing linear functions.
As we enter May and approach the close of this school year, eighth graders are beginning their sixth unit of study in which they will practice analyzing literature and film critically to draw parallels between character development and plot structure.
Ray Bradbury is showcased in this unit through a selection of short stories, and as a class, students will read The Giver by Lois Lowry and watch The Truman Show with Jim Carrey. These experiences will provide access to discussion about character types and the hero’s journey.
As always, we expect students to engage in their independent reading routine. Reading stamina is essential in high school and practicing now is key. Ask your student about their dystopian independent reading book, and what they plan to read over the summer.
When June arrives, students will invest in a miniature unit aimed to introduce them to Shakespeare and the beauty of Sonnet form.
Social Studies 8
Students in grade 8 are working on their Capstone essays. They will be revising their essays and appropriately citing their sources before submitting their final projects in the first week of May. We’re almost there!
Students have also started learning about the history of Reconstruction in the United States and its aftermath. Our unit will focus on the successes and failures of Reconstruction and the ways that segregation impacted Black Americans in the South. We will conclude this unit with an overview of the big ideas of the Civil Rights Movement and the long term legacies of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case.
Here are some student responses from Mr. Butler’s Virtual class about the way Black Americans viewed the impact of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments on their life during the Reconstruction Era. Thanks to Abigail Bunz, Adelyn Sanzo, and Adriana Vanderoef for their answers
Mandarin Chinese 6 with Mrs. Yu
Mandarin Chinese 7 with Ms. Yi
Students are completing Family units. We listen to the song about Family, such as: “Wo Ai Wo De Jia Ren. (I love my family).” and “Extended Family Member Name?” For activities, we played Bingo in class. We made Family member cards with Chinese use sentence 我爱... ( I love…) . All students redeem sticker reward prizes! Ask your child what they earn from their sticker board! Remote friends, you may see/saw me drive around in Granby to deliver your prize!
Mandarin Chinese 8 with Ms. Yi
7th grade: Our shopping unit has definitely sparked some students to come up with some creative outfits these last few weeks! Students have just finished creating dialogues playing the roles of customers and salespeople at clothing stores. Next up...students will design their own clothing websites, catalogues or fashion shows!
8th grade: To wrap up the year, 8th grade students are continuing to make connections from vocabulary across units and unwrap familiar grammatical concepts associated with verbs. Our writing, reading and listening activities support a wide range of topics that students have been exposed to throughout their time here at GMMS.
6th Grade Spanish students read the novel Capibara con Botas, using a variety of reading strategies, including Reader's Theater, listening to native speaker audio, and volunteer reading. As an introduction, each student drew and wrote about their own imaginary capybara (attached). Students also wrote a pen pal pamphlet (attached) to 6th graders at Santa María del Mar school in A Coruña, Spain, this time telling about our Locura de Marzo music contest and giving their individual opinions of each song.
7th Grade students wrote about their actual schedules, and then planned their own "horario ideal" in our unit about school schedules and time. Students presented their ideal schedules with a basic slide (attached) to prompt them, incorporating key verb structures to speak about what classes they have, what time they have to arrive, and what they need to do to get a good grade. Students will speak in Flipgrid to their Spanish pen pals about our school schedule. We are currently working in our unit "Los Deportes" about popular sports across the Spanish speaking world, with a focus on the verb structures "quiero jugar", "juega", and "eres", and heavy emphasis on listening activities.
8th Grade students are discussing traveling to cities in our unit "Vamos al Centro" (Let's go Downtown). In addition to creating our own class story about traveling to various cities, we've explored the most important food, places, museums and modes of transportation in Barcelona, through visuals and a wide variety of videos. Key grammar points include the structure "IR + a + infinitive", irregular yo verbs, and stem-changing verbs. Our students will also engage with their Spanish counterparts, using Flipgrid to listen to and interpret students' descriptions of different professions.
8th Graders are teaching and practicing their pass patterns
Spring is finally here and the PE classes have started to head outside for some Covid safe activities! The 8th grade is learning a new take on flag football called noodle football. The 7th have just started ultimate frisbee and the 6th is doing ultimate games using different implements to score points. The students are excited to be outside and breathing the fresh air!
The last batch of 8th Grade Profile Design Drawings by students in school this year!
It has been a very productive Unified Arts rotation for all 3 grades. The final UA rotation for Visual Art will be online. Art supply kits are being assembled and will be available for pick up on Friday April 30th. I am looking forward to seeing everyone working from home. We plan to tackle as much of the In School Art curriculum as possible, and have some additional experiences to add some fun at the end of the year! Happy Spring everyone. Mrs. B
Band & Chorus
The GMMS Performing Ensembles are nearing the end of their time together! The band and chorus classes have overcome many changes and challenges this year – all to keep our students safe. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to perform in school, and have been extra careful to follow (and even exceed) the current state guidelines.
We hope you enjoyed our first round of virtual performances! We are planning one last video performance for you all at the end of the school year, so please keep an eye out for our final send-off!
NEXT YEAR (6th/7th): If your child was asked to choose between band and chorus this year, we hope that they continue to play/sing outside of school and would love to welcome them back into our ensembles next year. Students can take BOTH band AND choir again! If they are interested, the option is available in PowerSchool RIGHT NOW! The deadline is Wednesday, May 5th! Please let us know how we can support your child with this in any way!
Jazz Band meets after school on Mondays from 2:30 - 3:30.
Select Choir meets after school on Thursdays from 2:30 - 3:30.
GMMS Music Department presents… Movie Musical “Afternoons”!
All CURRENT band and choir members are invited to attend our “movie musical” events after school! Students will view the musical “Hamilton” in the cafeteria on the projector screen! Parents should have already received an email with the permission slip and additional information.
8th Grade - Friday, May 7th (2:30 - 5:30)
7th Grade - Friday, May 14th (2:30 - 5:30)6th Grade - Friday, May 21st (2:30 - 5:30)
Northern Regional Middle School Festival
GMMS had a wonderful representation with the CMEA Northern Region Festival Auditions this year, and we received word that ALL STUDENTS WERE ACCEPTED!! We are very proud of our amazing, talented participants:
Band: Joshua Davis (6th), August Mayle (6th), Abigail Heller (6th), Olivia Winbourne (6th), Nicholas Lopriore (7th), David Sigmund (7th), Haritha Ramesh (7th), Sofia Brenson (7th), Mariah Salvini (7th), Nairobi Mouning (8th), Nora Higgins (8th)Chorus: Charlotte Baldwin (6th), Lauren de los Reyes (7th), Maryan Ivanynyuk (6th), Rachel Ehrenwerth (7th), Annie Baldwin (8th), Sierra Ashe (8th), Lily Heitman (8th), Sydney Henry (8th)
6th Grade General Music6th Grade music students begin with a review of the fundamentals of music, and experience activities related to melody, harmony, tonality, rhythm, beat, tempo, dynamics, form, and timbre. Students will have the opportunity to play instruments like boomwhackers, xylophones, shakers, guiros, and “Home Depot buckets”. Over the course of the cycle, students will write 4 of their own original compositions and even perform some of them. The course wraps up with instruction on proper drumming technique, rhythm reading, and a brief history of Japanese Taiko drumming.
7th Grade General MusicOur 7th grade music students start with an entire unit about “listening”. They address questions like: How do we listen to music? What elements change when we change the genre of a song? How do composers express emotion in music, and how does that help them tell a story? The second unit addresses the global problem of “music piracy”. Students come away with knowledge on how to ethically and legally own music, and use the music that they own to create a one-of-a-kind album to “sell to the public”. Lastly, students will learn about how scientifically their voice can be used as an instrument.
Molly C. won first place for Cycle 6, Phoebe O'B won second place and Sara Jean F. won third place!
8th Grade General Music
The 8th Grade music curriculum focuses on learning to play the classical guitar. Students will study several different genres of guitar repertoire: Blues, Spirituals, Folk songs, Patriotic, and Rock and Roll. Not only do will they experience 8+ chords and how to read a chord chart, but they learn the history and legacy of America’s music timeline, dating back to the Civil War!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with any questions.
Family Consumer Sciences
Congratulations to all round 6 tech ed students for their hard work on both the tower competition and their independent projects. Work and learning was impressive. Grades for round 6 will be finalized by the end of the first week of May.
Welcome to round 7 students. And since this is the final newsletter of the school year, hope everyone has a wonderful and restful summer break!
Enjoy the pictures of some of the tower work and independent project presentations.
Online Art Club
Last spring, when the schools went remote, I had a group of students reach out to me about starting an online Art Club since they would be missing out on 8th grade Art Club afterschool.
We decided to start the online club using Google Classroom as the platform, so that everyone would have access. Students from grades 6,7, and 8 were invited to join. At that time we had approximately 21 students. I then had adults reach out and request the code to join. With the new adults, we were a strong 36 for the remainder of the school year. Students and staff posted photos of their work, and everyone had the opportunity to comment and ask questions of the artists!
This school year, popularity of the online art club has grown and the current membership is at 84 strong. Students and staff continue to post work, and receive a great amount of feedback from many. The best part about this forum is that students who have never met are becoming friends through the interactions on this platform. The most interesting part for me is the multigrade interaction. Students in person rarely have the opportunity to interact with students from other grades, however, this club allows students from every grade to interact! Students who, in person, seem introverted and quiet have become more vocal and social. This has been such a great experience, I think we will keep it going into the future.
If anyone would like to join the Online Art Club, here is the Google Classroom Code: iki6tit
Here are a few examples of pieces submitted by our Remote Learners this year!