The Bear Necessities
5 - 8 Computer Science Week
6 - PSAT 8/9
8 - Hour of Code Celebration
9 - PJ Day
16 - Principal's Coffee @ 9 am
23 - Early Release Day
26 - 30 - No School - December Vacation
2- No School
11- Early Release - Professional Development
12 - GMMS Chorus Concert @ 7 pm
16 - No School - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
19 - GMMS Band Concert @ 7 pm
DECEMBER 8th IS THE LAST DAY OF FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH FOR ALL STUDENTS!
The Principal's Desk
Hello GMMS Families!
I hope that all of you had a great Thanksgiving break with your families. Over the next three weeks before winter vacation GMMS will participate in CCMC PJ Day, Computer Science Week, Hour of Code, and the PSAT 8/9. One of my favorite events in December is the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center's annual PJ Day. We encourage all students to wear their PJs on December 9th and make an optional one dollar donation to CCMC via this link:
I am excited to share that we have started an after school Homework Club on Mondays and Tuesdays from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. This is a supervised quiet space for students to work on assignments. Students must sign up before 2:00 in the main office on the day of Homework Club and be picked up promptly at 3:30 pm.
I want to give a big Granby Bear shout-out to Ada Linden, a GMMS sixth-grade student who has been selected as a Student Reader for the Nutmeg State Intermediate Book Award Committee!
There will be an in-person Principal’s coffee on Friday, December 16th, at 9 am at the Middle School. All are welcome!
As we end 2022, I want to thank all of you for your continued support and commitment to Granby Memorial Middle School.
I wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Dr. Taylor Wrye
The November Bears of the Month!
Patrick Busbey - 6th Grade Team
Matthew Hassett - 7th Grade Team
Mia Woods - 7/8 Team
Omari Lewis - 8th Grade Team
Nick Ferreri - Visual Arts
Maxwell Fitzsimmons - Tech Ed
Quage Grady - Music Appreciation
Luciana Hernandez - Band
Charley Brough - Chorus
Noah Woodman - Strings
Ashley Tetreault - FCS
Owen Dube - Wellness
Allyson Phinney - Digital Media
Mattie Burris - Innovative Technology
Griffin Henze - Enrichment
Ada Linden - SUCCESS
Adela Chenail - All Around Bear
Brynne Simard - All Around Bear
NEW! GMMS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Club
The holiday season offers many families some much-needed time to celebrate and enjoy each other. It is a time for gathering with loved ones to reflect on the ending of a year and to make resolutions with beginning of a new year. We hope that students and their families will enjoy this time together and use the time out of school to rest, relax and find joy together.
This month, counselors will be working with students to reflect on how to be a good friend to each other. We will be asking students to consider the characteristics of a good friend, to recognize the needs of others and to think about how to offer support to classmates who might be struggling emotionally.
Additionally, we would like to encourage to consider some steps that can relieve holiday stress at home. Below are some tips to help reduce stress during the holidays:
- Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for visiting family, shopping and other activities.
- Take a breather. Plan some time for fun with the kids. Make a snowman, bake cookies, wrap gifts and sing carols. After the kids are asleep, make some time for yourself. Take a walk, stargaze, or listen to soothing music. Clear your mind. Breathe slowly restoring your inner calm.
- Reach out and connect with someone. Volunteering can help lift your spirits as well as, sets a great example for your kids. Suggestions: help an elderly neighbor by shoveling their walk; “Adopt” a needy child for the holiday. Contact your church or local youth services to find out how you might offer help to others.
- Be realistic. The holidays do not have to be perfect. Families grow and change and traditions can too. Remember it is about the time together and not just about the gifts that you give each other.
Lastly, we are here to help too. You can find a number of helpful resources on the school counseling page of the GMMS website, as well as reach out to any of us and let us know if your child is in need of some additional support.
Happy Holidays from the GMMS Pupil Services Team.
THE MEDIA CENTER
SCHOOL HEALTH CLINIC NEWS
IMPORTANT for CURRENT 6th grade parents:
All incoming 7th graders MUST have updated physicals and immunizations done between the last day of 5th grade (June 13, 2022) and the first day of 7th grade (tentatively, August 29, 2023).
Required immunizations for 7th grade include the TDAP and Meningococcal vaccines.
Please submit this updated physical and immunization form to the nurse if you have not already done so.
This physical is required by the State of Connecticut to be submitted prior to the first day of 7th grade.
Please call the clinic with any questions, 860-844-3038
FOR 7th grade girls and 8th-grade boys will be during the month of December/January,
date TBD. All 7th-grade girls and all 8th-grade boys will be screened for scoliosis. This procedure is a simple one to detect spinal problems in a growing child. Boys and girls will be screened in different locations by a school nurse on a PE day. Undergarments (bra or bathing suit top for the girls) will be permitted to be worn. Privacy will be provided for the screenings. If the screening results are outside of specific parameters, parents will be notified of the findings and advised to consult with their own physician for further evaluation. If your child is already being monitored for scoliosis, your child can be exempted from the screening process if a note is provided by you or your physician. If you have any questions, please contact the school clinic at 860-844-3038
ILLNESS RELATED INFORMATION (When to Keep Your Child at Home):
The most important thing is to keep sick people away from healthy people. So if your child is sick, you must keep your child home. Staying home when sick stops the spread of the flu and other illnesses as well as helps the sick person get well.
Answer these questions every morning before sending your child to school or daycare:
1. Does your child have a fever (100º F or 37. 7ºC)? If you don’t have a thermometer, feel your child’s skin with your hand. If it is much warmer than usual your child probably has a fever.
2. Does your child have a sore throat, cough, body aches, vomiting, or diarrhea?
Student should be fever free for 24 hours and free of vomiting or diarrhea without the use of medication before returning to school.
3. What if I am unsure when my child should return to school?
If you have any doubt as to whether your child can return to school, please contact the school nurse BEFORE sending your child to school on the bus. Drive your child to school and report directly to the school nurse, who can evaluate your child to determine if he/she can remain in school.
Dismissal for illnesses:
If a student needs to be dismissed for an illness-related reason, they MUST be dismissed by the school nurse. Please remind your child if they feel unwell that, they should come to the nurse to be assessed. They should not be using their cell phones to text parents from class to come to get them.
CURRENT COVID GUIDANCE:
IF YOU ARE EXPOSED TO COVID-19, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS:
1). MASK as soon as you find out you have been exposed. Continue wearing the mask for 10 days from last exposure anytime you are around others inside your home or in public.
2). TEST at least 5 days after last exposure even if you do not exhibit symptoms
3). MONITOR yourself or your student for symptoms. If symptoms develop, isolate and test
a). if positive, begin isolation
b). if negative, continue with the above 2 steps.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19:
REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS:
1). ISOLATE at home for 5 days from symptom onset. If you never develop symptoms, isolate at home for five days from a positive test. If you develop symptoms after you test positive, restart your 5 days of isolation from the date of symptom onset.
2). RETURN to normal activities after five days IF:
a). You are fever free for 24 hours without the use of medication ( Tylenol / Ibuprofen )
b). Your symptoms are improving or resolved.
3). MASK anytime you are around others or in public until
a). 10 days have passed since you began isolation
b). You test negative twice, 48 hours apart, each test is taken after day 5
PLEASE CONTINUE TO FILL OUT THE GOOGLE FORM ON THE SCHOOL WEBSITE FOR ANY POSITIVE TEST. PLEASE CALL THE CLINIC WITH ANY QUESTIONS 860-844-3038
ALLERGY AND ASTHMA SEASON
As allergy season comes upon us, remember NOT to send your child to school with ANY over-the-counter medication for their symptoms without proper written authorization on file with the nurse. The State of Connecticut and the Granby BOE prohibits students from carrying their own medications while in school without proper written authorization from a physician and parent/guardian to be on file in the school nurse’s office. This includes inhalers as well as over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Ibuprofen, cold and allergy medications, and cough suppressants. Many long-acting types of cold medication will provide students with relief throughout the school day if taken just before leaving home in the morning. Otherwise, please obtain a written order from your physician allowing the dispensing of such medication by the school nurse. This form can be downloaded from the GMMS Clinic website under “downloadable forms” and submitted to your physician for signature. Students may carry a few over-the-counter cough drops to help with a troublesome tickly cough, they should be instructed not to share the cough drops and reminded not to laugh, talk or play while the cough drop is in their mouth.
WATER BOTTLES :
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.
GYM CLASS :
If your child has an injury or is not feeling well and you feel they must not participate in gym class, please be sure to send them to school with a note asking that they be excused. A parent/guardian may excuse a student from three gym classes in a row, after that a doctor’s note is required. The doctor’s note should specify the reason they are being excused and when they may return to gym class. If the note does not specify when they may return, a note from the doctor will be required stating that are cleared to resume gym. If the student requires the use of crutches or the elevator, a doctor’s note must be supplied and these accommodations noted on the letter. If you have any questions, please call the nurse at 860-844- 3038.
FRENCH 6, 7, 8
We are just about to wrap up our unit on getting to know one another. Students will be compiling personal profiles that incorporate their name, age, where they live, and information about activities and food.
Our current unit “Sortons!” culminates with a school wide scavenger hunt! Our school gets turned into a “town” and students need to follow clues to find famous French speakers that correspond to specific locations around town. To follow the clues in French, students need to be able to read the clues that include locations, the verb “aller” (to go), and directions.
Here are some photos of students leading and following the chant and movements for directions.
As we revisit articles of clothing from last year, we are incorporating situational vocabulary such as weather and activities. Expanding on this topic, we will include material that clothing is made from, and the use of a new verb “mettre”.
SPANISH 6, 7, 8
6th grade students are learning to express their likes and dislikes. To do that , they are using gusta + infinitive with -ar verbs like: estudiar, practicar, escuchar, bailar, montar, miar, cantar, preparar, comprar. They are also learning subject pronouns and some direct object pronouns like me, te, and le. Students are now able to ask someone ``¿Qué te gusta hacer?, and answer "Me gusta bailar" or "Me gusta preparar la comida", etc. Students are also able to tell what someone else likes to do: "A (name) le gusta.." For Thanksgiving, students wrote some sentences in Spanish, naming some things they are thankful for.
7th grade students are mastering using a variety of -ar verbs to talk about what different people do. We started our Comidas Latinas (Latin Foods) unit, where students are studying a variety of general food vocabulary, with a focus on traditional dishes from Latin America. Students made a video with creative movements to solidify the prepositions of location in their muscle memory. For Thanksgiving, students read a story about a turkey who leads an escape, and wrote about what they give thanks for and why. We are also reading and talking about La Copa Mundial (World Cup) in Spanish, because soccer is such a dominant part of the culture in Spanish-speaking countries.
8th graders created a "Menu del Dia" (typical fixed price menu) and wrote and performed restaurant role plays to practice additional foods and a variety of verb structures for ordering, also incorporating many creative problems and solutions during their meals! Our focus shifted this year to foods of Spain, such as tortilla española and paella. Students are also mastering some tricky grammar, such as "boot" (stem-changing verbs), and "gusta" vs "gustan".
6th grade Chinese
Students are finishing the year week unit. We are working on our year month project. For activities, we played spider web. Guess which day it is? Holiday days! For culture, We learned Chinese culture board games vs America board games before the holiday break, Chinese double 11, and Chinese transportation. Ask them how to say their birthday in Chinese! :)
7th grade Chinese
Students are finishing the color unit and starting the fruit unit. We are listening to songs about fruits, such as:” Shui Guo '' and “wo xi huan,wo bu xi huan”. For activities, we played hide fruit, Bingo baker, musical chair, and fruit matching. We also learn how to sing the song of fruits. For culture, we learned Chinese culture board games vs America board games before the holiday break, Chinese double 11, and Chinese transportation. Ask them what fruit they like in Chinese!
8th grade Chinese
Students are finishing the fruits unit. We are listening to songs about fruits, such as:” lan mei xi gua '' and “ta men xi huan, ta xi huan”. We are working on our fruit project. We also learn how to sing the song of fruits. For culture, we learned Chinese culture board games vs America board games before the holiday break, Chinese double 11, and Chinese transportation. Ask them what fruit they like in Chinese!
Currently in Success class, we are working through our unit on mindfulness and awareness. We have begun to investigate personal learning styles and how to apply that information to our own study practices. Along with mindfulness, we are also focusing on gratitude and how to apply both to our everyday lives. We reviewed how the brain processes emotions and some scientifically backed ways to calm down when we are overwhelmed or frustrated. We also discussed how gratitude can help to put situations into perspective by analyzing the following video:
Sixth grade students are continuing the unit on weather through the month of December. Since ocean currents have a large impact on climates, students spent time learning about the garbage patches in the ocean caused by ocean currents. They explored how these garbage patches are formed and some current efforts people are taking to try to clean them up. While much of the focus has been on regional climates and factors that influence regional climate, the second half of the unit looks at global climate. Students will explore weather patterns over time and look at storm frequency and severity.
Grade 6 (Harrington & Glidden)
In December, students will be expanding their ratio and rate learning to include the idea of percentages. Familiar strategies such as tape diagrams, double number lines and ratio tables will help students to make connections between the concepts. Students will be able to see real world applications of their learning by using current store sales and flyers to find discounts on items. When you are shopping, in stores or online, ask your student to help you find discounts by finding simple percentages of prices. They will also be able to help find the best deal at the grocery store by comparing different prices and quantities of items!
Grade 6 Accelerated (Harrington):
Students are continuing their unit on fractions and decimals in the month of December. Students have been dividing by fractions with the use of tape diagrams. Now that students have a solid understanding of how to show division of fractions visually, they have started making the connection to why multiplying by the divisor’s reciprocal is a quicker strategy. Ask your child to explain why this “shortcut” works! Students will have an assessment on dividing fractions this week and will then move into decimal operations. It is imperative that students know their math facts in order to be successful in this unit and all future units. Please make sure to practice multiplication and division facts at home with your child to ensure they can recall them without the use of a calculator.
GLOBAL STUDIES 6
Below is a poster about the Eastern and Western Ghats in Southern India. Students wrote a short summary about the physical feature, included a few key facts about it, and identified where the physical feature is located on a map of India. They then presented their findings to the class!
Grade 7 (Stone & Falkenberg):
Students just finished their unit on area and circumference of circles. Students are starting their operations with rational numbers unit. The rational numbers unit builds on students' understanding of negative numbers from 6th grade. Students will interpret signed numbers in contexts such as temperature, elevation, deposit and withdrawal, position, direction, speed, and velocity. Students will calculate the sums, differences, products, and quotients of integers, fractions, and decimals. Students will use tables and number line diagrams to represent sums and differences. The second part of the unit involves fractions and decimals, which is often difficult for students.
Grade 7 Accelerated (Falkenberg):
Students will continue to work on solving equations. Students will be using rational numbers in a context that requires them to solve two-step equations. We will explore how to solve two-step equations with the visual representation of a tape diagram and a hanger diagram and determine multiple strategies for solving equations. Students will interpret what the solution to the equation represents in the context of the problem. Students will be able to balance equations using inverse operations.
GLOBAL STUDIES 7
Seventh grade students are wrapping up their introductory unit on Geography Tools and the USA. Students completed their review of the five themes of geography with a research project about a major United States city, in which they applied the five themes of geography to research and to describe their chosen city. Next, students completed lessons comparing various forms of government and economic systems. To demonstrate their understanding of authoritarian governments and practice research and writing skills, students wrote advice columns from the point of view of famous world dictators. Our next unit of study is Latin America. Students will begin the unit with an overview of the region’s geography and a research project on a country of their choice.
Below are sample Themes of Geography Projects:
Grade 8 (Cull & Stone):
In December, students are learning to understand and use the terms “rate of change,” “linear relationship,” and “vertical intercept. Students were introduced to “rate of change” as a way to describe the rate per 1 in a linear relationship; connecting that its numerical value is the same as that of the slope of the line that represents the relationship. We are continuously making connections between rate of change, slope, and constant of proportionality from previous lessons. Students will develop an understanding that lines with the same slope are a vertical translation of a proportional relationship. We will continue to represent linear relationships in many forms with tables, equations, and graphs.
Grade 8 Accelerated (Cull) - Algebra
In December the students are still working within our second unit which is on Linear Equations, Inequalities, and Systems. We are finishing up working with solving solutions to equations and will be headed into working with inequalities. When working with inequalities the students are going to be using similar knowledge to what we had been doing which was working with equations. We are still emphasizing that we need to be showing our work when working with equations because when we move into working with inequalities we are going to be working with more complex problems.
US History 8
Eighth grade students have spent the last month learning about the causes and effects of the American Revolution. Students examined key pamphlets that American colonists published protesting British taxation and decided whether they would have supported Loyalists or Patriots after reading small parts of the pamphlets Common Sense and Plain Truth. Students also learned about Veterans Day in their classes with Mr. Cullen and Mr. Butler in preparation for our whole school assembly honoring the members of the GMMS community who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Next month students will study the origins of the U.S. Constitution, the presidencies of George Washington and John Adams, and complete oral presentations about the ways that the Bill of Rights and key Supreme Court cases both protect and limit the rights of American citizens. Students will continue to develop their skills as presenters through these projects.
Here are Mr. Butler’s students completing some detective work to figure out if colonists were Patriots or Loyalists during the Revolutionary War.
Students in all grades are continuing their work on the clay unit! 6th graders will begin glazing for the first time as they add color to their fish. 7th graders will begin glazing their towers while also working on an Observational Drawing unit.
8th graders who were the last group to complete claywork will begin glazing soon. Their towers are now in the drying stage and will be bisque fired soon. In the meantime, they will begin a unit called “The personality profile drawing” where they work with symbolism, logos and design work.
Quarter 2 is well underway in GMMS Tech Ed. 7th and 8th grade students have mostly moved in to the painting and colorization of the car projects. This is my favorite part of this project. Everyone is working hard. Machines are humming in the room. Makes me happy we work so hard to keep Tech and and machining around in Granby public school!. Once cars are painted and ready to race, races will be held. Right now the plan is to hold the 2 days of racing the week before holiday break, as there are only 2 class days left after break for wrapup. The races are the big culmination of this 3 month long project!!! This is where they finally get to see if their creations are successful! It is so exciting to see the cars all come together and run in the races! It is a very exciting week!
6th graders are working on learning a new drawing package called OnShape. OnShape is a true parametric modeling environment where parts can be accurately designed, drawn, and assembled. OnShape is the primary modeling package used by the Technology Education. Students receive their OnShape accounts in 6th grade and will be a part of the Granby BOE domain until they are Seniors. After that they will be removed from the Granby BOE domain, but will still retain their accounts for use in college. We are one of only a handful of schools in CT that introduces this work in 6th grade. We are very lucky to be able to do this as the best time to start teaching 3 d modeling is when students are young and their visual cortex and ability to visualize shapes in 3d is just starting to form.
Enjoy the photos below.
DIGITAL MEDIA 6
Innovative Technologies 7
The GMMS Performing Ensembles are in full swing preparing for their winter concerts! GMMS Musicians should be mindful to focus their attention in rehearsals and attend all additional lessons to help with their overall progress. Students should also make time to practice their instruments at home to improve retention and muscle strength as we move through the first semester. Our goal is to put on 4 stellar performances throughout the year for family, friends, and the community. Please stay tuned to this newsletter for important dates (concerts, field trips, fundraisers, etc.) and check your emails for other information about the Band, Chorus and Orchestra.
At the middle school, the music ensembles hold separate concerts on two different nights. These concerts are mandatory for students as part of their academic obligations. Attendance is calculated into their final Quarter 2 grade. Please make all arrangements to avoid conflicts with sporting events (even rescheduled games!) and other extracurricular activities! Put these in your calendars NOW!
The Winter Concert dates and information are as follows:
GMMS Chorus Concert: Thursday, January 12, 2023 @ 7:00 pm in the high school auditorium
GMMS Band/Orchestra Concert: Thursday, January 19, 2023 @ 7:00 pm in the high school auditorium
Other Important Dates
Thursday, December 15th, 2022 - GMHS Band Concert @ 7:00 pm (HS Auditorium)
Thursday, December 22nd, 2022 - GMHS Chorus Concert @ 7:00 pm (HS Auditorium)
**8th Choir invited to perform with the HS Chorus!**
Saturday, January 7th, 2023 - Northern Region Festival Auditions (approx. 9:30 - 12:30)
Friday, January 20th, 2023 - Music Department Field Trip to the Bushnell Theater to see SIX
Friday, March 3, 2023 - Springfield Thunderbirds Performance (6th and 7th grade Bands)
Friday/Saturday, March 10/11th, 2023 - Northern Region Middle School Festival (for accepted students)
Thursday, April 20th, 2023 - Hartford Yard Goats Performance (6th/7th/8th grade Choirs)
Monday, June 5th, 2023 - GMMS Band/Orchestra Spring Concert @ 7:00 pm (HS Auditorium)
Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 - GMMS Chorus Spring Concert @ 7:00 pm (HS Auditorium)
Northern Regional Middle School Festival
Band, chorus and orchestra students that plan to audition for the Northern Region Middle School Festival should be preparing diligently this month! Auditions for this festival are scored by professional judges, and the top scorers from all the middle schools in northern CT are awarded with an opportunity to perform at an in-person festival. This year, auditions will be done in person and we will provide transportation to the audition site.
*Auditions take place on Saturday, January 7th at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford. Snow date: January 14th
After school practice sessions are being offered. We will contact parents of auditionees with details about the audition date.
6th Grade Music Appreciation
6th grade music students learn about the fundamentals of music and their Italian translations, such as melody, harmony, beat, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, timbre, form, etc. There are many opportunities to perform using instruments such as Boomwhackers, xylophones, rhythm sticks and bucket drums. Students will be writing and performing their own music while learning proper instrument playing techniques.
7th Grade Music Appreciation
Our 7th grade music students start with learning music fundamentals, performing on instruments, and composing their own music. This leads into 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.
8th Grade Music Appreciation
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 with any questions:
email@example.com - Chorus and Music Appreciation
firstname.lastname@example.org - Band and Music Appreciation
email@example.com - Orchestra
Family Consumer Science
We have had two great Adventure Club meetings. Students have been getting to know each other and building trust through a variety of activities. We could still use a few more 7th or 8th graders, so feel free to join us! Our December meetings are 12/6 and 12/20, 2:30 - 3:30. We have decided to do Storrs Adventure Park again for our end of the year activity on Saturday, March 18. If you have any questions, please speak with Mrs. Buckley or Ms. Okenquist.
Dates of meetings: 12/6, 12/20, 1/10, 1/24, 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/14, 3/18 (end of year event)