Hello families and happy Friday!
Our first week of testing is complete and without knowing the scores yet, I can say that it was a huge success from the effort standpoint of students. Students seemed to take it very seriously but not stress about the test. I’m hoping the scores reflect the effort we saw throughout the building!
Progress reports for Trimester 3 were due at the end of the day today; meaning, we are halfway through the last trimester of the school year! Progress reports will be sent home with all students next Friday, May 12th.
I have a quick PSA as the weather gets nicer here in the upcoming weeks. Please have your students pay close attention to dress code (referenced in the BFMS Student Handbook 22-23), and also, if a student is riding a bike, or scooter to school I highly recommend a lock so it doesn’t get stolen. We unfortunately have had two thefts (a bike and a scooter) already this year. It has been confirmed that both happened sometime during the school day.
Thank you all for the support and I look forward to working alongside all students for the remainder of the school year.
5/10/23- PTO @ 5pm in Community Room
5/15/2023 - Panorama Climate Survey
5/18/2023- Arts Night 6pm @ BFMS
In preparation for the VTCAP (Vermont Comprehensive Assessment Program) tests happening over the next few weeks, we have been reviewing the practice tests as well as the tools that can be utilized during the tests. This will allow the students to have more time reading, thinking, and answering the questions and less time trying to figure out where certain tools/toggles are located. There is also an Open Web Quest assignment due today, Friday, May 5th that is available on Google Classroom or as a worksheet.
Things in the music classroom have been moving right along into their content units. The 5th graders are finishing up their rhythm unit and moving on to instruments. The 6th graders have finished note reading and are moving on to music around the world where they will explore different cultures through music! The 7th graders are exploring the parts of a song and how to formally label a song, using key listening skills to identify portions of songs. Finally, the 8th graders are beginning their rock and roll unit and will be focused on the origins of Blues and Jazz music for the next week.
5th Grade News
5th graders have been working hard to prepare and complete for the VT-CAP test. This past week, students completed the ELA tests. Next week, students will complete the math portion of the test, followed by science the following week. Just a reminder to make sure that computers are charged and brought to school on testing days. Students are also encouraged to bring a water bottle to limit trips out of the testing rooms.
As the weather gets warmer, the 5th grade team would like to continue to go to Wells Street Park to celebrate positive behaviors exhibited by students. We will be utilizing our learner characteristics to determine eligibility each visit. Our learner characteristics are completing assignments, following directions, puts forth effort, respects adults, and peers and works cooperatively.
6th Grade News
Students in 6th grade went to the vernal pool located in the trails by BFUHS. They identified a variety of living things such as crustaceans, mollusks, insects, amphibians, and reptiles, along with the life cycles that occur within the vernal pools.
This is the start of a trimester-long nature-based learning opportunity both locally and within the greater Bellows Falls community. We hope to get kids engaged in outdoor classroom experiences at least 10 times before the end of the school year.
7th Grade News
In 7th Grade Social Studies, students will begin to compare and contrast the Civil War time period with the 1960s and America's involvement in Vietnam. We will also be finalizing and preparing to present our Civil War projects, which are due on the 24th of May. This is the final project of the year and a major grade. And, as always, we continue to work on our study skills every day in class.
On Friday, April 28, Sekou Sheriff, a native of Liberia, Africa, visited our 7th grade Social Studies classes. Sekou brought with him items from his native country and shared his personal experience as both a citizen of Liberia and of the United States. The students also shared with Sekou their own experiences as young people in the U.S. and what they have accomplished at Bellows Falls Middle School this year.
The 7th grade math students just began their Geometry unit. Students have started to identify supplementary, complementary, vertical, and adjacent angles. This unit will culminate with a home design project. Stay tuned for more details!
We hope these somewhat gray days the last few days have not dampened your spirits! I am just going to bullet-point the few things going on this week:
- E-mails have gone home to families if students have missed 2 or more of their check-ins for their book projects, which are due today.
- We are working on finishing our book report outlines for those who have finished their books last Friday, the 28th. Students who have not finished their book yet no longer have classroom time to read their books, but should use study hall or bring their books home to finish.
- There are plenty of extra credit books available, so if your student is looking to go above and beyond or is looking to explore literature more, please send them our way! Extra credit should NOT BE USED as a band-aid to replace missing work, nor will it, as they will not hit on all the same targets.
That is it for this week, feel free to send any questions my way!
8th Grade News
In 8th grade ELA, we are continuing to read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. This week, we are focused on the play. The students have enjoyed reading various roles and are really getting into it. Last week, we looked at a sample essay prompt to help us prepare for the VTCAP test. We learned how to break down the prompt and find relevant information in the text.
In 8th Grade Social Studies, we are looking at the background and build up to World War II. This includes Japan's invasion of Manchuria, China in 1931, the Lend-Lease Act that America used as a way to supply other Allied countries before officially joining the war, and how that very same act has been used in far more recent international conflicts to similar ends.
In 8th grade Science, students are working as curators. They are developing a dinosaur exhibit for the Bellows Falls Museum of Science. The exhibits will contain facts/visuals on two dinosaurs.
In Algebra, we just finished a unit on inequalities and have begun to work on systems of equations. In pre-algebra, we recently finished a unit on graphing using slope intercept and other forms and have also begun a unit on systems of equations.
WIN room rocks!
Every morning when we come together we pick from a series of animals who we feel like at that time. Some of us are silly, some serious, some tired, some quiet, and some crazy. Whatever we are is accepted and celebrated!
Fridays are Mrs. Eno cooking, baking, and creating time! Some of the delicious goodies we have made are: quesadillas, fruit smoothies, and shamrock rice krispie treats.
In ELA, we are reading Dark Day in the Deep Blue Sea and taking the opportunity to learn more about the mysterious ocean depths. In Math, we just started a unit on division and practice what we know with games and hands-on activities such as using dominoes and dice to create equations.
This week as part of a science lesson, we made slime! We now know how slime works and what we need to make the perfect batch.
It is always an adventure in the WIN room whether we are dancing to our homemade band or playing an intense game of UNO Flip, which remains the class favorite!
Tristan Wandzy (she/her)
Special Educator WIN program
From the Nurse's Office:
Warmer weather is coming! With this being said, personal hygiene for students is super important. Middle School is the age where bodies change rapidly. Student's may not have had body odor in the fall, but they may now! Please let me know if anyone needs assistance with the hygiene conversation or needs any supplies like deodorant, body wash, or feminine supplies.
It is also tick season! Please make sure if you are outside you are protecting yourself from ticks, and checking when you come back in!
Kassie Losee, RN.
Bellows Falls Middle School Nurse
Are you looking for ways to become involved at school?
Join us on the second Wednesday of the month @ 5 pm.
We are working on staff appreciation week, electing officers, fundraising, and end of event events.
We would love to see you there.