The Latest News From Room 207

Teacher-Ms. Abigail Rigney

The Week of December 21st

Advisory Update

  • Tuesday, December 15th was a busy day in advisory! We had several groups working in different elementary classrooms. Mr. McNeill (high school PE) and Mr. O"Neil (6th grade math and science) brought their classes together to begin discussing Waves in 6th grade science--it was a great experience for both groups!
  • Other advisory groups chose to get in to the holiday spirit by decorating cookies or organizing a Secret Santa.
  • Mr. Stanley's advisory group has been busy building bird houses during their time together--we can't wait to see the finished products!
  • And finally, our 12th grade students spent this advisory in the KIVA with some very special guests to discuss our new internship opportunities--more on that in the next section.

Senior Internship Program

  • On December 15th, several local business representatives paid a visit to NBHS to discuss internship opportunities with our seniors.
  • Organizations that presented to our students included: North Brookfield Savings, North Brookfield Council on Aging, Howe Lumbar, East Quabbin Land Trust, and Second Chance Animal Shelter.
  • At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Evans and I had the opportunity to address the class and provide them with important information and deadlines regarding the internship program.
  • Students were advised to see me during directed study with any questions regarding an internship placement or contact me at

Project Purple

  • Monday, May 9th is our big night as Chris Herren returns to North Brookfield! Our students (and staff) are so excited!
  • January 25th-January 29th is GoPurple week! Students involved in the North Brookfield chapter of Project Purple will be working to spread our message of a substance-free lifestyle through activities in advisory during the week of January 25th. We will be meeting every Tuesday in January during directed study to prepare for that week.
  • On Monday, December 28th Project Purple advisors (myself, Ms. Stanley, and Ms. Ritacco) will be a part of a community-wide round table discussion to begin planning for May 9th. The meeting is scheduled to take place at the North Brookfield Police Department.
  • One goal for this meeting is to begin developing supports and resources for our students and families on issues related to substance abuse and addiction. It is our hope that the Project Purple Initiative spreads beyond the school.
  • Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 5th.

Class of 2016!

  • We are in the home stretch of our candy bar fundraiser and so far, so good.
  • The class is working to get their senior sweatshirts ordered--again, a big shout out to our class officers for all of their hard work.
  • When we get back from break it will be time to start thinking about the Senior v. Faculty basketball game and our Senior Trip!

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday and restful vacation.

Child Development

  • We dove right in to our third unit--Cognitive Development. The topics that we cover are quite relevant and "observable" in relation to the work we are doing across the street in the elementary school. We kicked this unit off with some discussion and activities about different cognitive advances and memory strategies that kids typically use during middle childhood. Child Development students were asked to note these skills by connecting them to the different activities that we worked on with the kids in their classroom.
  • We then moved on to the topic of intelligence, and how it is assessed by comparing the work of Howard Gardner and Robert Sternberg. Child Development students took a multiple intelligence survey and graphed their own areas of strength and weaknesses. We then reflected on specific 1st grade classroom activities and how they emphasized certain areas of intelligence.

After the break we will be moving on to literacy and communication skills. Child Development students will be able to:

  • Describe how communicative abilities expand during middle childhood.
  • Explain how schools meet the needs of non-English speaking children and those with learning disabilities.
  • Analyze factors that can impact a child's ability to succeed in school.

Health Classes

9th Grade Health

  • It's hard to believe that we are nearing the end of 2nd quarter, which means that health class will be coming to an end for this group of students. At the beginning of 3rd quarter, my current class will begin PE during B block and the current PE class will begin Health (also during B block).
  • Our final unit focused on methods of contraception and disease prevention. Students were provided with information regarding various methods of birth control, including pros and cons of each. There was a great deal of emphasis placed on decision-making skills and factors that must be considered when deciding on a method of birth control (unintentional pregnancy, STD's, etc).
  • After break, students will be given their final project guidelines, part of which will require them to create a series of questions and answers for teens who may want more information about relationships and sexuality.
  • Students in 9th grade health will not be required to take a mid term exam--their final project will be completed prior to that date.

At the end of 9th grade health, students will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between a health and unhealthy dating relationship.
  • Demonstrate assertive communication skills.
  • Describe the impact that parenting would have on their lives.
  • Compare hormonal and barrier methods of contraception--including pros and cons of each.

8th Grade Health

  • Last week, we wrapped up our unit on Disease Prevention. For their final assessment, students were required to research and present on an assigned topic--specifically a sexually transmitted disease. Through guided research, small groups of students identified the infectious agent, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of their disease. The groups were then responsible for creating a news story informing the "public" (their classmates) about their disease. The final results were awesome!
  • We've recently moved on to our new (and final) unit of the course, Substance Use/Abuse Prevention. North Brookfield Jr./Sr. High School has adopted Project Alert--a curriculum which is designed to increase the likelihood that students remain drug free.

As we work our way through Project Alert, 8th grade students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate behaviors that can help them resist the pressure to use drugs.
  • Identify reasons why some people use drugs and others don't.
  • Explain the consequences, both physical and emotional, of substance use and abuse.

7th Grade Health

  • 7th grade students did an amazing job on their "Safe School" projects. We had several classroom discussions regarding how interpersonal relationships can impact the learning environment. From there, students engaged in conflict resolution activities designed to help them practice dealing with difficult situations in healthy ways.
  • We've moved on to our final unit--Family Structure. Our work in this unit will require students to explore the ways that their family life impacts their overall wellness.
  • Your student should have come home with a "family tree" assignment. Please know that I only expect students to gather information that they can--there is no set number of people that are required for their family tree. Any information will be helpful!

During our Family Structure Unit, 7th grade health students will be able to:

  • Describe how family can influence relationships.
  • Explain how their family customs are unique in comparison to their friends.
  • Identify ways that their family life impacts their overall wellness.