Jonas Clarke Middle
News and Notes | March 2017
From the Principal
As we approach the conclusion of 3rd quarter on March 24th, it is hard to believe that the end of the school year will be quickly upon us. We have started planning for next year already and as our enrollment continues to rise, we are more than thankful that we will have new classrooms to open next year. 8th graders have already submitted their registrations and our Spring MCAS administration is also upon us. Stay tuned for more info sent out on dates and testing procedures.
Don't forget to check out our Daily Announcements for information about Spring sports sign ups and other exciting things going on around Clarke (like the Talent Show!).
MCAS 2.0 Spring 2017
MCAS is coming! New this year, all 8th grade students will participate in Computer Based Testing (CBT) on their school issued iPads and keyboards this spring and we are currently working with students and staff to practice the skills needed for this computer based testing. All 8th graders at both Clarke and Diamond will take part in a practice assessment on Tuesday March 21, 2017 (Please be sure to bring your fully charged iPad to school on this day).
All 6th and 7th grade students will take the paper based version of MCAS 2.0 in ELA and Math this Spring. It is critical that all students are in attendance for testing dates as we have limited time to administer make up testing. The testing schedule for the Spring 2017 test administration is as follows:
Tuesday April 4, 2017 Grades 6, 7, 8 ELA Session 1
Thursday April 6, 2017 Grades 6, 7, 8 ELA Session 2
Thursday May 11. 2017 Grades 6, 7, 8 Math Session 1
Tuesday May 16, 2017 Grades 6, 7, 8 Math Session 2
Wednesday May 17, 2017 Grade 8 Only Science Session 1
Friday May 19, 2017 Grade 8 Only Science Session 2
Paint Night Success
8th Grade Mock Town Meeting
Prior to the March 7th event at Cary Hall, every Lexington 8th grader had an overview of how Town Meeting works in their history class with Town Meeting volunteers showing them the protocols for article discussion and debate. For the actual event, we had 8th graders write the actual articles to be debated and those presenting the articles got to meet with the Town Moderator to discuss their role in the discussion. This was a true hands on experiential learning opportunity for our students and the level of conversation and debate was extraordinary! it was quite a sight to see the entire LHS class of 2021 all in one place for the first time.
Each year, this event gets better and better. Thank you to all who helped make it such a huge success for our students. We definitely have some future Town Meeting Members among us!
World Language Week
World Language Week got off to a great start this past week! On Monday a mariachi band serenaded students in the cafeteria while they enjoyed the music, danced and even practiced their Spanish with the musicians!
During WIN block on Wednesday and Thursday, aspiring film makers entertained us with 20 videos featuring different languages and themes. Winners were presented with their awards at a special viewing ceremony.
On Thursday, World Language teachers paired with World Geography teachers to bring a wonderful interactive performance called Exploring the migration of Music by Young Audiences and thanks to everyone who came to enjoy delicious food from around the world at the 4th annual Clarke International Potluck! We had our best turnout yet and look forward to next year.
Today (Friday 3/17) I had the opportunity to tour the new addition with Dr. Czajkowski, our Superintendent. As you can see from the pictures, the inside is starting to come together to look like actual classrooms. The framing is complete and after a few more inspections, insulation will be put inside the framing before the wall boards go up.
We hope that the connection to our current building will begin in early June and we are happy to report that as of now all of the construction is right on track.
Shop at Wilson Farm Day | March 21
Show / print this coupon - 20% of proceeds go to Clarke PTO
Gift of Failure | March 21
7:00 PM with Author, Jessica Lahey at Estabrook - Register Here!
MCAS Practice Session | March 21
Computer based testing practice session - 8th grade only
Early Release | March 23
Dismissal at 11:45
3rd Quarter Grades Close | March 24
Report Cards will be available via Aspen on Monday April 3
Talent Show Auditions | Wednesday March 29
Sign up in advance outside room 343. Auditions 3:00 - 3:45PM
Clarke Talent Show | Friday April 7
You don't want to miss this...
Clarke at the Red Sox| Friday April 14
A fun night out with Clarke! Get your tickets here
School Vacation | April 14 - April 21
No School on Friday April 14 for Good Friday
8th Grade Washington DC Trip | April 26, 27, 28
Save the Date - Clarke Night Out | May 6
Come celebrate Clarke for a Derby themed night Out - more details to come
News from the 8th Grade
As the 3rd Quarter comes to an end, Apollo teachers have found much enthusiasm among students as they learn of the many courses offered at high school and the wonderful opportunity of selecting from a wide variety of electives for next year. Furthermore, Apollo students are looking forward to traveling to Spain, Quebec and our annual 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. this Spring.
In Science, Apollo students are nearing the end of their Patches CSI Investigation. They are applying lab skills and scientific principles learned throughout this year to research and develop procedures that help them analyze evidence from the crime scene (see picture). Here students are seen running tests that will inform their approach to separation and analysis of the infamous floor "dirt." 8th grade science teachers have evolved this project, in use for several years, toward more of a project-based learning model in which students increasingly drive the investigation and learning. Our next area of learning will be the physics of motion - a shift from the more chemistry-oriented earlier part of the year.
In Math class students have been working on a variety of topics. While some students have been focused on Transformational Geometry and Similar triangles, others have completed Linear and Exponential Functions. More geometry and statistics will be coming as we head into the home stretch of the year as well.
During the last few months, Apollo History students have examined our Constitution and furthered their understanding of the structure and functioning of their governments. We have researched, analyzed and discussed the profound affect, which our federal, state, and local governments presently have on our daily lives. Students have had the opportunity to participate in discussions regarding historical Supreme Court cases and current debates reflecting different viewpoints pertaining to the Bill of Rights. In addition, Apollo students traveled to Cary Hall on March 7 to join all Clarke and Diamond 8th graders for our 5th annual Mock Town Meeting. Recently, our young Apollo historians have been studying George Washington’s presidency and the many contributions made by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson on the creation of our nation. Next up in History is the study of the Jeffersonian Era.
Apollo English welcomes a new addition this spring! Ms. Wallen has taken over for Ms. Gagnon while she is on maternity leave. Congratulations to Mrs. Gagnon on the birth of her baby girl! Meanwhile in class, we are finishing up our Satire unit by creating our own satires and presenting them to the rest of the class. Next week we will be starting our next unit during which we will be learning about WWII and the Holocaust as we read (and act out) the play, The Diary of Anne Frank. We will be looking at the connections between literature and history as well as the themes of memory, legacy, and identity.
The 8th graders have been very busy with their civics and government unit. All Clarke and Diamond 8th grade students traveled to Cary Hall for the annual mock town meeting on March 7. This event was the culmination of several weeks of instruction including mini town meeting simulations in the classrooms. Students also wrote draft articles for the town-wide event on a broad range of topics. Four of these articles were then selected to be included in the warrant for the mock town meeting. At Cary Hall, the students discussed the four articles; a zoning change to allow drive-through businesses, shared bicycle stations, a ban on the sale of tobacco, and to expand recycle bins throughout Lexington Center. The 8th graders followed the actual town meeting procedures and learned the importance of addressing the moderator with their questions, amendments, and motions. The event was supported by numerous volunteers from the Town Meeting Members Association. It really does take a town to raise civically engaged students
Math 1 classes have been learning about exponential functions and their applications to real world situations like compound interest, population growth, and radioactivity. Next, they will be exploring geometric transformations and statistical analysis tools like standard deviation, normal distribution, and two-way tables. Grade 8 Math has wrapped up their exploration of geometric transformations and similar triangles. They will be starting an algebraic unit about equations and inequalities next.
Challenge team Science classes have been solving a mystery of a mall mascot named Patches. The mystery has components of CSI with suspects and analysis of evidence. The curriculum focus is on separating mixtures and making inferences. Students have separated black ink using chromatography. They are currently working on separating a floor dirt mixture to identify its components. Students are using filtration, magnets and sifting techniques to purify this mixture.
In English classes, currently students are crafting their own works of satire, using irony, hyperbole, connotation, and other tools to critique an aspect of society. We've had a lot of fun exploring this often humorous genre over the past three weeks!
As spring arrives, the Discovery Team continues to grow in knowledge and skill.
US History classes recently finished a two-month unit on civics and government. Students became adept at understanding who participates at each level of government (federal, state, and local), and the various powers that individuals and groups possess. They participated in a town-wide mock town meeting at Cary Hall on March 7. They have read the US Constitution, delved into the ins and outs of government structure and responsibility, and analyzed various current events issues as they pertain to our system of checks and balances and the Bill of Rights. Discovery students now possess essential knowledge of their rights, responsibilities, and the people and processes that are meant to enforce them. The hope is always that they sustain this informed, participatory behavior for the rest of their lives.
In Mr. Owens' 8th Grade Math class, we are finishing up the Butterflies, Pinwheels, and Wallpaper Unit. This Unit covered the topics of Transformations using Translations, Reflections, Rotations, and Dilations. We also investigated properties of Similar Triangles. We will finish up the Unit with a Project where students will choose or design a logo which they will transform using a composition of transformations.
In Mr. Owens' Math 1 and Math 1 Honors classes, we are currently in a Unit on Exponential Functions. We started the Unit by reviewing exponent rules and looking at Geometric Sequences. We will graph Exponential Functions both with and without a graphing calculator. We will also look at applications of Exponential Functions such as Compound Interest using Exponential Growth and Half-lives using Exponential Decay.
In Science, students are using their knowledge of elements, compounds and mixtures to unravel the case of the missing Burlington Mall mascot , the beloved, Patches the Bear. Once we have discovered who kidnapped Patches we will be at the end of our Chemistry Unit and move into the study of Physics. Our first physics topic is Motion.