Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thanks everyone, for a wonderful year! I miss all of our 8th graders already, and couldn't fit in enough hugs today.

We wrapped up this week with some writing work, some clean up, math, ...and oh yeah, a couple of little school events like step-up day, the middle school band concert, and graduation.  Here are a few conversational tidbits to leave you with for the summer.
  • Nearly everyone contributed to the last newsletter this year, which I hope you enjoyed.  Ask your young person what they wrote, and which piece of wisdom from "Ask Atticus" that they think they benefitted from the most.
  • 7th and 8th graders each completed time capsules this week, to be opened up in the fall.   Ask what artifacts they included, and what reactions their work will illicit when unearthed.
  • Our middle school bands rocked out this week downtown at One Longfellow Square on Tuesday evening.  Ask which group played an original song.
  • Tuesday morning, Kelly joined us in welcoming the incoming 7th graders for Step-Up Day.  We acted as paleontologists, and worked in groups of four in an attempt to solve the puzzle of what animal we had "unearthed" by arranging and rearranging the bones.  Students then defended their ideas by pointing to specific parts of the fossil evidence. Ask what animal they think they had.  Ask also when the last time the word "unearthed" was used twice in one weekly ask!

  • While 8th graders rehearsed for graduation, alumni from the classes of '09, '10, '11, and '12 joined the 7th graders in preparing breakfast to welcome the class of '13 into the exclusive Breakwater alumni club.  8th grade families - Ask how your alumni plans to stay connected to the Breakwater community (sorry Atti).

  • Nat's math class watched the sequel to Flatland, a favorite movie from earlier the the year.  Flatland 2: Sphereland  was not quite as good as the original, but it gave us a good provocation for discussion about dimensionality.   Ask your young person to explain or illustrate the forth dimension. We also had our year-end edition of "math fun facts," and our grand prize winner was Ian, followed closely by Sabrina and Thalia who tied for second place.   Ask how many feet of wire go into the making of a slinky.
  • We finished up our writing work for the year with a collaborative writing project.  We watched a short animated piece by Michel Ocelot.  The dialogue from that film was in French, so we tried to reconstruct what we thought had happened.  We used a First - Next - Then - Finally format, passing our pieces on between each prompt for the next writer to add to what was on their page.  Click HERE if you'd like to check out this fun 8 minute clip.   Ask what all of our writing had in common, and where there were discrepancies.

  • Graduation!  What wonderful speeches, and what a nice event.  It was so nice to get to spend a little time together this afternoon.  (And I'll always show up for Ice Cream.)

  • 8th grade (...ahem - I mean 9th grade) families: Please keep in touch, and let me know if I can help with the transition into high school.  
  • 7th grade - now 8th grade families.  I'll be sending some work home for summer investigation soon.  Stay tuned.  For now, just make sure that your kids keep reading for fun.