A Great Read for Students and Parents
6th grade teacher, Patty Joyce, lent me her copy of a wonderful book called Wonder by author R. J. Palacio and, while I took far too long to complete the book, I did, nonetheless, finish it with very moist eyes. I highly recommend this book for all ages. It is such a great story about kids who are different and how they are treated by the peers and by the adults in their life.
August Pullman is a typical kid, with all of the typical fears of being the “new” kid in school. He has a great support team around him, but his challenges do not come from within, as with most new kids, they come from how others view him. If you want to experience a complete range of emotions, take some time and delve into Wonder.
Holiday Movie Season
We at Gorham Middle School are very fortunate to have an in-house movie critic and aficionado with Mr. Carpenter, but I thought for many of the parents at home, who do not get Mr. C’s reviews, I would include a link to Common Sense Media. I have referenced the good people at Common Sense Media in the past about movies, bullying and other resources for parents, you may remember. As we enter the holiday break time, families will be looking for activities to occupy the kids on the long afternoons, and the question always creeps into our thinking “is this appropriate for my kid”? Common Sense Media will give you the answer and more.
Their web site is packed with lots of other interesting stuff, as well, that you will definitely find interesting and fun. CommonSenseMedia.org
Learning from Mistakes
Lord knows, I have made my share of mistakes in my lifetime!
In school, our kids really struggle with getting incorrect answers or not doing well on a test. Sometimes, as a parent, we struggle ourselves when our kids are not at “the top of their class” in some subject. In my wizened state (that being of many years of experience… in other words, old!), I have come to believe that we can learn more from our failings sometimes that we can from our success.
I came across a blog entry from the HuffPost that is all about learning from our mistakes. Unfortunately, this is a “for profit” entity, so there are many ads associated with the post, so I apologize for that. However, the information contained in the post is quite thought provoking. Check it out here.
If you are not into reading blogs, this video from TED is one that we showed our faculty at the beginning of the school year. It is fairly profound in its simplicity.
Early Release Day Activities
December 12th is the date of our next Early Release Day for students. On this day, students will be dismissed at 11:10 am. During the morning our students will be engaged in several Community Service projects around the school and around town. These days are so important to our students. It allows them to feel as though they can make real contributions to their town and to the citizen and fellow students.
There are so many activities going on that it would be hard to mention them all, and, at the risk of offending those who I do not mention, let me mention just a few of the activities.
Students in Mr. and Mrs. Littlefield’s advisory group will be making special presents for the cats of the HART Foundation, a foundation that takes in cats and does not euthanize them after a certain period. Several of our advisory groups will be writing letters to be included in presents that will be distributed during the holiday season to families with loved ones serving over seas in our Armed Forces.
This is a great way for our kids to make significant contributions to their community.
Teacher Workshop Portion of the Early Release Day
We have quite an afternoon planned for our teachers and we know that they will both enjoy and learn new skills. This day is Technology Based for our teachers, so everything they do will have a technology “flavor” to it. Now, I don’t want to give out too much information about these activities, except to say that I think everyone will learn something new about technology on this afternoon. How’s that for setting High Expectations!
Activities for the Last Day of School (December 21st)
We are busy putting together a great last day of school for the year (2012!). So far, we have Band and Chorus Concerts for the morning and we will hold our annual Student/Faculty Basketball game in the afternoon. Not that I want to put any pressure on either the students of the faculty but the faculty has never lost this game. I will say that the students came very close last year, however. Could it be that the faculty is finally aging to the point that these youngsters are ready to pick them off! We’ll all have to wait until December 21st to find out.
Last Dance of the Year (I know that gets old, real fast!)
On December 14th the 8th Grade will be sponsoring the Dance in the GMS Gymnasium. The dance begins at 6:00 pm and runs until 8:00. We ask that parents be prepared to pick kids up at 8:00 and top remind your kids that all school rules apply. This means with cell phone use and dress code. In the past couple of dances, we have had to call a few students’ homes to either pick up their child or bring different clothes. Hopefully, we won’ have to do this again.
Winter Sports Season
We start the Winter Sports Season this week with games on Friday November 30th. Our boys teams will play host the the teams from Westbrook Middle School. The games will follow this order all year, the 7th grade games will begin at 3:30 with the 8th grade following at 4:45. This will be the same for boys and girls.
If there is a question about the weather, we will try to make the call as to whether to play or not by 1:00 pm each game day. We will then put the information about the cancellation on the Middle School Website. If there is no information on the site, then you can assume the game is still on.
We do appreciate your patience and understanding.
Winter Intramural Programs
During the winter season we have fewer students being able to participate in interscholastic sports. We will be organizing an intramural, coed, indoor soccer league. These games will begin after the new year and will be played on days that we have basketball games. We will try to start at 2:20 and be done by 3:00, so as to allow time for set up for the games. As always, we are in need of a faculty adviser for this activity, so if you are interested, please let me know.