Important Upcoming Dates
- February 13 – Team Leaders in Melanie’s room at 2:30
- February 14 – NAEP Testing for selected 8th graders
- February 18 – School dance sponsored by Little River and Harraseeket 6:00 – 8:00 pm in the Gym.
- February 18 -22 – School Winter Break, No School for students and teachers
- February 27 – Faculty Meeting in the Library beginning at 2:30 pm
- March 1 – Early Release Day for students, half day workshop for teachers
- March 6 – Team Leader Meeting in Melanie’s room beginning at 2:30
Dance Re-Scheduled for this Friday
The dance that was snowed out by Nemo last week has been rescheduled for this Friday in the gym. The dance begins at 6:00 pm and runs until 8:00. What a great way to start off the vacation week with all of your friends.
MLTI Laptops over Vacation
As we do over most of the school vacation weeks, we will be performing an inventory and some routine maintenance on the laptops while the kids are off enjoying their free time. We ask that all students have their laptops in their charging stations by the end of the day on Thursday. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
99 8th graders have been selected, randomly, to take the National Assessment of Educational Progress on Thursday, February 14th. A letter was sent home to these students informing their parents of this assessment and of all of their options. These students will be given the test in the cafeteria at the beginning of the day. Teachers, please remember that we will follow a Wednesday schedule rotation with SSR at the usual time.
Some of the students will be testing in the Library as well, therefor the Library will be closed on Thursday morning. 6th and 7th grade teachers, please remind your students of this testing and ask them to transition between classes quietly.
What to do with the Kids Over Vacation?
It seems like we just came back to school from the Christmas Break and we are heading back out on vacation. Some folks may be headed to the mountains to ski, and some may be headed to places a bit warmer than southern Maine in February. Many of us will be staying close to home this vacation and looking for things to do to keep the kids busy.
We are very fortunate to live in an area with so much to do, and at very little cost.
Some suggestions that come to mind are a visit to the Portland Observatory on Munjoy Hill. Everyone gets a little exercise climbing to the top of the Observatory and when you reach the top, you have a killer view of the Atlantic Ocean. Imagine yourself in Colonial Portland, watching for an incoming merchant vessel.
The Portland Museum of Art is a terrific place to view some of the world’s greatest masterpieces done by some of the world’s greatest artists. The building itself is a masterpiece of one of the world’s best architects, I. M. Pei. It was quite a fete for the city to attract an architect of such stature to design a building for a city as small as Portland. In fact, he took time away from designing the new addition on the Louvre, in Paris France, to design this building.
The Children’s Museum of Maine and the Maine Children’s Theater, located next to the Portland Museum of Art, is a wonderful place to spend a few hours. The Children’s Theatre is presenting Peter Pan all week. For tickets call 828-1234 x231.
Some other interesting places to visit could include the Portland Fire Museum or the Irish Heritage Center. It has been quite a while since I have visited either venue, but I do know that the Fire Museum has some very interesting historical facts about Portland that give a greater meaning to understanding the heritage of a city that has risen from ashes on more than one occasion.
The Irish Heritage Center is very dear to me, given my heritage. In the Center you will find lots of historical information about how the Irish came to be in Portland. Trust me, as anyone will tell you, the Irish can certainly tell a story and the Heritage Center will give you more than enough information to keep you in stories for weeks.You can check out the Fire Museum’s website for more information here: http://www.portlandfiremuseum.com/index.htm.
The Irish Heritage Center is working on their website but yo can call them at 780-0118.
Also of interest to many people are the High School Tournaments. There is always a full slate of Tournament basketball games at the Portland Exposition Building in Portland. While the Gorham High School Boys team was eliminated last night, the Gorham Girls are still going strong.
The Gorham High School Boys hockey team has qualified for Tournament play and should be playing towards the end of the week. Check the newspapers for schedules.
If your adventurous and want to travel to Boston, the Amtrak Downeaster will take you to the heart of downtown Boston in just two hours. You are within walking distance of the Children’s Museum of Boston, The Boston Aquarium to mention a couple of attractions of interest. You could walk the Freedom Trail and see all the places of historic significance such as Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church (you know, one if by land, two if by sea…). How about visiting the grave site of Mother Goose? Maybe a walk through the Quincy Market Place to work up an appetite.
There are always movies to see during the February vacation and if you want to know whether, or not that new release is suitable for your child, check out all the reviews from our friends at Common Sense Media. They offer a very thorough review of all movies and video games as well as a suitability rating giving you an idea about age appropriateness.
We are very pleased with the results of the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) results from the October administration. 85% of all of our students scored at, or above Proficiency Level on the reading assessment. That is an improvement over last year by more than 3%. In Mathematics 78% of our students were Proficient or above, an improvement of about 3% as well.
Parents, you will be receiving a letter from the Commissioner of Education that will have all of the results for your child. If you have nay questions about what your child score means for him/her, please give me a call. There really is a great deal of information that we, and you, can use to improve the performance of all of us going forward.
Teachers, we will be examining this information in great detail during our March 1st Early Release Day work. I have also sent out to each team the results of the students you have this year. I am working on formatting your classroom results from the students you had last year. This is very tricky as we need to be very mindful of student privacy rights. I guess what I am saying with all of this, is that these results will be a little longer in coming to you. My plan is to have them in your hands, at the very least, a couple of days before the March 1st Workshop.
Planning for the 8th Grade Celebration
I have heard from many of you asking about getting involved in the planning for the Celebration of Middle School, the event that marks the end of the Middle School years for our 8th graders. We have scheduled an organizational meeting for Thursday evening, March 7th in the GMS Cafeteria ( I think we earlier had said in the Library). We will discuss a theme for this year’s event and then begin the process of getting the different committees organized and begin working.
Hope to see as many of you there as possible, the more the merrier… and the more, the easier the work load!
GeoGebra Webinar Series
MLTI is offering a series of four 1-hour webinars that will support middle school educators using the free application GeoGebra for mathematics teaching and learning. Webinar topics include:
Building technical expertise with built in features, tools and commands;
Using GeoGebra to support representation, analysis, and discussion of data;
Modifying existing GeoGebra applets; and
Creating your own applets and hosting them online.
Educators do not need to attend all four webinars, however sessions three and four will assume a basic working knowledge of GeoGebra. For more information visit: http://maine.gov/mlti/events/brochure.shtml#math
Content Area Meetings and Grade Level Meetings
Last week, we held meetings for both Content Areas and Grade levels. We asked that within each group someone act as a recorder and to please forward those notes to Susie and me. We have received some of the notes from different groups and they really demonstrate the great work you are all doing. If you haven’t yet sent your notes down to us, would you please do say by the end of the week.
Maine Engineers Expo Week
This is a wonderful opportunity for kids of all ages to find out more about careers in science, math and engineering by participating in fun hands-on activities, experiencing fascinating exhibits, and talking with real engineers and scientists about their careers. It’s never too early to get kids fired-up about their futures. The Expo gives kids the opportunity to explore and talk with people who can help them discover exciting options in STEM careers.
Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 9am-2pm @ USM, Gorham Campus