If It Weren’t for the Foot of Snow, I’d Think Spring was Just around the Corner!

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Important Upcoming Dates

    • March 25 – Make up date for the 8th Grade Parent Night at the High School, 6:30 pm in the GHS Auditorium.
    • March 28 – Presentation for school of Peter Panic. Please refer to the viewing schedule below..Report
    • March 29 & 30 – The GMS presentation of the school musical Peter Panic
    • March 28 & 29 – Parent Teacher Conferences
    • April 1 – Open House for Prospective Graduate Students at University of Southern Maine, Portland Campus 4:30 – 6:30 pm.
    • April 4 – CPR Training at GMS, please see Teresa for details.
    • April 5 – 3rd Quarter Ends
    • April 5 – School Dance sponsored by Little River and Peaks
    • April 11 – Report Cards go him with students at dismissal
    • April 11 – Early Release Day for students
    • April 12 – Teacher Workshop day, no school for students.
    • April 15 – 19 – School Vacation (Maybe we’ll get in some golf!)

Early Release Day Activities

All students will get a chance to view the musical production of Peter Panic on Thursday morning. We will have the 8th grade and Harraseeket Team view the production at 8:05 and the 6th Grade, Stroudwater and Little River view the production at 9:35.

The remainder of the half day is time that each team will schedule. I do want everyone to know that there will be no Allied arts classes on this day. I also expect that each team will have all of their students during this time. Please be mindful of this when devising your schedules as students who would normally be going to a Resource Room will not be, and they will be with their team.

Student Allergies

AllegryTeresa would like to remind us to be mindful of our students who have allergies when we plan classroom activities that will have us bringing food into our classrooms. She asks that contact the parents of these students ahead of time to be sure that the products you plan to bring in are safe for them to be around. Students with allergies do not appreciate being separated from their peers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Teresa.

Student Yearbooks

Students may order this year’s Yearbooks through April 5th. All students were given anYearbookclipart order form last week that will allow parents to complete the order by including a check, payable to Gorham Middle School in the amount of $20.00. You may also order the yearbook online directly through Lifetouch at YBPay.lifetouch.com. When ordering online you will need to have the Gorham Middle School Yearbook ID Code. Our Code is: 3788213.

The Yearbooks will be distributed at the end of the school year.

Middle School Musical

PETERPANICI stopped in to the Middle School Auditorium one afternoon last week to check out our Thespians during their rehearsal for the upcoming musical Peter Panic. What I witnessed only whetted my appetite for the evening of March 29 or March 30 (probably both nights!) to see the whole cast run through the entire play. Tana Krohn, Director, Producer, Set Designer, Costume Designer and everything else has her charges dancing and singing across the stage that will make us laugh and tap our feet. Please circle the dates to attend at least one of the performances, you will not be disappointed!

The Admission Fee is $5.00.

Parent Teacher Conferences

By now, I would imagine that most of you have scheduled your conference with your child’s Advisor. If you haven’t received any information yet, you may want to check you meeting-451-95-115-80-cchild’s book bag. The information was sent home a couple of weeks ago with your child.

We arrange our conferences with your child’s Advisor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t meet with your child’s content area teachers. The Advisors do confer with all of your child’s teachers prior to meeting with you, but sometimes, you just need to meet an English or Math teacher. You can do that by giving that specific teacher a call and setting a time that works for both of you.

Also, you do not need to wait for conference time to meet with teachers. They have time at the end of the teaching day, as well as before school, set aside to meet with concerned parents. All you need to do is give them a call or drop them an email and make the arrangements.

The Future of GMS Fundraising

fundraiser_school-427-95-115-80-cAt our meeting for the 8th Grade Celebration planning, we had the subject of fundraising come up. We know that we need to raise funds to offset the cost of this very special evening and we really did not have much success with a Pizza fundraiser that we ran this late winter. I also reported that our fall Magazine Fundraiser has probably “run its course” as we have seen declining sales over the past few years.

We started to talk about some alternatives to our traditional fundraising activities, things that would combine both the necessary fundraising results with some of the social aspects required in bringing the community together. Some ideas that surfaced were dinners such as spaghetti dinners, but the we started to get even more creative with other types of dinners that had a theme to them.

We definitely want to look in a different direction for the necessary fundraising, so, if you have any ideas that you’d be willing to share with us, please give us a call of drop us an email.

Encourage the Young Writer

We are making some pretty good progress in securing presenters for our first Encourage the Young Writers Day, but we can still use more help. If you know someone who writes, quillwhether for work of for pleasure and you think they could “stand” presenting their ideas about writing to a group of middle school students, please send me their name and I will contact them.

The day is going to be interesting in that we have never done anything like this before. I am not real sure how the kids will take it. But, I do know that we have to change the reasons our students write from getting a grade from their teachers to writing for pleasure or to communicate an idea, or any other reason we all need to write.

Finally, in keeping with the theme of encouraging the young writer, I offer you this poem from Berkley Breathed and Bloom County:

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Project 24 MOOC

Remember when a “MOOC” was a name that you called someone, usually a friend, when they were acting weird? Well, we now have MOOCs in education that are a very positive PvNGFwdwGOhIxXoLNfQwCjl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBVaiQDB_Rd1H6kmuBWtceBJthing. MOOC, an acronym for Massive Open Online Course, courses that are open and free to any and all who are interested in learning more.

I am happy to pass on to all of you an exciting MOOC opportunity, available through North Carolina State University. This course will help us develop Digital Learning Goals that will address the digital learning needs for our students. It will examine the elements necessary fro successful digital learning, help us set goals for digital learning expectations and outcomes for our students.

If you are interested check out their website at:  http://dlt.mooc-ed.org/preview

PD Opportunity for Science Teachers

Jane Esty has passed on an opportunity for our Science Teachers (two possible) to participate in an online seminar around using Formative assessment strategies to uncover disciplanry core ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This is a mini-course comprised of 3 two hour on sessions.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Jane Esty. She needs to know by April 15th.

Responsive Schools Work

We plan to continue our work with Safe Schools for All and the ideas of Responsive canstock10370649Schools as we progress through the next few years. It is our expectations that we will be making the beliefs of the Responsive Schools Theory a very large part of how we deal with student behavior. We also believe that this theory is very consistent with our Code of Conduct.

I came across an interesting blog post by Bob Sullo that I believe will help us as we work toward the belief that we need to ask ourselves “what is it we want our students to learn from this event?”

Please disregard the self-promotion and advertising that is rampant on his page. Most of the ads are for his books, most of which I have found to be very informative, by they do fill the page and take your attention away from the important message of the blog. Here is the Link: http://inspiringstudentmotivation.blogspot.com/2013/03/punishment-is-effective-teaching-tool.html

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