topperMiddle

Upcoming Important Dates

Thursday, January 15 – PIE Meeting with School Committee Members
Friday, January 16 – School Dance 6:00 – 8:00 pm in the Gym (this is a change!)
Monday, January 19 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday – No School

New Year’s Resolutions

So, I have already broken most of my New Year’s resolutions, and we’re not even at the end of January!

I am sure, OK, maybe I am hoping that there are many others, who are reading this, who have a similar experience with your own resolutions. At least I can hope, anyway.

Chinese Language and Culture Offering

We are very fortunate to be able to offer to our 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to learn about the culture of the people of China and gain some rudimentary understanding of the Mandarin language. With the help of the Confucius Institute at the University of Southern Maine, we will offer a mini course in Chinese Culture and Language on Thursdays and Fridays beginning with the start of the 3rd quarter, January 26th.

The students will be exposed to many of the cultural mores of China and how the Mandarin language weaves throughout that culture. The students will learn some basic conversational phrases and gain a brief understanding of how the Mandarin language works. They will learn how to write some of the characters of the language and what each stroke means and its importance to that meaning.

This will be the second year that the Confucius Institute will have served our school, introducing our students to a whole new world. Here is an example of some of what the ids will learn:

For more information on this great opportunity for our students, please join us on Thursday evening, January 15 at 6:00 pm in the GMS Library.

 How About a Twitter Slow Chat?

Twitter logoMany of you are aware, probably too aware, that I am an ardent user and believer of the positive power of twitter. I regularly use twitter to keep in touch with some very powerful educators who are willing to share their experiences and knowledge with me. I wish I were a better student for these people, but even I learn a great deal form them each and every day.

On different evenings during the week, different groups of people with a common intent gather in a twitter chat, signified with the hashtag (#) symbol to discuss a particular topic. For example, in Maine we have a chat for Maine educators called #edchatme. #edchatme “meets” every Thursday evening at 8:00 pm and we discuss topics that are pertinent to Maine educators. The really strange thing about the chats is that often times educators from “away”, not from Maine, join in and share their experiences from their states or countries.

A “slow chat” is one that continues beyond the usual hour that most chat go. A slow chat allows folks to check-in whenever they can and make comments, ask questions or offer up resources that those involved in the chat can check when they are free. It allows for those who have kids that need help with homework or have sports practices at all different hours to participate in the chat when they can.

Our hashtag (#) is #gorhamms. It is dedicated to our middle school and it is the hashtag that we put on everything that we put out over social media, e.g. Facebook Twitter or Instagram. So, if you have something that you would like to get out to the #gorhamms community, you can put it in Twitter and add the hashtag and we should be able to have our slow chat.

For those of you who still don’t know what I’m talking about, here is a short tutorial on using hash tag in a twitter chat:

Until next time…

 

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