Middle School News:

December 21, 2012

The Holidays represent the psychological mid-point of the school year. Curriculums have been pitched, students react in a variety of ways–some rise to the occasion, some struggle. That’s the reality of teaching, some days it runs like a well-oiled machine, some days it’s a bit of a slog. That’s my experience, anyway.

The second semester brings new challenges, increased pressure, and deadlines that add a new wrinkle to the mix. Graduates have 14 week project that goes deeper, is more complex, involves more thinking, action, and planning. The presentations in May are amazing examples of student engagement and learning. Students write books, make movies, train animals, record cd’s, learn languages–the list goes on & on. The graduation process begins in early February. Parents and students should discuss potential topics over the holidays. A trip to the library is also helpful to see what support material is available.

The month of January involves debates. Students brainstorm topics, research both sides of the topic & by the flip of the coin, end up determining the side they must argue. Teams consist of three people & teamwork is a necessity. Students listen to the debate and vote for the best debater & winning team. It’s sort of a combination of acting and a battle-of-wits because many students end up arguing a position which they personally don’t support. It’s an interesting learning experience.

The Middle School would like to say thanks to Zevin Addkinsan whose student teaching duties are coming to a close. Well, not quite, he continues to tutor and help kids in study hall. He’s been a real asset to the school. And thanks to Bob Togasaki who has been helping in the Science curriculum. His years as a college professor are appreciated by students and teachers alike. And thanks to all the parents who volunteer their time and abilities to make the Middle School a true family experience.

As always, if any questions or concerns come up, please let us know, we’ll make ourselves available to meet with you.

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