Thursday, October 27, 2016

Maps vs Globes--Sixth Grade Adventures in Geography

Students in 6th grade are examining the advantages and disadvantages of maps versus globes and tightening up their map skills. When I visited Mrs. Carroll's room she was introducing the culminating project. She shared some exemplars from previous years that I thought you all would enjoy...our students are pretty clever!

The Assignment
Love Letter to a Map
Movie Poster

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Literary Analysis in Grade 8

Our 8th grade students have just finished a literature circle around the theme of dysotopian societies. Literature circles are a teaching method where teachers select a particular question or theme (or topic, or genre, etc) to explore. Teachers identify a set of novels that can be used to explore the theme, and students read the novel of their choice. Students work in groups with other students who have selected the same novel.

For this literature circle unit, students chose from a collection of thirteen high-interest dystopian novels and spent several weeks reading, discussing, and analyzing the texts. The culminating activity is a literary analysis paper that students are working on right now. Below are the literary analysis questions. In today's classes, students were peer editing draft essays. In addition to applying grammar lessons on commas and sentence structure, students were analyzing each other's thesis sentences, signal phrases, claims, and supporting quotations.

Red Ribbon Week--Celebrate Student Assets

This week the Newburyport Public Schools, in partnership with the Newburyport Youth Services and the Beacon Coalition, celebrates Red Ribbon Week. The Red Ribbon Campaign promotes community-wide programming to support the development of healthy young people. As a part of his wellness curriculum Jay Murphy helps students identify their own "assets" and uses activities and lessons to build strengths across all forty identified assets. If you would like to learn more about the initiative or see how you can be a part of promoting this important project, visit the NYS web site:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Socktober and Crazy Sock Friday

For the second year, our 8th grade students are holding a new sock drive. Last year's drive was very successful with thousands of socks being donated to local shelters--did you know that new socks are the most requested and least donated item for shelters?

Encourage your child to sport his or her crazy socks on Friday. And if you are able, send in a new pair of socks and support our students' civic engagement.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Camp Nock--Day Two Morning Circles

Students had a great first day at Camp Nock on Monday. The Kieve staff are working hard to bring adventure to our hallways--the rest of us are working hard to pick up the all mud and dirt that always seems to follow any good fun! 

Most students began the morning with activities where they were reflecting on goal setting, teamwork and leadership. The experiential learning cycle provides opportunities for students to act, reflect, then act again. By asking "what?", "so what?" and "now what?" during reflection time, children learn to connect these experiences to their own. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

7th Grade Bridge Design and Construction

Our 7th grade engineering students have been using West Point Bridge Designer software to learn about and design bridges. After learning about the efficiency and strength of a variety of different structural designs, students use the program to design their own a bridge. They are now in the process of building a model version of their design using balsa wood. The final phase will be to put the models to a load test. Below are  a few pictures of the projects.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Newburyport Education Foundation--Lighthouse Auction, November 12!

Mark your calendars: This year’s Lighthouse Auction will be held on Saturday, November 12th!
The mission of the NEF is to generate financial resources to enhance the quality of public education. The Lighthouse Auction is an important fundraiser and an opportunity for you to make a difference in our schools. 
According to the NEF, the 2015 auction was a huge success: "With the help of more than one hundred volunteers and hundreds of donors and sponsors, the 2015 Auction exceeded our goal of raising 100,000!" The NEF has many new initiatives and the auction directly supports their mission to enhance the quality of education for our Newburyport students. To learn more about the NEF or the auction, visit their web site:
The auction items are a combination of donated and created items that come from Newburyport businesses, families, and classrooms. This week your child will be coming home with a donation envelope. You can also help by volunteering to help a classroom create a gift or donating an auction item yourself. For more information email: 

8th Grade Students and Parents--Whittier Regional Vocational Technical School Open House

Dear students and parents,

Each year a number of students from the RAN apply to and attend Whittier Tech. If you want to learn more about this public school option, there is an open house on November 6, 2016. The 8th grade will also take a field trip to visit the school in December. Applications will be coordinated by our school adjustment counselor, Siobhan Green.

For more information, visit the school web page at

Thursday, October 6, 2016

7th Grade Place-Based Education Trips

Our 7th graders have been out and about exploring the natural environment around Newburyport. They are learning to see their community through the lens of a scientist and observing the varied ecosystems of our small but environmentally diverse city. John Reynolds and Jess Delacey, grade 7 science teachers, continue to put in enormous efforts to help all our students feel connected to the natural world around them.

Half Day Heroes

6 Gold rocked the super hero capes today--they are the self-proclaimed "Half Day Heroes"

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Lunch boxes, jackets and sweatshirts are piling up!

Is your child missing that brand new lunch box? Or are you wondering where that brand new North Face jacket may have gone? Or the gym shoes? Try the back of the cafe!

We have a lot of clothes and assorted items piling up already. If your child is missing something, encourage him or her to look in the back of the cafe.