Friday, October 27, 2017

The Joppa Salt Marsh comes to the Nock

Because of the rainy weather this week a few bike trips were cancelled. But that didn't stop our 7th students from participating in the data collection taking place at the Joppa Flats Audubon Center.

Audubon scientist Liz Duff and her team of biologists brought the salt marsh to us--complete with the smell and the fish.

Students working at Joppa Flats assist in the on-going collection of data to measure salinity, fish species and plant life at the salt marsh. This data has been collected for many years and it is interesting for students to learn what data is collected, to be a part of the real-life collection and to learn about and predict the trends. Using the data they can begin to see the impact of human interaction and natural forces on the environment.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Newburyport Rec Center--Surfing, Film making, Teen Crossfit and More

Newburyport Youth Services offers a wide range of programs to support the positive growth and development of our middle school students. Housed in the old Brown School, the center has a gym, four classrooms and a dedicated teen room. Check out the full  list of offerings: Rec Center Catalog

There are many options for middle school students including a drop-in center, open gym, and half-day trips. There is a free bus from the Nock to the center daily.

Drop by with your child and check out the facility and meet the staff. It is a fun place for kids to hang out, try new activities, and connect with friends.

Coming this month for middle school students are a Halloween Party on October 27 from 6:30-8:30 and a 7th-8th Grade Fall Dance on November 3 from 6:30-8:30.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Around the Nock Today

A few pictures of some of the action in school today...

8th grade literature circles...students are discussing what role ethics and morals play in a dystopian society

More literature circles

CO2 Car Building in Engineering

CO2 Car Building in Engineering

Creating visual maps to illustrate popular music in art

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Camp Kieve "Home" Program

Today is day three with our Camp Kieve program. Students have been at work solving problems, practicing communication skills, and learning lessons about working in a community.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Are Smartphones affecting Students' Mental Health?

This summer author and generational researcher Jean Twenge released her new publication iGen. After twenty-five years of studying generational trends, Twenge began noticing some surprising changes. What had been gradually changing trend lines suddenly showed rapid changes.

In an Atlantic Monthly article Twenge explains "some generational changes are positive, some are negative, and some are both."

We have been reading about and discussing Twenge's work here at the Nock. Like many professionals in the field of education, we have anecdotes to support a growing sense that students are increasingly anxious and vulnerable.

Twenge's research confirms this intuition with data and begins to ask what role smartphones may be playing in this change. "There is compelling evidence that the devices we've placed in young people's hands are having profound effects on their lives--and making them seriously unhappy." (Atlantic Monthly)

Twenge paints a complex picture of a generation with many positives; but she reminds us that her trends also show a generation of young people who are "on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed."

In addition to the Atlantic Monthly article, you can see a video segment on her work at PBS News Hour. I would encourage you to learn more about this research and have conversations with your children about their feelings on the topic.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

It's Socktober!

Our 8th grade leadership group, The Clipper Crew, just launched what has become an annual Nock tradition. Socktober is a national initiative: "Each night in the United States, an estimated 600,000 people live on the streets. This October, we want 2 million people to show that even a small act of love, such as donating a pair of socks, can make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors who are homeless." 

Last year the Nock was able to collect almost 1000 pairs of socks for the Pettingill House. 

Every homeroom has a sock collection box. We are collecting new socks of any size or color. We will be awarding prizes to homerooms that bring in the most socks (...slices of pizza from Anchor Pizza, whoopie pies from Chococoa are examples of last year's prizes)! 

We will be collecting socks until Nov 3rd

Help us generate some excitement for the project by wearing your Crazy Socks on Fridays!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Skyping Salva Dut

Our 6th grade has embarked on their annual unit based on the book A Long Walk to Water. The novel weaves the real story of Salva Dut together with a fictionalized account of a young girl still living in South Sudan.

As an 11-year old, Mr. Dut was among the many displaced people sometimes referred to as the "Lost Boys" of Sudan. He and many children were forced out of their homes by the violence of a civil war. Today he is an advocate working to bring increased water access to villages throughout South Sudan.

On Tuesday our students had the opportunity to connect with Salva via Skype. His story of perseverance and words of hope are important lessons for our students, who are the age he was when war came to his home.

The unit continues throughout the next week or two with geography, reading and writing lessons.