Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Support Claims with Text Evidence in 7th Grade

7th grade scholars hard at work
Throughout middle school students are learning to use evidence to support their claims. In science class this might take the form of a laboratory report with a hypothesis, in math class supporting an answer with an equation, and in wellness class making a personal decision based on research.

In all classes students are learning that a strong argument or wise decision needs supporting evidence and details.

Students in Aishling Falzone's ELA class are working on literary claims and using quotations from a text to support these claims. In this case students are reading the short story "A Crush" by Cynthia Rylant. Flowers play an important role in the story, so students are creating claims and finding quotations that address the question of how flowers affect characters in the story.

Debating the Impact of Deforestation

One of the "rubber tapper" teams at work
Students in Elizabeth Carroll's Geography class are studying the impact of deforestation on the Amazon Rainforest. Small groups are researching the issue from various points of view including ranchers, rubber tappers, environmentalists.

They will culminate their research in an informal debate about how the rainforest should be used and protected.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dramatic Production of Lord of the Flies This Weekend

Under the direction of Mike Pirollo a small group of 7-8th grade students have been hard at work delving into the themes and characters of the classic novel by William Golding Lord of the Flies.

The novel explores the themes of civil societies, law and order, social structures, and individual accountability...many of the same ideas students in 7th and 8th grade explore in their study of the Ancient World (grade 7) and American Civics (grade 8).

The students were excited by their opening night and, as you can see in the photos below, are very proud of the set they have built.

Please join us for the dramatic production on Friday, November 17 at 7:00 or Saturday, November 18 at 2:00PM and 7:00PM. General Admission is $12. Doors are open 30 minutes before the start of the show. Please note that the themes addressed in this play include bullying and examine consequences of violent human behavior.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

New Health Curriculum Addresses Adolescent Substance Use Prevention

This year Wellness teacher Jay Murphy is using an updated version of a curriculum called All Stars. All Stars is a nationally-recognized, evidence-based prevention program that focuses on two goals:  
  • Prevent risky behaviors among adolescents
  • Help adolescents build positive and bright futures
As the All Stars Program explains, “The prevalence of substance use increases as adolescents grow older. Research shows the later the age someone begins to use substances, the less likely they will have problems later in life. The goal of All Stars is to prevent use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, prescription drugs and inhalant use for as long as possible during the most at-risk years for adolescents.”

Students in Mr. Murphy’s 6-8 classes will participate in All Stars units specifically designed to promote student assets and strengths and address the specific developmental needs of the age group. Visit the All Stars Website or reach out to Mr. Murphy form more information on the curriculum.

Our Wellness course is just one piece of what needs to be a multi-pronged prevention effort that includes families, the community and the schools. It is important for us to remember that students need to hear messages about healthy choices from many different voices. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Honoring Veteran's Day

We began our day Thursday with a short assembly planned and facilitated by our 8th Grade Clipper Crew (under the direction of social studies teachers John Webber and Jen Groskin).

The assembly was followed by a Veteran's Town Hall with the 8th Grade. Eight local veterans came to share their stories of service. The program was developed and run by Jen Groskin with support of local veteran Dr. Ralph Orlando. Over the course of the year students have been viewing history through a tool called an "identity wheel." This tool allows students to reflect on how their identity affects their interpretation of history and builds their skills in understanding the impact of identity on how history unfolds and is reported. The veterans at our Town Hall were asked to share their own identity wheel with the students as a part of their presentations.

Today our 7th grade students walked to City Hall to participate in the City's Veteran's Day program. It was a cool and windy walk but their presence was much appreciated by the veteran's in the audience.

On behalf of the entire RAN student and staff community, we send our thanks to the men and women who have given and continue to give service to our country. And a special thank you goes to the veterans who shared their stories with us this week.