Friday, June 16, 2017

The Essex Middle School Athletic Leadership Council 2016-2017

The Essex Middle School ALC was started two years ago, inspired by the Essex High School's ALC with a mission to help the community and improve our school’s atmosphere and environment and to use athletics as the base for inspiring our peers  through service and influence.

We engaged in many service projects throughout the year starting with a rejuvenating project of the school’s bus circle.  Through the winter, ALC students volunteered to help run concession during the EMS B Team Tournament,  from which the proceeds went to the VT chapter of the Make a Wish foundation.  Many ALC students also  signed up to take a dip  in the cold waters of Lake Champlain, for the charity known as the “Penguin Plunge.”  Finally in the spring, although slowed a little by weather, the ALC is finishing a repainting project for the Press Box at the Mitchell Softball field at the front of the school. 

Within the school, The ALC also set up, and ran intramural games throughout the year. The first intumaral we did this year was football. It offered a fun and good experience for kids who sometimes don't normally play football on a team to have fun and a good time with their friends. The next activity was floor hockey. The teams fought hard and all had a great time. After that we set up the famous dodge ball tournament which went extremely well, having 90 plus kids participating on 9 teams.  Finally the spring offered a kickball tourney, which went fairly well for a few weeks despite the wet weather throughout the majority of May.

            This year, The ALC also introduced a school motto “We Have Your Back”, inspired by the video we showed at the first assembly about a young boy with autism and a group of boys, who instead of watching a peer getting bullied, stood up and “had his back.” To support this theme, we created a shout out box in which students were encouraged to  write down things other students did that had each other's back.  These nominations would be picked monthly, and the students would be called out and given a school t-shirt with the motto on the back.
The ALC has provided an experience for students to learn how to become better leaders and role models to the peers and teachers of Essex Middle School and the community. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Famous Essex Middle School All American Flying Submarine Band

Our famous Essex Middle School All American Flying Submarine Band has been very busy preparing for our recent spring performances. We have recently participated in the following events:

May 2nd Essex High School Jazz festival. Our Band played alone and together with the Jazz Bands from Essex High School, as well as ADL. Each group played two selections, and then performed as one large group featuring selected soloists. 

May 25 EMS Spring Concert. Our Submarine band performed in our annual Music Department Spring concert in addition to performances from our 6th Grade Band, 7-8 Band and the Founders Band. The event was standing room only and showcased all of our students hard work and abilities.

We are now preparing for our biggest performance of the school year; The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival on Church Street. We will be performing on Friday June 9th from 12:45-1:45 on the lower block across from city hall. We currently have fifteen selections we will be performing, including some hot solos for our students to “show their stuff”

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Navigator Team to Cape Cod

Earlier this month, students on the Navigator Team took a 3 day field trip to Cape Cod.  While on the field trip, students engaged in a variety of activities to further their understanding of the environment.  Students visited the sea coast and coastal forest.  They learned about the importance of the salt marsh biome and were able to experience it as the tide came in.  

The main attraction of the field trip was a whale watch out of Provincetown.  This year, we experienced the most thrilling whale watch yet.  Students were able to see upwards of a dozen humpback whales as well as a few finback whales.  In fact, our boat stopped for half an hour right in the middle of their feeding ground!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

French Comic Creations

Salut! Ça va?
Last week students in 6th grade showcased their knowledge of how to greet someone in French through creative comics using the online comic creator. Their comics required two characters greeting each other, asking/telling names, asking/telling how they are, and saying goodbye all in French. Beyond that, it was up to students to create their own characters and settings. We saw everything from celebrities to bears in space, dinosaurs, chefs, babies, unicorns, and much more. Once comics were finished students worked on pronunciation with a partner and then shared their comics in front of the class. During the trimester long class, 6th grade students also learn about French names, cities in France, French music, and some basics of the French language such as colors, alphabet, days, months, and numbers.
Bon travail tout le monde!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Collaboration in Math Class!

Research suggests that students learn from their teachers but learn more deeply when they talk about and apply their knowledge.  Which is why we stress collaboration on the Phoenix team. Students are shown here deliberating whether or not triangles are similar based on what they learned this week about angles.  They were challenged to present evidence to back their claim and to use only the evidence they were given. As you can see here, our students were deeply engaged in their work and their intense collaboration on this project was obvious!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Poetry on Delta Team

Students on the Delta Team have been reading, writing and reciting poetry for the past month.  From memorizing and reciting a poem in front of the class to reading poetry of many, many poets, including Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams, students gained an ear for the rhythms of poetry and gained confidence to write their own poems.


Many students took inspiration from the poetry we shared in class.   William Carlos Williams’ poem, The Red Wheelbarrow, inspired students to write free verse poems that hint at something significant that has happened in their lives, but that do not give away the meaning entirely, in the same way Williams’ red wheelbarrow poem does.
Arnold Adoff’s poem Street Music about the sounds in the special places in our lives taught students about onomatopoeia, rhythm and using size and shape of their words to add meaning.
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Many Delta students took a special opportunity to work with eighth graders from the Cascade Team to turn their recently finished argument essays into spoken word poetry. Either grade teachers taught Delta students to imbed the evidence they learned from their research and to use figurative language to create powerful messages using poetry.

All Delta students memorized and recited a poem of their choosing. While showcasing poets Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, A.A. Milne, Shel Silverstein, and others, students worked on presentation skills. Practicing speaking in front of an audience without notes was a great challenge and students were pleasantly surprised and impressed with their success!
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Yummy Aromas Are Coming From the FCS Kitchens!

8th grade FCS students have been involved in several food/cooking projects during this third trimester all of which have engulfed the hallway outside of the FCS kitchens with tantalizing aromas. Here is a glimpse of these projects which integrate math, literacy, collaboration, self initiative, problem solving, productivity and learning the life skill of food preparation.

Students began their experience in FCS by reviewing basic cooking skills such as measuring, organization and clean up. Their first project was to help make over 500 Maple Muffins which were given to every student and staff member at EMS on March 20 to celebrate the first day of spring. This was a ETSD Farm to School Initiative. Without missing a beat, 8th grade students began to prepare for the annual collaborative cooking activity with FMS students. In this event, FMS and EMS students prepare foods for “Gather, Taste, Learn” which was held at FMS on March 31. Beet Brownies, Carrot Parsnip Bread, Kale Sweet Potato Pizza and Squasho Bean Dip were all made in the FCS kitchens with FMS and EMS students working side by side.

8th graders progressed to their next project called “Key 4 Foods”. This themed unit teaches students to make four different foods which teach basic cooking skills. Nutrition concepts are learned along the way as students make Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies, Veggie Rama, Homemade Corn Tortilla Tacos and Mac and Cheese. Their final food is to invent their own Vermont Pizza recipe which uses many of the skills in their “cooking tool boxes”. In their culinary inventions, students have to use at least three different colors of vegetables which can be grown in Vermont. They pick their own protein, cheese and flavorings to make a one of a kind yummy pizza. Who knew that “Ramen Stuffed Pizza” or “Mexican Taco Pizza” could be so good!

Nice job 8th grade FCS students! Here are some pictures of students involved in these projects.

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