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 Pixton.com 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.

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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.
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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.
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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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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Please Donate to the Essex Food Shelf!

Last week, the Phoenix Team collected and delivered food donations to the Essex Food Shelf, which is located at FMS.  Nonperishable food items can be brought in at any time to the food shelf. Just look for the large bin near the front desk. Please consider supporting local families in need in our area by donating! 


Monday, April 17, 2017

Reflections from DC

Early spring in 8th grade means one thing here at Essex Middle School...the annual field trip to Washington, D.C.!  Students recently traveled to our nation’s capital for 3 days experiencing our rich history at places like Arlington National Cemetery, walking amongst the many monuments and memorials, and some even touring the U.S. Capitol building.
There’s something about being in D.C. and truly feeling a part of history.  Dates and historical figures come alive as you read famous quotes, stand beneath larger than life monuments, and visit places where historical moments have taken place.  Students had an opportunity to view such famous parts of our past and present, as well as relax and enjoy some of the lighter sides the city has to offer like the National Zoo, and tour museums such as the Air and Space museum, Natural History Museum, and the American History Museum.  
Upon our return to Vermont, here are a few thoughts from some of our 8th graders:

“I had a lot of fun in D.C.  My favorite part was either the night tour of the monuments or the National Zoo.”
  • Ella Larson

“My favorite part on the trip was going on the night tour of the monuments and seeing all of the cool stuff in the museums.”
  • Shaylee Barber

“My favorite part of our trip was walking around The Mall and seeing all of the museums.”
  • Jack Synnott

“I really enjoyed the Air and Space Museum.”
  • Noah Adams

“My favorite part of D.C. was going to the museums, especially the Air and Space Museum.”
  • Sydney Martin


When students look back on their middle school years this trip won’t stand out because it rained, or because of the long bus trip:-); instead it will be remembered because of the memories made at each of our stops throughout our nation’s capital!


Laura Pratt
8th grade teacher

Early spring in 8th grade means one thing here at Essex Middle School...the annual field trip to Washington, D.C.!  Students recently traveled to our nation’s capital for 3 days experiencing our rich history at places like Arlington National Cemetery, walking amongst the many monuments and memorials, and some even touring the U.S. Capitol building.
There’s something about being in D.C. and truly feeling a part of history.  Dates and historical figures come alive as you read famous quotes, stand beneath larger than life monuments, and visit places where historical moments have taken place.  Students had an opportunity to view such famous parts of our past and present, as well as relax and enjoy some of the lighter sides the city has to offer like the National Zoo, and tour museums such as the Air and Space museum, Natural History Museum, and the American History Museum.  
Upon our return to Vermont, here are a few thoughts from some our 8th graders:

“I had a lot of fun in D.C.  My favorite part was either the night tour of the monuments or the National Zoo.”
  • Ella Larson

“My favorite part on the trip was going on the night tour of the monuments and seeing all of the cool stuff in the museums.”
  • Shaylee Barber

“My favorite part of our trip was walking around The Mall and seeing all of the museums.”
  • Jack Synnott

“I really enjoyed the Air and Space Museum.”
  • Noah Adams

“My favorite part of D.C. was going to the museums, especially the Air and Space Museum.”
  • Sydney Martin


When students look back on their middle school years this trip won’t stand out because it rained, or because of the long bus trip:-); instead it will be remembered because of the memories made at each of our stops throughout our nation’s capital!


Laura Pratt
8th grade teacher











Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring has sprung at EMS!

Spring means warmer weather, green grass, flowers blooming and SBAC testing.  Students on the Navigator Team were the first team at EMS to take the test for 2017.  To prepare for the hours of concentration the team participated in morning workouts to get the blood and oxygen flowing.  Here they are taking a brisk early morning run.





Tuesday, April 11, 2017

EMS Music Blog Post, April 2017
By Megan Beaucage

Music is alive in Essex Middle School! On March 27th, our annual Fine Arts Night occurred at Essex High School for grades 3 through 12. Our band, orchestra, and chorus prepared for months leading up to this event, learning several very different pieces of music to then perform with students from several other schools within our new district.
This annual event has bridged the gap between the Essex Town, Essex Junction, and Westford schools for over ten years. Previous to our upcoming merger, we have been meeting with other arts teachers yearly to plan for this wonderful event that encaptures our districts’ appreciation for the arts in a big way. The gymnasium at Essex High School is set up during Fine Arts Night that allows a 300+ choir to perform on several sets of risers. Once the choir is done, the amazing custodial staff from EHS takes the risers apart and puts them to the side rather quickly to reveal an orchestra! Once the orchestra performs, those chairs are packed up to reveal the biggest band most will ever see; it really is a sight.
Working towards a goal such as Fine Arts Night is extremely important to our musicians. Not only did they have to spend hours in preparation, but the day of, we had a field trip in the morning to EHS to prepare and practice with the other schools and their musicians. We are so lucky in our district that the arts are supported this much to be able to do such wonderful things and create such wonderful music. We all look forward to the future in our new district to see how the arts grows even further.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Eye Dissection on Team Phoenix

Phoenix students culminated their study of light waves by dissecting cow eyes.  Students were amazed to get an up close look at the structures inside an eye. Here are some images. 



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Meanwhile in Social Studies on the Galaxy Team...


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Recently, in Social Studies classes, Galaxy Team students studied and researched major events, important inventions, or influential people during the early 1800’s.  What was this person’s contribution to the United States?  How did this event or invention contribute to the growth of the United States during this time period?  These questions were among the few that our students had to answer.  
The culminating project was to create a “What Am I?” card with an illustration and clues to the research topic on the front, and the answer and writing on the inside.  Would you guess correctly?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Math in the Field

From Athletic Trainers to Wildlife Rehabilitators, many people came in on Career day in the month of February to Mrs.Petralia’s 8th grade math class to share their profession. People from the outside world talked about how math is incorporated in their job and how they became interested in it. They also described the schooling you would need to work in their field.

It’s thought provoking to learn about jobs. One of the people that came in, Brian, is a photographer that uses animal’s eyes to take pictures. While in the classroom, he took pictures to show how the different lens sizes work. He engaged every student in the classroom with his funny and eccentric personality.
Another individual that came in was Michael Beckett. His career was a software manager from IBM. He taught us about the average salary people make per year. He excited us by throwing candy across the room to students who asked questions or got a question correct that Mr.Beckett asked.
Some citizens of Mrs.Petralia’s homeroom said, “It opened my eyes to new jobs. The careers give you a new perspective on jobs. Some of the jobs were very cool!” This project definitely made an impact on the students in Mrs.Petralia’s math class. It opened eyes to new possibilities in the world of careers and jobs.


Written by Cascade Students: Colin Beckett, Vivek Lasserre, and Kiera Marcotte.
Below are a few images from the presentations.