Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beacons are Boston Strong!!



Why and how are political speeches compelling and influential?

Students viewed two speeches from the memorial service on April 18, 2013 given by Govenor Deval Patrick and President Barack Obama.  We reflected on the speeches.  Students shared what aspects of these powerful speeches resonated most with them.  Additionally, students discussed overarching themes that both speakers used to deliver hope,encouragment, and civic faith to the grieving citizens of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the United States of America. 

Link to Governor Patrick's speech:
Student responses to this discussion:
"This bombing affected a lot of poeple, and it was very sad.  These speeches helped us to raise our heads high and keep running!"
"I think this was a tragic, terrible event, but it showed how Boston can come and be one.  Also, how we support each other, all love and care about each other-how we are Boston Strong!!"
"Both Deval Patrick and Barack Obama tied together a state and a country.  this made the speeches very impactful. Both Patrick and Obama showed genuine pride in our city, state, and country.  People like to feel pride, and the speeches gave us civic pride."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Beacons Reveal their Thoughts on Bullying

Image from http://mycalcas.com/2012/04/bullying/bullying/
Today we continued our ongoing discussion on the topic of bullying.  Our Beacon students have been working all year in ELA 2 to examine bullying in our schools and society, and discovering ways to use their voices to become change agents in schools as well as society.  In the coming weeks, I will be posting their editorials on bullying.

Our topic today focused on whether students felt that popular kids could be bullied just as much as outcasts.  Students read an article, watched a video and wrote a journal response on the aforementioned topic. 

The following are excerpts from student journal entries:

“I think that the worst kind of bullying is one of my friends going behind my back and saying something, then someone else telling me what they said.”

“I think, yes because the popular kids are popular for a reason or something they do and others might talk about you behind your back.”

“Yes, anyone can be bullied.  Also, the popular people aren’t any stronger than the people that get bullied.  It is just that they have more friends to keep them strong.”

“I don’t think popular kids get bullied, that’s just my opinion.  They have more backup and friends to stick up for them.”

Here is a link to the article we read in class today.

(To read article, click “close” on the pop up login prompt)
It is my hope that you will continue this discussion at home with your child.  The more we work together to ask questions, discuss and offer social responses to the problem, the better we can empower our children to use their voices to advocate for the type of society they wish to create.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Social Studies Survey and MCAS Testing

Thank you to all parents and guardians who responded to the survey that I emailed yesterday. I am grateful for the feedback you have provided.  I will use the results to continue tayloring my course to the needs of my current and future students. If you have not taken a moment or two to answer the survey, I encourage you to do so.  Please see the email titled Parent/Guardian Feedback for the link I sent it out on 3/18/14 at 1:06 PM.

Thank you Glasgow Caledonian University for this fantastic visual: http://gcucareers.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/making-feedback-work-for-you/

Just a reminder that we are in the middle of ELA MCAS Testing.  Academic scheduling will be impacted on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week.  We will be back to our regular schedule on Friday.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Virtual Field Trip

Beacon team students went on a virtual field trip to Ancient Egypt today.  Utilizing the school's computer tablets students were able to explore the ruins of Old & New Kingdom Egypt.  

At the end of the experience students were able to provide feedback to the teacher about the activity.  Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from students many of whom wrote about how much they enjoyed the ability to "walk" around and experience the achievements of Ancient Egypt.

" I really liked going through the pyramid of Khufu and getting to see the other pyramids and Cairo from the top of the Great Pyramid."
                                                                                  Student Reflection

Want to see the monuments of Egypt for yourself?  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/explore-ancient-egypt.html  
After opening the site click the Launch Interactive button and start exploring.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Apple Mummy Project

As we prepare to start out apple mummy project in class I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents and guardians who were able to bring in supplies for this historical experiment.  As you can see we have plenty of baking soda and apples and at least enough salt to do the first step of the project.  We will begin this project later in the week.  I look forward to updating you on this fun and interesting project.

Thank You

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Beacon Team Remembers JFK

The flag at Nichols Middle School and flags across the Common Wealth of Massachusetts are flying at half-staff.  Today our students discussed the life, assassination, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy.

In Social Studies
  • Mr. Kotouch discussed some of the basic information about President Kennedy.  He helped students to understand the importance of this moment in the history of our nation, and discussed the question of "where were you the day president Kennedy was shot?"
  • Mrs. Oteri shared with students her recollection of how teachers and school administrators reacted to the news of President Kennedy's assassination when she was in preschool.   
  • Students viewed a clip from CNN Student News which discussed the assassination and the legacy of President John F. Kennedy.  http://www.cnn.com/studentnews/
  • Students were able to discuss questions they had and other students were able to help answer the questions brought up during the conversation.  
In ELA 2
  • Mrs. LaPerriere's students listened to John F. Kennedy's final speech in Boston, students then discussed this speech. 
"It makes me sad to think about all the things that President Kennedy said he wanted to do in this speech but never got the chance."
                                                                                                        ELA 2 Student N.M.
  • After watching President Kennedy's final speech in Massachusetts, students then viewed a media clip of Walter Cronkite announcing the news of President Kennedy's death live on the news.   The renowned broadcaster visibly lost his composer during the broadcast.  This led to a class discussion about news reporting and a discussion about seminal moments in history and the role and duty of the media to report the news no matter how challenging the situation.


Interesting Historical & Mathematical Statistic

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Welcome to the Beacon Team Blog.

We will use this site to keep you informed of homework, project dates, and upcoming assessment dates.  In addition we will use this blog to share with you interesting things which are happening in our classes.  Please click on the tab of your child's class to the right in order to check homework and upcoming due dates.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to email one of the teachers on the team.