Fall in Reading; this is such a great time of year. The trees are turning, the weather is constantly changing and our students are, for the most part, fully acclimated to their fall schedules. At this point in the fall, teachers are putting the finishing touches on lessons and assignments that will be included in the first marking period. Teachers are also working with students to help them prioritize their time and effort to complete the first quarter with grades that represent their best work and effort. Report Cards will posted to Edline on November 12th at http://www.edline.net/pages/Walter_S_Parker_Middle_School
We have been working this fall trying to take opportunities to help students make their work public. The theme we talk about is “…producing work for an audience greater than one…” The reason we chose this phrase as a reference for our work is that is creates different entry points and opportunities for teachers to help students make their work public. Depending on your experience in school, most students in the past, produced work that was only viewed and commented on by one teacher and no one else. The work was usually graded and returned and time went on without much fanfare. Teachers here at Parker are working to help students share their work with greater audiences…different audiences. We find that when students know that an assignment or project will be viewed by others they put forth their best effort and they want their work to be the best it can be. There are a number of different ways that we have structured this at our school. Some students simply share their projects or written work with other students, while other classes use technology to create blogs, wikis and or podcasts to share their work. Students have had the opportunities to publish their work on the internet and allow the world to see work that represents their thinking, their ability to communicate about the subjects they are learning.
Other examples of students producing work for an audience greater than one can be found on-line at:
The Quill is the on-line Parker Middle School News and Arts Journal http://thequillonline.wordpress.com/
Mr. Olivo’s English Class keeps a daily journal
Mr. Musselman’s Science Blog
http://mrmusselman.edublogs.org/ and http://www.youtube.com/user/ParkerScience
Mr. Williams Science Blog
Sixth Grade Student Book Reviews can be viewed at:
Our First Dance of the Year
This past Friday evening we held our first dance of the year, with 126 students in attendance. Special thanks to the Student Peer Leaders and the Peer Leader coordinators Chris Copeland and Vonda Gauthier for organizing the event. It was a great way to start the year. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Reading Food Pantry. Thanks to all!
Parker’s Friday Night “Minute to Win It”
Parker’s “Minute to Win It” was part of the Friday Night Activity series and the PTO Magazine Drive where about ninety students had a great deal of fun competing for prizes.
Veterans Day Assembly – We will be honoring veterans at our all-school assembly on November 11th. Parker students and staff will have an opportunity to hear from veterans, some of whom are relatives of our students and others who are Reading residents. It is a terrific day for our students and teachers to recognize and honor the service of so many that have sacrificed while serving the United States. It also highlights for many the fact that our country is still actively involved with soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cyber Bullying and Cyber Safety Presentation – Katie LeClerc former Intelligence Analyst with the Massachusetts State Police and Internet Safety Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office, educator and national presenter will be speaking to students on November 9th and parents on the evening of November 10th. This enrichment presentation is part of the PTO enrichment series for students and also part of the PTO Speaker Series for parents. http://de-de.facebook.com/ParkerPTO
Nature’s Classroom – One hundred and fifty one of our seventh graders will be traveling to Becket Massachusetts in the Berkshires from November 3rd to November 5th to participate in an outdoor learning experience where students live in cabins and spend their days learning about nature in the great outdoors. The address of the camp is 748 Hamilton Road, Becket, MA 01223, if you have time please send your son or daughter a letter while they are away. For most kids it is the first time they have received a letter from home. You may have to send the letter ahead of time so it arrives when we are there. http://www.naturesclassroom.org/Becket.htm