Incoming John Glenn Middle School students should read the following high-interest books this summer by grade level.
Grade 6 Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Incoming 6th grade students to John Glenn Middle School in the fall of 2016 should read Lynda Lullay Hunt's book Fish in a Tree, a New York Times bestseller and Schneider Family Book Award winner.
“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.
Grade 7 Ungifted by Gordon Korman
Incoming 7th grade students to John Glenn Middle School in the fall of 2016 should read Gordon Korman's book Ungifted.
This funny and touching underdog story is a lovable and goofy adventure with robot fights, middle-school dances, live experiments, and statue-toppling pranks! When Donovan Curtis pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he’s finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students.
Although it wasn’t exactly what Donovan had intended, the ASD couldn’t be a more perfectly unexpected hideout for someone like him. But as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything), he shows that his gifts may be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.
Grade 8 Trouble by Gary Schmidt
Incoming 8th grade student to John Glenn Middle School in the fall of 2016 should read Gary Schmidt's book Trouble.
“Henry Smith’s father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you.”
But Trouble comes careening down the road one night in the form of a pickup truck that strikes Henry’s older brother, Franklin. In the truck is Chay Chouan, a young Cambodian from Franklin’s preparatory school, and the accident sparks racial tensions in the school—and in the well-established town where Henry’s family has lived for generations. Caught between anger and grief, Henry sets out to do the only thing he can think of: climb Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine, which he and Franklin were going to climb together. Along with Black Dog, whom Henry has rescued from drowning, and a friend, Henry leaves without his parents’ knowledge. The journey, both exhilarating and dangerous, turns into an odyssey of discovery about himself, his older sister, Louisa, his ancestry, and why one can never escape from Trouble.
We at the John Glenn Middle School know that social media is beginning to play a very big role in our students’ lives. With summer vacation right around the corner, we’d like to share some tips/advice on how to keep your kids safe online as well how to use social media appropriately. Limiting and monitoring your child’s “screen time” on ALL devices is extremely important for continued brain development and overall adolescent wellness. Peer connections face to face are extremely important for building self esteem, a positive sense of self and promoting strong interpersonal communication skills needed for their current and future adult lives.
In the fall of 2016, we plan on holding a presentation for parents on how to help their children use social media safely and appropriately. The assembly will feature representatives from the Middlesex Department of Youth and will be held on October 6th from 5:45-6:30 pm, prior to back to school night. In addition, we recommend the following book to parents to gain more information on this topic: “Outsmarting Your Kids Online: A Safety Handbook for Overwhelmed Parents” by Michael Bazzell and Amber Mac.
As always, we hope that you feel comfortable contacting your child’s guidance counselor with any questions or concerns you may have or to seek additional resources.
John Glenn Middle School Guidance Department:
Tips For Keeping Teens Safe On Social Media:
1. Create ground rules around phones and devices:
3. Set a good example for your child with your own social media and device use.
4. Keep an open dialogue with your children. Ask them to let you know if they've received private messages from a stranger, or from someone at school who is teasing, harassing, threatening or requesting inappropriate photographs from them. Those could be signs of cyber-bullying or even a sexual predator. You would be surprised that even students’ friends will send or request photos of a sexual nature.
How Common Is Sexting?
It's hard to know exactly how common sexting is among teens. Studies have found that about 1 out of every 5 to 10 teens — guys and girls — have sent sexually suggestive pictures. And about 1 out of every 3 to 8 teens have received them. The studies focused mainly on pictures, not sexually suggestive comments, messages, or tweets. The percentage of teens involved in sexting goes up if written sexual content is included, but it's not clear by how much. But one thing is clear: Sexting is relatively common among teens.
Get additional online safety tips and other relevant information on OnGuardOnline.gov, a great government resource for parents and teens. Netsmartz.org and KidsHealth are two other websites for parents and teens to utilize.
Civil Rights Speaker Visits JGMS: Students Reflect Upon Issues of Equity, Social Justice and Engagement
Recently our 8th grade students at John Glenn Middle School were very fortunate to have a prominent civil rights speaker and activist, Mr. Jim Kates, present his life experiences. Mr. Jim Kates was one of seven hundred activists involved in the Freedom Summer Project of 1964. As a 19 year old college student at Wesleyan University, he volunteered with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (or “SNICK”) to help set up Freedom Schools for children without proper access to education and to register African Americans to vote in one of the most racially charged states in America: Mississippi. Then, in 1965, he was assigned to the city of Natchez, the hub of Ku Klux Klan activity. He and his “snick” partners were forced to leave town fearing for the violence that could arise if they stayed.
Later in life, Mr. Kates became a public school teacher, a nonviolence trainer, a poet, and a literary translator. Mr. Kates is prime example of what it means to be a responsible citizen. He, along with his fellow “snick” volunteers, saw a terrible injustice in the world. Banding together through non-violent means, their actions helped shift the flow of power in America away from its racist and segregated practices and towards a country bent on fulfilling its promise of liberty and justice for all.
Below are some of the images that Mr. Jim Kates shared with our students during his presentation. Mr. Kates is a veteran of the American-Civil Rights movement in the 1960.
Following the presentation our 8th grade students then reflected upon the ideas of social justice, equity and civic engagement in social studies classes. In these reflections students were asked if the ideas presented confirmed, contradicted or added to their own understandings. Below are some of the student reflections:
Thank you very much to Mr. Jim Nagle, the JGMS Silver Team social studies teacher for organizing this event for our students and to Facing History and Mr. Jim Kates!
Welcome to the JGMS spirit wear site! This online store has been developed to simplify the spirit wear ordering process. We have some great new items for you, just in time for Summer. Check out the new hats and headband. To get started, select your desired color, size and quantity. Orders will be sent directly to your house.
This store is open for ordering from Apr 25, 2016 12:00 AM EDT until May 15, 2016 11:59 PM EDT.
Click here to be directed to the online JGMS Spirit Wear Website.
Please see website for additional pictures of items and the options of colors, sizes and prices.
Items will be shipped out approximately 3 WEEKS from the closing of the store. They will be shipped directly to the customers house. Customers will be notified of backordered items or if minimums were not met shortly after the closing of the store.
This store is open for ordering from Apr 25, 2016 12:00 AM EDT until May 15, 2016 11:59 PM EDT.
In sixth grade, students read Mildred D. Taylor’s Newbery Award winning novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The novel is set in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era and follows the Logan family whose members become some of the first people in their rural community to take steps toward resisting the unfair social system of their time.
The author is described on page 6 of the novel, "Mildred Taylor was born on September 13, 1943, in Jackson, Mississippi. Like the Logan family in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, the Taylor family had lived in Mississippi since the days of slavery. That was very long ago, before 1865! However, when Mildred was just a tiny baby, her parents decided to make a new life in the North. The Taylors moved to Toledo, Ohio. They had a large family and many friends there. The family was close and loving. The Taylors often took the long car trip back to Mississippi. They wanted to visit all their relatives. These trips were not happy all the time because black people and white people were kept apart in many parts of the South. This policy was called segregation. To segregate means to keep apart. Black people and white people could not use the same rest rooms, water fountains, or playgrounds. Blacks and whites had to eat in different parts of restaurants, too. Segregation made it very hard for black people to travel. It was hard on people’s hearts and minds."
Discovering themes that operate in stories is a big undertaking for the sixth grade. As rules of thumb, themes must be complete sentences, contain no character names, and contain no metaphors. Themes are statements which would be true in the world of the novel from which they come. In general, if a statement works as a theme, it could appear on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt, delivering an important lesson or idea from the story.
Below are some examples from Ms. Grant's Yellow English classes of 6th grade themes, as depicted on T-shirts.
Students in Ms. Breakall's sixth grade English class recently authored personal essays with the theme, "This I Believe". These essays are based on the original series of essays started by Edward R. Murrow in 1951. The essay program was revived in the early 2000's by NPR and continues on the website thisibelieve.org. The essay program is described on the website as, " an international organization engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives. Over 125,000 of these essays, written by people from all walks of life, have been archived here on our website, heard on public radio, chronicled through our books, and featured in weekly podcasts".
In English class, students on the Orange Team read several essays by prominent individuals, as well as ordinary people, who shared their beliefs about life and core values. This short unit was designed to help students identify a main idea in an essay and analyze essay structure prior to writing their own. Moreover, students were also asked to consider the important people and events in their lives that have helped them create their core values. Each student's main idea, representing his or her core value and excerpted from each full essay, was placed on a bulletin board in the hallway. Please enjoy seeing what sixth graders believe.
Congratulations to the six JGMS students who qualified for the finals in the state 'You Be the Chemist Challenge'.
According to the You Be The Chemist website, the program is described as,
"an interactive academic contest that encourages students in grades 5-8 to explore chemistry concepts and their real-world applications. The Challenge provides a unique opportunity for a variety of individuals and organizations—including schools, members of the chemical industry, educators, and other community partners—to come together and show their support for STEM education."
The state challenge will be held at Bedford High School in the Large Group Instruction Room on Wednesday, April 27th. The event will begin at 4:00pm and elimination rounds will continue until a winner is determined. There are 30 students participating, with 6 from each of 5 schools this year. The competition has been streamlined, however anticipate that it may take at least 2 hours. Students may leave as they are eliminated from the competition. Each round will take about 20 minutes. There are 8 rounds, however in case of ties, there may be additional lightning rounds to determine eliminations. The winner of the state competition will have the opportunity to compete in the national championship in Philadelphia on June 20th.
Thank you to Ms. Barbara Ferri, the 8th grade Green Team Science Teacher, for organizing this exciting academic event for our students.
Riley Daniel, a 7th grade student at JGMS has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2016 Massachusetts National Geographic State Bee.
The Massachusetts Geography Bee contest will be on Friday, April 1, 2016. This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 28th year. School Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the state Bees.
Each state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic book “The National Parks: An Illustrated History” and a medal, and will journey to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 22-25, 2016. The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society.
The national champion will also travel (along with one parent or guardian), all expenses paid, on a Lindblad expedition to Southeast Alaska aboard National Geographic Sea Lion, including Glacier Bay National Park, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Visit www.natgeobee.org for more information on the National Geographic Bee.
The 2016 National Geographic Bee Championship final round, moderated for the first time by journalist and humorist Mo Rocca, will air on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD on Friday, May 27, at 8 p.m. ET, and later on public television stations. Check local television listings for air date and time in your area.
How would you fare as a Bee contestant? At the school Bees this year, students had to answer such questions as: (answers at the end)
Answers: 1. Mangrove, 2. Croatia, 3. Beijing
MathCounts is an after-school club coached by Karen Burstein. It is held on Mondays from 2:25-3:25pm in Mrs. Burstein’s room. On February 3, 2016, the top ten students from JGMS went to North Andover High School to compete against 19 other schools in the MATHCOUNTS Chapter Level competition. There were a total of 146 individual competitors.
The MATHCOUNTS Competition Series is a national program that provides students the opportunity to compete in live, in-person math contests against and alongside their peers. Created in 1983, it is the longest-running MATHCOUNTS program and is open to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.
MATHCOUNTS competitions are provided at four levels: school, chapter, state and national. The MathCounts school competition was held at JGMS in December, and the top 10 competitors continued on to the Chapter competition. All chapter competitors—whether they were team members or individuals—participated in the individual rounds of the competition; then just the 4 team members participated in the team round.
What does the test look like? Every MATHCOUNTS competition consists of 4 rounds — Sprint, Target, Team and Countdown Round. Altogether the rounds take about 3 hours to complete.
2016 Team Members: (in alphabetical order)
Alan W. (8th grade)
Aneesha M. (8th grade)
Derek S. (8th grade)
Niles L. (6th grade)
2016 Individuals: (in alphabetical order)
Alex B. (8th grade)
Angela G. (6th grade)
Eddy Z. (6th grade)
Leon Z. (7th grade)
Prakhar G. (6th grade)
Rohan M. (7th grade)
The JGMS team ranked in the top 8 this year, but only the top 4 teams continue on to the State level competition. This is the third year that Alan, Aneesha, and Derek competed in the Chapter level competition, and all three of them ranked in the top third this year. We were very excited last year when Aneesha advanced to the State Competition held in Boston in March 2015.
Congratulations to the top ten competitors who made it to the Chapter Level this year. We are very proud of them!
Mr. Kevin Tracey