Students residing in Bedford should access this document.
Students residing in Boston should access this document.
Please see the school bus routes with stops and times for the 2017-2018 school year.
Students residing in Bedford should access this document.
Students residing in Boston should access this document.
Students attending John Glenn Middle School in the fall of 2017 are strongly encouraged to read over the summer. Please see the following recommended summer reading books by grade level.
6th Grade Summer Reading:
When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
The suggested summer reading for incoming sixth grade students is When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin.
The public library has ordered multiple copies. It is not required that students purchase the book, but we strongly encourage that they read it. We will be holding a discussion on this book in English classes during the first few weeks of school and look forward to hearing each person's thoughts. It will be a fun, ungraded discussion on focused questions that tie to the specifics of the novel as well as ideas that tie to themes in the story and life.
The following synopsis of When Friendship Followed Me Home is from Amazon.
Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends. As a former foster kid, he knows people can up and leave without so much as a goodbye. Ben prefers to spend his time with the characters in his favorite sci-fi books…until he rescues an abandoned mutt from the alley next-door to the Coney Island Library. Scruffy little Flip leads Ben to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley—yes, like the comet—a girl unlike anyone he has ever met. Ben begins thinking of her as “Rainbow Girl” because of her crazy-colored clothes and her laugh, pure magic, the kind that makes you smile away the stormiest day. Rainbow Girl convinces Ben to write a novel with her. But as their story unfolds Ben’s life begins to unravel, and Ben must discover for himself the truth about friendship and the meaning of home. Paul Griffin’s breathtaking middle-grade debut will warm your heart as much as it breaks it.
For those incoming 6th grade students you who really love to read, we also recommend Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk; Sticks and Stones by Abby Cooper or The Best Man by Richard Peck. Please go to Bedford Public Library website to find other suggestions for reading and activities.
7th Grade Summer Reading
Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game
The 7th grade summer recommended reading book for this year is Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game. Even though there is not a required summer reading program here at JGMS, we would like to encourage all of the incoming students to read this summer and enjoy taking time to read this book prior to the start of school. Copies of the book are at the Bedford Public Library, Barnes & Noble, and the Concord Book Shop. The 7th grade ELA teachers strongly encourage that each student take time to read The Westing Game prior to the first day of school as we will be holding book discussions on this book in English classes.
The following is a description of The Westing Game from Amazon.
A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, on things for sure: Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!
8th Grade Summer Reading
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.
8th grade JGMS students in Ms. Greenspan's and Ms. Grammenos classes have been studying vocabulary related to travel activities. Throughout the unit, students enriched their Spanish lexicon by describing attractions and places in Guatemala while practicing new structures: superlatives and adverbs. As a culminating project, they were asked to research another Spanish-speaking country of choice and write a travel ad detailing the country's historical, cultural and natural attractions while incorporating descriptive language.
Leading up to the project, students watched travel ads and discussed the target audience as well as brainstormed the "hook" of each ad prior to writing their own. They also viewed authentic advertisements online and analyzed catch phrases and slogans that would entice the clients.
After they "published" their own travel ad, they role-played as 'clientes' and 'agentes'. In the target language, travel agents had to highlight the specific attractions using pictures as their guide. Clients had to be sure to express their interests and dislikes, and whether or not they preferred the city, country, coast or all. It may be hard to convince someone to camp if they prefer city tours and luxury hotels. Students, acting as travel agents, had to be creative and improvise in order to address the needs of their clients.
Each travel agency tour was about 5-6 minutes and students spoke all in Spanish! They were able to ask follow-up questions and close their conversation cordially while expressing their preferences.
See the YouTube video links below for examples of the student generated ' En la agencia de turismo':
Students in our 6th grade English Language Arts classes have authored personal poems that explore personal identities and address stereotypes and assumptions.
Students identified numerous assumptions that others may place on them because of who they are. Next, student wrote, "Just because..." poems in class refuting these possible stereotypes. These authentic poems explored stereotypes associated with age, race, gender, cultural assumptions, body type and abilities. This poetry lesson is part of an ongoing focus on self-expression for our early adolescent learners. Once finished, students proudly displayed these poems throughout our middle school for others to read and reflect.
Some of the topic explored in poetry included:
The LA2 Tenacity Challenge is an annual academic competition for teams of 7th and 8th grade Latino and African-American students from urban and suburban middle schools across Massachusetts. During the extended period of preparation, students build academic capacity, strengthen intellectual risk-taking, hone leadership skills through an action project, and develop enduring peer and faculty relationships.
The Middle School Tenacity Challenge competition will consist of three events centered around the theme of leadership, empowerment and tenacity. The competition will take place on April 29, 2017. Each 6-7 member team will determine its own division of labor in order to prepare for the three events:
- Leadership Action Project
- Math Quiz Bowl Challenge
- Global Voices Literary Analysis
Leadership Action Project
The leadership project focuses on the Tenacity team organizing with other students to mobilize change within the school community.
Teams are asked to identify a problem or issue within their school community. Beginning October 1st, Tenacity team members must devise and enact a plan to raise awareness and educate their community on the issue. The issue may be anything of importance to the team; including, but not limited to a social, environmental or political concern. The plan must include action steps to not only raise awareness, but also steps that may be taken to address this challenge. It is important to note that not all steps to “solve” or address the issue must be taken prior to the creation of the presentation of the project and the overall purpose is not to “solve” the issue.
Students will design a leadership plan for next steps in furthering positive change related to the theme of their project to empower their community.
Students are required to create a presentation for the day of the Tenacity Challenge. The presentation may be in the form of a 2D or 3D installation, PSA or an artistic mural; however, it must contain:
- A description of and rationale for why the topic was chosen
- A description of what steps were taken to raise awareness and/or address the issue
- A description of the challenges faced during the development and implementation process
- A reflection on what impact was made on the school community and/or school culture as a result of the leadership project.
- What evidence will show some quantitative or qualitative way to analyze impact?
Math Quiz Bowl Challenge
Math quiz bowl teams will consist of three members. The team determines the division of responsibilities. All teams will compete at the same time and will have an equal opportunity to answer all questions. The moderator will read the question. After the question is read, teams will have a designated amount of time to answer each question. Times will vary depending on the difficulty of the question and the amount of calculation required. Questions for the quiz bowl will be drawn from the subjects of: Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry
Global Voices Literary Analysis
Prior to the competition, students should have engaged in a sustained study of one or more books. Choosing from a list of titles, students will compose a creative response, which may be a poem, an original song with lyrics and musical score, letter to a major character, a letter from a major character to a leader or influential person connected to the time or struggle, or an additional scene or sequel event to the story.
The response must be accompanied by a written explanation that answers the following questions:
~Why did you choose this response form ….song, letter, skit, etc.?
~ What additional theme or idea (other than the idea of tenacity) that the author presented through the story are you trying to show through your creative piece?
The creative response will be recorded prior to the event and may be read or performed by up to three team members. Each team’s response must be submitted prior to the competition by March 31, 2017. The teams with the highest scoring performance will be invited to perform at the event.
The Middle School Parent Association (MSPA) is delighted to fund a traverse climbing wall at JGMS. The MSPA funds a number of projects that affect students directly including yearly student agendas, weekly homework club along with other enrichment activities. We requested input from the staff at JGMS regarding projects the MSPA could help bring to fruition. Principal Kevin Tracey proposed the addition of a climbing wall - something that would be utilized by all students within JGMS and is seen in the middle schools of many neighboring towns. The MSPA board was thrilled with the idea.
The use of the traverse wall is not limited to athletic children. The benefits are manyfold - it helps build confidence and overcome fear, enhances balance, coordination and flexibility, develops problem solving skills, increases focus and concentration and builds overall core strength. We are excited that the traversing wall will bring many years of fitness and fun to the Bedford community.
The Bedford Citizen and Bedford TV recently came to John Glenn Middle School for the official opening of the traversing wall. As you can see below, Principal Tracey and Mr. Olson, Ms. Supprise, Mr. Norling and Ms. Beinert-Hunnewell of the Middle School Physical Education Department, and 8th grade student Isabelle Suggs, were all interviewed and commented on the new traversing wall.
As the sequence of images below illustrate, our new rock climbing wall was delivered, then installed by Bedford Facilities over February vacation, and after the PE teachers determined color-coded climbing routes, was safety tested by administration, and is now officially ready for student use.
During the official opening of the traversing wall, students used various color-coded routes to traverse across the forty-foot wall into the cargo net and access the monkey bars.
The wall has already received positive reviews from students and teachers alike. After using the wall, Isabella Suggs shared that, "It was really fun because you can climb different colors and they are color coordinated by difficulty." She added, "The blue pattern was my favorite because it was the hardest and I like a challenge."
Ms. Supprise, a member of the middle school PE department, commented "We are very all grateful to the parent association for providing us with this opportunity."
John Glenn Middle School students in French classes are using the online tool Storyboard That to create short digital cartoons. This program allows students to create and visually communicate a short narrative.
In Ms. Tanahashi-Work's French classes, students used the program to practice dialogue and conjugate verbs through the medium of cartooning. Acting as both the author and illustrator, students were given an assignment to create a storyboard using past tense of verbs and incorporate transition words and time-based expressions in French.
For this assignment, students were provided with the first 4 cells of a cartoon, which was created by Ms. Tanahashi-Works, and were told to complete the story. Working off of the template, students were then able to customize characters and the environment, add text bubbles and ultimately communicate a short story in French.
Using Storyboard That middle school students manipulated the scenes, shapes, and characters as seen in these images.
For this assignment in French class, Students were required to use the verb Aller with the preposition à and in the futur proche. French students were also told to add newly learned vocabulary terms, such as places and locations, into their storyboards.
Ms. Tanahashi-Works used Storyboard That to also create a rubric to assess the completed student projects.
Finally, students presented their storyboard projects in class.
In addition to a traditional Sunday morning newspaper cartoon format with cells, the Storyboard That program also allows for other layouts easily adaptable for other educational uses.
Sixth grade students in John Glenn Middle School are now learning about bacteria and identifying structures of prokaryotic cells in science classes with Ms. Coletta and Ms. McCarthy. During these student centered lessons, our 6th graders are engaged in five different learning activities arranged into stations. These hands-on stations are part of the biology unit of the science curriculum as students explore the essential question: What is life?
The first station involved students looking at prepared slides of bacteria using the microscopes. Before using the microscopes to identify structures in bacteria, students first practiced learning how to use the microscopes correctly. The purpose of this station was to continue to develop these skills independently while also giving students the chance to see actual bacteria cells. This allowed students to get a better idea of the size and number of cells in a small space. Using these microscopes, students created illustrations as they diagramed the various structures observed.
The second station was a large printout of a typical cell and a set of laminated labels that the students had to place on the cell and then check themselves as compared to a key. This center was more of a hands on collaborative approach to labeling a cell and knowing the correct parts and students worked as a team.
The third station was a laptop game where they had to correctly match the cell part with the function in order to make a bacterium move. The goal here is a different approach (and more fun) way to continue to develop their knowledge of the various parts of the cell. As they got better they are able to do this faster.
The fourth station was creating a physical model of a cell based on the materials available and then drawing and labeling their models. Models are often used in science and it is important that they understand the importance of models as well as their potential faults. Finally, students used a CDC app where the students read several clues about illness that were spreading through a population in an attempt to figure out what bacterium was causing the outbreak, how it was spreading, and how to stop the spread. Additionally learning activities included readings about bacteria.
John Glenn Middle School students in Ms. Klein's classes have recently been using an iPad app called 'Kahoot' to help them practice grammar and learn Spanish verbs. Kahoot is an online learning game that allows teachers to customize questions, collect response data and ultimately foster greater student participation through social learning. Perhaps it is better to think of Kahoot like a game show. To this point, a New York Times article titled, 'Kahoot App Brings Urgency of a Quiz Show to the Classroom', described the experience of the app Kahoot as it, "plays out like a television game show spliced with a video game". The app works in real time to display multiple choice questions that may include images, audio and video. Students then use iPads, or other web-enabled devices, to respond.
Students in our middle school have been using Kahoot both individually and collaboratively. Ms. Klein has found power in both instructional approaches, "When they compete individually, it serves as a formative assessment in which I can see where the mistakes are made and re-teach in the moment." Ms. Klein also shared that, "Competing as a team is good for getting them to work collaboratively. This can better engage students that are reluctant to participate individually in class." Specifically, students in one of Ms. Klein's classes were playing with Kahoot to select the correct use of verbs, definite and indefinite articles, and adjectives, when given a question. In some examples students had to select the appropriate article, and in others identify the sentence that had correct adjective agreement and verb choice.
Ms. Klein shared that students themselves had requested this activity a previous class, so she then designed the lesson the night before. She also added that sometimes the students help make their own Kahoot questions, which they then play as a class. Ms. Klein explains the impact, "This gives them a deeper understanding of the material as well as a sense of ownership for their learning. The more we use Kahoot, the better we get at making it not only fun and engaging, but also an opportunity for critical thinking and collaborative learning." Kahoot is also capable of providing the data for the results, so teachers can also use it to track student growth over time.
For those that are interested, the Kahoot website describes three core functions of the online system:
Create: a fun learning game in minutes (we call these ‘kahoots’), made from a series of multiple choice questions. Add videos, images and diagrams to your questions to amplify engagement!
Play: Kahoots are best played in a group setting, like a classroom. Players answer on their own devices, while games are displayed on a shared screen to unite the lesson – creating a ‘campfire moment’ – encouraging players to look up.
Share: Social learning promotes discussion and pedagogical impact… whether players are in the same room or on the other side of the globe! After a game, encourage players to create and share their own kahoots to deepen understanding, mastery and purpose.
Mr. Kevin Tracey