posted Nov 17, 2017, 11:44 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon.  Do not be surprised if your child comes home today a little bit sleepy.  Our Food Service folks served them a delicious, and filling, turkey dinner with all the fixins’.

Reminder that next week we only have school on Monday and Tuesday.  There will be NO Homework Group on either day.  And because of the very short week, I will spare your inbox and email from me!  However, this means a longer version this week.  Sorry….

Once again, it is time to share some of the valuable lessons our wonderful staff has been teaching to our students:

  • Grade 5 - In Mrs. Bettoney’s math class, students were using our Eureka Math program to learn how to round decimals.  But more importantly, she was teaching them the importance of self-assessing or self-analyzing their work.  For example, if they got an answer wrong, they should ask themselves, “Why did I get that wrong,” and go back and redo the problem themselves or from a partner.  And even though Mrs. Bettoney (and other paraprofessionals in the room) are there to help, it is important that they first try to do it themselves and persevere.  

  • Grade 6 - In Mr. Zumbach’s science class, students were asked to describe architectural changes to a building that would be required in order to make a “tsunami-proof” beachfront home and explain to the class why they thought it would work.  Some of the answers (build on a hill, build on stilts, wedged shaped structure) were more practical/feasible than others (build a giant glass bubble,  install automatic concrete barriers, dig a bunker).  Either way, their imaginations were hard at work.

  • Grade 7 - In Mr. Marzahl’s social studies classes, students were taking sides (either with Alexander Hamilton or Thomas Jefferson) in the debate over a national bank versus individual/state banks.  Students had to not only study the viewpoints of both of those founding fathers but also had to be well versed in the 10th Amendment.  It was a good lesson to teach kids that interpreting the Constitution is not always an easy thing to do and has the potential to cause much discourse.

  • Grade 8 - In Mrs. Allen’s science class, she was teaching students how to “sift through” a scientific word problem (the type they often see on standardized assessments).  Students need to know which information in the word problem is relevant and which information is extraneous.  Some students thought that the people creating these problems were trying to “torture” them but Mrs. Allen stated that purpose was to both make students think deeper and to ensure that students knew what the problem was asking of them.

  • Unified Arts - Under Mr. Witham’s creative tutelage, students in both the 7th and 8th grade Art classes are working with clay.  In the 8th grade, they are creating Tiki masks and, in the 7th grade they are creating various creatures (wolves, snakes, monkeys, etc).  What was impressive in both cases was the attention paid to detail.  The textures used and, in the case of the creatures, the facial expressions created. I think that even with Mr. Witham’s expert help, I could not create the beautiful objects that our students are doing in those classes.

Good luck to Mrs. Damato and our middle school Robotics/LEGO team as they travel to Bishop Brady High School tomorrow for their second FIRST LEGO League competition.  Students have been working hard all Autumn on coding, building, and strategizing to build upon last year’s successful first run.

Once again, our 5th Graders were the head of the class at Wednesday’s Education Day at the Manchester Monarchs’ hockey game.  Their behavior was stellar and they worked hard during the game on their booklet.  One student commented that the players who got in the fight should get in trouble as it does not set a good example in front of all the schools on Education Day; that young man has been brought up well!  Thanks to the 5th Grade Team and volunteers who helped make the day successful.

In the coming weeks, our prospective athletes will be undergoing “Impact Testing” as part of our effort to minimize the negative (and often dangerous) effects of a concussion.  This will be a mandatory assessment for those wishing to participate in athletics in our school.  GMHS nurses, Beth Haddock and Meg Jenkins will be managing the testing.  More information to come.  And speaking of our nurses, they’d like to share this link regarding food allergies.

Please follow this link if you’d like to order your child a yearbook this year.  We will not order extra copies to be sold, so if you (or your child) would like one, you’ll need to pre-order.

Congratulations to our 7th/8th Grade Math Team on winning the first event of the year, placing them in first place.  We had 9 “aces” which means that 9 of our students earned the maximum number of points per category!  Their next meet is at Belmont Middle School on December 19.

Lastly, a friendly reminder that the Gilford Got Lunch Program is helping families not only during the summer but also throughout the school year. Just go to their website to register.

My apologies for the lengthy email; lots to talk about!  Please enjoy your turkey and, most importantly, your families next week.