The Middle School Shanti concert was held on November 16th in the Theater. This annual event has always proven to be one of the musical highlights of the year and this year did not disappoint. A big thanks to all of our Middle School musicians and, of course, our teachers that led them! Mr. Boyadzhiev with the orchestra, Ms. Boyadzhieva with the choir and Ms. Bolton with the band. We appreciate all of their hard work in working with our students and bringing to life their musical potential.
Twice a month, MS students take an hour for Enrichment Time. We do a variety of activities at each grade level and the purpose of this time is to create community and work on our Advisory themes.
For 8th grade, the theme of the year is “I am a part of a larger something.” In the first quarter, they spent time developing the concept of individual advisories as “larger somethings.” They then moved on to talk about relationships that were part of slightly larger social circles. They also examined how they function as members of groups in classes and as students in the MS. Further, in the second quarter, they went on the WOW trip and examined relationships in the context of even larger circles: the camps and the eighth grade. Each person’s actions can have an impact on many people either positively (or negatively), and we can choose to ‘pay it forward’ to make an even bigger difference in the world:
As they continue to move forward and learn more about how to analyze the value and importance of our relationships, it’s important to recognize that they are also part of “larger somethings” of which they might not be aware. These are called Hidden Circles.
The following questions were posed to the 8th graders: Who are people in our Hidden Circles here at AES? Who works here, spends time on campus, does important things on a daily basis that help us to be the best learners we can be? From there, encourage the students to expose the “hidden circles” of the people that we interact with (or not), and help to take care of us here at AES.
Students spent today’s ET interviewing people in their Hidden circles, our gardeners, our cleaning staff, our guards, and our support staff. They also created posters introducing these important members of our community.
On October 11th and 12th, our middle schoolers, under the direction of Ms. Rogers put on the Fall Production, “30 Reasons Not to be in a Play”. Director, Ms. Rogers, writes:
” Although 30 Reasons Not to Be in a Play highlights the negatives of putting on a play, it really is a love song to the theater and demonstrates that -despite the pitfalls – it’s what we do because we love it.
It take a community to put on a play; what you will see in our play represents weeks of work by our actors, crew and a score of adults who so generously gave of their time. The technical design and work was done entirely by our student crew, supervised by supportive adults, our students have learned new skills and have taken proud ownership of this show. I’m grateful for the support of so many parents who have volunteered their time to sell tickets; I’m especially grateful for the work of our two acting coaches; Char Weiler and Amy Camp, because this show would not be up and running without their tireless, inspired and creative work with our students. You all are part of our community too. We hope you enjoy our offering and appreciaate all our reasons for NOT being in a play.”
70 students, lead by faculty facilitators Ms. Cullen, Ms. Lockwood and Mr. Webster came to the Middle School HOP on Saturday from 9-12 to learn more about the language of leadership. Students participated in a variety of activities around the power of verbal and non-verbal communication in leadership roles. Students were engaged in a variety of activities including role-plays and team building games that allowed their leadership skills to shine. Students reflected on the communication characteristics of a good leader and also debriefed one new thing they learned, one thing they reviewed and one hope of something they could continue to work on. This feedback will be used to inform future leadership seminars. Good learning and good fun!
This year’s Peace Day theme was “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, & Dignity for All”. Middle School students planned the week under the leadership of Ms. Al Moreno.
The founder of One Hen and the inspiration behind our Social Entrepreneurship class, Katie Milway Smith, joined the Middle School on Tuesday for a special assembly, where she talked about her program and read a story about Deo and his banana leaf ball.
Students spent time thinking about positive ways to promote respect, safety, and dignity for all by finding things that make them feel peaceful and thinking about how they can share these things with others, just as Deo, the character in Katie Milway Smith’s book did with soccer.
Todd Parr is the author of many books about inclusivity, peace, and taking pride in who you are as an individual. We used one of his books, The Peace Book, to also help with the purpose this week. Students read the book and then created a “piece of peace” drawing or saying that will be put together as a whole puzzle early next week.
On Friday, students and faculty also enjoyed some time together in many fun activities including, poetry, meditation, reading, making friendship bracelets, playing field games, hula hooping, and strategy games to name a few.
A wonderful week of celebrating Peace in the AES Middle School!
The grade 8 advisories gathered for an Enrichment Time after meticulously planning and preparing in small advisory groups to bake an Apple pie. Groups were given an Apple pie recipe and they took it from there. Some groups followed the recipe exactly and other groups added special ingredients like marshmallows and chocolate. At the end, the pies were frozen for the weekend. Judges met just after the pies are baked for judging and then the kids got a chance to sample and eat their tasty creations!! Teams were vying for baking awards like “best crust” and “best filling” as well as aesthetic prizes “Most artistic” and funny awards like “Most resembling a train wreck” and “Most likely to be used in a pie-throwing contest”. Laughter, community building were all on the docket. A wonderful AES Middle School tradition!
Despite news of parking restrictions and road closures, many MS parents attended Back to School Night on Thursday. Ms. Dunmire and Ms. Gamette opened the evening in the Hall of Peace, welcoming the parents to a glimpse of a day in the life of their child. Parents attended all of their child’s classes to meet the teachers and hear more about each subject. Our Peer Facilitators, 7th and 8th grade students, were on hand to help any lost parent find their way to classrooms. A fun-filled evening that highlighted the wonderful things happening every day in the AES Middle School!
Our first day of Middle School was fantastic! Students were greeted by their new Principal, Ms. Dunmire and Assistant Principal, Ms. Gamette in the Hall of Peace, where they had a chance to meet all of their teachers. Students then went to grade level venues for some get to know you activities, locker assignments, snack and general school information. Students attended all 8 of their classes for a short amount of time to meet their teachers and also to meet the other students in their classes. Please see below for some of the fun of the day. It is going to be a GREAT year!
A couple of times a month, we take time to extend our advisory period for grade level teams to have Enrichment Time (ET). Last Tuesday we had an ET.
8th grade engaged in a fun apple pie making activity, which relied on collaboration, team-building, organization and planning. Judges weighed in on ‘Best Dressed’, ‘Best Crust’, ‘Best Filling’, ‘Most Likely to Be in a Pie Throwing Contest’, and ‘Biggest Train Wreck’. Check out the fun pictures below.
Mr. Fumi tasked his 8th grade math students with the cup stacking challenge this morning. Given a couple of white styrofoam cups, students first shared: What do you notice? What do you wonder? They then needed to figure out how many cups would need to be stacked to reach Mr. Fumi’s height. Students are studying linear relationships and rate of change, and this example is a fun way to explore these concepts.