Last Thursday, March 7th, our grade 7 team, along with several parent volunteers, headed to a special needs school nearby AES. Each year we partner with this amazing school, where both our students and their students benefit from the exchange and friendships are created. This year is no different. Students visited their school and in a couple of weeks, they will visit AES two more times. AES advisory groups create activities for their time at AES and their students create activities and special performances for our arrival at their school. It is an incredible opportunity for everyone. A huge thanks to Grade 7 team leaders Ms. Henderson and Ms. Willcott for their organization and to all of our teachers, parent volunteers and school staff who make it possible!!
This week, October 17-21, AES celebrated Peace in the Middle School. This year Peace Week centered around the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declarataion of Human Rights(UDHR). Joanna Kempkers, the New Zealand High Commissioner, kicked off our week-long celebration with an all MS assembly where she talked about her work as High Commissioner to promote peace and the UDHR.
During our Advisory time each day this week, we talked about our definitions of Universal Rights, and students were asked to:
PLEDGE: Join thousands of others on the UN website pledging to uphold human rights. #StandUp4HumanRights
SPEAK UP: Let your voice be heard by recording your article of choice in your home language. The UN is making an official video of these–send yours in! #StandUp4HumanRights #RightsOutLoud
CREATE: Create a #PeaceDayGoogleDoodle using our school code 0071
We ended our Peace Week celebrations with a fun Kahoot! and everyone wearing white on Friday to pose for an all MS photo just outside our appropriately named Hall of Peace.
A big thank you to Ms. Al Moreno and Ms. Vosk for their direction and organization of the week’s activities and Mr. Elliott for taking our all school photo! What an awesome week to be an AES middle schooler.
This year our grade 7 advisory students have buddied up with our kindergarteners to work and read together. There is always a lot of excitement on the 7th grade hallway when the kids are headed to the kindergarten rooms. Yesterday, during advisory, the kindergarteners had a chance to come to the Middle School and read and play games with their 7th grade buddies. Mr.Riley, a Kindergarten teacher, said “the kids will talk about this for weeks and they always want to know when their buddies are coming again!” A huge thank you to our 7th grade team leaders Ms. Henderson and Mr. Babcock for organizing the events with our Kindergarten team and a big thanks to Ms. Lockwood who always manages to capture the best photos(see below) of the special event.
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.
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!
Each year, the AES Middle School celebrates Earth Day in some manner. This year we will be hosting a March for Science on campus on Friday, April 21st. We’d love to invite you to celebrate with us!
Interested in joining us? Read on for more information.
March for Science at AES
What: March for Science
When: Friday, April 21st, 10:00-10:20 am
Where: Starting at the MS Field and ending at the Tiger Turf (see map attachment)
Why: To advocate and raise awareness about Environmental Literacy
Who: Anyone in our AES community.
What to Wear: All guests are encouraged to wear green, as we will take a photo at the Tiger Turf upon completion of the March.
Hashtags: Official March for Science — #sciencemarch and AES March for Science — #aessciencemarch
Questions? Contact Alexa Schmid at firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Earth Day Theme
This year, the Earth Day Network has partnered with the March for Science (#sciencemarch). The theme for this year’s official event on April 22nd is Environmental and Climate Literacy. At AES, that will mean building on our strong science curricular foundation, encouraging our students to think about the environmental issues that are important to them, and helping our students find a way to actively be ‘responsible, compassionate global citizens’.
Next week, students will be working across disciplines and in advisory classes – choosing an environmental topic that’s important to them and creating art, poetry, video etc. to share their enthusiasm with others.
Please enjoy this short video that our student Green Team created.
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.
In 7th grade, each advisory presented their “Advisory Name” and an accompanying skit, presentation, dance, performance or slide show that relates to their “Advisory Name”. It got double thumbs up from the students as a fun community-building activity. Check out the presentation of advisories in the slideshow below:
In the middle school we celebrated with the theme of Celebrate Earth: Everything is Connected by having an Earth Day ET (Enrichment Time).
Our guiding questions were:
- How is one population connected to the health of an entire ecosystem?
- How can one population influence the physical geography of an area?
We divided the ET into 2 parts: a campus tour led by 7th graders and an activity in the HOP. Students were organized by advisory, and each advisory was paired with other advisories from the different grade levels.
Our seventh grade students were the leaders of the campus tour. In science class, seventh grade students had conducted a field study. They then reflected on what question(s) they had, what they did, what they saw, what ideas they have now, as well as the things they saw that they had never noticed before. From this discussion 7th grade students developed activities and a tour of various areas around campus with the 6th & 8th grade advisories that they were partnered with.
Activity in HOP:
We then learned about the wolf population in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. In 1926, the wolf population was virtually wiped out. In 1973, wolves were listed as “Endangered”. From 1995-1997, 41 wild wolves released in Yellowstone, and by 2015 there are now 100+ wolves in Yellowstone. Students then watched the incredible video below to understand how wolves can have an impact on the entire eco-system, including the rivers!
Students rounded out the indoor activity by playing a fun game of Kahoot game show in small advisory groups, and ended with howling like wolves.
Students will continue to discuss these topics in their science classes over the coming week, as our goal is to celebrate Earth Day every day! Enjoy the photos below.
On average, twice a month, the Middle School runs a special schedule that includes a one hour Enrichment Time. During that time, there are a variety of activities that happen at each grade level. Sometimes it is service learning, sometimes it is team building but it is always a way to enrich our students. Today, the 6th grade prepared for our visiting author, Ralph Fletcher, by reading some of his work and brainstorming some possible questions that they could ask during his visit. The 7th grade introduced the Aanchal Service project. Students will be working with a special needs school just a 15 minute walk from campus. They will visit the 7th graders here at AES and the 7th graders will visit them at their school a short walk away. The 8th grade is in the midst of the Population project. Today their Enrichment Time focused on balance and organization as they face the tasks that they have ahead of them. The group started with some drama games to think about organization and being a good collaborator and ended with students in smaller groups talking about balance. All in all, a great morning for our Middle School!
This semester, our 7th grade advisory focus is Empathy. Our 7th grade students are building their empathy skills through our grade 7/kindergarten buddy exchange. We went to visit the KG classrooms, and read books, played, built towers and got to know each other. We will have our second exchange next Friday, January 29th, and hope to meet with them once a month before the end of the year. All the students– kindergartners and 7th graders had a blast!