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.
Grade 7 Science teachers, Mr. Margenau and Dr. Frazier brought their students to the makerspace today to build catapults. The goal in building the catapults was accuracy and not distance. Students implemented the Design-Thinking process of planning, testing, modifying, testing, modifying…etc. Students will use their catapults next week to test their accuracy in launching clay balls!
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.”
Each week a group of interested and dedicated students meet with Dr. Frazier and together they plan Science activities for local children who rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to do Science activities in school. Each week another group of students meet to plan activities for a local school exchange on Saturdays. Below is Dr. Frazier’s account of the two clubs coming together on Saturday morning:
“The Middle School Hope Club and Science Corps joined forces today to offer some experiments in chemistry for the children at the Hope Foundation School. Our AES students are always so good at assisting the Hope School kids, who are always excited about the chance to do some hands-on science activities. The Hope School students were quick thinkers. They enjoyed mixing, observing, sketching, and discussing their ideas.
The Middle School Hope Club is a junior partner with the High School Hope Club. The purpose is to offer enriched educational and recreational experiences for children from the Hope Foundation School which is located in Sangam Vihar, an impoverished area in South Delhi. The Middle School Science Corps is an initiative to bring firsthand experiences with scientific phenomena to local children who seldom have the opportunity to explore, tinker, and mess about in science. We now have conducted sessions with the Hope Foundation School and Each One Teach One. On Monday afternoon we will visit a section of Making A Difference (MAD) which meets at AES. There the object is to teach English. Our science activities will provide a meaningful and tangible context for learning new language.”
Students in Ms. Capozzoli’s Speech and Debate class were charged with working on pausing, diction, emphasis and how to draw an audience back in that was quickly losing interest in their story or speech. They were also working on assessing the needs of their audience and how to tailor what they were saying so that it struck a chord with the audience. What better way to practice all of these things but go to a kindergarten classroom for reading time. Great practice and great fun had by all. The kids can’t wait to go back and the kindergarteners can’t wait to have them come back!!
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!
Ms. Rogers’ Design and Technical Theater class is busy in the Middle School Makerspace preparing props and in our tech lab designing the program and printing tickets using the InDesign program. This MS play, “30 Reasons NOT to be in a play” opens in the AES theater on October 11th! Stay tuned for announcements about ticket sales and timings and make sure to notice all of the detail work with the set and props!! Great to see so many students involved in all areas of our theater program. Mark your calendars!
Grade 6 students were asked to bring their swimsuits–to Science!! They participated in a “Human Displacement Lab” activity where they had the opportunity to get into a large displacement can to measure their volume using the water displacement method. A powerful way to demonstrate this by actually being a part of it. Also fun on a hot afternoon!
Our incredible Math department each year hosts a Family Math Night. This year over 40 parents and their students gathered in the Hall of Peace to hear about Math Number talks and other strategies used in our Math program. Great for parents to get a glimpse of what is happening in our Math classrooms in the Middle School. Parents and students also had an opportunity to work on Math problems around the HOP, facilitated by our Middle School Math teachers. A big thanks to Mr. Fumi, Mr. Babcock, Ms. Naggea, Mr. Taub and Ms. Wood for their time effort and planning of this successful event!