Sunday, October 28, 2018

October 28 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well.  I would like to remind everyone that starting Monday, Oct. 29, the school will be opening its doors to students at 7:45 am instead of 8:00 am.  We are hoping we will alleviate some of the traffic issue by making this move.  Please refer to the message I sent to the parent community this past Wednesday (subject line: morning supervision) for more details.  Please click here for the email and its attachment if you are unable find it in your inboxes.
I would also like everyone to know that the McCall faculty and I have been working on how we can better promote student engagement in our lessons and curricula.  I feel student engagement is important because if we do a good job in this area of our practices, we can not only increase academic performance, but we can also reduce student stress.  I would like to share with you some of the good work McCall teachers are doing to promote student engagement.  During this past week, I saw three teachers incorporating physical movement into their lessons in order to increase student engagement.  Early in the week during a 7th grade math class, I saw Ms. Eaton and Ms. Beecy implement a QR code activity that gave students the chance to get up and move around the classroom while practicing how to simplify mathematical expressions.  Ms. Campbell, during her 8th grade Algebra class, used a Class Builder activity to help her entire class practice working as a team and get pumped up about preparing for an upcoming assessment.  In the middle of the week, I saw Ms. Pineau used station work to give her sixth grade wellness students a chance to be active while thinking about important wellness topics.

This past week I also saw three teachers make abstract concepts come alive for their students.  In Mr. Leonard’s 7th grade science class, students participated in a lab activity where they got to witness how clouds are formed.  Ms. DiMare and Ms. Roscillo used a physical model to help their 6th grade science students visualize how the positions of the sun, Earth, and the moon create different phases of the moon.  Ms. Herlihy’s 8th grade Earth Science students were asked to use the physics concepts they had learned to design structures that can withstand earthquakes.

During different times during the past week, I saw Ms. Capobianco, 6th grade science teacher, and Mr. Row, 6th grade math teacher, used the app Quizlet Live to add the element of competition into their content review process.  I saw their students working hard to review important concepts they had learned while enjoying interacting with each other in a positive manner.

Lastly, I observed Ms. Fairly’s 6th grade students thinking about different human characteristics and how to express them through the drawings they were about to create.  I am impressed with how this teacher is using art to have students reflect on what makes us who we are.

I am impressed with the fine work McCall staff is doing each and every day with our students, and I am looking forward to sharing them with you this school year.

Thank you and I hope all Red Sox fans out there an enjoyable Game 5 of the World Series.

James Lin
McCall Middle School

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