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Upper School Update May 19: Dave Samson

Dear Upper School Parents and Guardians,

This morning, I accompanied our 5th graders to the Cape Ann Museum. We saw the laser and sound exhibition featuring voices and stories of Cape Ann’s immigration history. Our visit connected well with one of the 5th grade's major curricular themes - the movement of people over time. My morning with Lisa Johnson, Lisa Burns, and their students is just one example of how our teachers culminate their classes with engaging experiences and projects. In addition to other announcements, you’ll read more about what is happening in our final weeks of May in the Ask-Me-Abouts below.


End of School Year Events: Last week, I shared information about the end of the school year events. You can find the specifics here. We will roll out Steep Day options to students next week!


SAMSON STROLLS: I visited 5th Grade Art. Please click here to learn more about the class. If there is something you would like to see, please email me!


Please ask your children about:

5th Grade:

Literacy: Ask me about some of the many cultures represented in America as we read America Street.

Social Studies: Ask me about Asian American Heritage Month.

Math: Ask me about plotting heights and temperatures on a graph.

French: The nationalities uses to discuss the Francophone countries we have been learning about.

Science: Our fifth-grade scientists absolutely SHINED as they presented their research at the Vernal Pond Symposium at Long Hill. It was amazing!

Spanish: How I presented the country I have been researching and what I learned about the countries my peers researched.

Wellness: Ask me what it was like to walk slowly and silently into the woods, stopping to notice what I heard, saw, touched, and smelled. Would I have noticed these things had I been running, laughing, or talking with friends?


6th Grade:

Music: Little Richard and Elvis, and how they influenced Rock n Roll.

French: Where the cacao beans are used to make the Belgian chocolate that we are learning about in La Leçon de Chocolat.

Geo: How did my UN presentation go? What are the next steps in the process?

Math: Finding areas and missing dimensions of triangles and trapezoids.

Science: What is the life cycle of a star?

English: Tell me about the community Jonas lives in in the book, The Giver.

Spanish: How I did on the quiz and what I have learned about chocolate in Mexico.

Wellness: Ask me about the qualities that are important to me in a healthy relationship. Ask me how to do the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding practice (hint: 5 things I see, four things I hear, three things I feel (physical, not emotional), two things I smell, one thing I taste).


7th Grade:

History: Why were Confederate generals so much more effective than Union generals during the first two years of the Civil War?

Science: What is growing in our Petri dishes and why?

Math ( Carbo): How to name Polynomials and operations with them

Math (Carver): how to build a probability ratio

Internet Literacy (Section 3): How I use my amazing search skills and understanding of DNS (Domain Name System) to tell the truth from lies online!

English: How the artwork complements the text in Long Way Down

French: How I did on the quiz, as well as where our character Mathieu is at and what I think might happen as we move along with our book Le Maillot.

Wellness: Ask me about my beliefs and mindsets about school, and how my emotions impact my learning. Ask me about the visualization meditation, Compassion for a Friend.


8th Grade:

Music: My classical song that I researched and what I thought about it.

French: The Senegalese artist Zeinixx who is the central character in the book we are reading.

Science: Newton’s laws of motion

History: How is my script preparation for the Mock Trial coming along/

Math (section 1): ERBs!

Math (section 2): ERBs!

Wellness: Ask me about the songs I chose that relax me and that energize me. Ask me how it was to lie back and listen to the playlists of calming and energizing songs from my classmates.

English: Ask me to play my completed podcast for you!


Wellness Week: Will Slotnick, who runs Wellness Collaborative, was supposed to be here in February and we needed to postpone his visit. He will be here next week and will focus on alcohol, drug, and tobacco education and adjust his conversations to the development ages of the students. Will discusses tools for peer pressure, stress management, and overall social and emotional wellness, which fits seamlessly with the focus of Jean Skaane’s Upper School wellness classes. Through his discussions, students will develop healthy coping strategies, become more aware of their values, and improve their capacity to make healthy decisions based on those values. Will will be available for an informational parent meeting on Wednesday, May 24, from 3:00 - 3:45 in the Dodge Writing Center. Please join us as he gives some insight into his conversations with our students and answers your questions about substance abuse risks and education for adolescents. In addition to Will’s visit, there will be mindfulness classes, smoothie making, and a special lunch on Wednesday with a Culinart nutritionist.


Enjoy the Weekend!


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