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What We've Been Up To

Ana Chaney
Middle School Families,
 
As a teacher said to me this morning, we say the following phrase often these days: "In a typical year, this would be when we..." 
 
While there's an intrinsic loss there, the flip side is that we're doing a lot of things for the first time and in new ways. This can be exhilarating, if a little hard. Our middle schoolers and their teachers - accustomed to adjusting their school life to meet the world - are adaptable, so they are well equipped for this. Here are some of the happenings in the Middle School, with a spotlight on humanities:
  • Eighth graders are planning remote "fieldwork" interviews and experiences based on this year's social justice project topics, including Healthcare in Prisons, Women and the Media, and Reproductive Rights, among others. More information about past Social Justice Projects are on the Social Justice Project Blog, which will also soon be home to posts about this year's projects.
  • Seventh graders are reading Arthur Miller's The Crucible and exploring the tragedy that results when a people confronted by intolerance and fear lose their integrity in the face of social pressure.
  • Sixth graders are starting their medieval guild journey with their pod leader doubling as guild master. Students are delving into projects as apprentices learning to be stone masons, artisans, cartographers, musicians, performers, and many other medieval skills. The guild members will have a socially distanced opportunity to share some of what they have learned in the Spring.
  • The fifth graders are deep in their study of ancient Egypt. This week, they examined several artifacts, including an early example of a calendar, and conducted research. They learned that the people of ancient Egypt studied the stars and created a calendar to track the flooding of the Nile, as they depended on this event for the deposit of rich soil for farming. Fifth graders wrote news reports to share their findings.
  • The white-identifying seventh and eighth graders met in anti-racist caucus groups for the first time this week. As a reflection on their first meeting, some students shared their vision of the purpose of these groups and wrote: "To talk about how to use privilege to make change and not just feel bad. We should have done this earlier!" and "So that we can learn how to fight systemic racism. We need to fix our own problems, not leave it to other people to solve the problems." and "We can work together as a group to build on ideas and problem-solve. It’s a safe place to think together."
  • Finally, the Winter Concert, which premiered on Tuesday evening, is available here for your viewing and listening pleasure. We're so proud of our young musicians! 
 
 

Please remind your child to dress in layers tomorrow! We have new heaters but the weather is supposed to be quite cold and it's hard to compete with an open window.

 
Best,
Ana
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