2013 Newsletter

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“perspective” when
studying the past,
present and future. We
focused on different
types of text structures
in which history is
written, in addition to
thinking and reading
strategies that enable us
to better understand and
comprehend text as
aligned with the
Common Core
Standards. We reviewed
European exploration
and the colonization of
the Americas. Specific
attention was given to
the British colonies and
their controlling policies
and acts that caused the
Revolutionary War.
and graphing the daily
weather. This is part of
the Earth and Space
Science section of the
Massachusetts state
frameworks and will be
including this work in
the MCAS portfolios.
Students will be
including work on Life
Science, and Physical
Science as well. For
part of our social
studies curriculum, the
students have been
exploring facts about
Massachusetts as well
all the other states.
They have done
computer research that
will be helpful in
writing reports. In
addition to learning
about the state they
live in, students have
also been studying
about the country they
come from; as well as
other countries around
the world.
Mrs. Clifford
Social Studies
Eighth grade social
studies classes began
the school year by
analyzing several case
studies in order to
understand the process
of historical thinking
and the importance of
program. The students
are working on the
writing process and use
an assortment of writing
charts and webs which
help with their
brainstorming and
writing skills. Many of
the lessons will be
utilized for the
Composition, ELA, and
Reading MCAS
portfolios. Students are
working on math skills
at their individual level
of ability. Some of the
skills include addition,
multiplication, division,
as well as time and
money concepts. For the
math MCAS portfolios
6th grade students will
be working on The
Number System and
Ratio and Proportional
Relationships. The 7th
grade will be covering
Geometry and Ratios
and Proportional
Relationships. The 8th
grade will be covering
Geometry and
Expressions and
Equations. They
recently stared covering
symmetry in geometry.
In science, the students
have been investigating
different types of
weather and how it
effects our seasons. They
have been collecting data
Mrs. O’Dea Whalen
Learning Center
The SNLC students
have transitioned
nicely to the middle
school classroom after
their long hot summer
vacation. It is great to
see that students have
settled into a learning
mode and have been
working hard across
the curriculum. In
reading, the students
have been working on
many different skills
such as comprehension,
story elements, making
connections, reading
fluency, vocabulary and
concept development,
sequencing, and
making predictions.
The students are
utilizing a variety of
curriculum programs.
They continue to use
the Visualizing and
Verbalizing program
with great results. In
addition they use Soar
to Success which
concentrates on reading
comprehension. In
writing we are focusing
on sentence structure,
grammar, punctuation,
editing and written
communication. We use
The Daily Oral
Language program and
the Keys to Literacy
Inside this issue:
Eighth Grade
Broad Meadows Curriculum
December 2013 Volume 1, Issue 1
Grade 8 1-5
Grade 7 6-9
Grade 6 10-13
Specialists 13-15
Eighth Grade Continued
Page 2 Broad Meadows Curriculum Newsletter
We critically analyzed and
interpreted the text of the
Declaration of Independence and
the intentions of its founding
fathers. We are currently
learning about the events and
battles occurring during the war.
Mrs. Kane
Hola! The students in
Mrs.Kane’s Spanish classes have
been hard at work in their first
year of learning ESPANOL! We
started the Term by focusing on
the countries and people that
speak Spanish throughout the
world, especially right here in
the United Sates, and the
influences that the Spanish-
speaking world has had on
today's society.
We learned how to have
conversations that introduce
ourselves and give some basic
information. We also learned
about numbers, giving the date,
and lots of new vocabulary and
verbs and how to conjugate
them. Our last chapter dealt
with clothing and adjectives.
This term also focused on the
Latin American holiday “Day of
the Dead” and a unit on the
study of Spain where students
spent some time in the research
lab finding information for their
own report and travel itinerary
on the country.
Term Two begins with the
“family” and students will get to
design a family tree for a famous
TV family in Spanish using lots
of new vocabulary and grammar!

Ms. Flaherty
English Language Arts
Students continue to be made
aware of the Common Core state
standards and how they apply to
daily lessons. My Brother Sam
is Dead was read to complement
the Social Studies curriculum.
All poetry, essay writings and
vocabulary lessons were
designed around the American
Revolution topic and
incorporated common core
Presently, students are reading
the novel, The Giver, to coincide
with the study of genes in
Science classes. Essay writings,
vocabulary lessons and class
discussions will be geared
around this scientific topic while
integrating common core
Mr. Billikas
At the beginning of term one we
reviewed some grade six
material that always appears on
the MCAS test. We moved on to
our Cells and Heredity book and
studied the cell and its functions.
We then moved onto plants and
studied the reproductive
structure of plants. We then
grew green bean plants from
seeds. Each student planted 2
seeds and made observations as
they grew. The top plant
producer had 4 green beans on
their plant. I sent the plants
home with the children. I hope
you all enjoyed green beans with
your thanksgiving meals. We are
now into modern human
genetics. We made DNA models
out of the empty paper towel
dispensers that many of the
parents sent in – thanks. They
look great hanging from our
ceiling. Soon each student will
pick a purebred dog breed and
will be writing a paper that we
will share with all the students.
Mrs. Brunelle
Language Arts
Mrs. Brunelle’s language arts
class began the year learning
about the use of mood and tone
by reading and analyzing fiction
and nonfiction short stories such
as: The Tell Tale Heart, The
Monkey’s Paw and The Third
Wish, which are all from the
horror genre. The students then
completed an interdisciplinary
unit with their social studies
class learning about the
Revolutionary War through the
novel My Brother Sam is Dead.
The students analyzed the
central idea and cited textual
evidence in discussing the novel
by using information from both
language arts and social studies.
The students also evaluated
Harriet Tubman’s life by
analyzing a biography about her
life. In term two students will be
reading the novel The Giver, and
continue to increase their
comprehension of literary works.
about the interior and exterior
angles of all polygons. At the
end of Chapter 3 we will be
looking again at similar figures,
this time concentrating on the
relationship between the sides
and angles to determine if
figures are in fact similar.
Grade Algebra 1
We have covered quite a few
exciting topics so far this year!
We started the year by solving
equations, including simple, two-
step, multi-step, and absolute-
value equations that had integer,
decimal, and fraction
coefficients. After learning how
to solve and re-write equations,
we moved on to Chapter 2, which
talked about graphing linear
equations. This chapter showed
the different ways to be able to
graph a linear equation. In the
second-half of chapter 2 we also
learned how to write a linear
equations in different forms,
such as slope-intercept form and
point-slope form, and how to
determine which method should
be used based on the given
Ms. Zawacki
So far in Pre-Algebra we have
covered several exciting topics!
We started the term by learning
how to solve simple, two-step,
and multi-step equations with
integer, decimal, and fraction
coefficients. This is definitely an
important skill that we will use
over and over throughout the
course of this year, and will
continue to be used next year in
Algebra 1. After solving
equations we moved on to
talking about transformations.
In this chapter, we practiced
classifying transformations as
translations, reflections,
rotations, or dilations, as well as
actually being able to translate,
reflect, rotate, or dilate figures
on a coordinate plane. We then
went on to finding missing side
lengths of similar figures, and
using those similar figures and
their ratios of perimeters and
areas to find missing perimeters
and areas of other similar
Coming up in the next few weeks
before winter break we will be
exploring angles and triangles,
as well as the many
relationships that occur within
parallel lines and polygons. We
will be working with parallel
lines and transversals,
examining the unique angle
relationships that are created by
these lines, and what is special
about them. We will then move
on to the interior and exterior
angles of a triangle. This will
create the bridge to talking
information. The chapter and
term closed with our discussion
of real-life applications for
writing, graphing, and
interpreting linear equations.
We were able to stretch our
creative wings a bit and come up
with some very interesting real-
life examples that depicted
linear models!
In the weeks before vacation, we
will be working in Chapter 3,
which involves inequalities, both
one-variable and linear. We will
start by solving and graphing
one-variable inequalities (which
is very similar to solving
equations), and the move on to
solving and graphing linear
inequalities (which is also
similar to solving and graphing
linear equations). Inequalities
have their own rules, however,
and we will need to explore how
and why these rules are different
from the rules of equations. This
chapter will lead us nicely into
the following unit, which
discusses systems of equations
and inequalities.
Eighth Grade Continued
Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 3
Page 4 Broad Meadows Curriculum Newsletter
place in the book as well as
increasing our vocabulary skills
wi th words we’ ve been
introduced to while reading. In
Science we have been working on
Chemistry, specifically the parts
of an atom and the periodic
table. We have even started to
count atoms, a skill we will also
Miss Hunt's
Language Development
The Language Development
class is wrapping up the
American Revolution. We
learned about the many battles
of the war as well as the famous
Patriots that helped our country
declare independence. Next we
will learn about the Constitution
and the rules that we still follow
today. We are also becoming
experts on integers in Math
class. Students are able to order,
compare and add them. In term
two we will learn to subtract,
multiply and divide positive and
negative numbers. We are
working our second novel of the
school year, Matilda by Roald
Dahl. We have been able to find
character traits for all the main
characters as well as compare
and contrast them. We are also
using our cause and effect skills
to analyze the events that take
continue to develop in high
school. Room 212 is looking
forward to what Term 2 will
Eighth Grade Continued
your child with these demanding
Drafting, revising (mad changes)
and proofreading are
requirements in Grade 7.
Students have applied the
writing process to compose:
personal experience essays,
scary Halloween stories, free
choice pieces, reflections and
research on Quincy history as
well as inquiry into the power of

Mr. Adams
English Language Arts
A major goal this year in all
Grade 7 Language Arts classes is
to become a better, more skillful
writer. The March 2013 Grade 7
English Language Arts (ELA)
MCAS exam challenges students
to spend one entire school day
writing a 4 page story for the
MCAS judges. To prepare now,
students have been writing and
rewriting and rewriting some
more. Thank you for helping
Seventh Grade
Native Americans who lived here
for at least 3500 years are the
Massachusetts band. They called
this area Passanageset. Under
the leadership of Michaela
O’Gara-Pratt, six classmates are
trying to put up signage at
Passanageset Knoll to mark the
spot where the Native
Americans lived before first
contact with the Europeans. A
mini Passanageset museum
inside BMMS is also in the
plans. “The History Girls” are:
O’Gara-Pratt, Colleen Connor,
Maeve Collins, Grace Higgins,
Mackenzie Maguire, Abigail
Kraunelis and Eve Anderson.
ELA Grade 7 Bonus 2: Inspired
by a Quincy history writing
assignment, Abigail Fay
convinced her grandmother,
(maiden name-Mary Kilroy) to
be a guest speaker in Abigail’s
ELA class. Mary taught the class
firsthand the story of her famous
WWII shipbuilding father,
James J. Kilroy. James J. Kilroy
was a rate setter at the WWII
Quincy Fore River Shipyard. His
unique “Kilroy was Here”
signature inside Quincy built
ships proved that he had
checked the riveting and welding
work and that work was
excellent. Those Fore River ships
then took brave Marines and
Sailors to war all over the globe.
His “Kilroy Was Here” signature
thus spread around the world
lifting morale. “Kilroy was Here”
is engraved on the Washington,
DC, WWII Museum on The Mall.
Abigail Fay is the great
granddaughter of James J.
Kilroy. Thank you, Abby, for
convincing your grandmother to
come to school to share your
family’s WWII history with the
In summary, students are not
only preparing for the grade 7
ELA MCAS, but students are
being exposed to some great
writing from great writers while
creating wondrous and creative
writing themselves. Thank you
also for encouraging your child
to read a lot and to write a lot.
Mrs. Brunelle
Language Arts
Mrs. Brunelle’s language arts
class in term one began the year
reading and summarizing
informational texts, specifically
about Diana Nyad, Title IV, and
The Titanic. The students wrote
several narrative essays.
Continually writing essays helps
the students to improve their
skills to incorporate the
standards from the common core
curriculum such as using
domain-specific vocabulary to
explain a topic. The students
also read and analyzed the
Research reveals that a key to
becoming a better writer is to
read and read and read some
more. Students have been
reading writers such as
Shakespeare, Suzanne Collins,
Abraham Lincoln, Michael
Winerip, Mark Twain and
Suzanne McCabe to uncover
skills used by the
pros. Grade 7 students then
apply those skills in their own
writing. In fact, students are
now studying the writing of
Michael Winerip by reading
Michael Winerip’s novel Adam
Canfield of the Slash. Michael
Winerip is a Pulitzer Prize
winning NY Times reporter and
a Quincy Public Schools
graduate. “Write like Mike!” is
heard constantly in grade 7
language arts classes.
ELA Grade 7 Bonus 1: Inspired
by a Quincy history research
writing assignment, seven grade
7 students are volunteering to
research the history of the first
people to live on and around the
Broad Meadows Salt Marsh. The
Seventh Grade Continued
Page 5 Broad Meadows Curriculum Newsletter
Page 6 Broad Meadows Curriculum Newsletter
academic endeavors this year
have incorporated numerous
opportunities for collaborative
work. We have studied
properties of matter; mixtures,
elements and compounds;
physical and chemical changes
and the topic of density through
the practice of inquiry based
activities. To keep pace with
Common Core, district and
school goals we have
incorporated numerous reading
and writing activities in the
classroom. Students have
diligently provided multiple first
and second drafts that align with
specific writing styles (stand-
alone paragraphs and Claim,
Evidence, Reasoning) that will
be perfected throughout the
What we’re doing:
Currently we are studying
atoms, elements and molecules.
This is an exciting unit as
students begin to piece together
what “pieces’ the universe
together. This curriculum
provides continued opportunities
for hands on science as we will
literally use nuts and bolts to
study the Law of Definite
Composition, isotopes, etc. and
ping pong balls and molecular
kits to study the molecules of
life. This year we will be
building a mystery molecule
with an extremely exciting
background. Probe your children
soon for more information.
Teaching skills at the middle
school level is non-stop. One of
the many important skills we
have been working on recently is
graphing skills. Graphical
analysis and design will be
routinely reinforced. What we
will be doing: Our
classroom has been generously
awarded grant money that will
allow for a dissecting microscope
that will be the centerpiece of
our (soon to be developed)
microscope station. The station
will boast standard microscopes,
sand and salt samples from
around the world and a variety
of natural artifacts for students
to observe with the goal of
stimulating excitement, curiosity
and conversation. We have also
received a roughly ten foot dingy
that will be repurposed as a
planter for our Butterfly Garden.
The Dingy was generously
donated by our head custodian
Bill Kolczewski. I am looking for
a family/community volunteer to
paint the dingy early next
spring; paint and materials will
be provided. If you are
interested or able in helping
please contact me at
[email protected]

novel Adam Canfield of the
Slash and wrote persuasive
essays using themes from the
novel. In term two students will
integrate knowledge and ideas
from different genres of reading
and continue to improve on their
writing of informative and
explanatory texts.
Mrs. Baird
What we have done: It
is amazing how much we have
accomplished within the first
trimester of grade 7 sciences
beginning with the Ocean
Explorium/Whaling Museum
Trip. I periodically look back at
the pictures and videos from that
day and have a good laugh at
how much fun we had and how
funny your children can be.
Academically the trip gave us a
springboard for the topic of
Systems Science where we
identified a series of individual
Earths systems and their
connections. We successfully
incorporated a portion of the
book, World Without Fish into
this unit. We then moved on to
the Metric system which has
proven to be an important
platform for our studies this
year. Soon
after the trip to New Bedford
each class received a spectacular
presentation from Meg Tabasco
of the MA Water Resource
Authority on the topic of
wastewater management (yes, I
said spectacular!) She told the
story of the Boston Harbor
(Reclamation) Project in a way
that truly engaged our students
for nearly an hour! Our
Seventh Grade Continued
Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 7
After School Program: A
number of students have asked
when the Super Awesome
Science Club will start. The plan
is after the start of the New
Year. The club is open to all
grades one day per week from
2:30 to 4:30 through May (day
TBD.) Final Notes:
In response to parent inquiries
on ways to support our classroom
I have included a list of items
from basic to a bit sophisticated
(ever the opportunist): tissues
are in continued demand as we
enter the cold season, large
Ziploc bags, sand samples from
outside of MA that are acquired
in a way that supports the local
environment and American
Weigh Signature Series Silver/
Black AWS-100 Digital Pocket
Scale, 100 by 0.01g (or
something comparable) available
through Amazon.
I thought it important to
mention some students
expressed excitement about a
reference book used in the
classroom titled, Elements: A
Visual Exploration of Every
Known Atom in the Universe by
Theodore Gray (2012.) If you’re
looking for a gift for the budding
scientist we will be carrying
several copies of this book at our
school book fair the week of
December 9
. Copies will also
available for order if we run out.
Thank you,
Mrs. Baird
Grade 7 Science
P.S. A continued thanks to all
who have donated recyclable
materials, reading materials,
materials for class projects, etc.
Your donations help diversify
our learning environment.
Mrs. Baharian
“The important thing is not to
stop questioning.”
- Albert Einstein
Taking into consideration the
wise words of Einstein, all Grade
7 Reading classes have spent the
past semester pushing our
literature knowledge barriers in
hopes of broadening our
understandings of the world
around us—past, present, and
We began the school year delving
into the fascinating history of
the Nantucket Whaling
Industry. We focused our study
around the award-winning novel,
Revenge of the Whale by
Nathaniel Philbrick. The novel
recounts not only the process of
whaling, but also the fateful
journey of the whale ship Essex.
Students investigated the
various types of whales sought
by whalers, the numerous and
unique tools used to catch and
slaughter the whales, and the
sailors who maintained, piloted,
and captained the mighty 19

century ships. The students
examined historical texts,
informational texts, and first-
hand accounts. They memorized
whaling jobs, types of
whaleboats, and several sailing
routes using 19
century maps. I
was most proud of the students
when we attended the Bedford
Whaling Museum and the
docents, the tour guides,
remarked to me how brilliant
and well-read the students were
from Broad Meadows Middle
School. (I grinned foolishly all
the way home!)
Jumping from the past to the
future, the second novel we
tackled this semester was the
futuristic tale The Hunger
Games, book one in the best-
selling trilogy of the same name
by award winning author
Suzanne Collins. We focused on
the themes of poverty
(inequalities between the rich
and poor) and dystopian societies
and how those two themes are
prevalent in contemporary
civilizations. We read recent
news articles published by online
sources like LA Times, Women’s
Economist, and Time Magazine
in order to compare the
impoverished people of
California to Collins’s characters
living in the protagonist’s
deprived district. We viewed
excerpts from The Hunger
Games movie to visually define
the underprivileged and the
poor. We also examined the
world’s history to see how
dystopian societies can be
created. Lastly, we analyzed
song lyrics and composer’s
purpose from the Catching Fire
soundtrack. And yet again, I
was supremely delighted with
the behavior and demeanor of
the seventh graders on our
second field trip as our team of
students was polite, orderly, and
well prepared for our attendance
of the opening day viewing of
“Catching Fire” at Showcase
Cinemas in Randolph.
Seventh Grade Continued
Page 8
Broad Meadows Curriculum Newsletter
To maintain our rigorous
demands for improvement on
MCAS performance, the
students revisited constructed
(formally open) response
formats, implemented
constructed response plans, and
practiced creating “Awesome-
O” (versus Lame-O)
introductions using hooks,
relevant details, and rousing
One of my year-long goals is to
enrich my students’ vocabulary.
If you hear your child using
extraordinary words like
tempestuous, conundrum, or
meticulous, you can blame it
“Mrs. B’s Fabulous Word Wall.”

Mrs. Duffy-McGowan
Language Development
What a busy and productive year
we are having. The students are
settling in well to their new
surroundings, here at Broad
Meadows. We started reading
the Secret Garden, and then put
it on hold to read The Hunger
Games, in order to get ourselves
up to speed with our viewing of
Catching Fire. Everyone has
enjoyed both the book and the
movie. In Language Arts, we are
currently working on Persuasive
Essays. After researching the
entrants, the students each
chose a contestant from CNN’s
Hero of the Year. They are now
in the process of writing essays
as to why their chosen person
should win the contest. In Math
we having been do a lot of
Problem Solving and are
working our way into fractions
and decimals. Social Studies has
seen the progression from
prehistory to the formation of
the Phoenician alphabet to the
creation of Israel. Our smaller
social studies group has taken
up where they left off last year
and has gone through China and
into Rome. Science, we have
seen the way in which species
live in nature and survive. They
will be working on Biomes next,
in which each student will be
researching a specific biome and
report on it to the rest of the
Mr. Carnes
Mrs. Sullivan
Ms. Keogh
In term 1, the 7th grade students
have studied order of operations,
exponents, evaluating algebraic
expressions, absolute value,
solving equations, and fractional
operations. They also worked on
adding, subtracting, multiplying,
and dividing integers. Once
again, Broad Meadows Middle
School is participating in the
Continental Mathematics
League, a global math
competition. As Term 2 begins,
students will be working with
solving two-step equations and
inequalities as they prepare for
the MCAS test in May.
Mrs. Kazolias
Social Studies
Students began 1
term by
setting up an interactive
notebook. This notebook will be
used all year and is similar to
the notebook students used in
grade 6 and will be using in
grade 8. We looked closely at
our textbook and the ancient
civilizations we will study this
year. So far, we have learned
about the Beginnings of Human
Society and the Fertile Crescent
(Mesopotamia). Students have
just finished the Chapter 2 test
on six civilizations of
Mesopotamia. During term 2 we
will be studying Ancient Egypt
and Nubia. After Egypt’s chapter
we will be reading The Golden
Goblet by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.
The genre is historical fiction. It
is a great companion book to
finalize our study of Ancient
Map skills are also part of the
curriculum throughout the year.
Many of the students are great
The Community Service Project
is underway. At this point, each
student has the requirements
and has planned their project.
The project will culminate with
an essay and a visual
presentation of their project by
January 31st. This will be a
large part of their grade for
Term 2.
Each day we begin our class by
orally sharing current news
items. Every student is required
each week to share a news story
and the class has an opportunity
to add comments and/or ask
questions. It is a great way to
Seventh Grade Continued
and the planets. Sixth graders
are exploring the countries of
Latin America in Social Studies
Class. Each student is keeping a
flag book to document every
country that they’ve explored
though out the school year. Mrs.
Benner, Mrs. Blaney, and Mrs.
Shields’ sixth grade class is filled
with fabulous, magnificent, and
awesome students!
Mrs. Blaney Orton-
Gillingham Reading
Orton-Gillingham is a language-
based, multisensory, structured,
sequential, cumulative, cognitive
and flexible approach to teaching
reading. The students are
working on recognizing the
phonemes (sounds of the spoken
language) and correlating that to
the letters that make up those
sounds (graphemes). This helps
the students to be able to decode
a word (break it down into
phonemes) and then encode (put
the phonemes back together).
Another aspect of the program
that the students are working on
is rules for spelling,
generalization rules and the
different syllable types. As well
as working on reading the words,
the students read aloud each day
in class. This helps the students
increase their reading fluency.
The students have read
informational text as well as
fiction. Students also have access
to Lexia which is a computer
program that helps them work
on the sounds of the language as
well as the rules to the language.
In sixth grade, we are reading
the novel, The Revealers by
Doug Wilhelm. This book is
about students who are being
bullied in middle and how they
react to it. In seventh grade, we
are reading the true story
account of the sinking of the
whale ship the Essex called The
Revenge of the Whale by
Nathaniel Philbrick. In eighth
grade, we read the Can You Feel
the Thunder? by Lynn E
McElfresh. This novel is about a
middle school boy who has a
disabled sister and how this
impacts his life. In the second
term, the students will continue
to work on increasing their
reading fluency as well as
working on comprehension

start the class and interact with
each other while keeping current
with what is going on in the
community, state, nation, and
Second term will also begin
studies of the ancient
civilizations of India and Ancient
China after finishing The Golden
The students will continue to see
the connections between the
geographic developments of
ancient civilizations, how they
each influenced each other, and
how some of their customs and
discoveries spread and still
influence the modern world.

Mrs. Benner, Mrs. Blaney,
and Mrs. Shields
Language Development
classes are off to a great start!
We are reading the novel The
Great Gilly Hopkins by
Katherine Paterson. Sixth
graders are investigating the
characters of the novel through
creating life size characters. We
have been learning about
amazing adjectives and writing
descriptive paragraphs. The
class is throwing away their
overused adjectives and
acquiring new exciting
adjectives. Students are working
on multiplying double digit
problems and solving PEMDAS
equations. Every morning the
class practices their
multiplication facts through mad
minutes. Astronomy in Science
class is off to a great start. The
students are very excited about
exploring outer space. They have
learned about the moon, the sun
Seventh Grade Continued
Broad Meadows Curriculum Newsletter Page 9
Ms. Dowdall
English Language Arts
The sixth grade students have
had a very busy and diverse first
term. Some lessons were
familiar—refresher courses on
parts of speech, grammar, and
basic writing skills. Other
lessons introduced brand new
concepts—word connotation,
summarizing and note taking
skills, paraphrasing, and
avoidance of plagiarism. In
order to succeed with these new
skills, a variety of organizing
techniques were used. Students
used two and three column
notes, drop down webs, along
with Freyer squares and word
maps. There was an emphasis
on research skills throughout the
first term and across all
disciplines. It was important for
students to understand the
penalties for plagiarism and the
necessary steps to avoid copying
another’s work. To this end,
students were required to learn
how to put information into their
own words, cite sources, and
properly insert direct quotes into
their research assignments.
Students had several
opportunities in different classes
to present information using the
Power Point program. They
were enthusiastic and quite
creative in their ability to
research and in their willingness
to share the results with their
classmates. Students also have
been introduced to a more
mature method to respond to
text, known as constructed
response. Besides answering a
question, students must support
all statements with evidence
from the text and defend why the
evidence is connected to their
answer. It requires much
analysis and evaluation on the
part of the student. At this
stage, students are heavily
assisted by the teacher but
eventually will be able to answer
this type of question on their
own. Currently, students are
developing a personal narrative.
They are incorporating rich
language, diverse transitions,
and honest emotion into their
writing to create an effective
story. Before writing their own
story, students studied various
narratives written by
professional authors to get a
sense of style and technique.
Mr. Bell
In term 1 math students have
studied whole number
operations, order of operations,
factors and multiples, fractional
operations, decimal operations,
and evaluating expressions using
variables. Sixth graders also
have had monthly study island
assignments and should be
getting tests and quizzes signed
on a regular basis.
Grade six students once again
are participating in the
Continental Mathematics
League an international math
competition that takes place
once a month. As term 2 begins
sixth graders will be working
with area, rates, ratios, percent,
and negative integers, graphing,
and preparing for the end of the
year MCAS test.

Mr. Clifford’s
Mr. Clifford’s Geography classes
have had a strong start to the
year. Each student began the
year reviewing basic map skills
and learning new landforms by
creating their own country. In
this project student’s created a
country using the themes of
geography and placed it
anywhere in the world they
wanted to. They concluded this
project by designing their capital
city complete with examples of
numerous landforms and bodies
of water covered in the class.
From there the students started
their imaginary journey around
the world beginning in Western
and Southern Europe. In each
country students are learning
about different cultures and
different styles of life. This term
the students can look forward to
continuing this journey making
stops through the rest of Europe
and Russia with creative projects
added in along the way.
Sixth Grade
Page 10 Broad Meadows Curriculum Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 11
Sixth Grade Continued
Kerrie Sullivan
It has been a busy term one for
our grade 6 math students.
Throughout first term we have
worked on whole number
operations, powers, exponents,
order of operations, prime
factorization, greatest common
factor and least common
multiple. We have been working
hard. We have also been working
with fractions, adding,
subtracting, multiplying and
dividing them. As the term has
wound down we have been
solving problems involving
decimals. The students have
worked really hard and we look
forward to a second term with
more problem solving and
critical thinking involving math.
Mrs. Taglieri
Participating in the unit about
Bullying, the grade six students
started the year reading the
novel The Revealers by Doug
Wilhelm. As they read the novel,
they learned about literary
elements, character traits,
sequencing, theme, and point of
view. They participated in Keys
to Literacy activities to enhance
the vocabulary and
comprehension of the novel. The
students compared the isolation
of Anne Frank to the character
Catalina in the novel through
their journal and letter
writing. They wrote Dear Abby
letters involving the dilemmas of
the characters, which also
included a response letter with
clear advice. They wrote a
realistic fiction letter to a specific
character from the novel
comparing situations in their
own lives to that of the
character. Each reading class
completed a Bullying Student
Survey in which they created the
questions, and surveyed
students at the school. The
classes are currently compiling
the results from the
surveys. Maniac Magee was the
next novel read, dealing with the
themes of racism, illiteracy,
homelessness, family, friendship,
and personal choices. The
students monitored Maniac's
journey throughout the
novel. Each student wrote a
newspaper article based on a
chapter from the novel. They
also completed activities
involving character analysis,
compare and contrast, figurative
language, cause and effect, and
prejudice. The students are
currently reading Star Girl by
Jerry Spinelli. The novel focuses
on the themes of individuality
and the importance of being
you. As they read the novel,
they will be extracting the
literary elements, and character
traits. The awareness of
Figurative Language will be a
main part of reading the
novel. They will be completing
constructed responses based on
ideas from the novel. Pre-
reading and reading strategies
continue to be a focus in the
sixth grade. The students have
been reading fiction and
nonfiction short
stories. Newspaper articles
involving current events based on
the current reading topics have
been an integral part of each

Mrs. Taglieri
Completing the unit on
Astronomy, the grade six
students have become "Masters
of the Universe" focusing on the
Solar System. This has included
studying the planets, the sun,
the moon, comets, asteroids,
meteors, stars, galaxies, the
universe, and tools of
astronomy. The students have
studied lab safety, and the
scientific method. They are
learning how to write lab
reports, and are participating in
experiments. They started the
year with a lab on
chromatography to extract the
various colors form leaves to
determine how they change
color. Next they completed labs
involving gravity and Newton's
Laws of Inertia Each student
observed the moon phases for a
month, creating a moon phase
calendar. Every grade six
astronomer became an expert on
a particular planet, producing a
power point presentation based
on the planet. Through their
research, they learned how to
cite resources, and created power
points that were informative,
attractive, entertaining, and
organized. Learning about the
constellations led to each student
constructing a personal
constellation. They determined
Sixth Grade Continued
Page 12 Broad Meadows Curriculum Newsletter
their own Zodiac sign, the
constellation it was a part of,
and during what part of the year
it appears in the sky. After
studying the lives of stars, the
students participated in a lab
titled, "How Stars are
Classified". From this lab they
were able to complete a large
wall graph of the Hertzsprung -
Russell diagram. The next unit
that the students will be
studying is Weather and
Climate. They will be learning
about the atmosphere, weather
factors, weather patterns, and
Ms. Henault
The First book covered in grade
six is Astronomy. Students read
text and are taught about the
universe and the parts of our
solar system. Thus far, they have
explored different aspects of the
Earth, moon, and sun and how
each of these parts creates a
system that causes various
events to occur on Earth. Topics
covered in this section include:
What causes of day and night,
Reasons of the seasons, Phases
of the moon, Equinoxes and
Solstices, Eclipses,
Characteristics of the sun,
Factors that keep the planets in
orbit and the properties of the
inner and outer planets.
Students finished this term by
designing a planet of their own.
They created a model and wrote
an information guide about the
planet. They created an
organism to live on the planet
and presented the planet to the
Ms. Henault
Reading Skills
As part of Broad Meadows anti-
bullying curriculum student read
the novel the Revealers. In this
novel middle school students get
bullied and find a way to address
the bullying problem at their
school. The themes of the novel
revolve around students being
true to themselves, making
friendships, and knowing when
to stand up to bullies. During
this unit we addressed the
different types of bullying and
the consequences of bullying.
Additionally, students practiced
skills such as finding facts in non
-fiction passages, finding main
idea and supporting details,
characterization and types of
conflict. Also students have been
learning about the elements that
make a story. Students have
identified characters, setting,
plot, and climax. They have been
reading stories passed down by
oral tradition both folktales and
legends. These stories focus on
time order, cause and effect, and
critical thinking skills.
Ms. Keogh
Language Arts
The first trimester in the 6

grade pull-out ELA class has
been busy and exciting! We
began the year reviewing the 8
parts of speech in addition to
figurative language terms such
as simile, metaphor, and idiom
among others Daily Language
each day. Together as a class, we
worked on developing
paragraphs of varying topics
such as food, vacations, and
favorite celebrities. Students’
participated in group hands on
activities in order to build on
their paragraph structure
including bucket activities where
they had to put paragraphs in
sequential order. In addition, the
students were able to put 30 new
grade level vocabulary words in
the bank after participating in
many vocabulary games
(Vocabulary Swat, Hot Seat, and
Acting) which aided in their
overall understanding and
implementation of their new
vocabulary. We began studying
the Elements of the Short Story
at the end of the first trimester
as well as practicing writing and
recognizing direct quotes,
indirect quotes, and divided
quotes. I am looking forward to
beginning a Writing Boot Camp
unit second trimester and can’t
wait to see more great stuff from
the students. I am so proud of
what they have accomplished so
Ms. O’Connor
Movie Time Social Learning is
Coming to a Speech-Language
Therapy Room Near You! What
is Movie Time Social Learning?
Movie Time Social Learning
(Anna Vagin, PhD) uses scenes
from favorite student films such
as the Harry Potter series to
teach social thinking concepts.
Freeze-framing characters’
expressions and analyzing their
tone of voice in movie scenes
Sixth Grade Continued
Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 13
helps students identify thoughts
and feelings of characters and
explain multiple perspectives.
This multi-sensory approach
helps diverse learners access
social language in a motivating
way. How does Movie Time
Social Learning relate to the
Curriculum Frameworks? Movie
Time Social Learning prompts
students to: understand multiple
perspectives through reflection,
engage effectively in
collaborative discussions, build
on others’ ideas and
acknowledge new information
expressed by classmates. Movie
Time Social Learning will soon
be arriving at a speech-language
therapy near you!
Mr. Caruso
General Music and Chorus
The sixth, seventh and eighth
grade general music classes have
just completed a unit on rhythm
matched to their specific skill lev-
els. Seventh and eighth grade
general music classes are now
beginning units on melody and
harmony, respectively, with sixth
grade general music students be-
ginning a study of the music of
the Medieval and Renaissance
Periods. Students in the sixth,
seventh and eighth grade chorus-
es have been working hard to pre-
pare for the annual Broad Mead-
ows Winter Concert, scheduled for
7:00 pm on Wednesday, December
18, 2013.
Ms. Grabke
Media Specialist
It’s very exciting to have Library
Media classes for 7th and 6th
grade this year where students
will practice finding, using and
producing information, as well as
reading for enjoyment. Students
began by learning touch typing
and creating Bio-poems to prac-
tice their typing skills and learn
the basics of MS Word. They
then learned how the Library is
organized and how the Dewey
Decimal System is used to organ-
ize non-fiction books, and the 7th
grade classes created Word
Clouds for each subject in the
Dewey Decimal System. Stu-
dents learned how to access the
Online Public Access Catalog on
the Quincy Public Schools web-
site and how to do a basic search
for keywords, titles, authors, sub-
jects and series for books in our
collection. Next students will
learn how to do advanced search-
es, create resource lists, and use
our online databases, all from the
Online Catalog.
We have also been exploring dif-
ferent genres and have read poet-
ry, folktales and fractured fairy
tales. We will continue reading
from different genres and authors
throughout the year. Students
may check out two books at a
time and have time to check out
books during
library class or after school.
There is also a book club that
meets Wednesday afternoon
after school. The Fall Book Club
is finishing reading The
Invention of Hugo Cabret. The
Winter Book Club will start in
mid-January – the book and
dates will be announced soon.
Ms. Hayes
6th Grade – The 6th grade art
classes are starting Japanese
Gyotaku fish prints to reflect on
world cultures. Gyotaku, “gyo”
meaning fish and “taku”
meaning impression, is an
ancient Japanese technique that
fisherman used to prove what
fish they had caught. The 6th
graders will be inking rubber
fish with acrylic paint and
creating a mono-print onto rice
paper. The students will also be
creating a unique background
with sea details using
watercolors and crayons.
7th Grade – The 7th grade art
classes are learning about
Egyptian Pharaohs in Ancient
Civilizations. The 7th graders
will learn about the certain
characteristics that are
represented in Ancient Egypt.
The students will be creating an
Egyptian Pharaoh portrait with
Egyptian characteristics using
oil pastels. The student will
create a back ground with
Egyptian hieroglyph featuring
their names.
8th Grade – The 8th grade art
classes will be using visual
expression by learning about
composition and layout focusing
on the “rule of thirds.” They will
be creating observational
sketches of a musical instrument
using the rule of thirds. After
looking at all four sketches the
student will pick their most
interesting composition and
create a final contour drawing.
The students will be introduced
to different color schemes and
choose one to paint their
composition using tempera
Mrs. McBride
Physical Education
We had terrific weather for the
students to play football this fall
when they worked on the basic
skills including throwing,
catching, and how to center snap
the ball. In addition, offensive
and defensive strategies were
taught and we finished with
some very exciting games.
We have just finished our fall
Presidential Fitness Testing.
The students completed all
components of the test, cardio
endurance (the mile), upper body
strength/endurance (arm-hang/
pull-ups), abdominal strength/
endurance (sit-ups), speed and
agility (shuttle run), and
flexibility (sit & reach). Our
scores have been fantastic over
the last few years, and this year
is no exception. Hopefully, our
spring results of the same test
will be as impressive.
By the time you read this
newsletter, we will have
started our most difficult unit,
volleyball. Students will be
working on passing, setting,
and serving for the first few
weeks and in the next
newsletter, I will update you
on how well our students did
with those skills and how they
fared in our class championship
volleyball game.
Mr. Murtaugh
Health Education
The Broad Meadows Middle
School health classes have been
working on the physical side of
the health triangle. All grades
have participated in the Great
American Smoke Out presented
by the Massachusetts Medical
Society. Health classes learned
about the harmful and life
threatening effects of using any
type tobacco products. The
health classes concentrated on
the importance of practicing the
skills of fire safety. The dangers
of misusing flammable items
such as matches, lighters and
candles were empathized.
Students diagramed at last two
fire evacuation plans for their
living areas. Body
systems were also introduced to
all the health classes. The focus
of these lessons was organs,
function, and care of the body
systems. Health classes are now
working on prevention of
bullying to keep our school
environment safe for all students
and staff.
Specialists Continued
Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 14

Page 15
Mrs. Cronin
Mr. Boss
It is hard to believe that the end
of the first trimester is here! For
those who are new to Broad
Meadows, Christy Cronin is
the Guidance Counselor for
students with last names A-L in
grades 6, 7, and 8. Joe Boss is
the Guidance Counselor with
last names M-Z in grades 6, 7,
and 8.
Guidance has been meeting with
all students once a week. Mrs.
Cronin is working with grade 6.
So far Grade 6 has covered
organization, how to plan for a
project, study skills, test taking
strategies and will begin a
curriculum called Stick Up For
Yourself. On Monday December
2, 2013 the grade 6 student’s
attended an assembly with
Officer Devine and Officer Bowes
on bullying and internet safety.
Mr. Boss is working with Grade
7. So far he has covered bullying,
peer pressure, decision making,
and cyber-bullying. On Friday,
November 8, 2013 grade 7
students attended Rachel’s
Challenge at Quincy High
School. Both Mr. Boss and Mrs.
Cronin work with Grade 8. So
far we have covered bullying,
cyber-bullying, accountability
and reliability, planning for high
school and setting goals. All
students participated in Mix it
Up Day and Black Out Bullying
Day. We hope our students will
apply this knowledge in their
everyday life.

If you are concerned about your
child’s academic success please
feel free to call the Guidance
Department at 617-984-8724.
Please know that we are here to
support you in your child’s
academic success.

Health Office: Ms. Flynn RN
*Last month nearly 30 students
received their nasal flu vaccine
in school. If your child has not
yet received his/her flu vaccine,
it is not too late. Consider calling
your doctor to schedule your
child’s flu shot or visit one of the
many local retailers that offer
*Once again, The Department of
Health will sponsor dental
clinics at Broad Meadows.
Students with parental
permission will have their teeth
examined by a dental hygienist
and receive a toothbrush,
toothpaste and record of their
visit with dental care
suggestions. Informational
packets and consent forms will
go home with students once a
date has been confirmed.
*Concussion reminder: If your
child sustains a concussion at
any time, please let me know.
Massachusetts requires that
schools track concussions and
follow the appropriate
guidelines. More importantly,
knowing about this injury allows
us to provide your child with
care and accommodations, if

*Health screenings started last
month and will continue until
January. You will be notified
only if your child had a screening
that indicates follow-up is
needed with your pediatrician.
Screenings are as follows:
Grade 6: height, weight, postural
(scoliosis) and hearing
Grade 7: height, weight, postural
(scoliosis) and vision
Seventh grade students will no
longer receive a letter reviewing
their Body Mass Index. If you
would like this information,
please contact me.
Grade 8: height, weight and
postural (scoliosis)
Please notify me if your child’s
health needs change or if you
have any questions. My direct
Specialists Continued
Broad Meadows Middle
50 Calvin Rd.
Quincy, MA 02169

Daniel V. Gilbert, Principal
[email protected]

Peter Chella, Assistant Principal
[email protected]
On behalf of the entire Broad Meadows Middle School, I am
proud to present to our first Curriculum Newsletter. As a
partner in your child’s education, it is essential to keep you
informed of the exciting happenings at Broad Meadows.
From academics to flag football, we pride ourselves on
creating an unparalleled educational experience for you and
your child. The creation of our Curriculum Newsletter is a
result of this goal. I think you will find this a very useful
tool in familiarizing yourself with all that Broad Meadows
is and has to offer.

Our teachers have worked extremely hard in this
newsletter to provide for you a glimpse into the inner
workings of their classrooms, an understanding of the
curriculum they utilize to foster learning and a description
of the projects and activities they plan so that your son/
daughter can reach his/her full potential. As you know, we
at Broad Meadows are here for you and your child and we
thank you for the privilege of serving your family. I think
the poem below illustrates just how we feel about our
students at Broad Meadows.
What is a Student?

A student is the most important person in any school.
A student is not an interruption for our work-he/she is the
purpose of it.
A student is not a statistic. He/She is a human being with
emotions and needs just like ourselves.
A student is one who comes to us with strengths and
challenges. It is our job to address them.
A student is deserving of the most courteous and attentive
response we can provide.
A student is the lifeblood of this and every school. Without
him/her we would close our doors, and blow out the lamp of

I encourage you to become involved in our P.T.O., access our
website to stay up to date on events at Broad Meadows and
to continue to be a vital member of our school community.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time as we are
here for you and your family.
Daniel V. Gilbert

Change is defined as making the form,
content or nature different from what
it was. We have had an administrative
change here at Broad Meadows. Mr.
Taglieri has left to assume the princi-
palship at Quincy High School. Dan
Gilbert is now the lead administrator
at Meadows. Mr. Tag had done such a
great job here, putting in all kinds of
hours and travelling every extra mile
to make this school the best place it
could be for a parent to send a child
and creating an environment which
was both conducive to learning and
nurturing and a fun place for a young-
ster to be. He achieved all of that.
Could it continue? While applauding
the efforts and achievements of our
former principal and witnessing them
first hand I was hoping that all of the
good stuff would continue. I am happy
to report that to this point in the
school year it most certainly has. Mr.
Gilbert has made a very smooth and
successful transition from Snug Har-
bor Elementary to Broad Meadows
Middle School. He is receiving high
marks from all of the elements in the
school community. There is every rea-
son to believe that it will continue. I
was proud to be a part of an adminis-
trative team that accomplished as
much as it did. I am equally honored
to work with Mr. Gilbert in what I am
predicting will be a very successful
tenure at BMMS.
Peter Chella, Assistant Principal

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