On Friday, our Middle School students previewed a wide range of I Block club and activities hosted by student leaders and faculty advisors! Options include: Debate, Environmental Sustainability Council (ESC), Garden Club, Girls in Stem, Junior Classical League (JCL), Math Mentors, Math Counts, Robotics, Science Olympiad, 7/8 Technology Bootcamp, Heal the Bay, Students of Color, Soccer Club, Spanish Club, Animal Rights Activists, Chinese and Chill, Dungeons & Dragons, Literary Magazine, Colored Pencil Drawing, Sing, Dance, Act Club, Design and Engineering, Puzzles, 5 minute Craft / Life Hacks for Kids, Harry Potter Club, Volleyball Club, Basketball Club, and Fantasy Football Club.
With so many choices, it’s no wonder that we need a fair to present them all! This week, our students attended their first club and activity meetings. We can’t wait to see where their interests will take them!
This week, our middle schoolers are busy at work planning and creating their designs for our annual Advisory Door Decorating Contest! This deceptively simple challenge, over a span of several I Block meetings, requires advisory groups to choose a group name, come up with a design, and create their door decoration. Designs are judged by faculty for their humor, artistic merit, and reflection of Viewpoint values. Teamwork is a must!
We thought we might share with you some photos of the design process. Stay tuned for examples of our finished decorations after Friday’s door decoration competition is complete!
In our middle school this week, students dove into their new classes with activities like writing reflections in English, an exploration of Mayan technology in history, verb practice and geography games in Spanish, and a performance of a rock music video version of the alphabet in French. As students read, reflected, listened, danced and sang, some portion of each of these activities was facilitated by access to technology.
In our Middle School, we ask that students bring a laptop each day to use as needed. In some classes, the laptop may be used frequently, such as for writing and collaborating with classmates in Google Drive, for watching videos, for recording their spoken answers to reflection prompts, or for documenting their goals and progress on a project. In other classes, devices may be used less frequently, but kept as a resource for use as needed or at home.
In order to support our students in learning how to use these devices with ease to access school resources, we introduced new students to essential tools during our Middle School Orientation. Sixth grade students and other students new to Viewpoint’s Middle School will meet in their Information Literacy classes or I Block Technology groups to learn the digital and information literacy and organizational skills that will support their learning. In addition, all students will discuss in their Advisory groups our guidelines for Responsible Technology Use, and will sign a form on myViewpoint to confirm their understanding and agreement to abide by our LARK Agreement (Legal, Appropriate, Responsible and Kind). Parents will also receive a copy of this form to read and sign, indicating their understanding of our expectations for responsible technology use.
Part of our students’ growth is practicing independence and learning to make choices. This is done with the support of purposeful curriculum to help students develop their skills, and with our school community guidelines to support responsible decision-making and a positive community. We thank you, parents, for your partnership in this endeavor!
We are delighted to welcome our Middle School students, both new and returning from summer adventures! Students have met new teachers and new friends, have begun to set goals for the new year with their Advisory classmates, and have begun exploring new interests and ones they’d like to share as they prepare for our upcoming Middle School Club Fair!
Here’s a glimpse of our first days back to campus…
Students in Mr. Martin’s Coding and Art Projects shared their final projects with classmates and special guest visitors on Tuesday, May 21. As Mr. Martin explained to his guests (including Mr. Chan, Ms. Emerson, and yours truly!), students declared their data types (variables), then explained their setup (values, screen sizes, background colors), and then showed their programming for their art project (the main code).
After students explained their code, the audience was treated to a presentation of their projects, in which cursors could be used to create unusual effects or drawings on the screen, objects were made to move, blink, or change colors, and even a “game” involving capturing a bouncing bat were demonstrated. I was impressed to see students, many of whom were new to coding at the start of the semester, create interesting, humorous and beautiful art based on the coding fundamentals learned over the past months. Bravo, digital artists!
On Thursday, our Middle School students proved, once again, that they have talent! Our community was treated to a fun show of vocal and instrumental music, dance, and even a comic sketch from Monty Python! Our students braved the stage to share their skills, to the delight of classmates and teachers alike.
This is one of our favorite annual events to showcase our students’ unique interests in a campfire-style spirit of supportive camaraderie–and, of course, it’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to take the stage, or to serve behind the scenes in preparing the set for their peers!
We can’t wait to see who will step up next year to share their special skills!
This week, students from the Service Learning Club organized a bake sale to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation, serving cupcakes prepared by our own Middle School students in Viewpoint’s kitchen! These treats are irresistible–and this little indulgence supports a fantastic cause.
Also this week, as part of a 8th grade Civic Engagement project, several 8th grade students organized an old-school Super Smash Brothers I Block playoff in round robin fashion, complete with “Challonge” tournament brackets programmed by our student event organizers. The competition was fierce, and a good time was had by all as Mr. Sweney graciously hosted this mixed-grades social event!
The mood was tense in Mr. Yates’ classroom as students carefully positioned and tested their devices. It was finally here: the 8th Grade Catapult Competition!
On Wednesday, April 24, I was privileged to view part of this event, as Mr. Yates’ F Block students’ hard work came to fruition. In this annual 8th grade science tradition, students apply their understanding of the principles of physics, along with a healthy dose of teamwork, to create a competition-worthy device. While I did not witness the conclusion of this event–which took place over several class periods–I did enjoy some very entertaining “near misses” as Mr. Yates and others dodged some of the farther ping pong ball launches!
On Tuesday, April 30, our 6th grade students donned their “chitons” (our modern-day approximation of ancient Greek garb) to host our annual Greek Games Fair! Middle school students and parent guests navigated through a series of advisory “city-states,” where they competed in games of strategy, skill and chance. This festive tradition showcases our 6th grade students’ teamwork and creativity, as each station, inspired by Greek mythology, history, and culture, was designed entirely by our 6th grade students over several weeks in collaboration with their homerooms.
Our 6th grade students thank all of our student and family guests for joining them for a day of community and fun!