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Grey Matters, October 7, 2013; Volume 2, Number 6

posted Oct 6, 2013, 12:03 PM by Andrew Shen   [ updated Jun 26, 2014, 11:17 AM by James Marcotte ]

My sister-in-law got married this weekend, and we were lucky to have incredible weather on Friday and Saturday.  If any of you were in or around the Boston Common on Saturday evening, I was the guy standing outside the church in a tuxedo, quickly checking the score of the Red Sox game (it’s the playoffs, one should be forgiven for switching between usher duties and monitoring the progress of the game).  

On a related note, last Friday’s installment of Poetry Fridays was a timely tribute to the game of baseball.  Alex Ewing of 8 Green, our first student reader for Poetry Fridays, read a shortened version of the classic, “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. If you’d like to read the poem yourself, you can view it by clicking here.   

Now at a little over a month into this school year, we’re feeling really good about the addition of our silent reading period into the daily schedule. Later in the year, I hope to have students fill out a short survey to get a sense of their experiences and thoughts about silent reading.  In the meantime, many students and teachers have shared anecdotal feedback about the positive experiences they’ve had so far.  In the Health section of the New York Times website, there was a posting about a recent study that offers us perhaps another potential benefit of silent reading.  That study found that “after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence.”  If you’re interested in reading more about the study and its results, you can click here.

A quick heads up to 7th grade families -- starting October 16, every 7th grade team will be traveling to the Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State.  This is a trip that we take every year as part of the science curriculum, and very much emphasizes the importance of communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.  If you’d like to read a bit more about the McAuliffe Center, you can visit their site by clicking here.  

Finally, at the end of this week/early next week, we will be mailing out mid-trimester interims. “Interims” is the term that we use for what others might call “progress reports”, or “warnings”.  Teachers submit interims for any students who might be struggling in their class - this could be based on performances on tests and quizzes, consistency of homework, or other assessments and observations.  In addition, there are a number of teachers who provide interims as a way to update families, and this could also include feedback about how well a student is performing in a particular class.  This is all to say that there are number of reasons why you might receive an interim in the mail from your child’s teachers (note: you may also not receive anything).  If and when you do receive one, please read the information and comments carefully and consider using it as a way to begin a dialogue with your child.  If there is information that you would like clarified, please contact the teacher and begin a dialogue with him or her.  The Fall Trimester does not close until the week before Thanksgiving, so there is plenty of time for students to use this feedback to make adjustments.  

Before signing off, a friendly reminder that there is no school next Monday, October 14, as part of the Columbus Day long weekend.  

Have a great week, everyone.