“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” — Oscar Wilde
Dear Sixth Grade Families and Friends,
Thank you so much for all your warm welcomes and generosity as we wrap up our first month together. The spirit of communal effort in every aspect of life at BCD is such an invaluable asset and has been a wonderful gift. Thanks for sharing your delightful kids! They’re a remarkable group.
I was so happy to welcome Grandparents and Grandfriends to class Friday. Students had a chance to show off their writing and their Personal Map projects to a new audience. They were so excited while they worked on them and I think their projects speak for themselves. (Thank you for finding the time in the midst of your busy lives to collect poster boards). I thought each student’s work offered a unique insight into the formative parts of their lives and showed a good deal of effort from their authors. They also beautifully highlighted their distinct passions and quirks. It has been great to get to know each and every one of your interesting and interested young people! The class has demonstrated a balance of burgeoning independent selves which shines through the omnipresent truth of their adolescence. Last Wednesday’s service learning discussion was a prime example. In their own way, I thought each child navigated discussions of difficult issues thoughtfully and respectfully. I loved getting a chance to hear their thoughts on the world today and see their passion on display. Ms. Doherty and Mr. Evans both stopped by and were thoroughly impressed. It was hard to reconcile that thoughtfulness with the intense albeit brief dodgeball match that followed, but that’s sixth grade for you!
I included an Oscar Wilde quote that summarizes how I’m feeling about the start to the year. Despite the warm weather and rain, the beautiful leaves remind me it’s already Fall. Our class is nearing the end of our first novel The Giver and preparing for our first Geography quest next week.
Thanks to all of you who sent in the forms for our upcoming Hulbert Trip in such a timely manner. I’m very much looking forward to that experience and will be updating you on each day’s events via this blog, so stay tuned! Also, be on the lookout for an email from Kathy and me with an overview of the packing list and departure plan.
It has been such a pleasure to be part of this community and as always, feel free to reach out via email with any questions, comments, or concerns.
Bonjour et bienvenue to the 2018-2019 school year!
Over the summer, I spent time preparing materials for the new year. I tapped into new resource providers, like the publisher Bayard-Milan, and I am looking forward to implementing new resources in partnership with what is currently in circulation for native-speaking students in France. I’ve built on my visit last Spring to the International School of Boston (ISB), a bilingual French-American school, have reviewed my notes, and am bringing new ideas into play this year throughout the various grade levels here at BCD. While visiting ISB, I spent the day shadowing French teachers in different grade levels, 1st through 5th, to get a firsthand account of a day in the life of a French immersion school.
Reading in the target foreign language is a pillar in strengthening a student’s aptitude and comprehension. In French class at BCD, I will continue to include French stories and French language educational magazines into daily classwork, which will encourage the students to learn about themselves, the world around them, and about expressing their unique personality … in French!
The grant was titled “The Magic of Reading in French; ” its goal is to bring free books to children enrolled in French classes in both public and private schools across New England. The objectives of this fund are to:
Trigger children’s curiosity for French language and culture;
Expand kids’ French language skills – all under the guise of having fun with French books;
Improve and strengthen existing French tracks.
And…drum roll please…
On a gagné!We won!
When I arrived on campus last Friday, I found four big cardboard boxes full of brand new French books for BCD! These 70 books will contribute greatly to our school’s French-language literature resources which will be used in French class across the grade levels. I also encourage students and parents to borrow books as often as they’d like to read at home.
The different resources and the experiences I refer to in this post, combined with the enriching, culturally appropriate, and level-appropriate novels and multimedia tools we currently use in my curriculum, will help enable the continued discovery and encouragement toward the enjoyment of literature in French at BCD.
I hope that you have all had a fun summer! I, along with my colleagues, are so happy to welcome you back to the BCD campus this week, or to campus for the first time if you are a new student and family! Here’s to a great year!
6th grade service learning . . . the fun continues!
On the morning of April 30th the 6th grade welcomed our third and final guest speaker for the schoolyear in our Service Learning theme of Animal Rights, Jennifer Leahey from the local non-profit, ‘Nature Matters’. Nature Matters Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit which fosters the understanding and appreciation for our natural world, and the need for its conservation, through direct experiences with animals and the outdoors.
Mrs. Leahey spoke to the class about her work as a wildlife rehabilitator and educator, and had several furry and feathered friends on hand for us to meet and observe!
Through her presentation we learned of the path that she took to create this impactful and original organization. Mrs. Leahey is a licensed animal educator in the state of Massachsetts, in fact, her particular license was created specifically for her as had never existed in the state before! She is an example of what one can do when we set our minds and hearts to a cause and follow through with dedication and perseverance. Her presentation was inspirational and informative, and helps the students to see and learn first hand the difference that an individual with determination can do and make in this world.
Here are some of the memorable experiences from her visit . . .
We met Kenny the skunk, who was born domesticated and thus can’t be released into the wild. Kenny now spends his day with the Leahey family and is part of Nature Matters in educating children on wildlife and their habits.
We were also lucky to meet Otto, an adult red-tailed hawk, who was hit by a car and suffered a brain injury that has left half of his body paralyzed. Otto wouldn’t survive in the wild, so lives in captivity at the Leahey Farm in Lee. It was amazing being able to see him up close, being an animal we normally only see from afar.
She brought three different species of turtles including a Russian tortoise that was raised in capitivity and his owner no longer could care him – we also met a baby snapping turtle that was found in a shopping center parking lot.
Jennifer brought a 15-day old pigeon that was born in captivity and helps to educate children on the unique relationship and important role that pigeons play and have played with humans throughout history.
Each of these endearing encounters with the animals was an up close and personal view of domestic and wild animals in the mission to educate the students on the importance of respecting and understanding them and their natural environment.
Mrs. Leahey’s visit was an enlightening and exciting way to wrap up our year-long Service Learning project, on which the 6th graders have been working tirelessly, with our different initiatives such as bake sales and animal food and supply drives.
Throughout our entire Service Learning project, an underlying theme has been surrounding the education and understanding of animals, and what is required when we commit to having animals in our lives. All three of our guests emphasized this aspect of education and interaction with animals.
It is an important lesson to instill in the students and will help them to make conscious decisions about their role in the lives of animals in the future, whether directly, through family pets, or indirectly, in encounters with wildlife.
For more information about Nature Matters, please visit the Facebook page to learn more about the organization and it’s impact in our community! Jennifer also hosts after-school programs in the Spring, Summer and Fall seasons. Please inquire for more details!