Sunday, April 9, 2017

Classroom Speech Contest Winners!

The 6th-8th grade students have been working for the last few weeks perfecting their speeches for the Modern Woodmen of America's school speech contest! Throughout this process they have considered their topic, writing strategies to engage an audience and speaking strategies. They have spent countless hours writing, revising, editing and practicing for their classroom speech contest. Last Wednesday, after a short snow delay, they participated in their much anticipated contest. I am very excited to announce the following winners (They will move on to the school contest on Wednesday.):

Grade 8:  Raist Cotroneo, Will Johnson, and Hunter Flood

Grade 7: Gavin Coffin, Carole Reyes, and Darren Easler

Grade 6: Lucas Gagnon, Emily Gagnon, and Kolten Sargent

The following students were chosen as alternates (They will participate in the school contest in the event one of the other students is absent.):

Grade 7: Lidia Newenham

Grade 6: Tyson Plourde

Congratulations to these and all of the other students! They did a great job!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How Do We Get People to Listen to What We Have to Say?

This is the question that the 6th, 7th and 8th graders will try to answer as they prepare speeches for this year's Modern Woodmen of America's speech contest. The topic for the contest is "What does it mean to be a hero?" Students will create and present a 3-5 minute speech that focuses on this topic. While they are brainstorming, researching and writing their speeches, students will also be learning strategies and techniques that they can incorporate into their writing to ensure that their audience remains engaged with their speech. Some of these include: writing engaging leads, using emotion, using repetition, incorporating powerful quotes, and concluding in a way that leaves the audience thinking.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


The 6th-8th grade students have spent the last few weeks studying the genre of mythology. Students have been seeking to discover how the culture and belief system of the Ancient Greeks have impacted our current culture today. Did you know that our idea of democracy first got it's start with the Ancient Greek people? Did you also know that the literature, art, philosophy and theater from the time period of the Ancient Greeks continues to impact us today?

Throughout this unit of study the 6th-8th grade students have familiarized themselves with the ways of life for the people living in Greece during 800 BC. They have completed research, a web quest and studied maps of the land to help further this understanding. Students have also begun discussing the belief system of the Ancient Greek people - mythology. They have studied how the Greek people believed their world started and have begun discussing the many gods and goddess whom the Greeks believed created the many natural events that occurred in their life. These gods, it's believed, helped answer the fundamental and difficult questions about the people and their world. Students will continue to study these gods and goddesses and will even participate in reader's theater's activities where they will get to portray these gods and goddesses through acting!

Monday, January 16, 2017

New Year, New Goals!

I can't believe we are already into 2017! Time is just flying by! Now that we have returned from a long break hopefully everyone is feeling refreshed, revived, and ready to take-on a new year! In our middle level ELA class we have discussed the meaning of New Year's resolutions, why people make them, and why they are sometimes unsuccessful. One explanation was that people make them because it gives them something to work toward and focus on about themselves for a year. Students continued to explain that they people might not be successful with their goals because they fall back on bad habits and forget to follow-through...ultimately making changes can be challenging! Following this discussion the 6th-8th grade students set new personal reading goals (ones that felt attainable and meaningful). Each week they are asked to reflect upon their progress toward this goal...How are they doing? What resources might they need? What barriers might be in their way. When they feel they have met their goals, students will present evidence toward the goal and set a new goal.