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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DMS Science Classes Explore Environmental Impact at the Beach

The Team 8A science theme for the year is;  Is Andover a coastal community?  On Tuesday the team is going on a field study to Salisbury Beach State Reservation. The Reservation, located where the Merrimack River enters the Atlantic Ocean, is a perfect location to look at the impacts the town of Andover has on a coastal environment.
8A science will not only investigate how we impact the ocean but how the ocean impacts Andover.  We will conduct a trash survey, graph a beach profile as a proxy for sea level change, build Bohr models of coastal elements, and journal about how the conservation of mass can be applied to our everyday lives.  The interdisciplinary data collected on this trip will be used to start answering our theme question and many, many more!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Day Before Thanksgiving: A Food Drive Epic

So many families in need of our care
Missing the Thanksgiving feast just wouldn't be fair!
But how could we help all our neighbors in need?
It seemed like way too many mouths for us to feed!

Just then at Shawsheen there arose such a clatter
As everyone learned just what was the matter.
Faster than lightning, the whole school pitched in
Bringing all the things we needed to fill the food drive bin!

Now Claire! Now Amelia! Now William and Aria!
On Colin! On Kevin! On Ashley and Claudia!
To the pantry at home! To the store down the street!
Bring in your donation, be quick on your feet!

And anyone who brings food tonight to the dance
You’ll earn yourself one free raffle chance!
We especially need rice, beans, stuffing, and gravy
But we also welcome cereal, milk, sauce, and spaghetti.

Bring it tonight to the dance, or to Mr. Bones next week in school
Coming together to help our neighbors for Thanksgiving will be cool!
And remember, no matter how small, every little bit counts...
With each box, bag, and can the donation pile mounts!

Finally, pause for a moment and think of what makes you smile
And remember to be thankful and share that every once and awhile.
And when we deliver this great gift of food, we’ll be sure to call:
“Happy Thanksgiving and a very warm thank you to all!”

Friday, November 21, 2014

With New Lab Coats and Goggles, these Future Scientists from ShawsheenNow Look the Part

A group of Shawsheen parents graciously donated lab coats and goggles for students to wear as they participate in the Science curriculum. Looking the part makes them feel like they are "real" scientists! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

AHS Exploring Engineering Students Get "Hands-on" Experience withHydraulic Actuators

At left is a picture of the Exploring Engineering students at Andover High learning about the hydraulic actuators in a backhoe.  
Chuck Kearn from the Andover Water Department brought over the back hoe and gave the students a great lesson about the ability of hydraulic actuators to multiply force on a backhoe.  It was very well done, and we learned a lot.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Community Read-Along at Shawsheen

League members, town officials, and leaders of civic groups visited Shawsheen School classrooms on Tuesday, November 18th to read favorite books and discuss town involvement with the students.  

Pictured are a member of the Fire Department reading to Mrs. Galligani’s Kindergarten class and West Middle School PTO President and former Shawsheen parent, Gina Murray, reading to Ms. Gerry’s 2nd grade class.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

S.H.A.R.K.s At South !

Over 90 fourth and fifth grades SHARKS (Scientific, hardworking, achieving, researching kids) participated in the South School Science Fair this year. Individually or in pairs, students took on the challenge of developing a question on a topic of their own choosing, making a prediction, gathering materials, planning a procedure, gathering and recoding results, drawing a conclusion and then sharing their results. Science is all about asking questions and no one asks better questions than kids! Questions ranged from “Is it possible to sink a marshmallow in water?” to “Does celery absorb colored water?” to “Will a potato light a light bulb?”

After researching and planning their presentations at home, it was time for the Science Fair. In the afternoon, the student presenters set up their display boards and prepped their experiments. South School students were then invited to walk through the Science Fair, view the displays, and talk to the student scientists about their work. In the evening, the student scientists returned to share their work their parents and other adults.

Science may be messy sometimes (just ask our clean up crew!), but all of the students and families had a wonderful time and learned something new in the process!

Monday, November 17, 2014

CREW Provides Wood Hill Students a Supportive Environment for Personal Growth

It’s not unusual to hear middle school age children saying they wish they had an outlet to safely express their opinions on issues that matter to them, such as typical adolescent concerns. At WHMS, that environment exists in the form of the Wood Hill Crew. CREW provides students a small group setting, which allows for open communication on issues of importance to them with a caring, trusted adult. This environment helps WHMS students develop a deeper sense of support and belonging in their school community.

Some of the goals of the program include:
  • providing a sense of community so that students feel accepted and valued by advisors and peers
  • giving students opportunities to discover their uniqueness so that they might come to appreciate the main differences among people
  • giving students opportunities to deal with issues and concerns related to their personal school experience
  • providing students an opportunity to develop social, conflict, resolution, and communication skills
  • heightening student awareness of good citizenship by providing opportunities for meaningful contributions to their school environment

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Annual Middle School Cross Country Race

The Andover Physical Education Department, in cooperation with the Andover High School cross country team, conducted the 10th Annual Andover Public Schools Middle School Cross Country Run on Tuesday, October 28.  All boys and girls at the Doherty Middle School, West Middle School and Wood Hill Middle School were invited to participate. This year sixty-three students completed the race, which was originally scheduled for October 23 but was rescheduled due to the weather. The course started and ended on the track at Andover High School’s Eugene V. Lovely Field and included a combination of field running and road running. The event was held to bring students from the three public middle schools together in an environment promoting physical fitness, friendly athletic competition, school spirit and sportsmanship.

Andover High School cross country coach Leo Lafond, his assistant coaches, and dozens of his team members laid out the course and conducted the event. Team members were spread out on the course to act as guides and assist runners and they timed the race and recorded race results.

Separate boys and girls races were held. The finishing places for the first five male and female runners from each school were added for a race score. The results from the boys and girls races were combined to crown a middle school team champion. The team from the Doherty Middle School retained the championship that they have won each year.  The Wood Hill Middle School team finished second and the West Middle School team was third. The Doherty Middle School team was awarded the “Golden Warriors Cup” which they will proudly display at their school. All runners should be proud of their accomplishment.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Leap of Faith for this Freshman at Project Challenge

This is a freshman in a Project Challenge class at the high school on the high ropes course. She has climbed the pamper pole and jumped off to grab the trapeze bar.  Project Challenge is our required physical education course for high school freshmen.

Project Challenge is a required course designed to promote cooperation, communication, teamwork, and problem solving skills.  Students will learn that the success of a group depends on the active participation of all of its members and that a cooperative, supporting atmosphere encourages participation. 

The curriculum also gives ALL students various opportunities to practice positive leadership skills.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Technology, Greek Mythology and Collaboration All Come Together in a 7th Grade PBL

In order to incorporate technology into our classrooms in the 7th grade, all students were involved in a PBL in Social Studies class where they wrote, acted out, and edited their own myths.  Students worked in large groups of roughly twelve students, and incorporated elements of Greek mythology and history into their own myths.
Staying true to the structure of the Ancient Greeks, the students had to design a myth that would teach the audience a lesson or explain something about the world that they live in.  The process allowed students to work not only on their knowledge of Ancient Greek mythology, but also work on 21st Century skills such as creativity, collaboration, and communication.
It was a pleasure to see the students' enthusiasm and creativity come to life throughout the process, as they used iPads to film the action and then used iMovie software on the MacBooks to incorporate music, titles, and special effects such as the green screen.  This project was truly student focused and directed and it was great to see their ideas take flight!

Credit: Rob Fraser and Holly Campbell, 7th grade social studies teachers at West Middle.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fluency, Phrasing and Expression on Display During Readers' Theater

Mrs. Di Salvo's and Mrs. Soffron's fourth grade class at High Plain used Readers' Theater to practice reading fluency, phrasing, and expression. They performed their selections for Mrs. Waller's first grade class.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Unsung Hero - Tim Harkins Receives Award

On Friday November 7, Tim Harkins, the Digital Learning Specialist at High Plain and Bancroft Schools, was awarded a $2,000 grant for being Voya Financial's Unsung Hero Award for 2014. Mr. Harkins created the "Dream Planet" project where the grade 2 students of High Plain will explore
space travel. During this project, second grade students will create a dream planet. They will engage in hands on projects to explore how NASA explores and travels to new planets.
Andover Townsman

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Shawsheen Readers celebrate their Love of Reading and Books

Shawsheen readers celebrate their love of reading and books. From preschool to Grade 2, the Shawsheen community reads - individually, with a friend, or with a group. Our monthly bulletin celebrates all our readers and the many ways we read!
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Epson Projectors Impact Learning at Shawsheen

In order to integrate technology into the kindergarten curriculum, Shawsheen students are illustrating stories with the help of the new Epson Tabletop Projectors.  It is a great "hands-on" creativity experience for our primary age students!
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

South Elementary Grade 5 Halloween Performance

Students, staff and parents at South School were treated to a wonderful Halloween musical performance entitled “Terrifying Tales – Music That Tells Scary Stories”, presented by music specialist Linda O’Donnell and the fifth grade students. This presentation integrated poetry, song, instruments and movement to create a wonderfully spooky experience. 

Fifth grade students collaborated both in small groups and as classes in order to write text, compose both melodic and rhythmic instrumental music, and choreograph movement. Students created work, edited and polished their ideas and worked as a team to agree upon a final product. The result was a performance truly owned by the students. 

The lobby and hallways were filled with artwork created by the fifth grade students under the direction of art specialist Janice Chapin, assisted by art education intern Libby Belli. Drawing on memories of fall days in New England, the students used watercolors to paint beautiful landscapes that truly contribute to the autumnal feeling in the building.

Monday, November 3, 2014

TypingWeb in the 4th Grade

Mrs. Chaves Grade 4 Class is taking full advantage of having a Computer Lab back at HPE. We visit the lab each week and complete Writing pieces (We have worked on Narrative writing stories as well as Non-fiction open responses), as well as  Students are embracing, and thoroughly enjoying, this time away from their typical classroom. 
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