Saxe Weekly: 2018.11.30

November 30, 2018

Quote(s) that resonated with us this week:

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.”

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”

“You have two hands. One is for helping yourself and the other is for helping others.”

Dear Saxe Family,

It was an eventful week at Saxe as we returned from our Thanksgiving break. It is amazing to think that we will be returning on Monday and it is December. Time flies when we are having fun! This week we take a look at: Science, Health Education, Physical Education, Emotional Intelligence, Wellness, Grade 5/6 Musical, and more…

Enjoy and be well,

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

11/30 Alice in Wonderland (5th/6th Musical) – 7:00 p.m.

5th-Grade Report Cards Available via the Parent Portal

12/1 Alice in Wonderland (5th/6th Musical) – 11:00 a.m.; 2:00 p.m.

12/4 – 12/7 Early Dismissal for 5th-Grade Conferences at 12:30

Want to check out the weekly from last week? Click, here.

Be sure to check out the exciting Grade 5/6 Musical, Alice in Wonderland, at Saxe this weekend! Showtimes are: Friday, 7:00 p.m.; Saturday 11:00 a.m./2:00 p.m. Enjoy!



Grade 5: Today at noon we reopened the PowerSchool Parent Portal which is where you can access your fifth-graders first-trimester report cards (no paper report cards are sent home). There are instructions on how to access the Portal on our fifth-grade homepage linked here. Next Tuesday – Friday (12/4 – 12/7), fifth-grade students will be dismissed at 12:30 to allow for parent conferences. During these shortened days fifth-graders will have lunch/recess from 9:10 – 9:55. A “brunch” menu will be served by our food services. Grades six-eight run their normal schedules.



7th-grade purple students began the second half of their Matter and Its Interaction Unit by exploring the Science in a Ziploc phenomenon. Throughout the unit students are expected to:

  • Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
  • Analyze the properties of substances before and after they interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • Design, test, and modify an experiment that either release or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.

Science in a Ziploc Phenomenon:

Science in a Ziploc Initial Models:


Emotional Intelligence and Thanksgiving

Before Thanksgiving, Saxe students worked on reflecting on their grade level Charters. The Charter is a promise that students make about how they want to feel in school in order to create positive learning environments. Students have said they want to feel Respected, Safe, Happy, Confident, Motivated, Included- just to name a few feelings.

In the Thanksgiving lesson, students reflected on what they have been doing to be sure everyone is “living the Charter” and committed to new ways to practice behaviors related to the Charter. Teachers were incredibly creative with the Charter lessons with some taking in school “field trips” to look for evidence of Charter behaviors, some students developing skits and Thanksgiving Turkey Bulletin boards, and others playing a game of Jeopardy in order to review positive behaviors. Thanks to everyone for their work on creating our positive school climate! Your work is APPRECIATED.


Physical Education

Students in all grades are experiencing a variety of exercises and physical activities with Physical Education. Some classes have begun participating and strategizing within a team as they work to achieve the outcomes related to the unit. Some of the activities taking place currently are Pickleball/Badminton, Football and Project Adventure. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” is a phrase that students think critically about as they begin to experience moments in their “stretch zone” building their confidence and competence through a variety of challenging activities.


Health Education

As we embark on a new quarter of the school year, the health teachers (Ms. Orlando and Mr. Tiscia) welcome new students as they begin their health units. Students in 5th grade are already contributing to their “Happiness Is” wall as they enter class. During the Personal Health and Wellness unit students are learning how to access valid and reliable information. As we are approaching the “cold” season, students are also learning the importance of hand-washing and interpreting how our immune system is like an army. 6th-grade students are beginning to identify their “wellness strengths” and engage in a discussion on the positive influences surrounding their wellness. 7th-grade students are evaluating Healthy Eating guidelines and creating their own guidelines to healthy eating by designing a pie chart to represent what would comprise of a healthy diet. Lastly, in 8th-grade students began the Drug Awareness and Prevention unit and are critically thinking about how the perception of something can impact the decisions we make. They will be creating a “Web of Influence” as they analyze the positive and negative influences surrounding drug use and abuse.

Saxe “In the News”

Saxe 5th-Grader, Colleen Murphy, participated in a charity event sponsored by the alumni of Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium and appeared on the Jumbotron during the recent Notre Dame v. Syracuse game! Check it out, here (she is wearing the backward ballcap)…

Schools present health curriculum update to BOE

New Canaan Public Schools recently presented their health curriculum update to the Board of Education. This “Happiness Is” wall outside a classroom at Saxe Middle School is where students place affirmations on sticky notes to promote a constructive mindset. — Contributed photo
Check out the full story, here.

Around Saxe

A behind the scenes look at the voice behind morning announcements this week:

These sheets appeared this week on copiers around Saxe. We are not certain who placed them there, but we have a hunch that Mr. Adams may have had something to do with this. What a great way to support colleagues and spread some positivity around our community!

We were lucky to have some great sunrises to greet us this week. Enjoy!



Have a great week!

Saxe Resources:


Twitter: @SaxeMS



Celebrating Our Learning Community Through Caring, Communication & Commitment

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