2019.12.6 – Saxe Weekly

December 6, 2019

Dear Saxe Family,

After beginning the week with a couple of half-days, we got into our groove for the remainder of the week. As we move toward the holiday break, we have much to share and celebrate during the month of December. This week in the Saxe Weekly, we take a look at Math, English Language Arts, Library Media Center, Design Lab, Mandarin, our grade-level Charters, some “ugly beards”, nature’s beauty, Dogs of Saxe, the latest 1 Second Everyday, and much more…

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Dave Gusitsch

Principal, Saxe Middle School

Upcoming Noteworthy Dates:

12.9: Beauty and the Beast Auditions (2:30 – 6:00pm); BOE meeting

12.10: Grade 5 Parent Conferences (Rescheduled from 12/3),

Beauty and the Beast Auditions (2:30 – 6:00pm)

Want to check out the “Saxe Weekly” from last week? You’re one click away, here.

*Quotes that resonated with us this week:

“If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way.”

“Worrying won’t stop difficult stuff from happening; it just stops you from enjoying the good.”

“Don’t be afraid of change. It’s leading you to a new beginning.”

“Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow”.

“Don’t expect to see a change if you don’t make one.”

Back again for this week – the latest, updated Saxe Middle School 1-Second Everyday! “Life is made of seconds.” Check out a few seconds from each day of 2019 (so far), showcasing so much of what makes Saxe Middle School great. This is a recurring, bi-weekly feature. At the end of the year, we will have a full version that includes every single day of the 2019-20 school year. Enjoy!

Winter weather greeted us to begin the week as Saxe was transformed with a nice coat of fresh snow…


We recognize the importance of keeping a balance between tech and non-tech educational opportunities. Below is a snapshot of some meaningful, purposeful use of technology to enhance the learning experience. In Mrs. Graham’s Pre-Algebra class, students are working on solving equations with variables on both sides using the manipulative Hands-on Equations. To support this visual thinking, students used Desmos (an online exploration tool) as a way to further explore this concept by using manipulatives in an interactive way. The use of technology allowed students to collaborate and discover concepts with their peers. Students also rotated through a targeted mini-lesson with Mrs. Graham.

Mathematicians in grade 6 are using technology to enhance real-world learning. Students in Mrs. Sanborn’s class were practicing transformations on a Desmos platform while other students were playing place value battleship to review decimals. So much learning going on and having fun at the same time!

Students in Mrs. Martin’s class have been working on problem-solving with scatterplots and line of best fit. The students collaborated and shared their thinking. They are great problem solvers!

English Language Arts (ELA)

Symbols are all around us, and our fifth-graders have been in a study of symbolism and theme. Before analyzing symbolism in Tuck Everlasting and independent reading books, Mrs. Adrian’s fifth-grade classes chose symbols to represent themselves. Check out a few of the great representations of our students:

Walking through ELA classes, kids are independently reading with purpose to apply strategies in comfortable, exciting spaces. Here are a few fifth graders from Mrs. Helmich’s class lost in their books:

Sixth-grade readers have been analyzing character in order to become writers of realistic fiction stories! They’ve worked in book clubs, shared great stories, and discussed strong characters. Check out the great visual representations of this analysis as students prepare to create their own characters, conflicts, and plots in their own realistic fiction stories.

Eighth-grade is wrapping up their study of power structures/themes across texts and how power influences one’s actions. While you can’t hear the vibrant and thoughtful student discussions here, you can see the thinking come alive as students wrestle with these complex ideas and synthesize patterns across texts and mediums to support their theories with evidence. Check out these great visual displays of students studying their ideas through conflicts and author’s craft techniques as they analyze these universal themes across texts.

From a character’s perspective, students in Mrs. Saab’s eighth-grade class created “6 Word Memoirs”- no more, no less- with visual representations to analyze the theories around power:

Library/Media Center

Students and staff helped create our “Thankful” bulletin board both by making leaves at lunch and filling them out. The Saxe Library is thankful for the wonderful community of students, staff, and parents. Getting a chance to hear Alex Salkever speak reinforced our appreciation of books and the library. To quote his book Your Happiness Was Hacked:

“A strong correlation has also been found between the increase in the use of technology and a reduction in book reading. But reading books has long been associated with numerous positive human outcomes in education and in life… A growing body of evidence suggests that people remember and learn more from offline reading than from reading on electronic devices.”

Mr. Salkever reminds us that our library continues to transform our learning communities!

Technology/Design Lab

Dr. Walker’s students spent time in the space in and around the Design Lab this week to create book trailers. These students are using the hallway adjacent to the Design Lab to create their trailer for Animal Farm. With Mr. Petrakopoulos and Ms. Pacelli’s assistance, students edited their footage using WeVideo.

6th Graders also used the Design Lab to create a newscast related to their Bounceability Challenge which explores the transfer of energy in a bouncing golf ball.

World Languages: Mandarin

6th Graders played “the secret number” game to review 0~100 in the target language.

Students enjoyed learning “The number song.” Look how happy they are in the video.

They also just learned to sing another number song. Check it out. Very impressive!

Students played “Time to Climb” on Nearpod to practice recognizing Chinese characters. Learning is so much fun!

Up Ahead for ICT:

After 6th grade ELA students have chosen and read a realistic fiction book, students will use their learning to develop a realistic fiction narrative writing piece that will highlight the transfer of understanding about character and stories to share an experience. They will then use a podcast format to interview each other about the choices they made after writing their own piece focusing on the author’s craft and purpose. Stay tuned for more!

Community of Caring

The “Charter Wall” in Ms. Orlando’s Health Education classroom is gaining more stickers, which means, students are living their charters!

Ugly Beards sending THANKS to YOU!!

Thanks to everyone’s generosity we reached our fundraising goal this week! Between online donations and in-school change collection, we will be donating over $2,500 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! The coins will be counted over the weekend and Saxe’s ugliest beard will be announced on Monday. (Hint: Officer Deak is in the lead!)…

Saxe VPA

Saxe 8th/NCHS Winter Orchestra concert took place this week and the kids sounded amazing!

“Sunrises” Over Saxe

The weather may have been fickle this week, but many mornings did not disappoint. Below are some of the many sunrise images that were shared from this week. Beautiful!

Dogs of Saxe

“Frankie” helped deliver a forgotten backpack to his “human” yesterday morning, so we invited him in for a quick photo-op. This Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever was one cute (& soft) pup!

Have a great week!

* A special thanks to Mary Calabrese for the continuous stream of positive, optimistic quotes!

Saxe Resources (live links)

Website: https://www.ncps-k12.org/saxe

PTC: http://www.saxeptc.org/

Twitter: @SaxeMS

The Saxe Weekly: SaxeMS.com

Saxe Middle School

Celebrating Our Learning Community Through Caring, Communication, & Commitment

One thought on “2019.12.6 – Saxe Weekly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s