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Hess Middle School: Snapshots From Week #1

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

Except from 6th grade weekly letter.

Happy Monday families,

We had a wonderful first week of school. Photos have been posted on the Shared Shutterfly Class Site, and we recommend you check them out with your child. Ideally the photos will inspire reflection and discussion about what we have been working on with your middle schooler, but at the very minimum it gives the students a chance to see themselves doing the work and review what we've been exploring.

Last week in Science we took note of the nature around us in this season and observed as scientists (and artists). Students sketched in nature journals and made art with sunprint paper. Our beautiful natural environment around campus lends it self to reflections and connections to what we are studying in the classroom.

Thank you for all you do behind the scenes to support your child. We are loving our time together each day and feel so lucky to get to be with these amazing humans!

Jenna, Debbie, & Elise

Excepts from 7th/8th grade weekly letters.

Dear 7/8 parents,

There's an abundance of excitement and uncertainty, a feeling of freshness and newness, at the beginning of each school year. Walking into the unknown is difficult, and at the same time, there exists the positive thought that anything could happen, inviting intrigue.

Our class showed up Monday with clean binders and sharpened pencils and hearts wide open. The latter was truly a gift. Whether new to Hess or returning, our students came, rested from summer, ready to build something good--to discuss what respect should look like within our walls or what it means to challenge oneself academically. They have shared aspects of themselves in individually-created Google Slides presentations. They have discussed what stereotypes may apply to them and how they break or defy them. We've eaten lunch together, laughed over CNN 10's punny anchor, stood in a sleepy morning circle discussing who got how much sleep, and read a chapter in our read aloud book (Free Lunch by Rex Ogle) titled "Butt Worms." Bonds are already stretching between us, and it's only the first week of school! Cheers to that.

This week, writers reflected on what makes a strong writer, and why this is such an important skill to hone. After a quick refresher on narrative, they wrote stories about a significant memory they experienced or witnessed. Next week, they will jump into our Investigative Journalism unit and continue to develop their voices as authors and truth-tellers. Readers are engaging in "literacy boot camp," reviewing foundational concepts, as well as rebuilding reading and writing stamina. Next week, students will analyze the process of inference-making. They will then create claims, mining their independent reading texts for the best supporting evidence.

Thank you for trusting us with your unique and brilliant children. It's going to be a wonderful year.

Ricci and Katy

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