During our second advisory lesson, students were split into groups or "bands" and asked to perform a lip-synced version of whatever school-friendly song they liked. Groups discussed who would be the singers, guitarists, drummers, etc. during their performances. Students worked on their teamwork skills throughout the activity, and used their imagination to create props to go along with acts. The lesson allowed students, and some staff members, to work outside their comfort zones all while having fun!
Massabesic Middle School encourages community members and businesses to come together and participate in The Great Kindness Challenge, January 25-29, 2016. The Great Kindness Challenge is a positive, proactive bullying prevention initiative, reaching millions of students during the last full week of January every year.
School events and activities to help support a safe and caring school environment include grade 6-8 guidance lessons, school-wide Advisory activities, morning kindness stations, and the creation of “kindness cards” with kind actions to be performed by staff and students. Massabesic Middle School, in collaboration with Kids for Peace, is sponsoring the event.
“We are thrilled to be participating in the Great Kindness Challenge at MMS this year. Our work will be an extension of our Advisory curriculum, and will be another way for us to continue to foster the supportive climate and culture we have here at MMS. The ideas that go into fostering kindness; the self-awareness, the interpersonal skills, the responsible decision-making, are all critical to student success. We hope to see many of our community members become involved in the Challenge!” Angela Scully, Assistant Principal
The Great Kindness Challenge was created by Kids for Peace to provide schools a tool for creating a positive school environment. In 2015 2,188,669 students participated and performed over 100 million acts of kindness nationwide.
For more information about The Great Kindness Challenge at Massabesic Middle School, or to participate in the Challenge, please contact the Massabesic Middle School Guidance Office at 247-6121. To learn more about the national initiative, please visit http://www.greatkindnesschallenge.org/.
The beginning of the trimester was a great time to remind students that working as a team is a crucial part of the MMS philosophy. Team building allows students to work together in social situations just as they would in the classroom, their daily lives, or down the road in the workplace. Advisory groups worked together on the "Life Raft" team building activity which encouraged student collaboration on a task while dealing with various obstacles in their way. After the activity, groups debriefed by discussing the importance of group work and the types of challenges our students face every day.
Students lined up from shortest to tallest, shoulder to shoulder, facing the same direction. Then, using duct tape or other material, teachers made a rectangle on the floor around them so that they had very little room in front of or behind their feet. When in place, students then reversed the line from tallest to shortest without stepping outside the lines. As the "life raft,” was created, teachers asked students to imagine that they were surrounded by alligators and lava. If they stepped out of their raft, even if by mistake, all students had to return to their original spots and try again. Take a look at all the fun below:
For our 2nd Annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day, students completed a lesson about cliques and the benefits of breaking out of your comfort zone. Students were then "mixed up" at lunch by the first letter of their first name in an effort to have children sit with someone new and break down social barriers. Please watch a recap of Mix It Up at Lunch Day below:
September and October Advisory lessons had students explore the importance of coming to school everyday. Discussion focused on the benefits of regular school attendance, potential consequences of excessive absences, and strategies to help students stay on track when they must be absent. Advisory groups then created Public Service Announcements and/or a slideshow to highlight the importance of attending school everyday. Take a look at the following student-created PSA's:
In an effort to help students know more about what to expect at the next grade level before the end of the year, our Advisory lesson for this week asked students to think, reflect, and brainstorm what advice they would give to students that will be entering that grade next year. This included tips for how to be successful, things they wish they would have known or really understood beforehand, etc. Advisory groups discussed these topics and brainstormed a list of suggestions to pass on. 8th graders created advice for current 7th graders, and 7th graders did so for current 6th graders. Many of the lists were compiled digitally using Padlet or Google Docs.
Advisory groups were creative in how they presented the information. For example, Mrs. Sanborn's group created Twitter Handles as seen below:
Once the lists were compiled, students created posters including the tips and advice they wished to pass on to the grade below them. Posters will be displayed in the MMS hallways for students to view.
What advice do you wish you had known before entering Middle School?
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and to celebrate physical health, MMS participated in the annual ACES (All Children Exercising Simultaneously) walk on May 15, 2015.
ACES was an initiative begun in 1989 by Len Saunders, a Physical Education teacher in New Jersey. He wanted to get one school in each state to commit to students exercising at the same time on a specific day in May. His efforts were successful beyond his expectations and soon he was hearing from hundreds of schools both inside the US and in other parts of the world wanting to participate. The program grew larger year after year and is now run by the organization Youth Fitness Coalition, Inc., which Len Saunders helps lead. The goal of Project ACES is to encourage students to exercise and understand the importance of physical fitness, in part to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity. Developing an active lifestyle early on will help each individual remain healthier across his or her lifetime. Project ACES also shows the importance of Physical Education in schools.
All 800+ students participated, walking laps around the MMS campus. Feedback from students was that they enjoyed getting outside for some fresh air and exercise before starting their day.
To learn more about Project ACES, please visit the following website:
Following our previous lessons focused on personal strengths and developing grit, our advisory continued with a discussion on the differences between having a growth vs. fixed mindset. Students discussed how those with a fixed mindset think that intelligence and skills are static and do not change. Those with a growth mindset believe that intelligence or skills can grow and improve over time, with effort and hard work.
Students learned that a very important part of having a growth mindset is what we tell ourselves about our abilities. The positive messages we tell ourselves, or “self-talk,” can help us remain open to the possibility that we can improve. This also makes it more likely that we will put in the effort to improve.
The following clip was used to reinforce the main points of having a growth mindset:
Students spent the rest of Advisory creating growth mindset posters to display in their classroom and throughout the halls of MMS.