Department News – November 2015


Each month, we will feature news from different departments at MMS.

Library Media Center

Did you know that the 2015 Newbery Award winner is Crossover by Kwame Alexander? And that Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a 2015 Newbery Honor Book? Both books are written in verse. Crossover is a work of fiction that follows two African-American twin brothers who share a love for basketball but find themselves drifting apart as they head into their junior high years. Brown Girl Dreaming is a nonfiction account of the author’s childhood as an African-American growing up in the sixties and seventies in South Carolina and New York. They are both amazing reads! These NEW titles and many more are available now in the library media center. Come by and check it out.


The MMS Band is proud to announce this year’s newly elected officers! Congratulations to our new President: Paige Messier, Vice-President: Eliza Vecchiarelli, and Secretary: MacKenna Brito. The Band will be very well-represented under their leadership. Mrs. Pimentel would like to thank all of the candidates for their thoughtful and heartfelt speeches!

In addition, we would like to wish the following students the best of luck as they audition for All-State Band and Orchestra on November 21st: Parker Reid, Paige Messier, Eliza Vecchiarelli, MacKenna Brito and Alvaro Ferreira!

Finally, please save-the-date for our up-coming Winter Concert on Wednesday, December 9th, at 7:00pm in our auditorium. All three bands are eagerly preparing some wonderful repertoire for your enjoyment! Tickets are $5.00 and will be on sale by December 1st. We hope that you will join us!


The NGSS standards include performance expectations that demonstrate what students know by creating models.  Our eighth graders have been working in groups to construct models that display all of the interactions in a specific ecosystem. The students were given criteria and created the models on poster boards. The final portion of the project is to explain their ecosystem, the relationships of the organisms that live there and how energy flows through it as part of a cycle. The students have done a tremendous job working together. Up next?  How ecosystems survive environmental trauma.

Seventh grade science will begin with the topics of photosynthesis, respiration, and digestion. We will then move on to an investigation of Earth’s fossil record. Students will be expected to use scientific principles to make inferences about evolutionary relationships. These concepts also reflect our focus on NGSS standards and providing MMS students with knowledge that will enable them to meet the challenges of our changing world.

Social Studies

6th Grade will be studying the civilizations of the Fertile Crescent. The land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers which is located in modern day Iraq. This is where it all began – written law, government, alphabets, religions and so much more. Be sure to ask your student about all the interesting information they will be learning. The big question many will argue this month will be: Hammurabi’s code: Was it Just?

7th Grade will continue studying Early American History. As they wrap up colonial times and prepare the students for the events leading to the Revolutionary War. Students will learn how the colonists used propaganda and how New England was exploding with energy during this time. What challenges did colonists face in this battle for independence? These are some of the exciting topics that they will learn about this month.

8th grade will start second quarter with an interesting project. This project will require some 8th grade students to interview an immigrant. Students will write a paper and present what they learned to the class. 8th grade students will be learning about the “push” “pull” theory and the immigrants that came to the United States during the Industrial Revolution. We will continue with looking at life in the cities and how it was for these different immigrant groups. What did the statue of Liberty represent to these people?  Did they find their American dream?

Special Services

Parent Tips for Developing Important Study and Organizational Skills at Home: Many middle school students need help in learning how to study and get organized for school at home. Scheduling a regular time with your child after school to review the day’s activities and homework assignments is important. If your child has an IEP, he/she may need that extra bit of home support to make the transition to middle school and high school more successful and less stressful!

Here are some things that you can do to support your child:

  • Check your child’s assignment book or student agenda and help prioritize which assignments require the most time, etc..
    · Encourage your child to read homework directions carefully before he/she starts an assignment or project.
    · Look for similar examples in textbooks, notebooks, and handouts.
    Review assignments and the “big ideas” your child is being exposed to! This can be a great time to talk not just about school but your child’s dreams. Your child may not have a homework assignment, but reviewing the day’s activities is beneficial.
    ·  Use a family calendar to post any big project dates or Martin activities.

Please consider attending a meeting of the East Providence Local Advisory Committee (EPLAC). The next meeting is on Wednesdsay, November 25th at 6:30 PM at MMS. Also on December 2nd, EPLAC will be hosting their first workshop for the 2015-2016 school year.  This workshop, titled Basic Rights in Special Education, will be presented by a member of the Rhode Island Parent Information Network at 6:30 pm in the Martin Middle School Library. If you would like more information, contact Marianne Walsh


7th grade students in Project Design have been learning to read and write in code.  With this new computer language students have been able to create their own series of video games. In addition, students have been able to apply this new technology skill to program science project presentations. Some of the students are also writing code to make the computer desktop, Google and Microsoft Office more accessible to students with certain learning styles or challenges.  The creativity exhibited by the quarter 1 students is inspiring!

Computer collaboration classes in grade 7 were also exciting with the reintroduction of BizWorld.  Students were able to explore the career world by applying for a job that fit his/her personality style.  Students then worked to incorporate, design a company with a product and create an advertising campaign.  Groups sold stock in the company to Dr. Forand and Mr. Perry to earn the start-up monies needed to run their business.  Thursday, October 29th all of the BizWorld teams were able to open their stores and sell their products.  In the end, World of Achievement and X Sell 6 won the competition for the “Most Profitable Student Business”.  Congratulations to all team members!  Gift cards will be given out to all winners on class day.


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