We have had a busy week since our first day of school team building activities commenced on Tuesday! On Wednesday, Students had the opportunity to preview their seminars which include Contemporary Dance, Ensemble, Visual Narratives, Discovering STEM, and Playwriting. These previews gave students a hands on glimpse into what the course might be like so that they could make an informed choice about which seminar fits their interests best for this semester. Students also participated in their first Town Hall, a time each Wednesday where the whole school gathers to discuss school culture, build community, and showcase their work. During the first town hall, each advisory shared a vision of what they would like town hall to be like and the expectations they had for their peers to follow in order to make town hall an engaging space for all.
Thursday morning students went to each of their Academic Classes to participate in a disciplinary activity around each subject area. In math class, students investigated a problem solving number investigation where they realized the importance of “teamwork”, “perseverance”, “open mindedness”, and “patience” in order to become a successful mathematician. In Spanish, students identified all of the Spanish speaking countries and discussed how learning a language is more than just the language itself; it includes learning about the cultures of the people who speak the language.
In the afternoon Thursday and Friday, middle school students along with our high school students entered the “Maker Time” of their choice. “Maker Time” is a time for students to begin investigating an art form by engaging in the creative process in that discipline. In Music Maker Time, students formed connections by creating beats incorporating the syllables in their group members names. On Friday, they chose a product to create a song/beat to advertise for. Also seen throughout the school were dancers creating movement pieces by connecting each individual’s movements, artists recycling things found at the park to create art, as well as engineers and dramatists.
On Friday morning, students went off to different locations to provide service to the community. Some of the locations students went off to include Meals on Wheels, the Senior Center, as well as beach clean up. Students helped retrieve produce, participated in a senior dance class, as well as made our beaches cleaner for the public. While students recognized that a lot of the work they were doing was hard work, they reflected that it was purposeful and that they would hope that if they needed help sometime in the future, others in the community would step up and help them in the same way.
After all of the activities that occurred throughout the week, we hope that our students have a better grasp what type of school culture and community we strive to create at Étude Middle School. It has been a great experience welcoming many new students into our school community for the 18-19 school year. We have already enjoyed watching the positive impact these students have had on Étude Middle School and are excited to see what is in store for the rest of the year.