Friday, January 20, 2017

Day 85 - January Social Skills Lesson - Teaching Tolerance - Memorial School Guidance Counselors

Teaching Tolerance
It is OK to be different

We will be having discussions with each classroom about differences, diversity and what a community is. Students will learn how a diverse community makes our classroom stronger.  

Grades K-2:
We will be teaching about diversity. In each classroom, we will have a discussion about what it means to be different. We will also talk about communities and which communities we belong to. Students will learn that it is okay to be different because diversity can make our community stronger as we all come from different backgrounds. 

We will be reading the story "It's Okay to Be Different"

After the read aloud, students will participate in a movement activity called "The Warm Wind Blows". We will not only be learning about the differences that we can see with our eyes but we will also be focusing on differences we can't see. Students will learn how we can celebrate these differences in the classroom and at school. 

Some examples:
"The warm wind blows if you you have traveled to another country"
"The warm wind blows if you have a brother or a sister"
"The warm wind blows if you were born outside of Massachusetts"

Grades 3-5:

Students will learn about the terms diversity and community. We will discuss how diversity is important in a community. Students will share ways they are different from one another and how we can celebrate these differences in our school and classroom communities.  As a class, we will talk about how being a diverse community can make our classroom stronger.

Students will participate in a human scavenger hunt to learn more about their classmates and the diversity of their classroom community. The activity is called, "Find Someone Who...". Students will need to find someone in the room who applies to the question being asked. 

Some examples are:
Find someone who speaks more than one language.
Find someone who has a weekend tradition.
Find someone who has traveled to another country. 

Students will then share and discuss something they have learned about a classmate. We will end the lesson with a few final thoughts about how being different is okay and we will encourage students to celebrate the things that make them who they are! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Day 84 - Formulas, Formulas, Formulas - Mrs. Lynch - Francis Wyman Grade 5

This post first appeared on Mrs. Lynch's Blog

Formulas are


As we finished traditional division last week and explored spreadsheets, it seems time to consider the wide world of formulas. To calculate grades individually, we divided the points earned by the points possible. To calculate the average, we added up all of the scores and divided by the amount of tests. Where might you find other data to break down? Tell me a story with real data. Show me your formula to solve. You must have an even amount of data. Your question must end like this: What is the mean, median, mode and range? Is there an outlier? What is it? When calculating the mean and median, be sure to write out the formula equation.

I entered Mrs. Lynch's math class at the beginning of the year. So far we have had 6 math tests. I received these percentage grades. 95, 89, 72, 80, 65 and 91. What is the mean, median, mode and range? Is there an outlier? What is it? When calculating the mean and median, be sure to write out the formula equation.


Mean: 82%

95+89+72+80+65+91 = 82


(95+89+72+80+65+91)/6 = 82

Median: 84.5%

80+89 = 84.5


(80+89)/2 = 84.5

Mode: No data is repeated so there is no mode.

Range: 95-65=30

Outlier: 65 could be an outlier, but there isn't a great deal of data. It is the furthest removed from the rest of the data. And it is the only grade that is a D. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 83 - Mr. Marino’s Science Show Pilot - Dr. Conti - Superintendent of Schools

This post first appeared on Dr. Conti's Blog

Mr. Marino’s Science Show Pilot provides a glimpse into his middle school classroom.  What a great example of engaged learning.   Thank you Mr. Marino.

Our emphasis continues to be on creating engaging instruction across all levels of the district.  Mr. Marino’s efforts well represent the efforts of all of our talented teachers.  The planning and preparation of creating engaging lessons and opportunities for personalized learning can often go unrecognized.  In other words, like all talented professionals, our teachers make this work seem effortless.
A teacher’s time with students is only a small part of the job.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Day 82 - Students Doing Their Best on the Test! - Memorial ELL Staff

This post first appeared on the Memorial School ELL Blog

We hope 2017 is off to a great start! Students continue to impress us with their hard work. In December, Kindergarten students learned about sea creatures and their features. Meanwhile, students in the upper grades studied various holidays around the world.

This month, all students will be taking the ACCESS test which measures their English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing. We have been so proud of students who have already completed the assessment and look forward to having more students "show what they know" later this month.

Here are some pictures of students' recent activities.

4th grader Yali presenting to his class about Hanukkah. 
3rd grader  Aron building a circuit and explaining the steps. 

2nd graders learning about Kwanzaa 
2nd grader Julia demonstrating how to edit sentences. 
2nd graders writing facts about the holidays. 

K students writing on display

Friday, January 13, 2017

Day 81 - Burlington's Augmented Reality Sandbox - Eddie Reis and Jinzhen Hu - BHS Help Desk

One of our major projects this year is our Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox. Sean Musselman from the Burlington Science Center secured a grant from the Burlington Education Foundation to create this sandbox which changes topography based on movements in the sand from the user. Eddie Reis and Jinzhen Hu (Hugo) worked very hard on it this semester, and we now have a working prototype. The next steps will involve building the actual box and apparatus to hold the computer, projector, and XBox Kinect camera.


The Augmented Reality Sandbox was first developed by the UC Davis W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES,, supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL 1114663.
For more information, visit

  • Augmented Reality alters the way we see things in real life
  • Virtual Reality creates a virtual space in which we see things
  • How is this AR? Well, it creates a topographic map on sand altering our interpretation of the sand and the way we see it.


First, we have the computer (AKA the brains). It houses everything needed to operate the sandbox at the software level and also is the power behind it all allowing us to create these alterations on the map as it happens REAL TIME. The Kinect you see has a depth camera which allows it to use lasers to tell how far or how close something is to the sensor. This allows for measurements of the sand and its height in real time. Next, we have the projector which allows you to see how the computer and code analyze the depth from the Kinect into a topographic map. It just projects what is happening on the computer and just visually represents the map. Using depth, the computer program analyzes heights and draws a map based on the height, at a certain level it will become a hill or mountain, and at certain levels it becomes water.


Well, this is going to be sent out to elementary schools as a visual representation of a changing world and an easy way to learn about maps and geography. When water simulation (running water) is added it will allow users to “make it rain” and will show the way water moves due to gravity and will also show evaporation!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Day 80 - Fox Hill 1st Grade Book Reviews - Patrick Murphy - Fox Hill Teacher Librarian

This week in 1st grade we are continuing our book reviews! Students are free to choose any book they like that interests them, fiction or non-fiction. The only stipulation is it must be a just right book at their level that they can read on their own so they can put what they have learned or what interests them into their own words. After they have read the book, they first write their review on paper. I work with the first grade teachers to help the students construct their sentences and to help with spelling and grammar. After completing their draft on paper, students then use the Book Creator app on their iPad to type their review into a text box. Once they’ve completed their typing it’s time to get creative! Students are free to design their own page, choose their background, text, fonts, colors, and create a layout that they like. As a finishing touch, each student asks a friend in class to take their picture with their book to include on their page. This project is a favorite as it includes literacy, reflecting, writing, student choice, typing, information literacy, iPad skills, layout and design skills, and photography skills. Throughout the project, students share with their classmates how they creating their page, how to choose different colors, fonts, text sizes, and how to move things around on the page. Best of all the kids have a blast using Book Creator to show off what they’ve learned!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Day 79 - Light Work - Lauren Kippenberger - Memorial School Grade 3

Today we continued to learn and discover about light. Students were given a group of objects. Their science task was to determine if the objects were translucent, transparent, or opaque. The object that surprised them the most was the duct tape! Did you know that it is translucent?