Friday, September 22, 2017

Day 14 - Scavenger Hunts to Introduce Resources & Skills - Mrs. Graham - BHS Teacher/Librarian

Scavenger hunts can be a fun, engaging way for students and faculty to collaborate while exploring crucial research resources and skills.
Pictured below, Mrs. MacKay’s freshmen English classes engaged in a scavenger hunt that served as a basic introduction to the library. The goal was for them to explore and get familiar with the print and non-print resources available so that they can make use of these tools in the future. Working in teams, they used iPads to take pictures of the items found throughout the library and online as evidence of their successfully navigating the resources.
Mr. Parkin’s freshmen history classes, also pictured, engaged in an investigative scavenger hunt as well, working on developing the historical thinking skill of sourcing. Students learned how to conduct research and cite print and non-print sources on the “Dawn of the American Revolution.” Their overall focus was aimed at exploring sources that display “revolutionary ideals.” They were also tasked with evaluating those sources.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Day 13 - BPS Is New Home For Endangered Massachusetts Snake - Burlington Science Center

Introducing the Science Center’s new black rat snake named “Salem.”  Black rat snakes are Massachusetts largest snake.  They are listed as endangered in MA, but are very common in other areas of the United States.  Salem’s owner had passed away, he was found on the property and then given to a local rescue (Rainforest Reptiles Shows Oasis).  Our elder black rat snake passed away this summer and we are pleased to raise a new one and give it a home teaching students in Burlington.  Pictured below is high school student Sam Nicoloro giving Salem some handling time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Day 12 - Room 209 News - Mrs. O'Neill - Francis Wyman Grade 3

This post first appeared on Mrs. O'Neill's Blog

Off to a Great Start!

Our first two weeks in 3rd grade have been very busy! We have been getting to know each other, learning the routines and expectations, and discussing our hopes and dreams for this year. We are learning all about the history of Burlington and can't wait for the field trip to visit some historical landmarks. In math, we began our first topic "Understanding multiplication and division." 

Our first day! Hooray!

Classmate Scavenger Hunt
"Do you speak more than one language?"

"Did you travel to another state over the summer?"

Reading letters from last year's 3rd graders

Layla - 209's newest friend!

Mr. Samulak introducing violin lessons for third
graders. Lessons begin Sept. 26th. Sign up at
Finding our street on maps of Burlington

"Here's my street!" 

Making multiplication equations
We used repeated addition and counters
 to represent multiplication.

"Four groups of three shows 4 x 3 = 12"

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Day 11 - An Exciting Start to the New School Year! - Mr. Norman - Fox Hill Grade 5

This post first appeared on Mr. Norman's Blog

With only two weeks of school completed it's hard to believe how much we have already accomplished.  A week ago the fifth grade had a "Friendship Friday".  During the afternoon, children from Mrs. Lee's, Jaffe's, Norman's, and Raymond's classes worked together to design posters that demonstrated their understanding of friendship.  They shared these posters at our recent school assembly on Belonging.  The children have also worked together to create and draft a 5th Grade Classroom Constitution that has been signed and hung on each teacher's door.  Below are a few pictures of children working together on Friendship Friday and sharing their visions of friendship.

In terms of academics, we have now officially begun our enVision math program.  We are studying place value from the billions through the thousandths. In class, we are using manipulatives (base ten blocks)  and visual aids (place value charts) to make place value concepts clearer.  Below is a photo of the children engaged in a place value game.  The objective of the game is to say and write the numbers formed by the placement of the markers on the charts.  The student with the largest number after each of their markers has been placed is the winner!

In science, we are hard at work observing.  Children are observing details in shells and leaves using magnifying lenses.  They are sketching and writing what they observe.

In language arts, we are writing about our Hopes and Dreams for the new school year.  We are learning and applying the strategies required to be an active reader.

I've enjoyed meeting homeroom parents at our Back to School Conferences.  I look forward to our year together.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Day 10 - Meet the 2017-2018 First Semester Staff! - BHS Student Help Desk

This post originally appeared on the BHS Help Desk Blog

Final Collage 2017-18 S1
Top left photo, 7th per. class from left to right: Mike, Cam, Roby, Paul, Kobe, Mel, Erin, Kristina. Bottom left: Sean, Shawn, Tyler. Right panel, from left to right: Ben, Cam, Dakotah, Erin, Jared, Mike, Moses, Nirmal, Roby
I hope everyone had a great summer and a great first two weeks of school. We’ve had a busy couple of weeks at the Help Desk, and I’m very excited to introduce my first semester group of Help Desk students. Charlie Paras is a late addition to the class, and I will add his bio shortly. Our returning students this semester are Bilal Afzal, Paul Barbieri, Akash Kunchum, Brendan Lucas, Vibi Wigneswaram, and Dan Xue. There are a variety of things we’ll be working on this year including helping the freshmen class and some staff members with Chromebooks, as well as working on various tutorials and projects for the school. The students who have been working on gaming will continue their work this year, and we are always looking for guest speakers who can give us some advice and guidance on anything technology-related. We’re looking forward to a great semester and year!
My name is Bilal Afzal. I am a senior and I wanted to join the Help Desk because I share an interest in technology and science. I know that by working at the Help Desk I will be helping out students and teachers with technology-related issues and helping them understand and use it to their advantage. This brings me to what I aspire to become which is a doctor. Since I was kid I knew that by being a doctor I will be able to help other people who have life-threatening or even simple problems. Some of my interests are drawing, reading, Star Wars, science, and a little philosophy. I also enjoy learning about technology and hope to learn more by working with other people and expand my knowledge.

Hello, my name is Paul Barbieri. I am currently a senior here at Burlington High School. What really interests me is sports. I play hockey and am a captain for the varsity team and love being on a team with all of my close friends. I decided to join Help Desk because I really do not work well with technology and I really hope to change that and be able to help you with your technology problems. After high school I will most likely join the military. However, after the military, I hope to become a state police officer here in Massachusetts. Also, I play lacrosse, I play more for fun so I was on the JV lacrosse team here at Burlington High school. Lastly, I was in journalism since freshman year however just recently dropped it. I find helping people out is very enjoyable and journalism and Help Desk both allow me to do that, by helping people with their technology problems and by spreading recent news in the newspaper here at Burlington HIgh School. I can’t wait for a fun semester ahead!

Hello, my name is Roby Castelluccio and I am a junior. This is my first year on Help Desk. A few of my interests are basketball and soccer which I play varsity for both and have played them ever since I was young. Other than sports, I have had some experience working more hands-on with landscaping and the restaurant business. I have had some experience with the restaurant technology playing around and getting comfortable with the software we used to use. The reason I decided to join Help Desk was so I could help others and become more comfortable with the technology, especially with the new addition of Chromebooks to the freshman class which could help me in the future. My career interests would be to become an electrician or an entrepreneur focusing more on the business side of things. Technology is pretty much used in most jobs today and with my interested in careers, specifically becoming an entrepreneur, it requires technology. Some examples are creating websites, blogs… etc., so I'm hoping to learn more about technology and software so that it can help me out in the future. I am looking forward to this class and learning new things.

My name is Tyler Chaires. I am a junior here at Burlington High School. I have always had an interest in technology and thought that since technology is easy for me to learn, I would work hard to help with issues with technology this semester. I am really interested in sports and esports. My hobbies include playing Xbox with friends and watching YouTube or staying home with the family to watch the Patriots game. I decided to be in the Help Desk because I have had many problems with my iPad and want to be able to resolve them not just for myself but other people as well.

Hi, my name is Michael Hardy and I am a senior at Burlington High school. This is my first year in help desk. I joined help desk to help further my knowledge of technology in general. Technology is constantly being used In today’s world and I hope to learn more about it as to not fall behind and be able to use technology more proactively myself. I know a good amount of tips and tricks for iPad problems and I am looking forward to helping students and teachers with any problems they may be having with their personal devices. I’m looking to go into a career in some form of Marketing. Some of the classes I have taken that I think will apply to help desk and my future career paths are Introduction to Business, Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Introduction to Marketing, public speaking, and introduction to computer science. I am currently on the varsity soccer team and I am also a member of the student environmental action club.

Hello, my name is Ben Horgan, and I am a senior at BHS. I have a strong interest in computer programming, and I have taken multiple computer science courses, both at BHS and at outside programs. I am leaning toward the field of artificial intelligence for a future career. I joined the Help Desk to work on a two-dimensional game I am making with my friends, for which I am doing the majority of the programming. For me, being a part of the Help Desk is a chance to showcase my skills and experience in computer science. It is also a great opportunity to help other students with technological issues, which may be prevalent with the recent introduction of Chromebooks to BHS. As for my other interests, I am the president of the Student Council Executive Board, Secretary of National Honor Society, and a captain of the math league. I also am in the play and musical, and outside of school, I am the guitarist in a band. I look forward to my semester at BHS Help Desk.

Hi, my name is Moses Kisakye, and I am a junior at Burlington High School., I am interested in playing video games like NBA 2K, Black Ops, and also watch NBA mixtapes on YouTube. My decision to join Help Desk is because most of the people in BHS including me have problems fixing their iPad due to all the new updates, wifi problems, and have iPad setting problems. I feel like I can do something about it and know what the problem is. My career interest is to become a doctor and help people with diseases worldwide which is connected to the Help Desk where you help people with these needs. Not only am I interested in computers and my career, but I also have fun playing sports.  For example, soccer and basketball are the sports that I also play in school that keep me interested and happy.

Hello, my name is Akash Kunchum, and I am a senior at BHS. I am interested in anything relating to technology, specifically computer engineering and video games. I decided to join the BHS Help Desk because aside from programming classes, there aren’t many other areas at BHS available for those who want to utilize and develop their skills in technology. I knew that by joining the Help Desk, I could do many things relating to my interests and help other people in the process. At the Help Desk, I hope to help improve the technological aspect of the school, either by assisting with problems involving technology or by solving the issues of other students who are looking for advice. In the future, my optimal career choice would be a video game designer, because I think that the video gaming industry is growing faster than most other industries out there, and I have a passion for playing and creating games. Aside from any technology-related information about myself, I also have a second-degree black belt in Kempo, Ju-Jitsu, and other mixed martial arts, and I have been practicing karate for seven years now. I look forward to a great second semester at the BHS Help Desk!

I am Brendan Lucas, a senior at Burlington High School, and I joined the BHS Help Desk because I am interested in technology and there is much I can learn from the Help Desk; I also know that in the Help Desk I can assist students and teachers with any problems they bring to us. I have experience with building computers and some experience with Java programming. I also have a lot of experience with Windows and related software. I have been interested in technology since a very young age. I have been on the swim team for two years and have played piano on and off since elementary school. My favorite kind of music to play or listen to is usually soundtracks from movies, shows and video games. I have always been very interested in philosophy but have become more recently interested in science and politics. I spend a lot of time coming up with theories or explanations for things, so I want to study science in college (probably chemistry) and do research as a career.

My name is Erin Morris and I am a senior at Burlington High School. I am in Spanish Club and Best Buddies. I decided to join Help Desk because it is a very good skill to have for jobs and in the real world. Joining Help Desk will further educate me and allows me to experience different things every day. Learning more about technology and helping people with their devices is a good skill. Technology is changing and improving all the time and it is interesting to see the improvements and new things every day. For my career, I am going back and forth with majoring in business and health sciences. Both of these majors require the use of technology, and being in Help Desk can help me improve my technology skills and help others with their device issues. Whichever career path I take, my tech skills will be very beneficial. I enjoy working with others and helping others so it will be nice to help people with issues on the devices in school.

My name is Nirmal Patel and I am a senior at BHS. I am interested in the Help Desk because I enjoy working with technology and doing various things like programming and building. I also want to contribute in supporting the school technology and be able to come up with ideas so it can be used by the school. I have also been involved in sports such as Football and Track & Field. My career interests lean towards more of an engineering or a computer science major. With this class, I hope to step outside of the classroom atmosphere and pursue my passion or imagination to create things that I would be interested in making. I look forward to being a part of help desk and learning more about technology.

Hey guys! My name is Dakota Scalzi and I'm a senior here at Burlington High School. I currently play varsity soccer and I used to play junior varsity hockey back at my old high school in Cambridge. Personally, I love video games and I hope to pursue a career in writing/ programming video games. And the reason why I chose help desk is so that I can get the necessary learning experience in creating a video game, and learning how our everyday devices work. I hope I can push my technology skills to the limit and create something very unique.

Hi, my name is Shawn Scott. I’m currently a Freshman. As a new member of the help desk, I hope that I’ll be able to help anyone that needs it using my self-taught skills from my experience with tech. Some of my favorite hobbies are soccer, gaming, music, and watching the heated debates in the U.S.’s politics. The reason I joined the help desk is that I’m pretty confident when it comes to computers, Chromebooks, and iPads/iPhones. Also, another reason I joined help desk is that usually if my friend need help with tech they’ll ask me, so I’ll be pretty good with another student comes in for help. Some careers I’d like to have a job are being a policeman, firefighter, security guard, or designing video games, independently or with a big-time studio. Other than tech related thing something else you should know about he is that love pets, mostly dogs.

My name is Jared Smith, and I am currently a senior and first-year helpdesk student here at Burlington High School. My interests include various sports and outdoor activities. I play hockey and baseball here at BHS. I have always had a small interest in technology, and how it works, (not just having the newest iPhone). I decided to join Help Desk because of what sort of started as a joke. For a couple of years now, my family has always asked me for help when they had a tech problem. I began to learn the ins and outs of different operating systems and the probable fixes to problems. I figured that I know enough to help the students of BHS with their technology needs. As for career plans, I plan to go to college after high school to study criminal justice. From there I hope to become a police officer, to continue to help people which I have always been passionate in doing. Some more interesting things about myself are that I have been interested in graphic design, using programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Hello, my name is Sean Surabian, and I am a senior at Burlington High School. My interests include computer science and sports. I am a close follower of the professional sports world especially the four major leagues in the United States. The league that I like the most is the NHL because I play hockey and it is the only sport that I play currently. Hockey was the first sport that I tried and it has always been my favorite. I decided to join the Help Desk because I wanted to help the students at Burlington High School who were struggling with their technology, while also improving my knowledge of technology. Another reason why I joined help desk was because I thought it would be a good idea to learn things that you would not learn in a programming class about technology. I am thinking about studying in the computer science field in college. An interesting fact about myself is that I used to box in seventh grade. Another interesting fact about myself is that I enjoy scary movies.

My name is Cameron Wheelock. I am a junior at Burlington High School in the Help Desk. Although I am not sure what I want to do for my career outside of high school, I joined the Help Desk to try and see if I am up for any technological studies. I have always been into computers and laptops and other relatively new devices but I am not quite sure if I should go all the way with this. I play football, baseball, and run track for Burlington High sports teams. I do hope that my problem solving, experience, and effort can address and fix any problems you may have.

Hello, my name is Vibishan Wigneswaranand I am a senior at Burlington High School. Some of my hobbies consist of playing tennis, gymnastics, and PC building among other things. My incentive for joining Help Desk is the technological opportunities that it supports. Help Desk assists students in the production of team projects and other opportunities that are valuable after high school and beyond. Help Desk is valuable in its relation to my potential career choices. Currently, I am inclined to pursue a career in engineering. Some interesting facts about me are that I have Canadian citizenship and play the euphonium and flute.

Hello, my name is Dan Xue, and I’m a senior in the Burlington High School. As a newcomer to Help Desk, I hope to become a valuable asset to the class through assisting students and teachers in their technological needs using my own experience. My interests include computer building, programming, graphical design, music, and swimming. I also closely follow politics, with a deep interest in modern world history. Aside from fixing problems with iPads, Chromebooks, and other various devices, I became a member of Help Desk in order to work in a personal development group, Cosmic Productions. Our current project involves using Java, Photoshop, and Sibelius, along with other integrative programs, to create and market a video game over platforms on both PC and console. I also hope to utilize the resources at BHS to create many more projects and activities and enhance the school’s relationship with technology. My career goal is to become an aerospace engineer, with a major in physics and engineering branches. If any teacher or student has questions about their devices, programs, or general tech, feel free to ask.

Pictures to follow:
Kobe Russell
My name is Kobe Russell and I am a senior at Burlington high school. I decided to join Help Desk so I can help students and teachers with any problems they have with their devices and to expand my knowledge and ability to troubleshoot problems. Some of my interests include running, engineering, working with technology and problem-solving. Another reason I joined Help Desk is that I generally enjoy working with technology and helping people solve problems. After high school, I am looking to go to college to study architecture and engineering and eventually become a licensed architect.

Kristina Costa
Hi, my name is Kristina Costa and I am currently a senior at Burlington High School. I am interested in many different things. With technology, I am interested in how things work and how I can help fix them if they are working correctly. Other than technology, I am interested in sports such as lacrosse, baseball, and hockey. My favorite sports team is the Boston Red Sox and my favorite player is Andrew Benintendi. Outside of school, I have a passion for baking. When I finish my senior year of high school at Burlington, I am hoping to go to school for culinary, specifically, baking and pastry arts. After college, I am hoping to eventually own a bakery of my own in the Boston area. Something interesting about me is that I have been going to New Hampshire every summer since I was born. Ever since my 23-year-old brother was a baby, my parents have been taking him to our summer home in New Hampshire. Freedom, New Hampshire has always been my home away from home.

Bio to follow:
Charlie Parras

Friday, September 15, 2017

Day 9 - A Few Observations and Photos After Our First Couple of Days - Mrs. Hoyt - Pine Glen Kindergarten

The start of the school year can be very busy, tiring and a bit overwhelming. Everyone is doing quite well.  That said, we would like to share a couple of observations and thoughts to help the positive energy continue.

1- Eat a big breakfast.  It may be difficult but we do encourage you to get a good meal into your children in the morning.Even after our morning snack, some students say they are hungry. PLEASE BE SURE TO PACK YOUR CHILD"S SNACK IN A SEPARATE BAG and PLEASE SEND IN A WATER BOTTLE.  
We eat lunch at 11:00 am.  They are all quite hungry again by the time we go to the cafeteria. Please be sure to send plenty to eat at lunch time!

2- Pack an extra water.  There is a water fountain down the hall from our classroom but it is not conveniently located for a quick drink.  At times we are quite thirsty.  If students had a water bottle from home in their back pack they could have a quick sip at the ready.

3- Rest, rest, rest - We are quite busy the entire time we are at school.  The children have done well thus far but we are noticing that many are tired (especially during the last hour).  Tuesday we had a couple friends ready to put their heads down for a little rest!  The second half of the week will be a little more challenging for all in terms of stamina and staying focused for a school day.  If possible, we recommend tucking everyone into bed a little earlier the next few nights.

Note:  All these recommendations apply to the teachers as well.  We are trying to eat a healthy breakfast to give us the energy to work through the morning.  We are packing lots of water bottles to have on hand and we are certainly trying to get to bed early!

Friends have to work together to make the friendship machine work!  Pine Glen's substitute teachers, Ms. Tully and Ms. DeMarzo are some of our new friends.  They joined us during morning meeting!

Faces lit up when the energy of their connections made the friendship machine light up!

We made connections while making connections!!

Friends were eager to get busy making puppets so we can recreate the story of the Three Little Pigs!

Many also enjoyed the flexible seating option of the standing table when they worked on illustrating the nursery rhyme about Peter, Peter.