West Brook Middle School
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Six female students smile and pose together

School News

At West Brook, we appreciate our involved parents and community members. We also enjoy broadcasting our latest news and information here on our News page, where we will chronicle school activities and student achievements and publish announcements. We’ll also offer helpful resources and information. So check back often; we’ll update it regularly.

We Are the Music Makers!

During distance learning at home, West Brook music students have been very busy! Because we haven’t been able to make music together in Ms. Dugan's classroom, her students have been busy creating music or listening and analyzing music at home. The 5th grade students wrote music at home, labeled it with rhythmic syllables, and then submitted a picture and an audio recording of a performance of their composition. Students have also been composing on Soundtrap which we have access to through our digital music platform, Music First. 

Classes have followed her ScreenCastify videos and audio tutorials to complete a series of tasks in order to create a full and flowing digital music composition. This interactive lesson shows the students how to navigate through SoundTrap and use all of the fun features inside of the program. Below is a student composition in progress. The different colors on the screen represent the different instruments, beats, and microphone sounds mixed and recorded by students as if they were in a real studio! Next, students will utilize the volume controls and effects within the program to balance the sound and add some unique touches that we hear in the music we listen to in our everyday lives. During this process, students are practicing, composing, listening and reflecting, and responding to what they are creating and in turn, they are learning and growing!

music notes and lyricsmusic graph
Have You Seen Me?
Have you seen me flyer

In the assignment, “Have You Seen Me?,” students researched an animal that had gone extinct some time in Earth’s history and create a “Wanted” poster for that animal. Students used a research outline to guide them to find specific and accurate information. With the research outline, they were able to complete the “Wanted” poster template of their animal, showcasing information about when the animal went extinct, what to feed the animal if found, important fact about the animal, and more!

With all the information ready to go, students had one last task to draw their animal. There are a lot of talented artists in the 8th grade, and it is alway a pleasure to showcase their work. Students took a picture of their drawing with their devices and uploaded it to the poster template. Here are some awesome examples of student work! 

History of the Earth
History of the Earth flyer

Ms. Becker's 8th graders kicked off our distance learning by starting our History of the Earth unit! We dove into geologic time, looking at the different eons, eras, and periods, and what major events impacted the Earth and life on it.

Students have used various digital tools so far during distance learning! Our main platform of communication has been through Google Classroom, but we have also explored other resources, such as EDpuzzle, interactive websites, informational videos, articles, and Google docs and slides, to expand on these new and exciting topics. 

Future of Distance Learning: We will be continuing our study of the history of the earth by exploring the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics! With the help of online interactives, demonstrations, videos, and labs, we will be able to have a better understanding of these topics while working from home. Afterwards, we will learn about the theory of evolution and how organisms have adapted and changed over time. 

Virtual Field Trips
View more photos of virtual field trips

Fifth-grade students in Mrs. Boehm’s science classes have enjoyed virtual field trip Fridays! With the support of so many wonderful institutions around our country, our students have been able to take virtual field trips each Friday. Our first field trip involved visit to the San Diego Zoo to check out the live webcams of animals such as baboons, penguins, polar bears, owls, tigers, and elephants. Students also read stories about different animals’ adaptations, prey, predators, and habitats. Students shared what they learned on a Padlet, a virtual cork board where they could share information and pictures with each other!

Our second field trip was to the Georgia Aquarium! It was incredible to watch live cams of the Indio-Pacific Barrier Reef, piranhas, puffins, beluga whales, and more! After exploring the live exhibits, students learned about different species’ physical characteristics, diets, and habitats. We even discovered ways that humans are conserving these habitats in the wild! Students were able to learn from each other in another Padlet that highlighted what each student learned about the different species.

Distance Learning Information Center

We strongly encourage you to check out the comprehensive website developed in response to the current public health emergency. It includes updates from the district, our distance learning plan, and specific resources for community concerns.

Our teachers' folders are found under the Distance Learning Plan heading (left side). Select your child's school, then his/her teacher's name.

The heading Frequently Asked Questions provides important information about how to help your children complete assignments and communicate with their teachers.

Tanka Poetry

View more photos of Tanka poetry projectsStudents in Mrs. Burke and Mrs. D'Ambrosio's social studies classes are studying Japanese culture. They learned about Haiku and Tanka poetry from the Heian period. Students wrote their own Tanka poetry and created hand-painted watercolor pictures to reflect nature.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Skills

Planning, designing, and building bridges is an engaging way to strengthen STEM skills. With just a few simple supplies, our 5th grade students designed their own structures. Great job, West Brook STEM students!

View more photos of our STEM Skills bridge projects
Weather Proofing

Mrs. Otterstedt's 7th grade classes are building tornado-proof and hurricane-proof homes. We will test if the houses will survive the storms winds, rain, flooding, and hail. Hurricane Sandy and recent tornadoes in the south served as inspiration for the students models.

View more photos of our weather proofing