Mead Students Win Top Awards in 2014 Literary Competition
It was another banner year for our 3rd-8th Grade students as the winners were announced yesterday in the Annual Stamford Literary Competition. The competition is sponsored by The Ferguson Library and is open to all Stamford school children in 3rd-12th grades. Prizes were awarded to 13 of our students in the following categories:
Fiction Third Prize: Luke Nelson - Football with Russell
Non-Fiction Honorable Mention: Jake Garber - Marvels
Poetry First Prize: Jake Garber - Blue Violets
Poetry Second Prize: Ezra Perelman - What I Want
Poetry Third Prize: Spencer Hickok - Roses
Poetry Honorable Mention: Ian Kalman - Dear Tyler
Fiction Second Prize: Michael Perry - The Cursed Bottle
Non-Fiction Second Prize: Leo Saperstein - Off to the Championship and Won!
Poetry First Prize: Ellie Kalman - The Gift
Poetry First Prize: Mark Attar - Dead TreeGrade 7-8
Fiction Third Prize: Tena-Lesly Reid - Flake
Poetry First Prize: Chloe Goldstein - Not Once a Care
Poetry Third Prize: Maddie Harris - 1930’s
Recognition and awards for this wonderful honor will be held at a public ceremony later in the month. Congratulations to our winners!
Students Skype with Author Deborah Wiles
Joy Lenters' 7th & 8th grade LA students have been tackling some exciting and interesting literature this year. To supplement the books and enhance the learning, Joy has tapped into Skype interview opportunities with the authors of the books she has chosen for her curriculum. Newer writers, younger writers, writers interested in education as well as promotion, create websites that help inform their readers of their writing. Some of them offer educational resources, interesting videos, and other background connected to their book.
"As a teacher, I am attracted to these writers because they help me teach their book. I am also attracted to their websites because they are an opportunity to teach some media literacy as in how to use a website purposefully and intelligently," said Joy.
When she taught House at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet last year, it was a new book by a new writer that provided a story that worked for the LA/Social Studies linked curriculum on The Immigrant Experience for that year. Author Jamie Ford's website was excellent, and he listed a way to contact him, so she did. He offered Skyping as a way for the students to have a dialogue with him and they took advantage of that opportunity.
Joy is interested in students learning, at this stage of their development as readers, how to read like a writer, meaning learning how to read and question the choices the writer has made with literary devices chosen, and to deconstruct the language of the book. That makes communicating with the writer a huge benefit. Students formulate questions for the writer about his/her writing process as well as questions about decisions the writer made in his/her book and why. Dangling a Skype interview in front of these students gives them huge motivation.
For the current semester, Joy chose Countdown by Deborah Wiles for the 7th graders because the Social Studies curriculum this year is The American Revolution Experiment, and this book is about the Fall of 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
"It's also an unusual book - it's a documentary novel, which I hoped would grab their attention in the middle of winter duldrums. Deborah, unlike the previous two writers who skyped with us last year, is a professional artist in residence who works regularly with young people in schools," Joy related.
7th grade students had an enthusiastic and interesting Skype interview with Ms. Wiles on Wednesday in the South Pod Library with questions they prepared in advance which focused on the writing of the book and the students' experience reading it. Topics included reading like a writer, learning to identify and analyze decisions authors make and why they make them as well as deconstructing the story.
Staff vs. Students Basketball Game
The Mead School Staff & Grades 6-7 Basketball Team joined together today for an action-packed game marking the traditional end to basketball season. Both sides were upbeat and excited for this annual event and the lively game was punctuated with appearances by special guests and good fun. Sarah Logan and Kobi Forer coached the students, Karen Biddulph led the staff and Rick Woodman refereed. The game was fast-paced and very close with the students winning 38 to 37 in overtime!