18 Jun

Grade 8 Updates

From Mr. Aitkin: Our 8th graders are wrapping up an exciting year of growth, leadership, fun and of course learning!  I think back to our SEEK trips in September and just how far this group has come.  Whether through their tremendous commitment to committees, events, PBLs, field trips or just their everyday routines, the class of 2022 has truly excelled when it comes to setting the right tone for our Middle School.  We celebrated together at field day with the entire middle school, but I really enjoyed our day together on Wednesday where we had several fun grade activities planned.  It was the last time we were together in that grouping, before they move on to the Upper School.  This year will be an especially hard one for me as I wrestle with saying goodbye to this terrific group but I am comforted knowing they will go on to do great things and they will make our entire school community stronger. I can say with confidence that the class of 2022 is ready for the Upper School and I wish them the best of luck!

The 8th grade is finishing the year in grand style and preparing to move on to the Upper School.  Math and Science classes met in the STEM building for the annual viewing of the SciTube presentations, and in addition to showcasing their experiments, students fielded questions from peers and members of the Science department. In history class students continue to work on Holocaust and Civil Rights projects. These units are meant to define the difference between a bystander and an upstander with the hope students will one day feel emboldened to participate in our democracy. Finally, in English, students are finishing Romeo Juliet by exploring who or what is really to blame for the deaths of the two young protagonists. Overall, this year’s 8th grade has been eager to learn and willing to work. Their teachers will miss them as a group and wish them the best of luck in the years ahead.

18 Jun

Grade 7 Updates

From Ms. Traub: The start of this this year was very exciting with 21 new students joining the D-E 7th grade. From Orientation week to our overnight on Shelter Island, the students made new friends and learned the stories of each other. Participating in the Water PBL, simulating Refugees spread out across campus, acting out A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and completing many other projects, the students were challenged to use their research and collaborative skills, creativity and perseverance, to solve real world problems. With their many talents in and out of the classroom, the class of 2023 is ready to be the leaders of the Middle School next year.

The seventh grade is quickly coming to a close. Students in English spent the last weeks rehearsing scenes from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and successfully performed for the seventh grade Thursday. Social studies classes completed writing and illustrating their refugee books and read them to the DE 3rd graders. Next, students will create a video of themselves reading their book and reflecting on the project, and a small group of students will read and discuss their books with a local school. The science students are putting their STEM skills to the test using recently mastered experimental design skills to create paper airplanes.  Students tested paper type this week, next week they will test shape.  Advanced math played a lively round of KAHOOT to wrap up the year.  The competition in problem solving was fierce.  Mr. Jung’s CP classes held their UNICEF festival Tuesday, it was a great success.  The Hyper classes demonstrated coding during the activity.  The festival raised a good amount of money to help refugee children.

18 Jun

Grade 6 Updates

From Ms. Urbanowski: What a tremendous year of growth it has been for the class of 2024. Beginning middle school is a significant event in our children’s lives.  When they enter 6th grade, they step over the threshold of a time and place where they will develop their identities and independence, take on the social and organizational challenges of a larger world, and experience an environment of intellectual and creative opportunities arranged on a steady incline toward the high school construct.  Your children have taken all this on with a sense of possibility and purpose — from “flipping the mat” at the overnight trip to “the beast” on the penultimate day of school, they have worked to communicate and collaborate well, building teamwork and group skills.  They have wrestled successfully with the logistical and intellectual challenges of open-ended and long-term projects from Egypt Day to the Experimental Design Fair and the earthship challenge, have mastered any nervousness with their many oral presentations, have figured out systems for managing homework, materials and complex schedules, and have built academic skills across the curriculum.  In short, they have made a success of it all!  It has been such a pleasure to work alongside them, to watch them all grow this year, and to see how they have embraced the launch of their middle school years.  I can’t wait to see what they will do in 7th grade.

As your children ramp up to return to school in the fall, finish their required summer reading and math assignments (see the summer mailing for details), please remind them to prepare their Levenger and ipads for another year by cleaning them out, removing links, apps and shortcuts not related to school, and freeing up memory by erasing non-school videos and pictures.  In the meanwhile, I wish them all, and you, a happy summer of diverse experiences to complement all the work of this past wonderful academic year.

The sixth graders have been very busy wrapping up the end of the year. An important culminating experience took place on May 23, when the 6th Graders presented their Experimental Design Projects to a public audience that included parents, students, and faculty. Students really enjoyed presenting their findings! This was one the capstone experiences for the 6th graders that encompasses what they have learned throughout the year in science.

In math 6, students been hard at work on an algebra unit about operations on integers. They have worked with prime numbers and prime factors, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing integers, and following order of operations. In advanced math 6, students have completed a geometry unit where they found unknown angles in problems which involve triangles and/or quadrilaterals. Students have also continued their algebra work focusing on polynomials. Finally, in hyper math 6, students are finishing up our work on quadratic equations and graphing quadratic functions. The class presented a project that they have “completed” at the MS STEM Extravaganza.

In English, students wrapped up the unit on Lions of Little Rock. Last Tuesday, each English class interviewed the author of the book, Kristen Levine, over Skype. Students enjoyed finding out more about her life, what inspired her to write the novel, and why she thinks historical fiction is so important. Then, students spent the last week working on a cumulative project. Projects include pretend social media accounts for the characters we’ve met this year, soundtracks for the novels we’ve read, and maps of the communities in the books. The students also conferenced with Mrs. Macone about their essay.

Finally, to culminate on our study of the ancient Greeks, students in social studies have been preparing for Greek Day! Students designed chariot armor, created krater-inspired black figure pottery, and practiced polis cheers to get ready for the Greek Day Games on June 6th! We look forward to seeing you there!

18 Jun

Summer Work for Students

At D-E, we believe in keeping children’s minds engaged in intellectual work. In years past, we have had required Summer Reading as a means of keeping reading skills sharp. This year, we are adding math work. In an effort to start the next mathematics year off with a solid foundation for all of our students, we would like to make summer ALEKS work mandatory for current students entering the 7th, 8th and 9th grades. Each student will be required to complete a set of ALEKS assignments given by their current year’s Mathematics teachers, due by September 1. The current teacher will monitor their students’ progress throughout the summer and will communicate this data to next year’s Mathematics teacher.

Please note that if you received specific instructions from your Dean about summer work already, above and beyond what is stated above, the ALEKS assignments are optional.


Click here for Summer Reading 2018.

For Community of Readers List, click the grade below: