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December 2023 BIS Newsletter

  • Community Corner

    Each newsletter we will post a question and share responses/feedback from the previous question. 

    Don't miss this opportunity to share your answers!


    We would love to hear from you! Please fill out the Google Form below and we will share it with all of our families in the next newsletter.   

    What does your child tell you about their GATEWAY math or STEM classes? Which activity did they really enjoy or felt challenged by?

    Share your answer here or by scanning the QR code:


    Are there any reading-related activities, like visiting libraries or bookstores, that your family enjoys doing together?

    Share your answers here or by scanning the QR code: 

  • From the Desk of Mrs. Andrews

    Tier 2 Math and Science News

    There are many activities to engage with in the Tier 2 Google Classroom! If students complete 2 activities in one month, they will be invited to choose a prize from Mrs. Andrews' prize box! Tier 2 activities are aligned with students' core math and science classes in order to build on core content.

    Tier 3 Advanced Math News

    Grade 6 Advanced Math

    Grade 6 Advanced Math students delved deep into the Pythagorean Theorem, an 8th grade content area! They used the formula in a real-life situation, drawing a property map and determining the length and cost of a perimeter fence. In our next unit, they will be exploring slope and angle measurements, culminating in an original geometric stained-glass window!

    Grade 7 Advanced Math

    Grade 7 Advanced Math students are simplifying complex expressions using radicals! They are deepening their pre-algebra skills in a new way, and get to choose their own assessment method to demonstrate mastery. Students are taking responsibility for how they learn!

    Tier 3 STEM News

    Grade 6 STEM

    Grade 6 STEM students wrote terrific (and gross) lab reports on the growth of their homegrown bacteria! In the next unit, students are studying force, elasticity, and graphing data from their lab trials for "Barbie Bungee Jump". Amidst the fun, scholars are attending to precision as they take measurements.

    Grade 7 STEM

    Grade 7 STEM students recently concluded a long unit on DNA. Students studied news stories involving DNA, and conducted a gel electrophoresis lab-- a scientific test typically done in high school! Next up, students are studying similar shapes, sequences, fractals, and will create their own fractal artwork. 

  • From the Desk of Mrs. Contrino

    Tier 2 and Tier 3

    Grades 6 and 7 ELA 

    The 13th Annual Creepy Story Contest results are in!

    We had 37 creative writing entries for the 6th grade division, and 42 entries in the 7th grade division of the Creepy Story Contest this year. 

    All of our Tier 3 and many of our Tier 2 Advanced ELA GATEWAY students spent several hours reading, evaluating, and providing feedback for each of the stories in the packet. Tier 3 classes engaged in vibrant and insightful peer editing discussions, and students were able to share their constructive feedback for each story, as well as vote for their favorite stories. 


    The 6th grade authors who received the most votes this year are:

    3rd Place: a tie between Evelynn Pacella and Eva Duchesney!

    2nd Place: Grace Liebowitz!

    1st Place: a tie between Juliet Amster, Howard Dubner, Chase Brouillette, and Ben Frenza!


    The 7th grade authors who received the most votes are:

    3rd Place: a tie between Kaden Douglas, Gracie O’Rourke, and Whitney Sousa!

    2nd Place: a tie between Sora Bartlett and Ryleigh Sheppard!

    1st Place: Ryleigh Sheppard, again! Way to go, Ryleigh!

    Congratulations to all of the winners!


    Grade 6 Future Problem Solving

    Our 6th graders have just completed their first round of learning and practicing Step One. Step One requires students to discover 16 potential challenges in the Future Scene, diversify their thinking by using a category list, and write out each unique challenge in the proper 3-part format:  Cause + Effect + Possible Consequence.

    We have just begun the research portion of our next topic, Urbanization, which problem solvers from all over the world are presently working on. In the coming weeks, these 6th graders, who are our youngest Global Issues Problem Solvers in Barnstable, will begin to learn and practice the very tricky process of choosing, developing, and properly writing a Step 2 Underlying Problem.

    Grade 7 Future Problem Solving

    Our six 7th grade Competitive FPS teams have just received their first official feedback from The Massachusetts FPS Evaluation Committee, and I am thrilled with the results. All six teams did an absolutely amazing job on their first-ever Practice Problem!

    Now we are on to the next challenge. 

    We are presently gearing up for Practice Problem #2, which will take place during the school day on Thursday, December 14. Between now and December 14, our teams will be reading and analyzing research about the Global Issues Topic Urbanization, as well as fine-tuning their understanding of Steps 4, 5, and 6 of the problem solving process. 

    Steps 4 and 5 require our problem solvers to develop targeted criteria to measure the solutions that they created during Step 3. The criteria must be specific to the team’s Step 2 Underlying Problem. Each criterion is then applied to each solution in order to accurately discover which of the team’s 16 solutions is THE best solution to solve their Underlying Problem. Once the strongest solution has been revealed, the team creates a detailed Action Plan during Step 6. 

    The Action Plan is a written document that fully explains HOW the solution solves the Underlying Problem, WHO will carry out the actions needed, WHAT the solution is all about, and WHEN the plan will be implemented. The students must also consider and try to appease any DETRACTORS to their plan, in a persuasive “sales pitch” that must acknowledge potential or perceived flaws in their plan, and explain how those flaws might be overcome.

    Good Luck on Practice Problem #2 Barnstable Future Problem Solvers!