rolled up newspaper

June 2024 BIS Newsletter

  • From the Desk of Mrs. Contrino

    Attention ALL Advanced ELA classes, Tier 2 and Tier 3, Grade 6 and Grade 7!

    The following 6th and 7th grade BIS Gateway students were selected as winners of the 2024 Veterans for Peace Poetry Contest:

    Grade 6

    Alexander Angelov    “Sometimes I Wonder”

    Isabelly Crepaldi        “Found Peace”


    Grade 7

    Hilarie Clough        “Peace At Heart”

    Benjamin Fletcher    “Endure”

    Adeline Sharp        “Peace”

    Nico Souza            “I’m Truly Sorry”

    Finley Sylvia            “What Justice?”

    The winners were invited to read their poems at an awards ceremony on Saturday, May 18, and I have included a few photos of this beautiful event.

    We are so proud of these talented young poets! Congratulations to all!

    Tier 2 ELA News

    Grade 6 and 7 Tier 2 ELA

    Our Tier 2 ELA Google Classroom offers many interesting writing activities and problem solving challenges. Each month, the Tier 2 Google Classroom offers new choices and opportunities for students to showcase their interests, opinions, and ideas through various writing prompts and creative explorations. February’s writing assignment provided an opportunity for students to write a poem about peace that was entered in a prestigious Cape-wide poetry contest sponsored by The Veterans for Peace Cape Cod Chapter. 

    Tier 3 Advanced ELA News

    Grade 6 

    Our 6th graders have each completed their final project of the year: the development and creation of an original children’s book. This project is designed to encourage our students to flaunt their critical and creative thinking skills, as well as their storytelling skills, all while exploring different mediums of art, and book-making techniques. Invitations for an Open House and Book Sharing during your child’s regularly scheduled Gateway class were sent out to the families of our young authors via email.

    The 6th graders and I were very excited for so many of their families to visit our classroom at BIS, and all the students are a bit nervous but proud to have this opportunity to share their final projects with all of you!  Thank you to those who attended!

    Grade 7

    Our 7th graders were treated to a little field trip to the BHS Knight Auditorium for a special viewing of the award-winning film adaptation of the novel, Life of Pi by Yann Martel. The story’s protagonist, Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, survives 227 days, after a shipwreck, while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger. The novel raises questions about the nature of reality and how it is perceived and told, as well as the purpose of fiction, otherwise known as “the selective transformation of reality.” We had an excellent post-film discussion comparing various aspects of the novel and the film, and we debated which version of Pi’s survival story we preferred - the “one with the animals,” or the “dry, yeastless, factual” account of the events. In the end, we all preferred the animals :)

    The 7th graders have also finished working on their LAST EVER project for ELA Gateway! Each student worked very hard to create a very personal Thematic Journal, based on a topic or theme of their choice. The Thematic Journal project is designed to encourage in-depth study and exploration of a theme that is of great interest and importance to each individual student. The assignment calls for the creation of original written pieces, art/illustrations, and inclusion of a highly selective collection of song lyrics, poetry, quotes, and many other types of written work.

    Bravo to all of our 7th graders for their impressive demonstration of the hard work and deep thinking necessary to create projects of such high caliber. We are very proud of you!

    Tier 3 FPS News

    Grades 6 Future Problem Solving (FPS) 

    The 6th grade Problem Solvers are currently learning the last 3 steps of the 6 Step Problem Solving Process. Step 4 is the creation of targeted, specific criteria that will be used to evaluate the strength of the solutions that were developed during Step 3. Step 5 is an “evaluation matrix,” where the students use their criteria to give each potential solution a numerical value, and one top solution eventually emerges as the team’s best, most viable, creative solution. 

    Ask your child to tell you about “The Great Silver Bullet Cheer Uniform Fiasco,” the time when new uniforms were chosen for all of the cheerleaders in grades 2-8 using just two criteria - cost and attractiveness. It was a MESS. This real-world situation perfectly illustrates why multiple, specific, targeted criterions are necessary to properly choose the best solution in any given situation. 

    Step 6 is the final step - The Action Plan. The students have learned how to take their team’s top-scoring solution and really “sell the idea,” by writing a plan that fully describes how and why this solution best resolves the Step 2 Underlying Problem.

    I am very excited to promote these outstanding 6th grade Future Problem Solvers to four person fully-competitive 7th Grade FPS teams in September! They have shown that they have what it takes to define, comprehend, and potentially solve some of the global issues/world problems that we are currently facing. Let’s go RedHawks!

    Grades 7 Future Problem Solving (FPS)   

    As our 7th Graders’ inaugural competitive FPS Season draws to a close, I take great solace in knowing that I will get to continue working with these talented problem solvers in Grade 8. 

    Future Problem Solving is not a class at BHS, but rather a club. We have meetings on Tuesday afternoons, but we do still complete the 2 Practice Problems and the Qualifying Problem during the school day at BHS. At BHS, problem solvers get to create their own teams, and the program continues to be fun, challenging, and rewarding for everyone who chooses to participate!

    Of the 150+ students from BIS and BHS who competed this year, 11 of our Barnstable Future Problem Solvers have earned a spot to compete at the highly prestigious FPS International Competition, including BIS’s own superb 7th grade problem solver, Ryleigh Sheppard!  Huge Congrats to Ryleigh!

    The other 10 students who traveled to Indiana University with Ryleigh to compete at FPS Internationals the week of June 5 - 9 are:

    9th graders: Parker Hegarty-Cook, Addie Otto, Rae Cheron, and Ray Whiteley

    10th grader: Matt Brancaccio

    12th graders: Elise Abreu, Sloane Contrino, Callie DeDecko, Laina Nickerson, and Carly Steenstra                                


  • From the Desk of Mrs. Andrews

    Tier 2 STEM and Math News

    Tier 2 Math and Science Google Classrooms keep students engaged when they finish their classwork, and help them explore topics they might not see in their regular classroom curriculum. This spring, with the help of the incredible team of multilingual interpreters, we translated math challenges into Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. It is our goal to continue to expand our Tier 2 topics to make these independent challenges more inclusive of language and areas of interest.

    Tier 3 Advanced Math News

    Grade 6 Advanced Math

    While they won’t be on network television, 6th grade math students are preparing for in-class “Shark Tank” presentations. Teams developed innovative products and researched the market competition for similar items. They predicted quarter 4 revenue using mathematical reasoning, and calculated their business’ valuation (ask your student about EBIT!). Before presenting to the class, each team had to create an engaging pitch and determine the percent equity they would sell for a particular investment sum. If you are a community investor, keep an eye out for GATEWAY entrepreneurs!

    Grade 7 Advanced Math

    To close out the school year and prepare for high school geometry and algebra, 7th graders studied the properties of parallel lines and the angles they create. I challenged them by including algebraic equations to represent the angle measurements, which they had to solve using their knowledge of angle congruence. Finally, 7th graders created original “complex angle puzzles” to demonstrate what they learned, and to quiz their classmates! It is not easy to learn tenth grade math as a 7th grader, but these students will have an advantage in high school!

    Tier 3 STEM News

    Grade 6 STEM

    The final unit this year was once in a lifetime… or more like once in 18 years! 6th graders studied solar and lunar eclipses in time for the April 8 solar eclipse across New England. We learned about the parts of and uses of satellites and the layers of orbits around our planet. The challenge for students came from NASA itself– students calculated the length of time an orbiting satellite would be without solar power during a solar eclipse. It was an 8-part problem with complicated algebraic equations! Lastly, students created their own satellite models out of recycled materials. Look out, NASA!

    Grade 7 STEM

    Seventh graders are focused on completing their paper roller coasters. Some themes include “The Kiju Escape”, “Splash Water Park,” and even “Mrs. Andrews,” a roller coaster featuring their STEM teacher’s face and favorite things. Students are editing, refining, and adjusting their designs like professional engineers. Timed trials with marbles will take place the week before school closes!