This Week in Upper School 1/28-2/1, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019
Pep Rally
Student Council put on a pep rally to celebrate Spirit Week.  The Freshmen and Sophomore students played a game of basketball against the Juniors.  Juniors were victorious. This game was followed by a hard fought game (not really!) between the Seniors and Faculty members.  The Seniors were victorious by a narrow margin (again, not really!) In between the two games, the students enjoyed cookies and water provided by Sage Dining.  Our high schoolers invited the 8th graders to enjoy the festivities with them, as they will soon become high schoolers themselves.
Warm Up America!
During middle school seminar this morning students learned how to knit using a round loom. Students are creating 7”x9” rectangles to donate to the less fortunate. All knot rectangles will be sent away and sewn together to make an afghan. The Warm Up America! Foundation collects donations of knitted rectangles from people like you nationwide. Volunteers sew the rectangles into blankets and afghans that are given to people in homeless shelters, teen pregnancy homes, battered women's shelters, nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, and clinics, and to national nonprofit agencies such as the American Red Cross. We can’t wait to see the finished product!
Reading Friends 
The AEC community of learning continues to thrive across the  school divisions. The Blue Seahorses from the Lower School brought a book that they had been reading to the school library.  The little JK kids read to the big kids from Project Chessed’s 10th grade class. Then the big kids helped the little kids complete an activity using the book. 
Mensch of the Month Awards:
Our January Mensch of the Month Awards for High School were presented to:
Liahm Blank: He was amazing as an 8th grade Shadow. He was given someone to shadow him each day (sometimes multiple people) and he treated them kindly, helped them participate in class, and guided them to where they needed to be for each period.
Alex Davidson: Alex was caught doing random acts of kindness.
Our January Mensch of the Month Award for Middle School was presented to:
Asher Leventhal: for displaying excellent grit and sportsmanship during the middle school spelling bee contest.
Adam Lasry was our Middle School Mensch of the Month for December. Adam was nominated for always being kind to his peers, and going out of his way to help a friend as well as teachers.  He puts 150% into everything he does, always going above and beyond. Plus, he is always a delight to be around.
Shinshiniot Bring Israel to Grades 6, 7, and 8
Lilach and Noam, the two Shinshiniot, spent the month of January bringing Israel into the middle school classrooms.  For grade six, students explored the importance of preserving the land, especially on Tu’ Bishvat. The people who have influenced the history of Israel and its modern day society were the central focus for a lesson experienced by the seventh grade students.  Eighth grade students were engaged in debate as they learned about the Knesset and how laws are passed in Israel. These programs help bring the land, the people, and daily life in Israel to our middle school students.
Fifth Grade Visit Day:
The middle school students were excited to play host to our fifth-grade students as they visited the middle school and spent time with middle school students in their classes, at Town Hall, and Kabbalat Shabbat.
The day began with high school student, Liahm Blank, telling about his own middle school survival kit he received as a fifth grader at AEC five years ago.  Over the years, the survival kit has grown from three items (Tootsie Roll, paperclip, and sponge) to more than ten items! Mr. Koch, Upper School Assistant Principal, and Mrs. Paxinos, Director of Student Development, presented each student with their own kit reminding them of the skills they have already from their time in the Lower School and the skills they will develop as they transition into middle school.  
The first classroom experience for the day was in sixth grade Earth Science.  Sixth-grade students played host and guide for fifth graders as they thought critically to tackle STEM instant challenges.  The fifth graders had a lot of fun building a “bridge to nowhere,” determining how many water drops can fit on a penny, and how much weight a boat can hold.  These instant challenges, developed by middle school teachers Mrs. Garrett and Ms. Page introduced the fifth graders to the inquiry centered experiences that middle school science provides.
During Town Hall, fifth-grade students were presented with a special gift, a t-shirt designed by the middle school student council, and invited to join the student council members during lunch and at Kabbalat Shabbat.   The middle school student council members worked closely the past month with the Director of Advancement and Admissions, Ms. Abrahamson and the Director of Marketing and Communications, Mr. Boland, to design the t-shirt.
The second classroom experience for students was in middle school humanities where a combined English and Ancient Civilizations lesson took place.  Fifth graders joined the sixth graders in exploring how Greek mythology is used in the modern world for marketing purposes. In combined teams, they created a slogan and logo to market a modern product using a story, theme, or figure from Greek mythology.  Once developed, they had to pitch the product to the “head marketing team,” the teachers of the course Ms. McKannon and Mrs. Peterson.
At lunch, fifth graders joined middle school students for conversation and Q and A.  They also participated in the middle school Kabbalat Shabbat, led by Ms. Blit, where they joined the sixth graders in reciting the blessing.  The middle school students are excited for the current fifth graders to make the transition into middle school and join them as peers in the coming school year.