Hello 4th graders!
When I was in 4th grade I wasn’t at your school, MBE. I was at NMC, the elementary school for Southern Berkshire Regional School District. The only kids in my class that were going to MVM were Milo and my friend Maya. All my other friends went to 5th grade at Undermountain School. I was very nervous because I only knew two people. But when I got to MVM I was fine! All that worrying was for nothing! I made new friends and I still got to hang out with my old friends.
This year has been great. The teachers are wonderful and the classes are fun. Next year you will go to Nature's Classroom and it will be great. I sadly didn’t get to go because of the pandemic but you will have a lot of fun there. My favorite part of the year was Science Week. We got to do fun science experiments and engineering challenges. It was awesome! I’m very excited to do it again next year.
This year for me was amazing and next year for you will be too. I hope you have a great summer and see you next year in 5th grade!
Dear new 5th graders,
Welcome to MVM! I know that this feels a little bit nerve-wracking, I felt the same way when I came. I was super nervous when I started my first class because my schedule was so confusing but the super nice teachers directed me towards my first class. Your teachers will help you learn when each class is and where each class is. You will have multiple teachers here ( somewhere around 3 or more). Your main teachers will be for advisory, ELA, and math/science. Your lunch and recess will be at 11:25-12:15. Sometimes advisory is longer and lunch is 11:40-12:25.
The locker situation is that you get your locker number and your code to open the locker on the sheet that they mail you. You can get magnets to put on your locker (I got mine at staples). The locker has two parts, the part where you put your backpack and a top part where you can keep anything.
When It’s recess time outside there are swings, monkey bars, a basketball court, four square squares, and a soccer field. If you don’t want to go outside sometimes Mrs. Cane the librarian might let you play on the computers. Mrs. Cane always lets someone looking for a book in. The library is my favorite place to be because I am a bookworm. The library has lots of great chapter books. I recommend the Wings of Fire series. Have a good time in fifth grade!
Hi! I am Beck Knudsen, an MVM 5th grader. You may be thinking, what kind of work will I have in middle school? Will it be harder? And other questions. Here I will give you the answers and some tips.
You may think that work will be a bazillion times harder in 5th grade than in 4th. It actually is not that much harder. Once you get the basics down, it will be easier. As with writing, you will learn how to make a good essay, use proper grammar, and score other essays written by past students. In science you will be doing a lot of fun hands-on experiments. Math will be the subjects that you learned but a level up. You will read many good books with your teachers.
If you are thinking you will completely forget your locker combo after a day of being at school, don’t worry, I felt the same way. If you practice opening and closing your locker a couple times on the first day, you will have it down. (Practice makes perfect!) Also, don’t slam your locker door. It will get you in trouble. In my opinion, I think the MVM principal is really cool. He hosts gaming clubs like pokemon and dungeons and dragons. They are really fun. They are during lunch and recess. And if you think you are going to forget what period (class) you are going to next here is the order. You will have your advisory teacher (homeroom), if you have STEM for advisory you will go to social studies and vice versa. Then you will have D Period, where you would go to a special. The specials change every quarter of the school year. Then you will have lunch and recess. After that you will have the opposite class you started with and then your first class of the day and then G period where you are going to a different special.
I hope you will have a good year in 5th grade.
June 3rd, 2020
Dear future 5th graders,
Welcome to MVM! Next school year, you will be leaving behind the elementary school and joining us at Monument Valley. Nervous? Don’t be! Here are some tips on surviving 5th grade ( aka a smart kid’s guide to middle school :-P ).
“ Beep beep beeeep!” Your alarm wakes you up at 7:00 sharp. Right? Wrong! Sorry, night owls. This year the latest you can get up is 6:30. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. Besides, I’m pretty sure we get out earlier than MBE anyways, so it’s all balanced out. After the bus arrives, or your parents’ car, you walk down the hallway to the cafeteria. Tip: if you’d rather just carry a book or phone into the cafeteria, you can leave your backpack in front of your lacker when you pass it in the hallway. You’re allowed to bring your phone to school, but you can only use it on the bus and in the caf in the morning, otherwise it should stay in your locker. Make sure you know your locker combo & #, but if you don’t that’s OK the teachers have lists of them all. When the bell rings for homeroom/advisory, you leave the caf and go to your locker. There, you unpack your stuff and go into homeroom for a couple of minutes before 1st period.
Instead of having 1 teacher for your core classes, you’ll have 2; a STEM teacher and a Humanities teacher (ELA & Social Studies). Your first periods are those two classes. The days are measured in periods, which each have a letter. You don’t need to worry about the first 2 or so, your teachers will tell you where to go. After that, you go to D period, which is your morning exploratory. That’s like art, music, PE, etc. It means the same thing as “special” but sounds cooler. No offense.
Then, you go outside for recess and come back in for lunch. BTW, the caf in MVM has a snack bar where you can buy snacks. And it’s not just healthy stuff, either, so bring money! After lunch, you’ll have STEM & Humanities again, then G period, which changes every other day from an exploratory to COB (chorus, orchestra, band). I recommend bringing your instrument home on Friday, but otherwise you can leave it at school since you have COB every other day anyway. Homework is assigned by the week, and you’ll get 1-3 assignments from each core teacher. Exploratory teachers don’t often give homework. After G period, you get to go home.
That just about wraps up this guide. Good luck surviving middle school!
Throughout the quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have come to the realization that we humans take so much for granted. We’ve seen so many things disappear and when we come back, it will be different whether we like it or not. There are so many everyday things that I miss and I now realize how lucky we were to have them. I believe that everyone takes so much for granted.
Before the Coronavirus pandemic, everything we did seemed normal, even interacting with other people. During quarantine, I and lots of other people have realized it is special to even interact with other people in person. It is the thing I miss the most. Staying in one place for months on end isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and I am dying to get out and see other people. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I miss SCHOOL. I didn’t think those words were compatible. We get to hang out with other people and work with them. Some of those people are even leaving next year. I took so much for granted before this.
Hockey is something I thought would always be a thing. Well, did COVID show me. There seem to be a lot of problems with people being contained in a contained ice surface. I think it will change for a while too until there is a cure or vaccine. I miss seeing my teammates and training with them. The cold of the ice on my face while flying around. It’s amazing that I took that for granted. It’s my most favorite thing in the world and as of right now, the future doesn’t look too good. Once we get back to a new normal, I’m going to savor every second on the ice.
This ones a little bizarre but I miss just driving to places. We can’t go anywhere and it just feels weird because we used to go to tons of places everyday. I miss seeing new things on my way to ice rinks. The lawn is getting pretty boring too, but it’s not like I can clear the rest of the forest. When this is over, I’m going to enjoy going to new places and being able to do something without the danger of someone being contagious with the Coronavirus. I can’t believe I take driving for granted since it’s a part of everyday life.
In quarantine, I’ve realized that there are so many things I and everyone else take for granted. It’s crazy not being able to go anywhere and see people without putting them in danger. I am very curious about how life is going to change after this and I’m kind of scared. Hopefully it happens soon because I need something else to do other than stay at home. I take so much for granted.
This I Believe
By Khalil Carlson
In life, many obstacles stand in the way of you and the goal you have set out to complete. Whether that goal is to have a successful job, start a family, or simply to get closer to the family you already have, adversity will somehow try and prevent it from happening. The way you react and persevere through the adversity is what will help you reach your goal as well as help you grow as an individual. I believe that adversity is our best teacher.
Basketball is arguably the most important thing in my life. Without it, I have no idea where I would be, but I have had to overcome a lot in order to get to where I am today. One of those challenges was playing against players that were either older than me, or too old to play in my team’s bracket. Generally, when you take a look at who you are playing against in a basketball game, you can tell if they are too old to play in your division, or just the right age. Last year, my AAU team had a tournament in Danvers, Massachusetts. When we walked in the gym and saw the kids we were supposed to be playing against, we could tell that they were much older than us. Some kids had facial hair, and looked like they had been working out for years. Some of the players on our team were nervous because the kids were very big, and not going to lie, I was kind of nervous myself. But that did not stop me from trying my hardest and playing fairly well. Despite us getting beat by twenty points, a motivation and drive arose. Now that we had seen the best of the best, we would fear no team anymore, and we have not since. Playing against kids that are older than you makes it so that playing against players your own age is easier, and that is what has happened to my AAU team.
Along with playing against kids that were too old to be playing against me, I have also gotten the opportunity to play in an older division. Last summer, I was given the chance to represent my summer camp in two 16 and under basketball tournaments, where we played against other camps. Our team had some of the best players in the area, such as Dion Brown, Ty Higgins, and Jadrien Feliciano. Playing against fifteen and sixteen year olds really helped me improve my game, and kind of gave me a taste of what varsity basketball is going to be like. I struggled to find my footing at first, but once I got into it a little more, I was able to take over at times. There was a crazy difference between 7th grade AAU basketball versus these 16 and under tournaments, and just so many things that I would have never seen had I decided not to play for my camp. For example, in one of our 16 and under games, I guarded a player that was 6’7”, and the team’s point guard. I would have never seen that in AAU because kids who are that tall at my age automatically play under the basket. Playing against older players is the best thing a young basketball player can do. It helps them improve their games, and it is truly a reality check.
Playing and battling through injuries is by far the toughest thing I have ever had to do as a basketball player. When you are unable to give it your all out on the court, no matter how hard you try, it is very frustrating. In 6th grade, I sprained my tailbone after one of my friends pulled a chair out from under me. Luckily, my team had no more games that day, but we had two big games the next day, and I knew I was going to be nowhere near one hundred percent. When you sprain your tailbone, you can barely walk, run or jump, and it is very hard to sit on hard surfaces. My parents tried to convince me not to play, but I insisted that I should at least try. In the first game of the next day, we played a fairly talented Adams team that had never really challenged us, but could go off at any point. I did not start, but I came off the bench and gave it my absolute all. I was only able to contribute 5 rebounds, but we won. The next game, which was the championship game, we played Greylock. Coach let me start that game, and I was able to rack up 4 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, and we won again. I was content with what I was able to do because I thought I was barely going to be able to move. That set of games was a turning point in my young career. It made me realize that you are going to have to play through pain at times, and you just have to go out there and contribute as much as you possibly can.
Earlier this year, I sprained my ankle in a game against Greylock after going up for a layup, and landing on an opposing player’s foot. It was the worst pain I have felt up to this point. I was forced to be on crutches for a day after that and I was almost positive that I was not going to be able to play the rest of the tournament, or even maybe for a few weeks. After continuous icing and heating, I was finally able to convince my parents to let me play on the Sunday of the tournament. I warmed up normally, and did not start the game. Once I got into the game, I felt the pain again, and I tried very hard to make it go away, but I could not. I played as hard as possible, and actually did not play nearly as poorly as I had expected. I totaled 6 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks; 2 in which I pinned against the backboard. Unfortunately, we lost, but I was partially able to overcome the adversity that I was facing individually.
Last summer, I decided to try out Honor’s Algebra in 8th grade. Going into it, I already knew that math was not my strongest subject, and I was just looking for a challenge. In the beginning of the school year, I was finding that the class was a lot more difficult than I originally expected. What was even more frustrating was that other kids seemed to understand the curriculum that we were learning, but I really did not. After nearly failing my third test of the year, I decided that it was time to take things up a notch, so I went home and studied the material for a while and practiced it. I stopped only after I realized that I was really understanding it. I did the same thing for the rest of the week, and I felt as if I had gotten it completely. We had a test the very next week. I was kind of nervous, so I studied some more, and got a ninety-seven on it. Struggling in the Honor’s class really made me realize that studying always helps, and that if you are looking to excel in a subject or aspect in life, you have to work hard at it, and that is exactly what I did.
Adversity proves time and time again to be our best teacher. Whether you face adversity in the classroom, on the playing field, or in your personal life, it will always be helpful, even though you may not realize it. Adversity has helped me become a better athlete, student, family member, and much more. If you think about it, adversity is an amazing thing.
I believe that you never stop working to be the best because there will always be someone trying to beat your best. This is what I believe.
In a song I used to listen to ”Never Needed Help,” by Lil Baby, the artist said to “never let anyone catch up once you caught up.” In other words, never think something is just good enough. Always try to be the best in all that you do. It got me thinking of Michael Jordan, someone I look up to. He never let anyone beat him and get away with it. There are so many unbelievable stories about his unquenchable drive to be the best in everything. The one that stands above the rest is, the “Good game Mike” story. Labradford Smith, a sophomore in the NBA on the Washington Bullets, rose up against Michael in a game. In the end, Smith scored a total of 37 points but the Bulls won. However, those 37 points earned by Smith took a shot at Michael’s pride. In his mind, Smith’s 37 point score translated as “Good game Mike” and gave Michael even more motivation to beat his opponent in the next game. In his next against Smith, Michael scored 37 points in the first half, alone. Michael Jordan never let anyone catch up to his eye popping talent, hard work, and overall skill. That’s why he is known as one of the best to ever play the game.
Everyone should push themselves to do better and be the best in everything, because someone who wants to be great at their craft is striving to be the best. My own experience comes from playing the sport of basketball during middle school. When I was in 5th grade, I saw a student tearing people up on the court outside during recess. I don’t know why but after that experience I really wanted to be able to do what he did. I played with him for the first time the following year as my teammate In Housy Hoops. He became my friend. As the years progressed so did I, and eventually I was able to at least score on him--mini victories--even though he would still win most of the time. Basketball seemed to become an obsession because of how much I practiced. Throughout my three years of playing, I’ve rivaled and overcome many opponents that I never thought I could. I have a goal to go to the NBA. It will be a competitive road but I won’t stop pushing to be my best because someone else is also trying to be their best. This is why I will never stop at just good enough. That is what I believe.
Recently, in honor of Earth Day, a fifth grade Enrichment Class in Stock Market Game was asked to use the Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, to imagine green investing and changing the environment through green investing choices. Here are two awesome responses to the questions posed.
From Banyan B : Ten rules for my Thneed factory
From Ellie :
There are many consequences of doing business in a company that is not “green” . One consequence is pollution; the thick smoke from the ONCE-LER’s factory was inhaled by the animals in the forest and made the animals sick. Tar from the factory was dumped into ponds and the animals sitting in the pond when the gunk was poured down were stuck and couldn’t leave, also without the trees to help provide clean air the pollution smoke just kept coming and staying. Another consequence is all the living things that are affected. Because there were no more trees to provide clean air the animals had to move and people had to conceal themselves from the smoke; people built a dome over the town to block the smoke around the city and started using bottled air. Now, that couldn’t actually happen in real life but the point is it can affect humans as well as other animals and the Earth, which leads us to the next consequence: the Earth. All the pollution can cause global warming or climate change which is something that is happening right now because unnatural gases are floating up into space then getting stuck in our planet's atmosphere and floating back down to the geosphere and starting the process over again. This is causing our planet to heat up to hotter and hotter temperatures than usual. This is a problem because the heat is melting icebergs and glaciers (which are huge blocks of ice )and when the glaciers melt they turn to water that raises sea levels. Also the glaciers are home to animals that are now floating on icebergs or sitting on what remains of their homes.
One benefit of a company “going green” is the company would not be polluting the earth. No smock or tar would be dumped into the ponds and forests. It also would prevent global warming because no unnatural gases would be released into the atmosphere and if global warming is prevented glaciers melting would also be prevented which means less animals would have to leave their homes. One cost of a company “going green” is that setting up a green company may cost a lot of money but in the end it could be a benefit too. One thing that might take a while to set up and will cost a lot of money is wind power plants. It will take a while and cost money to set them up but once they are set up it’s free electricity. Another thing that might cost a lot is all the organic products that the company needs. Organic products are more expensive than products that contain chemicals but are healthier. Also paying your employees will cost money too.
A lot of people think that climate change activism is all about inspirational quotes and reusable containers, but it is so much more than that. Our names are Sadie, Stella and Mirabelle. We are co-founders of Monument Valley Middle Schools’s ClimateJusticeProject, we are in 6th grade. At the beginning of the school year, we heard that schools all over the country were planning or joining events to protest global warming, on September 21. We thought “hey, that's a pretty cool idea” and we went and talked to our principal, to see if we could do the same. Because it was such a short notice we weren’t able to do a strike on the 21st, but we did travel to New York City to join the tens of thousands of people protesting alongside 16 year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.
After such an empowering experience, we were positive that we wanted to hold a protest of our own. The event we planned took place on December 13 outside of Monument Valley Middle School, we had an amazing turnout, over half of the students and staff came out to support us. People chanted, gave speeches and waved signs alongside us. We worked with a group of diligent girls from 5th and 6th grade to organize the school walk-out and produce a highly supportive crowd. But we were not ready to stop there. We started to realize there were huge amounts of non-environmentally friendly things at our school. There were plastic forks, knives, and spoons, single use fruit and vegetable containers, plastic bottles, and recycling bins that only allowed paper. Our school was causing a problem, not a huge one, but a problem
So, we continued to meet every Wednesday, with our group of passionate girls all fighting for the same thing. We, before the school was shut down, were about to send a letter to the cafeteria staff and manager asking for help to ban the plastic containers, and replace them with a salad bar, or something along those lines. Our group of 5th and 6th graders were also working on solving the recycling bin, plastic bottles, plastic containers problems, and getting a composter. Obviously our group stopped meeting in person after the school shut down, but we never stopped fighting Climate Change. We want you to know that we will never stop fighting Climate Change, no matter what happens. There are some things that you can just put in the back of your brain and wait until you feel like doing it, but Climate Change is just not one of them. We urge you to keep fighting for what you believe in during these tough times, the world will not stop changing just because everything else has, so we won’t either, and neither will you.
We recently took part in an empowering online Climate Change summit, via google meets. We were able to talk about how we are fighting Climate Change at our school, and learned about what other kids from all over the Berkshires are doing to fight Climate Change in their schools and communities. Climate Change needs to be addressed, if you haven’t thought or tried to make an effort toward saving our planet, I urge you to do some research and see what you can do to help, now is a great time to do so, considering we are all home. If you are a part of our fight already, know that you are not the only one fighting for a worthy cause.