28 September 2007

Mr. Weeks and his 6th grade outdoor education class have been busy constructing a shelter back in the nature area...VERY COOL. Tree bark was used for the exterior and Goldenrod was used in the inside due to its softness and abundance.
KAYLEAN, JAKE, KYLEE, and TIFFANY sample some hummus and vanilla soymilk after we learned about proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. Remember to watch out for those trans-fats on the nutrition labels, it's pretty nasty stuff.

27 September 2007

Today we did a graphing activity to test graphing skills. MITCH and AUSTIN pose for a picture. GREG and BRETT are hard at work.

25 September 2007

Today LARRY and CHRIS were a part of compost club (Rot-in-Groton) and we collected a record 38lbs of food scraps in one day! Everyone's doing great at lunch separating their scraps, but we can do better!
More campout pictures. Mr. Weeks and Mr. Filzen took these and they turned out great!

Activities with the Cortland State players
Teacher vs. student tug o' war

Dinner time. All students cooked for themselves. Not bad!

Mr. Filzen juggles 3 torches before the movie.

24 September 2007

Some short video clips from Friday's boys campout.

22 September 2007

Friday night was our first (and hopefully annual) Middle School Boys camp-out. I am going to go ahead and declare the night a huge success! Our first activity involved three SUNY Cortland Basketball players. They took us through several team-building and leadership activities. After dinner (Hotdogs, veggiedogs, Cayuga Lake perch, and potatoes), each grade had their own individual campfire w/smores. After that, Mr. Filzen treated us to some very cool juggling tricks and we finished the night watching Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark outside on the big screen. I have to say, I was so proud of the 8th graders. I miss not having many of you this year and you are turning into spectacular human beings. Your leadership and character was very evident last night and I wish you all the best of luck as you finish 8th grade and go through high school. The 7th graders: I hope you've learned what it means to be the "middle child" this year. You will grow into great people this year and we're looking forward to seeing amazing growth in behavior as well as academics. 6th graders: I had a great time getting to know some of you. Welcome to Groton Middle School! Be sure to learn from the best of the upperclassmen and the teachers that care so much about you. There are some great role-models here. Below are a few pictures from the nights' activities. None of this would have been possible without the commitment and enthusiasm of Mr. Filzen, Mr. Toyama, Mr. Lott, Mr. Wiech, Mr. Weeks, and Mr. Giroux. Also, special thanks to Mr. Morton, Mr. Totman, and Mr. Lockwood for helping out and to Mrs. Filzen for all her behind-the-scenes magic and Middle School Student Council for making this event absolutely free to every student.

Good Morning Campers!


Chris and Jake get ready for breakfast

Mr. Giroux crashed for a few hrs in Mr. Lott's room.

Mr. Lott getting his 1.2 hrs of sleep after surviving most of the night awake

Justin T. was The Man at breakfast

Nate C. waits as Mr. Giroux fixes a breakfast burrito.

Mr. Toyama was the only teacher to technically pull the "all-nighter" without dozing off for a little bit.

19 September 2007

This is an essay BRENNA H. did for girl scouts and I wanted to share it because it is very well-written and displays passion. Just click on the image to see it better. Hope everyone did well on their scientific method tests and I look forward to grading the slug labs.

17 September 2007

Wow...lots of people were absent today. I think the 7th grade had more missing today than this year combined so far....Cold Season??? Today we looked at a few tools of the life scientist. Hannah G. brought in several scanning electron microscope images her father took at his Cornell Lab and they were very sweet images, indeed. To the left is a soybean cyst nematode. I had to steal this from Wikipedia because I couldn't get any of Hannah's to upload. Tomorrow we review for Wednesday's test. Also, those slug feeding labs are due then too. Do your best...I like to be impressed = )

15 September 2007

Dear Parents,

On Friday, 21 September we will have our first annual middle school boys campout inside the GCS track. Interested students will take part in a campfire dinner, participate in leadership activities with the help of SUNY Cortland basketball players, and get to know their new teachers outside of the classroom. Students may bring in a tent, team up with friends that have a tent, sleep under the provided shelter, or sleep under the sky. In the event of rain, all activities will be moved into the middle school gym. In that case no tent will be needed, just a sleeping bag or blankets. Below is the schedule for the evening:

3:45pm – 4:25pm: Return to school with tent, sleeping bag, sneakers, toothbrush, flashlight, a watch, warm clothes and any other desired items – set up sleeping area. Free time for football, Frisbee, cards, etc.

4:30pm – 6:00pm: Camp-wide welcome and group activities with SUNY Cortland athletes

6:00pm – 7:00pm: Campfire cookout (all food provided by MS student council)

7:00pm – 8:00pm: Campfire w/smores and grade-specific talks

8:00pm – 10:00pm: Call to quarters/Outdoor movie (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

8am: Breakfast (provided by MS student council)

9am: Students go home

(Random attendance checks will be taken throughout the evening.)

Upon arrival, students will receive a schedule and directions. Prescription meds should be dropped off at this point also. It is very important that they read the provided sheet. This event will be fully chaperoned by the male teachers and assistance will be available during tent pitching and dinner. Dinner and breakfast will be provided but students will be required to cook it themselves. Options include hotdogs (meat and/or vegetarian) and a variety of “tin foil creations” (potatoes, veggies, etc). There will also be a PB & J backup plan. Breakfast will involve bagels/cream cheese, breakfast burritos, and juices. At least 3-4 chaperons will be on call (awake) at every point throughout the night. If you have any questions, please contact a male teacher in the middle school. If you are interested in chaperoning, we are looking for three to five parent volunteers. Please contact Mr. DeVoe at 898.5803 x302. Please note - we will not tolerate unacceptable behavior and you will be notified immediately if an issue arises.

Thank You,

Mr. DeVoe Mr. Filzen Mr. Wiech
Mr. Giroux Mr. Lott Mr. Toyama
Mr. Weeks

13 September 2007

Remember...Slug Labs are Due Wednesday and this is the first major assignment of the year.
Members of first period mull over which supplies they need to carry out their experiments during Slugfest 2007. You guys had some great experiments today. I'm looking forward to seeing the results tomorrow.

12 September 2007

WE ARE PSYCHED!! Tomorrow is the first day of Slugfest 2007. Students are currently brainstorming ideas for experiments they'd like to run. Do slugs prefer to eat in the dark? Is cabbage preferred over lettuce? How much can one slug eat in one night? Who know?!?! Friday we will have all the answers. To the left, DAMIAN, CHRIS, DANA, JAKE, and ZACH make some close observations of our specimens.

11 September 2007

CARMEN T. adds vinegar to milk in our first lab experiment of the year. Students were testing their hypothesis about what happens when you mix the two.

REMINDER: If you are interested in the 1st annual Middle School Boys Campout on Friday 21 September, permission slips are due by this Friday. Please give them to Mr. DeVoe or Mrs. Filzen.

Check out the Ithaca Journal's segment, The First Day of School. We have a couple Groton Central School students highlighted on there.

Also, I'm looking for individuals to sign up for compost collection after school. It only takes about 15 minutes and it's a great way to help out the school. Late busses come on Tue, Wed, and Thur. You can sign up on the chalkboard and volunteers report to Mr. DeVoe's room as soon as school lets out.

10 September 2007

SLUGFEST 2007 is coming! This Thursday we start the "food preferences of slugs" lab where we will be setting up experiments to learn more about what and how slugs eat. Remember, a good experiment has a contol (something that stays the same) and only tests one variable at a time. If anyone happens to find a big Leopard Slug, bring it in so we can all see.

06 September 2007

Today we went over rules and expectations. Please remember to get your sheets signed and cover your book by Monday. We finished the day by watching a video from Iceland's Sigur ros...Mr. DeVoe's favorite band. You can download more of their songs from their website for free.

05 September 2007

Welcome new 7th graders! I had a wonderful day getting to know you guys. Everyone's behavior was also impressive too and from our destination in the woods and I hope to do several lab activities outside this year...as long as the weather is nice. Remember all that we have to be proud of here at GCS...the new nature area, the new fitness room, great teachers, etc. I promise to start learning more names tomorrow. See everyone then. Above are a few pictures from today's intro activity.

01 September 2007

Just wait until you guys see the new nature trails!