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8th Grade … Wrapping Up the Middle School Experience

8th Grade … Wrapping Up the Middle School Experience
Posted on 05/23/2016

Eighth graders are the in the midst of wrapping up their middle school experience and getting ready to move on to high school. A major part of that transition at Putnam Avenue is the Core Values Portfolio. Students have spent time this year thinking about their “Good Life”, college, and career goals and setting a path for themselves for the future. Eighth graders have also spent time reflecting on our Core Values of passion, pride, ownership, balance, and perseverance and how they have demonstrated each value throughout this year. Portfolio presentations will begin Tuesday, May 31st. Read an excerpt from a Debate student below.

The Harvard Science Showcase will take place on Friday, May 27th. The Putnam Avenue students designed and engineered magnetic launchers. The launchers use neodymium magnets to attract metal ball bearings and then conserves the energy of their motion to launch the last ball bearing into the air. There were varying degrees of success and this success will be showcased during this event. Students will present their findings to other Cambridge 8th graders, Harvard University students and parents. The students will receive a t-shirt as well as a science based book of their choice for participating.

Life Lessons
By Simon Simpson, 8th Grade
This month we concluded our debate season. Over the course of this debate season, we’ve experienced tragic losses and incredible victories. As a team, we will never be able to repay Ms. Chung for the effort, time, coaching, words of motivation and life lessons we have learned. Here are some of the specific lessons I learned this year.

Lesson 1: Life is not (always) about winning.

We were all very competitive and always wanted to win. We had to learn that debate is not about winning; it is about learning from your mistakes and improving yourself. This is a lesson that we will use for the rest of our lives in many situations. We are grateful that we learned this lesson in debate and not in a different situation.

Lesson 2: Listen!

After each round we would reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Afterward Ms. Chung would give relevant and specific advice that would help us. I know that I used my advice to aid in my rounds and it led to personal success. I know that the advice of our teachers has not just influenced me but has aided many others as well. I also know that listening will help me in the future.

Lesson 3: Be mindful.

Everyday in Social Studies we practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is a form of meditation in which the participants quietly reflect on their day without judgment. At our final debate tournament we felt lots of stress and anxiety but being mindful helped us get through it. This is a lesson that some people don’t learn as early as I did. At first, I didn’t fully understand mindfulness but after about a year of practice I don’t know what I would do without it.

As my parting thought I would like to give a piece of advice to new six graders intimidated by a new school: join a club. It will allow you to meet new people and learn lessons that will help you forever.