Monument Valley Regional Middle School
Week at a Glance and News and Notes
Note from the Principal:
I had a great week visiting classrooms. I saw English and Social Studies teachers working on writing using our middle school writing process. That was amazing, as students get the same approach to writing in all of their literacy classes. I saw students struggling through math problems on a test and in a lesson: students are given the time and space to think about math, not just pushed to find the right answer or do it the right way. See below for a description of the math initiative we are doing this year and onward that gets to the heart of using and understanding math in life. I also saw students learning how to work in teams in Physical Education class—one of my favorite units on volleyball that focuses on team skills, cooperation and fairness. I joined discussions in a French and Spanish class—I love the way we approach learning language, as an opportunity to actually participate in a living dialogue, and not just reading and writing out of a textbook. Last week I watched a few teachers conference with their students about the second quarter work , a pleasure to see students reflect on their growth and set goals for the next quarter. I am amazed each week at what our students choose to do, and the opportunities our faculty offer them!
Have a good weekend!
A District Math Initiative: How Math Teaching Matters
In October of this year, math teachers from all three schools began a professional development initiative to “engage students habitually in sense making, conjecturing, justifying, and generalizing” in their math work. This work shifts our students to engage in practices that ensure they learn math and, as they progress, learn how to learn math. One of the ways students are experiencing the shift is a movement away from asking the teacher if an answer is correct to explaining the reasoning and process to get the answer. In this way, the students are learning how to ensure their reasoning is sound and learning how to give voice to their logic. In class, teachers are modeling the practices with which students learn math best. Teachers are asking students for their conjecture, the idea they have that will be examined for correctness using mathematical reasoning. Teachers are asking students to justify, to explain what their thought processes were. Said another way, the old “show your work” rule in math is part of everyday discussion and exploration; it is a common practice. As we observe classes, we are seeing the fruits of this work: more student engagement, more students involved, more questions about why mathematicians do certain things, and more evidence that students understand their math. These outcomes are really important because the ultimate goals of this work are to help all students recognize “stuck points as starting points”, reflect on their own thinking not only on teacher feedback, and persevere and look for more applications of their learning.
Here is some information on free community resources to learn English in classes and with a tutor:
Free English Classes
Berkshire Community College offers a FREE English for Speakers of Other Languages Program to adults. The classes run from September through April and can be started whenever there is an opening. We offer three levels of classes; beginner, intermediate and advanced. We offer classes in Great Barrington (at BCC) from 9 am to noon on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and classes at the Lee High School from 6 pm to 9 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  This is an opportunity for students to improve their English, be part of a supportive community, and work on their future goals. For more information, contact Ana Suffish, alp@berkshirecc.eduor  413-236-5260. Ana speaks Spanish and English.
Clases de Inglés, Gratis
Berkshire Community College ofrece un programa de inglés gratuito para adultos hablantes de otros idiomas. Las clases se ejecutan de septiembre a abril y se pueden iniciar en cualquier momento siempre que haya cupo. Ofrecemos tres niveles de inglés; principiante, intermedio y avanzado.Ofrecemos clases in Gret Barrington (en BCC) en la mañana de 9 am al medio dia, martes y miercoles. Tambien ofrecemos clases en la noche en la Escuela Secundaria de Lee, de 6 pm a 9 pm, los martes y miercoles.  Esta es una oportunidad para que los estudiantes mejoren su inglés, sean parte de una comunidad de apoyo y trabajen en sus metas futuras.  Para obtener mas informción, comuniquese con Ana Suffish al email o al telefono 413-236-5260. Ana habla español e inglés.
Free Tutors to Learn English
The Literacy Network of South Berkshire provides free, individualized, one-on-one instruction to adult learners, both immigrant and U.S. -born, in reading, high-school equivalency test preparation, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and citizenship test preparation.  Our professional staff and trained team of volunteer tutors also offers generalized educational support and promotes access to a network of community resources through the power of literacy, education and advocacy. Our students and tutors usually meet for a minimum of one hour per week at a public location, such as the Lee Library, the Mason Library, or the BCC in Great Barrington.  For further information, please contact:  Susan Borek, Education Coordinator,  413-243-0471,
Tutores para aprender ingles, gratis
Literacy Network of South Berkshire proporciona instrucción individual, individualizada y gratuita a los estudiantes adultos, tanto inmigrantes como norteamericanos, en lectura, preparación para exámenes de equivalencia de escuela secundaria, Inglés para hablantes de otros idiomas y preparación de la prueba de ciudadania. Nuestro personal profesional y equipo capacitado de tutores voluntarios también ofrece apoyo educativo generalizado y promueve el acceso a una red de recursos comunitarios a través del poder de la alfabetización, la educación y la abogacía.  Nuestros estudiantes y tutores generalmente se reúnen por un mínimo de una hora por semana en un lugar público, como las bibliotecas en Lee o Great Barrington, o el BCC en Great Barrington. Para más información, póngase en contacto con: Susan Borek, Coordinadora de educación, 413-243-0471,
Ben Doren
Week at a Glance:
Monthly Lunch Menu:
Monday, January 28
Regular School Day
Tuesday, January 29
Regular School Day
Wednesday, January 30
Regular School Day
Thursday, January 31
Regular School Day
Friday, February 1
Regular School Day
School Dance
The Student Council is sponsoring a Valentine’s Day Dance for 6th, 7th & 8th graders, this Friday,
February 1st from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm.  The cost is $5.00 and refreshments are available for a small fee.
Spirit Week
Also the Student Council is sponsoring a Six Day Spirit Week starting Friday, February 1st …
2/1 – Formel Friday
2/4 – Pajama Day
2/5 – Beach Day (No Swim Suits)
2/6 – Twin Day
2/7 – Color Wars (5th Grade – Red, 6th Grade – Blue, Orange Team – Orange, and Green Team – Green)
2/8 – Maroon & White Day
Remember the dress code still applies!
Yearbooks are available for pre-order!
Purchase at or download the order form and please make checks payable to: Monument Valley Activity Fund.
Reminder from the PE Teachers
Although boot season is upon us, please remember sneakers are required for students in all PE classes.
Flyers are available on our website at this link:
This week’s flyers:
• Free workshop for parents — Children and Anxiety
• Camp Marshall Summer Camp 2019
• What Language Learning Looks Like!
Last week’s flyers:
• Youth Winter Programs—BSRCC
• Early Childhood Programs—BSRCC
• BHYSC SP19 Travel Soccer Player Registration
Older flyers:
• Norman Rockwell Museum and Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center To Present Above the Timberline Radio Play
• Berkshire County Head Start
• Winter Fun for Kids at Berkshire South
• Flying Cloud Institute:  Girls Robotics Club
• Yearbook Order Form
• Stateline Youth Wrestling
• BSRCC—American Red Cross Learn to Swim Lessons
• Winter Soccer Clinics
• Ski Butternut Student and Family Season Pass Application
• Berkshire HorseWorks Initiative
• Golden Knights Basketball
• Housatonic Youth Basketball Registration
• Great Barrington 4H Club
• Blue Rider After School Program Flyer
• Butternut Basin 18/19 Ski/Board Program Application
Julie C. Duffin
Principal’s Secretary
Monument Valley Regional Middle School
313 Monument Valley Road
Great Barrington, MA  01230