Exciting Program and Curricular Changes in the Middle School at Brimmer!

At Brimmer, we are always exploring ways to keep our programs and curriculum exciting and new. I wanted to share some program and curricular changes for the year. This year, every student was given a Middle School planner.  We have embedded the use of these planners into our instruction, and we hope that these tools, in addition to eBackpack, will help students stay organized and take ownership of their responsibilities.

This year, sixth graders will participate in the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum. Max passed away in 1991 at the age of 11 from leukemia. To honor Max’s story and to encourage empathy and other youths to reach their maximum potential and not take anything for granted, Max’s parents, Stephanie and Jonathan Warburg, founded the Max Warburg Courage Curriculum. Stephanie and Jonathan worked with the Boston Public Schools to develop and create the curriculum, written especially for 6th graders. After learning about Max’s story and reading a novel that focuses on courage and empathy, for the culminating activity of the program, each student writes an essay on the topic of “Courage in My Life.” The local students’ essays are entered into a contest, where a panel of judges reads each of the essays. The winning essays are published in an annual essay anthology. We felt in a year with a focus on empathy and ethical thinking, this curriculum would be an excellent addition to the 6th grade humanities, and Mr. Polstein is excited to dive into this new program in the coming weeks.

How will we meet food production challenges as the world population grows? Students will anchor themselves with this question as they delve into the study of plants in 7th grade science with Ms. Shannon.  Working collaboratively, students will design scientific experiments to compare traditional soil gardening to hydroponic gardening. With our new tower gardens purchased through our faculty innovation grant, this unit will literally come to life as they watch the seeds that they plant develop and mature into herbs and vegetables to share with our Brimmer community.

Finally, we are thrilled to announce that Brimmer has partnered with MediaGirls, an organization whose missions is to to teach middle-school girls &  young women to discover their self-worth, and harness the power of media for positive change. Michelle Cove, the founder, will be working with the 8th grade girls this fall for an 8-week curriculum, and the 7th graders will experience it in the spring. We are also entering our second year of 8th grade Innovation Hour, a new course that we created last year that is taught by Mr. Neudel. Students in this course are introduced to the endless possibilities of design, innovation, and creation available to them in our MakerSpace in the Hastings Center.

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