Out of His Head – Cooke’s WORM Lab

Welcome 2020!


Why should you be excited? I can give you lots of reasons. First, we will start our 2020 Summer Academy program (for grades K-8, and grades 9-12) in our new building! Yes, it’s true. We will move into our new building this summer.

Although SKILLs is going to have summer school in their current location, they will start the 2020 school year in their newly-renovated building (60 MacDougal Street). So, 2020 brings us new, modern, updated, spacious, beautiful, amazing new homes!

Why else should you be excited for the year 2020? It’s an election year. The students and staff really bring it on every four years for presidential elections. The curriculum covers voters rights, civics, government and all the fun stuff you enjoy talking about around the Thanksgiving table. It really is an exciting time in schools with mock elections, student council speeches and an examination of the processes that make our government function (or not, depending on who you talk to). 

2020 is also a year of momentous change abroad: 

  • Japan will build a robotic moon base.
  • China will connect Beijing to London via high-speed rail.
  • Cars will drive themselves.
  • Biofuels will be cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
  • The ‘flying car’ will be airborne.
  • We’ll control devices via microchips implanted in our brains.

I am not sure if any of that is true, but one thing that is certain, we are moving into our new locations. And while a high speed rail may not be necessary to get to school, the new location opens a world of opportunities for all our students. 

I hope you share in the excitement for a new and prosperous New Year. We all wish you and your family the best in 2020!

Cooke’s Worm Lab

A “spark” is the inner light that gives us energy, motivation, purpose and focus. It makes us feel alive when we’re doing what we love. Sparks are expressed as talents, qualities, or passions. And when we operate from our sparks, we shine and offer something good, beautiful, and useful to the world.

When students know their sparks, they’re more likely to stay engaged in school and are well on their way to discovering their own sense of purpose. It is this idea that gave birth to the Cooke Middle School WORM Labs. 

WORM stands for Writing, Oral Language, Reading, and Math. Thus each WORM Lab seeks to highlight those skills in a student-driven, student-created, and student-led way. The idea is that for two periods a week, students spend time in small groups working on projects of self-identified interest. Teachers help students develop methods and plans of achieving project goals and infuse the WORM goals in each session. For example, students interested in cooking have the opportunity to prepare a recipe from scratch, applying all of the related skills in reading, math, social engagement, and sequential thinking. Other popular WORM Lab groups include ballroom dance, book buddies (reading to lower school students), and media creation (planning and making our Today At School videos on the school Weebly). 

This year, all middle school WORM Labs focused on projects exploring a common essential question: How do we show the five Cs (our Grammar School values) to help our school community? The five Cs are Clarity, Courage, Confidence, Creativity, and Compassion. Thus, school beautification projects blossomed as well as several community outreach projects. Ms. Morales and her Cooking WORM Lab group decided to give back to the local police and fire departments, who have taken care of our Stanton Street school, by delivering baked goods made by the students. It was their way of saying THANK YOU for helping us in so many ways. Our local fire and police departments have always gone the extra step in keeping our students safe and protected. 

Special thanks to the Middle School for their contributions to the community, both in and out of school!

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