Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


On this day we pause to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was a true visionary who believed in the ability of all human beings to reach their best potential regardless of the color of their skin, place of birth, or gender. His legacy for equality lives in all of us who follow our passions regardless of the obstacles that maybe in our way, and who do so with the believe and understanding that peace is the true pursuit of happiness.

Thank you, to Dr. King as well as all to all the students, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, nephews nieces, and leaders who participated in the civil rights movement, and to all of those who still do.

Dr. King once spoke to students at Barratt Junior High School. Please reflect on the question he posed to these students, which was “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” As you watch this video or read this speech, please reflect on this question. As 7th graders what you do in school now, sets the blueprint for what your life will be like in high school and beyond.


Mrs. Jennings

On October 26, 1967, six months before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
spoke to a group of students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia.

I want to ask you a question, and that is: What is your life’s blueprint?

Whenever a building is constructed, you usually have an architect who draws a blueprint, and that blueprint serves as the pattern, as the guide, and a building is not well erected without a good, solid blueprint.

Now each of you is in the process of building the structure of your lives, and the question is whether you have a proper, a solid and a sound blueprint.

I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life’s blueprint. Number one in your life’s blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you fell that you’re nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.

Secondly, in your life’s blueprint you must have as the basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You’re going to be deciding as the days, as the years unfold what you will do in life — what your life’s work will be. Set out to do it well.

And I say to you, my young friends, doors are opening to you–doors of opportunities that were not open to your mothers and your fathers — and the great challenge facing you is to be ready to face these doors as they open.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist, said in a lecture in 1871, “If a man can write a better book or preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.”

This hasn’t always been true — but it will become increasingly true, and so I would urge you to study hard, to burn the midnight oil; I would say to you, don’t drop out of school. I understand all the sociological reasons, but I urge you that in spite of your economic plight, in spite of the situation that you’re forced to live in — stay in school.

And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.




December 31, 2015


Dear Parents & Students,


As we begin 2016 I want to wish all of you a Happy New Year and a prosperous and fun filled science year. I am extremely proud of all the wonderful rock cycle projects so many students submitted as well as how well so many students scored on their science midterm.

Please read my new post to view the children books as well as the videos that students where able to create to show mastery of their understanding of the rock cycle.

A recent commercial by Oprah Winfrey asked the question of “If not now, then when?” this very simple question was asked regarding her struggles with being overweight and her reasons for partnering with Weight Watchers. All of us struggle with something that forces us to make important decisions regardless of our age. So, this question will be our focus question in Science Class.

For me as a teacher it is extremely important for me to help ALL students to understand the units that I am teaching. The time for me to teach them the concepts they will utilize to succeed in the 7th grade as well as the 8th grade and in high school is now, and If not now then when?

The time for students to do their best on every project, quiz, exam and piece of work that they are asked to complete is now. Putting their best foot forward and asking for help when they don’t understand or struggle with a concept must be done everyday on a regular basis, so that they can get the help they need to understand their work and to enjoy learning while in middle school. Students need to find their passion for learning, and the reasons for coming to school everyday, for if not now then when?

According to DoSomething.org “The percentage of graduating Latino students has significantly increased. In 2010, 71.4% received their diploma vs. 61.4% in 2006. However, Asian-American and white students are still far more likely to graduate than Latino & African-American students.” So when should we help our students to graduate from high school? if not now then when?

Students disinterest in school, about school or what they are learning takes a big dive in Middle School. As a society we reap this disinterest in high school, however, we can improve student interest and high school graduation rates by ensuring that students succeed academically in middle school.

As their parents I am asking you to ensure that our students come to school prepared (with notebooks, pens, pencils, homework completed, and questions to ask of their teachers) and ready to be fully involved in all their classes. If we are not asking this of our students now then when will we?

If not now, then when? is a question that I am asking all parents to discuss with their child. Students need to know that their parents are involved and care about their interest and passions as well as what they might be struggling with. Please ask your child about their experiences at school, what they like and what they dislike, what they want to tell their teachers and what they still struggle with. These are questions I ask of my students on our last day of school in 2015, so that I could address their concerns and develop an academic plan to help them learn and enjoy being in my science class.

Improving student interest, academic comprehension and love for learning must happen now, because the “when” may take too long to happen.

I look forward to welcoming the academic year with all of you on January 4, 2016.


Michelle Jennings, MS Ed.



Dear BSEA Family,



I can’t believe today is December 1, 2015 and we are in our second academic year at BSEA. During this busy time we seldom take the time to wish each other happy holidays or to recognize how our diversity as a community makes life more interesting and fun. So as we count down to our winter recess and today is 24 days before Christmas ! I wanted to wish everyone in or BSEA family a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa & Happy Hanukkah!

As you are aware all students at BSEA will take midterms during the month of December. The Science Midterm Exam is scheduled for Thursday, December 17, 2015. Students will receive 90 minutes to complete the exam. The information will be a culmination of the work students have completed in class, on projects as well as information from videos & class notes. Please continue to encourage students to complete all outstanding work and to arrive to school on time and prepared to complete their work.

The final project for unit 1 is due on Friday December 11, 2015. December 14 -15 will be our midterm review session. Our class trip to the Museum of Natural History is scheduled for December 16, 2015.  Students with incomplete notebooks, as well as those who do not submit their final project will remain in school to complete their work, and study for their midterm exam.

Please encourage students to continue to do their work and to review their notes everyday. There will be no science homework over the holiday.

Happy Holidays!

Mrs. Jennings



Hello Parents & Students,

Welcome back to BSEA and the start of your 7th grade year. I am extremely excited and can’t wait to meet with all of you again. There are some major changes this year as the science department welcomes the 6th grade, FIRST Lego League and other wonderful projects to BSEA.

Welcome also to our class website! This website will house all the academic information that will help you to succeed in your 7th grade science class. Students and parents should visit our website on a daily basis. Classwork, projects and homework will be posted on this site. Student blogs as well as featured student work will be posted as well.

Doing well in the 7th grade is no mystery, students have to come to school prepared everyday, participate in class activities, and ask for help as they need it. Parents will receive regular notes on SKEDULA and should contact me immediately if they have any concerns @718-240-3790.

This year we will be focusing on four (4) main units, they are:

  • Unit 1: Geology
  • Unit 2: Energy & Matter
  • Unit 3: Dynamic Equilibrium – The Human Animal
  • Unit 4: Dynamic Equilibrium – Other Organisms

The academic year will also include several STEM projects to be announced as the year progresses. I have some wonderful trips scheduled in places such as the New York Hall of Science. Parents please keep an eye out for permission slips that will be sent home.

This summer I welcomed several incoming 6th graders into our “Jump Start STEM Program”. This was a summer program that introduced students to the literacy of science, engineering, technology and mathematics. Students engaged in several engineering challenges and participated in several experiment.

Student supplies are as follows:

Kept in backpack:

  • 2 large composition notebooks (used for science class only)
  • 1 pack of # 2 pencils (mechanical pencils are not allowed)
  • 1 pack of blue pens (pens that come apart are not permitted, as well as other colors)
  • 1 yellow highlighter
  • 1 eraser
  • 1 individual sharpener

Kept in the classroom:

  • 1 Binder
  • 1 pack of paper for binder
  • 2 folders (last years folders can be used)

Donated supplies for the classroom:

  • Kleenex tissues
  • Copy paper
  • Expo markers all colors
  • Bounty towels

Students should come prepared to work on the 1st day of school. We will review our website, the class syllabus and students can get a jump-start working on unit 1 by completing the 1st homework.

Students should bring their summer packet on the first day of school. Please support my request for an air conditioner for our classroom by encouraging your friends and family to give at www.donorchoose.org/michelle.jennings


Mrs. Jennings, MsEd