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Middle School

DELF 2021

Date Posted:  Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The DELF exam, created by the Centre International d’Études Pédagogiques, is an official French proficiency test. Students in 8th grade take the test at the B1 level. DELF B1 is required to obtain French nationality. It is also necessary to validate some diplomas, such as a diploma from the AUF or Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie.

DELF B1 tests whether the students are competent enough to be independent French speakers. They are challenged to maintain high-level interaction and to demonstrate that they can understand and maintain a discussion and give their opinion in a meaningful way. Passing the B1 DELF indicates that they are capable of dealing with situations likely to arise in everyday life.

The exam consists of four parts:

  1. Listening-comprehension questionnaires dealing with several recordings (played twice)
  2. Reading-comprehension questionnaires dealing with several written documents
  3. A writing assignment in which students express personal opinions on a general topic (essay, letter, article, etc).
  4. A speaking part that includes guided conversation, interactive exercises, and expressing an opinion on a particular issue that is designed to elicit a reaction.

We are proud to announce that this year, all our students passed the exam and will receive a diploma at the end of the school year.

Tags:  DELF Middle School french exam

Student Panel on Gender

Blog Type:  Diversity Middle School
Date Posted:  Tuesday, April 13, 2021


A group of six middle school students—Clara Bartlett, Dominik Brockstedt, Anna Dixon, Sofia Nouri, Lucia Nakamura, and Persys Shadfar—worked with teachers Sue Campbell and Chrissy Greer as a small leadership group to design a student panel about LGBTQ+ safe spaces at our Middle School. This group met with the Middle School faculty in an hour-long workshop to promote and discuss how to create safe spaces and safe conversations around LGBTQ+ issues.  

The idea for the student panel was the result of a World Savvy seventh grade English project and actions proposed by the Social Responsibility Action Corps (SRAC) last year. As part of our DEI workshop with Dr. Derrick Gay this winter, our Middle School students again identified our need to intentionally affirm our LGBTQ+ people. For the last two months, a self-selected group of students, mostly from SRAC, met as a group to brainstorm, design, and lead the actual student panel.  Attached you will find the Safe Spaces Tool Kit that they used as a reference. It is a good reference for families as well.

Tags:  gender panel Middle School LGBTQ binary

Art G6 & G7: Student Work 2020-2021

Blog Type:  Arts Middle School
Date Posted:  Thursday, February 18, 2021


Although all of our art classes so far have been virtual, the work the students have created is tactile, rich and physical.

Grade 6: Ancient Greeks, Current Sports

  • Coordinated with the study of Ancient Greece in the History program. 
  • A study of the human figure in motion, paying special attention to correct proportions and muscle articulation. 
  • Design problems - high contrast silhouette figures, a limited choice of black, orange and white, and geometric patterns to decorate the vase.

Click here for Complete Student Gallery


Grade 6: Personal Boxes

  • Assemblage project inspired by Joseph Cornell. 
  • This is a sort of 3D “visual biography”. We crafted boxes to display a collection of found or made objects which represent the student and their family or friends.
  • The work is accompanied by Artist’s Statements explaining the choices.

Click here for Complete Student Gallery


Grade 7: Self-Portrait as a Spirit Animal

  • These illustrations are companions to anthropomorphic animal poems written in English class. 
  • We created imaginative self-portraits based on a fusion of human and animal traits in order to express inner qualities.

Click here for Complete Student Gallery


Grade 7: Ink Landscapes - A Van Gogh Worksheet

  • Step 1:  a study of ink techniques used by Van Gogh in his landscape drawings
  • Step 2:  we “translated” photos from the Berkeley Botanical Gardens into the language of blank-and-white, expressive lines and texture patterns

Click here for Complete Student Gallery


Grade 7: Coiled Rope Baskets

  • A weaving project with rope, yarn, and beads.
  • We used contemporary materials to learn the techniques and design aesthetic of Native American basket weaving from California.

Click here for Complete Student Gallery


Grade 6 is drawings comics based on stories written in French class. The stories are either further adventures of Odysseus, or fairy tales. The students can work either independently or in teams. We start with quick pencil drafts and move to large format detailed comics. Our final goal is 3 pages with at least one page in color.  We are hoping to publish all student work in an EB ComicZine.

Click here for Complete Student Gallery


Grade 7 is making accordion artist books. The students are learning traditional book-making crafts. They are writing and illustrations their own stories.We are exploring the possibilities offered by hand-made books: accordion pages that can unfold like screens or scrolls, using colored paper as background colors, pop-up elements, text layout and typography, merging of text and images “caligrams”.

Click here for Complete Student Gallery

Tags:  g8 art g7 art g7 g8 Middle School

8th Grade Art

Blog Type:  Arts Middle School
Date Posted:  Thursday, February 18, 2021


Art 8 spent the fall months studying photography and composition. We began with a study of documentary photography of the Black Panther Movement (from the SF MOMA collection) by asking the questions: What stories do photographs tell? How do various ways of looking at photographs tell us stories, and what is our lasting perception of those stories based on our mental impression from photographs? We observed and discussed these iconic photos from a specific lens: Personal/Narrative - Aesthetic - HIstorical. We expanded our understanding of the medium by studying how to use light and composition techniques effectively. With the work of 20th century photographers Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank and Cindy Sherman, we explored the effects of composition and the subjects and themes used by these photographers-- stark or ironic critiques of popular culture, perceptions of identity and self, race, class and gender, portraits of America and France, geometric compositions and surrealism.  The unit culminated in student photo essays on a theme of choice. Here is a sampling of their work made into a movie for TEDx: Grade 8 Photographers Teens in Quarantine

Art 8 has just finished illustrations painted in ink and watercolor that illustrate a scene from their nouvelle fantastique stories each student wrote in French class. The unit's concepts and skills included proportional figure drawing , creation of space using foreground, midground and background, use of rhythm and gradation, differentiation between in line hierarchy (thin/thick), and the use of contrast and other dramatic effects to emphasize the fantastical nature of a story.  We used Edward Gorey's The Mummy's Head and other illustrators' artwork for inspiration.

In our next unit starting this week, students will research contemporary Black American artists exploring the Black American experience as a way to "bring attention to important issues that news outlines omit, celebrate history and heroes that brought us to our present moment and illuminate conversations around bias, race and representation."  This research will inspire site specific projects centered around community and voice. As our starting point we will be using the Murals of Oakland and Art 21 documentaries: Portraying the Black American Experience.

Tags:  g8 art teens in quarantine Middle School

Service Learning at the Middle School

Date Posted:  Thursday, February 18, 2021


After finding our feet during the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year, the Middle School is now taking on Service Learning projects for the second semester and we couldn’t be more excited! 

What is Service Learning and why is it important? 
Service learning is a way of teaching and learning that benefits not only the students but the surrounding community as well. Through different hands-on projects students skills such as goal setting, problem-solving, communication, civic engagement and organization, along with the other skills it takes to be a good leader both in their school and community. It is a powerful approach to teaching that provides students with authentic community-engaged learning experiences. 

What are the learning goals and outcomes for Service Learning projects? 

  • Awareness of Community -  Increase students' knowledge of community issues, needs, strengths, problems and resources
  • Commitment to Service -  Improve students' attitudes toward service & remove barriers to future service
  • Self-Awareness - Improve students' awareness of individual strengths and improve self-esteem, sense of personal worth, competence and confidence in one's ability to make a difference
  • Communication - Develop students' oral and/or written communication skills/learn to collaborate and negotiate to resolve conflict
  • Critical Thinking - Improve students' ability to think, apply information to problem solving, and analyze information data and concepts

What Service Learning projects have we done so far? 
To kick off the service learning projects this year, in January students were asked to create Valentine's Day cards for Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels is a program that delivers meals to individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals. Here in Alameda county, 2,400 Seniors receive meals. Students made close to 100 cards full of encouragement and creativity! Without a doubt, these cards will brighten up the days of our community members on Valentines Day! 

For the month of February, students have been asked to create hand-made toys for local animal shelters.The city of Berkery has over 700 stray animals waiting to be adopted or fostered. By making toys, we hope to bring these furry little friends some joy as they wait to find their forever homes. Toys can be made from everyday household items such as t-shirts, cardboard boxes, and plastic containers. Students were given different tutorial videos and websites to help guide them through the process of making toys. All toys should be dropped off at the Middle School to Ms. Greer by Monday, March 1st. If students cannot make it to EB, they can contact Ms. Greer for pick-up. 

Looking forward - what service projects do we hope to complete? 
As the school year continues we hope to launch three more service learning projects in March, April, and May. Some ideas we are pondering include: blankets for local homeless shelters, a positivity campaign for health care workers, care packages for veterans, schools supplies drive for migrant children, and socially distanced beach cleanups. If you have any ideas or would like to help take part in our upcoming service learning projects please contact Ms. Greer!



Tags:  community service Middle School valentine's day

Middle School 2020 Fall Updates

Blog Type:  Middle School
Date Posted:  Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Indigenous People’s Day at the Middle School

The Middle School marked the school’s observance of Indigenous People’s Day this past October 12 in a number of ways. The actual day was observed with an all-school assembly with remarks from the Head of School and a Land Acknowledgement by Ms. Hedlund. However, more in-depth work was done in English, Social Studies, and Advisory classes.

In English, 6th graders began their Indigenous Peoples' Global Summit on Climate Change, a Zinn Education Project three-class unit in which students will learn about and then represent the concerns and needs of various indigenous people for future food and resource security as climate change impacts their homes, lands, traditions, and cultures. It is a Zinn Education Project unit. For the last week, in G7 English, both English teachers Ms. Hedlund and Ms. Campbell, discussed Native American culture and the impacts of racism in the story by Sherman Alexie entitled "Indian Education." Grade 7 Social Studies is in the midst of its pre-colonized North America unit, while grade 8 will do some readings aligned with the completion of “This I Believe” essays, some of which relate to Indigenous issues. Finally, during this last week’s Advisory class, students will be talking and learning more about Indigenous People's Day. 

The Middle School takes great pride in recognizing the contributions and rich culture along with demythologizing the history of Indigenous Peoples.

EB Virtual Community Events

Around 20-25 middle schoolers participated in the first Middle School EB Virtual Community Event this past 25th of September. Students and teachers played Cranium, an interactive game with different categories (trivia, Pictionary, charades, and math/word riddles) and ended the night with a rocking glow in the dark dance party. The Middle Schoolers strutted their stuff and some of them really got into the mood with a full-on disco experience. The next event on the calendar is Friday, October 30, with campfire stories and a pumpkin carve. Families will carve pumpkins virtually on zoom and while the carving is taking place, students and parents can share their favorite spooky stories. We’ll end the with smores over the campfire. The singing of Kumbayah is optional!

Citizenship Day 2020

Every year, Middle School students gather with teachers and staff at the beginning of the year for Citizenship Day. During this day, they play games, share stories, and discuss what EB’s values are and how they tie into being a good citizen. Thanks to distance learning this year, things looked quite different. Although most of us aren't getting to travel to our favorite tropical locations, our students started off the year on EB’s very own piece of paradise! On Citizenship Day, students visited a virtual island where their EB values were tested. From Mt. Endeavor where they took part in different mini-challenges and games to The Jungle of Integrity where students worked together to solve riddles and puzzles, fun was had by all! Thank you to our incredible teachers who made this day a reality for the students. Though Citizenship Day looked different, the spirit and joy that makes EB such a special place, was ever-present.

Middle School Student Council 

The 2020-2021 Middle School Student Council has commenced! In September, all students had the opportunity to submit a petition for a Class Representative position, and we are thrilled to welcome Aoife Westover, Samara Minor, Roxie Sweetstevens, and Persys Shadfar as new members of the Student Council who will be joining co-Presidents Maelle Griffin and Margot Johnson, Secretary Maddy Kelly, Treasurer Jules Droz, and Spirit Committee members Juniper Hedlund, Alexandra Jameson, and Lucas Mazzacurati-Turner. Student leaders meet every Monday and Friday—they have been working hard to brainstorm different ways to cultivate community among their peers while distance learning is taking place. Currently, they are planning a virtual Fall Festival coming your way in October, keep your eyes and ears open for this festive, fun-filled fall extravaganza!

Tags:  Middle School back to school Citizenship Day Indigenous People's Day Community Events Community Student Council Virtual
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