Ahoy, Mateys! 

Captain Smith’s classes read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  We “argh” prepping for State Tests by reading old literature, studying poetry, and reviewing test-taking skills.  Our poem for the month is “O, Captain, My Captain” by Walt Whitman.  As a part of our unit study, we stop from time to time for a brain break and play a pirate game (which requires knowing pirate terms).

Each student chose a pirate to study and made a wanted poster, jolly roger, and treasure map in his honor from a web quest study of pirates long ago.

Once finishing the book, we will study what piracy looks like today by reading excerpts from Captain Phillips.  We will compare and contrast both when finished.

Our final and favorite day of the study will be watching the films for both books and having root beer floats and popcorn!

 

Melody Smith

8th grade AP ELA

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A Night at the Oscars

Friday April 13 was the LMS annual formal dance, which is only open to the school’s 7th and 8th graders. This year’s theme revolved around the red carpet awards show, The Oscars.  As always, our student council and sponsors worked to make the dance a success, but they had no idea just how successful it would be. This year’s formal sold more tickets than it had any previous year, with an incredible 380 students scheduled to attend! Student council always takes the proceeds from the dance and either donates them to charity, or uses them to go towards the school in various ways, with Teacher Appreciation Week being one of them. Attire for the dance is considered semi-formal, and this is always a big talking point. It is always refreshing to see students who normally wear jeans and t-shirts step it up in the same setting. Girls typically get their hair and nails done to go along with their impressive dresses, and guys traditionally wear a tie or bow tie, sometimes paired with a matching sports coat. However, the talk of the dance this year were Opposuits. As described by the brand itself, Opposuits are “suits that are the exact opposite of boring suits. Our products represent people who don’t take themselves too seriously, but still want to maintain a sense of style”. The eye-catching suits were conversation pieces throughout the night. Designs varied from Pac-Man to flamingoes to abstract designs. Throughout the night, I was able to catch a few students who were taking a break from dancing to ask how their evening was going. 7th graders Hayes Herren and Cameron Quinn stopped by to give their thoughts on the big night. The duo found the music selection for the night enjoyable, but “ironic that we’re asked to be dressed to the nines, but they’re blasting Drake,” says Herren. He also went on to joke that it only took him approximately half an hour to get ready, while his date took nearly four hours. When asked why this dance was so special to everyone, the two agreed that it is their first real taste of a “mature” event, and the closes thing they will experience to prom until the event itself when they become upperclassmen. The student council went all out to make sure they put on an incredible event for all those in attendance, and while it will be hard to top this year’s dance, we all can’t wait for the next.

 

Coach Acevedo – 7th Grade Social Studies

First Year at Lewisburg

This is my first year teaching and it has been nothing short of adventurous. I have learned so much over the year and I could not ask for better students than the ones we have at LMS. I’ve come to find that nothing excites a 6th grader more than to walk in the gym and see that dodgeball is being played that day in PE!

This week in science we are learning about the stars, moons, and planets that make up our solar system! If we can finally get a day without rain, we are going outside to model the distance each planet is from our Sun. From Mercury only being 30 cm away to Neptune being 23.18 m from the Sun. My students will love having the opportunity to get outside of the classroom and do something different.

Our 6th grade students know how to work very hard each day they come to math class. They know there is never an easy day in math class and they will be busy working even after the bell rings. We have seen so much improvement with our students over the year and we are so proud of their efforts. This week in math we are learning surface area. Students will be making 3D shapes and finding what the surface area is for each one. Students will be adding Rule #88-91 in their math rule book.

I am also the middle school basketball coach at LMS. I have already had a lot of 6th grade girls show interest in trying out for the basketball team next year and that really excites me. Coming up in the next month we will have basketball tryouts for 6th and 7th grade girls who are interested in playing next school year. On April 9th, students will have an opportunity to get their physical at school for only $10 (cash only). This is important for ALL girls wanting to tryout to have their physicals before the set tryout date. The date for tryouts will be announced in the next few weeks in plenty of time for the girls to make arrangements. It will also be posted on the girls’ basketball website.

Ms. Lewis – 6th Grade Science

Will Lewisburg “Class of 2022” 3-Peat at LMS?

Our 8th Grade Class is looking to make Lewisburg school history in being the first class to receive the honor of being the #1 Middle School in the state of MS all 3 of their years at LMS. We are so excited to see what their state test scores will show! They are a very deserving class of this honor, and we could not be more proud of them.

Since we have been doing Blitz days prior to state testing at LMS, we have been #1 Middle School in the state of MS. This year we added an English Blitz to the mix led by first-time English teacher, Mrs. Green. Mrs. Green really stepped it up this year taking on the challenge to teach English. She took on the challenge like a real champ organizing our first English Blitz Day at LMS. This is one of the many reasons why she is so deserving of the title, LMS Teacher of the Year, she received last school year.

 

The hard work and dedication of our teachers to strive for all subject areas to succeed, and not just their subject area is what makes our school so special and has given us the opportunity and privilege to teach the #1 Middle School students in MS!

 

Our students really enjoyed the review time at all 3 of our Blitz Days this school year the day before each of the state tests in those subject areas. The effort and positive attitudes presented by these students is what makes being a teacher such a pleasure and a blessing.

 

As the 2017-2018 School Year comes to a close, on behalf of all the teachers at LMS, I would like to thank the “Class of 2022” for a fabulous 3 years at LMS! We are SO PROUD of you and will miss you greatly, but we are so excited to watch you learn and grow into fine young adults. We can’t wait to see what your futures hold. We love you all!!!

 

Mrs. Hood – 8th Grade Technology Foundations

What is STEM?

Everyone likes to say STEM when discussing teaching methods.  Questions I often encounter from parents are; how does it help my child learn?  Does it really work?

STEM is a way to teach in the classroom that allows students to be enthusiastic about research and development rather than the same ole daily routine.  Students should be able to ask questions, develop and use models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematics and computational thinking, construct explanations, as well as many other practices.

The classroom is a new world than when I was going to school.  Science was one of my favorite subjects throughout Middle School and High School.  I enjoyed the hands on activities the most, but those type of activities were rare.  Sometimes, I would struggle to understand concepts taught because I needed other methods than just the standard textbook to grasp key concepts.  I was usually afraid to ask questions for fear of ridicule from the teacher or my fellow peers.  However, that is not the case here at Lewisburg Middle School.  Students are encouraged to ask questions, and create through imagination and planning.  Students seem to enjoy working together to collaborate on ideas and create something as well as explain the reasoning behind their collaboration.  Students become the teacher, the presenter, the analyst as well as the engineer.

STEM is an engineering Design Process with 6 steps.

  • Step One: Ask!…Find out more about the problem.
  • Step Two: Imagine…Think Big!  Consider the possibilities.
  • Step Three: Plan…Think ahead about the steps.
  • Step Four: Create…Follow your plan. Make a model.
  • Step Five: Improve…Look at the model.  Make it better.
  • Step Six: Communicate….Get feedback.  Talk to others.

The Four C’s of STEM.

  • Critical Thinking- Thinking about problems in new ways
  • Communication- Sharing thoughts and ideas
  • Collaboration- Working together
  • Creativity- Using new approaches to get things done.

This is my second year to teach here at Lewisburg Middle School, and I must say, I have enjoyed every minute of it. I taught seventh grade science last year and sixth grade science this year.  We are trying to implement more and more STEM activities into our lessons. I enjoy nothing more than to see students light up when they are enjoying what and how they are learning.  It definitely makes my job so much more enjoyable.  STEM has definitely helped with the teaching process in my classroom this year.

Misty Ferrell

6th grade Science Teacher

Lewisburg Middle School

“Teaching isn’t rocket Science, it’s harder”

The stakes are high but the rewards are life changing!

The National Junior Honor Society qualifications are very rigorous, but the rewards are life changing. In order for students to meet the first criterion of being an Honor Society candidate, he/she must have an overall GPA of a 94/A. Then each student must fill out an application of their school history, write an essay, and pass a teacher background check in order to be inducted. After all that is over, the student then must work 8 hours of community service, stay clear of any school infractions, keep GPA over 94, and help raise money for a school charity. These are many responsibilities put on a 13-14 year old; however, these students are up to the task and even consider it a challenge. The students will be rewarded at the end of the year for all their hard work with a field trip and luncheon. However, rewards of be in the National Junior Honor Society is more intrinsic than extrinsic. For example, this year we raised several hundred dollars for the charity called Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center.

Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center staff has established a closet that provides vital necessities for children removed from unsafe environments by Desoto and Tate County’s Child Protection Services.  There are no resources available for children in the first week after being moved to a safe location. They are filling that need by providing the necessities for children ages newborn-17 years old who are in crisis.

Helping people is just one of the National Junior Honor Society’s five standards we follow. This standard is known as service. Service can be established in the routine of the day’s work where many opportunities arise to help others both at school and in the community.  A willingness to work for the benefit of those in need, without monetary compensation or public recognition, is the quality we seek in our membership and promote for the entire student body.  We are committed to volunteering our time and talents to the creation of a better tomorrow.

Another standard is leadership. Leadership should exert a wholesome influence on the school.  In taking initiative in the classroom and in school activities, the real leader strives to train and aid others to reach their common goals of success.  The price of leadership is sacrifice—the willingness to yield one’s personal interests for the interests of others.  A leader is one who has self-confidence and will go forward when others hesitate.  No matter what power and resources may exist in a school, community, or nation, they are ineffectual without the guidance of a wise leader.  Leadership is always needed; thus, to lead is a meaningful and substantive charge to each of our members.

The third standard is character. Character is the force within the individual that distinguishes each person from others.  It creates for each of us our individuality, our goodness.  It is that without which no one can respect oneself, nor hope to attain the respect of others.  It is this force of Character that guides one through life and, once developed, grows steadily within.  Character is achieved and not received.  It is the product of constant thought and action, the daily striving to make the right choice.  The problem of Character is the problem of self-control.  We must be in reality what we wish to appear to others—to be rather than seem.  By demonstrating such qualities as respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship, we may hope to prove by example that we value Character.

The fourth standard is citizenship. The student who demonstrates citizenship understands the importance of civic involvement, has a high regard for freedom, justice, and democracy, and demonstrates mature participation and responsibility through involvement with such activities as scouting, community organizations, and school clubs. Citizenship is the character and behavior of an individual as viewed as a member of our school.

The last standard is scholarship. Scholarship denotes a commitment to learning.  A student is willing to spend hours in reading and study, knowing the lasting benefits of a cultivated mind.  We should continue to learn even when formal education has ended, for human education ends only with the end of life.  Knowledge is one great element in life, which leads to the highest success and it can be acquired in only one way—through diligence and effort.  Learning furnishes the lamp by which we read the past, the torch guiding us to understand the present and the light that illuminates the future.  Candidates have the charge to continually expand their world through the opportunities inherent in scholarship.

In conclusion, The National Junior Honor Society not only strives to make themselves better, but the school and the world better also. This blog is in honor of all those Honor Society members who perform so many duties without recognition or credit—instead just out of the goodness of their own heart.

Mr. Wiltshire – 7th Grade Science

Equity and Cultural Leadership

I have begun a course for my graduate program titled, “Equity and Cultural Leadership.” The course is designed to provoke self-reflection in relation to equity and diversity in our school culture, and bring awareness and cultivate a sensitivity to being culturally responsive. So far in the course, we have looked at our own awareness of cultural diversity, such as writing about our first experiences noticing cultural differences around us and what age we were. We are also looking at the idea that students and educators are strangers because they sometimes lack shared experiences. It was helpful to reflect on our own understanding the experiences of our students and ways we can share experiences. We must also consider some of our students’ lack of access to experiences that we may take for granted. This may require us to do more building of background knowledge in the classroom. In addition to these reflections, we are working our writing our own cultural autobiography. According to Terrell & Lindsey (2009), “Some of us are very aware of our cultural identity in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ableness, faith, and socioeconomic status. Others of us, for many reasons, either are unaware of our cultural identities or reject the importance of culture in our lives.” (p 30). I think it is important to be aware of our cultural identity and how our first awareness came about. It leads us to a great appreciation of the cultures and diversity around us leading us to be more culturally proficient educators.

Terrell, R. D. & Lindsey, R. B. (2009). Culturally proficient leadership: The personal journey begins within. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

 

 

Mrs. Newton – 8th Grade Science

Celebration/Reward Day

Here at LMS we love to celebrate our kids’ accomplishments! Based on test scores, we were deemed the #1 middle school for the second year in a row. Woo hoo! So Mr. Meadows let us come out to the bowling alley and let off some steam from all of our hard work and testing this past 9 weeks! The kids and teachers had a great time. It was a great way to start our Spring Break!

 

Mrs. Western – 8th Grade Math

Black History month at LMS

The month of February is black history month, and here at LMS we celebrate that in many different ways. Each teacher has a specific black history month curriculum that they present to the students.

In most of the science classes here at Lewisburg middle, the students had to do a research project. Science teachers gave the students a list of prominent black scientists who have made a huge impact on the scientific community or they created inventions that influenced society. Students researched the inventor of their choice and created posters and cubes. The posters included pictures of the scientist, pictures of what made them famous or what they invented.  The students also had to write paragraphs about the scientist’s childhood, adulthood, and their accomplishments. Then the students had to present their posters or cubes to the class. They had to explain to the other students how their African American scientist influenced people everywhere. The students really enjoy doing this project and they learned some awesome things, for instance, how George Crum invented the potato chip.

Throughout the halls, there are posters that highlight several different African Americans and how they have been a huge influence all over the world.

 

In 7th grade advanced English classes, they had to create a scrapbook of sorts to highlight the book they have been reading in class, “Mississippi Trial, 1955”. “Mississippi Trial, 1955” is about the hardships of racism that plagues the south during the Civil Rights Era. The book shows how African Americans struggled throughout the Civil Rights Era. The students really enjoyed reading this book and doing their scrapbooks.

 

 

Mrs. Cox – 6th Grade Special Education Teacher

Teaching…….really?

Have you ever wondered why anyone would want to become a teacher? That was always my question. I could not visualize anyone wanting to spend countless and thankless hours teaching children. Then it happened, I was offered a job as an ESL tutor while living in Virginia. It was remarkable pay and only a few hours a week, so of course I took the position. How hard could it be? All I had to do was go in for a few hours, work with a couple of children and my job was over. I had no responsibilities beyond those few hours with them.

I started out working one-on-one with children that were having difficulties in reading and writing. We were in a highly populated military area and most of the students that were ESL candidates were U.S. citizens, but they were born outside of the U.S. because of their parents’ deployment. Working with that first student is when it changed for me.

The first young man I worked with was born in Africa, so he had a heavy accent. He was in the second grade, but barely reading on a first grade level. By the time the year ended, we were reading chapter books together and he was reading on grade level.

The next year when I received my new group of students, I was disappointed. I had his younger brother, but not him. I was devastated! I had invested so much time in him and we were making astounding accomplishments (remember you have no responsibilities past those few hours with them….yeah right?) I voiced my concern about not having him, and one of the reading specialists reminded me that if I did not have him, then I was being successful. He did not need me anymore? That hurt.   Those words of wisdom changed my outlook on teaching.

My family and I moved to Olive Branch, MS and I was offered a job at my children’s school after doing some volunteer work for them. I was in a similar role working with students that needed remediation in math and reading. After working in that capacity for two years, I realized I truly enjoy working with students, especially students that need more individualized attention.

I decided to continue my education and become a SPED teacher. It seems odd to be starting my first year as a teacher at my age. Most first year teachers are just graduating college and I graduated years ago, many years ago! I feel fortunate to have started my career at the number one middle school in Mississippi (2 years in a row….woot woot). I have extraordinary teachers and administrators as mentors and co-workers. After watching the interactions between different teachers and students, I have concluded that teachers that are knowledgeable in their subject area seem to be more successful. My goal as a new teacher is to provide a safe and challenging atmosphere. I will strive to remember that we may be the only stable part of some of these students’ lives. I will get to know them and their personalities so I can be encouraging and compassionate to their needs. I will be a positive influence in their lives because sometimes teachers are the only one!

 

Mrs. Lewis – 6th Grade SPED