8th Grade Science ROCKS!

The 8th grade Science curriculum is about to ROCK your WORLD! As an introduction to the Earth Science unit, students are exploring rocks with an engaging, hands-on activity. Each group rotates through 14 stations, recording observations and classifying the rocks based on type- Sedimentary, Igneous, or Metamorphic. The students were challenged to use a variety of detailed descriptions to be included in a Rock Word Wall. Our 8th grade curriculum will continue studying Earth’s history by studying the rock cycle, investigating fossil records, and analyzing the geological time scale. We will wrap up our Geology Unit by studying how plate tectonics have shaped the Earth. As with every unit, our Science department does an excellent job of incorporating objectives from all subject areas!

 

Mrs. Lawrence – 8th Grade SPED

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You are Meant for Greatness!!!

I saw those words on the front of a teacher planner last summer as I shopped online. “You are meant for greatness!” I suppose that was directed at teachers, but I saw them in a different light. As I thought about those words, I was struck with the weight of the sentiment. It hit me: The most important concept I could teach my students this year, would be that truth! As I thought about how I could convey this to my students, I began to wonder if they had any inkling of the potential that lay before them and within them. Maybe they had heard this from somewhere else like a parent. I hope they have heard it before, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to focus on this and teach this to them as I taught them Science. With all my heart, I believe these words. My students can achieve anything they set their minds on! And they really need to know this!

I want them to embrace the truth that their greatest achievement does not have to be finding a cure for a dreaded disease or devising a method to dispose of nuclear waste safely. However, I would not be surprised a bit if some of my students were able to achieve these feats! Their greatness can be driving a truck, staying home with their children, or being a physician. Now, while they are students, their great achievements can be studying more for tests, raising their grades, and being a good friend.

Perhaps the hardest lesson to teach them is that in order to be great, you have to be tough, persistent, and resilient. Life can hard sometimes and taking short cuts or doing the minimum is no way to develop greatness. I hear my students make comments sometimes about how they are okay with making a D on a test because at least that is a passing grade. I don’t want them settling for merely passing; they are too good for that. My goal is for every one of my students to put in effort to do the best they possibly can. I want them to know for sure that I know they can do great things. They may not understand this now, but hopefully, when they are ready, the seeds will be planted firmly in their hearts!

You are meant for greatness!

Laura Creager, Science 7th grade

The House of Jade Book Tasting 

To introduce the students to literature circles, I decided to create a formal book tasting. My classroom was set up like a fancy restaurant that included menus, appetizers, and a variety of books to taste. The students were given a reservation number and was seated by a hostess. The music of choice was Mozart. I wanted this experience to be authentic and enjoyable.

 

The students spent fifteen minutes at each table to taste the book on their plates and then rotated to a different table where they were introduced to a different book. Each table had a different snack (appetizer) for the students to enjoy while they read and rated the book. Students were to choose their top four books at the end. The students were grouped in literature circles according to the book they chose.

 

The students loved this idea, and I observed first hand the benefits of literature circles. Having a variety of books to choose from made a big difference in my students’ learning. When students get the opportunity to choose what they read, they are more engaged in the piece and more likely to make a personal connection to it. Higher interest in the material leads to higher efforts. Another benefit of using literature circles is to provide more exposure to literature. I wanted to provide a variety of reading genres and topics to ensure each type of student had options of some interest to him or her. The more exposed they are to various reading material, the better they will become at comprehension. Lastly, exposure to various readings will also help my students become familiar with the various elements of literature (setting, character development, theme) since different types of books are reliant on different story elements. Overall, exposing students to various reading materials through literature circles greatly promotes development in reading comprehension. My students can’t wait until the next book tasting.

 

 

Mrs. Green – 7th Grade AP

 

Greetings from the 6th Grade Hall

Hello!

Greetings from the 6th grade hall! It is so hard to believe that we are already finished with the first 9 weeks! What a wonderful start to the school year this has been!

My classes are finishing up our first 9 weeks unit on Resilience. All of our texts have shown people overcoming great obstacles and pressing forward towards a goal or dream. This past week, we looked at people of the Great Depression, focusing, in particular, on people of the Dust Bowl. After watching an episode of the amazing History Channel documentary series “America: The Story of Us,” the students worked in groups to analyze photos from the 1930’s.

The students did an excellent job with this activity, and the class discussion was wonderful! We followed this activity with our extended text Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp.

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What a wonderful unit this has been, and it leads quite seamlessly into our unit for the 2nd 9 weeks: Empathy and Social Awareness. For the parents of my students, I encourage you to talk to your child about what he/she has learned from this unit, as I am sure you will be impressed!

 

Sincerely,

Natalie Browning

 

Co-teaching is the NEW Teaching!!!!

This year Lewisburg Middle School has allowed us the wonderful opportunity of
teaching a combined(co-teaching) class. This class consists of three teachers and fifty-four
students. The teachers, Mrs. Bryant, Mrs. Evans, and Mrs. Wilkerson, come from various
backgrounds in education. Mrs. Bryant has been a special education teacher for 13 years in
middle school. Mrs. Evans has taught middle school math, including advanced, for 11 years.
Mrs. Wilkerson has taught middle school math for 14 years. The students are also an amazing
combination of personalities and abilities. Together these differences make up the perfect
classroom.
Each week students are able to hear math lessons from multiple points of view and
teaching styles. They are also able to break into small groups (2-3) at least once a week. These
small groups allow for individualized needs such as one on one instruction, reteaching/
remediation activities and enrichment opportunities. For example, when we have
different chapter review stations we individualize each student’s task card by assigning specific
activities based on their academic needs.
The student responses have been very positive to the new environment. They love
having three teachers. They enjoy working at tables and being able to discuss their work and
methods for solving problems. I know the teachers are having a great time too!!! We are all
looking forward to a successful year of growth, both academically and cooperatively.
#lmspats #teamDCS #coteaching #bryantevanswilkerson

Progress Check

So, you received your progress report last week.  Hopefully, all of your grades looked good so far.  For some of my students, their progress reports reflected an unsatisfactory effort in class.  If your progress reflected less than what you can do, then you need to answer some hard questions about your effort.

  • Did you do your best in class? This means, did you put forth effort in class.  One way to help is ask questions when you don’t understand.     Some students are shy and won’t ask questions in class, which means they are still going to be lost if they don’t ask.  Some of my smartest students ask questions in class – that’s why they do well with their classwork and tests.  So, ask questions.

 

  • Do you study and look over your notes daily? I know everyone is busy after school with activities, but you have to take the time every day to spend a few minutes looking over your notes and study guides for all your classes.  Scientific studies show that if you study right before you go to sleep, you will retain that information better.  So, study.

 

  • Do you get plenty of rest? Ok, I know some of you all stay up way too late at night, which will make you groggy in class and you will think about going home to sleep, instead of what the teacher is saying.  Make sure you get plenty of rest every night.  You need to try to be in bed before 9:00 p.m., but I know some of you all may have other after school activities that has you coming home late.  Try your best to go to bed early enough to get about seven to eight hours of rest.  You will wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day, awake and alert.  So, go to bed.

 

These are just few minor adjustments you need to make to become a better student; and this will show on your report card and school work.  Ask questions, study, and go to bed.

Valory Thomas – 6th Grade Math

LMS is Off to a Busy, but Exciting Start!!

LMS has been busy as a beehive from day 1 and has no signs of letting up!  From new classroom additions, to football and volleyball season, to my own classroom activities, we teachers have our hands full and we are loving every moment of it!

LMS was fortunate to have several new classrooms added to the end of C hall.  Teachers were finally able to move in just in the nick of time before the students arrived!  Several 8th grade teachers spent their final weekend of summer vacation moving into their classroom.  The new rooms look fabulous.  All the 6th and 8th grade teachers seem to have successfully conquered the topsy-turvy classroom moves that began in May and are now settled in and cozy comfy. Teaching has begun!!

LMS 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams spent the first two games on the road at Horn Lake Middle and Hernando Middle where both teams took the WIN! Their first home game was Tuesday, September 4 against Olive Branch Middle. Your 7th and 8th grade Lady Patriots defeated the ‘Quistadors both in two sets.  Our teams give a huge shout out to all those who helped make the night successful, from parents running concessions, line judging, and keeping score to teachers and administrators taking up gate and supervising.  Thank you!!

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LMS 8th grade football team did not get any further than our very own hallways to show off the new football jerseys thanks to Tropical Depression Gordon this past Thursday.  The rain caused our game against DC Jags to be cancelled, as well as our first pep rally.  The team and student body took the news with a big frown. L But do not doubt that Coach Casey, Coach Williams, Coach Taylor, Coach Acevedo, and Coach Belk have worked tirelessly to get our boys ready for this season.  We are all excited to cheer on our Patriots throughout the season!  Picture of new jersey…

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My Art class began the year with a study on tessellations.  They learned three different ways to make a tessellation tile.  After picking their favorite tile, they completed a half poster board of their tessellated art.  The final artwork is displayed in the B hallway for everyone’s enjoyment.  We have many art projects we will be working on this year.  My students seem excited about the art pieces they will get to create and all the different mediums they will learn to use.

97In my Spotlight classes, we also studied tessellations briefly.  They were creating their art work on my classroom ceiling tiles! Having tiles painted make the room a much happier place to be, nothing like making you smile J We spent 5 days painting and final results are gorgeous!

Spotlight students are also involved in a community service project from now until the end of October.  We are collecting new and very gently used books for the Forrest Spence Fund.  These books will be placed into Care Bags and delivered to families at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.  The Forrest Spence Fund is a non-profit organization that helps with the non-medical needs of chronically ill and hospitalized children.  During this time of the year they partner up with the family of Ann Brown Ashcraft.  Mrs. Ashcraft had an October birthday, so in her loving memory, her family helps to collect books to honor her intense love of reading and her gift of inspiring young children to love reading. Spotlight students are collecting books for ages 0-18.  Each book donated will have a label placed inside the front cover that will read “Given in celebration of the life of Ann Brown Ashcraft.”  These books will allow families to share a moment of normalcy in their lives.  And as parents, this is something physical they can do for their beloved children.  If you would like to help, you can send book donations to Mrs. Roehm’s room, B4, anytime between now and the end of October.

 

As you can read, we are off to an incredible start to the 2018-2019 school year! But the BEST is yet to come!  Make plans to get out and support your Patriots a time or two and Enjoy Your Moments!

 

Mrs. Roehm – 6th Grade Spotlight and Art

 

Welcome to 6th Grade

What a great start to the 2018-2019 school year!  We have over 300 amazing 6thgraders filling B Hall this year.  They have been working hard to figure out all the new challenges that being a middle school student entails.  In just a few short weeks they have figured out those stubborn locker combinations, navigated our congested hallways, learned new schedules (sometimes 2 or 3 new schedules), and experienced a taste of band and choir, all while keeping up with the academics of being a student.  I am continually impressed by the positive attitudes and helpful spirits of our great group of kiddos!

Our students have embraced the rigors of having 4 or more teachers, all with high expectations both academically and behaviorally. In math class alone we have taken 4 weekly tests, 3 quizzes, & had 16 homework assignments; however, it is not all work and no fun.  We have been singing math songs, using our bodies to learn box & whisker plots, and working with partners to share ideas.  We even had our very first dance!! After eating pizza, drinking Cokes, and visiting with friends, they still found some time to dance. What a blast our students had as they “boogied” the afternoon away! August was a great month!

Amazingly enough, this is only the beginning!  There is so much to look forward to this year: another dance, pep rallies, mix it up lunches, and ball games, all while learning and growing academically each day!  I am looking forward to 9 more months with these terrific kids!

Mrs. Ramsay – 6th Grade Math

What’s New in the ‘Burg for 2018?

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Lewisburg Middle School is well-known for being the fastest growing school in the district over the last 10 years. However, in the last few years, our reputation of being #1 in the state has caused our school to grow exponentially fast in a short period of time.  This year Lewisburg Middle School has made some wonderful additions to help manage the growth as well as create more spaces for learning opportunities for our students.

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Lewisburg Middle School opened its doors in August  of 2009, and at that time the building housed 5th through 8th grade with around 400 students in 6th, 7th, and 8th combined.  Today we have approximately 913 students across three grades.  This unique situation keeps Lewisburg in a constant state of change and growth.

 New students

As a result of so many new students that don’t feel as connected as those students that have been with us for years, our counselors work hard to create opportunities for these kids and their parents to feel like they are a part of the Lewisburg family as quickly as possible.  We have a VIP program that consists of students selected by our staff and counselors that have a variety of personalities and interests, so that when new students come to our school, we can connect them with someone that they may have some common interests.  These students give the new kids a tour of the school and are available to answer questions the new kids may have.  The counselors also meet with every new student one on one to check on them and make sure they are adjusting well to their new environment.

Another result of the growth is the construction on our building. Lewisburg Middle School had an additional 8 classrooms built on to the end of C-hall, which was previously used as the 6th grade wing.  This wing now houses 8th grade classes along with the computer labs.  The construction began back in February, but was not completed until the Friday before the students started school.  Details are still being added on a weekly basis to finalize the process for each individual classroom. The addition of the new classrooms include 5 computer labs; 2 for tech foundations, 1 for learning academy, and 2 labs for teachers; 2 science classrooms for Mrs. Newton and Mrs. Frayser, and 1 special education classroom for Mrs. Lawrence.  Having all Computer labs at the end of the hallway will allow us to create less disruption during testing season as well as provide a central location for team teachers to have computer activities running simultaneously.  The new wing also features high-tech LED lighting that will help conserve energy and tax-payer dollars.

In addition to our new classrooms, Lewisburg Middle was able to place smart technology in every classroom.  Every classroom in our building is now equipped with either a smart board, a promethean, or an interactive projector.  We love working in an environment that helps provide tools that enhance the learning experience for our students and the teaching experience for our staff, however, we also know that students need balance and time away from technology, so we also added a new outdoor classroom.120

New outdoor Classroom (picture)

First off, we have an amazing PTO that started raising money 2 years ago to make this classroom possible, so we would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work that helps make Lewisburg Middle School a top notch campus to be a part of. Our teachers and the students are eager to use this gem of a location to learn.  Learning happens all over our school building.  It is not out of the ordinary to see teachers doing lesson activities in the foyer, in the hallways, outside around the flag pole or at the front entrance area.  The outdoor classroom will be a new addition to the many creative locations teachers use at Lewisburg to help students explore concepts in a different environment other than the classroom.  We believe at Lewisburg that a change in location can keep things fresh for our students and get them more excited about a particular lesson.  Teachers plan to use the location for science exploration activities, reading and writing sessions, math activities, art inspiration, as well as other creative ideas that pop up along the way.  We are still waiting for the tables to arrive for the classroom to be complete and ready for teachers to start signing up to use, however; Mrs. Smith just couldn’t wait for tables.

New staff

With the influx of students, Lewisburg Middle school has had several new staff additions allowing our family size to increase.  The new positions include

Mrs. Covington – 7th ELA

Mrs. Rosengren – 7th/8th Math

Mr. Morgan – Band

Mrs. Barnes – SPED

Mrs. Haslip – 6th ELA & SS

Miss. E. Ferrell – CBC

Mrs. Childs – CBC assistant

We know that change is inevitable for the entire Lewisburg campus with the opening of I69, purposed plan for commercial properties, and the construction of many new neighborhoods.  Our plan is to embrace it, be prepared, and use it as an opportunity to continue to make a difference in our ever-growing community in hopes to make a difference in the world by what we do on a daily basis.

 

Mrs. Frayser – 8th Grade Science

“Why Middle School is the Best to Teach”

As I start to type this blog, I feel nervous because there are so many topics that one can discuss when teaching English to seventh graders. I could talk about all of the activities and projects we have done thus far, or I could talk about our lesson plans and stories; all of that is great, and I strive to reach all of our English goals this year. However, that is not going to be my focus here today. Today, I am going to talk about my students, what I have learned from being a middle school teacher over the past five years, and what I continue to learn in this profession every day. I want to talk about why middle school is the BEST age group to teach.

My favorite professor in college once asked one of my education classes how many of us wanted to teach middle school. Not one person raised a hand that morning.  He looked unsurprised and said, “That’s what I expected.” Confused, the other future educators looked around, wondering why this was considered the norm. Most of the people there had made up their minds; they were going to teach young elementary aged kids fifth grade or younger, or they were planning on teaching high school, no younger than ninth grade. That left the middle school age group in the dark, forgotten. You see, it is a cliché that even I fell into. Why would I ever subject myself to that age group? I remember that age. I honestly don’t want any part of the pre-teen angst and hormones, most definitely not! I will gladly teach third or fourth graders, and be completely happy. At the time, I was student teaching third graders. Messy, sweet, loving, hyperactive eight or nine year olds. When I thought of middle school aged kids, I thought to myself that they would not be sweet, they would be eye-rollers, they wouldn’t get excited about projects anymore, and I thought they would just be plain difficult.

I will never forget what my favorite professor spoke of teaching middle school. He told us how when he had first started teaching, he found himself teaching sixth grade. He told us how he, too, was thinking, What have I gotten myself into? Then, he said, “My mind was completely changed over time.” He told us all about how the kids at that age need us the most. They need guidance. They need leadership. They need people to listen to them, hear them. They need us just as much, if not more than, a younger student.  He talked about how funny they were, witty, kind-hearted. Yes, there would be negativity from time to time, but overall, he said that it was the best age group to teach. He left us that evening with just one last request: Please do not write off teaching middle school. Consider it.

Fast forward to graduating college, and immediately going on interviews to become a first year teacher.  I had options, and of course, like others, thought my calling was elementary education.  Then, I can’t explain it, but my heart changed course. I found myself never forgetting what my professor told us that day. I decided I needed to be in a middle school setting.  I found myself wanting to teach those kids. Help those kids. All I have to say is, my professor was right about everything.

This is now my sixth year teaching middle school. I have never taught any other age group. I know this is where I belong. Let me tell you something about middle schoolers. They get a bad rap. When I am asked by people what grade I teach, the reaction is often, “Wow, I could never teach that age. What a horrible age.” Often, I laugh and say, “They keep me on my toes!” or simply, “I enjoy them.” On the inside, I am thinking to myself that it is an unfortunate label these kids are given.  “Hormonal.” “Bratty.” “Terrible.” It isn’t fair. Let me tell you the truth about these kids.

  1. Middle school kids still want, seek, and need approval from adults. They want the teacher to tell them “Great job today!” They want the positive re-enforcement. They still love stickers on their work. They still draw you pictures. They still love to hear “Happy birthday.” They still want to tell you stories. Just because on the outside, they try to look grown, on the inside, they are still children. I don’t care if they are sixth, seventh, or eighth graders, these students need to know that their teachers deeply care about them. If they sense that you do not care as a teacher, that’s when they give up on you altogether. That’s when they give up on your class, too.
  2. Not only do students appreciate positive re-enforcement, they also appreciate the tough love. Let me be specific. Tough. Love. When you build a relationship with a middle school-aged child, and they trust you, when they do something wrong, they understand when you have to discipline them. Yes, they may get angry or upset with you, but normally, in the end, they love you for it because you
  3. Adults can often forget how it feels to be 11, 12, or 13. It is a constant struggle between being a young child and wanting to gain independence.  If you just try to empathize, and remember your own struggles during that time, you can really get on their levels, and they will love you for that. I have learned that these students often bring their personal problems into the classroom. They haven’t gained the skills we have with being able to go to work and not let our personal problems get in the way. It all starts with relationship building. Your classroom can be their haven away from their problems, and they are able to focus better, knowing you are on their team, not against them. Building relationships with middle school students is the key to everything. They will respect you, if they trust you.

In the end, I want to tell anyone reading this that teaching middle school is a learning experience every day. I never know what I am going to hear or see next, and it definitely keeps my career interesting, to say the least. Whether it is a student passing a note during silent lunch on their dinner roll with a sharpie (yes, this happened), or a child wearing two different colored shoes on the wrong feet entirely, I am constantly smiling.  When a child comes and hugs me a grade or two older and tells me how much they loved my class, I know. I know when I see their grade improve after struggling for so long. When they are engaged, enjoying, and smiling in my class while working in groups, I know. When a child comes to me upset and just needs to talk, I know. When a student asks me to come to their graduation one day, I know. I know inside that I made the right decision teaching this age group. I know this is where I am meant to be.

I am excited to be here at LMS this year. I am excited to build relationships, get to know the students, and hopefully leave them with the knowledge that being in the middle is okay and a learning process that we have all been through. I hope I can leave an impact with these kids like my professor left on me. I hope they feel approved of, but most of all, loved. “The best teachers teach from the heart, not the book.” Middle school students can steal your heart if you let them. They truly are the best kids to teach.

My professor was right: middle school students need us the most. But, if I’m being totally honest, I need them, too.

Ms. Covington – 7th Grade ELA