7 Habits with Mrs. Fisackerly

Hi Lewisburg Family,
My name is Missy Fisackerly. This is my 19th year of teaching. After teaching 6th grade for the last four years at LMS, I am very excited to be teaching 8th grade Language Arts this year. Since I taught many of these students in 6th grade, it has been quite exciting to see how they have grown academically and socially over the past two years.
We began the first few weeks of our year going over their summer reading book, The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen by Sean Covey. We discussed and completed activities to help us learn ways to become a more effective 8th grader.(I learned a lot from the book also.) Mrs. Fleming, the guidance counselor, came to each class and helped each student set goals for the year. We even wrote mission statements to keep in our binders.
We are now working on a unit that answers the essential question “Can we overcome disabilities? We are reading Helen Keller’s, The Story of My Life to discuss how she overcame her disabilities and became such an inspiration to many people before and after her death.
I can’t wait to learn and grow as a teacher throughout this year.

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“We’re All in This Together”

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Dear 6th graders,
Do you ever feel that some people seem to coast through school as though they are playing the lead roles in a musical? They just seem to have that certain confidence, that certain inner happiness that refuses to allow them to feel awkward? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret; they’re scared, too. Sure, they may hide it better than you do, but they are worried about the same stuff that you are. They’re worried about opening their locker. They’re worried about what they look like. They’re worried about whether their friends will stay true to them. They’re worried about getting into trouble or getting their teachers to like them. They’re worried about things that are going on at home. The list goes on and on and on…
I want all of you to know that no matter how much you may feel that you are the only one struggling to fit in or struggling to make this transition to middle school easier, we really are all in this together. Don’t take yourself too seriously as you navigate this new transition. Talk to other kids. Talk to your teachers. Chances are, they know what you’re feeling, because they’re feeling it, too!
We are glad that you are here! Please let me or any other faculty member know how we can make this year your best school year yet!
Sincerely,
Mrs. Browning
6th grade Language Arts

An Open Letter to My Students

You will always be my “kiddos.” Just like a mother calls her child her baby for the rest of her life, you will always be that innocent (sometimes awkward) middle school “kiddo” looking up at me for guidance, wisdom, and love. I hope that throughout the year you learned how to write a beautiful narrative, an informative expository essay, and a factual research paper (notice the parallel structure). I hope you can read, comprehend, and retain information from a high level text. I hope you have learned the difference between an independent and dependent clause and how both are important for entertaining and informing others through writing. I also hope you have learned not to “text” your teachers while writing formally. I hope you have learned high level vocabulary and learned that through context clues you can figure out the meaning of most words and phrases. All of these things are important, but I hope you have learned so much more than these technical English-grammar rules.

I hope that through the video project we finished, you learned to always look at every angle. You never truly know a person unless you have walked in their shoes or looked through their eyes. I hope that the legends/folk tale unit reminds you to remember your roots. The stories your parents and grandparents tell you will one day be your stories to tell. I hope that the persuasive speech you wrote and presented taught you to be passionate about ideals that are dear and near to your heart. I hope that by reading MS Trial 1955 and completing the character scrapbook, you learned compassion, empathy, and the importance of civil equality. I hope after reading Chinese Cinderella, you understand the importance of perseverance and self-esteem. You are all so special in your own way. Don’t EVER forget that. I hope all of the novels and pieces that we read this year ignite a passion for reading that nothing will replace, because reading opens doors that seem locked shut!

I hope, as well, that you will never forget your 7th grade language arts teacher. As kooky and nerdy as I am, I want you to know I will never forget each and every one of you. Thank you for enlightening me, making me laugh, and even challenging me. I am afraid that some days you brought more into my life than I brought into yours. You have marked my heart, and I hope I have marked yours.

Heather Sowell – 7th Grade AP English

Field Day

“Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge”. Those are the 5 Ds of Dodgeball, rules that both teachers and students alike had to keep in mind for Field Day. Field Day is an annual tradition for Patriots in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Teachers across all grades divide into teams separated by their team color, in an effort to compete for the coveted trophy. Scoring is simple: the top team in a competition earns 10 points, 8 points for the runner up, and 6 for third place. The remaining teams get anywhere from 1-5 points depending on their place. Each grade has a winning team, and the overall champ is crowned based on the amount of points.

Field Day events were split up into 3 sections: Gym Events, which included Knockout, a dodgeball tournament, and basketball relay race; Field Events consisting of an obstacle course, tug-of-war, and various relay races; and the final section was a kickball tournament on the LHS softball field. Finally, the winners of each grade’s dodgeball tourney were set to face up with an even tougher opponent: the LMS faculty. Of course the staff had to get in some quick friendly pre-match trash talk! However, after handily beating the sixth grade, the beloved faculty fell short to both the 7th and 8th grade.

As fun as the student/teacher dodgeball game was, everyone was dying to know who individual grade winners were, and who would ultimately be crowned as Field Day Champs. For the sixth grade, Mrs. Griffin’s Orange Team came out on top. In the seventh grade category, Mrs. Green’s Purple Team edged out the competition, and were joined by Mrs. Bruno’s orange team as the eighth grade winners. The trophy was then brought out by Mrs. Lawrence, last year’s overall winner, as she crowned the new champion, Mrs. Griffin’s team. The gym was filled by the cheers and screams of the sixth graders, as Field Day came to an end. For our eighth graders, this was a fitting end to their middle school career, as the next time they step foot in a school will be as freshmen at LHS.

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Mr. Acevedo – 7th Grade English

 

State testing time! And what do we do to get our students ready and excited? We MATH BLITZ!!! Friday, April 29th, the entire eighth grade had a day of math with the help of all their teachers. The students were split into nine groups, and rotated to different stations throughout the day. After the rotations, Mr. Meadows handed out ice cream bars as a reward for participating. Then, we ended the day in the gym with a relay race that involved solving equations. It was a success!! The kids had fun and we were ready!

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Mrs. Bruno – 8th Grade Math

Autism Awareness

April was Autism Awareness Month. It seemed like a fitting topic for my blog post since I have been immersed in information on all things Autism over the past few years. Being a teacher of several students with Autism and a mother a son who was diagnosed at three years old, it has become somewhat of a specialty. The Autism community is growing rapidly, 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Awareness is becoming more and more important in society. Whether you are a teacher, a student, a soccer coach, a server at a restaurant, or someone walking down the aisle at Wal-Mart; awareness can make a big difference. ASD is such a general diagnosis that includes developmental delays in communication, social, and adaptive skills in a wide range of severity. A commonly used quote is, “When you meet one person with Autism, you’ve met ONE person with Autism.” Some people with ASD are non-verbal, some talk too much, some are gifted, some have extreme academic deficits, some have serious behavior problems, and some are quiet and introverted. The best way that I’ve had it explained to me is comparing a person with ASD to a video game console. If you are playing a PS4 and you put in an XBOX game, that game is not going to work properly. The system is not able to read the information on the disc, because it is not wired to process it the data. People with ASD are wired differently. In reality we are all wired differently. We learn in different ways, have different preferences, and have different reactions. As a community, we need to educate ourselves on those differences and be accepting and supportive. These families affected by ASD have had to learn a new way of life. Their world now revolves around therapy appointments, routines, and meltdowns. The struggle is real. Autism is real. These children, as well as adults, with ASD have to navigate through a world they don’t fully understand that is full of people who don’t fully understand them. They have to learn behaviors and skills that come naturally to most of us. We can make life a little easier for them by being informed and understanding.

Helpful Tips on Managing Autism in a School Setting

· Keep your language simple, avoiding sarcasm

· Minimize distractions

· Provide clear choices

· Recognize behaviors that result from overstimulation, anxiety, or frustration

· Offer calm down breaks in a designated “safe” area

· Structure! Routine! Use timers

· Positive reinforcement to keep students motivated

· Assist in navigating social situations

· Capitalize on teaching moments

· Visual lessons

· Have patience

· Develop a thick skin

· Show compassion

· Be consistent

· Find more patience

Additional Resources:

www.autismspeaks.org

www.autism-society.org
www.autismnow.org

www.thearcnwms.org

-April Kinney 6th grade Special Education Teacher

Career Day

Being in middle school is an awkward time in life. Many students are worried about what their peers will think about the clothes they wear or what they say. It is 3 years of trying to figure out this maturity thing. In the midst of all the maturing and constant load of school work, the students have limited time to think about what their futures hold. To be honest, many of them have a hard time seeing past 8th period. So how are they supposed to figure out what they want to do when they get out of high school?

Recently at LMS, we gave the students break from their normal everyday routine to participate in Career Day. The wonderful councilors at our school put together a list of eleven professions that students showed interest in learning more about. We were able to find professionals in each of these fields that were willing to come to our school to speak. Student groups rotated from classroom to classroom in 15 minute increments to hear a little about each profession. We had a veterinarian, commercial pilot, physical therapist, computer programmer, lawyer, anesthesiologist, game warden, physical trainer, forensic analyst, orthodontist, and a sports medicine physician. Most of these professionals brought tools and pictures to show what they do every day. Specifically, the veterinarian brought a large breed dog to explain its anatomy and how similar dogs are to humans. The physical therapist brought a tool that measures strength. Some of the students were surprised to find that they were stronger (or weaker) than they thought. Needless to say, they knew how to keep the attention of our students.

To say these students enjoyed learning about the professional world is an understatement. The speakers that came to our school showed so much passion for their career that even the teachers were thinking about what they wanted to do when they retire from teaching. After speaking to several students about their thoughts on career day, I could tell that the wheels inside their heads were turning. The goal of this day was to spark interests in many of our students so that they will continue to be motivated throughout high school to do well. We want our students to be successful and if they have a goal to work towards, they may worry a little more about what the future holds than what someone is wearing.image3image2

Mrs. Wilbanks – 7th Grade Math

Tips on surviving standardized testing

It is that time of year, the time of year when two words can strike fear and panic in teachers, students, and parents. Standardized Testing. It does not have to be that way. The teachers have provided the instruction, practice, and review that the students need to be successful. The students have worked hard all year, and this is their time to show how well they can do.
Here are some things parents can do to make sure their child has a positive testing experience:
• Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep the night before
• Plan ahead to avoid problems before the test
• Be encouraging
• Make sure your child gets up early so there is no rushing
• Make sure they eat a good breakfast
• Have them wear comfortable clothes
• Make sure they are present and on time on test days
• Try to make test mornings pleasant
• Reassure your child they do not have to get every question correct to pass
• Remind them to listen carefully to instructions
• Explain the importance of using time wisely
• Remind them to stay focused even if others finish early

The most important thing is to be positive. Let them know that yes, the tests are important, but that they are just expected to do their personal best. Tell them this is their time to show off, to prove to themselves and others that hard work pays off.

By Mrs. Nikki Pulse

6th Grade Social Studies

In 6th grade Social Studies, we have been discussing civil rights. We opened up with Black History Month where students researched certain influential African Americans in science, math, sports, social sciences, and entertainment. That topic then led us into African American rights and how people like Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and, of course, Martin Luther King, Jr., helped fight for equality. Before Spring Break we watched a wonderful movie, Ruby Bridges, which is a true story of a little 6 year old girl who attended a newly integrated school in Louisiana and the battles she and her family faced.
We now will discover how women have not always had the same rights that women have today. Women had certain jobs that they could not pursue and certain lifestyles that they were expected to lead. Looking at how women did not have the right to vote until 1920 and now there is a woman running for president proves how far the United States has come. This, I’m sure, will lead us into some interesting debates!

Mrs. Coker

Tech Foundations with Mrs. Hood

This school year has been a great one in my Technology Foundations classes! We have learned all about the safety, care, and ethics of computers. We have tackled the very real issue of bullying through technology. We have also studied basics of computers, operating systems, Microsoft Word, and spent a large part of the school year learning how to type correctly using the touch method of typing.
We started off the year learning all of the correct fingers to use for the keys. At first, we took things very slow emphasizing the importance of accuracy, and not speed. Once confident using the correct finger positioning, speed would follow. That has been the case for most all of the students. I’m VERY impressed with the majority of my classes’ progress with typing so far this year. They really are a hardworking group. By the end of the school year, 30 wpm with 99-100% accuracy will be required to receive a grade of 100. The majority of students have already met this goal.
For the month of February, we have been learning all about Excel. We have learned basics of entering labels, values, and formulas. We have also learned and are continuing to learn more advanced skills to improve the appearance of spreadsheets. For Black History Month, we are ending the month of February with a Black History Month Excel Project. I’m excited to see the students create a Black History Timeline in Excel. They will be required to be creative and use what they have learned to make their projects excellent work. I can’t wait to see what all they come up with for these projects.image1image2

Mrs. Hood – 8th Grade Tech Foundations