LMS Science Department

Here at Lewisburg Middle School we strive for excellence. It is not a wish or a dream, but a goal. Everyday our teachers converse about strategies to reach students in new and exciting ways. Our teachers also go to seminars to hear what teachers in other counties and states are doing to teach certain subjects. In addition, our teachers are also students because we take college courses and continuing education units to stay up to date on all the latest teaching methods which show the greatest educational growth. It really seems that teachers here at Lewisburg(and other Desoto county schools) are, as always, giving our best every day. Everyone knows that all our teachers here at LMS are special; however, I am going to focus on one particular group of teachers-the science department. Why the science department you may ask? Well, not to toot our own horn or anything, but over the course of the last three years we have had the HIGHEST STATE TEST SCORES in the county. You have probably heard before that if something happens once, it’s an accident. If something happens twice, it is a coincidence. If something happens three times, it is a pattern. Well, I guess you can say we have a pattern of excellence in our science department. So with this week’s blog, I want to share a little about the educators which make up the science department of Lewisburg Middle School. They deserve a lot of credit, so if you see any of them please give them a word of encouragement which really goes a long way.
First of all, we have our commander-in- chief, Mrs. Emily Frayser.
Here is a short bio of Mrs. Frayser in her own words:
I have been married for 21 years and have three children of my own; a ten year old 5th grader, a fifteen year old 9th grader, and a twenty-one year old that is in the Air Force. I graduated from Horn Lake High School and have lived in Desoto County all my life. I love to spend time with my family. I also love serving God and believe that I have been called to teach middle school students. I have 14 years teaching experience in middle school science, I taught 8 years at Southaven Middle School and 6 years at Lewisburg Middle School. I am a nationally board certified teacher in middle school science education. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education k-8 from the University of Memphis in 2001. I am dedicated to each of my students as individuals. I am flexible and love to have fun, but I have high expectations for each of my students to grow from their individual level.
I became a teacher because I felt called by God to share a love of learning with the future generations. I want to inspire and help specifically middle school students walk through the transition of becoming of young lady or young man as they move into high school. I also want to share my passion for science to my students. I love how our Earth is so perfectly created with incredible life and features.
Next we have Mrs. Creager,
Mrs. Creager attended the University of Memphis and has received a BS degree from UT Memphis in Health Sciences, Cytotechnology. She has also received her Master’s degree in the Art of Teaching from National Univ.

Mrs. Creager has not always been a teacher. She has had other jobs like a pharmacy technician for 11 years, park ranger during seasonal times, cytotechnologist in a pathology lab for 15 years. The best part is she has been a teacher here at LMS for ten wonderful years.

I asked Mrs. Creager why she wanted to go into teaching and here is what she said, “I wanted out of pathology lab because it was too isolated-no human interaction. It was just me & my microscope looking for cancer cells. I thought nursing was the way to go but Lord had other plans !! Blessed to get hired by James Brady & teach here !!!! I have much appreciation for Mr. Meadows for allowing me to keep animals in my room !! And there is tons of human interaction !!!
Next is Mrs. Ferrell,
Mrs. Ferrell says,
I teach seventh grade science at Lewisburg Middle. I currently live in Olive Branch with my husband of thirteen years and two children who attend Lewisburg Middle and Lewisburg Elementary. Mississippi has not always been my home. I grew up in a small town in Tennessee on a farm with my father and brother. Growing up on a farm developed my love for all animals; therefore, science became my favorite subject in school and college. I graduated from the University of Memphis in 2001 and am currently working on my masters of teaching through Belhaven University. Teaching is a very rewarding career, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of the teaching staff here at Lewisburg.
Here are a few words from Mrs. Newton, our 8th grade science teacher.
I graduated from Purdue University in 1986 with a BS in Nursing. I practiced as an RN in the Chicago area and later in Kentucky for 19 years. Upon moving to DeSoto county, I was interested in a career change and was a SPED assistant at OGCE in Hernando for 3 years. My last year as an assistant, I decided to do the alternate route through Delta State to become a certified teacher and completed the Master’s program in 2008. I taught 5th grade math, science, and social studies at OGCE for 4 years before deciding that I wanted to teach middle school science. I spent a year at Southaven Middle in 7th grade science, and this is my 5th year at LMS. I am married and have 4 children: Lauren is a graduate of U of Memphis and is a travel nurse in Colorado; Nathan is a graduate of Delta State and is a Fitness and Endurance trainer at Lifetime Fitness in Collierville; Michael is a junior at Miss St in aerospace engineering and co-ops at Gulfstream Aerospace in Savannah, GA; and Alex is a senior at LHS.
Next, there is Mr. Wiltshire.
James Wiltshire comes from a family of teachers. His father, aunts, cousins, in-laws are all teachers. Mr. Wiltshire wanted to become a teacher to impact student lives in a positive manner. He also wanted to follow into his family’s footsteps and become a teacher. Mr. Wiltshire is a 1993 high school graduate of Horn Lake High School. He went to Northwest CC for two years and graduated from Delta State University in 1998 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education of Biological Sciences. He started teaching in January 1998 at Olive Branch Middle School and transferred to Lewisburg Middle school in August 2014. This makes a total of 19 years of teaching. Mr. Wiltshire’s favorite aspect of science is Astronomy but the Periodic Table and Chemistry is a close 2nd.
Mr. Wiltshire has a wife to whom he has been married to for a wonderful 14 years. He has two kids, age 11 and 7. Both children attend Lewisburg schools. He also has one crazy dog named Fudge who loves to dig for moles.
Then there is Coach Cameron Taylor, here are a few words about him from him.
This is my first year teaching at LMS, and my first year to teach as a whole. I transitioned from the business world to teaching this year. I worked at AutoZone headquarters in Memphis. After pursuing a business degree my heart has always been working with children. After much discussion, prayer, and studying in June I found myself in a teaching program. Soon after the course I accepted a teaching and coaching position here at LMS. I am very passionate about what I do. I feel that it is my responsibility to help build a foundation for the world’s future leaders.
I have been married for a little over two years to Mrs. Taylor, who teaches here at LMS also. We pour our heart and soul into everything that we do. It is so rewarding to know that we are the reason a student may laugh and have fun, but learn while doing so. We are proud to be LMS Patriots!
There is one more person I want to mention. His name is Coach Jeremy Boler. Coach Boler started coaching this year at Lewisburg High school, but was at LMS for about a decade helping shape the science minds of our middle schoolers. I want to say thank you Coach Boler, Mrs. Frayser, Mrs. Newton, Mrs. Creager, Mrs. Ferrell, Coach Taylor, and Mr. Wiltshire for helping our school achieve the highest state test scores in science for a third year in a row. Thanks science teachers for all your hard work and the administrators who support them in every way possible.

“Tales from the 6th Grade”

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I know it’s just the beginning of the school year, but let me just say… our sweet, polite, and energetic 6th graders have certainly come in with a bang… a very loud bang. Their awesome sense of humor combined with their bright and bubbly personalities have already made this year wonderful and one for the books. Most of the stories I share with my friends and family are hard for them to believe, and I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t believe them either if I hadn’t experienced them myself. Here are a couple of my favorites from this year so far. Enjoy!

Tale 1- “The Complimentary”
On the first day of school, I always tell the students about myself. I tell them my name, what I like to do, etc. This year was no different and after I had introduced myself, a very sweet student asked me my age. I replied, “26.” I definitely did not expect the quick debate between two of my kids on whether I looked “15” or twenty years my senior. I couldn’t decide which one was the better compliment.
Tale 2- “The Brutally Honest”
My study hall class is during the last period of the day, and although I don’t teach English that period, I still teach. I teach my students to work hard, to be productive, to
use their time wisely, and to sit quietly at their desks. So… as I quietly graded papers at my desk, a student walked over to ask me a question. Because she was standing and I was sitting, she could see the top of my head.
She stopped abruptly in the middle of her question and loudly blurted out, “Whoah, your hair is darker at the very top! That’s so cool.” Needless to say, the other students were very eager to check out my “cool” hair.
After a wonderful summer comes to an end, it’s hard to stay positive about going back to “work.” I can honestly say that these sixth graders have made my job so fun and entertaining. There is never a dull moment on the C-hall. Keep rockin’ it out sixth grade. You’re doing great!

Mrs. Weaver – 6th Grade English

Have you ever felt like an “outsider”?

After teaching the novel, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, for the last five years, it has become one of my personal favorites. Even though it was written in 1967, the story is full of so many life lessons that are still appropriate to our society today. We may not have “Greasers” or “Socs”, but everyone at some point in their life has felt as if they were an “outsider” – or not accepted by the people around them. Sometimes it’s difficult to get a seventh grader to admit they have felt different or left out. Honestly, as an adult, it’s hard to admit that you have felt left out. Everyone wants to belong, to feel accepted, and to be understood.
There are many students who are just waiting for the opportunity to tell someone, “I don’t feel like I belong anywhere.” They feel misunderstood, unaccepted, and unloved. It is for those students that I will continue to use this novel in my classroom. I want them all to understand that EVERYONE, whether they want to admit it or not, has felt the same way that they do. I want them to know that they are strong enough to rise above that feeling and figure out where they do belong. I want them to learn the value of making everyone feel included. It is so easy to get along with people who think and act the same way as you, but we don’t truly grow as human beings until we learn to accept others for who they are. My hope is that, after reading this novel, my students will learn how to always make everyone feel included. Of course, I also want them to always understand what Johnny meant when he said, “Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…”, but that’s another lesson entirely.

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Mrs. Teresa Anderson
7th grade ELA teacher

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