Lewisburg Middle School Choir

LMS Choir has had a busy first half to the school year. We packed the house at our first concert of the year. I received many compliments and words of praise from parents and colleagues. The Advanced Ladies won “Best In Class” at the Ole Miss Choral Festival. We are all very proud of that trophy and already look forward to next year’s competition. There were quite a few participants in the District 2 Honor Choir and several 7th and 8th graders made it to the All State Honor Choir. All 10 of our 6th graders who auditioned made it to the All-State Honor Choir as well. We sang the National Anthem at numerous events including the River Kings Hockey game. The students worked very hard on their Christmas Program. We had 16 memorized songs in the concert and it lasted 50 minutes total. I am so proud of their efforts. We also had an end of semester field trip to Silver Creek Retirement Home as well as DeSoto Health Care Center. It was a great experience and we topped that off with a little fun and lunch at Chuck-E Cheeses. We ended the semester with a potluck and Secret Santa party during their class time.

 

We are now looking forward to the spring semester. The All-State students will be traveling to Hattiesburg to participate in the all-state choir. We will compete in District Festival, and the Advanced Ladies and Guys will travel to St. Louis and compete in the Music In The Parks competition at Six Flags. Our spring concert will come early, April 5th at Maples UMC. We hope to see you there.

Mr. Feazell – Choir Director

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Sign Language Club

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Welcome to the American Sign Language Club at LMS! We have the Basic and the Advanced Sign Language Clubs sponsored by Cindy Spivey and Rita Turner.

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In the Basic Sign Language Club, we learn the alphabet, colors, numbers, animals, and fingerspelling. Fingerspelling is an activity where the student practices spelling words using the alphabet in ASL. Example:   cat, dog, apple, table, etc.

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In the Advanced Sign Language Club, we learn school items, family names, food words, and conversational phrases. In the spring, the advanced club will have an opportunity to meet a deaf couple and practice signing to them. This is a wonderful way to include the community at LMS. The Memphis Library hosts a Santa time with a Signing Santa every December.

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Resources:

Mrs. Spivey – Deaf Education Teacher

Career Day in the ‘Burg

One of the most awaited days each year, here at LMS is Career Day. It is a day dedicated to the interests of our current eighth grade group, and focuses on what path they think they may want to take when they get out of high school. Our outstanding counselors work tirelessly to create a memorable learning experience for each of our 7th/8th grade students every year.

This year, one of the biggest fields of interest was education! Students went around in rotation and visited with 12 different presenters from our community who, not only shared their professions with our students, but also answered anything our student’s inquisitive minds came up with. We had presenters from culinary arts, agriculture, law enforcement and prosecuting, art, engineering, nursing and radiology, logistics, etc. The principal from Career Tech West even came out to talk to the students about classes students can attend in high school. What was even better was that most of these professionals were educators within their field of study.

Career day is a great opportunity LMS uses to expose young minds to interests and professions students may not otherwise know much about. It is also a great way to get our community involved in the futures of our young students. This year’s Career Day was a success and we are already looking forward to next year!

 

Mrs. Keen – 8th Grade ELA

Mrs. Lacey’s 8th Grade ELA Class

We have been very busy this semester in Mrs. Lacey’s eighth grade English Language Arts class! We started out the year reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and exploring all things mystery! Along with reading all sorts of mysterious stories and poems, each student researched a real-life mystery and presented their findings to the class. They were graded according to the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Speaking and Listening standards. Many students were very nervous, but everyone stepped up to the plate and conquered their fears of public speaking!! It was awesome to see.

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Second nine weeks ushered us into a study of Mark Twain’s writings. We read many different excerpts from the classic American author and started to wrap our minds around “satire”. These pictures show the students reading and discussing the hilarious essay, “Taming the Bicycle.”

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These teams of four are practicing a strategy called Reciprocal Reading. Each student has a job in his/her team and periodically the group will stop and let each person peform their job. This practice helps everyone feel like they are contributors to the group. It also helps everyone better understand the reading. Sometimes kids don’t know what to “say” when discussing a text, and this is so helpful when they have a clear role to play. We hope to keep reading, learning, and soaring to the top here in eighth grade English!

Mrs. Lacey – 8th Grade ELA

Climbing to the Top

With Thanksgiving just behind us, there are still a lot of things to be thankful for at Lewisburg Middle School. I am very thankful to work at the #1 Middle School in the state for the second year in a row! I am also thankful for the administration, staff, students, and parents. It is truly a wonderful place to work at every day! The students (and teachers) at LMS are very competitive and I love every bit of it.

This year, to help motivate my students, I have created a display of their last years test scores. The display is outside my classroom, and it is a tree with monkeys on the different test score levels. The students are assigned a number so they are anonymous. My class is “Climbing to the top”. After each Case 21 the students will move their monkeys to the projected score that Case 21 predicts they will make. My hope is that the display will encourage the lower students to want to move up and if they get to move their monkey up, it will motivate them to work hard every day. It will also help my highest students to stay on top. I know that they do not want to move their monkey down a level and they will do whatever it takes to stay on top.

I am looking forward to see if my display will help my students stay focused on our goal of being number one again!

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Danielle Evans – 7th Grade Math

Motivational Monday

This year I decided to create an acronym for each day of the week. Monday-Motivational Monday, Tuesday-Tackle the Text Tuesday, Wednesday-Wonderful Words Wednesday, Thursday-Tripe Threat Thursday, and Friday-Freestyle Friday. In this blog, I will focus on the day my students enjoy the most-Motivational Monday. In order to foster intrinsic motivation, I try to create learning activities that are based on topics that are applicable to my students’ lives. Every Monday students watch a motivational video and they love it! Motivational speeches allow young students to get their fresh supply of inspiration and positive insights that can help them overcome the many challenges that life has yet to offer. While different generations of kids do experience unique challenges, one thing remains the same—proper guidance can help them go through these obstacles and find the best versions of themselves in the process. With the help of the personal stories and real-life experiences motivational videos share, they can help listeners see practical applications of the insights and lessons they are talking about. The videos help my students see the value of different experiences, including less than pleasant ones that they face on a daily basis by telling stories of triumph over similar types of situations in their lives. Several weeks after watching motivational videos, students were able to write their own motivational speeches. Motivational Monday also allows me to incorporate multiple language arts skills like tone, mood, theme, central idea, and summarizing.

 

Mrs. Green – 7th ELA

 

Choices

Differentiation of instruction is challenging, but needed. All of my students have different areas of strength, and I need to be able to let them use those strengths. After attending a reading institute this summer, one of the big “takeaways” I left with was giving students plenty of choices.   When I give specific instructions on how an assignment needs to be completed, it can tend to limit the creative nature of many of my students. At this institute, I got the chance to complete a project in any way that I desired. I felt so much freedom and really enjoyed putting it together. All of the projects were unique, but they all contained the information that was required. I wanted my students this year to have that feeling about some of their assignments. My fellow English teachers were at the institute also, and we all wanted to let our students experience this freedom of choice. We decided to give them different choices on a novel project and gave instructions on what to include. It was up to the students to be creative and choose the format that appealed to them. I thought it would be mass chaos, but these projects were so diverse and entertaining! One of the choices was a movie trailer. I had a student who filmed his own stop action film (in my classroom) using Lego’s. He then took his movie clips and made a movie trailer for the novel The Outsiders. My mind was blown! That is something I would never have dreamed of assigning, but that student used their creativity and produced a wonderful product. I am so thankful to be able to allow my students to put their own unique twists to assignments, and I will continue to do so.

 

Mrs. Anderson – 7th Grade ELA

CHOOSING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Lewisburg Middle School Counselors do an impressive job creating a positive culture at our school, as well as educating our students about issues that help them to grow in maturity and handle the societal pressures of today.

Last month, we finished up our Anti-bullying campaign that is coordinated by the counselors. Each week the students participate in different activities to help them learn how to deal with all types of bully issues. Each week there is a theme and posters are hung from the ceiling at the front of each hallway that highlights the theme of the week. Their focus is to teach the students that they have choices to make when it comes to how to handle bullying and other social issues common among middle school ages, such as choosing to be an upstander instead of a bystander to bullying. Every day the students watch a video clip after hearing a challenge during the announcements that relates to the week’s theme. We also have a Kindness Matters barrel in the cafeteria where students and teachers can write kind words as a ‘shout out’ to be read on the intercom to promote positivity. These ‘shout outs’ also serve to show students how kindness towards others can make someone’s day and make a life-long impact. The counselors then spend time in the classroom teaching our students what it looks like in the real world to be an upstander and educates them on practical ways that they can implemented the skills they are learning into their everyday lives.

Mrs. Young goes into each 6th grade class during activity time and teaches the 6th graders differences between bullying and being mean. She helps students to identify what actions are truly bullying as well as talk about different ways that bullying can occur. She then helps the 6th graders by giving them ways to become upstanders for their peers that may be bullied, but have no one to turn to. She also gives students an opportunity to learn what it means to advocate for themselves when someone is treating them unkindly.

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Mrs. Fleming goes into the 7th * 8th grade Social Studies classes and teaches empathy building to 8th and Cyber-bullying to 7th. In 7th grade most students have smart phones and are finally old enough to have social media accounts. This reality brings a whole new level of bullying into our schools and seems to hit a peak in 7th grade, where kids have not fully developed maturity skills. These small groups sessions led by Mrs. Fleming give our students opportunities to hear the impact that cyberbully has on others so they can learn just how serious cyberbully actually is for teenagers. Since students in 8th grade are beginning to mature and become more self-aware, as well as, aware that they can affect how others are feeling, Mrs. Fleming focuses on teaching what empathy is and why it is important to think before we act or don’t act in the case of being a bystander in the 8th grade sessions. The students also learn to think about the person that is doing the bully and decide why someone might be acting unkind or treating others mean. They learn that kindness can actually help the bully as well as those that are being bullied. The students are taught to celebrate difference among their peers and think about how these differences make our world a better place.

 

The close out activity for Anti-Bullying Month, which we are all very excited about, was a mix it up lunch…

During this time teachers will have a group of students that they will eat lunch with somewhere in the building or outside if it is nice enough. The teacher will guide the students through a discussion that hits the topics they have been learning about all month from our counselors. They will then play a team building game to just have fun together as a way to learn that you can enjoy being with people that are different from you and you can build a positive community just by spending time together.

 

These are only a few of the things our counselors do to make our school great. They host career day, host fieldtrips to colleges or career centers, teach goal setting, and meet with students on a regular basis to work on social skills, organization, grade improving, and challenging home lives. They also spend time with the teachers helping us troubleshoot problems with our students as well as our own personal challenges. I am grateful to work with such creative and caring people. There is no limit to the infinite amount of impact they have on all of us today and in the future because of what they choose to do each and everyday.

Mrs. Frayser

 

6th Grade Rocks

It’s so hard to believe we are now in the third week of the second nine weeks of school. Wow!!!! Each year I think, “This year I am going to do whatever I can to slow life down.” But as you probably know….….each year time just goes faster and faster.

Sixth grade hallway is a bustling place this year, especially between classes. From kids trying to get to a locker or class to kids trying to see a friend because they must tell them what just happened before the next class. It’s also a place to learn. One lesson to learn is patience, because you have to be patient to get down the crazy, “filled with 300 6th graders of all sizes” hallway, and I’m talking about for the teachers as well as the students. It is probably pretty comical from a birds eye view to watch as teachers and students try to jostle their way down the jam-packed hallway. Another lesson to learn during class change is how many kind-hearted students we have at LMS. I love to see the random acts of kindness that show up from time to time. Students are constantly dropping books, pencils, paper, etc., (and yes, sometimes students are landing in the floor) but it seems there are always kids that will stop and help them out. A smile comes to my face when I see these students lending a hand to each other. The hallway is also a time to learn other things (stuff that I really don’t want to learn), but I will spare you the details in this post. LOL!!!

Sixth grade is such a fun year of excitement and learning for these kiddos. Unfortunately, there are some rough times along the way, but somehow, together, we always seem to get through them, and I am so thankful to be a part of it ALL.

 

#sixthgraderocks

Mrs. Fisackerly-6th grade teacher

Sounds that go “bump” in the night

I love the fall season. I am not particularly fond of horror stories, but I love listening to a good mystery or urban legend over a gleaming campfire. While it is totally against board policy or fire codes in the school, I still create a “campfire day” for my students somewhere around Halloween. We have s’mores (recipe at the bottom), black out the room, and tell Lewisburg Urban Legends around a gleaming campfire displayed on the smart board. Yes, we are learning! We analyze stories, make predictions, and learn the elements of suspense. We also learn the art of storytelling, how to hook a reader in, and how to write a cliffhanger. We read and analyze one of the most famous scary stories of all, “The Raven.” We talk about satire and create comic strips of the story. We close read the poem, talk about poetic devices and how they create the mood of the poem.   We read the play, Sleepy Hollow, act it out, and talk about how to approach reading a play differently. It sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But, it’s fun. The kids enjoy it, and I have fun teaching. And in the end, we celebrate what we have learned with a good old-fashioned campfire day where we share what we have learned and fellowship.

The following story is one of my Lewisburg favorites that I share on campfire day. Enjoy!

“Mr. Glover”

Next time you are travelling south on Bethel Road, look out the window before you get to Miller Road on your left and Cat and Cow Vet Clinic on your right. You’ll see that the road crosses over a ditch, an un-named we weather creek that empties into the Coldwater River. Nowadays, guardrails line that spot on the road, but back when Bethel Road was just a dirt road, a wooden bridge spanned the ditch. The locals called it Glover’s Bridge.

Nobody in our family ever knew the first name of this Mr. Glover, but we all knew why that bridge came to be known as Glover’s Bridge. Back before my great-grandfather’s time (he was born in 1899!), a notorious horse thief was in the area and his last name was Glover.

As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for the local folks to tire of Mr. Glover’s criminal activities once he showed up in the community with his horse-stealing ways. The folks got together and formed an old-time version of a neighborhood watch committee. Since Mr. Glover never could resist other people’s critters, it wasn’t long before he was caught red-handed—stealing a team of young, green broke horses.

The neighborhood watch group immediately threw a party (and a lasso!) right there on the spot—which happened to be somewhere on what’s now Bethel Road and Craft (Lewisburg). Soon, Mr. Glover was dangling from a tree with a noose around his neck-and an old-fashioned hanging. And just in case he wasn’t already dead enough- or maybe because of his love of horses-the watch committee then tied the rope to the back o f that team of young horses, and fired a shot in the air. Down the road they flew; Mr. Glover still attached to the other end of the rope. That really spooked those young horses (a gunshot, a flopping limp body). They weren’t used to that, so they took Mr. Glover for a nice long final ride. Well, it was really more like a final drag…Mr. Glover either came off his rope or maybe the horses just stopped—heaving and panting and sweating there at the bridge. But for whatever reason, they stopped there which was a convenient location for the watch committee. The ditch and steep bank made an easy place to dig a shallow hole for a grave and to this day there lies Mr. Glover.

Back then, that stretch of Bethel Road was lined with trees. In places the branches actually met at the tops forming a canopy over the road. It was shady and spooky (especially if you knew about Mr. Glover lying near that bridge somewhere). Generations of children were scared of that spot, my great-grandfather included. My grandmother (born in 1930) recalled fear of the place. Every time she’d cross Glover’s Bridge, she’d always holler our, “What are you doing, Mr. Glover?” And he’d say nothing… My father and aunt would always say “Hello, Mr. Glover” whenever they would cross that ditch on their ponies. It was funny how those ponies would always get skittish in that spot.

In fact, people who didn’t even know the history of Glover’s Bridge would remark about how their normally calm horses would always get nervous there.

The Dyes who own that pasture that holds the remains of Mr. Glover had two strange incidents that occurred about 10-15 years apart. In both cases, a horse somehow fell off the steep bank breaking its neck. They’d be discovered dead with a grimace on their faces lying in a twisted heap beside that ditch at the bottom of that steep bank. Probably right on the gravesite of Mr. Glover still somehow taking away another man’s good horse.

So, next time you’re going down Bethel Road and cross the guard rails, remember to ask Mr. Glover what he is doing, and, hopefully, he will say nothing…

 

Fireless S’mores Recipe: graham crackers (cinnamon), marshmallow cream, chocolate icing