Well I hope this finds everyone well. I know the circumstances for us now is very stressful. I am here to help in any way I can. Please feel free to email me questions or ways I can help. I have had the Techsperts working on getting reading lists from Overdrive so students know what is available. It can be overwhelming if you have never used it before or do not have anyone to guide you through. If you need help, please email me and I will try to walk you through it. I am already looking into my ordering for next year so if you have any requests, please let me know that as well. I am missing the students and staff and the connections we were making I am looking forward to getting us back to our "normal" routine. I appreciate all the patience you are giving us to work through this. We will return the same to you. We are all in this together! Have a great day and I will try to post here more to update you on information I know.
It seems so hard to believe that we are almost done with third quarter. Time is certainly moving along.
We are in the process of selecting WEB Leaders for next year. The 7th grade students are writing essays and turning them in with an application by March 6th. On March 13th we will announce the leaders for next year after we complete the process of looking at attendance, behavior, leadership skills, etc. The students are excited to have the opportunity to be leaders at ESMS next year.
Techsperts are helping to wrap up the year. We have weeded out old books and are straightening shelves. It is a messy and tedious process. Teachers have been offered the opportunity to come select deleted books for their classrooms. I have order a bunch of new books this year and we are processing those as well.
Techsperts are also working on their leave their mark projects. Lots of neat things being discussed. Next year several of the Techsperts are going to go out and explore some of the other electives. I am excited for them to have this opportunity. My Techsperts classes will only have 3 or 4 students per hour. I am excited for those students to stay with me and help me make the LC a better place.
Spring break is fast approaching. It is March 16-20. After that we will start MAP testing. We are getting new carts and iPads to make that process happen. Following that. we will have one last in-service day, April 9 which will be half day for students and in-service in the afternoon. No school will be held on April 10.
With all of the snow days, our last day of school is scheduled for May 19. It will be a half day for students. The original date was May 7. I just hope we do not have many more. It will still be a long summer as we do not start back up unit August 24.
The message yesterday in WEB was to keep positive thoughts and messages in your head as we approach the change in season and try to get through until winter break. I hope by planting these thoughts in the students and staff it will make the next few weeks easier. I believe in positive reaps positive.
The first quarter is over and the second is getting close to be half over. Time this year seems so busy and quick. We are working hard in the LC to make the space neater and less cluttered. We are working on making the space more comfortable and user-friendly. We are going to start working on weeding books and materials to make room for the new materials we need. I appreciate the help of the Techsperts to make this happen. A few adults have also been donating time to make the space better.
Today, Mr. Findlay brought his class in to use the VR Goggles. I really appreciate the effort our teachers give towards using the materials that I purchase to enhance the curriculum. The VR Goggles are super cool for the kids as it makes them feel like they are in the environment the teacher wants to create....today it was space.
As we approach Thanksgiving Break, I want to tell all that I am thankful for the staff that I work for and with. I am thankful that they keep an open mind and are willing to try new things. I am thankful for the students who are also open to trying new things plus for the most part are here to focus on the learning. They are willing to give me ideas on how to improve the learning environment in the LC. I want to make it a place that is conducive to collaboration, communication and learning. I am thankful for the parents who support the learning process. Without them, it would be a much more difficult job! I am thankful for my family as well who support my job! So, thank you everyone and I hope you enjoy your break!
It is scary how fast this year is going. It is scary that it has snowed before Halloween. I am not sure which scares me more. Please everyone be safe out tonight and come back to school tomorrow ready to learn.
Hard to believe we are already a couple of weeks into the second quarter. Time just seems to be flying by. The Techsperts are busy working on the upcoming book fair which is about a month away. It will run from December 2 to December 13. We will have family night on December 10 from 4 to 6:30 PM. Hope to see the public come out and support our book fair. The theme of our fair is AND THE WINNER IS.... The Techsperts are getting ready to decorate for the event.
Our overall theme for this year is encouraging reading. We have book recommendations and displays in the LC that work towards this theme. I have a Google Classroom where I communicate with the students plus I put things out on Twitter, Instagram and on this website. The classes come in every couple weeks to check out books. Students also have access to eBooks that they can read on their iPads. I love it when a student comes in asks for a recommendation.
I will say Happy Halloween for today and before I know it I will be saying Happy Thanksgiving!
The first quarter has come to an end and we are starting the second quarter. We are starting Boost Tutoring for reading and math. Tuesdays is for math and Thursday is for reading. We have teachers ready to help our students. We will be offering this program until April 7th.
Techsperts have completed reading encouragement bulletin boards. Our big focus this year to encourage our patrons to read our books. The Techsperts are completing book recommendations. These are being posted on our Google Classroom and on our blog. esmstigersblog.blogspot.com is where you will find our blogs and book recommendations.
Next week is Parent Showxase. I am looking forward to seeing parents and being able to brag about our students and our space. Wednesday from 4-7 and Thursday from 1-7 you can come to the Middle School and visit me in the Learning Commons. See you there!
I am introducing new things for the Techsperts to try. This past week I introduced Powtoons. Some of them have used it in Computers class but others have not and it is taking them out of their comfort zone. I believe this is the way I am going to proceed from here on out. I want them to be willing to try new things which should then spread to others in the school. As other students see them presenting with different formats, they too will want to try out the new items. Teachers will sometimes ask me to have the Techsperts try something, but I think I need to also be asking on a regular basis. This will keep me on my toes as well because I will need to find new formats and ideas to have them try.
Here we are in October already. Parent Showcase is almost upon us which means the
first quarter is quickly coming to an end. The Techsperts have been extremely busy keeping
up with teacher demand for help plus their daily tasks.
In the Learning Commons, we are working to make the space user friendly and appealing to
our patrons. We have added tiger curtains and flashing lights so far. Our bulletin boards are
now decorated by the Techsperts to encourage reading.
The Techsperts are also doing book recommendations of which I am posting on the Learning
Commons Google Classroom and the ESMSTIGERSBLOGS.BLOGSPOT.COM so that students
can see them. I am also posting book recommendation from the Dragons Team. Mr. Terranova
has created a Twitter account for posting book recommendations.
The Learning Commons has hosted a visit for the 8th grade social studies class. They had guests
speak to them about the Indian Reservations. They talked about the history of the university and
the reservation. The students learned a lot from these gentlemen.
The Learning Commons has also been a busy place for classes to come discuss different topics.
One of the most memorable ones was the 7th grade social studies classes came to discuss
September 11 on that day. It was interesting to hear them discuss where they were when the
towers were hit. It made me go back to remember where I was and what was going on that day.
Other visits included 7th grade ELA and social studies classes coming in to hold competitions on
knowledge gained from their curriculum. Of course, the regular classes that send students to
check out books.
We are grateful to the high school for loaning us Chromebooks to let students who have devices
out for repair use. Every day we are kept busy checking them in and out to our students. There
is also the daily issues with the devices that the Techsperts and I troubleshoot. Issues that include
Apple Classroom, Google Classroom, wifi issues, and more.
Every Friday you should be here in the LC. The sounds coming out of the commons during lunch
represent the attendance rewards. Apparently they are spinning a wheel to award prizes. It is loud,
especially if my door is open. The shouts that are coming out of the students tell me it is a
worthwhile program that encourages good attendance. I believe they are awarding food and drink
prizes which really gets the students going. Happy Friday to all who got prizes!
Enjoy another week of progress!
The summer flew by but I am so excited to get started this year. I received an honor at the back to school teacher meeting for my 25 years of service. My biggest hope that in all my years I have left "footprints" . I was also recognized for being the teacher of the quarter from last year. As I got my award at the board meeting, one of my former students was also receiving that award for her building. That makes me proud. As I looked around the room yesterday at our back to school meeting, I noticed that several students were back teaching in this district. ESSD is a great place to be as a teacher and a student!
I am excited about the new administration. Ben Rubey is our Principal with Kacie Pennington Ambrose and Doug Baker as Assistant Principals. Mr. Mason returned as counselor but we have added Kelsey Shook as a counselor. Our staff basically remained the same with 3 new teachers added to include Heather Taylor in sixth grade, Joel Mathews in seventh grade social studies, and Courtney Mayle in eighth grade. #esmsbestyearever
I am super excited for Techsperts and WEB. These are two programs I am proud to be a part of!!! The kids work hard and support our school. Look for announcements and information about both throughout the year!
Okay TIGERS....Let's get this started in here! See you in the morning!
As An 8th Grader…By: Kyra
As I look around my first hour, I see tired faces and dreary expressions. But at the utterance of one word, some ones day is brightened and another has been sent into a crisis. Summer. As the end of the year (and middle school for some) draws nearer, it’s giving me more time to reflect back on my “middle school career”. How one place shaped me and my class so much?
As a student, middle school has been relatively easy. Perhaps that’s just because of the way I learn and process things. Teachers care about students, but 8th grade has been the only year where I liked all of my teachers. In my previous years, I was kept on the same pace as my class, and the grade was mostly counted based on what you scored for a test. While thrived in this environment, it got boring soon as I would be done significantly ahead of my peers. This year (and as I’m told high school will be) depending on the classes I take I work at an accelerated pace, or at whatever speed I complete my work. Classes take grades based more off of busy work then tests, which has been stressful trying to complete work for every class, but gives you a higher chance of making a good grade if you score badly on one thing. Due to this, I’m watching my peers either do good, or sink under the weight of self guided education.
Techsperts is one of these self guided classes. When I first joined in 6th grade after hearing about it during the summer program, I was ecstatic to work with books on the regular and also play a role in my school environment. As the year progressed, we mostly designed book fairs, wrote blogs, and helped with small events and ordeals. When we tried to plan big things like officially making the back room a makerspace, kindness day, and leave your mark projects, things got pushed aside by others or just didn’t work out. It’s also hard to complete projects when I’m the only person who is putting in effort. However, techsperts has also been a valuable experience for me to practice leadership, plan events, and learn more about my teachers and peers.
My advice for new students is divided into three sections: basics, tips, and tea. Basics are things that are common sense of that everyone should know.
My middle school career hasn’t been ideal, but it’s mine, and packed full of memories. Whether it’s crying on the bathroom floor after math class, or dancing in the learning commons with Ms. Travis. Even if there isn’t a visible sign of it, I know I’ve been here. And I know I’m going to keep going, and I know you will too. So here’s to the end of my middle school experience and the beginning of someone else’s.
Our final book fair is over for the year. We raised three hundred dollars for All For Books, so reality we got to buy six hundred dollars in books to donate to our classroom teachers libraries. We were three hundred dollars short of making a goal of getting extra Scholastic Dollars. The purpose of this book fair was to give back to the patrons of ESMS Learning Commons. It was a buy a book get a book free. I love it when the customers stock up on reading materials for the summer.
MAP testing begins tomorrow for most of our students here at ESMS. It is an exciting yet frightening time for all. Students are ready to show what they have learned but yet anxious to see if it worthy of a high score. I always tell them that if they are trying their best, it will all work out. We will be testing over the next two weeks. The schedule will be testing from first hour until about 10. We will have shortened class following that.
Next year's WEB Leaders and Techsperts have been chosen and placed in classes. It is not an easy task selecting these as we have so many good role models and I have to disappoint students because we can only have a certain number of each.
As this year winds down and we start to prepare for next year, I reflect on a great year. The students have used the space to enhance learning and we are still making changes to make the space even better. Please have a great summer and remember we will not be having summer school this year!