Newsletter Dec 2017

Of course, we know that Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher who died in 399 BC. One of his famous quotes was “I can’t teach anybody anything, I can only make him think.” Well, that’s what Ms. Gamble did with her 8th grade Challenge Literacy students when she organized them into a Socratic Seminar. The topic was the Holocaust and in par- ticular, a book by Elie Wiesel called “Night”, chapters 6-7. The students had to think critically and converse as a group for 15 minutes. The students around the outside were doc- umenting arguments and points made. We had a war at the middle school in October. The goal was to raise as much money as possible for hurricane relief through the Red Cross. So, in five days, the middle school students raised over $1100 just by throwing pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters into jars. Pennies are counted as positives for your grade but silver coins are counted as negatives— and if you are a 6th grader, you put silver coins in the 7th or 8th graders jar to bring their total down. The teachers had a jar too and the kids put lots of silver coins in our jar. Then, to top it all off, the MS Choir donated $800 to the cause. We wrote a check for over $2000 to the Red Cross. Some say the Great War was WWI. We say it was our Hurricane Relief Penny War. Special thanks to Mrs. Kopper- ud and Mrs. Ewing for batting clean-up in this project. Mr. Milledge teaches 8th grade Civics. His classes are beginning the year by learning about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rest of the Amendments. Recently, while focusing on the amendments having to do with Civil Rights, Mr. Milledge organized a “gallery walk”. This discussion technique allows students to be actively engaged as they walk through out the classroom. They work to- gether in small groups to share ideas and respond to meaningful questions, documents, images, problem-solving situa- tions or texts. There were 30 questions to be completed in 10 minutes. You had to get every question right! Sample: “Draw a line around the number or letter of this sentence” Sample: “Draw a line around the shortest word in this line” Sample: “Draw a triangle with a blackened circle that overlaps only its left corner” Say what? Needless to say, not many of us would be able to vote if we had to pass this test. Another interesting station in the gallery walk was a copy of the police report describing how Rosa Parks refused to move from her seat on the bus. The gallery walk idea is designed to get students out of their seats to experience history on a more personal level. Parents of middle school art students may see emails from Artsonia in their inboxes. Check it out! Your student has an online art portfolio! Not only can you follow along with your student’s art projects, but you can see any extra art they have created on their own! Artsonia is a great way to share your student’s creativity with other family members. You can send images to friends and family as well as take advantage of putting your student’s images on Tshirts or coffee mugs for fun gifts. Le Mars Middle School appreciates all the support that you give your student and we hope you enjoy seeing your student’s progress in art !

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