Happy Thanksgiving!

Book club spent time today reflecting on the meaning of Thanksgiving. Students took turns writing thankful thoughts on pumpkins and then shared with each other.The pumpkin exchange was followed by a reading of A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman. Book club followed Pete on all his adventures and loved how he outsmarted the townspeople.

Next, everyone joined in reading Over the River: A Turkey’s Tale by Derek Anderson. Who knew traveling to Grandma’s house could be so dangerous? At the close of the meeting, all the students gathered together and sang “Over the River” by Lydia Maria Child.

Happy Thanksgiving from the White Oak Middle School Book Club. We hope you take the time to cherish your family and friends during this season of gratitude.

The Great Halloween Escape!

Book club participated in the The Great Halloween Escape today and emerged victorious!  The students solved a series of puzzles and riddles by deciphering clues hidden in various Halloween articles.   The students who make up book club are incredibly talented, intelligent, and creative ladies who Mrs. Logan and I have the honor of spending time with every Friday. Have a Happy Halloween!



Magical Halloween Coding with Tech club

It is the spookiest time of the year! Are you ready for monsters and magic potions? Check out the new Spooky Brew Tynker project! Today,  WOMS Tech Club learned programming concepts like messaging, costumes, sounds, and advanced animation as they created a potion-making game for their friends. What effect will their potion have on a monster? Will it turn the monster into a fire-breathing dragon? Transform the monster into a spooky skeleton? Or make the monster change in size? With a multitude of coding concepts available, students have the ability to customize their monsters and potions. Happy Halloween!



Digital Citizenship

Teaching and modeling digital citizenship is essential to helping our students learn how to responsibly use social media.  My goal as a librarian is to help our young people understand that images and messages posted on the Internet today can affect their future forever.  Fortunately, Common Sense Education provides a wealth of resources for educators and families.

Three years ago White Oak Middle School implemented Common Sense Education curriculum, and the change in our school culture has been significant. Our students have learned to use social media responsibly, show respect for other’s work, and avoid the negative effects of cyberbullying. Through Common Sense we became a digital citizenship certified school and district.

In addition to educating our students, we shared the digital citizenship resources with our students’ families through parent lunch and learns, blog posts, and newsletters.

Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music.  Our Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age. -Common Sense Media

An easy way for families to start the digital citizenship conversation is by participating in the #DeviceFreeDinner Challenge. Use the Common Sense Media resources to create a family media plan.     

Check out all the resources at Common Sense Media to get students started on the path to being responsible digital citizens.

Diary of a Worm, Spider, and Fly Field Trip

To inspire book club members to create their own children’s book, Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Kelley gave members the opportunity to see a live performance of some of the most beloved children’s books.

The Roughneck Book Club watched Doreen Cronin books come to life at LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center. Dallas Children’s Theatre performed excerpts from three of Doreen Cronin’s wildly popular books Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly.  The performance included the coolest ever rock-n-roll romp in a bug’s world, capturing all the droll humor and whimsy of the books. Insects rule in the diaries of unlikely best friends: Worm, Spider, and Fly. Worm eats his homework, Fly believes she has superpowers, and Spider can’t wait to grow up and molt.  Promoting Eco-consciousness, earth science and tolerance of others, Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly is a joyful, hip musical exploration of the world outside. In this performance, a bug’s life is not all that different from our own! 


Coding Hide & Seek Games

Mrs. Velde’s technology class and the Roughneck Tech Club learned how to code hide and seek games this week using Scratch.  Students customized characters and backgrounds to make their games original and reflect their creativity.  In order for the game to be challenging,  students learned to make characters disappear and reappear at random intervals.  Tech club members also coded characters to reappear at random positions on their background image. Of course, it would not be a game if there was no score; therefore, students learned how to code their games to keep score and reset to zero when the game started over. Check out the code sequence below.

Ready to check out some of the games?  Play Underwater Hide and Seek. Hint: You may have to allow Flash

Click on the diver when he appears on the screen to earn points. Click on the flag to start the game.

Play Hide and Seek Reindeer! Click on the reindeer when he appears on the screen to earn points. Click on the flag to start the game.

Start making your own game at Scratch.mit.edu!

Tech Club Eco Challenge

The Lexus Eco Challenge is an exciting national STEM competition for grades 6–12 that awards a total of $500,000 in grants and scholarships to eligible teachers, students, and schools each year.  Featuring three separate challenges, the Lexus Eco Challenge gets students involved in project-based learning, teamwork, and skill building as they work to develop a solution to an environmental issue that affects their community.

Challenge 1: Land & Water Topics

  • Landfills, Waste Management, and Recycling
  • Forest Destruction/Deforestation and Desertification
  • Endangered Species and Loss of Biodiversity
  • Water Conservation and Fresh Water Shortages
  • Shrinking Wetlands and Aquatic Habitats
  • Threats to the World’s Waterways and Oceans, e.g., (Poorly Managed Fishing, Pollution, Coastal Tourism and Development, and Shipping)

The Roughneck Tech Club is busy designing solutions to solve an environmental problem related to land and/or water. Final submissions are due on October 15, 2018, and we cannot wait to see all the creative eco-campaigns our students’ design.

Stay tuned…