by Layne Simpson, 8th grade
White Oak Middle School library is off to a fantastic start! For the first week of school, we worked our tails off trying to get everyone’s Chromebooks ready. Everyone was happy with their new (or old) Chromebooks, and new red computer cases. Once we finished that, all the library aides were trained by Mrs. Kelley, and we decided it was time to open the library for business. We kicked off the 2020-2021 school year with a book about farts, which had a great message to it in the end. We learned that everyone, even a fart, will find real friends who love them for who they truly are. After that ridiculous (in a good way) read aloud, people were eager to get out of their seats and check out the books. They made some great selections! We made sure everyone was being safe, so we squirted our hands with hand sanitizer, wore our masks, and sprayed everything down with sanitizer for the next class. We’re all looking forward to having a great year in the library!
A classic Christmas tree with student-made ornaments is brought to life with this century technology. At first glance, this library Christmas tree seems like any other, but look through the lens of the HP Reveal app to see it come to life!
I had the privilege of working with each middle schooler to create a 6-word memoir about an experience of their choice. I always learn so much about my students when they are given a chance to write about experiences that are important to them. Each ornament has a video of the author reciting their memoir. Students can use their phones or library iPads to unveil the videos.
The library will be open for parents and grandparents to view the tree and shop the Scholastic Book Fair on December 9-13 from 11:00-11:30 and December 17 from 5:30-8:00.
The Think Lab was buzzing with excitement on Tuesday as students went on an intercontinental field trip to explore the 7 New Wonders of the World. We didn’t need a plane, permission slips, or passports thanks to our Google Expeditions Virtual Reality Headsets. World History students experienced awe-inspiring architecture from ancient civilizations such as the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and the Roman Colosseum from the comfort of our swivel chairs!
6th graders got to put their periodic table of elements skills to the test with this unconventional lab. Coach Bohn’s science classes used gumdrops and toothpicks to construct the element Lithium while reviewing all they have learned about atomic structure during the first few weeks of school. In this special lab, students even to got to eat their work! I guess you can say it was pretty sweet.
6th grader uses a sewing machine for the first time
The library is packed on Mondays during lunch with middle schoolers looking for opportunities to unleash their creativity. Legos, sewing, stacking straws, friendship bracelets, art, and anything else that fosters hands-on student creations is an option during Create Club. This club is perfect for White Oak’s future inventors, designers, and builders.
7th graders measure material for their scrunchies
6th graders make friendship bracelets
The principal learns to sew!
6th grader sews like a professional!
6th graders construct legos
7th graders show each other what they have learned
8th graders explore stacking straws
7th graders make cars
Students are showing up for Game Club! Every Thursday White Oak Middle Schoolers get the opportunity to bring their lunch to the library and play card games, chess, dominoes, scrabble, and any other non-tech games of their choice. In today’s hi-tech world, a little game break goes a long way for kids. Check out Scholastic’s article describing the benefits of children playing board games.
Girls Game Club
You’re never too old for Go Fish!
More card games
Students show off their video game designs.
Middle School Power Math students spend Fridays in the Think Lab using Bloxels Builder, a video game making app for kids. Students are no longer just playing video games, they get to be the creators! To build video games, students must work through the design process, develop critical thinking skills, and effectively collaborate with team members. This project has made math relevant and sparked some serious creativity in the Think Lab. Thanks, Mrs. Henry, Ms. Broussard, and Mrs. Harrison for partnering with me on this project!
6th graders design a video game.
Mrs. Henry shows students how to use the Bloxel Builder app.
Middle Schoolers collaborate.
Students work through the design process.
Students connect math to the real world.
Students engage in critical thinking.
The Roughneck Tech Club had a blast planning and building the White Oak Community out of gingerbread. Please take a moment to watch the following video of the building process and our Skype with Prescott Learning Centre in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada.
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.