Gingerbread STEM Community Challenge 2017

White Oak Middle School Tech Club is participating in the Gingerbread Community STEM Challenge.  Schools and communities across the United States and the globe will soon be busy creating models of their community out of gingerbread.  At WOMS, our students are in the planning stages. Each group will create one building in our community. All students have the option of using Makey Makeys, Squishy Circuits, Ozobots, or LittleBits to add movement and color to their scene.  When we finish building, we will Skype with other schools to share our communities and learn from other students around the world. Want to join in the fun? Sign up at the following website!

2017 Gingerbread STEM Communities

NaNoWriMo 2017

White Oak Middle School is participating in National Novel Writing Month which occurs annually in November. By the end of the month, every student will have written the first draft of their novel.  Mrs. Cooper and Mrs. Kelley introduced the sixth grade to NaNoWriMo by dressing as their favorite characters in Charlotte’s Web.

The planning began weeks ago as Mrs. Cooper (librarian), Mrs. Kelley (6th Writing Teacher), Mrs. Walker (7th Writing Teacher), and Mrs. Velde (8th Writing Teacher) met to develop the curriculum and scope of the project.  Using the NaNoWriMo for Young Writers resources, the teachers were able to help the students set appropriate word count goals, help students plan the elements of their novels, and provide pep talks and support along the way.  NaNoWriMo has an exceptional curriculum for grades K-12.  The NaNoWriMo Young Novelist Workbook can be downloaded as a pdf for free. Students use the workbook to develop their characters, setting, and plot before beginning to write their novel. The writing teachers chose to provide every student with their own writer’s notebook. The students are diligently planning and writing their novels as we speak. 

To kick off NaNoWriMo for the entire school, Alexander London skyped in with our students. Mr. London had wonderful advice about providing plot twists and developing dynamic characters. Mr. London also stated, “The most important aspect is to write every day-even if what you write isn’t any good! Keep writing!”

The students at WOMS are busy letting their creativity flow…


Stay tuned to see their finished novels!

Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified School 2017-2018

White Oak Middle School recognized as a
Common Sense Certified School: Digital Citizenship

Common Sense, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology, has recognized White Oak Middle School as a Common Sense School.

White Oak Middle School has demonstrated its commitment to taking a whole-community approach to preparing its students to use the immense power of digital media to explore, create, connect, and learn while limiting the perils that exist in the online realm, such as plagiarism, loss of privacy, and cyberbullying. The recognition acknowledges our school’s commitment creating a culture of digital learning and citizenship.

“We applaud the faculty and staff of White Oak Middle School for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Liz Kline, VP, Education Programs, Common Sense Education. “White Oak Middle School deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”

White Oak Middle School has been using Common Sense Education’s innovative and research-based digital citizenship resources, which were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The resources teach students, educators, and parents tangible skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships, and respecting creative copyright. The free resources are currently used in more than 100,000 classrooms nationwide.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Common Sense School,” said Becky Balboa. “By preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly, we are providing them unlimited opportunities to maximize and personalize their learning.”

For more information about White Oak Middle School, go to To learn more about the criteria White Oak Middle School met to become recognized as a Common Sense School, visit

About Common Sense Education
Common Sense Education provides teachers and schools with free research-based classroom tools to help students harness technology for learning and life. Our K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum and interactive games teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world. Our educational ratings and reviews platform helps educators discover, use, and share high-quality digital products that propel student learning. Common Sense Education works with more than 340,000 teacher members in over 110,000 schools to help ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century.

Common Sense is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and educators thrive in a world of media and technology. To see all of Common Sense’s education resources, visit

For inquiries related to Common Sense:
Corbie Kiernan
[email protected]