Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Great NaNoRiMo Adventure

Have you ever dreamed of writing your own novel? For a creative group of seventh graders, their dream may become a reality. Ten students from Mrs. Lambert's ELA classes will meet in the LMC every Tuesday to participate in NaNoRiMo. During the month of November, these students have set goals to write a specific amount of words with the hope of finishing a novel by the end of the month.

To kick off NaNoRiMo, and to help our students think critically about their writing, we Skyped with author Margo Sorenson. Margo began by sharing various tips for our writers. She especially focused on how to create strong characters, the planning process, and the elements of an engaging story. She even shared some of her first and final drafts to remind students about the importance of revision.

Students had many questions to ask afterward. This was a great opportunity to learn some trade secrets from a professional writer! Students wanted to know things such as how to come up with names for characters, where to find story ideas, and Margo's biggest struggles as a writer. After our call ended, students were buzzing with excitement about what they learned and about finally diving into NaNoRiMo.

Stay tuned for updates from our NaNoRiMo group during the month of November. I look forward to seeing what these exceptional students create.

Around the US (and Canada) with Mystery Skype

During the past couple of weeks, seventh graders in Mrs. Krebsbach's and Mrs. Allen's Social Studies classes traveled to different parts of the US and Canada by connecting with other classrooms through Mystery Skypes. Once the game was over, and when time remained, it was fun to ask getting-to-know you questions such as "How many students are in your school?" and "What is the weather like in your city?" We had a GREAT time meeting students from different locations!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Eighth Graders Meet Geologist David Waldo

Eighth graders had the unique experience of being able to speak with geologist, David Waldo, about the controversy surrounding fracking. During their current inquiry unit on alternative energies, students have been researching some of the different energy sources currently used- solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, hydropower, coal, and natural gas, to name a few. To introduce the students to the often controversial topic of fracking, we turned to the excellent service, Nepris, which quickly paired us with industry professional Waldo. Waldo shared his expertise about the fracking process, its impact on the environment, and how this source of energy compares with others. Students were also able to ask questions following his brief overview on the topic. At the end, students had a broad, inside perspective on the topic.

I recommend Nepris to anyone wanting to connect students with STEM industry professionals. A connection was as simple as posting a request and waiting for a response. Best of all, students gained a real-world perspective from an expert in the field.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Teen Read Week- October 10-14

We are excited to officially celebrate Teen Read Week next week! Students can stop in the LMC during SRT to participate in a selfie station (complete with props) and learn how to make a light up bookmark. In addition, we will be taking nominations for the first ever DPMS Top Read Award. Nominate your favorite title to win the big prize.

For every activity that you participate in next week, your name will be entered into a raffle for exciting prizes including: gift cards, posters, and Scholastic Book Fair gift certificates. The more you try, the more entries you will receive!

We will see you in the LMC next week!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

DPMS Kicks Off GRA!

Today we kicked off our celebration of the Global Read Aloud by meeting one of our partner schools via a Mystery Skype. Eighth graders in Mrs. Meyer's and Mrs. O'Hearn's classes used their geography skills to correctly identify our partner school's location. It was certainly fun learning more about the differences between the "big" city of De Pere and the "small" city of Campbellsburg, Indiana (population 573)! We look forward to connecting with them during GRA to discuss Orbiting Jupiter.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

TEDxDePereMiddleSchool videos now available!

A few weeks ago, on May 27, I was able to participate in one of the most amazing experiences of my professional career. Thanks to the brilliance of my coworker, Josh Gauthier, De Pere Middle School hosted its first ever TEDx event- TEDxDePereMiddleSchool. During our event, 20 selected students and five community members gave the talks of their lives from our very own stage in the LMC based on the theme "my unique contribution to the world." TEDxDePereMiddleSchool was a day filled with so many highs as these students amazed me with the passion behind each of their messages. The variety of topics- everything from girls in stem to redefining the word "nerd"- showed not only that middle school students care deeply about the community and world in which they live, but it also showcased the great heights our students can achieve when we push them to discuss subjects that engage them.

If you were not able to view our event via our livestream link, you can still view all of our student and community talks on YouTube. I hope that you will be just as inspired by them as those of us who were physically in the audience.

While preparing for this event was a huge endeavor, it was worth every extra minute spent planning, coaching students, and organizing the day. Our students got to be the stars, and as an educator, nothing could have made me prouder.

Friday, June 3, 2016

What should I read this summer?

Summer vacation is almost here! In three short (school) days, we will all be free to relax. sleep, and enjoy the leisure activities that we do not have time for during the busy school year. For me that means tons of reading! If you are like me, you may be looking for some book suggestions to fill that precious relaxation time. Lucky for you, there were so many great books published in the past year. While I may not yet have had time to read them all, I have plenty of fun summer reads to suggest to fill any downtime that you may have!

In the presentation below, you will find not only great summer reading suggestions, but also information on how to download ebooks and audiobooks 24/7 from Overdrive and Follett Shelf, more about the Brown County Library's summer reading program, and a link to SYNC's free audiobook program. I hope that you will take advantage of these great opportunities!

I would love to hear your summer reading suggestions as well as learn more about what you are reading this summer. Leave a comment below or send me an email at 

Have a great summer and happy reading!