Lexington Middle School

 

Internet Safety Tips for Parents
Kids need to use the Internet; these tips will help you keep them safe.
By Patti Ghezzi (schoolfamily.com)

 Millions of students head to the nearest computer to conduct school research online. With the Internet’s help, they can create everything from detailed projects on rainforests to slide presentations about how a hurricane forms without setting foot in a library.

 “There’s a wealth of information on the Internet, and it’s a great tool,” says Ross Ellis, founder and CEO of Love our Children USA, a child abuse prevention organization that is active in Internet safety. “You can’t keep kids off the Internet.”

Yet the Internet is not the place for an all-access pass. Kids of all ages need parental supervision. A few common-sense tips can help keep your child safe online.

 1. The computer should be in an open area, not in a child’s room. “You don’t want to spy on your kids or peer over their shoulder,” Ellis says, “but you want them to know you’re in the room.”


2. Assure your children that you know you can count on them to use the Internet responsibly. “Kids need to feel they’re trusted,” Ellis says.

3. Set clear expectations for your child, based on age and maturity. Does your child have a list of websites she needs to stick with when doing her research? Is she allowed to use a search engine to find appropriate sites? Is your child allowed to visit social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace? What sites is she allowed to visit just for fun? Write down the rules and place them next to the computer. Your child’s teacher should be able to advise you on which sites are appropriate for schoolwork and educational fun.

4. Use filtering software designed to help parents limit the websites children can access. Some programs have monitoring features that can tell you which sites your child visits and can even send you a message letting you know your child is online. (While such programs have come a long way since the early bug-ridden days, they are not a substitute for supervision and communication.)

5. Tell your child if you are using software to track her online activity. Remind him that you are not spying; you are keeping him safe. Tell him that protecting him is your job as a parent.

6. Stay involved with your child’s school by remaining in close contact with your child’s teachers and counselors. If trouble is brewing among students online, it probably started at school. Knowing what’s going on at school will increase the chances that you’ll hear about what’s happening online.

7. A growing concern with kids and the Internet is online bullying. Ask your child specific questions about whether he is being bullied at school or online. Talk about your own experiences in school with bullying, letting him know you know it goes on. Assure him that you won’t try to fix the problem, if it is happening, without talking to him first.

8. Parents often worry about their child being bullied, but they don’t readily consider that their child could be a bully. Talk to your child about why it is not OK to bully other children, online or in person. “Teach compassion and kindness,” Ellis says. “From the get-go, they will know that being a bully...doesn’t feel good.”

9. Tell your child that people who introduce themselves on the Internet are often not who they say they are. Show your child how easy it is to assume another identity online. Don’t assume your child knows everything about the Internet. Kids are naturally trusting.

10. Instruct your child to never give out personal information online, including her full name, gender, age, school, address, or teams. Teach your child to be generic and anonymous on the Internet.

“The Internet offers incredible benefits to families, and people are becoming more connected at a younger age every day,” says Amber Lindsay, director of program development and outreach for the Internet Keep Safe Coalition. “From the moment youth start using technology, parents should take an active role in communicating and keeping current on what their child is doing. Open communication creates a relationship of trust that will make this process easier.”


7th Grade Social Studies

Students in 7th grade social studies are enjoying the new materials the school district ordered this past summer.  While our topics and themes are similar to what we had previously, the new textbook materials offer students more opportunities to delve deeper into the subject matter.  

Recently, students in both Mr. Allen and Mrs. Risinger's classes had the opportunity to learn information about the beginning of civilization.   Previously students had been introduced to the great story known as the "Epic of Gilgamesh". The new curriculum additionally allows students a deeper view by offering a fun video clip available only through the text subscription that directly connects to our new books. 

In upcoming weeks, students will get the opportunity to learn more about characteristics of civilization as we analyze the early cultures of Mesopotamian to Egyptian. Students will have opportunities to create some exciting projects as we continue to move through the school year. The new text is a powerful addition to the curriculum we have in seventh grade.


Edgar Allen Poe

"Villains! Tear up the planks! It is the beating of his hideous heart!" Edgar Allen Poe is the perfect way to start the school year! Students in Language Arts  read the "The Tell-Tale Heart" and used details from the story to create their own tale. In groups, students had to create movie posters, place themselves in the story and tell it from their point of view, invent a recipe for evil stew, and write a letter to the chief asking him or her to release the killer or keep him in jail. Using their creativity, students were able to understand the story, rewrite the story, and also make connections with the characters.


Performance Standards

The Physical Education classes started off the year with some conditioning and preparing to run the first mile!   There were some good times but also, lots of room for improvement!  Be sure to ask your student their time!!  We will continue to use (at least) one day a week for conditioning and hopefully, see improvement each month on mile times.  

If you are interested in where your child’s mile time range is the chart below is an excellent tool and is based on the National Presidential Fitness One-Mile Run Standards.


Parent Survival Tips For Middle School Transitions

For 6th graders going into middle school, there can be many anxieties, apprehensions and fears to deal with and overcome.  Middle schools are larger than elementary schools, the school work is harder, there are more classes and more teachers – all with different expectations and personalities.  If you have a child who is entering middle school for the first time, know that it is normal for your child to express concern.

 - Don’t be too anxious about your child going to middle school.  Talk about the middle school experience in a positive way.  Your enthusiasm and support can help make this change in your child’s school life a positive one.

Help your child develop an organizational strategy.
   a.  Designate a study space and set a consistent study time.
   b. Provide your child the necessary folders and binders to stay organized.
   c. Conduct a weekly clean-up.
   d. Prepare for the week/day ahead.
   e. Provide help and support while your child is learning to become more organized.

Talk about social skills.  Talk about traits that make a good friend.  Discuss how words and actions can affect other people.

Openly communicate with your child.  Keep the lines of communication open between your child and school staff.  Be informed, listen, and talk to your child.

Encourage your child to get involved in school activities.  Have them join a team, club, or other extra-curricular activity and attend after-school events.

Help your child to be his or her own advocate.  Encourage your child to discuss problems and solutions with teachers on their own, but be ready to help when needed.

Get involved as a parent.  Attend parent/teacher conferences, open houses, school activities and other events where you can connect with your child’s teachers and the school.

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