Lexington Middle School


Happy Fall Everyone. I’m Peggy Bourge and I am new to LMS. I am working with 8th grade students in the area of Social Studies. It has been a great start to the new year. I want to thank everyone for being so welcoming.

We have been busy learning about the Road to Revolution and will start our study of the American Revolution this week. Then in the middle of one of the most controversial election years every, we will be learning about the electoral process in the United States and how it works.

On a personal note, October is Breast Cancer Awareness. I have had both family and friends battle multiple types of cancer. So I urge everyone to get necessary screenings and to support how every you can the fight for the cure. 


Internet Safety Tips for Parents

Kids need to use the Internet; these tips will help you keep them safe.
By Patti Ghezzi (http://www.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.”

A Big Bang!

Sixth grade science is off with at bang…A Big Bang!  We started our year off with the planets, solar systems and the universe. The expanse of the universe can be overwhelming, and for the sixth graders, trying to fathom where it “ends” is mind blowing. We have finished two major labs.  One with cookies to show how our moon changes during the month. Yum!  Our last one we did scaling down our solar system to something that would fit on our desks.  We got four planets and a sliver of the sun on our sheets.  We had to do a lot of math to get the planets down to a size that would fit, and the students didn’t think that we should be doing “so much” math in science.

7th Grade Stripes Team Have A Blast Learning About Physical Science

The 7th Grade Stripes Team had fun building a launching water rockets. These Two-Liter Pop Bottle Rockets are a great way to teach Physical Science. The students can manipulate and control variables, see their hypotheses verified or refuted, and graph their findings. They also experience the nature of science at its best. They can document their abilities with the following concepts: inertia, gravity, air resistance, Newton's laws of motion, acceleration, projectile motion and the practice of true engineering.

The students, with the help of their core team teachers, Ms. Sensil, Mrs. Risinger, Mrs. Petersen, Mr. Kock and Mr. Hanson, learned the various parts of rocketry. Each core teacher took a subject and prepared a mini lesson to teach the concepts of inertia, gravity, air resistance, Newton's three laws of motion and acceleration. In Science Class students learned and followed the steps of the scientific method as they started to design a two-liter pop bottle rocket that would stay aloft 12 seconds. That was our project goal. With this goal in mind students created a hypothesis to be tested. Next came the fun part as students engineered a rocket to be launched and tested. The data was collected, graphed and analyzed. The final step was for students to write their conclusion on if their hypothesis was proven correct or if it wasn’t successful. They also added information on how the hypothesis might need to be changed and retested.

This was a very fun activity for the students and they learned a lot about how the scientific method works and many concepts of Physical Science.

We do not have all of the students rockets and of course filming these launches are not as successful as I would like them to be, but here is a link if you would like to check out a few of our launches.

Bottle Rocket Launch Videos

Nationals Math Class

The Nationals Math classes have taken off this year with problem solving!  After all, geometry, algebra, measurement…Math is all about solving problems!  Using a four step problem solving strategy, students have enjoyed sharing their ideas with other students. Communicating ideas is critical as students work

together to come up with the best possible answer.  Students learn that a reasonable guess is good, but being able to test your guess and correct your guess is critical in arriving at a solution. Developing multiple solutions to a single problem deepens their reasoning skills. And most importantly,  mistakes are viewed as opportunities for learning!



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