OMS 8th Grade Newsletter

Important Reminders and Upcoming Events Below! 1/11 - 1/15

GA Milestones Parent Meetings

GA Milestones Parent Meetings: 1/7, 1/12 or 1/19

Georgia Milestones End-of Grade and End-of Course scale scores were posted in Parent Portal on November 16, 2015. Student score reports were sent home the week of November 30-December 4. The student score report will have more detailed information than can be posted in the Parent Portal.

If you have questions about our student’s Georgia Milestones score report, please contact your school or plan to attend one of three parent sessions that will be held across the county in January. Translators will be available.

  • January 7: Otwell Middle School, 6:30 pm
  • January 12: Piney Grove Middle School, 6:30 pm
  • January 19: North Forsyth Middle School, 6:30 pm

Parents may view the presentation below to help understand the scale score and its relationship to your child’s achievement level:

Scale Score Explanation Presentation or

New! PowerPoint Presentation

PTO Shoe Drive

Tired of all those old shoes laying around your house just taking up space?

Well, the OMS PTO will gladly take them and recycle them for you! That's right!

Bring in your old shoes (no flip flops please), and we will find them a new home.

We will also be running a contest in each grade level. The blue class that collects the most shoes by January 22nd will each win a pizza party on January 29th!

The PTO will receive fifty cents per pound of shoes collected, which goes right back to the school. So, please start collecting those shoes!

Yearbook Reminder

Order your 2015-2016 yearbook before they are sold out! The deadline to pre-order is Jan. 15th.

There are two packages to choose from:

• Basic Package = Full color book with foil name stamp - $50.00

• Bulldog Package = Full color book with foil name stamp and world yearbook - $55.00

There are three ways to order:

• Bring a check (made out to Otwell Middle) or cash to Mrs. Perkins in room 331 at Otwell

• Call the Yearbook Order Center at 866-287-3096

• Order online at

**When calling or ordering online, please use our school id #593

Follow us on Social Media for events, announcements, contests, etc
Twitter - OMS_Yearbook

Instagram - otwellyearbook

Facebook - OMS Yearbook

8th Grade recognition ads are also still on sale! The price is $75.00 and are due no by Jan. 15th. They are 1/4 page ads and can be purchased and designed by you online at using Otwell’s school id #593. The format is easy to follow, but if you would like to send in payment or have the yearbook staff to design, please feel free to contact the yearbook advisor at

Hoops For Heart!

Thank you for supporting your child in Hoops for Heart and helping us in our work to help all Americans enjoy a better quality of life. Recently, students at Otwell Middle School jumped at the chance to fight heart disease and stroke, our nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. On November 20th we hosted our Hoops for Heart event to raise money for the American Heart Association, which funds lifesaving heart and stroke research and community and educational programs for our youth. As a school, last year we raised $4955.07. This year, we raised the bar again and donated $5173.30--which is the most EVER in school history! For over 16 years, the American Heart Association has raised more than $72 million for the fight against heart disease and stroke. Millions of students have played basketball and learned about heart health and how nutrition and physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke.

If you would like to help more, call your nearest American Heart Association office or call 1-800-AHA-USA1. You can also visit online at

Social Studies

Ms. Sessa:

We will focus on how Civil War events of 1861-1862 impacted the state of Georgia. Students will have a quiz on Tuesday covering Civil War vocabulary and Notes I-V (Election of 1860 – Fort Sumter).

Ms. Salazar:

We are currently learning about Westward Expansion & Indian Removal. Students have a blue study guide & should be bringing home their notes (highlighted with what they should study) & take 10-15 minutes to study every night. Our review is scheduled for 1/13, & the test for 1/14.

Ms. Coleman:

Online Ch. 13 quiz this Friday in class. Exam is scheduled for Friday January 15th. No study guides will be issued for this semester, so students are strongly urged to create their own and attend scheduled review sessions with Ms. Coleman.


Mrs. Holmes (Advanced):

What a wonderful kick off to 2016! We finished up our exploration of magnets today. Next week, we will begin learning about electricity. At the end of the week we will be building circuits.

Mr. McCormack, Mr. Kinneer, and Mrs. Holmes:

Students will be beginning the exploration of electricity and electromagnets. We will have a quiz next Friday over the new concepts.


Ms. Pitner and Mrs. Black:

Welcome back!! This week, we welcome a new math teacher to 8th grade, Stephanie Wharton! Since break wiped the memory of all students, we will be reviewing information that we learned before the holidays. Linear equations from Unit 3 will guide the students into Unit 4- Linear Models and Tables. Students will begin to write linear equations in slope-intercept form (y=mx+b) from word problems, and creative stories from linear graphs.

Next week, students will begin to be able to show their creative side by writing stories or giving verbal descriptions about linear graphs and distance vs. time graphs. Be looking for a quiz next week over story graphs and word problems!

Ms. Cooper:

Accelerated/Advanced Math – Cooper – Please check the class website for all assignments (ie. homework, class work, and assessments).


Ms. Pacheco:

I need to start by saying how awesome my students are! This first week back has been jam-packed with new information and they have really stepped up and have been keeping up. I am very proud! On Tuesday, January 12th, we will be taking the Spanish I Midterm exam, which will count as a regular summative grade. It will cover concepts and vocabulary from Units 1-4. I highly encourage that your student(s) be at least studying some vocabulary this weekend. We will be reviewing grammar here at school. After the midterm, we will begin Unit 5, the food unit. Thank you for your continued support and looking forward to a great second semester! J

Ms. Campos:

We have completed Unit 4 and learned about the Puerto Rican culture. The Spanish I county Midterm will be administered on Tuesday 1/12 & we will start unit 5 (Food) on Wednesday 1/13.

Language Arts

Mrs. Taylor:

Happy New Year! Please visit ITS learning for more detailed information on our class plans.

On Level: Continue reading and annotating documents on The House on Mango Street. Students will gather evidence in order to write an essay that will answer the questions “What is the biggest obstacle in reaching the American Dream.” We will also continue to work on active and passive voice.

Advanced: This past week we have read excerpts from the novel The House on Mango Street and gathered evidence to support the question “What is the biggest obstacle in reaching the American Dream” We will work on writing an essay that will answer the question and proving our answer with evidence from the excerpts. Student will write in and out of class. Students will also ask an adult to revise their essay and give them feedback. Thanks in advance for supporting your student with this assignment.

Ms. Sams:

During the month of January, 8th grade Language Arts will be journeying through the land of Ancient Podium in a unit called Forum.

FORUM is a simulation that will improve the speaking and listening skills of our students while continuing to practice and perfect writing and research skills. Every day students learn and practice some aspect of public speaking. They make speeches to present and accept awards, to introduce famous people, to inform and to persuade. They study and apply listening skills and experience fate cards that require practicing basic speech fundamentals of gesture and voice. As a result of their simulation experiences, students will gain confidence and improve their ability to speak and to listen. Specifically, students will experience the following:


• Variety of speeches

• Organization of a speech

• Lives of famous people

• Importance of public speaking

• Importance of active listening


• Confidence because of their public speaking skills

• Satisfaction in applying new skills

• Excitement as each speaking and listening activity brings

them closer to their goal

• Enthusiasm as daily activities motivate and excite them


• How to plan, outline and organize a speech

• How to deliver a speech

• How to be an active listener

• How to inform and persuade

• How to present and accept a gift

• How to make introductions

Mrs. Barrett:

For the month of January, we will be working on FORUM, a speech unit. We will be working on different activities to help each student with public speaking and listening skills. Three or four students make up one family. Each family has selected a name and elected an elder (team leader). They will journey through the imaginary land of Podium. The distance they travel will be based on their family’s daily speaking and listening skills. They must cover a certain distance each day, or lose some of their cargo(supplies and family possessions). The family that regains its land and has the most cargo at the end of the simulations is the winner of FORUM.

This week, we have been working on pantomimes. Each student has performed a pantomime for the families to guess. They earned points for their family if others guessed what they were acting out. Earning a certain number of points help them reach the next phase of the journey. For every 2 points they are short, they will lose some of their cargo.

This is a very fun unit for everyone. The activities help take the anxiety out of speaking in front of their classmates.


Mrs. Griffey:

We will be continuing our work with word attack skills, doing close reads for informational passages, and working on figurative language. We will be covering idiom expressions and planning a project for this area of figurative language. We are also reading some bio pieces on famous people to determine the impact of events on people and their lives and careers which is an 8th grade ELA/Reading standard.