The Panther Post

DMS Newsletter January 2018

Principal's Corner

Panther families, please take a moment to view a special video message from our principal, Mrs. Stewart:

Discovery Middle School: A place for innovation, excellence and discovery.

January Upcoming Events

Students return to school on Thursday, January 4!

January 4: Beginning of 2nd semester!

January 10: Report Cards for the 1st semester will be sent home with students.

January 15: No school; Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

January 31: Progress reports will be sent home.

DMS Basketball Schedule:

January 4: DMS vs Liberty (Home Game) 7B, 8B , 7G, 8G @ 4:00 p.m.

January 5: DMS vs Athens (Away) 7B, 7G, 8G, 8B @ 4:30 p.m.

January 9: County Tournament @ Meridianville; Time TBA

January 11: County Tournament @ Meridianville; Time TBA

January 16: County Tournament @ Meridianville; Time TBA

Check Your "TIE"!

The Discovery Middle School Language Arts department has spearheaded a school wide initiative to put a focus on proper writing techniques.

TIE stands for “Turn In Expectations”.

The initiative is simple; each teacher will check a student’s work for the following content, regardless of subject area. If the work does not meet expectations, students will be asked to review their work and “Check Your TIE”.

The TIE expectations are as follows:

  • Always capitalize the pronoun ‘I.’
  • Always capitalize the first letter of a sentence.
  • Always capitalize proper nouns (e.g. America or Suzy).
  • Always use an end-of-sentence punctuation mark.
  • Always indent a new paragraph.

The expectation is that TIE will help students practice proper writing techniques in each of their classes, hence making them better writers overall. Academic excellence is our goal at DMS!

A Special "Thank You"

Thank you to all who have donated over the past few weeks to the DMS Canned Food Drive, St. Jude Children's Hospital Fundraiser, DMS Sugar Plum Tree and the jS2S Boxes for Bravo Company 115th ESB!

Your generosity has helped our students make a positive difference in our community!

DMS Essay Contest Winner

Congratulations to the winner of our DMS Essay Contest, Aparna Bhooshanan!

Here is Aparna's winning essay:

Discovery Middle School, Part of Something Bigger

I will never forget the first day I came to Discovery. It was overwhelming to appear in a new setting so soon, when for the past seven years it had become natural to me to walk through red and yellow halls with familiar faces at Rainbow Elementary. There seemed to be everything to fear. However, I soon learned that my anxiety was unfounded; Discovery proved to be a warm and cozy place to be (and not nearly as big as it seemed from the outside!), and within a year it became a second home.

Discovery Middle School encourages precociousness and forward thinking among students. . Anyone who finds himself inside Discovery’s building will, without fail, become caught up in its accepting atmosphere. Students receive an enriched and enjoyable education from teachers who are dedicated to what they do and with whom they are working. There is a diverse selection of electives available for students to choose from, all of which provide generous opportunities for each child’s voice to be heard as pupil and instructor work together to shape the school Discovery is today.

When the subject of innovation arises, STEM classes are often given the limelight. It is almost undisputed that STEM may be one of the most coveted subject in any school. However, in Discovery, students and faculty alike are aware that all courses have one thing in common - they encourage a child to delve deeper than what is on the surface and create something new, whether it be abstract or concrete. It is this principle that forms the unwavering basis for tolerance for difference, respect for curiosity, and proclivity for self-discipline.

Discovery is expanding at a striking rate. Every day, a new idea springs into a student’s mind and shows itself in a club, an illustration, and every other medium a child chooses to express herself. I love Discovery’s creative character and all of the students and teachers within it.

Discovery Middle School: A place for innovation, excellence, and discovery!

DMS Geography Bee Winner

Congratulations to Puja Chopade, our 2018 Geography Bee winner! The Geography Bee was held on December 11 and it was quite a competition!

The runner up in the Geography Bee was Neha Chopade.

Successful Rocket Launch

The Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Flight and Space classes at DMS bring the exciting world of aerospace to life for our students! Taught by Mr. Freddie Griffin, a former Boeing engineer, students have the opportunity to explore the science behind aeronautics and use their newfound knowledge to design, build, and test a rocket!

Please click on the link below to view a video of the rocket launch:

DMS Math Team Achievements

The DMS Math Team has had a sensational year thus far! Our 7th grade team placed 3rd in the nation and earned a Team Achievement plaque for scoring in the top 10% in the nation.

Our 8th grade team placed 7th in the nation and earned a Team Achievement plaque for scoring in the top 10% in the nation.

The following Math Team students earned perfect scores in competition:

  • Justin Pan, perfect scores on AMC-8 and Noetic Math
  • Maanasi Limaye, perfect scores on Noetic Math and MathFax Algebra 2
  • Ashwin Prabhakar, perfect score on MathFax Pre-Algebra
  • Dalton Shurtz, perfect score on MathFax Geometry

Math Olympiad #2: Fifteen students made a 5/5 on the second Math Olympiad Test.

  • Elaine Bao
  • Zachary Burns
  • Neha Chopade
  • Jamie Clark
  • Benjamin Gunasekaran
  • Jonathan Gunasekaran
  • Maanasi Limaye
  • Thomas Nguyen
  • Justin Pan
  • David Parker
  • Ashwin Prabhakar
  • Lilian Qu
  • Dalton Shurtz
  • Constance Wang
  • Mike Zhang

The list of accomplishments and awards for these talented young people is too long to list within the newsletter, so it may be viewed at:

Congratulations DMS Math Team; we are very proud of you!

State Superintendent Art Show Contest

Any student that would like their art to be considered for the State Superintendent Art Show needs to have their art turned by January 4 (the day we return from break).

Only ONE piece will be selected to go to Montgomery.

This piece of art needs to be flat (so that it can be matted and shrink wrapped) and must be an original work of art.

No characters or copyrighted images allowed.

The art can not be bigger than 18x24, including matting.

Please submit your art to Mrs. Bagwell (Room 517) for consideration.

Library Events

The DMS library IS the place to be!

What's New?

Breakout EDU kits have arrived! We are so excited to add these educational tools to our media center resources! The kits provide tangible game play, digital games, and a digital platform. They also encourage cooperation among students, critical thinking, and problem solving. All grade levels and disciplines can be accommodated with these valuable resources. Let the Breakout games begin! Click here for a Breakout EDU experience.

Thank you for supporting our candy cane fundraiser! We collected $704. As conveyed in our December newsletter, our goal is to purchase new reading selections for our media center. To ensure that we accommodate all students, we conducted a student survey. The results of the survey provided valuable information regarding students’ preferred formats of reading: books, eBooks, or audiobooks. See the graph for more detailed information.

Forgot how to access our digital selections? Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

THANK YOU Volunteers! We are truly grateful for your time, assistance, and dedication. Our media center is better because of YOU.

Have suggestions on how to improve our media center? Come and share your ideas!

Visit the DMS library to "check out" valuable resources available for you!

Parent's Corner: Help Your Student “Discover” Success in School

January Topic: Homework

Students are more successful in school when parents take an active interest in their homework — it shows them that what they learn in school is important! Parents can be supportive by demonstrating study and organization skills, explaining a tricky problem, or just encouraging students to do their best.

Here are some tips to successfully helping your student with homework:

1. Set up a homework-friendly area. Make sure your student has a well-lit place to complete homework. Keep supplies such as paper, pencils, glue, and scissors— within reach.

2. Schedule a regular study time. Providing a regular time set aside for homework is helpful to students; the routine sets an expectation that the student should study each day.

3. Help them make a plan. On heavy homework nights or when there is an especially daunting assignment to tackle, encourage your child break up the work into manageable chunks. Create a work schedule for the night if necessary — and take time for a 15-minute break every hour, if possible.

4. Keep distractions to a minimum. Turn the TV, music and phones off so that your student can focus 100% on their homework.

5. Make sure students do their own work. Your student will no learn if they don't think for themselves and make their own mistakes. Parents can make suggestions, provide guidance and help with directions, but it's the student’s job to do the learning.

6. Be a motivator and monitor. Ask about assignments, quizzes, and tests. Give encouragement, check completed homework, and make yourself available for questions and concerns.

7. Set a good example. Does your student ever see you diligently balancing your budget or reading a book? Young people are more likely to follow their parents' examples than their advice.

8. Praise their work and efforts. Post a successful test paper or art project on the refrigerator. Let your student see that their work is important to you.

9. If there are continuing problems with homework, get help. Talk about the problem with your student's teacher; there may be tutoring or other resources available to help your student!

Additional Information:

Computer Science Education Week 2017

During the week of December 4 – 8, Discovery Middle School participated in Computer Science Education Week, an annual worldwide program sponsored by which is dedicated to encouraging K-12 students to engage with coding and computer science.

Computer Science Education Week allows students and educators to partake in Hour of Code — an online introduction to computer science that aims to demystify code and teach its basic principles (Roddy, 2017).

The sponsors of the event assert that every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. Research suggests that computer science education helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity in students. By starting early, young people will have a foundation for success in the 21st-century career path of their choice.

Discovery Middle School is already very active in teaching computer science with its numerous Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses that it provides as electives to students.

Popular computer science classes at DMS include Computer Science for Innovators and Makers, which allows students to learn through a hands on approach. The students learn about creating algorithms, basic block programming, and programming a Micro:bit device to conduct various tasks. Another popular computer science course offered at Discovery is App Creators, which is a class that introduces students to the basics of app creation and coding. Through these classes students attain algorithmic thinking skills, problem solving skills, and knowledge that they can apply to multiple disciplines and real life.

During Computer Science Education Week, DMS students coded a Minecraft game, Scratch animation, and Code Combat activity. While they learned about computer science, they also discovered how much fun coding can be! At Discovery Middle School, learning is an adventure!

DMS Newsletter Team

K. Stewart

J. Bailey

K. Beavers

L. Collins

F. Griffin

S. Humes

E. Lack

T. McMunn

K. Moody