In the Middle

News from Dakota Meadows Middle School

Governor Dayton Visits DMMS

Governor Dayton met with our Student Support Services team, counselors, psychologists, social workers and nurses, to hear how we all work together to support the social emotional wellness of our students and families. Throughout his visit at DMMS, Governor Dayton took time to visit with our students and staff as well.

Music in our Schools - West Side Bands

When: Thursday, February 25, from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Where: West High School Gym

DMMS Spelling Bee

Dakota Meadows Middle School held the annual Spelling Bee on January 29th. Students participating this year were: Joy P., Emily Sp., Leonardo P., Braeden S., Will F., Sarah O., Sydney F., Tabitha F., Katie M., Ellie F. Congratulations to all of these students for making it to this round at DMMS.

The winner of the 2016 Spelling Bee was Emily S. She will now participate in the SCSC Regional Spelling Bee on February 23, at South Central College. Good Luck Emily!

Spring Conferences at DMMS

Time in March has been set aside for the Parent/Guardian–Student–Advisor Conferences. At the conference your student will demonstrate what he/she has learned by sharing a sample that demonstrates his/her evidence of learning. He/she may also share with you papers from various classes and a short term and long term goal. Problems and questions that you may have can be discussed at this time.

Conferences are Thursday, March 3rd and Monday, March 7th.

Chromebook Pilot in February

Through the iLearn77 1:1 initiative, our school has been working towards purposeful integration of technology into the curriculum. This integration has involved your child having access to various technology tools as they are needed, as well as an iPad mini. Our two year lease on these devices is up at the end of the school year, which presents an opportunity to evaluate their performance and make changes as necessary.

This year, we have introduced a new device, called a Chromebook, in our school to replace our traditional computer labs. A Chromebook is a device that connects to the internet once it has been started. Rather than having expensive internal parts such as a hard drive or CD drive, the device is manufactured with the idea that the student files are stored online in the Google Apps educational domain (MAPS Apps). Chromebooks have worked very well for our students. As a result of this experience, we have run a pilot of the Chromebook as a potential 1:1 device in one Homeroom in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Surveys and discussions with students and teachers in the pilot will take place as to the direction of our iLearn 1:1 initiative next year.

College Knowledge Activities in Homeroom

Activities in Homeroom in February have helped students to start thinking about college. Homerooms discussed some of these questions:

  • What types of post secondary learning options are there? (Military, technical colleges, community colleges, apprenticeship training, 4 year colleges, training and certificate programs such as cosmetology, or on the job training) It is not all about 4 year college!
  • What do students know about their parents post high school education and their job?
  • What characteristics does it take for someone to be successful in a career or higher education?

Another activity was a College Door Decorating contest. Homerooms could choose to decorate the door based on a specific higher learning institution (community, technical college, private college, trade school or university) or multiple institutions. The doors were judged based on the following:

  • Craftsmanship

  • Visual Impact

  • Creativity

  • Originality

6th Grade Fun and Games

Sixth graders in Mrs. Zarn's social studies class are currently learning about the Civil War. During class, they had the opportunity to learn about and play a marble game children during the Civil War would have enjoyed.

Greater Mankato Leadership Institute Visits DMMS

On Wednesday Februrary 17th, ten Dakota Meadows 8th grade study hall students were asked to be the "experts" on presentation development in a digital world for the Greater Mankato Growth Leadership Institute Members. These students answered questions, supported creation of digital media content, informed additional questions the professionals had about school, and calmed pretty sever nerves about being "back in school" for a day.

Greater Mankato Growth holds its Leadership Institute every year. This cohort of area leaders from businesses, non-profits, education & other institutions meets monthly to develop a greater understanding of the Greater Mankato Growth Community. As a part of this understanding one institute day each year is dedicated to education. The goals for the day were to:

  • Learn from leaders within the Mankato Area Public School System about projects and initiatives that are in place to meet the future education needs of our community.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of educational systems that impact our community.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of today’s students.

Cohort members were asked to create digital presentations to reflect their learning around education in Mankato. Students made this work possible.

Innovation Conference - 7th Grade Science

Improving society leading to sustained growth for all people through innovative skills.

As humanity moves forward, society demands increased complexity in its activities across numerous disciplines. This creates a need for novel approaches to challenges both new and old. An Innovation Conference is a way to foster and enhance innovative experimentation, research and decision making in school-age individuals. Innovation can take many forms including use of the scientific method, engineering, artistic expression and historical analysis. However, all innovative processes require reference to evidence, the compilation of ideas, relevance to society and the presentation of findings. Preparation for the conference allowed students to explore a topic of their choice in an innovative framework. The STEAM focused conference showcased their efforts to their peers and community. The vision is that this process will encourage students in future innovative endeavors as they move forward in their education, career and personal life.

The Free Press Innovation Conference Article

KEYC News video of the Innovation Conference

6th Grade Totem Poles on Display

In the media center, 6th grade art class students have displayed the paper mache/milk jug totem poles created during 1st and 2nd quarter. The totem poles were created from ideas used by the Ojibwe tribes. Each student created a spirit animal with similar characteristics as the artist.

Hour of Code

What is Hour of Code?

Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. Good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you heard about the Hour of Code last year, you might know it made history. In the first Hour of Code, 15 million students tried computer science. Last year, that number increased to 60 million students! The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. (from the Hour of Code Website)

Students at DMMS had an opportunity to participate in the Hour of Code with the help of Mrs. Healy in the media center during Homeroom or study hall time. Other Makerspace activities during this time were using the Sphero and the MaKey MaKey - invention tool for everyone.

Flyer about Hour of Code

Video on Hour of Code

7th Grade Clay Art Projects

Something New at DMMS - Speech Club

Do you like talking, acting or arguing? Would you like to refine your speaking skills or win medals for being great at just talking and acting?

You are invited

DMMS Speech Club

Meeting Thursdays, starting March 10th,

from 3:00-4:00 in Room 109 (Ms. Petersen’s Room)!

Get information and learn about how being

a part of the Scarlet Speech Club is right for you!

Flexible Learning Spaces

6th Grade Ski Trip

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8th Grade Science - Erupts

What makes a volcano erupt?

Some volcanoes are really explosive and some just kinda fizzle. What determines how explosive a volcano is? These students simulated the different types of eruptions during Earth Science class.
Science eruption

I Love to Read Month in the Media Center

As we celebrate I Love to Read Month, Mrs. Healy, the media specialist, has a variety of contests for you to participate in throughout the month. Some of the activities will take place in Homeroom and others will just take place in the media center.

Tanagrams in Art

Students were required to use 7 shapes and 4 of the shapes needed to be different.
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What Else is Going on at DMMS?

To find out more about Dakota Meadows remember to access the school website at