Middle School Synergy Newsletter

May Happenings

A very busy month indeed!

May sure has been a busy month at both schools! Students have been busy creating, innovating, problem solving, developing and participating in hands-on activities and enrichment lessons.

Minnesota on the Map

Mr. Wabbe's 8th grade Advanced Global Studies students participated in a mapping contest called "Minnesota ArcGIS Contest." The students had the challenge of creating an original Minnesota based map on a topic of interest or concern to them. The area mapped could range from the entire state to a smaller area, like a county or city. With the help of Ms. Fay, our technology integration specialist, students chose a final map submission format of a presentation, web app or story map using the ArcGIS online technology.

Coding continues...

With the help of our technology specialist, Ms. Fay, students in Mrs. Oistad's and Mrs. Ostigaard's classrooms enjoyed a fun week of learning to code! Learning coding empowers students to do many things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. These things include hand-crafting their own websites, becoming a career coder or even starting a technology business. Most importantly, they’ll be able to understand the technology shaping our world. A computer programmer is quite possibly one of the most underrated professions out there. The demand for coders far exceeds the supply, so students will have no troubles finding a job. In fact, it’s projected to grow at a rate of 30% between 2010 and 2020. That’s twice as fast as most other jobs! Who knows? We may have just started a new career path for many students! Students are encouraged to keep coding on their own by going to https://code.org/

National League Contest WINNERS!!

As mentioned in Aprils Newsletter, students in 6th-8th grade advanced classes from Hidden Oaks & Twin Oaks participated in "The National League Competitions." Below are pictures of the students who received the highest score in EACH class along with the other top 10 scoring students. The top 10 scoring students created a cumulative score which become each classes "team score" they compete with.


The content area test student’s factual knowledge in a particular subject. Students’ got to test their passion about language arts, science, geography and/or social studies, while building their critical thinking skills and nurture their pride and sense of accomplishment with this fun challenge! As teachers it's fun to see their faces light up when we call names and all their classmates cheer for them.

Check out the Winners below!

Global Day of Design

Students need to make, build, and tinker. The Global Day of Design is one-day that focuses on using the Design Thinking process in school. The goal for the Global Day of Design is to inspire a transformation in schools around the world to incorporate design thinking into an everyday practice with students from all levels, ages and subjects. Mr. Bassett's 6th Grade Advanced Science students participated in this awesome design thinking process that actually took THREE days with the help of Ms. Fay. Students had a blast creating a sail to propel their car forward using the wind from a box fan! The only guidelines for the design were:


  • Each group had to create a base with axles and wheels
  • Based on a budget, decide which materials to purchase and design a mast and sail that propels “sail car” forward
  • Be creative and don’t give up!


Check out these fun, creative car designs below from our Global Day of Design!

Learning Through Baseball

Mrs. Case's and Mrs. Albrecht's 6th grade Advanced English students had the wonderful opportunity to attend a one-day event at Target Field called “The Language of Baseball.” This educational field trip took a look at how baseball enters our life through the language that we speak, read and write. Baseball idioms were explored, and visualization of the sights, sounds, smells and emotions of the game were brought to the forefront. Further, some of the greatest stories in American literature and movies, and the most common phrases in our language come from baseball and were discussed. Students had a chance to explore Target Field to learn and write about the game we call America's Pastime.


The Minnesota Twins "Learning through Baseball" Program, presented by Target, is an educational experience that incorporates the beauty of Target Field with tours, a knowledgeable staff, and a well-designed curriculum. The structure of the experience is adjusted to the levels and needs of the students and is designed with the Minnesota State Standards in mind. Their goal is to translate the love of baseball into an appreciation, understanding, and passion of the education underlying the sport.

Honoring our Vets

On Friday, May 27th, 8th grade students from Twin Oaks Middle School attended a Memorial Day assembly held in the gym at Twin Oaks. Memorial Day, originally called 'Decoration Day', is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. It is a day for the country to come together to honor those who gave their all.


One of the ways the staff & students stress the importance of remembering and honoring U.S. war veterans is to invite local veterans to share their stories with students. We were lucky enough to have Veteran Mr. Ed Speiker and our very own student resource officer, Mr. Matt Nardo. Students from Mr. Wabbe and Mrs. Welch's Global studies class, Brendon Jore & Raynell Hong, read their patriot pen essays about "What Freedom Means to Me" expressing their views on the patriotic theme. We were also lucky enough to have the Hidden Oaks and Twin Oaks band and choir performed patriotic music to add to this special event.

Contact Information

Your Partner in Education,

Ms. Missy Short

Synergy Program Coordinator

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools

Hidden Oaks & Twin Oaks Middle Schools

HOMS (952) 226-0291 TOMS (952) 226-0535


“Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists they become the best they can possible be.”

- Rita Pierson-