The Panther Post
January 2020 Edition
Welcome back Panthers!
Discovery Middle School is very excited to welcome our students and staff back on January 6, 2020, to begin what promises to be an amazing second semester full of hard work, learning, and success!
A note to our students:
As you begin the second semester of the school year we ask that you take time to reflect daily on your goals and strive to do your very best each day. Feel confident that DMS administration, faculty, and staff are here to support and encourage you as you explore different opportunities and continue to grow as learners.
To our parents and community, it is essential that you continue to take an active role in our students' success. It is important that we maintain parent involvement as we begin the second semester of our school year.
Teachers, parents, students, and staff accomplish the most when we work collaboratively for student achievement. A school that aspires for excellence can expect no less!
We are looking forward to seeing what 2020 has in store for our wonderful school! Go Panthers!
With Panther Pride,
Discovery Middle School: A place for excellence, innovation and discovery.
Students return to school on Monday, January 6
January 6: Beginning of 2nd semester
January 9: Report Cards for the 1st semester will be sent home with students.
January 20: No school; Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
January 30: Progress reports will be sent home.
DMS Basketball Schedule:
1/7 @ Buckhorn (Away)
1/9 @ Sparkman (Away)
1/14 @ Meridianville (Away)
1/20 County Tournament @ Sparkman (Away) Times TBA
1/21 County Tournament @ Sparkman (Away) Times TBA
1/22 County Tournament @ Sparkman (Away) Times TBA
1/23 County Tournament @ Sparkman (Away) Times TBA
1/24 County Tournament @ Sparkman (Away) Times TBA
National Board Certified Teachers
Discovery Middle School is extremely proud to announce that two more members of our faculty have earned National Board Certification in their areas of certification!
Congratulations to 8th Grade Math Teachers Adrienne King and Kelsey Cooper for earning their National Board Certifications!
National Board Certification is a voluntary, advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure. NBC has national standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The National Board certifies teachers who successfully complete its rigorous certification process.
DMS Spelling Bee
Congratulations to our 2019 Discovery Middle School Spelling Bee champion Lucy Scarborough!
The purpose of the yearly spelling bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.
The students all had a great experience participating in this year's school Spelling Bee!
DMS GreenPower Team
The Discovery Middle School GreenPower Racing Team (also known as “Panther Racing”) is having a fantastic season thus far! On December 6 they traveled to LaGrange, Georgia to compete against other GreenPower teams. Our team brought home First Place overall in the competition, which is quite an accomplishment!
Discovery GreenPower is coached by STEM teacher Freddie Griffin. Students build and maintain the GreenPower car which runs on two 12-volt rechargeable batteries.
DMS CyberPatriot Teams
This year, two of the DMS CyberPatriot teams are currently ranked in the Top 5 Middle School teams in Alabama. Four of the Discovery Middle School CyberPatriot teams have been invited to compete in the National Semi-Finals which will be held on January 24.
DMS Yearbooks Available
DMS 2019-2020 Yearbooks are available for pre-sale from now through until January 24 for $45. Yearbooks may be paid for at the front office or in Ms. Shergy’s room (#305).
Checks must be made payable to Discovery Middle School and include 2 phone numbers and a driver’s license number.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to pre-purchase your yearbook!
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!
Computer Science Education Week 2019
During the week of December 9 – 15, Discovery Middle School participated in Computer Science Education Week, an annual worldwide program sponsored by Code.org 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. Additionally, DMS incorporated another computer science option for the 2019-2020 school year, CodeSpace: Python, which teaches students the basics of Python programming language 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.
At Discovery Middle School, learning is a wonderful adventure!
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