Fall Semester

7th Grade Otto Middle School

Halfway Point

Can you believe it? The first semester has been going quickly with all the academic assignments, sporting events, theater rehearsals, band practices, and clubs to join. The 7th grade group has been eager to get involved and are already making their mark at Otto Middle School.
Three Ways to a Growth Mindset

2nd Six Weeks at a Glance


In English, the students will be finishing their Exploring and Explaining unit as they complete their expository essay and explanatory poem final drafts. The students will begin transitioning into their second unit of the year, Major and Minor Moments. In this unit, students will focus on personal narrative writing. The students will practice writing with detailed description, strong word choice, and a focused topic that presents a theme.

In Honors English, the students will be finishing their Crafting the Essay unit as they complete their personal narrative final drafts. The students will be transitioning into their second unit, Dramatically Speaking. In this unit, students will be reading plays and analyzing their unique literary structure. This unit will also provide students with the opportunity to practice their speaking skills.

Contact Information:

Kristin Ernst



Erin Kerry



Anna Mackey



Tara Browning



Niki Matasso




In History, the students are studying how Cabeza de Vaca and other explorers impact Texas. Did you know that Cabeza de Vaca means “Head of the Cow”? Nobody knows why his mother named him that, but he is one of the most famous Spanish explorers in Texas History. He has a very wild and mind blowing journey that he kept in a journal on his life in Texas. Along with Cabeza de Vaca, came more explorers to Texas in search of gold.

What the explorers bring with them to Texas changes the lives of Texans forever. Their motivations and desires lead them to developing a unique culture in Texas that we still have today.

Besides the search for gold and glory, the influence and spread of Christianity will be the next big move that the Spanish will take part of for many years to come. The stepping stones for a revolution are on the rise!

In Pace, the current unit takes students through the development of Texas from the Spanish mission system through the Texas Revolution. Students will see how the culture of Texas changed as different groups of people arrived in Texas. They will learn about the individuals and events that contributed to these changes.

Contact Information:

Miriam Carpenter



Daniel Moman



Brent Truitt



Zeshan Khan




MATH 7 (Personal Finance)

This six weeks we are learning:

  • Sales and Income Tax
  • Simple and Compound Interest
  • Net Worth Statements and Personal Budgets

MATH 7H (Ship Shapes and Angles Away, continued)

This six weeks we are learning:

  • Finding missing measures using similarity
  • Using ratios to describe relationships between similar figures
  • Identifying relationships between exterior and interior angles of a triangle
  • Finding missing angle measurements given parallel lines intersected by a transversal

(Linear Functions)

  • Identifying Proportional vs. Non Proportional Situations
  • Applying the understanding of proportionality to solve problems
  • Solving linear equations and inequalities (including variables on both sides)

MATH ROCKS 7 (Linear Functions)

This six weeks we are learning:

  • Point-slope form, standard form, and slope-intercept form
  • Investigate equations, graphs, tables, and real world situations in which they will apply the forms of linear functions
  • Continuing our enrichment of mathematics skills beyond Algebra I with a GLO project.

Contact Information:

Fern Johnson



Cindy Ramirez



Alex Rosenfield



Caresir Gonzales



Elizabeth Jacobsen




7th Grade Science is all about Plants! The students will be discovering and exploring the five plant processes as well as waiting for their aquatic and terrestrial plants to grow in their Bottle Biology microhabitats.

Contact Information:

Jamie Bell



Maritza Bradshaw



Ron Ohlig



Elizabeth Jacobsen



Meet the History Department

Brent Truitt

Brent is currently in his 40th year of teaching in public schools. He has taught various high school social studies classes as well as middle school and high school art classes. He started teaching in Goliad, Texas in 1975 before coming to Plano. Brent has been employed by Plano ISD for almost 35 years. He started at Bowman M.S., and has opened both Murphy and Otto Middle schools. He holds a Secondary Certification for Social Studies and Art. He enjoys teaching so much in Plano that he has even taught 32 consecutive years of summer school. Brent received a B.S. in Education from Southwestern University ,and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. He has been married for 41 years to Janice Truitt, and they have two grown sons. He is very proud of his 4 grandchildren.

Daniel Moman

Daniel Moman is a 7th Grade Texas History teacher. He also coaches football, 8th Grade Boys Basketball, and Track. This is his 2nd year at Otto and his 3rd year living in Texas. Daniel moved from a town outside of Birmingham, AL in 2013 and graduated from the University of Alabama in 2011. Moving from a small town to Dallas has been a huge change in his life that I he still adjusting to (I hate traffic!). In his free time he likes to fish, hunt, go hiking, or anything else that gets him outdoors. He love teaching and coaching here at Otto and would not trade his job for anything else.

Miriam Carpenter

Miriam has been teaching for 9 years, all in Plano ISD. She has taught science and history and has been at Otto since it opened in 2010. In her classes, she expects a lot out of her students and enjoys seeing that light in their eyes expand and get brighter with knowledge.

Miriam has 2 sons and spends her time either at Boy Scout/Venturing events, lacrosse games, or watching her son cheer for Williams High school. When she isn’t doing those things she also loves to Munzee- a QR code based game, and geocache.

Zeshan Khan

Zeshan is beginning his 4th year of teaching. He has been with Otto Middle school all four years teaching 8th grade US history and 7th grade PACE. Zeshan believes that the goal of an educator is to help students achieve knowledge by presenting them with more than just lectures and memorization tasks. In other words, a teacher should help students value and nurture their intellectual curiosity.

Through his teaching experiences thus far, he has found that a good teacher is someone who helps students get out of their comfort zone. As a teacher he will present students with realistic problems that require cooperation and teamwork. This helps students learn to be critical thinkers and effective problem solvers. He enjoys working with children and will continue to strive to be a positive influence in their lives.

When not at Otto, Zeshan enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He likes to stay active by working out and playing tennis in his free time. Zeshan is an avid sports fans and loves to keep up with the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, and the Dallas Cowboys.

Each six weeks a new department will be featured