Bulldog News Week of 4.03.2013



Congratulations to Ms. Kennington for being selected as our Teacher of the Year! She is a consistent model of being all about kids in her classroom. She regularly has groups for guided instruction planned in her room and uses blended learning to great, impactful levels. We are fortunate to have her as an example to talk to and learn from.

Surveys Please remember to take your surveys for our recent virtual learning day. We will be presenting this information to the board at a meeting very soon. Here is the link – https://goo.gl/forms/FAuagJafv2RVBJYp2.

slider6Printer Copies – As we begin to make plans for next year, one of the considerations we have to look at critically is the number of copies we are making. We recently received a report regarding the number of copies we’ve made over the last several years [this was actually a copier usage report] and two things are striking: 1) there has been very little decline in the number of copies we’ve been making over the years and 2) we are already very close to our totals from the last years.

This is a concern of practice. Copies has always been a concern of schools but with the resources available to us, we must have continuous, critical conversations about the copies we have been making. Specifically, in our 1:1 environment do we really need to make the copies we are making?

During some of our walk-thrus, we make note of the opportunities when activities could have been paperless such as print copies with questions wherein students have to record short sentence answers or text, stories and narrative, printed front and back. While these activities may be needed the format can absolutely be different and it needs to be different.

This is a time when we need to have critical talks in our planning teams about what format we will deliver activities – be intentional in your talks. Take the time to consider alternatives like Google Forms [which can grade some assignments for you], Google Docs wherein students can collaborate and build together as well as Schoology. If you need help with any of these, please send out a message – someone will come running to offer some alternatives.


Backing Up Laptops – As we began to plan the transition from our current devices to the new devices, I wanted to let you know that you should start considering how you back up or save the files that you have on your current laptop. All teacher laptops will be replaced. The easiest way to back up your files is to save them to a flash drive or your Google Drive.


Responsive Classroom – Its about connecting not how we do it! Here Mrs DeAngelo is using Simon Says, an oldie but goodie, to start the class of community talk of right! Take time build COMMUNITY in your class.


Standards-Based Grading – Here’s short video on where we are headed in the next year or so.

Flipped Classroom – This was inspired by a talk I had with Ms Warren who saw a great session on flipped learning at the middle school conference. There are some great basics here to remind us of the real value in a flipped classroom.


Students, parents, and yes many teachers are counting the days until Spring Break!  I was curious how the concept of Spring Break came about, so I did what any typical middle school student would and Googled “origins of Spring Break.” My search resulted in many sites to choose from, most not containing the information or sources I was looking for. Instead I was directed to websites describing the annual trek of college students to beach hot spots and their wide array of “activities.”

Why are you looking forward to Spring Break? Are you taking your annual family beach trip? Having a staycation and working on DIY projects at home? Or do you just need a “break” from it all? When my focus was narrowed, I Googled “benefits of Spring Break.” The top article was “The Four Benefits of Spring Break”…

The Higher Ed Professor

Just by reading the name of the cite, my credibility meter was moving in the right direction. In his very brief post Michael Harris shares four benefits:

  • Enjoy life- take a break from the daily grind
  • Physical Health-no excuse not to get a good night’s sleep and get some exercise
  • Mental Health- give your mind a break
  • Recharge your batteries- “this is the result of the first three benefits”

Harris’s website is focused on reaching other professors at the undergraduate and graduate level, but after perusing the website I found many ideas applicable for K-12 educators and their students. Being the inquisitive person I am, I check out “about me.” When doing so, I discovered Harris earned his B.A. from the University of North Carolina in American History. After last night’s game what could be better than that!

Take Aways:

  • So, this Spring Break, wherever you may be take time to recharge your batteries. Read some good books. Try the latest YA novel. Students find it amazing when teachers discuss their favorite authors, series, character, books, etc.
  • Front loading websites for student use is always a best practice. Researching, vetting, and adding links in Schoology can help curb the “endless” web surfing some students do to find the perfect site, or waste time.



The big event this week is welcoming our soon-to-be Bulldogs!! Monday, April 3, and Tuesday, April 4, we will welcome rising 6th grade students into the building during the school day. They will be meeting exploratory teachers as well as the 6th grade teachers to get a taste of what being a WRMS Bulldog is all about! Remember that on these days 6th and 7th grades will be switching schedules.  On Monday from 4-6,  we welcome parents/guardians and students for an open house to our school.

Compassion Projects are moving along and students are progressing toward making a difference somehow, some way! Friday, April 7, from 3-6, we are planning an afternoon here at school to allow students an opportunity to have events that will help them with their projects! If any staff members can stay after school and provide assistance(crowd control), it would be very much appreciated!!! Even if you can’t stay for the entire time, we would love your help!!

As we move into the 4th quarter, we KNOW everyone is under stress. Teachers, staff and students must dig deep and find within themselves the internal motivation to go the distance. Let’s work together to have a strong final quarter. Remember to try and enjoy the journey. Whether you think so or not, you are making a difference in the lives of children.  We are STRONGER TOGETHER. Let us know how we can help you!!!



Monday April 3

  • 5th Grade School Visits
  • Track @ Erwin
  • Enrichment PBL
  • WRMS 6th Orientation – 4:00-5:30 pm
  • SIT Meeting

Tuesday April 4

  • 5th Grade School Visits
  • Enrichment PBL
  • Whole Group Professional Development
  • BATTLE OF THE BOOKS at West Rowan Middle – This time its personal!
  • Soccer/Volleyball vs CGMS Away
  • Baseball vs CGMS Home

Wednesday April 5

  • Enrichment PBL
  • Boys Tennis vs EMS Home

Thursday April 6

  • Enrichment PBL
  • Track @ Home
  • Soccer/Volleyball vs NRMS Away
  • Baseball/Boys Tennis vs NRMS Home
  • RSS Conference – Experience the Power of a New Public Education

Friday April 7

  • Enrichment PBL
  • RSS Conference – Experience the Power of a New Public Education
  • All County Chorus
  • Happy Birthday Ms. DeAngelo
  • Happy Birthday Mr. Wheeler

Sunday April 9

  • Happy Birthday Mrs. Henley

Monday April 10

  • Baseball vs Erwin Middle at Home
  • Soccer/Volleyball
  • Track Boys Conference Meet at North Rowan Middle
  • Enrichment – Compassion Projects
  • Faculty Meeting

Tuesday April 11

  • ISD- Apple Teacher, Blended Learning, Breakout EDU
  • Track Girls Conference at North Rowan Middle
  • Enrichment Compassion Projects
  • Band Booster Meeting @ 6:30 pm

Wednesday April 12

  • 5th Grade School Visits
  • Baseball vs Corriher-Lipe Middle Away
  • Tennis vs Knox Away
  • Soccer/Volleyball vs Knox Away
  • Enrichment Compassion Project

Thursday  April 13

  • Early Release

Friday April 14

  • RSS Holiday



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