Uniting the Division 9-29-2021
WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
UNITING THE DIVISION – 9-29-2021
CONTACT PERSON: DR. BRIAN C. RATLIFF – SUPERINTENDENT
DAMASCUS MIDDLE SCHOOL
Damascus Middle School Seventh Graders Begin Book Club
A group of students in Mrs. Lisa Blackburn’s first core English class at Damascus Middle School recently formed a book club during their library time, and the first book on their list was Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. What began as a simple opportunity to read a book together has turned into a friendly competition! Maryn Murphy is the unofficial leader of the club, and he has worked with the other club members to develop a reasonable timeline for reading the book. On Friday, September 3, the Hunger Games Book Club members competed in their first challenge. For each chapter read, the members received one chance to hit an apple with an arrow, just as Katniss Everdeen does in Chapter 7. Librarian Valerie Cox provided the apple, the weapon (a kids’ plastic bow and arrow set), and the prize. After a fierce contest, Levi Parks’ shot glanced off the apple to win him the prize, a bag of gummy Lifesavers. Payton Long was in second place with her close shot. Jacob Harris, Maryn Murphy, Chloe Rouse, and Autumn Surber all put forth their best efforts! A special thanks goes to Riley Shaffer for retrieving the arrows and to Coach Ratliff for acting as an impartial judge!
Damascus Middle School Gifted Students Participate in a Pumpkin Petri Dish Project
The Damascus Middle School gifted students recently participated in a Pumpkin Petri Dish Project. Pumpkins were cut up into medium size pieces which were placed inside homemade petri dishes, "Ziploc bags." Students will place these bags in different locations in their homes for the next month. Location examples include the refrigerator, kitchen counter, attic, basement, windowsill, porch/patio, and two random places of the student's choice. Students labeled the bags and will use the chart they were given to record any growth of mold/bacteria for the next four weeks. Students made predictions about the amount of growth expected based upon the location. Students were asked to record their findings, answer discussion questions that went along with the project, and take pictures of the results to email to the Gifted Coordinator, Rhonda Mossholder. Findings will be shared at the next meeting where students will continue their unit of study on bacteria by conducting bacteria samplings around DMS. Students were also given a medium size pumpkin to decorate that describes a DMS teacher or their favorite subject. These decorated pumpkins are due in one week and will be on display in the office. Students enjoyed a treat of Halloween cookies at the end of the meeting.
Damascus Middle School Students Participate in Washington County Fair
Each year, students across Washington County look forward to the county fair as an opportunity to showcase their talents and skills in a variety of areas. This year was no exception, with more excitement than usual since the fair was canceled last year due to COVID. Before the fair began, DMS art teacher Ms. Jennifer Smith and sixth-grade art student Kaytlynn Wise created our beautiful Middle School Grand Champion wreath using wooden rulers and school-themed embellishments. It is always exciting to see these school projects on display at the fair! One of the first events during the fair was the Jr. Miss Washington County Fair Pageant held on Monday, September 13. Seventh-grade student Zelda LaFlamme and eighth-grade students Kasey Ball and Allie Parks participated in the pageant and demonstrated their beauty and poise. Congratulations to Allie who was third runner up and Kasey who was fourth runner up! On School Day at the Fair, three DMS students participated in the Talent Show. Cheyann Davenport sang “Burning House” by Cam, and Sage Bates and Fallyn Smith played guitar and sang “Hey Lover” by the Daughters of Eve. Damascus Middle School was certainly well-represented at the 2021 Washington County Fair!
Damascus Middle School Students Celebrate Homecoming Week
Students at Damascus Middle School celebrated Holston High School’s Homecoming week during the week of September 27-October 1. The week began with a Homecoming Kick-off Parade through the town of Damascus, ending at the Town Park with a giant pep rally on Sunday afternoon. Then, each day, students arrived at school dressed for the day’s theme, which included Mismatch Monday, Lazy Tuesday, Western Wednesday, Class Color War Thursday, and Spirit Day Friday. This was an exciting week, as students enjoyed showing class spirit and working together to decorate their classroom doors after 18 months without these types of activities! Participation was high across all three grade levels, leaving the awarding of the most spirited class a surprise until the end. Way to go sixth graders, who were declared to have the most school spirit during the week! In addition to the class spirit award, individuals in each grade level who demonstrated the most spirit were crowned. In sixth grade, the winners were Riddick Lewis and Hannah Howell; in seventh grade, Ethan Forrester and Zelda LaFlamme; and the Homecoming Spirit King and Queen were eighth graders Cash Wilson and Eden Desrosiers! The seventh-grade class won the door decorating contest with their Western-themed door. These activities were coordinated by the DMS Student Cooperative Association (SCA), sponsored by Ms. Lisa Blackburn and Ms. Amy Caywood.
GREENDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
What is Your Favorite Animal?
Third grade mathematicians at Greendale Elementary School are learning about bar graphs and pictographs. They invited their peers school wide to participate in a survey so they could create a bar graph. Using the morning announcements, they presented their task to the school. Ballots were created along with a poster indicating the animals in picture, word, and number form so that even their youngest peers (Pre-K) could vote. They will collect the data and create a bar graph that all students will be able to view. The mathematicians will also create questions that can be answered using their completed graph. Third graders are experiencing the work involved in creating a survey, collecting data, and interpreting their data to create a bar graph.
Second graders at Greendale Elementary School made a frog’s foam nest this week! In their reading, these students discovered that frogs can release a liquid from their own bodies and turn that liquid into a foam. Frogs do this by kicking their back legs quickly; the quick kicking of their hind legs turns the liquid into foam. Afterwards, eggs can be kept safely in the foam until they hatch. Second graders, following the directions of a frog book, used a kitchen mixer to mix dish soap, food coloring, and water. The speedy turning of the mixture created a foam that was thick and well-equipped to keep an egg safe. The students’ “eggs” were sunflower seeds. They were amazed at how the foam protected the sunflower seed!
Greendale Fourth Graders Explore Math With Happy Numbers
Fourth graders at Greendale Elementary are enjoying learning math through a new program called Happy Numbers. This is an individualized math program filled with visual modeling and virtual manipulatives for grades K-5. Happy Numbers is proven to provide differentiated instruction and deepen students’ conceptual understanding of math. Each student has a time target of one hour per week and a task target which is set based on a pretest taken earlier in the year. Students explore the meaning behind the math, creating connections and digging deeper into mathematical concepts. Whether working in-person or virtually, Happy Numbers provides immediate feedback for students. Students continue to fill in the gaps while having fun!
Greendale Elementary Students Love Reading
On Monday, August 23, Greendale Elementary School began reading Fenway and Hattie, as their “One School, One Book” read aloud. Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Cole is a book told from the perspective of a dog. We learn how moving from the city to the suburbs effects Fenway. We also learn Fenway’s feelings towards squirrels. Mrs. Davenport’s third core of fourth graders enjoyed this book so much that they have already finished reading the second book, Fenway and Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang. They began the third book, Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks last week. The students cannot wait to begin the last book, Fenway and Hattie In the Wild. Thank you, Mrs. Sprinkle, for suggesting this wonderful series!
Electricity! It’s shocking!
In Mrs. Kiser’s science class, we have started our unit on electricity. Our student teacher Ms. Morrison set up stations seeing how static electricity works. After her demonstration with salt, pepper and a comb, (which depicted positive and negative charges), the students visited the stations and performed other demonstrations using balloons, wool, cornstarch goop, and bottles filled with tissue paper to view first hand how static electricity works. The students were “charged” to see how static electricity can be found in so many different things!
Kindergarteners at Greendale Elementary Explore Apples
Kindergarten students at Greendale Elementary have been exploring apples through integrated studies. They investigated apples with their five senses including taste testing different types and graphing the results. Red Delicious apples were the favorite. They made patterns with apples, weighed and measured apples, and counted apples and apple seeds. They learned the parts of an apple and about the life cycle of an apple. Very soon, they will even get to plant new apple trees on the school grounds! They found out about lots of foods made from apples and cooked their own applesauce. Of course they also read a lot of stories about apples and Johnny Appleseed and made their own books about apples.
WATAUGA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Kindergarten Recognizes American Symbols
Watauga Kindergarten students have been learning about American Symbols.
Students practiced reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and made an American Flag. They learned about the flag’s design, and why it has 13 stripes and fifty stars.
The students loved watching and learning about America’s bird, the bald eagle. They viewed the eagles at Dollywood’s Eagle Habitat on the classroom smartboard.
Students learned The Statue of Liberty’s nose is taller than their teacher! They also learned the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to America. Did you know America's date of birth is written on the book the statue holds in her hand?
To celebrate America’s birthday, students had cupcakes and drew fireworks to remember the July 4th, 1776 date.