Written by Publisher, Wakulla.com Tuesday, 07 March 2006 16:41
Riversprings Middle School
Greetings from the Riversprings Middle School Bears! Wow...can you believe the year is nearly two-thirds complete? We are having such a great year in Bear Country that it seems time is flying by quite rapidly.
Bill Taylor and classCongratulations to Mr. Taylor, Riversprings Middle School’s Teacher of the Year! He is a 7th grade teacher on the Ospreys Team and teaches mathematics, social studies and reading. “Our team is very proud of Mr. Taylor for being selected as the Riversprings Middle School 2006 Teacher of the Year,” says Savannah Boege, a fellow Ospreys Team member. “His enthusiasm and love of teaching are inspiring to us all here at RMS. If you see him, be sure to congratulate him on this wonderful honor.”
Megan Rollins (2nd from left)Megan Rollins, an eighth grader on the Hawks team, won not only a school level essay contest, but the district AND the state level competitions as well! The Patriotic Pen Contest, an annual event sponsored by the VFW, this year promoted appreciation of the history of America by asking students to write about a topic entitled, “Who are Today’s Patriots?”. This class writing assignment turned into some top honors for Megan. She selected the National Guard as her topic because of family friends in the Guard. Her first win was our county’s Patriot’s Pen contest, then she proceeded to win the district contest, and that provided Megan with the opportunity to continue on to state. At the state competition she had to present her essay in the form of a speech. This didn’t bother Megan; she delivered it like a pro and became the first state winner of the Patriotic Pen Essay Contest from our district! Way to go Megan!!
The Riversprings Academic Team has entered its competition season. On January 31st, RMS competed in four rounds at Godby High School, defeating Holy Comforter. In March, RMS will participate in the Big Bend Regional Brain Brawl Competition. Shortly after that RMS will defend its possesion of the Optimist’s Cup in the 6th Annual Wakulla County Coastal Optimist Club Brain Brawl. RMS has never lost this tournament. The Academic Team’s final event will attendance at the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge in Orlando the week of April 27 - April 29. RMS has attended for the last 5 years, and to date is the only middle school in the state of Florida to do so. Way to go Bears!
The RMS Science Fair was held on Thursday, December 8th 2005. There were 65 entries this year in nine categories. This was a record number of entries for our school! The first place winners were: Colby Morgan – Botany; Kristie Hodges – Biology; Sarah Morgan – Chemistry; Jasmine Franck – Earth Science; Sloan Barwick – Consumer Science; Elizabeth Mohrfeld – Behavioral Science; Jacob Kilpatrick – Inventions; Megan Rollins – Physics; and Morgan Willis – Research. The overall winners were: Best of Show – Megan Rollins; 2nd Place – Jacob Kilpatrick; 3rd Place – Jasmine Franck. All first and second place winners went to Wakulla Middle School for the district science fair.
The National Geographic Geography Bee was held January with eighth grader, Jacob Kilpatrick as the school champion. Chris Eichler and Mathue Briggs took 2nd and 3rd place.
Trevor WatersIn December, RMS held its annual Spelling Bee. Mildred Murphy, a seventh grader from the Ospreys team, was “crowned” our overall school winner. Mildred, along with Katy Parker, Lauren Merritt, Trevor Waters, Brandon Wagner and Alina McCullers, advanced to the District Bee held in January. Trevor Waters, a seventh grader from the Otters team, was our districts top speller. Trevor will advance to the state level and compete with top spellers there. Congratulations Trevor and good luck!! Janet Weber is the RMS sponsor.
RMS will send eight students to the MATHCOUNTS Chapter Competition at FSU on February 25 to compete with area public and private middle school students. MATHCOUNTS is a nationwide program sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers and major corporations. This year’s team will include eighth grade students Jacob Kilpatrick, Jasmine Franck, and Darren Evans who have competed every year since sixth grade. Angie Williams is the RMS sponsor and coach.
Throughout this year, the Jr. Optimist Club at Riversprings has been quite busy assisting families and the community. They have been involved in projects such as:
1. Proceeds from the October dance/maze being donated to the Red Cross for
assistance with Hurricane Katrina victims.
2. Donating items to a needy family during Christmas through the Refuge House.
3. Creating “thank you” wreathes for the teachers/staff at Riversprings.
4. Assisting with the Holiday in the Park event, sponsored by the Wakulla County
And many other side projects in coordination with Student Council. In addition, the Jr. Optimist have provided shirts with logos to identify each student. These were generously provided by the parent organization. Upcoming projects include:
1. Diaper Drop to collect diapers for needy families.
2. Involvement in the Relay for Life fund-raisers.
Several other projects will be announced soon. The Jr. Optimist Club is a volunteer organization founded by the parent organization Wakulla Optimist Club. These students donate their own time within school and after school to be involved in various service projects. We would like to thank the parents of these students for allowing their involvement within this organization for the betterment of our community. Ms. Harris, RMS Guidance Counselor, is the coordinator.
The RMS Library is in the middle of the most successful Sunshine State Reader’s Project in the history of our school. Part of the reason for the success is the competitive spirit of many of our students, as well as Mr. Taylor’s enthusiastic participation. It seems to have been a good idea to include the upper elementary titles as well as the middle school titles. We wanted to be more inclusive for all our readers. Next on our calendar is the Book Fair which begins March 13th and ends March 24th. Mr. Posey will be this year’s coordinator, so it promises to be great. We need parent volunteers, so please contact Mr. Posey if you can help. Just Read Riversprings Bears!!
The RMS wrestling team went to six tournaments this year. We placed 1st twice and 2nd four times. Congratulations!! Shannon Smith is the coach.
In Physical Education, Coach Knight is working through a unit called Speedball. A four week unit was just completed in tennis. Throughout the remainder of the year, Coach Knight will be teaching Square Dancing, Volleyball, Aerobics, Track and Field, and other recreation games. The number one goal is to teach health and fitness for life!
The track season started January 30th and will continue through March. We have 25 girls that have shown much dedication and hard work throughout tryouts. Their first meet is scheduled for February 23 at Maclay School at 3:30. Go Bears!! Coach Francis Knight is the sponsor.
Zip! Boom! Bah! Home Economics classes have been buzzing with activity. Students planned healthy snacks to make at home while they watched the Super Bowl! This is a great time of year to discuss nutrition. The snacks were easy to prepare and were nutritious alternatives. Dips (spinach, ranch, bean, onion, etc.) were homemade, sausage and cheese biscuits were handmade and the salsa and veggies were fresh! Each grade level was involved in the party planning which included invitations, decorations, entertainment, food preparation, set up, and service. The event required tremendous team work and the students learned a lot from working in small teams. They even took a minute to discuss manners and meal etiquette.
Home Economics has provided eighth graders an avenue to discuss their personal goals and career options. They have learned about entrepreneurship and formed a mock company. They worked in teams to make a product and sold it to students for Valentine’s Day. Seventh graders have a variety of topics (money management, conservation of resources, homemaking skills, etc.) that are woven into competitions, projects and hands-on activities. Sixth graders only have a few weeks in Home Economics, but get a taste of many topics including nutrition, sewing, and food preparation.
Marching on to Band, Caleb Fisher was selected to play Tuba in the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) Seventh and Eighth Grade Honor Band. Students are selected from band programs across the state of Florida. The honor band rehearsed for two days before performing a very challenging yet entertaining concert. This is an annual event held in conjunction with the FMEA Conference in Tampa, FL, January 4th through the 7th. Caleb was the only middle school student selected from Wakulla County and was awarded the position of “first chair” following a seating audition in Tampa. Go Caleb!!
Mario Rivieccio was selected to play trombone in the Florida Bandmasters Association All-District Band for District 3. Students were selected for this band based on a rigorous audition process held in November. District 3 is compromised of Wakulla, Leon, Jefferson, Gadsden, Madison, Taylor, and Suwannee counties. The All-District Band rehearsed for 2 days in preparation for their concert. This event was held at Chiles High School in Tallahassee from January 19th through the 21st. Mario was the only middle school student selected from Wakulla County.
RMS Drama is performing their annual spring play this February. The play is entitled, “Is It Soup Yet?” and is a comedy version of the Aesop fable, Stone Soup, about a young man who creates delicious soup out of nothing to win the hand of the princess. Twenty-seven sixth, seven, and eighth grade students are involved in the play.
RMS continued its involvement in the Wakulla Springs Watershed Service Learning Project. This is a project that is being funded by a Learn and Serve grant as well as receiving support from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Wakulla County Extension Office, Wakulla Springs State Park, and many community volunteers. Students are gaining hands-on knowledge about the water quality and spring system in our area through participating in this program. Students at each grade level have the chance to go to Wakulla Springs or Leon Sinks to gather data related to biology, chemistry, and earth science. This data will be compiled and recorded on a web site to be shared with the community as well as other students. Students at each grade level are being trained as mentors for their peers. The seventh grade Otters team went to Wakulla Springs in December, and the sixth grade Manatee team and the eighth grade will be traveling to Wakulla Springs and Leon Sinks, respectively, later in the spring.
RMS students successfully completed three practice tests to prepare for the Florida Writes. Students worked hard, and have shown marked improvement in their writing. We feel that this program has definitely benefitted our students by better preparing them for the Florida Writes as well as all FCAT testing.
The seventh grade Otters team, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Regulation and Wakulla Springs State Park is currently involved in an ongoing research project that offers students the opportunity to study the physical and chemical characteristics of the water at Wakulla Springs. The information collected through their research will become part of a data base that may show, over time, positive or negative changes in the water.
In recognition of Black History month, during the week of February 13th, Mrs. Wright’s eighth grade students gave a 2 to 3 minutes speech about famous African American writers. The word “writer” was defined as an author, a poet, or a play writer. Students dressed the part for their presentations and a great time of learning was had by all.
In December, the seventh graders spent two days at Wakulla Springs collecting and analyzing water samples taken from several locations in the park. Twenty-five teams of three students each circulated through a series of activities in which they used chemical test kits, electronic testing meters, flow meters and microscopes to investigate various water parameters. The parameters included pH, dissolved oxygen content, nitrate and phosphate levels, flow rate, water clarity, and algae density and diversity. Students also studied the basic geology of the Floridian Aquifer, of which Wakulla Springs is a part. Eighth grade students, trained in water collection and analysis techniques, acted as mentors to the seventh graders during the two days of study. Later this year students will organize their data and enter it on the school’s website.
Several seventh grade Ospreys met with Mrs. Sutton and Mrs. Adams before the Christmas holidays and produced a mural of the St. Marks Lighthouse in one of the hallways of our school. The technique was new to them. Taught by Mrs. Adams, the students worked from the background forward to produce their work of art. Different sections of the mural were done by select students. They started their work before Thanksgiving, working only one afternoon that day, producing the background for the work. Next another group of students worked together between Thanksgiving and Christmas to produce the middle ground. The final group to meet put finishing touches to the painting. All in all, it took all the students collectively to produce this mural roughly 6 hours. Pretty good for that amount of time!!! Good work Ospreys!
We have been celebrating Black History Month in Language Arts. We have been reading a selection of stories called, “Folk Stories of the South” by M.A. Jagendorf. The current stories being read are ones from Florida, these stories were handed down by ex-slaves to their following generations. Over time they became folk tales/tall tales. Students have written responses to the readings and discussions have ensued. Furthermore, we are preparing for the FCAT, basic skills are being reviewed using many methods; games and some competitions are being employed to make the process fun.
The sixth grade Eagles have been touring Europe this six weeks in their social studies classes. They completed a research paper on an assigned country and participated in a food sampling event as a culmination of this assignment. The students also completed a study of an endangered species that lives in their assigned country. In Mathematics, the Eagles have been studying integers, geometry, ratios, percents and the customary and metric systems. In reading, the students have been diligently working on strategies to become better, more mature readers as we prepare for the FCAT.
In Read 180 we are striving for success in reading. We recently had another session of the Gates-McGinnite Test and Mrs. Cotton is pleased to say that the students are making progress. We are preparing for the upcoming FCAT Test by testing our reading endurance, doing the Read 180 program and providing many opportunities for reading practice. The students have really been working hard in this program.
In addition to this, we are doing some Real-World Reading by completing maps, menus, brochures and recipes. We are even trying some of the recipes. The students are reading independently to meet their reading goals and those who succeed will be rewarded with a Reading Goal Success Party complete with party foods. Wish us luck!
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