Saturday, September 21, 2019

Week of September 23 to September 27, 2019

Hello LMS Families!

Monday marks the first day of fall and the start of our sixth week of school.  We are at the halfway point through the first trimester.  I would like to encourage parents to regularly check your student’s progress, so that students and parents are able to monitor individual learning and make improvements or adjustments to study habits. You can check your student’s progress online through the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.  

AttendanceOne of the most important characteristics leading to success in middle school, high school, college, or the workplace is good attendance. Research indicates that excessive tardiness or absenteeism can lead to lower academic achievement and a reduced likelihood to graduate. It is important for you to visit with your son and/or daughter about the importance of regular school attendance. We have several interventions and support services available, so please contact the school at 307-332-4040 if you feel that this may become an issue for your student. Specific Lander Schools policies regarding student attendance can also be found at These policies are consistent with Wyoming state statutes 21-4-101 and 21-4-102. Outlined are definitions of excused and unexcused absences, interventions, resources, and potential consequences for excessive absenteeism or tardiness. Please take some time to review these policies if you have not already done so this school year.

Around LMS:

8th grade Math:
Students in 8th grade are finding success with operating in scientific notation. They’re working hard, showing leadership by lending help to those who need it. Our students are also setting high standards for themselves and their teachers are very proud of their efforts.

7th Grade Math:  Our students have had a strong start with adding positive and negative integers and are now preparing for the challenge of subtracting positive and negative integers by thinking of subtraction as "adding the opposite." Students have a strong foundation with what they are doing in class and their math teachers are confident in these students' abilities!

6th Grade Math:
“Factoring Polynomials” seems to be the buzz word in 6th grade. Whoever thought fun and factoring would add up so nicely? Only here at Lander Middle School is where you’ll find such engaging and interactive lessons and the greatest of all students.

8th Grade Science: We learned about metric measurement, scientific method, and lab safety and took our first CFA. Majority of students scored higher than a 2.5. If your student would like to retake it, they will need to communicate with me, fill out the retake form and go to a minimum of 1 hour study hall to study with a tutor before retaking it. We are working on learning about plant and animal cells, their structures and functions.

Around the World: This week in Around the World students worked on the Languages section of their Country / Culture Projects. We will continue to work on these projects throughout the trimester, but students should turn in each section individually, as they complete each one. The first section, Geography, should have already been turned in. If your child hasn't yet submitted this portion, please talk to them about completing it! The Languages section will be due on Thursday, September 26. Students may turn it in after this date, but it will go in as missing on that day. Toward the end of the week we started the Art & Architecture unit in which students will learn about art and art styles around the world in addition to finding out about famous structures, both modern and historical, around the world. On Friday, we took a "Virtual Field Trip" to many famous architectural wonders around the world. See the photos below! Ask your child about some of the amazing places we saw (and they can even show you!).

6th Grade Social Studies:  6th Grade Social Studies students are wrapping up their unit on Westward Expansion. Students spent the last week and a half learning about the causes of Westward Expansion including the development of the transcontinental railroad, the Pacific Railway Act, the gold and silver rushes in Nevada, Colorado, and California as well as the effects of the Homestead Act and Morrill-Land Grant Act. Students analyzed primary sources and secondary sources related to the era and analyzed the effects Westward Expansion had on the frontier, the wildlife and landscape and the conflicts associated with the settlements of the lands and the encroachment that Native American Indians encountered as they fought to defend their sacred lands.  Next week students will be studying the causes of the Civil War focusing primarily on slavery, rebellion, sectional tensions and conflict regarding culture, economics, and states' rights. Students will investigate primary and secondary sources to draw conclusions on how these causes contributed to the Civil War.

6th Grade PE:  We are in full swing of our softball unit. Week one is primarily emphasized on demonstrating the correct steps of batting a ball off a tee or using a self-toss. Each day students engage in modified games that focus on batting, catching, and fielding. The second week will consist of lead up games to eventually compete in a formal softball round-robin tournament. 

6th Grade ELA:  6th Grade ELA students are getting into the swing of our new Reading Workshop format for reading. Students are learning to analyze characters, and are learning about the deep study of characters. Valuable book study conversations are happening and notebook work is helping guide these discussions. In the second block of ELA, students are working on language skills, grammar, vocabulary, conventions, and writing. This week students took their first elements of plot CFA on Direct and Indirect Characterization.

6th Grade Science:  Students in science are using Newton's Three Laws of Motion to design and build a car to travel 3 meters. Using limited materials the students will try different models and record the changes in an engineering packet. The activity encourages perseverance, using the concepts taught during the unit and being creative. There is not one correct answer.

7th Grade Team:

PE: In PE, students have been increasing their paddle skills. They will be starting their second week of the game Paddle Slam. The main focus of the game is communication and teamwork through the use of Pickleball paddle and ball.
Social Studies: We are wrapping up our unit on absolute location and the five themes of geography. We are getting ready to travel and explore time zones next.
FACS: We are finishing our babycare unit. We have been learning about low cost ways of entertaining kids based upon their age and developmental stage. They have enjoyed making finger paint, play-doe, and sensory bottles. Remember, sewing unit starts at the beginning of October. Fabric will be due Oct. 4th.
Science: This week we have been learning about radiometric dating and the fossil record. Students were able to see how scientists use radiometric dating through a simulation that shows how the half life of carbon and uranium gives an absolute age of fossils and the rock strata in which they are found. Next week, we will finish up this unit by learning about the geologic time scale with a project where students will be building a scaled geologic timeline.
LA: In Language Arts, students will be writing their own short story as a final assessment. As a class we have been studying short stories and all of its elements.
New this year: There is a responsibility grade in each of the classrooms. Students will be scored on being respectful, responsible, and safe.

Events This Week:

9/26:  XC @Worland Invite, 3pm
9/26:  7th grade VB vs. Riverton, 4pm/5pm
9/26:  8th grade VB @ Riverton, 4pm/5pm

9/28:  7th and 8th grade FB vs. Cody, 9am/12pm

Photo Share:  Parents, we are interested in your photos of LMS students participating in any extracurricular activity.  We would love for you to send them to us to possibly include in the weekly blog, the LMS Yearbook and on our Commons TV feed.  Please send any photos to

Have a great week,

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Week of September 16 to September 20, 2019

Hello LMS Families and Friends!

LMS students and staff are moving into our 4th week of school, settling into classroom routines, creating new experiences, participating in athletics, and overall making LMS a wonderful place to be for all.  We are looking forward to cooler fall weather, spirit week, homecoming, dodgeball, and of course learning!!


On Wednesday, September 18th from 8am to 10am, LMS students and staff will participate in a schoolwide ALICE training.  ALICE is the protocol used to respond to critical events.  Letters were sent home the week before last detailing this training.  Any parents who wish to opt out their students, should send back a signed copy of the letter or contact the front office.  Training will consist of a 1 hour presentation by Andrea Nester, Nationally certified ALICE trainer and Risk Manager for Natrona County Schools.  The second hour, students will be in classrooms with teachers discussing different scenarios.  There will be NO live scenario training.

Thank you to those parents that came to our first PIE meeting last Monday night.  LMS PIE meetings are scheduled for the second Monday of the month at 6pm in the LMS Library.  Next month's topic will be: Standards Based Grading

I am still recruiting parents to sit on our School Improvement Plan work group as well as our Schoolwide Application for Title I work group.  If you would be interested in learning more or joining the team, please give me a call or email me.

I would be remiss if I did not express my sincere gratitude to 8th grade Football Coach Chris Babb, Assistant Coach John Shade, AD Serol Stauffenberg, Ernie Lucas, Travis Sweeney, Superintendent Barker and Assistant Principal Ley.  As you may have heard, our 8th grade football team was involved in a serious accident on their way home from their Worland game last Tuesday night.  9 players and Mr. Lucas sustained minor injuries and were transported between Riverton and Lander hospitals.  Coach Babb reacted quickly, notified the appropriate personnel and took care of his team.  I appreciate everyone who was notified that night to respond and help our athletes.  I also appreciate our parents.  This was undoubtedly a stressful situation and could have been much worse but our parents were calm.  There were boys who were waiting for a parent or guardian to show up and the parents who were there embraced them as their own.  I have to give the biggest shout out to our athletes - every single one of the boys that I had an opportunity to visit with on Tuesday night was composed and courageous.  I am very proud of all of you.

Here's what's happening inside the classrooms:

7th Grade Math:  Math teachers have been pleasantly surprised at how well equipped our students are as we begin our unit on Adding Positive and Negative Integers. Students have used manipulatives. number lines, and fun activities to understand the concept that positives and negatives cancel each other out to give us a remaining positive or negative value. Our students are certainly set up for success in this unit!

Around the World:  This week in Around the World students are learning short phrases and simple words from languages all around the world! Ask your son or daughter to tell you what their favorite words and phrases are and in what languages! Students should be finishing up the Geography section on their Ancestry / Culture Project by today. Students have had two weeks to work on completing this in class and on their own. Any projects not turned in to me (either in person or via email) by today will go in as incomplete. Students may still turn in the project at any time after today and as soon as they are turned in, the incomplete will be taken care of. If possible, please encourage your child to complete this project at home or during free time at school. We will begin working on the next section in our Projects next week: Language of our country/culture. Many students are asking about the 4.0 opportunities for their Projects. Students may begin planning for these special opportunities, but they will all be presented/brought in at the END of the trimester when students have their Gallery Walk presentation day. Each individual section has its own 4.0 options. Please email or call me with any questions! Thank you for sharing you kids with me! 

8th Grade PE:  We started out Tag Rugby unit this week. We will be working on utilizing open space, passing, and catching next week. Students are focusing on analyzing critical cues of the necessary skills and identifying and implementing tactics and strategies.

Math:  Homework, homework, homework. The math department at LMS will be encouraging their students to get their homework done and submitted via Google Classroom. These extra repetitions at home are paramount to your child's success. Ask your student about how homework, proficiency scales, and other classroom resources are accessible through their teacher's Google Classroom. We have great faith that students can teach you how Google Classroom works. We are also encouraging our students and parents to download the Google Classroom app on their cell phones and/or computer devices at home. This feature is very effective and efficient for submitting work online. 

6th grade Science:  Science: Sixth graders have been learned by about potential and kinetic energy related to Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. Each student designed an investigation to determine how different masses of objects impacts the force required to accelerate the object. Everyone tested their idea and collected data. It was amazing to see all students completing a project. Next week students will complete an in for Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

7th Grade Team:  The 7th grade team is cruising through the fall.
Science and Social Studies are working well together in tandem with their new blocking schedule. English is working with short stories and will be finished with that by the end of September. 7th grade PE just completed a game called field hockey, they really enjoyed it. Next week we will start paddle games and in three weeks we will start our archery unit. FACS is in the middle of our child care unit to help prepare students to babysit. We will start sewing the beginning of October. Students will need to bring in 1 yard of fabric (cotton, no stretchy fabric) and matching thread to make their pillow cases. Please send fabric in a gallon ziploc bag. Fabric is due October 4th. Please let Mrs. Weston know if you have any questions.

Events this Week:

9/19:  XC, Lander Invite, 1pm, Lander Golf Course
9/21:  8th Grade FB vs. Jackson, 11:00 a.m., Bill Bush Stadium
9/21:  7th Grade FB @Jackson, 11:00 a.m.
9/21:  8th Grade Volleyball vs. Worland/Thermop @Riverton, Games start 10am
9/21:  7th Grade Volleyball vs. Worland/Thermop @Lander, Games start 10am

Some Fun:  Mr. Ley and Coach Babb were good sports Friday night when they each took a turn at the dunk tank during the LVHS tailgate.  Many of our students took advantage of the 3 throws for $1.  Looks like Mr. Ley and Coach Babb had a lot of fun and our students have good aim!!

Have a great week!!

Monday, September 9, 2019

September 9th to September 13th

Hello LMS Families!

I trust you all had an enjoyable weekend.  It seems that maybe Fall is in the air - today was perfect for lounging with a good book and a little baking.  

Our first PIE meeting will be tonight at 6:00 p.m.  Ken Nielsen, FCSD#1, Curriculum Director will be joining us to discuss Federal Programming (Title I) and requirements.  I will also be talking to parents about working with me on the School Improvement Plan.  Snacks will be provided.

After School Tutoring:  After school tutoring begins today from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in room 105.  Tutoring is Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays.   Students do not need to sign up to attend and everyone is welcome.

Student ALICE training:  On September 18, LMS students will participate in ALICE training for students.  Andrea Nester, Nationally Certified ALICE trainer will be conducting the student training.  The student ALICE training will be approximately 2 hours and will consist of the history of active shooter events and the incorporation of the ALICE model. Students will then break up and go through some scenario based training on what to do in an active shooter/lockdown event based on several locations throughout the building. There will be no simulated weapons, no simulated casualties, and no one dressed up as an intruder during this training.  Information was mailed home at the end of last week.  If you do not want your child to participate, please sign the letter and return it to the school.  If you have any questions, please contact me or Assistant Principal Ley.

Here is what's happening around the building:

6th Grade Book Clubs: A Deep Study of Character

Sixth grade students are turning the last few pages in their first book club. Through this unit, student reading is focused on:
  • Paying closer attention to details about the characters, especially details that suggest the ways characters are complicated.
  • Developing an understanding about the role setting plays in shaping characters.
  • Beginning to think about the relationship between the conflicts characters face and the themes developed in the novel.
  • To start a conversation about reading at home, ask your child what book they are reading and why they selected it.
6th Grade Math:  Students are gaining excellent foundations finding their Greatest Common Factor (GCF) through several methods and are now ready to tackle Least Common Multiple moving forward. After their first quiz on GCF, students got to meet and learn from different math teachers depending on their skill levels this week and they did just great. Everybody's growing where they need to grow!

7th Grade:  7th graders will be starting their new flex periods this week. For those who are eligible for enrichment, we have science fair, history day, robotics and bridges, book club, and biking. Students who are in need of extra time and support for priority standards in math and language arts will receive that during flex period. Generally we will be running a two week rotation, allowing students who show proficiency the chance to move into the enrichment programs.
  • In English, students are continuing their work in book clubs, and analyzing those novels and short stories read in class through plot and theme. 7th grade English students should continue to read 20 pages a night; please help us push them to develop a love for reading! This week, on Wednesday, students will be taking their first CFAĊ› in English over the short story ¨Rogue Wave.¨ These CFAs will cover the standards RL.7.2 and RL.7.3, analyzing plot and theme in narrative texts.
  • Earth History and patterns in the fossil record are the standards we are covering this trimester in science. The new curriculum is full of hands on activities and students are making connections between the ages of rock layers and how fossils teach us about the past. Wyoming is a great state to study this information. As you drive around our great state, make note of the layers of sedimentary rock and the geologic processes that have created the views we see today. 
  • In Family and Consumer Science (FACS), we are currently working with students to identify real-world problems and locate and use various sources of information for decision making. Students will be able to identify the basic responsibilities of a caregiver, describe the safety precautions you should take while caring for a child, outline the steps you should follow when responding to an emergency.

8th Grade PE: We are doing our fitness testing Monday and Tuesday this week. We just wrapped up our disc sport unit and had the vast majority perform exceptionally well on their CFA last week. We will now turn our attention to tag rugby as we continue to look at critical cues for success in sports as well as identifying tactics and strategies for increased quality of game play.

8th grade Math:  The 8th grade math program is looking for "A Few Good Tutors." If your student is interested in building up their portfolio, this would be an excellent opportunity. There are lots of researched benefits in becoming a peer tutor. Studies show that students experience higher academic achievement in addition to improving their personal and social development. This will be a true learning experience for our learning community here at LMS.

8th Grade Science:  Students are working with the scientific method this week. We will have our first CFA on Thursday. Remind your student to study for it!

Around the World:  In 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Around the World students started work on their Ancestry/Culture Projects this week! Students each chose a country or cultural group (preferably one that their ancestors came from!) and each student will be compiling a project that will span the entire trimester. In their project, they will tell all about the different cultural aspects of that group of people, including Geography, Food, Music/Dance, and more! Parents, you can help your child with this project by talking to your son or daughter about where your ancestors came from, what your last name (or maiden name) means or where it came from, and looking into the history and culture of the country or culture your son or daughter chose. There will be a total of seven different sections students are graded on. Each of the seven topics which will show up as individual grades in the gradebook. At the end of the Trimester, students will present their sections together in one final presentation and will have an opportunity to bring in items pertaining to any or all of the seven sections in order to attempt a 4.0 grade. Contact me or ask your child about these special projects! For more information about the Ancestry/Culture project please view the Project Description and the Grading Rubric.

LMS Cross Country:  On Saturday, our LMS XC team competed at the Wyoming Indian Invite.  Here are the race results.  Congratulations to all of our runners.

Top finishers:
6th grade girls- 1st place- Grace Kempf
JH girls- 2nd place- Allie Atnip
6th grade boys- 2nd place- Tim Schell
JH boys- 1st place- Reed McFadden
Team -1st place girls- LMS
2nd place boys- LMS

LMS Football - 7th and 8th grade football teams participated in the Lander Football Jamboree this past weekend.  Teams took to the field at about 9am and ran scrimmages against Riverton.  Our teams looked really good in the new green and black uniforms.  Looking forward to more games this week.

Activities this week:

Cross Country:

9/12 - XC @ Riverton Invite, 3:00 p.m.


9/10 - 8th grade @Worland, 4:30 p.m.
9/10 - 7th grade vs. Worland, 4:30 p.m.
9/12 - 7th grade vs. Wyoming Indian, 4:15 p.m.


9/10 - 7th and 8th grade @Ft. Washakie, 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
9/14 - 8th vs. Jackson/Rawlins @Lander, games start at 10:00 a.m.
9/14 - 7th grade @Riverton vs. Jackson/Rawlins, games start at 10:00 a.m.

Have a great week!