MS Blazer Buzz 23 Feb

This week's highlight: Checkmate!

Four 6th and 7th grade students represented Woodlawn at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Scholastic Chess Tournament this past weekend. Sixth graders, Ginger Jacobson and Kurt Mueller, and seventh graders Jack Barnett and Jesse Jacobson geared up for three rounds of intense concentration and competition.  They started off strong, with 3 wins out of 4 games.  Competition increased as the day progressed and they finished with 6 wins out of 12 games.  The Woodlawn Chess Club is led by Bill Barnett and meets every Tuesday morning.  This is the first of several tournaments that the students will attend, and I know this team is ready for their next challenge.

MS Blazer Buzz 16 Feb

This week's highlight: The Sea Star

Sixth graders recently examined a very interesting member of the animal kingdom, the sea star. They examined this fascinating Echinoderm by conducting a dissection to learn more about its body structure and adaptations and why it is a member of the Phylum Echinodermata. Students practiced good laboratory procedures and worked with a lab partner, while examining the rays, madroporite, digestive glands, stomach and water vascular system of the Sea Star. Mrs. Denham refers to the Sea Star as a "walking stomach" and students experienced this first hand when they realized that every ray is filled with digestive glands and the stomach takes up the entire middle of the sea star. There is just no room for a central brain! While recording their observations. 6th grade scientists gained knowledge not only of the sea star, but also learned how close observation is an indispensable scientific tool. Many of the greatest scientific discoveries began with close observation of the natural world! The Sea Star dissection is part of the integrated study of the Renaissance in Europe. During this time period in Europe, scientists began to observe the natural world more closely, thus spurring the Scientific Revolution.

MS Blazer Buzz 9 Feb

This week's highlight: Scholastic Writing Awards

Eleven students in 7th and 8th grade were honored for their creative writing talents through the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, including two Gold Key winners, Emmy Belloni and Josh Earle.  Since its founding in1923, the Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth and have established an amazing track record for identifying the early promise of our most accomplished and prolific creative leaders.  

Here is an excerpt from Emmy’s story "Welcome to the Goblin House":

Maria approaches the couch, her eyes fixed on the texture of its fabric. “But… it can’t be…” she mutters. Suddenly she gives a small shriek. The same hand that had grabbed her back in the first room had curled itself around her ankle. 
“Try and pull it free!” you exclaim, unsure if you should help her or not. She tries, kicking to try and free the hand’s grasp, but it doesn’t work.
Another shriek coming from further away causes you to whirl in that direction and shine the flashlight away from Maria. You scan over the room, but there is nothing there. It must have been Rus or Steve. 
When you turn back to Maria, she’s gone. You crouch and look under the couch, but the beam of your flashlight reveals nothing but a dark pool of liquid. You don’t want to find out what it is. You
brace yourself, and tell yourself that Maria is just in on the joke now. But you can’t help but think otherwise. Is she really? Or is she dead?

Gold Key: The very best works submitted to local programs are awarded Gold Keys. Gold Keys are automatically considered for national-level recognition.
Silver Key: Stand-out works submitted to local programs that demonstrate exceptional ability are Awarded Silver Keys.
Honorable Mention: Accomplished works submitted to local programs showing great skill and/or potential earn Honorable Mention Awards.
All Gold Key writing will be exhibited at Spirit Square Knight Gallery with Gold Key artwork. We have designed posters highlighting excerpts from Gold Key Writing. The address is 345 North College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. The exhibit will be in the gallery from Feb. 7 until March 8. Pickup of posters from the gallery will be on March 9 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.

Welcome to the Goblin House | Short Story | Emmy Belloni | Gold Key

The Sweet Breath of Fall's Breeze, All I Have, Blue, Chilling Warmth, and The Ukulele
Poetry | Joshua Earle | Gold Key

Soccer: The Beautiful Game | Personal Essay/Memoir | Jack Hager | Silver Key

Lady of the Manor | Poetry | Lily Klett | Silver Key

We the People | Poetry | Campbell Lindquist | Silver Key

Goodbye Earth | Short Story | Cole Rogers | Silver Key

Upon a Star | Science Fiction/Fantasy | Olivia Schafer | Silver Key

Women's Rights | Critical Essay | Olivia Dionne | Honorable Mention

That Man | Flash Fiction | Angus Ewington | Honorable Mention

Poem Collection | Poetry | Jesse Jacobson | Honorable Mention

Drowning in Thoughts | Flash Fiction | Morgan Klein | Honorable Mention

MS Blazer Buzz 2 Feb

This week's highlight: Middle School Basketball

Coached by Mr. Barringer, the MS Girls basketball team finished the season with a 4-9 record.  In each game, the girls played harder in the fourth quarter no matter what the score was.  Each player was eager to get back in the game and stay in the game. It is impressive how this team has transformed themselves from a group of girls who never really played basketball to a team of fighters who can't wait to play every minute of every game.

Coached by Mr. Guy, the MS Boys basketball team finished 3rd in the league this year. Their success has come mostly from their willingness to work together as a team, both offensively and defensively. They worked hard in practice to improve their skills and this was evident as they played with greater confidence and ability throughout the season. They move the ball on offense to find the player with the best shot and then play very hard on the defensive end, helping each other out as they guard the basket as a team. 

The MS cheerleaders, coached by Ms. Rosen, encouraged both teams with endless spirit and enthusiasm.  It has been a fun season for the Trailblazers!

MS Blazer Buzz 26 Jan

This week's highlight: Once Upon a Time

Hand-stitching, set construction, paper engineering - sixth grade students have now acquired these skills which are necessary if they are to explore art careers such as costume designer, set designer, or illustrator. Elements of fiction, complex sentences, introductory phrases, clauses, and transition words - now those are the skills of a successful writer. Put them together and what do you get? Sixth grade artists and authors. Add a Woodlawn challenge to this integrated project and what do you get? Sixth graders who have not only written their own version of a classic fairy tale in exactly twenty-six sentences, with each sentence beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, but have also designed costumes, sets, or 3-dimensional book pages in order to capture the essence of their fairy tale. Mrs. Packard, Ms. Lysne, and the sixth grade students hosted a fairy tale luncheon for their parents to showcase their creativity in writing and art. Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm Brothers would certainly be proud!