Archive | December, 2012

New Rules Start January 7, 2013

18 Dec
Reading Chart

Reading Chart

Students & Parents –

In general, all students start with the ability to check out up to 2 books at a time.  Books are due in 2 weeks.  Late fees are $0.05 per school day per book. There are no fees for weekends or holidays.

This is a reminder that the new rules go into effective on your first day back after the holidays:

1) If you have a lost book or owe money at ANY school, you cannot check out books at Woodland MS.  (Books lost or not returned in Elementary School stay on the student’s records.)

2) If you owe fines that are between $0.50 and $1, you may check out one book only.

3) If you owe fines over $1, you may not check out books.

The student, and ONLY the student, is responsible for returning books.  No pass is needed to drop off a book.  The Media Center opens 30 minutes before school starts and stays open 30 minutes after school is over.

In January, look for a new program called Swap Books that will help students read more while working on their personal responsibilities.


Talking to Kids About Sandy Hook ES

17 Dec

Considering the news reports and coverage, it’s a good time to add some resources to help students and parents deal with the tragedy.

Here are some links to help:

Am I Safe? Talking to Your Kids About the Sandy Hook School Shooting by Bonnie Rochman

It’s My Life (

Caring for Kids After Trauma and Death (in English & Spanish)

Dealing with Death (from Mr. Rogers – intended for Parents of small children)

Helping Middle School Youth Deal with Grief and Loss from Greater Victoria School District

 Be sure to contact counselors or religious leaders if you need more help.  Have a wonderful, safe holiday break.

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

12 Dec

Being Henry David

Being Henry David by Cal Armistead

(via Netgalley)  Publication Date:  March 1, 2013


What if you wake up in a New York train terminal with a copy of Walden and no memory at all?  Not a name, not an ID, not a bag, not even an idea of what you look like.  Will Thoreau have the answers he needs?

This story moves surprisingly well.  I was afraid that a troubled teen searching inside himself would drag, but this doesn’t.  I thought perhaps I want to reread Walden to really understand this book, but I think “Henry David” distills the key lines and interprets them for us.  It may still move me to pick up Walden again, but more for confirmation.  I am not sure it will move my 8th graders to read Thoreau, but it may give them a little more insight into one of America’s great writers.  “Henry David” or “Hank” finds himself yearning for the simple life.  “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”  As “Hank” searches Concord, Massachusetts (home to Walden Pond) for answers to his past, he has to push past the pain to find the grievous secrets locking him out of his own head.

Recommended:  Ages 13+



11 Dec

bookfairCome to the Book Fair on Thursday, Dec. 13th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Then go to the Winter Concert (Band / Orchestra / Chorus) at 6:30 p.m.

This is the last day of Book Fair and we will have books, bookmarks, pencils, diaries, erasers and all sorts of Stocking Stuffers available.

All money supports the Woodland Middle School Media Center!

Elemental The First by Alexandra May

9 Dec
by Alexandra May

by Alexandra May

Elemental The First (The Primord Series) by Alexandra May

(via NetGalley)  Published March 21, 2012

Let me offer an obvious English lesson.  You do not number a single occurrence of something.  You only number it (1, 2, 3… or first, second, third…) when there is more than one.  That’s your clue that the book does not nicely tie up all of the loose ends on the last page.  However, the promise of more books is a positive note here.

Rose is just about to turn 16.  She’s always moved towns for her dad’s business, but now they want her dad in the Middle East and Rose needs to stay with her grandmother in a small town.  Rose has a secret too.  She can heal.  It’s okay because her grandmother knows about the secret, but she shouldn’t tell anyone.  It’s a very small town.  Now adults are going missing.  The teens are worried and Rose finds herself with two incredibly looking guys looking at her.  Rose is also dreaming about  Halika Dacome, a myth of the town that’s known for ghost lights and odd happenings.

What happens when Rose discovers the “truth” about the town and her dreams.  Who is really helping her and who is trying to stop her?  And, what is she?

This is a fun, fast read though frustrating at the end of the FIRST book.  I look forward to the next!

Recommended: Grades 7 and up.

Book Fair Invades…

4 Dec

We are excited to have a book fair back at Woodland Middle School, but there are rules.

  1. No backpacks/folders/pens or pencils/jackets
  2. All students come with their ELA teacher OR their parent
  3. This is a store.  Everything costs money.
  5. NO PASSES – Sorry, but there is limited help.

PARENT Night – Come with your parent on Thursday, Dec. 13th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  All proceeds benefit the Woodland Middle School Media Center!

Patterson Books

Patterson Books

bkfair 001