Southern Oaks Middle School sixth grade students recently received small group instruction for reading in preparation for the upcoming FCAT. Southern Oaks media center’s Cathy Odom and Kim Johnson organized the event for the students. Sixth grade students from Cathy Ciccarelli’s and Kevin McInerney’s classes participated in the rotation. Students were placed in groups of five or six each day and traveled through four different classes on reading. Kaitlyn Granger and Vincia Gavoni taught Author’s Purpose, Cathy Ciccarelli and Tiffany Barrett taught Text Features, Sara Denning and Jo Ann Conard taught Context Clues, and finally Jack Babcock and Kevin McInerney taught Computer Testing Skills. The student’s response to the small group activities were overwhelmingly positive! Pictured, from left, are Altynai Davis, River Eichas, Melene Joseph, Charity Richadson, and Alexander Schrimer.
Southern Oaks Middle School faculty and staff raised $546 for the Treasure Coast Food Bank, which will provide 3,822 meals across the Treasure Coast this Thanksgiving. The campaign was led by seventh grade science teacher Maureen Davis. Pictured is Assistant Principal Mary Beth Forsyth as she presents the monies raised to a Treasure Coast Food Bank representative.
The students at Southern Oaks Middle School began their weekly visit to the Media Center in September. The students will come to the media center each week for 15 minutes through Science, Social Studies and Language Arts classes to check out books. Each week, the students will come to the media center with a different class. During this time, Ms. Odom (Media Specialist) and Mr. Knight (Media Clerk) will read from a variety of books to help the students venture out of their reading preference to something a little different. Eighth grade student Sebastian Lippard has started reading his book.
Southern Oaks Middle School’s media center has already been extremely busy with students this year. Ms. Odom and Ms. Aguila started the year off by working with Mrs. Kappler’s 7th grade Civics Class during the first week of school. The students came in for lessons on text features within their Civics Textbook. First, they took an interest inventory and a pre-test. Then the students were given a lesson on text features using a power point presentation. The students came back to the media center and were put into small groups based on their interests and scores on the pre-test. After multiple activities, the students were given a post test. The results were great! The students will be coming back soon for instruction in using the information found in the text feature to actually answer questions.
Then all of the students at Southern Oaks Middle School came to the media center for a brief orientation and book check out. We are looking forward to an amazing year with our students.
Ms Odom and Ms Aguila hosted a 12 Days of Christmas contest in the media center. Winners were selected randomly from a pool of students that have not had an overdue library book this school year. Our winners were Michael Schmitt, Olivia Offerdahl, Caralie Frizzle, Cassie Ackenbrack, Jordan Insinger, Dyllan Murphy-Nichols, Gabe Schuester, Brandon Worrell, Annabel Garcia, Caleb Gamboa, Mackenzie Bain, EJ Roberts, and Calvin Frizzle. The students selected three prizes from our prize closet. Way to go Hawks, keep reading!
On Thursday, May 21, 2015 Southern Oaks Middle School Band presented their end of year “Flower Power” Concert. Director of Bands, Joann Kinder, conducted her 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in compositions such as Dragons in the Mist by Randy Navarre, Overlords by Sean O’Loughlin and At the Hop, arranged by Michael Sweeney.
On Thursday, May 28, Mrs Bruchal’s Drama class presented two showings of The Wizard of Oz. The audiences were wowed by a cast of characters who sang and danced, winged monkeys that captured Dorothy and her crew, and Munchkin “extras” who haven’t even made it to middle school.
On October 1st, in observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, students and staff at Southern Oaks Middle School “Stomp Out” bullying by uniting on the SOMS football field to create a school-wide message: NO BULLYING!
The students at Southern Oaks enjoyed a couple of weeks of book fun at their annual fall Scholastic Book Fair. Thanks to our students, teachers and staff we received $2,126.89 in free books! We could not have done it without the help of our Southern Oaks family. Students enjoyed the new titles offered in our book fair. Michael Schmitt was one of our best shoppers. He enjoyed our selection of historical and military books. We love to see our students excited about books.
Ms Odom and Mrs. Aguila brought Mr. Clark’s 7th grade Language Arts students into the media center to begin writing a short story as a graphic novel. Mr. Clark had the students finish the stories in his class. The students had a great time writing and illustrating the stories. They could work alone or in groups of two or three. Our first place winner was Nthaily Cummings for her story entitled “Lock In”. She won a $25.00 Visa Gift Card and a variety of other prizes from our prize closet. Great job Nthaily and congratulations to Mr. Clark’s classes for a job well done.
For the second year in a row, Southern Oaks Middle School hosted the Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program, a five-week STEM program designed to engage students in learning and working in a 3D environment, applying forces and Newton’s laws, using conditionals for programming robotics SHERES which are Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites.
This year’s team placed third in the Regional Competition. Our program facilitator Kevin McInerney, an instructor at Southern Oaks, supported students with hands-on experiences in programming their satellites to compete with other teams in Florida. Students learned to navigate obstacles and strategize for fuel conversation as well as develop an appreciation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics- that is STEM. Teams competed by programming their strategies into Their SPHERES and then proceeded to the elimination rounds whereby each satellite’s speed, rotation. And direction of travel were factors in determining the winner if each round.
The Zero Robotics Middle School Summer Program is provided through a partnership between the MIT Space Systems Lab and the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP) with support from Aurora Flight Sciences and TopCoder. Zero Robotics is sponsored by NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space.
Pictured in the back row are, Chairman Debbie Hawley, Superintendent Genelle Yost, and in the front row are, Elijah Canegallo, Logan Baker, Andrew Johnson, Jacob Powers, Hansly Leger, Michael Futo, Mr. Kevin McInerney, and Michael LeFrancois. Students that were not present for photo are, Ann Jager, Gioia Perriello, Grisel Cabrera, April Vazquez and the high school volunteer Jaeger Johnson.
Over the next couple of months, Southern Oaks Middle School teachers Jose Rivero and Lauren Kappler are planning to take students on an exciting virtual journey to the moon and Mars. Students will be doing project based STEM activities twice a week that will lead up to learning about how one day life can possibly be sustained on Mars. Mr. Rivero states that students will be learning and talking about everthing from different thrust structures, manned space flight vehicles, what it’s like to live in space, robotics and will learn how to produce food in order to survive long periods of time away from Earth using hydroponics, just to name a few. This is all part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program. Not only will students be doing some amazing hands on activities, but will also be meeting many of the benchmarks and state standards in both science and math. Pictured is the mock space shuttle the students use in their study.
Pictured are Carolina Ponce, left, and Gaby Almendarez were the first students at Southern Oaks Middle School this year to win a prize for participating in lunch time book buddies. Reading teacher JoAnn Conard’s fourth period class came to the media center three weeks ago and selected books to read with a partner. The students could read at home or during silent reading time at school. After the students read a chapter, they would meet at lunch time with their partner and discuss the chapter. Students are encouraged to talk about connections they have with the story, characters, likes and dislikes, etc. Media specialist Cathy Odom and Ms. Conard meet with the students for about five minutes each week to model what the conversation should look like. They also sit in on student conversations to help them with their discussions. One student in each group records the discussion and the paper is turned into Ms. Odom. Students who participate are eligible for a prize from the media center.
Southern Oaks Middle School recently hosted a Parent Night for sixth grade families. Parents were given a passport and traveled to six different information sessions, with topics including classroom routines, expectations, note-taking, staying organized and a preview of the tablets that sixth grade students will be receiving. Parents enjoyed the night and found the information sessions to be very helpful. Pictured speaking with parents is language arts teacher Steve Barrish.
The Southern Oaks Middle School Social Studies Department, headed by Christopher Maxon, held its annual Geography Bee recently. Students first competed in class competitions featuring questions regarding local, city, state, country and world geographical sites until each team had a winner along with a few who were nominated by faculty. The top 11 students were selected to compete in front of the judges in the Geography Bee. Upon answering questions about rivers, lakes, mountain ranges, etc. all over the country and world, and allowing three incorrect answers before elimination, sixth grader Eunique Robinson took first place with only 1 missed question. Eighth grader Kevin Cisneros finished a close second. Pictured, left, is Eunique Robinson with Christopher Maxon.
Cathy Odom (media specialist) and JoAnn Aguila (media clerk) invited Ms. Anderson’s 7th grade science students into the media center for a lesson on invasive species in Florida. The students learned about the invasive species that are causing problems in Florida. The students discussed what they could do to solve the problem. Then the students played a game where they were given a native species card and six blank cards. Then a card was drawn with survival factors. The students had to tell if the survival factor had an effect on their species. If it did, they lost one of the blank cards. We played until most of the students were out of blank cards.
Nearly 400 turned out for Southern Oaks Middle School’s second annual Family Science Night recently. Students and parents alike participated in many hands-on science activities prepared by the Southern Oaks faculty. One of the big crowd pleasers was the STEM l, where parents and students were able to see the hydroponic plants and the rockets that were built. Students from Fort Pierce Central High School’s culinary arts program provided some delicious cookies and performed a demostration, and students from Central’s automotive, biology, and HOSA programs also shared their experiences. Students from Fort Pierce Westwood High School shared information about the Marine Oceanographic program, and showcased all the exciting things going on in Marine Biology. Students and parents were able to enjoy all the great
science programs and learn a little about what is expected in high school and beyond. A special thanks to Ft.Pierce Central and Westwood high schools’ teachers, students and administrators.
Southern Oaks Middle School student council members help with collecting food brought in by students and staff for Bill Brooks Food For Families.
Pictured are: Robbie Sullivan, Vice President; McKenzie Muskett, Treasurer; Janet Delancy and Kiara Idarraga, class representatives and Grace Kukielka, President.
For more information about the efforts of Food for Families go to
As part of Southern Oaks Middle Schools’ recent Holidays Around the World celebration, students in Todd Hibbard’s sixth grade Social Studies classes stepped into the holiday spirit (and the icing) by making 72 gingerbread houses to commemorate holiday traditions in Germany. Students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade all enjoyed the sample of gingerbread houses as part of the day long festivities. Other countries represented with facts and food were Italy, Africa, Mexico, Israel, Great Britian and, of course, the United States of America. Pictured are some of the gingerbread houses on display.
Sixth grade students at Southern Oaks Middle School have been coming to the media center for an orientation and a scavenger hunt using the Dewey Decimal System. After a brief orientation, the students were instructed on how to use the Dewey Decimal System to find non-fiction books. Students were placed on teams of two and given three slips of paper with types of books written on them, such as basketball, poetry, or cooking. When media specialist Cathy Odom and clerk Kim Johnson gave the signal, the students moved through the library to find their books. When the students found a book, they raised their hands and Ms. Odom or Ms. Johnson checked to see if they had the correct book. The first three teams to find all of their books won prizes.