Ms. Lawrence’s Crew News

Brewing Up Opportunities: The “Jr. Raider Joe’s” Project

Hello Parents and Friends of Classroom 7C3,

I have a very exciting project to share with you! Our phenomenal speech therapist, Ms. Alyssa Dewberry, is spearheading an initiative we ID teachers at DMS have been interested in starting for some time now – our very own Coffee Cart! As our students practice pre-vocational and functional money skills to prepare for high school vocational activities and eventual supported employment, we all felt a need for increased opportunities for our students to practice these skills in a natural environment. That is, beyond contrived/facilitated activities in the classroom and twice-yearly community-based instruction adventures. After much discussion, the idea for Jr. Raider Joe’s was solidified. Now that the planning phase is complete, it is now time to raise funds to buy necessary materials to get our Coffee Cart up and running. As Ms. Dewberry wrote in her Donor’s Choose project description, the students “will be selling coffee and tea to the staff members at our school. Students will independently fill orders by using these materials and delivering them to the staff members. Students will learn skills such as following directions, sequencing, counting money, social communication, customer service, task completion, and teamwork!”

I am humbly requesting that you visit the Donor’s Choose link below and share with friends and family who may be interested in supporting this project. Our hope is that Jr. Raider Joe’s can become an integral part of weekly life at Dickerson Middle, and the funds generated from coffee cart sales can help to support field trips and home living projects for current and future ID classes. Additionally, we want this pre-vocational project to serve as a stepping stone to the wonderful vocational training opportunities offered at the high schools our students will attend. Please visit the following link to get more information on our project, donate, and/or share. Your support is appreciated and truly makes a difference! https://www.donorschoose.org/project/brewing-up-opportunities-not-just-a-sch/4746107?utm_source=dc&utm_medium=sendFriend&utm_campaign=project&utm_term=unknown&rf=sendFriend-dc-2020-02-project-donor

Sincerely,

Ms. Lawrence

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February Fun!

Hello Parents and Friends,

February 2020 is shaping up to be a BUSY and FUN month for my class (come to think of it, every single day in room 7C3 could be described this way)! We have just wrapped up our “We Need Change” unit of study, in which we discussed the concepts of conflict, compromise, agreement, leadership, problem, and solution through the lens of historical conflicts in which the United States participated. I was thrilled at the connections my students made between large-scale conflicts amongst countries and leaders to daily disagreements in peer groups. Our biggest take-away: the best choice when trying to solve a problem or disagreement is to communicate (“use your words”) to come to a compromise or solution. Recently, my class also participated in a Super Bowl Party, for which we split into teams to prepare game-day snacks and decorations. Fun was had by all at this well-attended event! Finally, I am pleased to announce that our class gained a wonderful new paraprofessional, Mrs. Alice Garrity, in January. A veteran educator with an awesome, positive attitude, she has been a welcome addition to room 7C3!

This month, our unit title is “What Makes This Place Special?” During the coming weeks, my students and I will be discussing travel, with a particular emphasis on cities and states throughout the USA, accompanying variations in weather/climate, landforms, bodies of water, and man-made attractions, and the uses of maps to explore destinations and plan routes/trips. In addition, the students will also learn about famous African-American leaders and historical figures in honor of Black History Month.

Please see below upcoming important events and dates:

  • Wed 2/5 – DMS Challenge
  • Wed 2/5 – Transition Talk @ Hawthorne (“Guardianship and Supported Decision Making”, 5:30-7:30)
  • Mon 2/10 – Adapted PE Dance @ KMHS (10:00-12:00)
  • Wed 2/12 – “Fostering Independence” Parent Workshop @ Hawthorne (9:30-11:00)
  • Wed 2/12 – DMS Spring Picture Day
  • Fri 2/14 – Valentine’s Day Party/Card Exchange and “Red Out” (wear red/pink V-Day attire and bring $1 to support Ronald McDonald House)
  • Mon 2/17 – Fri 2/21 – Winter Break (NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS)

Also, looking ahead:

  • March 9-13 – Staff Appreciation Week
  • March 11 – Early Release Day (1:30pm)
  • March 13 – Dickerson Dash 5K “Zombie Run” @ 7:45pm (see flyer for more info)

 

As always, please feel free to reach out by phone or email with any comments, questions, or concerns. Your support and communication are always appreciated.

Gratefully,

Ms. Lawrence

 

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Parent Workshop: Fostering Independence

 

 

Hello Parents!

I am so pleased to announce an upcoming CCSD Parent Mentors VIP Workshop opportunity, “Fostering Independence: Tools for Success at Home and in the Community.” As all of you are well aware, the middle school years are a critical time to develop our students’ independent functional communication and life skills, encourage autonomous problem solving, and build responsibility and work ethic through daily routines and assigned “jobs” in school, home, and the community. As such, I encourage each of you to take advantage of this excellent learning opportunity so that you might support and strengthen your middle schooler’s independence in communication, socialization, self-help, and task completion in preparation for high school and beyond.

This workshop will be held at Hawthorne Center in Smyrna on Wednesday 2/12/20, 9:30-11:00am. You may register to attend at the following link: http://www.signup.com/go/GHpHbZF

Please feel free to contact the Special Education Parent Mentor office for more information about this and other upcoming events at 770-529-0046.

Regards,

Ms. Lawrence

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CCSD Transition Talks!

 

Hi Parents!

Please see the above flyer (also sent home via student folder today) for information about upcoming “Transition Talks,” hosted by CCSD transition specialists. I encourage each of you to attend these sessions to receive the most up-to-date information on local, state, and federal resources for individuals with disabilities in secondary school and beyond. Topics that will be covered in the coming months include Guardianship and Supported Decision Making and Transition to Adult Healthcare. Additionally, a Transition Resource Fair will be held in April, at which time you may speak with local vendors regarding services and programs for adolescents and adults with special needs in Cobb County. Please take advantage of these great opportunities facilitated by the district and begin planning for your child’s future today! Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Sincerely,

Ms. Lawrence

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January Dates and Reminders

Hi Parents and Friends,

Happy New Year! I am so proud of how quickly my students have returned to classroom and school routines following the holiday break; each of them came back to DMS eager to learn and ready to give their best effort. In short…my students are rock stars!

Please note the following important dates and upcoming events this month:

  • Friday 1/10 – 2nd Quarter Progress Reports available in ParentVUE (please contact Ms. Helsel for ParentVUE registration; IEP progress reports will be emailed and/or sent via student folder per family preference)
  • Friday 1/10 – Pajama Day (students may wear pj pants and donate $1 to benefit Ronald McDonald House)
  • Friday 1/17 – Student of the Month Celebration
  • Monday 1/20 – Observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (NO SCHOOL)
  • Wednesday 1/22- 6th Grade Honor Roll Reception
  • Thursday 1/23- 7th Grade Honor Roll Reception
  • Friday 1/24- 8th Grade Honor Roll Reception
  • Friday 1/31- 8th Grade Dance

Also, looking ahead (additional information to follow):

  • February 10th – Adapted PE Dance @ Kennesaw Mountain HS
  • February 17th-23rd – Winter Break
  • March 23rd – Community-Based Instruction (Target)

Finally, please take a look at my previous post “Helpful Links for Parents.” I update this list periodically with local, state, and national parent resources in the areas of transition planning, CCSD supports, parent training on instructional/behavioral strategies, supported employment, etc. http://www.cobblearning.net/dmsmoid1/2019/11/05/helpful-links-for-parents/

Thanks for your continued support and communication.

-Ms. Lawrence

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Happy Holidays!

Hi Parents and Friends,

As 2019 comes to an end, I have to say how very happy and lucky I am to have such amazing students, student families, and colleagues. Room 7C3 at Dickerson Middle School is truly a joyous place to be, and when I think of all the support and love my students feel daily from their teachers, families, and community, it makes me very grateful to have found this place and this career. I am wishing you all this same joy and gratitude this Holiday Season.

Please remember:

  • Early Dismissal (1:30pm) on Thursday 12/19 and Friday 12/20
  • Holiday Break 12/21/19-1/5/20
  • Students return to school Monday 1/6/20

Best holiday wishes and Happy New Year,

Ms. Lawrence

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December Dates and Reminders

Hello Parents,

The holiday season is in full swing here at Dickerson, and there is much to do and see in the coming weeks as Winter Break approaches. Please see below important dates and reminders for this month:

  • Monday 12/9-Friday 12/13 – “Stock the Shelves” Donation Drive for Ronald McDonald House
    • Items needed by residents include individually wrapped snacks (cereals, granola bars, crackers, etc.), toilet paper, paper towels, detergent, dryer sheets, disinfecting wipes, and travel-size toiletries
  • Tuesday 12/10 – 8th Grade field trip to see “Harriet” at GTC Merchant’s Walk
  • Thursday 12/19 – “Festive Frocks and Holiday Hats” (wear your holiday gear and bring $1 to support Ronald McDonald House)
  • Thursday 12/19 & Friday 12/20 – Early Dismissal for Students (1:30pm)
  • Friday 12/20 – PTSA Winter Celebration for Students (during Fresh Air Friday)
  • Friday 12/20 – End of 2nd 9 weeks/1st Semester
  • Monday 12/23-Friday 1/3 – CCSD Winter Holiday (NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS)

Please plan accordingly for the two early release days this month, and feel free to reach out with questions, comments, and/or concerns. Thanks for your ongoing support!

Happy Holidays,

Ms. Lawrence

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Parents and Friends,

I am wishing all of you a safe, relaxing, and joyful Thanksgiving break! I can’t wait to hear each student’s Weekend Report, with details about all of their turkey-centric adventures with family and friends, when school resumes. Also, don’t forget – our CBI trip (to the Avenue East Cobb) will take place on our first day back – Monday, December 2nd. It’s going to be a great time!

Lastly, I encourage you to periodically look at my recent post “Helpful Links for Parents” (http://www.cobblearning.net/dmsmoid1/2019/11/05/helpful-links-for-parents/), as I update it intermittently when I come across a new resource or site of interest.

Please feel free to reach out with questions, concerns, or comments by email. They are always acknowledged and appreciated. See you in December!

-Ms. Lawrence

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November Unique Unit + Reminders!

Hello again Parents and Friends,

My class and I are in the middle of our November learning unit – “Our Place in Space” – and everyone is enjoying the study of our universe > solar system > planet (my, how mind-blowing it has been for us to make the connection from Marietta, GA to the Milky Way!).

Through the lens of the solar system, the students are learning new vocabulary, reviewing temporal and positional concepts, sequencing events, making predictions/inferences, and identifying main idea and key details in an informational text. Other topics of review include identification and needs of living vs. non-living things, as well as calendar concepts (with respect to Earth’s daily rotation and yearly orbit of the sun). Additionally, we are working on reading bar graphs, taking surveys, making purchases, and using schedules independently. Everyone is doing so well, and I could not be more proud of my exceptional students!

And, of course, this week we will take a few breaks from space study to talk about one of our favorite days of the year – Thanksgiving! To celebrate prior to the break, the class will enjoy a fall leaf scavenger hunt, creating food collages, and a turkey-themed cooking activity on Friday. More study of space, as well as exploring Winter Holidays Around the World, will take place in December.

A few friendly reminders:

  • Wednesday 11/20 – Progress Reports available in ParentVUE
  • Thursday 11/21 – Permission forms for December 2nd CBI trip due
  • Monday 11/25 – Friday 11/29 – Thanksgiving Break (all schools closed)
  • Monday 12/2 – Students return to school
  • Monday 12/2 – DMS ID classes visit The Avenue East Cobb (10:00am-12:15pm)
  • Monday 12/2 – 8th Grade “Harriet” permission forms and fee due
  • Tuesday 12/10 – 8th Grade field trip to see “Harriet” at GTC Merchant’s Walk
  • Thursday 12/19 & Friday 12/20 – Early Dismissal for Students (1:30pm)

As always, your support and communication are appreciated!

Thankfully yours,

Ms. Lawrence

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Helpful Links for Parents

Hello again Parents and Friends,

I have compiled here a list of informative school, district, and parent support sites which may come in handy for you and your DMS student. I encourage you to review and explore the links below at your leisure:

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