Sharpen the Sword

preserve and enhance the greatest asset you have!

Newsletter and Updates for Riverside Middle School 

September 2013

In this Newsletter-     
Welcome Back, STEMulating Young Minds, Robox Sumos!, STEM Literacy, NCSBA Meets at RMS, Congratulations Asst. Principal Cross!, Hispanic Heritage History Month, Pets in the Classroom, College Culture, 4-H District Leaders Meeting, Fall Sports

Welcome Back Knights!

Welcome back to the 2013-2014 academic year. I hope you enjoyed a restful and rejuvenating summer with an opportunity to enjoy family and friends as well as pursue some personal projects and interests.

Summer always seems to be filled with so much expectation to regroup, reflect and refine ideas that surfaced during the busy school year but have not been fully realized due to the pace of the academic schedule.

We will continue our focus on developing a STEM identity. We will (1) align with the NCDPI Middle School STEM rubric; (2) promote STEM literacy alongside Common Core vocabulary; (3) increase student engagement in 4-H, math and science competitions, engineering design challenges, and in-school / out-of-school experiences; (4) develop a college, career, and citizenry minded culture and (5) continue to utilize and seek partnerships with community stakeholders.

Our motto for the 2013-2014 academic year is "STEMulating Young Minds!". With that in mind, I challenge you to put on your armor, sharpen your sword and uphold your kingdom...Riverside Middle School!

Tonya Little

Assistant Principal/ STEM Coordinator

We are Transforming!

Watch as Principal Ron Byrd transforms into a knight!

2013-2014 STEMulating Young Minds Logo

Robox Sumo Event Held at RMS

Robot wars ignited September 7 as students from Riverside Middle School, Jamesville Middle School and South Creek Middle School battled each other at the first “Robox Sumo” event sponsored by the Regional Collaborative for Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), North Carolina A&T State University and Golden Leaf Foundation. The event was held at Riverside Middle School. This was a chance for local students to design, create and test a remotely controlled cardboard box designed robot, hence the name robox, with a computer programmable brain. Thirty-two students from Martin County Middle Schools and their parents enjoyed the Saturday event. Robox sumo is a sport in which two robots attempt to push each other out of a ring (in a similar fashion to the sport of sumo). The robots used in this competition are called sumobots.

 The teams of 6th – 8th graders competed in friendly robotics with the consciousness of “gracious professionalism”, a way of doing things that encourages high quality work emphasizing the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. This is an important tenet of the First Lego League, an international competition organized by FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. FIRST is an organization founded to develop ways to inspire elementary and middle school students to become engaged in engineering and technology fields .

Riverside Middle School is developing a FLL robotics team to compete in the regional competitions this fall. The national FLL organization has a new theme each year and devises theme-related challenges. Teams of students create solutions, advised by adults. The intent is that students come up with their own solutions to the challenge. The 2013-2014 challenge is Nature’s Fury. Students will explore the awe-inspiring storms, quakes, waves and more that we call natural disasters. Teams will discover what can be done when intense natural events meet the places people live, work, and play.

A robotics program is so much more than battling robots. It is a community focused on building a better world for tomorrow by engaging youth in STEM. Robotics gives students opportunities for teamwork, responsibility, and engaging in the engineering process of asking, imagining, planning, creating, and improving.

Watch a video of the event here.

STEM Literacy 

New for 


RMS is implementing WOW! WOW are STEM Literacy/ Common Core "words of the week" that will be used across all grade levels and curriculum. Teachers will be using the words in their classrooms and students are expected to grow their STEM/ Common Core vocabulary.  

This school wide vocabulary initiative is focused upon
  1. attaining vocabulary necessary for success on Common Core assessment,
  2. increasing STEM literacy, and
  3. improving vocabulary achievement, a lifelong skill.

North Carolina State Board Association District 1 Meeting Held at Riverside Middle School 

Do You Need a Back to School Pep Talk?

Making the Connection Between STEM Literacy and the Common Core

English Language Arts Standards  Science & Technical Subjects Grade 6-8
Key Ideas and Details
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Craft and Structure
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to an understanding of the topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.6 Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.8 Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.9 Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.10 By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

RMS Assistant Principal
 Mrs. Angela Cross!
Martin County Schools 
2013-2014 Assistant Principal of the Year!
Go Knights!

Hispanic Heritage History Month 2013

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate the group's heritage and culture. Hispanics have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.

The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. On the 2010 Census form, people of Spanish, Hispanic and/or Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin."

According to this Census, 50.5 million people or 16% of the population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population.

Please share in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

Buena suerte!

Click here for middle school, Grades 6-8, activities for National Hispanic Heritage History Month!

Click on these other great websites to find Hispanic Heritage Month resources!

Interactive White Board Ready Activities

Hispanic Heritage Virtual Tour

Lesson plans, videos, music, and much more...

Musica del Puebla an interactive site about Latino music

The arts of Latin America.

"A hallmark of the Latino community is to help one another, if students are interested in a way to give back and help their communities, becoming a teacher is probably one of the very best ways of doing that."

Ellen Ochoa

First Female Hispanic Astronaut

Congratulations to EC Teacher April Stalls for receiving a PetSmart Pets in the Classroom grant. The purpose of the program is to promote public understanding of the joys and benefits of pets through education, support, and interaction. Mrs. Stalls purchased a fish tank and goldfish for her classroom. The students are very excited about their new classroom addition. Bubba has especially developed a keen interest in this project. He helped to set up the tank and has been attentive to the care of the fish.

Good job, Mrs. Stalls, in living up to the RMS mission of "enhancing the educational process..."

Bubba has enjoyed helping to set up the aquarium.

Fall Sports

Football Schedule 2013

9/18     Chowan County          Away     6:00

9/25     PS Jones                    Home     6:00

10/2     South Creek               Away      6:00

10/9     Gates County             Home     6:00

10/16   Hertford County          Away      5:00

10/23   Roper Union               Away      6:00

10/30   Bertie County             Home      6:00

Soccer Schedule 2013

9/17     Hertford County          Away      4:00

9/19     Chowan County          Away      4:00

9/26     Gates County             Home      4:00

10/3     Hertford County          Home      4:00

10/8     Chowan County          Home      4:00

10/15   Gates County              Away      4:00

Volleyball 2013 Schedule

9/16     EB Aycock            Away         4:00

9/17     Hertford County    Away         4:00

9/24     Roper Union         Home        4:00

10/1     Bertie County        Away        4:00

10/8     Chowan County    Home        4:00

10/15   Gates County        Away        4:00

10/22   South Creek          Home       4:00

College, Career, Citizenry Minded Culture

Don't Forget!

The last Friday of this month, September 28th, students can wear a college or university t-shirt, jersey, etc. in place of their school uniform shirt. Students must wear their regular uniform pants, shorts, etc.

This is to promote our college, career, citizenry minded culture at RMS.

Teachers, wear your college gear and engage students in conversations about where you went to school!

RMS Assistant Principal/STEM Coordinator, Tonya Little (right) with Shannon McCollum, NC 4-H Youth Development (left)

Northeast District 4-H Volunteer Leaders' Association

Fall Day & Annual Meeting

Saturday, September 14, 2013, the Northeast District 4-H Volunteer Leaders' Association met at the Martin County Cooperative Extension Office. Information was presented about Club Finances, New Project Records and Cumulative Records. The meeting was informative, providing information about club organization, finances and students developing portfolios for state 4-H level competition. The  meeting also provided an opportunity for networking with other counties. Twenty-two counties were represented, including Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Wake, Warren, and Washington.  9 year old, Abbigail, presented a quilt that she had made from her collection of  4-H t-shirts. Appropriately the "Thought for the Day" of the meeting was...

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
- Anne Frank


Staff, don't forget that if you show your RMS Staff ID at the New Dixie Convenience Store you will receive 10% off your purchase. This is inclusive of all items, except for gas. The 10% also applies to the Subway restaurant. Don't forget,  you will receive free coffee when you use your coffee mug that was given to us at the beginning of the year.

Tonya Little

Assistant Principal/ STEM Coordinator

National Board Certified Teacher/ AYA Science

NCSU Northeast Leadership Association Fellow

Riverside Middle School

2920 US Hwy 17

Williamston, NC 27892

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