Website: Paying for Field Trip Online

Dear Parents,

I had a few questions today about how to go about paying for this year’s field trips online.

Here’s how you do that: The total cost for both trips is $20 — you can pay online by visiting this website.

Paying online is totally optional.

You can still send in cash or check made payable to Salem Middle School

For what it is worth, though, I would REALLY appreciate it if you paid online. It saves me tons of class time that I would have to otherwise spend collecting and receipting cash and checks.

Hope that makes sense, Bill Ferriter

Flipgrid Assignment

Students who were not ready or able to record their Flipgrids today during class may choose to record it tonight at home or can use Spartan Time or Team Time to record this week.

Below are instructions that can also be found on page 16 of the ILL. If Flipgrid asks for a code, use the last few digits of the Flipgrid link (8a8t5p).

Have a great night!

Chambliss Barrow & Nicole Messier

Percy Jackson is a hero.—-Now Prove it!

Videos must be posted by tonight at 9 p.m.

In a flipgrid video, answer the reflection question below. State your First and Last Name and Class Period before saying your response.

Percy Jackson is a character in The Lightning Thief who follows “The Hero’s Journey”. Use evidence from one of your favorite parts of the book and explain how Percy is demonstrating a stage from “The Hero’s Journey”


  1. Go to the link (you can use your phone, computer, ipad, any device with a camera).

    flipgridcard-student.jpg 8a8t5p
    This grid is password protected.
  2. Read the video directions on the Flipgrid website

  3. Click on the "+" sign and Record your video

  4. Feel free to retake your video many times if needed

  5. Enter info when finished

Permission Slip for This Year’s Field Trips Coming Home Today.

Dear Parents,

This year, we will be going on two field trips.

The first is to the North Carolina Museum of Science on November 6th, where we will be seeing a 3-D movie and participating in a scavenger hunt.  The second is to Bond Park on May 7, where we will be participating in a science scavenger hunt and having a team cookout for lunch.  Both trips should be a ton of fun.

Today in class, I will be giving your students itineraries and a permission slip for both of this year’s field trips. Those permission slips are due back to school no later than September 16th, 2018.

I know that’s early, but due to new county policies, we are required to turn signed permission slips in to the front office well in advance of our field trips so that the school nurse can read through them and develop medical plans for students.

You can find a digital copy of the permission slip posted online here.

The total cost for both field trips will be $20.  You can pay for the trip two different ways:  You can send in cash or a check to me here at school OR you can pay online by visiting this website.

For what it is worth, I would REALLY appreciate it if you paid online.  It saves me tons of class time that I would have to otherwise spend collecting and receipting cash and checks.

We will also need parent chaperones for both field trips.  The more parent chaperones we have, the better both trips are because kids can participate in both scavenger hunts in smaller groups.

If you are interested in chaperoning our first field trip — on November 6 to the North Carolina Museum of Science — please fill out this Google Form.  

And remember — to chaperone either field trip, you will have to fill out the WCPSS Volunteer Screening Application.  That can be completed at computer stations in our school’s media center between the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM.  Your screening can be tied to more than one child at more than one school and it is good for one full year.

Please let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter



LA Update

Happy Friday!

Students should be moving their way through The Lightning Thief! We reviewed chapter 6 today, and there was a short reading check (quiz) on chapters 5 & 6. Chapter 7 is assigned to be read over the weekend.

In addition, (and we hate giving weekend homework) but we asked students to finished writing their script for the Flipgrid assignment on Monday. This was started in class, but we ran out of time and many did not finish. The assignment should be one paragraph, explaining how Percy Jackson is following "The Hero’s Journey" stages. There should be quotations from both The Lightning Thief and "The Hero’s Journey," and an explanation of how these two align. They started the planning on page 15 of the ILL.

There will be a seminar next week! These are a fun way for students to share their ideas and finding as a whole class, so we are really excited. We will spend class time preparing material to discuss, and this will be posted in Classroom for anyone who wants to complete it digitally. We will also continue to move through The Lightning Thief, reading nearly a chapter a night. Please remember there is a free audio version of the book on our Classroom if students are having a hard time keeping up with the pace. Perhaps listening while they read will be helpful.

Thank you for all of your support, and please reach out with any concerns.

Our best,

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

Science Update

Dear Parents,

First, I hope you have a great weekend with your kids!

Second, here’s a few science updates:

(1). We have been working to finish up our paper towel labs all week long. Students had two separate documents to turn in for the lab. One (Lab-Paper Towel Planning) was due on Wednesday and the other (Paper Towel Lab Conclusions) was due today. I told students today that they could turn their Paper Towel Lab Conclusions in anytime before the end of next week because they had two tests in other subjects to prepare for. There will not be any more class time to work on these tasks, though.

(2). We started to learn two new vocabulary words this week: As a part of our study of the scientific method, we began practicing with the terms independent variable and dependent variable this week. Students have a handout that they will need to complete for a grade that asks them to identify the independent and dependent variable in five simple experimental questions. The task was harder for the kids than I expected, so most will need extra time to complete that. We will begin with that work in class on Monday.

(3). We went to the library for orientation this week: On Thursday, I took our team to the library to learn more about how and when they can sign out books. Your kids are now fully prepared to begin using our library.

(4). We will begin a density lab next week: One of the main concepts that repeats throughout our curriculum is density. It plays a major role in most of our units. Because it is such an important concept, we will spend time next week experimenting with density. There isn’t a ton of writing that goes along with this lab report, so it should be easy to complete.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Social Studies- Update

This week in Social Studies the students have been engaged in lessons about the 5 Themes of Geography. Currently they are researching an assigned country and recording facts related to the Geography Themes. They are working in collaborative groups and choosing what items should be packed in a suitcase if someone were to be traveling to this country. The activity also requires them to display the items and the rational for each on a construction paper suitcase. This is a definitely a challenging activity with research skills combined with creative and abstract ideas, but your kids are doing great!. I’ve really been impressed with them this week, and I’m excited to see with they come up with in the next couple of days.

Monday there is test on the Geography Unit. We’ve been reviewing in class and the students have a review activity to bring home over the weekend. I’ve also linked a Quizlet Flashcard activity to the Google Classroom with the unit’s vocabulary words for the students to practice with over the weekend as well.

Next week the students will complete work on the suitcase activity. Then we will take a couple of days to practice with using timelines, to learn the difference between BCE, CE, BC, AD. This will be important because many of our units this year will be from the BCE time period.

Have a great weekend!

Reminder – Team Homework Calendar

Dear Parents,

Just a quick reminder that the Gnomes Team Teachers TRY to post regular updates about classroom homework on our Team Calendar. You can find that linked at the top of our team website:

Our one word of caution is that sometimes our plans change — and so do due dates. Also, sometimes we get so bogged down at school with other tasks, we can’t get the homework calendar updated.

The most current information is always shared with your students in class and should be written in their agendas. We review homework at the beginning of every class period.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

LA Update

First of all, thank you to all of those who made it to Open House last night. For those who may have missed it or needed further information from our slide show, here is a link to the the slides we used last night. Please let us know if you have any questions.

We were super impressed with the hero’s journey work that the students completed this week! They demonstrated their knowledge of the hero’s journey by walking one of the own hero’s through each stage, and their thoughtfulness and creativity blew me away. Nicely done!

We began The Lightning Thief this week and will continue reading next week as we take a closer look at Percy, in particular. It will be very important that students stay up to date with the reading schedule posted for homework. Students will be reading a chapter a night and asked to use sticky notes to annotate as they read. There will be an open note reading quiz the middle of next week.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and have a wonderful weekend!

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

Language Arts


Teacher Wish List

If you missed it last night, here is a link to the Gnomes Wish List. This list contains items, both big and small, that the Gnomes could enjoy this year. Some of them are large "dream list" items and others are basic needs like markers. All will be greatly appreciated! You may also see items on the list that you already own and would like to donate; gently used items are appreciated as well!

We created our wish list on Amazon for ease– feel free to have it shipped directly to Salem.

Thank you so much for your generosity!

The Fightin Gnomes Teachers

Materials Needed for a Science Lab!

Dear Parents,

One of the concepts that repeats over and over again in our science curriculum is density and its impact on the world around us.

To introduce density, I’d like to give students a chance to complete a hands-on activity where they experiment with liquids of different densities.

To pull that off, though, I’ll need your help with gathering materials that we can use in the lab.

If you think you can send in any of the materials found in this Signup Genius, I’d REALLY appreciate it. I’d love the materials by Thursday, August 16th if possible.

Thanks a ton in advance for your help.

Bill Ferriter