AskDRlibrary Fights Back Against Cyberbullying

I’ve been working with Mrs. Evans’ marvelous green class for the past three weeks on my Teach 21/Media 21 Capstone as we learned about information literacy and deterring cyberbullying. If you want to see what we’ve been doing, here’s a link to our video page: Browse around while you’re there and check out all our other information literacy and cyberbullying messages, including what you need to know about copyright and fair use, plagiarism, evaluating sources of information, social bookmarking, and using NoodleTools to cite your sources.


Happy Birthday Dean Rusk (Middle School)!

Today Dean Rusk celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary with visits from local officials and former students and faculty, a celebration dinner, and a look back through the years with a slide show, videos, and old yearbooks on hand. Did you know that Mr. Mann, Mr. Martin, Ms. Swanson, and Ms. White are all former students from DRMS? Can you name any other well-known DRMS alumni?

Dean Rusk Middle School is named for former United States Secretary of State Dean Rusk, a former Cherokee County resident. Secretary Rusk was born in Cherokee County in 1909 and later served as Secretary of State for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. His dad was a minister and a farmer, and his mom was a teacher. Mr. Rusk graduated with honors from Davidson College and became a Rhodes scholar. He played a significant role as advisor to both Presidents during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. Secretary of State Rusk also contributed significantly to the establishment of our fabulous school, and we are proud to honor him today.

To see pictures of Dean Rusk Middle School students and the school throughout its history, visit our facebook page. Just search DRMS on facebook. And while you’re there, visit our DRMS media center page at
“Dean Rusk.” Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 1995. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 4 May. 2011.
“Rusk, David Dean (1909-1994).” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 4 May. 2011.

My Latest Pick? Pixton!

So if you know me very well, you know I love alternatives to traditional presentation modes. Web 2.0 tools that allow students to animate or otherwise graphically present the products of their learning can engage not only the students presenting the information but their peers as well. So get ready to get engaged, kiddos, with Pixton!

Pixton makes it easy for students to learn how to create cartoons in a variety of sizes with easy-to-follow online videos.  When finished, students can post to Facebook, email their cartoons, or embed them in a blog or other online site, even WordPress, with a little help from VodPod.

Pixton is available “for fun, for free,” or additional features are available for educational  or business use at reasonable prices. Pixton’s creators have a very ethical code of conduct and they encourage users to report abuse of this code, so parents can feel confident allowing their students to use the site, unlike other graphic design sites that often feature content inappropriate for minors. Safety tips for students and parents are even included on the site.

With seven comic formats, all of which have individual sizes and shapes, plus a variety of characters and backgrounds, Pixton can keep students immersed in the learning process without requiring extensive training and artistic skills.

DRMS Is Accepting Rachel’s Challenge!

The Rachel’s Challenge chain in the media center was started immediately after our Rachel’s Challenge initial meeting by eighth graders Kate M. and Ashlyn B. These two girls periodically maintain the chain and string links across the media center. When they arrived to request that they be allowed to start the chain, Kate and Ashlyn requested materials to create the chain and a location for the chain, including markers, construction paper, a stapler, and a storage area for the chain links. They borrowed a paper cutter to cut a supply of chain links to keep students supplied. The chain has not been officially announced, but has spread by word of mouth throughout the school. The chain is currently approximately 150 feet long and growing every day.

The media center also houses one of two Dean Rusk Rachel’s Challenge signature banners. Dean Rusk now has a Rachel’s Challenge Chain Link club for each team.

On Valentine’s Day, Team 7M accepted the challenge of spreading kindness to others by providing ice cream sundaes to our 7M teachers, DRMS counselors, secretaries, and administrators. How are you accepting Rachel’s Challenge? Are you paying it forward? Let us know by replying to this post!

Rusk Readers Rock!

So there was a Jell-O eating champ, I just got so carried away in judging it that I forgot who it was. But it was fun. I do recall that. Also the cheeseball ball. It was sick. In a good way. And I was informed that one of the cheeseball ball runners up was Dylan G. All other champions, please advise and I will announce your victories worldwide. For the record, these amazing seventh graders partied themselves to reckless abandon this week due to their amazing skills of reading:

  • Ellie A.
  • Ashley A.
  • Amanda B.
  • Caroline B.
  • Kylee B.
  • Nick B.
  • Brandon B.
  • Courtney B.
  • Zach C.
  • Tate C.
  • Kimiya C.
  • Madison E.
  • Alex F.
  • Zach F.
  • Dylan G.
  • Katelyn G.
  • Stephanie G.
  • Ethan G.
  • Sydney McH
  • Echo H.
  • Hayes H.
  • Elizabeth J.
  • Mackenzie J.
  • Braeden K.
  • Hannah K.
  • Elizabeth L.
  • Carter L.
  • Connor L.
  • Luis L.
  • Corey L.
  • Jeremy M
  • Austin M.
  • Journey N.
  • Sierra P.
  • Elizabeth P.
  • Laurencia P.
  • Kyle R.
  • Jenna R.
  • Austin R.
  • Wendy R.
  • Jonathan S.
  • Hunter S.
  • Keyona S.
  • Victoria S.
  • Emilee S.
  • Ashley S.
  • Connor S.
  • Trevor V.
  • Kenneth W.
  • Gillian W.

Congratulations Seventh Grade Survivors! You rocked reading!

The Champions of Cheeseball Ball!

Today was the first Survivor party with half of the seventh grade. Defeating all contendors in the no-hands, no spoons Jell-O eating contest were champions Jeremy M-I and Ethan G. Ethan G. could not be content with merely winning in one division, but went on to conquer all foes and become the Cheeseball Ball champion of the world. Well, DRMS. Well, 7th grade DRMS. Well, half of 7th grade DRMS. We also celebrated our most excellent readers with popcorn, soft drinks, cupcakes, and music. Rock on, readers!

The Book Fair is Here!



Come to the media center October 13 from 8AM to 3:30 PM or October 14-19 from 8 AM to 6PM and check out our great selection of books. We have the entire Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, including Mockingjay in hard cover for only $17.99. We also have the premier novel in the new Egyptian mythology series by Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid. For all you Vladimir Tod fans, there’s Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer. And don’t forget The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, the new Twilight novella from Stephenie Meyer. For all you graphic novel fans we have The Simpsons and Bone by Jeff Smith. And what’s a book fair without The Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not? And all new this year: young adult novels by favorite YA authors such as Sarah Dessen and award-winner Judy Blundell. Sign in to the media center when you enter the book fair and you could be the winner of $50 of free books!