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This page is to share information about Discovery and resources to enrich your child's learning. Let me know if you have resources you think we should add!

Hi Parents,
I've come to the realization that emails I am sending home may not be getting to everyone. In order to keep you up to date, I am posting any newsletters/communications regarding Discovery to this area. If you notice you are not receiving notification via email you can update your email address in Blackboard..


Hi everyone! Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year. We've had a great first day of school and I am anticipating many more to come. I look forward to working with your child and wanted to communicate a few items to get us started on a great year of learning together. I am sending this message to all parents of students enrolled in Discovery, even if your child is not scheduled for class until later in the year. Though I do not get to see students “officially” in Discovery year round, I am often able to check in with them between classes, in the lunch room, and sometimes work with them during BRAVES or in after school opportunities. In short, I am your child’s teacher AND advocate throughout their time in middle school and I hope you will call on me if I can be of service.

Opportunities at school: We have some academic extracurricular activities that will be starting later in September that your child might enjoy.
  • Math Counts is a competitive math problem solving team run by Mr. Bass, 8th grade math teacher. Sixth graders are too young for the competition but can often participate in the practices which meet once a week after school.
  • Power of the Pen is a competitive creative writing team for seventh and eighth graders which meets after school once a week. Sixth graders interested in participating in the "minor league" to get ready for Power of the Pen can join my Creative Writing Enrichment activity held during the school day during BRAVES time. I will be speaking to students about this opportunity in the coming weeks.
  • The Mad Scientists’ Club is open to all middle schoolers and is an opportunity to participate in hands-on science activities once a week after school with myself and Mr. Miller, one of our 8th grade science teachers.
  • Many other activities will be announced - check in on the IHMS webpage for updates to in school and out of school opportunities.


If I worked with your child last year, you might remember that I shared my love of TED with you last September. TED is an organization which hosts conferences and a website that focuses on technology, education and design in addition to expanding to many other themes. In their own words, TED is committed to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. The website offers 15 - 20 minute talks by experts who discuss their art, passions, knowledge and views. In the attached link, Ken Robinson gives an entertaining and inspirational look at the importance of nurturing creativity.http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Another comment on creativity came from Newsweek a few years ago, here is the link to the article -http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html

And my latest great inspiration is Tony Wagner - his premise of play, passion, and purpose helps to give parents, mentors, and teachers a way to help foster innovation in our youngest generation. If you haven't read his book Creating Innovators, I highly recommend it.

Curriculum: All of our classroom curriculum and lessons are in Wikispaces for easier access for parents and students. Here you can find the tasks and activities your children will be doing while in Discovery.

Food in the Classroom: Per our district food policy, teachers are not permitted to give students any kind of food item. Snacks will be permitted in Discovery, but students choosing to eat a snack must bring their own and may not share any food with others. Additional limitations may be put into place depending on food allergies of other students. It would be best if snacks are limited to “snack sized” items, qualify as “healthy”, and do not contain peanuts.

State Gifted ID Testing: If you received a letter informing you that your child qualified for retesting in a particular academic area in order to be identified as gifted in that area AND your child is already participating in Discovery, my advice is to skip the retest. Discovery is our only pull-out service for highly gifted students. No other opportunities at the Middle School or High School hinge upon gifted scores. If you received the retest letter, discuss whether missing class to participate in further testing is the best use of your child’s time. If you have already sent the permission slip back in and wish to change your mind, send me an email or call @ 272-4674 to let me know and I will update the testing roster. If you have questions, I am happy to talk with you. Just let me know.

Communication: Most teachers will be using Blackboard to send important information home via email to you and your family. Be sure to check your Blackboard account to see if your email address is the one you want to use for school communication. If you have additional or alternative email addresses you would like for me to use, please respond to this message so that I can get your other address(es) into my contacts list. If you need to get in touch with me, email is usually most efficient. My phone availability is very limited during and sometimes after school and so initial contact by email will often mean a more expedient response. That being said, I understand that many things come up which are best explained on the phone or in person. If you call and I am unavailable, I will do my best to get back with you within 24 hours.

Well, that’s enough “stuff” to start us off, I think! Keep in touch and let me know how I can be of better service to you and to your child.

Kim Given
Gifted Intervention Specialist
Indian Hill Middle School