All posts by lspady

Language Arts Mini Spark #68: National Opposite Day

We don’t have to only celebrate opposite day on January 25th. Check out some of these resources to celebrate!

Oh, SpongeBob!

Watch this video and make a list of 10 things you could do today that are the opposite of what you would normally do. Examples: eat breakfast for dinner, greet your friends with “good-bye” instead of “hello”, write your name backwards all day.



The use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning.

Learn about irony @ TED ed. Discover the three types of irony. Watch all three videos and create a chart with definitions and examples. 


These are words that have contradictory or opposite meanings.

  • CLIP can mean to “cut off” (as in clipping a coupon) or “attach” (as you do with a paperclip)
  • DUST can mean to “to remove particles” or “add fine particles” (as in dusting a cake with sugar)
  • LEFT can mean “remaining” (as in one piece left) or “departed” (as in “she left ten minutes ago.”)
  • SEED can mean ” seeds put in” (as in “seeded with native grasses”) or “to remove seeds” (as in “seeding a watermelon”).

Add the words from above to a list and try to come up with 3 more! Check out more examples here after you have thought of 3 of your own.


 Mom and Dad Are Palindromes, written by Mark Shulman has many examples of word that are written the same forwards and backward. Watch the video, and write down your 5 favorite palindromes from the story.

Lesson ideas are from Big Ideas for little Scholars . 

2022 Virginia Frank Memorial Writing Contest Grades 5-8


Create your own original fiction featuring a character from a book you read on your own.

Deadline:  Friday, February 25

Check out the website for more details and read the winning entries from last year’s contest.

2021-22 EY Challenge #6 (ACT SOON!)

Calling All Origamists!

Image Source:

Origami by Children (OBC) is an annual exhibition of outstanding origami by children from around the world. It is a wonderful opportunity for young folders to share their work!

Entries are due January 31!  Find out more here:
Even if you’re not interested in entering the contest, try your origami skills by checking out and completing the Origami Design Badge on the EY Website:

Readers Wanted!

Young adult author Angela Welch Prusia is inviting you to read a book (or 2) from her new “Bully Bracket” series, Headlock and Pinned.
Students who sign up for this learning opportunity will be sent a .pdf of Headlock, the first book in “The Bully Bracket” series.  Sometime mid-February, we will meet during the school day to have a book talk/seminar.  If interested, students can go on to read the second book in the series, Pinned.  Sometime in March/April, Angela will come to WMS and do a writers workshop.  More details to come!

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Dr. Spady to get a .pdf copy of Headlock.


Joslyn Art Museum Seminar-Feb. 3

Who:  I have space for nine 7th and/or 8th graders

What & Where:  Docent-guided tour at Joslyn Art Museum, Topic: Leadership: Making a Difference

When:  Thursday, Feb. 3 (leave after 2nd period and return after lunch)

If you have already participated in a seminar this school year, please allow others who haven’t attended a seminar the opportunity to sign up first.  Email Dr. Spady if you are interested in attending.

United States Academic Pentathlon: Grades 6-8


Academic Pentathlon tests students in five different subject areas.  Students can choose to compete in 1, 2, 3, 4 or all 5 subject areas. All tests are online.

Where and When:

The 2022 Regional Competition (for Westside Community School students in grades 6-8) will be on Thursday, Feb. 17 at Westside Middle School.


Academic Pentathlon isn’t about demonstrating how good a student you already are. It’s about daring to push your limits.

If you are interested in participating in the Academic Pentathlon, please email Dr. Spady by Friday, Jan. 21.  She will provide you with additional details.

The 2021-22 United States Academic Pentathlon theme is:
Water: A Most Essential Resource.

Below is a brief summary of the topics covered.

SCIENCE: The science topic will be an introduction to marine biology.

LITERATURE: The literature curriculum will include critical reading, one long work of literature, and selected shorter works. The long work of literature will be the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park ISBN 978-0-547-57731-9.

FINE ARTS: The fine arts curriculum is a combination of art and music. The guide will focus on the impact of water on art and will explore the many ways water has influenced music.

SOCIAL SCIENCE: The social science curriculum will be the impact of water on human history.

MATHEMATICS: The mathematics curriculum will cover an overview of probability, permutations and combinations, statistics and algebra.

For more information, visit:

Math+: Advanced Math Learning Opportunity

Math+ is an advanced math class that will be taught this spring by Jake Moore, a math instructor at Duchesne Academy.  Students in 6th-8th grade are invited to participate in this course which will focus on Logic and Proofs.

Starting on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the course will run for 6 weeks from 5:30-6:30 at St. Thomas More.  The program costs $250 and families can sign up at

For more information, check out the flyer linked below.

Westside Community Schools does not sponsor or endorse the organization or activity described in this material. The distribution of this material is provided as a community service.

History and Science Bee

Are you interested in history and/or science?  Do you like trivia types of questions?  If you answered yes to these questions, sign up for the WMS History and Science Bee!

When:  Thursday, January 27 Period 9 and Warrior Time

Where:  WMS PAC

Each test is online with 50 multiple choice questions.  Each test is timed at 20 minutes.

The top scorers on each test will be recognized.

Please email Dr. Spady by Friday, January 21 if you are interested in attending/competing on January 27!

Empowered | Poetry Contest

‘Empowered’ Poetry Contest

YoungWriters is inviting students ages 10-18 to write a poem for Empowered, a poetry contest designed to help students find their voice and express themselves.

Check out the link below for some free resources including a video, poetry prompt ideas, and a graphic organizer to write your poem in any poetic style you choose.

DEADLINE:  February 11, 2022

Westside Community Schools does not sponsor or endorse the organization or activity described in this material. The distribution of this material is provided as a community service.

This Is Me | Poetry Contest

‘This is Me’ Poetry Contest

It’s your time to shine!  YoungWriters is sponsoring a poetry contest and you have the  opportunity to explore and celebrate who you are and express yourself through poetry.  You can write about your dreams for the future or about someone that inspires you.  You can write about your emotions and even create an acrostic (using your name or a word that describes you).

Check out the link below for some free resources including a video, example poems, and a word bank to help you as you write your ‘This Is Me’ poem.

DEADLINE:  February 11, 2022

Westside Community Schools does not sponsor or endorse the organization or activity described in this material. The distribution of this material is provided as a community service.