Tamika Dees, Head of Middle School

November 3, 2023

Greetings, Middle School Families, 

Big things are happening in the Middle School English department here at Oakridge! This team of 5 extraordinary educators has an average of 20 years of teaching experience and has taught various grade levels throughout the years. This week’s newsletter is a special feature of the amazing things happening in our English, Writing, and Public Speaking courses. 

In 5th grade Fun Writing, we are beginning to learn about the process of editing and revising our writing. Students will learn how to expand their writing by adding in sensory details, figurative language, and correctly adding in commentary.

In Language Arts, 5th graders are continuing to work on their very own figurative language flipbooks and locate examples throughout various texts presented in class. We are currently working on analyzing fictional texts and holding reflective conversations in class.

6th graders are learning all about persuasion and argumentation this quarter in Intermediate Writing. We continue our creative writing, learning about rhetorical appeals, counter-arguments, and crafting strong thesis statements. In 6th grade Language Arts, we are focusing on utopian/dystopian literature as we read The Giver.

In 7th grade English, we are working on our culminating project for our argumentative research unit. Students are creating their own “Social Media Campaigns” to encourage teens to make good choices regarding online communication. These students have shown a great deal of wisdom and reflection during this process.

Our 8th grade Advanced Writing students are crafting a research paper, a TED Talk script, and our final semester presentation. In 8th grade English, both on-level and Honors have finished Romeo & Juliet. We have just begun a unit on world cultures where students will have an opportunity to correspond with an international pen pal and share their own backgrounds and experiences. At the same time, we read the novel, I Will Always Write Back.

We applaud these educators for their out-of-the-box thinking, creativity, and their passion for teaching. Please stay tuned in the upcoming weeks as we continue to feature our phenomenal departments and the amazing things happening here in the Middle School at Oakridge.

With profound gratitude,









Please save the following dates:

  • November 1-15: Food Drive

  • Tuesday, November 7: UHMS Drama Black Box Performance, 7:00pm

  • Thursday, November 16: 7th Grade Field Trip, CR Smith Museum

  • November 16 - deadline for STEM Showcase applications 

  • Friday, November 17: Grandparents’/Grandfriends’ Day, Early Dismissal   

  • ​​​​​​​November 20: Oakridge Turkey Toss at Mission Arlington, 9-11 a.m.

  • November 20-24: Thanksgiving Break, No School 

  • Tuesday, November 30: LHMS Musical Theatre Performance, 7:00pm

  • Wednesday, December 6: Winter Orchestra Concert, 7:00pm 

  • Thursday, December 7: Winter Choir Concert, 7:00pm 

  • Friday, December 8: OPC Dessert Party 

  • December 11-15: Exam Week, Early Dismissal 

  • December 18-January 3: Winter Break, No School 

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