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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Announcements and Events

The computers in our school system are supposed to be scanned automatically from the central office, but it does not hurt to manually scan yours once in a while. Here is what to do:

  • Click on "Start" and then "Programs" (or "All Programs")
  • Choose "Symantec Client Security"
  • From that menu, choose "Symantec AntiVirus Client"
  • On the left side of the screen, you will see an icon that says "Scan."
  • If it has a "+" beside it, click the "+" sign. That will show you the selections under it.
  • Click on "Scan Computer."
  • You will now be looking at your choices of what you can scan.
  • Click beside "Local Drive (C:)"
  • Click "Scan"
  • If the results reveal a virus, the program will attempt to clean the virus or quarantine it. Either one of these are good things.
  • If you do find a virus, please jot down what it says the name of it is and what it did with the virus (Removed, quarantined, etc.)

We still have Graham Christmas ornaments for sale. Info is here.

Christmas parties—Just as a reminder, we need to plan our classroom Christmas parties for December 20 rather than the day before. Having the parties the last day gives kids (and parents) an added incentive to be here.

Supervision of Students—Many problems are prevented by having an adult watching. Most of us are very good about this. Being on time to pick up classes from library and music is essential. The longer students are standing in line waiting, the more opportunity they have for mischief. Also, the less time students spend waiting in line for their teacher, the more time they are able to spend in instruction.

Site for Short PlaysReader’s Theatre Scripts and Plays is a site containing a number of short plays. You can look at any of them on-screen and then print any you like. Xeroxing them is also allowable. Fluency is one key component of developing comprehension, and re-reading text is a good way to build fluency. You may find reading short plays in class to be an enjoyable way to have students re-read text fluently and with proper voice inflection.

Next Week

  • Monday—Art lessons begin
  • Tuesday—Plato Training (8:00-11:00 for grades 3-6; 12:00-2:30 for grades K-2)
  • Wednesday—Plato Training (8:00-11:00 for grades 3-6; 12:00-2:30 for grades K-2)
  • Wednesday—BLT
  • Wednesday—I will be in Montgomery working on the Arts Education Course of Study
  • Thursday—I will be in Montgomery working on the Arts Education Course of Study
  • Friday—I will be in Montgomery working on the Arts Education Course of Study

Week After Next

  • Monday—Christmas Store opens in Community Classroom
  • Tuesday—Visitors from Alex City
  • Tuesday—School Renewal
  • Friday—Graham Art Show

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Announcements and Events

  1. Flu shots—Check your e-mail for a schedule of the order Mrs. Scroggins will be keeping classes. (Only those who e-mailed me saying they needed a class covered will be getting that e-mail.) Those who do not need classes covered may simply come when it is convenient. Remember to bring your insurance card and the form that you were to complete.

2. I have posted information about the Missoula Children's Theatre on GrahamSchool.blogspot.com so that parents and students can have a heads up on the auditions. You can view that information here.

3. AR Marking Period Progress Report—I have put this report in your boxes.

We are striving for an average percent correct answers of at least 85. You can see how your students did in this area each of the first two six weeks.

You can see how point totals are progressing. Hopefully the students earned more points the 2nd six weeks than 1st.

Median of Points Earned—Here is how your “average” students did. The median would be the student in the middle. Half of the students scored better. Half of the students scored worse.

Average Book Level—Hopefully, this number rises as you go through the year. Students should be reading more challenging material as they go through the year.

Percent At-Risk—If you are seeing less than 20%, that is pretty good.

  1. Reminder—Please close out of the Accelerated Reader program before you leave at the end of the day. (This would apply to STAR as well.) We all simply need to get in that habit. Most of us are anyway, but it only takes one who is not. If even one person is in the program, I cannot backup the database nor run the data doctor, and trying to find which computer is still running the program is a real research project. I basically wind up having to shut down and restart the server in order to get the offending computer out of the program. When someone else assumes this responsibility, they don’t need to be faced with that problem.
  1. Graham Christmas Party—Just a reminder that Davonia and I are inviting everyone to our house, Monday, Dec. 12 for a Christmas party (6:30). Spouses or significant others are invited. I have put out a sheet in the Staff Room where you can sign up for what you would like to bring.

Next Week

  • Monday—BBSST
  • Tuesday—Blazer Animal Show (9:00) (Admission is $2.00)

Week After Next

  • Tuesday—Plato Training (8:00-11:00 for grades 3-6; 12:00-2:30 for grades K-2)
  • Wednesday—Plato Training (8:00-11:00 for grades 3-6; 12:00-2:30 for grades K-2)
  • Wednesday—BLT
  • Thursday—I will be in Montgomery working on the Arts Education Course of Study
  • Friday—I will be in Montgomery working on the Arts Education Course of Study

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

High Court Rules Against Parents in Special Education Case

This is a story I had brought to your attention in the October 20 blog. You can re-read what that case was concerning here.

The case has now been heard by the Supreme Court, and it is an important case for school systems. In short, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that parents who demand better special education programs for their children have the burden of proof in the challenges.

Retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for the 6-2 court, said that when parents challenge a program they have the burden in an administrative hearing of showing that the program is insufficient. If schools bring a complaint, the burden rests with them, O'Connor wrote. You can read the full story here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Blueberry Story

The Blueberry Story is one that illustrates the challenge we in public education face on a daily basis and the spirit we have for doing the best we can with every child who comes through our doors. The entire story can be found here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Announcements and dates

Posting grades for the 3rd six weeks—The 3rd six weeks ends with the last day of school before the Christmas holidays. Can we look at having grades posted before going home for Christmas? It would be great to come back from Christmas 100% up to date. Would posting before going home for Christmas cause a problem for anyone?

Storage trailer—If you have not already taken a look at the storage trailer to see if there are treasures in there, I will have it open during the day next week. If there is anything of yours in there that even remotely looks like it could be mistaken for junk, please put a note on it not to throw it away. Unfortunately, we have too much stuff hanging around because nobody was quite sure whether it was good stuff or junk.

Repeating task lists—By now, you should have had the opportunity to get with the other people who signed up for various committees (laminator, t-shirts, copier, Awards Day, etc.) to decide who is going to assume which tasks. Some have done that and given me their updates. Others have not. Once I get those, I will enter the updates on the master lists, get fresh copies to everyone, and go about getting everybody knowing what they need to know and be able to do.

Internet access at home—Thank you for conducting a poll of your students. Here are the percentages of students by grade level that have internet access at home:

K-51%

1-56%

2-46%

3-48%

4-59%

5-49%

6-61%

I think these figures are important for us to know so that we do not disregard a very valuable tool that we can be asking students to use. At the same time, almost 1/2 of our students do not have internet access at home. We can encourage them to use those resources at the public library or go to a friend's house to use the Internet there.

Notes from Staff Development Committee

The Staff Development Committee had a called meeting so that we could discuss and decide what to do about the requests for the various workshops/conferences. We had this called meeting because some of the teachers had to go ahead and register before a certain deadline.

We decided to go ahead and approve the already requested workshops/conferences for this semester. We decided to be particular with the remaining balance of approximately $762.00.

Next Week—American Education Week

  • Tuesday—Retired Teacher Lunch
  • Tuesday—Faculty Meeting
  • Thursday—Debbie Lett from Voyager visiting
  • Friday—1st Grade to Barnyard
  • Friday—Fire Drill

Week After Next

  • Monday—BBSST
  • Tuesday—Blazer Animal Show
  • Wednesday—Begin Thanksgiving Holidays

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Announcements and Upcoming Events

  1. Congratulations to Allison Miles! She has been selected as our "Teacher of the Year" and nominee to the JSU Teacher Hall of Fame.
  2. Paper—The price for paper is $21.84 for a case of 8 1/2 X 11 and $27.78 for 8 1/2 X 14. I will need to know by November 8 how much you need. I will get you a printout of how much you have in your account presently.
  3. Grades—Please have grades posted by Monday, November 7. Don't forget about the S,N,U subjects.
  4. Classroom Motivation from A-ZI have given this book to Mrs. Lumpkin to add to our collection. The author has established a website where excerpts from the book can be read. You can go there by clicking here.
  5. Congratulations on $5,900 in reward money coming to our school for "closing the gap." Once I get clarification on how we can spend it, we will make plans accordingly.
Next Week

  • Tuesday—School Renewal. Normally, this meeting is the first Tuesday of the month. The need to have the faculty meeting regarding monitoring pushed this one back a week.
  • Thursday—Report cards
  • Thursday—Pictures with Santa
  • Thursday—I will be out of town this day
  • Friday—Veteran’s Day. No school
Week After Next-American Education Week
  • Thursday—Visit from Debbie Lett (Voyager Passport)
  • Friday—Graham Shirts
  • Friday—Accelerated Reader Store
  • Friday—Fire Drill