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Friday, December 30, 2005

Welcome Back!

Honor Rolls—You will find in your box an "A" and "A-B" Honor Roll list. This will let you know who gets honor roll ribbons without having to scan the report cards. You will notice, however, that everyone who appears on the "A" Honor Roll ALSO shows up on your "A-B" Honor Roll list. This is one of the features of STI that still needs some work. Before I send the names to the paper, I have to manually delete the names of the A- Honor Roll kids. I also have to delete the middle names by hand.

Copier—You may now use the new copier. We will have a Xerox representative come and do a training session, but for the basic things, you would be able to use it with no problem. Your copy has changed, however. The new machine has a minimum of 4 digits for an allowable code. What I have done is programmed in your old code and added a zero to the end. So that you only have one copy code to remember, I have made the same change on the Panasonic machine in the Community Classroom.

Would you like to change your copy code? The reason we all had 3-digit copy numbers was that one of the machines we once had would not accept more than 3 digits. Either one of these machines will take up to 8 digits. If you would like to keep your code what it is now (your old copy code + zero), do nothing. If you would like to change it, let me know what you would like to change it to. The deadline on this will be January 13. After school on that day, I will make all of the changes at one time.

Letters to Board Members—We have a class volunteering to write letters to Mr. Hare, Mrs. Simmons-Sims, and Mrs. Miller. Do we have a class volunteering to write to Mrs. McGhee or Mr. Braswell? (As a reminder, the event is School Board Member Recognition Month (scroll back to the December 15 post).

Thank you for $50 gift card to Peebles!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Thanks for a great first half of the school year!

Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year!

Frank Buck

Announcements and Events

Thermostats—If you have a thermostat in your room, please turn it down to about 50 degrees before you leave. With the building being empty for 2 weeks, turning the thermostat down will save on our heating bills.

Book Signing—You received some information in your box about a book signing. The author of the book described is Blair Haywood, a former student at Graham. I am told that the idea for the book came from the author’s experiences with a classmate while in Mrs. Pinkston’s 2nd grade class. For addition information, click here.

First Week Back

Tuesday—Professional Development

Wednesday—First day for students

Friday—Report Cards


Second Week Back

Monday—Board Meeting at Young (5:30)

Tuesday—School Renewal

Friday—Accelerator Reader Store

Schedule for January 3

8:00—Workshop on STI Professional Development. The entire state is moving towards having all professional development handled through a web-based program. You will be able to register for workshops, request credit for workshops, see everything you have received credit for, etc. at one website. John Locklin will lead this workshop. This session will be for certified personnel only.

8:30—Getting comfortable with storing data digitally. With each passing year, we receive more and more information digitally. Figuring out the best ways to store it and find it when you need it are new skills sets. This session will help shed light. This workshop is for everyone.

10:00-11:00—Data meeting for K-1 in Mrs. Parker’s room

11:00-12:30—Lunch on your own

12:30-1:30—Data meeting for 2-3 in Mrs. Parker’s room

1:30-2:30— Data meeting for 4-6 in Mrs. Parker’s room

2:30-3:00—BLT Meeting in library

Other Workshops

9:00-12:00—Counselor Meeting in Cheryl Ford’s office

8:00-3:00—Training in administration of medication at THS ROTC room. Only those I have talked with would attend.

Times that you are not designated to be in a workshop are times you will be able to follow-up on other items from the day and to prepare for the return of our students.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Announcements and Events for Dec. 19-20

School Board Recognition Month—January is School Board Recognition Month. What if we had each student write a letter to a particular school board member? Here are a few sample topics: "The best thing about Graham School is…" "The most important thing I have learned this year in school is…" My favorite subject is…because…" I am open to suggestions on how to proceed with this. The January Board meeting is Jan. 9, so that would give us 3 days once we come back from the holidays. This might be a good exercise to help kids step back and look at their experiences to this point in the year. Each class could write to a particular board member. We would just need to be sure nobody is left out.

Stopwatch for your computer—This site lets you download a free timer/stopwatch that you can display on your computer. It can be used as a timer and count down to zero or can be used as a stopwatch to count up from zero. You have the option of it making a sound when it reaches zero. Because it is displayed on your computer screen, you can use your scanconverter to display it to the entire class on your television. When you go to this site, you will see a small link at the top of the page that says "Download." You have a choice between 2 downloads: an "exe" and a "zip." I would choose the "exe" unless you have had some experience with unzipping files.

Printer in the office—If you need to print something to the printer in the office, please let Mrs. Sorrell know before you do so. If she happens to be printing purchase orders or cutting checks, it causes a real mess. (Most of you do not even have this printer in your list, so it's nothing you would need to worry about anyway.)

Posting Grades—Be sure to have all grades posted before going home for Christmas. Remember the Manual Grade Entry for those subjects that are S, N, U.

Next Week

Tuesday—Dismissal at 12:35
Tuesday—Grades due before you leave.

Next week, you will see a detailed plan for the Jan. 3 professional development day and other events happening that first week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

At least it's not this way here...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Art Show Pictures


I have taken pictures from our art show and posted them at GrahamSchool.blogspot.com

Friday, December 09, 2005

Rewards money, party, new Xerox machine, and more...

Our faculty Christmas party is this coming Monday night at 6:30. Davonia and I are looking forward to having you. I would caution you to drive slowly on Cedar Lane. Young deer seem to love to run across the road. They add much to the scenery but can really damage a car.

New Xerox machine—We have a new Xerox machine coming next week to replace the one in the Staff Room. We are able to get this one for virtually the same monthly lease price as the one that is currently there. Also, they are including a color laser printer for the school which, after rebate, will be free.

Rewards Money—Thanks for your comments on how best to use the “Rewards Money” we received for closing the gap. There were many good comments. Most favored purchasing the badly needed desks and chairs in grades 1 and 2, so I have gotten prices, and we will be able to order 50 desks and 50 chairs for each of those 2 grade levels. There were some good suggestions for other uses, and as other funds become available, we can address those things as well.

Visitors from Alexander City—Our guests had many good things to say about what they saw. The comments on student behavior were especially good and very much in line with comments we have received over the years. Effective Schools research lists “a safe and orderly environment” as the first characteristic that separates effective schools from others.

For those who do not have direct deposit—On the bulletin board in the Staff Room is a brochure from Regions Bank entitled "Priority Partners." This service allows employees who do not have direct deposit to open a checking account at no cost. To sign up, you may go to any Regions and specify you want to sign up the "Priority Partners Service."

Looks like someone else has our idea. This article is from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the proposed use of blogs by a school system there

Birmingham International Festival Workshop—The teacher workshop will be Saturday, February 25 at Homewood Middle School. If you would like to attend, please give your completed paperwork to Cay Davis by Thursday, December 15. Leave the payment section blank. Mrs. Davis will take care of that for everyone and send the forms in together.

Calendars for 2006—I have several 2006 calendars that have come to me as freebies lately. I am putting them on the counter in the Staff Room. If you are in need of a calendar, please take one.

The plan for the early dismissal day will be for you to have the time to do the things you need to do to wind things up and be ready to start fresh in January rather than being faced with a backlog from before the holidays. It will be important that everyone has grades posted. That will allow me to generate report cards, run honor rolls, etc. during the holidays as I am doing other things here at school. You may want to look at cutting off grades Friday to give yourself time to grade papers and get them in the computer. For those who are ready to post earlier than that last Tuesday, I will have grade posting turned several days before that.

Next Week

Monday—Music practice for grades 4-6 (8:30-10:45 at Harwell Auditorium. Continues daily through Thursday.)
Monday—Christmas Store opens and runs through Thursday
Monday—Faculty Christmas Party (6:30)
Thursday—Grade posting will be turned on for those ready to post earlier than Tuesday
Friday—Music Program 9:00 at Harwell for all grades
Friday—Fire drill and tornado drill

Week After Next
Tuesday—Dismissal at 12:35
Tuesday—Grade due before you leave.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Announcements and Calendar Events

Joyce Brooks from Davie's School Supply in Anniston will be here this Friday. She will have a display in the teacher’s lounge if there is anything you would like to purchase. She will be here all day.

Lights/Candles—Many of you have lights you are using for decoration during this season and/or scented candles you are using in your room. Please be sure to turn off lights before you leave for the day. Please be very careful with candles. Be sure no paper items or cloth are nearby where they could catch fire.

Scholarship from Alabama Education Retirees Foundation—To be eligible for this $1,000 scholarship, the person must currently be a K-12 teacher in an Alabama public school. This one-time scholarship provides assistance for those taking courses in counseling, mathematics, science, computer education, library media, special education, and ESL. If you know someone who would be interested, I have the paperwork.

This site will really get some of your older students thinking http://www.digicc.com/fido/ How can the website guess what number they have circled?

Graham Art Show—Please have your entries for the art show in the hall by Friday morning. Tommy Moorehead will be coming by at 1:00 to judge our show.

Next Week
Tuesday—Visitors from Alex City
Tuesday—School Renewal
Thursday—Christmas Store opens in Community Classroom
Friday—Graham Art Show

Week After Next
Monday—Music practice for grades 4-6 (8:30-10:45 at Harwell Auditorium. Continues daily through Thursday.
Monday—Faculty Christmas Party (6:30)
Friday—Music Program 9:00 at Harwell for all grades
Friday—Fire drill and tornado drill