Sunday, September 18, 2016

Off and Running.....♫♩♫♩

In music classes we have been talking a lot about the Star-Spangled Banner  as well as other patriotic songs as we begin this year.   Veterans Day isn't that far away!  We are already preparing our performance for the Veterans! 🇺🇸🇺🇸
 September 14 was the 202nd  anniversary of Francis Scott Key writing of the poem, "In Defense of Ft. McHenry" which later became known to us as our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner.  
We gathered as a school at the beginning of the day to sing the Star-Spangled Banner together in celebration of this special day.
Mary Pickersgill was known as one of the top flag makers in Baltimore.  Major George Armistead wanted something flying over the garrison guarding Baltimore's waterfront that would be seen by the British, even from a distance.  Mary was commissioned to make the flag...30 by 42 feet....it required 300 yards of wool, and had 2-foot wide stripes as well as 15 stripes and stars.  She had to work on the flag in a nearby brewry as her own home wasn't even large enough.  Taking 6 weeks to sew with the help of about 5 other women, Mary Pickersgill completed the flag and was paid $405.90 for her work.  The main flag weighed about 50 pounds (23 kg), and it took 11 men to raise it onto a 90-foot (27-meter) flagpole.  There was also a smaller storm version that flew during the battle, costing $168.54. 
In addition to reviewing proper etiquette while singing the Star-Spangled Banner, students have done a variety of activities to reinforce the lyrics as well as the pattern of colors in our flag for the younger students.  We are all very proud to be citizens of our country!
Technology Classes have been busy, as usual.  Kindergarten students are learning names of parts of the computer as well as what they see on the monitor.  Mouse control is a biggie for them, so we are doing lots of different activities to "get a grip" on handling the mouse!  Everything from tracing letters and numbers to creating pizzas!  We have some VERY creative pizza chefs in Kindergarten!
First and Second graders have been refreshing their keyboarding skills using Dance Mat Typing and TTL4.  HOME ROW and AWESOME POSTURE! are words they are hearing frequently not only in first grade, but in all grades!  
The students love Dance Mat Typing.  It's a mixture of fun, music, and goals to accomplish that reinforce good typing skills.
TTL4  (Type to Learn) is very engaging for students. Students begin TTL4 at the end of 1st grade and continue the program through 6th grade.  It includes more than 100 lessons that target typing skills, and includes diagnostic, formative, and summative keyboarding assessments.  We are all excited when someone passes their lesson and advances to another level.

All classes have been talking about online safety, both at school and at home. This is emphasized continuously throughout the year.  The older students are completing activities in Digital Passport to reinforce what we have been discussing as a class.  Topics such as not revealing personal information online, cyberbulying, choosing between being an upstander or a bystander, benefits as well as dangers of sharing information online, how to effectively search for information online, and learning about copyright, credit and plagiarism and how to apply these concepts to their own creative work.