Friday, August 31, 2012

Remember those Lyrics!

Music students are continuing to review and learn the lyrics to our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. Many of the older children are pretty good at remembering the lyrics, while the Kindergarten and First Graders have more of a challenge! All students are excellent at showing respect for our Flag as they stand and sing (as much as they can remember!) of our National Anthem. We also stress other ways to show respect such as hands on our hearts, hats off, no visiting etc. The Kindergarten and First Grade students colored their very own flag the other day. It's unique in that the lyrics to the first verse of the Star-Spangled Banner is printed on the stripes! Did you know that Frances Scott Key actually wrote FIVE verses for the Star-Spangled Banner? Here are a few shots of our "lyrical flags"!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


My heart and mind is with a friend and colleague today. She is undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous kidney this morning. Prayers for healing, strength, wisdom and BLESSINGS to your family today Christy! This song is my prayer for you today...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

And in your eyes I find the missing pieces I have been searching for

The song, "Crayola Doesn't Make A Color For Your Eyes" has always been a favorite of mine, as well as the students at school! We are all unique and beautiful! Especially our eyes! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"Now I know my ABC's, next time won't you sing with me?"

Kindergarten students are working on recognizing and ordering their ABC's! In technology class, we are learning how to use our mouse to drag and drop the ABC's into the correct order on the page! Here's the link to ABC ORDER so that your child can practice at home!

In music, we are singing (of course!) our ABC's. One video that we enjoy watching and singing along with is the ABC Song by Kids Camp, shown below.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Star Assessments This Week!

This week, we will be giving Star Enterprise Assessments to students in Grades 1-6. Subject areas covered in these assessments are Reading and Math. Since each classroom has technology class in the lab twice a week, assessments are giving during this time period.

STAR Enterprise assessments adjust to each student’s unique responses, pinpointing student achievement levels quickly and efficiently. Using a very large student-response database, Renaissance Learning develops accurate predictive statistics, alignments to state and Common Core standards, measure student growth, and learning progressions for detailed instructional planning guidance.

These assessments are taking 3 times during the school the beginning, middle and end. We hope to more accurately gauge growth by comparing student progress relative to students of similar achievement levels. STAR Assessments’ Student Growth Percentiles are viewable by district, school, grade, or class. In addition to Student Growth Percentiles, the Growth Report displays other key growth indicators such as grade equivalency, percentile rank, and instructional reading level.

Using information from these assessments, school administrators and teachers can better identify best practices that are having a significant educational impact on student growth. These tests are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and state-specific standards so teachers can assess standards mastery in order to help identify students at risk, and thereby intervene early.

For more detailed information on what your child's Star Assessment is all about check out the Parent's Guide to Star Assessments.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

As for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!

"But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD."--Joshua 24:15

Choices. They are everywhere. What shall I have to eat? Which movie to watch? Where to go on vacation? What career path to follow? Should I leave my husband/wife? Can I get by with cheating on taxes this year? As John Waller expresses in the video below, "Like sheep, we have all gone astray, we must choose this day whom we would serve."

Some choices have greater impact on our lives than others. And yet, I know that I can have confidence in my choices if at the crux of my being, I have chosen the Lord Jesus as my Savior. For that is the MOST important choice I have in my life. All other choices will flow out of that one decision that I have put Christ as the center of my life, at the center of my choices.

Take a few moments today to envelop the words of this song into your heart. Choose. Today.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"--Francis Scott Key

In music class, we have been learning about the history behind the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. It was quite the battle that Francis Scott Key witnessed in September of 1814! It was dark, he could only watch the battle from afar...wondering, searching with each canon explosion for a glimpse of the flag so dear. Would our troops be victorious? Was the flag still there? And then, dawn -- and the flag was still flying! The pride and joy he felt in that glorious moment of knowing that Old Glory survived was his inspiration for the writing of the verses of what is now our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.

Many performance of the Star-Spangled Banner can be found, of course. Here is one for you to watch and enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

Create-Inspire-Risk-Dream-Adventure-Greatness-DEFY THE IMPOSSIBLE!!

"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
Vincent van Gogh

This video by Regina Dugan was made when Dugan was the director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. She now serves in an executive role at Google. You might find her bio interesting..

Her premise is not that we WON'T fail at things - failure in indeed part of life. So, what stops us from pursuing our dream? It's the FEAR of FAILURE. It is in failing, that we learn, that we do better. Yet, why are we so afraid of encountering failure? Do I believe in myself enough to know that despite failure, I will learn, go on and do great things?

What is your dream? What is your passion? Watch, be inspired!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Take 15 minutes, and watch this video entitled, "Validation"by Kurt Robert Kuenne. It will be time well spent:)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


“There's no half-singing in the shower, you're either a rock star or an opera diva.”
― Josh Groban

Singing is a way to express ourselves! Our mothers soothed us with singing when we were babes, we learned our abc's through singing, we expressed our teen angst through song! As adults, do we sing in our everyday lives? Do you hum a favorite tune while preparing a meal? Do you sing nursery rhymes with your children when playing together? We don't have to be a rock star or an opera diva to sing. Just DO IT!
Consider the following, and I hope you spend time singing today!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bennett County Schools Website

Did you know that Bennett County Schools has a website with up-to-date information for staff and parents?? If you haven't checked it out yet, click on the "Bennett County Schools" link and please do so!
Items that may be of interest to you include:
Athletic Schedules
Lunch Menu
Student Grades
Upcoming Events
School Board Policies
Title 1 Policy
School Newsletter

In addition, each teacher has his/her own page that is updated frequently. There you can see class schedules, learning goals, classroom newsletters, concert schedules and interesting web resources.

Check it frequently to stay up-to-date with happenings at our school!

Monday, August 20, 2012

“ You don’t take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams

We had some fun experimenting with photography a couple of weeks ago with some of the grandkids. Here's a sample!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Social Media Saving Lives - Two Words At A Time

"The biggest fear we face in the world today is the fear of being insignificant." ~ Angela Maiers

Please read this post by Jure Klepic. PLEASE read, understand, and watch. The author has been to the point of contemplating suicide. He did not feel that he mattered to anyone - his community, his family, himself. That is, until he heard Angela Maiers TEDX Talk about the YOU MATTER Manifesto.

As a teacher, as a parent, as a colleague at work, we need to affirm to those in our life that "YOU MATTER." Through technology, social networking, we are connected to hundred, thousands of people each day. Yet, it is the TOUCH, the VOICE, the LOOK of another individual that tells me that I MATTER. A post of Facebook does not fully communicate to another how important they are to me, to our family, to our community.

Take notice of the person beside you in line at the grocery store, the child asking you to read a book, the church member who is sitting alone....tell them "YOU MATTER"!! Make a difference.

As well as reading and viewing the video by Jure Klepic, I encourage you to check out the YOU MATTER Manifesto by Angela Maiers.

Saturday Fun!

“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul” --Plato

Here's a visual and musical expression of mathematical symmetry groups. Enjoy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The things we can do!!!

This week in technology class we visited about the places all around us that we can use some form of technology. From watching TV, to using an iPad, to cooking on the stove, technology is infused in many aspects of our lives. Internet is available for everybody now, a given for schools and businesses. Children today don't even know there is (was) such a thing as a long-distance phone call. Cell phones are the norm now for children as well as adults. And phones are not JUST for talking! We can take photos, play games, text, use it as a gps, search the internet or scan a bar code!

Blogging, social networks such as Face Book, LinkedIn, Google+ are growing exponentially every day. Many people do not even have a television in their home. They view programs on their laptops. One major change this decade has come in the way we use applications. Ten years ago, we had applications installed on our computer desktops. Now, there are a myriad of apps available online from web mail, to photo editing, to case management - most of which is free!

The question is not IF our children will be using technology, but HOW. As parents and educators, we strive to model responsible behavior in the many areas of technology. A person does not automatically know responsible etiquette online. It needs to be modeled.

Here's a cute video that I viewed at the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference that I attended with several other staff members from Bennett County Schools last June. It points out how fast things are changing in the world of technology. Ever hear of Blockbuster Video????

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday Techie Tip: Is Good Posture at the Computer REALLY Important??

YES! It surely is! "One of the key elements in ensuring that people can work comfortably and effectively is good posture." --Celine Mckeown.

From the first day of Kindergarten onward, I stress the importance of good posture while at the computer keyboard. By not sitting in the correct position,it is easy to end up with back, neck or knee pain. Over the years, this could easily turn into Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here are a few tips to remember:

**Push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair. Adjust the seat height so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than, your hips.

**Your keyboard should be situated directly in front of you, and be centered with your body.

**Adjust the keyboard height so that your shoulders are relaxed, your elbows are in a slightly open position, and your wrists and hands are straight.

**The wrist rest should only be used to rest the palms of the hands between keystrokes and not while typing.

**Adjust the monitor and source documents so that your neck is in a neutral, relaxed position. Center the monitor directly in front of you, above your keyboard.

**Sit at least an arm's length away from the screen.

**Keep your fingers relaxed while typing and using a mouse.

**Use a soft touch on the keyboard instead of pounding keys with unnecessary force.

**Avoid holding a pen or anything else in your hands while you type or use the mouse.

**Exercise your hand by pushing on top of your fingers, and using backward resistance movements. This simple exercise will prevent you from developing carpal tunnel finger problems in the future. Even if you don’t have any problems right now, you may prevent pain later in life by doing a few good exercises

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PETE THE back in S C H O O L!!

The music students will be singing and reading the Pete The Cat series in music this week. If you haven't heard of this terrific series of books, they are worth looking into! Pete is a cool cat, and since our school motto this year is "MGS - Where the Learning is HOT and the Kids are COOL!", he fits in perfectly! Things do not always go well for our friend Pete. In fact, sometimes the new things in school can be downright scary! But does Pete worry??? GOODNESS NO! Pete has learned that no matter what, in the end, "It's ALL GOOD!" Here's a little snippet of our favorite book!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back To School!

It's back to school for Bennett County Teachers!!! We have been meeting with our colleagues today discussing a variety of "back to school" issues, as well as getting our classrooms ready for the Martin Grade School open house tonight from 5-7 pm!

Children will arrive excited and with smiles on their faces Wednesday morning! I know for myself, I need to pay special attention to getting to bed at a good time, so that I don't wimp out after lunch! I am also going to be faithful to regular exercise and healthy eating to get the best out of every day!

We will be sharpening up our keyboarding skills in Technology these first few weeks. Then students will be moving on to a variety of skills including, working with the programs found in Microsoft Office, blogging dos and don'ts and and looking at the advances in technology that has happened even in their short lifetimes!

In music, we will be moving, singing, and beginning to learn more about the writing of our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key. Our national anthem was written in the midst of the War of 1812 on September 14, 1814. Stay tuned for more information about this historical time in our nation's history.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pinterest Linky Party!

This is the COOLEST thing ever!!!! A Pinterest Linky Party! Here's your chance to link up with/view/share with other educators who are on Pinterest!!! You don't have to be a blogger to participate....just a Pinner!!! Check out the detals over at Rainbows Within Reach.

An example of what social networking is all about!!! Connecting, sharing, producing, contributing!