Saturday, September 29, 2012


An apple a day makes me smile at you!

This is one of my FAVORITE apple songs! This was one of many songs we sang last Wednesday on Johnny Appleseed Day! The video below was put together by Cyndy McAtee.

Monica Autry created a PowerPoint for this song, of which many slides are included here. The song is a Plank Road Publishing song. The full performance recordings of this music selection is copyrighted material belonging to the Plank Road Publishing, Inc. Music by Teresa Jennings.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Got Ice??

Ever gone to the freezer to get some ice, and discover that the ice cube tray did not get filled by the person who emptied it?? Frustrating isn't it!? That is one thing nice about an automatic ice maker in your refrigerator - if it is working anyway!!

For those ice-challenged people out there, here is a simple recipe for making ice cubes....and to enhance your viewing experience, be sure to click on the Ratings and Reviews tab (almost 500 of them!)...maybe you will want to add your own experience in trying out this delicate recipe! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our children are WIRED!

Our world is changing at a rapid pace, especially when it comes to technology. Apple is taking the lead in technology and educational applications - and it shows! iPads, iPod Touches, the iPhone are all commonplace not only among adults but among youth as well. Take a look at this infographic at Edudemic to see the implications for your children!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Johnny Appleseed Day!!!

Today is Johnny Appleseed Day!

Johnny Appleseed was a legendary American who planted and supplied apple trees to much of the United States of America. Many people think that Johnny Appleseed was a fictional character, but he was a real person.

Johnny was a skilled nurseryman who grew trees and supplied apple seeds to the pioneers in the mid-western USA. Appleseed gave away and sold many trees. He owned many tree nurseries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, where he grew his beloved apple trees and then sold or traded them. Although he was successful with his trees, Appleseed lived a simple life. He was a vegetarian, wore raggedy clothes, and was a very religious man. It is said that as Johnny traveled, he wore his cooking pot on his head as a hat (this may or may not be true)!

Johnny Appleseed was born in Leominster, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1774. His real name was John Chapman, but he was called Johnny Appleseed because of his love for growing apple trees.

Johnny died at the age of 70; he is buried in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He had spent 50 years growing apple trees and traveling to spread his precious trees around his country so that people could enjoy apples. In 1966, the US Postal Service designed a 5 cent stamp honoring Johnny Appleseed.

---Enchanted Learning

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Speaking of the Sound Of Music...

Have you seen this flash mob yet? More than 200 dancers were performing their version of "Do Re Mi", in the Central Station of Antwerp. With just 2 rehearsals they created this amazing stunt! It was a promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they were looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music".

Happy Birthday Jerry!!!

•*♪ *♪*•.¸♥¸.•*¨*¨*••*•♪.•*¨*•.¸♥.•*•*♪

Today is my dear husband's birthday! If you see him, wish him a Happy Day! Love you Dear!

(Father's Day 2012 - fishing in our new little boat!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Madison Rising

"Madison Rising brings great rock music back to the forefront of popular culture. With songs ranging from the guitar heavy opening track "Right To Bear," to the hauntingly epic sounds of "Honk If You Want Peace," to the beautiful violins of "Hallowed Ground," it is clear that this band is on a mission to not only make great music, but also send a message that American culture is alive and well."

I first heard this band the other day when I listened/watched their rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. Their first album was launched in October, 2011. They have several other songs recorded as well, all with a positive focus on our country. Read more about them at Madison Rising. There are several of their videos located on KickStarter as well. Take a moment to listen to their rendition of our National Anthem.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Psalm 54

Psalms 54:3-4, 5, 6-8

3 Arrogant men are attacking me, bullies hounding me to death, no room in their thoughts for God.Pause

4 But now God is coming to my help, the Lord, among those who sustain me.

5 May their wickedness recoil on those who lie in wait for me. Yahweh, in your constancy destroy them.

6 How gladly will I offer you sacrifice, and praise your name, for it is good,

7 for it has rescued me from all my troubles, and my eye has feasted on my enemies.

"Save me O God by Your Name", AIMA MOSES sings a PSALM of DAVID

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Sound Of Music

Even now, my most favorite musical EVER is The Sound of Music! I think that I identify with Maria! Drawn to religious life, yet discovering that God had different plans! As a young girl, and even in my college years, I was lead towards Franciscan religious life, yet as all who know me realize, that did not come to fruition!

(the following via Wikipedia)
The Sound of Music (1959) is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Many songs from the musical have become standards, such as "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Do-Re-Mi", and the title song "The Sound of Music".

The original Broadway production,[1] starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, opened on November 16, 1959; the show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals since then. It was adapted as a 1965 film musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, which won five Academy Awards. The Sound of Music was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.

Details of the history of the von Trapp family were altered for the musical. The real Georg Ludwig von Trapp did live with his family in a villa in Aigen, a suburb of Salzburg, and Maria von Trapp had been sent to be a tutor to one of the children. Lindsey and Crouse altered the story so that Maria was governess to all of them. The names and ages of the children were also altered. The von Trapps spent some years in Austria after Maria and the Captain married and, when they left Austria after the Anschluss, they went by train to Italy and then traveled to London and the United States.[4] To make the story more dramatic, Lindsey and Crouse had the family, soon after Maria and the Captain's wedding, escape over the mountains to Switzerland on foot.

The website for The Trapp Family Lodge has more insights into the REAL life of Maria.

Here's a compilation of the songs from the musical for you to enjoy:)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Reinventing the Lightbulb!!!

"The electric light has caused me the greatest amount of study and has required the most elaborate experiments.... Although I was never myself discouraged or hopeless of its success, I can not say the same for my associates.... Through all of the years of experimenting with it, I never once made an associated discovery. It was deductive... The results I achieved were the consequence of invention - pure and simple. I would construct and work along various lines until I found them untenable. When one theory was discarded, I developed another at once. I realized very early that this was the only possible way for me to work out all the problems.
----- From "Edison The Man And His Work" by George S. Bryan 1926
Paraphrased Edison quote with respect to his work on perfecting the light bulb:

Ever thought someone could re-invent the light bulb? Well, someone has! And it can be controlled from your Smart Phone!!

LIFX is a WiFi enabled, multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb that you control with your iPhone or Android. Design by Phil Bosua. More info about the project on View the video below and then check out the project at KickStarter - Maybe even make a donation and be among the first to receive a LIFX!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


A great site for young learners is ABCya provides Web-based educational games and activities that have been created by teachers for primary and elementary school students. All activities are free, and all activities are interactive. The site is easily navigated, with audio instructions for the younger children.

We often use in our technology classes. Grade levels include K-5. The Kindergarten activities would work well also for Pre-School aged children.

Grade level lessons incorporate areas such as math and language arts while introducing basic computer skills. Many of the kindergarten and first grade activities are equipped with sound to enhance understanding. Fun children's Holiday activities are available in grade level sections! Concepts covered range from reading, upper and lowercase letters, building from parts to a whole, math concepts, drawing, connecting the's a big list!

Check it out! Your kids will love it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fifth Grade Bloggers!!!

This year we started a pilot program with out 5th grade classes - BLOGGING! Both Fifth Grade Teachers and I are collaborating on this adventure with our students! A blog is a special type of online journal, in the form of a web site, that can be created and easily updated using a web browser. The exciting thing about a blog is that students can take full advantage of the wealth of resources available on the Internet by actually publishing their own work online. Students can also read and comment on other children’s blogs within their MGS grade level.

So far, we each 5th grade tech class has posted a group post, and are now practicing "commenting" on either those blogs or one of the posts from myself or one of the 5th grade teachers. We have talked about the qualities of EXCELLENT commenting - positive, adding to the conversation, correct punctuation and grammar, about a paragraph in length. Even our principal and band instructor have commented on our posts!!! The students are VERY excited to share their comments through blogging!

We will be using a variety of subject matter to guide the students in their blogging, as well as incorporating excellent writing techniques! Our goal is to have 3 EXCELLENT comments before being given permission to blog an original post to our classroom blog. Many of the students are well on the way to earning this privilege! Below are the conditions that students have agreed to in order to participate in our blogging project.

Blogging Terms and Conditions
1. Students using blogs are expected to act safely by keeping personal information out of their posts. You agree to not post or give out your family name, password, user name, email address, home address, school name, city, country or other information that could help someone locate or contact you in person. You may share your interests, ideas and preferences.
2. Students using blogs agree to not share their user name or password with anyone besides their teachers and parents. You agree to never log in as another student.
3. Students using blogs are expected to treat blog spaces as classroom spaces. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for your blog. While we encourage you to engage in debate and conversation with other bloggers, we also expect that you will conduct yourself in a manner reflective of a representative of this school.
4. Student blogs are to be a forum for student expression. However, they are first and foremost a tool for learning, and as such will sometimes be constrained by the various requirements and rules of classroom teachers. Students are welcome to post on any school-appropriate subject.
5. Students blogs are to be a vehicle for sharing student writing with real audiences. All blogs are proofread by the classroom teacher before being posted on the MGS student blog
6. Students using blogs take good care of the computers by not downloading or installing any software without permission, and not clicking on ads or competitions.
7. Students who do not abide by these terms and conditions may lose their opportunity to take part in this project.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Is my home internet a safe place?

Adapted from an article from StaySafe Online

Many families have a computer in their home. We store valuable information there, such as tax records, banking information, and lists of contacts. In addition, we often keep music, family photos, and other items of sentimental value. Losing this information to a cyber attack would be devastating, so what can home users do to reduce the odds?

* Use a suite of automatically updating security tools that includes anti-spyware, firewall and anti-virus software.
* Be sure your operating system and Web browser are set to automatically update.
* Use long, complex passwords for both your computer and your network router that include numbers, symbols and letters, and change them periodically.
* Maintain vigilance online and be skeptical about giving up personal information.
* Turn off your computer when you are not using it.
* Talk to your kids about good online safety and security habits, including protecting their personal information and their reputation. Let them know that they can come to you if anything they see on the computer makes them uncomfortable.
* Regularly back up your data either online or to an external media source (and store in a secure location).

By implementing these practices into your routine, you are doing your part in making the Internet safer for you, your family, and your community.

Monday, September 17, 2012

MUSIC is good for your BRAIN!

Music 'Tones the Brain,' Improves Learning

By Anne Lyon
-----Summary of an article by Rachael Rettner, LiveScience Staff Writer

Learning to play a musical instrument changes the brain, leading to a slew of potential benefits, including improved learning and understanding of language.
Studies suggest connections made between brain cells during musical training can aid in other forms of communication, such as speech, reading and understanding a foreign language.

"The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness," the researchers say.

Musical Brains

A musician's ear must be particularly attuned to musical sounds, timing and quality. Studies have shown such training leads to changes in the brain's auditory system. For instance, pianists show more brain activity in their auditory cortex — the part of the brain responsible for processing sounds — than non-musicians in response to hearing piano notes.

Musicians also have larger brain volumes in areas important for playing a musical instrument, including motor and auditory regions. Music and speech have quite a bit in common. They both use pitch and timing to get information across, and both require memory and attention skills to process.

Studies show children with musical training have more neural activity in response to changes in pitch during speech than those without such training. An enhanced ability to detect changes in pitch might help musicians better judge emotion in speech or distinguish a statement from a question. Musically trained children have better vocabularies and reading abilities than children who don't have this musical education.

The musically trained may also fare better when learning a foreign language. Musicians are better able to put together sound patterns into words for a foreign language.

Distinguishing speech from noise

Musicians can also better understand speech in a noisy environment, studies show, an ability likely due to the fact that they must learn to distinguish specific sounds within melodies.

Musical training might help children with certain learning disorders, such as dyslexia, who are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of background noise, according to the review article. "Music training seems to strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in individuals with developmental dyslexia or who have difficulty hearing speech in noise," the researchers say.

Music is very important in our lives. It is frequently underestimated and thought of as "easy" or "play time," but it's not that at all. Students frequently appear to be having fun while they are making music because music IS fun (though not easy). Music can portray any mood, and it takes a special, interested person in order to make it good. Music is very important to education.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hold me close!! Let YOUR LOVE surround me!

Power of Your Love

Lord I come to You
Let my heart be changed
Flowing from the grace
that I found in You.

Lord I've come to see
the weaknesses in me
will be stripped away
by the pow'r Your love.

... Hillsong....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Don't Laught At Me

"Don't laugh at me
Don't call me names,
Don't get your pleasure
From my pain.
In God's eyes we are all the same."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here Are The Answers!!!

The Star-Spangled Banner was.....

Made in Baltimore, Maryland, in July-August 1813 by flagmaker Mary Pickersgill, her daughter, 2 nieces, and an indentured servant.

Commissioned by Major George Armistead, commander of Fort McHenry

Original size: 30 feet by 42 feet

15 stars and 15 stripes

Raised over Fort McHenry on the morning of September 14, 1814, to signal American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore; the sight inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Preserved by the Armistead family as a memento of the battle

The letter"A" was sewn into the original flag by Louisa Armistead, widow of the commander of Fort McHenry.

First loaned to the Smithsonian Institution in 1907; converted to permanent gift in 1912.

The Star-Spangled Banner officially became our National Anthem in the year of 1931.

Francis Scott Key

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Star-Spangled Quiz

O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

How well do you know the facts surrounding our Star-Spangled Banner and it's writing? Tomorrow, our students will be celebrating the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner by singing it together as a whole school at the beginning of the day. See if you know the information below.

Can you fill in the mission information about the Star-Spangled Banner Flag???????

Made in ________________, in July-August 1813 by flagmaker ______________, her daughter, 2 nieces, and an indentured servant.
Commissioned by Major George Armistead, commander of Fort __________
Original size: _________________
__________ stars and _________ stripes
Raised over Fort McHenry on the morning of _____________, to signal American victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore; the sight inspired (who) ____________ to write “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Preserved by the ___________ family as a memento of the battle
The letter _____ was sewn into the original flag by Louisa Armistead, widow of the commander of Fort McHenry.
First loaned to the _______________________ in 1907; converted to permanent gift in 1912.
The Star-Spangled Banner officially became our National Anthem in the year of _______.

Good luck! Check back tomorrow for the answers!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Congress sings God Bless America 9-11-01

Congress spontaneously breaks into "God Bless America" on steps of capitol at 9/11 news conference

We Will Never Forget!

Today is a day that many of us will never forget...we will remember where we were on September 11, 2001 - the moment our country was attacked by terrorists.

On that Tuesday morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally piloted two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours.

The hijackers also intentionally crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and intended to pilot the fourth hijacked jet, United Airlines Flight 93, into the United States Capitol Building[2] in Washington, D.C.; however, the plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers attempted to take control of the jet from the hijackers.

Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, including the 246 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes, none of whom survived.

Let's remember today the lives lost, the lives changed forever...our country was changed forever. The design of the 9-11 Memorial has special significance. The two reflecting pools are in the same place as the two towers once stood. The design name is "Reflecting Absence." The water constantly running and disappearing into the void signifies ongoing life.

Take a few minutes to view these 40 Powerful Images from the 9-11 Memorial.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Black Hills Symphony 5K

I will be traveling to Rapid City today to participate in the 25th annual Black Hills Symphony Fun Run. All proceeds support the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra season. It's always a fun day! There's a great line up of music coming in this year's performances! Here's the schedule:

2012-2013 Concert Schedule

Danse Macabre
10/20/12 – 7:30pm

The Black Hills Symphony Orchestra collaborates with local dance studios to create a chilling experience of sound and motion.

Sounds of the Yuletide Season
12/1/12 – 3:30pm

The Black Hills Symphony Orchestra and Rapid City Children’s Chorus present traditional and contemporary Christmas favorites.

Symphony’s Got Talent
12/31/12 – 8pm

Black Hills Symphony Orchestra members ring in the New Year with a showcase of musical rarities as well as traditional classical favorites.

Consecration of the House
3/2/13 – 7:30pm

After 36 years the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra returns to the newly renovated Rapid City High School (Dakota) Theater. This concert will feature the music of Mozart and Dvorak.

Dakota Pianist ll
4/13/13 – 7:30pm

Dakota Pianist Eugene Gienger returns to the Civic Center stage along with the winner of the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. Featured works will be Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto and the ever popular Beethoven Symphony No. 5.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Do you SEE the hand of GOD??

Rest. Breathe. Look around you. See the hand of God in His creation. In the beauty of the fields, in the mystery of the seasons, in the eyes of a child. HE is there, are you aware??

Reflect as you listen to Chris Tomin sing "You Do All Things Well".

It's All About Quality Time - Together!

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
Jim Rohn

What makes you happy? Here's what makes Steve Happy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nursery Rhymes and More!

Every child loves being told nursery rhymes. Can you remember the tunes to the nursery rhymes?

Nursery Rhymes are important for children! From birth onward, they will assist in
***language development
***cognitive development
*** physical development
***social and emotional development
***reading skills

For more detailed information go to Rhymers are Readers: The Importance of Nursery Rhymes.

I've found some cute videos featuring nursery rhymes as well as "how to draw _____" videos! Good for children ages 2-8 (but adults will enjoy also!) Go to Kid's Camp and enjoy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Leroy Anderson's The Syncopated Clock

“A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep”

2nd and 3rd grade music students are listening to and putting movement to Leroy Anderson's syncopated clock. The Syncopated Clock was completed in April of 1945. It is 2 minutes and 20 seconds long.

It was written in Arlington, Virginia while Anderson was stationed in Washington, D.C. in the Army and it was first performed at the Boston Pops "Army Night", May 28, 1945.

The original orchestral form of The Syncopated Clock was first recorded on June 18, 1950 in analog mono sound by Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops. It was first recorded by the composer in analog mono sound on September 11, 1950. The Syncopated Clock was re-recorded in stereo analog sound by the composer on June 26, 1959.

When Leroy Anderson was composing The Syncopated Clock, he came up with the title first!
..."because it incorporated an idea that I thought could be expressed in music. I noticed of course as everyone has, that there have been hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of tunes about clocks. It suddenly struck me that all these clocks were regular clocks, such as you hear everywhere. No one had written a musical composition based on a syncopated clock, that is a clock that beats to a syncopated rhythm. And the idea struck me as an attractive one, and I then sat down and wrote the music to with the title."---Leroy Anderson

Here's a video of the composition with a great view of the percussionist - an important member of the orchestra for this particular piece!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


“Words are the pen of the heart, but music is the pen of the soul.”

― Shneur Zalman

Today the MGS Kindergarten students will begin a curriculum entitled, "ABC Music & Me" Students who were in Mrs. Witt's preschool were introduced to this program already! We have used ABC Music & Me at MGS for several years now, and the children love it!

ABC Music & Me is a research-based early childhood curriculum that uses bundled, thematic
30-minute lessons to help young children learn important language, listening, and social skills. This program was created by Kindermusik International. Through songs, rhymes, stories, and activities, this program:

**Improves early language development, pre-literacy, and word recognition
**Strengthens fine-motor, gross-motor, and locomotor skills
**Cultivates sharing, self-regulation, and self-control
**Develops the whole child

If you have a Kindergarten student in your home, ask them about it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day History - 11 Facts You Need To Know

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.--Martin Luther King Jr.
For most of us, Labor Day is simply a day off of work. Have you ever wondered where the holiday originated? It wasn't in the United States! When was the first Labor Day celebrated in the United States? What are some Labor Day traditions? Here's an interesting slide show from Huffington Post detailing facts about the Labor Day Holiday!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pinterest....for teachers??

YES! Pinterest for Teachers! I think that what I like most about Pinterest is that it is visual and creative. I can quickly scan one of my "boards" to find what I am looking for. And it's aesthetically pleasing! I love the colors that I have captured for example on my Butterfly Board, or my Garden and Outdoors board. But more importantly, I have a collection of ideas, sorted and categorized the way that I want them to be, the way that is most useful to me!

I have found ideas for lesson plans, whole brain teaching, technology in the music classroom, ideas for classroom arrangement, organization, and classroom decorating. Pinterest is a great way to connect with others who might not be connected with you on Facebook (although many are!).

Have you ever considered using Pinterest for a student project? What a great, creative way for student groups to collaborate!

Of course, my Pinterest boards are not TOTALLY education oriented! Butterflies, cooking, gardening, photography, beauty, and holidays are a few of the other boards that I have created.

You can choose to "follow" another "pinner" - either by specific board or all of their boards if you like! And others WILL follow you too! Here's a great page on Karen Cox's Pre-Kinders blog that will give you more detailed information if you are brand new to Pinterest. Check it out!

If you would like to follow me on Pinterest, there's a button just to the right of this post for you to click! I hope you do! The graphic below will give you more ideas on how teachers collaborate in a Creative way through Pinterest!

Pinterest is now the third most-visited social network, Google is No. 4, and Instagram is No. 11, in the markets Experian measures — which are North America, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and the U.K.

A year ago, Pinterest was No. 188, Google was No. 56 and Instagram was No. 609.

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest
From: Online Universities Blog