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Monday, December 31, 2007

If You Did Not Sign Up for January 2 Workshops...

If for whatever reason you did not sign up for a morning and an afternoon workshop on PDWeb, these instructions tell you what to do at this point.

Several of the workshops are full:
  1. Both sessions of Janet Taylor's "Google Gadgets" are full.
  2. Both sessions of Pattie Thomas' "PowerPoint... a Teacher's Best Tool" are full.
  3. The afternoon session of "Practical Classroom Solutions" presented by Thad Miller and Bradley Ward is full.

Several sessions can take additional people:
  1. The morning session of "Practical Classroom Solutions"
  2. Either session of "Let's Play Jeopardy" presented by Karen Clark
  3. There is unlimited seated for both "Get Organized! Managing Digital Data With Ease" and "Your Own Blog in 10 Minutes or Less." Both are designed by larger audiences.
For a description of each workshop and location, click here.

If you have not signed up, select from the workshops which are open show up. Sign at the bottom of the sign-in. By the following day, you will have been entered into PDWeb for those workshops.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Photo Story

Nothing spreads a good idea like word of mouth. Two years ago, when Janet Taylor conducted a workshop on Photo Story, probably none of us had heard of it. After teachers were able to see the projects their colleagues who attended had created, last summer's workshop was nearly full.

This Christmas, several of us surprised close family members with projects we had created using Photo Story. I have no doubt that the interest in the program is going to exceed the capacity of the people available to teach it. I have been able to find a pretty good tutorial on the internet, and that link is here.

A novice could use this tutorial and teach himself/herself the program, although half the fun is having someone guide you through the process and help you share in the joy of creating something meaningful and lasting. Whether the project is for your students or a project you create at home for loved ones, this free program is a winner.

Warning—Using this program may cause excessive use of Kleenex.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Source for Graph Paper, Flags, Calendars, Staff Paper, Storyboards

You probably don't need polar coordinate graph paper, the flag of Lithuania, or SSATB staff paper very often. When you do, however, it would be nice to know where you can get it.

PDF Pad is a free site which allows you to print calendars, flags of every country in the world, graph paper, staff paper, story boards, and even Sudoku puzzles.

That's a bookmark I am adding to my del.icio.us (and "del.icio.us" is another post for another day).

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It Looks Like Christmas, It Sounds Like Christmas, It Must Be Christmas!

Students at R. L. Young Elementary
School gave the gift of music to each
other this morning. Our 1st - 6th grade
students gathered in the auditorium
and sang Christmas Songs together.
The singing was angelic, the atmosphere
was festive and, most importantly,
memories were made to last a lifetime.

The students are anxiously awaiting
the beginning of our traditional "Christmas

These students are ready to sing. They
must have practiced because I don't
see their sheets of the words to the songs!

Dr. Buck treated us all to special
Christmas music by playing his flute.
It was absolutely beautiful. I think
this year's Sing-A-Long was definitely
the best and my personal favorite. I
wonder how many of us will take flute
lessons now! Thank you so much, Dr.
Buck! You did a wonderful job.

The students singing as Dr. Buck
played "Deck The Halls".

Our Central Office was represented
at our Sing-A-Long by Mrs. Pattie Thomas,
Dr. Buck, Dr. Horton and Dr. Campbell.
We appreciate all you do and your
support of our schools. We R. L. Youngers
are blessed to have such talented superiors.
Thanks, again, and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Calendar for Next Year

The voting for the calendar for next year is as follows:
  • Calendar 2--135
  • Calendar 3--151

Calendar 3 will go to Dr. Horton and appear on the Board of Education agenda for January. To view the calendar options, click here


Signing up for January 2 Professional Development

Elementary and Jr. High Teachers,

If you have not done so already, please sign up for your two workshops for January 2. For a description of what is offered, click here. Then, go to PDWeb to sign up.

At this point, only one workshop is filled to capacity--Pattie Thomas' morning session on PowerPoint is full, and the other one is almost full.

We are providing each of you with a flash drive that you can use to save projects you create during the day and to backup the data you have on your computer.

For those who are skilled in technology, most can point to several defining moments, points of light where something "clicked." We hope that January 2 will present a defining moment for you.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Spirit at THS

Remember, the greatest gift is not found in a store nor under a tree, but in the hearts of true friends.
Cindy Lew

Ms. Wright, a teacher in the Career Tech building at Talladega High, was approached by her students about a classmate that was in need. The students got together and had a Christmas party. Not only that, but the party included each of the students contributing money to buy this student a new lunchbox (his old was messed up), shoes, underwear, and some shirts.

It was amazing that the students saw the need and came to Ms. Wright wanting to do something to help this student out. There was also the special effort of one student, who went out of her way to find the certain lunchbox that this student loves.

Looks like THS students know the true meaning of Christmas.

Thank you, Mr. Daniel Spencer for sharing this touching story. Ms. Wright, thanks for listening and providing an opportunity for students to help a fellow classmate.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Central Office

Have a joyous Christmas and a festive New Year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Calendar Update

The Calendar Committee met this afternoon to tally ballots. Only two votes separated the top two choices. The results were as follows:
  • Option 1--69
  • Option 2--87
  • Option 3--89
Because the closesness, the committee felt the most resposible thing to do would be allow you to vote again on the top two choices, in other words a run-off between Option 2 and Option 3.

To view the calendars, click here. Here are the basic differences in the calendars:

  • Option 2--You have three days for Thanksgiving (just like you have now). You will have a holiday and a weather day at race weekend time.
  • Option 3--You have an entire week for Thanksgiving. The school years ends one week later on this calendar, giving some breathing room to take weather days and holidays.
The Calendar Committee will meet again on December 18 to tally the votes from each school. Between now and then, and representative from your building will be having you submit your vote for the option of your choice. Each employee gets a vote.


Signing up for January 2 Workshops

So far, 21 teachers elementary or junior high teachers have signed up on PDWeb for the January 2 workshops. Please be sure that you have registered before going home for the holidays. For a description of the workshops, click here. To register for the workshops, go to PDWeb.

"Tiggerific Christmas" From Hal Henderson

Thank you 3rd grade teachers, Ms. Horn & Ms. Williard, for our beautiful bulletin board.

Congratulations to Breanna & Adam for representing Hal Henderson's King & Queen in grades K-3.

LaArielle was crowned Hal Henderson's Harvest Queen in grades 4-6. Our king and queens are outstanding students who represent our school and their classmates well.

Such a beautiful smile from Skye Collins showing her love for Auburn!

Kindergarten teachers, Ms. Gaskin & Mrs. Gooden, display Christmas Spirit and show off the artistic talent of their kindergarten children.

Kindergarten twins, Morgan & Megan, smile in front of our Christmas tree donated by Marvin's.

Special thanks to Mrs. Haney, Kindergarten and our 5th & 6th Grade students for making our "Tiggerific" decorations for the Christmas tree. We are proud of our tree.

Mrs. Haney, Librarian, came up with the wonderful idea for Christmas Ornaments. She assisted the students as they made "tiggerific" ornaments.

The finished product...Thanks to Mrs. Haney for her creativity!
Thanks to Marvin's for donating the beautiful tree to Hal Henderson.

The faculty/staff of Hal Henderson hope you & yours have a safe and "Tiggerific" Holiday Season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Third Graders Enhance Their Cultural Knowledge

Third Grade students from R. L. Young Elementary School recently took a field trip to the Birmingham Museum of Art. They viewed the Pompeii exhibit which is on loan to the United States from Italy. The exhibit is only going to be visiting three cities while in the U. S. What a great opportunity these students had to view such a unique event in our history.

The teachers bragged proudly of how well behaved the children were while viewing such a serious and important exhibit.

To enhance the trip, the students made volcanic eruptions depicting the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Miniature Frescos were also made.

This was a trip all students, parents, and teachers enjoyed.

Mrs. Bittle's Room "Smells" Like Christmas!

Mrs. Marie Spratlin came to Mrs. Bittle's classroom and made applesauce and cinnamon ornaments with their class. They had a wonderful time and the whole room smelled like Christmas!

Students in Mrs. Brooks' class working on their "Mexican" Christmas Art."

Mrs. Santa came and read a story to the first grade classes last week. She brought them a candy cane from Santa and had several messages to them from Santa. R. L. Young's first graders were thrilled to meet Mrs. Santa and so were Mrs. Bittle and Mrs. Brooks.

Mrs. Brooks' class made pinatas for their study of Mexico. Each class in first and second grade did a study of a different country and their customs and traditions for Christmas celebrations.

Alfa Teacher of the Month

Would you like to nominate a deserving teacher for the Alfa "Teacher of the Month"? Details for the award are posted here. We are in State School Board District 3. The winner for our district will be the October 2008 Teacher of the Month.


Monday, December 10, 2007

R. L. Young Ambassadors Show Their Christmas Spirit

The R. L. Young Ambassadors, all decked out in Santa hats, represented our school well during
the Talladega Christmas Parade. We would like to say "Thank You" to Mrs. Lynne Stanford and ERA King Realty for sponsoring our float in the parade. The Ambassadors, all 6th grade students, raise and lower the flag daily, represent our school at various events and serve as hosts and hostesses during school events. Their names are: Matthew Challender, Kylie Darden, Hillari Hallmark, Kelsi Hardy, Travis Harris, Hayden Hurst, Chasity Nobles and Chance Wesley.
We are proud of your accomplishments; keep up the good work!

Friday, December 07, 2007

College DAY and NIGHT at THS


MATT JOHNSON talks with recruiter.

Casey Mitchell, where are you going to school?

College-bound students at Talladega High School have been given a wealth of information beginning with College Day held back in October and most recently during College Night December 6th. Parents were mailed a special invitation and coupon good for a door prize. Students were promised PIZZA and door prize opportunities, too.

COLLEGE NIGHT....a full cafeteria!

The events, although filled with fun, served an important purpose...to guide the futures of seniors and inform parents about topics such as financial aid, scholarship opportunities, and the advantage of two year colleges.

The counselors should be applauded for the time spent preparing for both College Day and College Night. These types of events take hours of preparation with such tasks as contacting speakers, gathering door prizes, securing refreshments, and talking with recruiters. One has to stop and remember these 3 ladies have over 700 students to serve. Their attitudes are refreshing and Talladega High is lucky to have them. They make a difference everyday.

Thank you Ms. Shepard, Mrs. Callahan, and Ms. Peters!

Milk. A Part of Everything That's Good!

Matt Armbrester, husband of 3rd grade Graham teacher Mandy, has traveled the entire state of Alabama for almost 5 years with the Mobile Dairy Classroom. The program is paid for by the Alabama Dairy Farmers.

Mr. Armbrester does milking demonstrations at schools, fairs, and other special events. He teaches children and adults about the anatomy of a dairy cow, agriculture, and the importance of dairy foods in our diet.

You can tell by smiles on the faces of Graham students how much they enjoyed the presentation. Nutrition and good eating habits need to start early. Mr. Armbrester is helping to make this happen.

Thanks, Matt and the Alabama Dairy Farmers!

A Teacher Is.....

You're a banker and an artist.
You're a sprinter and a florist.
You're an actor. You're a juggler.
You're a queen.
You're a lawyer.
You're a manager.
You're a nurse, and you're a counselor.
You do more by noon
than most have ever seen.
You're a driver and a poet.
A politician (don't you know it!)
You're a botanist, a strategist, and a judge.
You're a mother and a father.
You're a runner and a tightrope walker.
You're a soldier fighting in the war on drugs.
You're a diplomat and an acrobat.
You're a farmer.
You're a friend.
You tell stories.
You mend fences.
You build dreams.
You're an instructor and a trainer,
a communicator and demonstrator.
You're a teacher!
You're incredible!
You're supreme!
~~~taken from "A little book of hugs for teachers"

I thought about all the teachers in this system
that I know personally when I read this. I thought
about the new teachers who are wondering, "Why
am I here?" I thought about the veteran teachers
who are waiting for that last day to retire.
Whatever your reason is for teaching, thank you.
Even though the students don't show appreciation now,
they will later (just like we have done as we've grown older).
Together, we can change a small part of this crazy world we
live in. Together, we can make Talladega, Alabama a better
place by inspiring these students in our care everyday to be
the best they can be. Happy Teaching!!!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Professional Development Workshops for January 2nd

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more Here is our schedule for the January 2nd professional development day for the faculties at Ellis Jr. High and each of the five elementary schools. (Talladega High School and Career Tech will be following a different schedule.) We are offering six different technology workshops, each of which will last approximately two hours. You will be able to choose two workshops—one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Morning sessions begin at 8:30 and end around 10:30. Afternoon sessions begin promptly at 12:30 and end around 2:30. The schedule will allow you to get to restaurants early and have ample time for lunch.

Below, you will see a description of each workshop so that you can begin to decide which ones you would like to attend. Once you have decided what you would like to attend, go to PDWeb and register.
  • Google Gadgets (Janet Taylor) (Career Tech. Mr. Morgan's room) This hands-on workshop will focus on some of the newer tools offered free through Google. Participants will learn how to use iGoogle, Google Notebook, and GoogleDocs. This workshop will be offered both morning and afternoon.
  • Practical Classroom Solutions (Thad Miller and Bradley Ward) (Ellis Jr. High upstairs in Mr. Miller's room) The presenters will demonstrate the technology they are using in their classes and Ellis and is easily transferable to any other classroom. You will learn how to project images from your computer to your television. You will see how you can use a student response system to test student learning and save their responses to enter in your gradebook. The presenters will take the mystery out of purchasing technology by giving you ideas on the best and cheapest places from which to order. This workshop will be offered both morning and afternoon.
  • Let’s Play Jeopardy (Karen Clark) (Career Tech Building in Mr. Hale's room) You will learn how to create a Jeopardy game on the computer you can use with your students. Please bring a copy of your course of study and the needed resources to use to help develop the questions and answers. You will also need to bring a flash drive to store your work. This workshop will be offered both morning and afternoon.
  • PowerPoint…a Teacher’s Best Tool (Pattie Thomas) (Graham Computer Lab) You will learn the basics of PowerPoint, see examples of how PowerPoint can engage and assess students, discover how to gather free PowerPoints, and create a PowerPoint of your own. This workshop will be offered both morning and afternoon.
  • Get Organized! Managing Digital Data With Ease (Dr. Frank Buck) (Bandroom at THS in the Career Tech Building) Nobody ever taught us how to organize the data on our computers. That changes today. You will come away with strategies that make filing and finding your data easy, a system for backing up your data, best e-mail practices, Google tricks you probably never knew, a look at why iGoogle should be your homepage, and other practical techniques for saving time and increasing your productivity. This workshop will be offered during the morning session only.
  • Your Own Blog in 10 Minutes or Less (Dr. Frank Buck) (Bandroom at THS in the Career Tech Building) You have read all about them and seen them. This session shows you how to create your own blog fast and for free. We will create a blog from scratch, show you several established blogs, and leave you with a host of tips for maintaining a blog of your very own. This workshop will be offered during the afternoon session only.

As a bonus, each junior high and elementary teacher will receive a 1 gig flash drive during the morning session! The flash drive remains school property, but is yours to use for any school-related work. The sessions on Jeopardy and PowerPoint would require a flash drive for you to save your creations from those sessions. Following the workshop on Digital Data, you would need a flash drive to backup the work you already have on your computer in case your hard drive ever crashed.

Technology is a tool that we will either manage or it will manage us. The point of planning this day the way we have is to help you become more comfortable and more productive with the technology which is available to you.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait!

While the weather outside is frightening,
these kindergarteners are not afraid of
the cold! The hard work has finally paid
off and our new playground equipment
is, as you can see, put to good use! There
was excitement in the air as the children
went outside today. The colorful addition
to our playground here at R. L. Young has
long been anticipated. We all say thanks
for helping us with our fundraisers which
made this wonderful addition to our school
grounds possible. Did somebody say it's
cold outside? Nah. Let's play!

December Events at R. L. Young

Upon returning to school after a much
needed Thanksgiving holiday, students
were thrust into the Christmas spirit at
R. L. Young. Mr. Jemison took advantage
of the empty halls and decorated our
building, complete with greenery, red
bows, singing lights and Christmas trees.
The students make the decorations for
the trees; this is a tradition here at our
school. Shown above is one of the adorned
doorways in the main building. It's the most
wonderful time of the year; don't you agree?

Fourth grade students have just finished
making their ornaments and are hanging
them on the tree in the main building. The
other trees are located in the new annex and
the lower annex.

December is a busy month for the teachers,
students and parents. Several students will be
representing our school in the Talladega Christmas
parade at 5:30 tonight. Our PTO meeting will be
December 13 and will feature a first and second
grade art exhibit. And, of course, our students are
counting down the
days until 12:30 on December 19. From everyone over
here at R. L. Young to all of you: Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hot Off the Press, Dr. Buck's Time Management Book

Ever wish you could collect all the time saving tips and strategies shared by Dr. Buck through the years? Well, now you don't have to because his book has been published and is ready for release!

Go to http://www.eyeoneducation.com/. You will find the biographical information, a sample chapter, and pages. Click on "What's New" link to order. Books will be available by the end of the week.

The district is very proud to have someone like Dr. Buck willing share his expertise of time management with us and the WORLD!!

Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!

R. L. Young's Kindergarteners study about Native Americans

Kindergarten students at R. L. Young
are learning about cooperative learning
at an early age. Pictured above are
several kindergarten students working together
to make the sheet which will transform
into the cover of a tee-pee.

These students are decorating paper
bags which will become their vest.

Mrs. Lamberth's class is pictured
in their vest creations in front of
their tee-pee.

Pictured above are Mrs. Lamberth's,
Mrs. Liner's and Mrs. Nabors'
Kindergarten classes, sporting their
Native American attire and headdresses.
As always, our Kindergarten department
rises above and beyond the call of duty.
Our teachers are just good, aren't they?

Calhoun Power located in Anniston, AL recently visited C.L. Salter to award a $2,200.00 grant to Mrs. Erin Thielker. The proceeds from the grant will be used to purchase reading comprehension materials for students at Salter. Great job Mrs. Thielker!

Congratulations are also in order for Mrs. Thielker's selection as C.L. Salter's teacher of the year.

A Teacher Present for YOU!

Are you looking for a quick way to spice up your teaching using the internet? Here's a free gift just for hard working teachers who are looking for a way to spice up their teaching. Just visit http://www.aptv.org/aptplus/ and register. This site will search 6 resources at the same time. Scroll down to the bottom to find the registration box. Once you're registered, save this site in your “Favorites.” It is definitely a keeper!

For an example of this site’s value, I typed in “Civil War.” In a matter of seconds 1,263 sources of information were found. I just wished this had been available years ago. Any subject area or teacher can benefit from visiting Alabama Public Television Plus!

Happy teaching!