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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Saving Your STI Classroom Reports

During the "Managing Digital Data with Ease" workshop on January 2, once of the topics we discussed was the ability to save any STIOffice report as a Word document. That capability allows the school the flexibility to modify the report, add information to it, copy and paste data, and even e-mail that data.

The question was asked if that same capability is available in STI Classroom. I explored that issue this morning, and the answer seems to be "yes." I have a demo loaded on my computer, so the student data I have (and hence the reports I can run) are limited.

When you run a report on any STI product, the report is first simply printed to the screen. At that point, look at the row of icons at the top of the screen. Starting at the right-most icon (the door), count back to the 4th icon from the right. That icon will look something a world. When you click on it, you have the choices "Export to HTML" and "Export to RTF." You want the later, which stands for "Rich Text Format." Basically, it's going to be a Word document.

The next part is something I think is not very well done. You see a box labeled "Export Report." It's wanting to know where you want to save the report. Click the little button with the 3 dots. My suggestion would be use a flash drive. At the bottom of the box where it says "Drive," choose the correct letter for your flash drive.

If you have ever found yourself looking at STI data on your screen and copying it on paper by hand, this one feature may be a big time-saver for you.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008


The Alabama State Department of Education is offering a number of eLearning opportunities. Details of the professional development and how to sign up are here.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Tips for Success on the ADAW

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Tips for Success on the
Alabama Direct Assessment of Writing

From workshop presented by Sally York for the Talladega City School System

Use blank paper to do your prewriting. You can then copy the finished product onto the paper you will be turning in.

At the top of the blank paper, immediately write what mode you will be using and a few key words about what you are supposed to do.

Read the prompt at least four times. You want to be sure you understand exactly what you are being asked to do.

Create a graphic organizer on your blank paper

Next, write your rough draft

Use at least 5 paragraphs

  • Introduction—State the purpose and the audience. Have a good topic sentence. Include a hook (can be a question or exclamation)
  • A paragraph for each of 3 major points
  • A concluding paragraph—Recap what you have told the reader. Leave the reader with a thought, a challenge, or something to think about. Each paragraph should have at least five sentences.

When you have 25 minutes left, copy your rough draft onto the paper you will be turning in.

On your final copy, do not write in the margins. Also, do not write below the bottom line. The scorers will not give you credit for anything you write in those areas.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Write To Rock"

"Hal Henderson's Colorful Creations"

Students at Hal Henderson recently participated in a school-wide writing project. Students Kindergarten through Third grade made a class book. Grades four through six made their own individual books. As you can see from the pictures below, they all did a fantastic job creating the books. Students wrote about what they have learned in class or dreams they have for their family.

The Kindergarten students had very interesting things to say in their books...

Quintravious is proud of his book!

Stevon showing off his amazing art work.
2nd Grade students dedicated their book to Mrs.Sims, Hal Henderson's Reading Coach.

These books will be a treasure for years to come. We are very proud of the colorful creations. We have such bright & creative students at Hal and are very proud of each and every one of them.

This is a Test...

Those who attended my workshop on digital data learned how to take an e-mail message and tell if it is for real or if it is a hoax. Here is a real e-mail that I received at my home last night:

Tax Notification Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
United States Department of the Treasury
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $184.80. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it. A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline. To access the form for your tax refund, click here.

Internal Revenue Service
Document Reference: (92054568)

Is it for real? Is it a hoax? How do you know for sure? You've got 15 seconds to find the answer. Go!

Well, how did you do?

If you didn't attend the workshop and would like for me to let you in on the secret, you can go here to learn this simple technique.

A generation ago, we could place some trust in what we saw in print. Print information was limited to the newspapers and magazines we purchased, and all of the content went through some type of screening to insure accuracy. As long as we knew that the newspapers at the grocery store checkout were fake, we were OK. Even then, our English teachers taught lessons on propaganda and how to recognize it. That lesson was on page 237 of the textbook.

The story for kids today is different. Exercises in exposing the untrue aren't just in the textbook--they show up in your e-mail, and they show up on the Internet. And they don't wait for your teacher to first warn you about them. Web 2.0 allows anybody to publish anything, and it's up to our kids to be savvy enough to be able to separate fact from fiction. In part, they are looking to us to give them the tools to do it. Are we up to the challenge?


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Check Out the Updated Salter Blog!

Changes have been made to the Salter Blog. Stop by and check it out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

State Superintendent's Visual Arts Exhibit

Each year, the Alabama State Department of Education sponsors the "State Superintendent's Visual Arts Exhibit." Pictured here are the 12 pieces that will represent Talladega City Schools in that exhibit. When posting student names, we use first names only to protect the privacy of our students. The work posted here may be viewed by others not only in Talladega, but also in other parts of the United States or other parts of the world.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Google Docs

Quite a new of us in the school system now have blogs. At some point, you will have a document or a PowerPoint presentation that you want to share with your students or the whole world (which on the Internet is really the same thing).

Problem: How can I post a document somewhere?

Answer: Google Docs

Google Docs is a free service which allows you to upload Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. You can allow others to view them. You can allow selected other people to even change them. Click here to view an outstanding video which explains the concept and will help you get started.

Our system for Maintenance Requests is an example of Google Docs at work. Any principal has the ability to add a request directly on the spreadsheet and can do so from any computer in the world provided tere is Internet access. Any employee can view all of the requests, when they were make, and when they were completed by clicking the link on the right-hand side of the screen.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tips for Teachers from Ron Clark

Ron Clark is a former Disney "Teacher of the Year" and the author of an outstanding book, The Essential 55. The following tips for teachers are taken from his writing:

  1. Make sure the initial contact with parents is positive is a positive one with no negativity at all.
  2. Any time you talk with parents, make sure the first comment about their child's performance in the classroom is a positive one. (John might have failed every class, but if he did a good job on an art project, talk about that first.)
  3. Wear professional attire. I have found that when I dress in a suit and tie the students and parents treat me with more respect. During class, I have far fewer discipline problems, and when talking with parents, their overall tone is more respectful and cooperative. Besides, teachers who want to be treated like professionals should dress and act like professionals.
  4. Send notes home or call out of the blue to tell them something good their child did. (When I have done that, parents always comment on how no teacher ever did that before. Parents love to hear good things about their kids, and it will go a long way toward building a good relationship between you and the parents.)
  5. Take every possible opportunity to thank parents. If they donate supplies to the class, help with a party, chaperone a trip, or make any other contribution to the class, send them a thank-you note. It will make them feel appreciated, and they will be far more likely to help out in the future.
  6. If a parent is extremely difficult to get along with, don't be afraid to schedule a meeting with the principal where you can express your concerns. If that doesn't work, avoid that parent like the plague. Any contact with him or her should be made through written notes. Don't put yourself through the torture.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Hal Celebrates 100 Days of School

It's The 100th Day of School: R. L. Young Kindergarten Style

Everyone who teaches knows the
importance and "pomp and circumstance"
that accompanies the "100th Day of
School!" Our Kindergarten teachers:
Roxanne Lamberth, Tammy Liner and
Carrie Nabors decided to do something
to help others rather than just celebrate
the day. They held a Canned Food Drive
to benefit the Red Door Kitchen.
Their goal was 100 cans per class, 300
cans total. Well, that number was just too
ordinary for our students. The three
classes together collected 1500 cans of food!
This is phenonomenal! But, what can you
expect? When the best you can be is your
example to follow, greatness is your
outcome! R. L. Young is so proud of their
Kindergarten classes and teachers.

Good Citizens Recognized at R. L. Young

Each month, "Good Citizens" are chosen from each
class. These students must be an example for the
other children to follow. They receive popcorn from
a generous parent and a certificate from an area fast food
restaurant, redeemable for a a free treat. Also,
their names are on the Good Citizens signs that line
our front sidewalk. Mrs. Deese is the sponsor for
this fine program. Way to go, kids!

School Calendar for 2008-2009

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more On Monday night, the Board Education approved the calendar for the 2008-2009 school year. The link to the calendar is here. You will also notice a link on the sidebar.

Dr. Horton's recommendation did include one change from the option presented. Option 3 originally included a holiday on April 10 (Good Friday). Instead, we will have a holiday on April 13. The reasoning for the change was two-fold:
  1. April 10 concludes the window for testing and is a valuable day to conduct make-up tests. Because of the requirement that we test 95% of not only all students, but 95% of students in each subgroup, one student can make a big difference, and one more available day to conduct that testing can make a big difference.
  2. Representatives from Talladega City, Talladega County, Sylacauga City, AIDB, and CACC sat down at the same table to examine the calendar options of each other in an attempt to see if we could align our calendars while at the same time giving our individual school systems autonomy. That experiment worked surprising well. Moving our holiday from April 10 to April 13 put us in line with our neighbors.

You will notice two significant points about this calendar:
  1. Both students and teachers have an entire week for Thanksgiving.
  2. The school year will end a week later than normal. This allows us a little "breathing room" in terms of weather days and race weekends.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Honor Roll Assembly Today at R. L. Young

Congratulations to Mrs. Armstrong's class! All
18 were recognized at the Honor Roll Assembly
today for "A" Honor Roll, "A-B" Honor Roll, 17
had all "A's" in conduct and one received the
prestigious "Most Improved" award! Several
met their AR goal and five had Perfect Attendance.
She is so proud of her students for all their hard work
and effort. Keep up the good work, second
graders...only two more six weeks and you'll be
third graders!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

R. L. Young hosts January School Board Meeting

It's one thing to host a school board meeting during a regular month but what do you do when it is School Board Appreciation Month? You create a festive atmosphere, complete with linen cloths, food and flowers and you make our Talladega City Schools Board of Education feel as special as you can. That's just what Pattie Thomas, staff and PTO members from R. L. Young did on Monday evening, January 14, 2008. As you can see in the slide show below, the board meeting was well attended and our board members were recognized for a job well done. Thank you, board members, for making sure our children in Talladega's school district come first.

Photobucket Album

Monday, January 14, 2008

District Accreditation Self-Study

Our District Accreditation visit is now a little more than a month away (February 25-27). The self-study has been prepared. In previous years, a self-study would reside in a library and be available for those who went to look for it. Supporting evidence would be housed in a crate which might never be viewed in its entirety. What we have prepared is far different.

To view the self-study, simply click on this link. As you read the document on screen, you will notice links embedded throughout. Each time the document speaks of a piece of evidence, the reader is only a click away from viewing that evidence. With this accreditation, you, the community, and the visiting team can see it all. By making viewing this easy, it is our hope that far more people explore what is there and come away with a better understanding of our school system.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Early Dismissal from School

Talladega City Schools will be dismissing early today at 2:00 pm. All after school activities are canceled for today.

Thanks for checking on the blog for this important information.

Hal Henderson 2007 Memories

It has been a great year at Hal Henderson Elementary. We would like to leave you with a few of our favorite memories of 2007.

Thanks to Mrs. Laros for making arrangements for our students to attend the homecoming pep rally at THS.
It was a sad day at Henderson when Ms. Duncan retired. We all love Ms. Duncan & surprised her with a going away party & a plaque at the end of the year.

Although we lost a great friend/teacher in Ms. Duncan, Mrs.Laros did an excellent job finding a replacement for her. Hal Henderson welcomes Ms. Carrie Uptain.

Carrie is an asset to Hal Henderson.

Each year, the students love meeting "Smokey The Bear". He teaches them an important message on how to prevent forrest fires and fire safety.

We love our great leader, Mrs.Laros, and we show our appreciation on her birthday, bosses day and any other day that we can....

Ms.Gaskin made Mrs.Laros this beautiful Birthday Cake.

Mrs. Laros makes faculty meetings interesting...

Ms. Gaskin shows that teaching can be fun...

Teachers at Hal love implementing Technology into their daily instruction.

Other Fun activities throughout the year....

Cinco De Mayo


6th Grade Graduation/Awards Day

Ms. Stephens' "SAFETY WATCH DOGS!"

Parent Extravaganza

THS Cheerleaders & Football players visit Hal Henderson before Homecoming 2007

Honor Roll Field Trips..

Mrs. Laros' Treasure Chest!


Fall King/Queen


Mrs. Gooden chose a student in her classroom who had been good all year to receive a special prize at the end of the first semester...

Congratulations Kimberley!

Our end of the Year Christmas Party always proves to be very interesting....Some people take "Dirty Santa" very seriously in a fun way...

Mrs.Capers "hiding" her gift..

Ms. Kemp being "nosey!"
Something's Funny!

Mrs.Clay & Ms. Gaskin "conspiring" together to get the perfect gifts...

Mrs. Clay fought until she got to keep her pillows...

Merry Christmas Mr.Wilson! That hat would look better in Orange & Blue!

Everyone loved their presents from Mrs.Laros.

We hope everyone has a great year in 2008. Mr. Smith & Ms. Williams' students put together a beautiful bulletin board for the new year. They asked their students to write their New Year's Resolutions for 2008 & this was displayed on the bulletin board.