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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's Your Day John!...well actually last Friday was

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There are many people who play a part in keeping the school system up and running. Throughout the year, there is typically a day established to recognize each of those groups whether it be Administrative Professionals Day, National School Nurse Day, ESPO Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, etc.

In this day and age, I think we would all agree that if our computer system is not working well, our day suffers. I did not find out until this morning that there is a System Administrator Appreciation Day which occurs the last Friday of July each year.

If you are reading this, it means that your computer is booting up just fine and your internet connection is humming along...and you are probably taking both of those for granted.

Being responsible for seeing that everybody's computer is working; that printers are printing; that network cards are functioning; that databases for STI, SETS, STIPD, AR, CNP, and a dozen others acronyms are maintained; for diverting lightning bolts from our servers; and fielding even the dumbest computer question with a smile makes Santa's yearly midnight ride seem like a piece of cake.

Even though it's a bit belated, John, Happy System Administator Appreciation Day!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Welcome, Dr. Dennis King

The keynote speaker for our August 4 inservice program will be Dr. Dennis King. Dr. King is Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement for Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kansas. You may view Dennis King's biography by clicking here.

The topic of Dr. King's keynote will be Professional Learning Communities. In an Education World article by Linda Starr, the author defines the "PLC" this way: Professional learning communities are teams of educators systematically working together to improve teaching practice and student learning. Research suggests that such learning communities are characterized by:
  • supportive and shared leadership
  • shared values and vision
  • collective responsibility for pupils learning
  • the promotion of personal reflection and team collaboration
  • supportive physical and personal conditions
We look forward to having Dennis King with us on August 4th.

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Football Schedule for THS

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The 2008 Varsity Football Schedule for Talladega High School is as follows:
  • August 29 Smith Station High School
  • September 5 @ Moody High School
  • September 12 Sylacauga High School
  • September 19 Chelsea High School
  • September 26 @ Pell City High School
  • October 3 Briarwood Christian High School
  • October 10 Greenville High School
  • October 17 @ Shelby Co. High School
  • October 24 @ John Carroll School
  • October 31 @ Southside Gadsden


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Welcome Back to School!

The excitement of a new school year is in the air. Much work is happening in buildings to get them ready for a new year. With so much to do and so little time, every year we wonder how it will all get done by the time children arrive—and every year it all falls into place.

Our inservice will be held at Harwell Auditorium on Monday, August 4th. Details for all three professional days are listed below. The central office will take care of registering each of you on PDWeb, and the sign-in sheet will be available for you when you arrive.

Welcome back! It's going to be a great year.


August 4

7:30-8:00 Arrive at Harwell Auditorium, sign-in, etc. Please enter through the main entrance at Ellis. Sign-in sheets and various tables will be assembled there to reduce congestion in the lobby of Harwell Auditorium.

8:00-8:30 Inservice program begins at Harwell Auditorium.

8:30-10:00 Inservice speaker—Dennis King. The topic of the keynote will be professional learning communities. Check back later for a bio of Dr. King.

10:00-11:00 Inservice on internet safety. John Locklin will lead this presentation.

10:30-12:00 Administrators meet with Dennis King in Ellis library

11:00-12:30 Lunch on your own

12:30 Report to your school. Principals will give you instructions on plans for the afternoon.

1:30-3:00 Three teachers from each school will meet with Dennis King. Principals will select the representatives from their schools.


August 5

Zora Ellis and THS—Principals will give you instructions on these dates.

Elementary Schools
  • K-6 Teachers will receive training on Think Central. The training will be held in the auditorium at R; L. Young.
  • Elementary Special Education Teachers, Elementary Counselors, Elementary Librarians, Elementary Music Teacher, and Reading Coaches will received training on the Tier III intervention component of StoryTown. This training will be held in Jody Parker’s room in the Graham Annex (second floor).
  • Elementary PE Teachers will meet in Coach Darby’s room at Salter.

10:00-12:30 Lunch on your own

  • K-6 Teachers will have grade-specific professional development at the following locations. Special educations teachers should join the meeting that is being held at your base school:
  1. Kindergarten-R. L. Young
  2. 1st Grade-Graham
  3. 2nd Grade-Salter
  4. 3rd-4th Grade-Houston
  5. 5th-6th Grade-Hal Henderson
  • Elementary Counselors—Meet in the testing room at Dixon


August 6

Plans for this day are being left up to each school. Your principal will give you instructions for this day.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pay Attention

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Elementary Student Handbook

The Talladega City Schools Elementary Student Handbook has been completed. You may view a copy electronically by clicking here. All students will receive a copy when school opens.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

A projector connected to your computer brings a world of possibilities to your classroom. This short video can provide some ideas.

Thanks to Dan Meyer for the insight into his teaching.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

A Vision of Students Today

This video is embedded from YouTube. YouTube is blocked within the school system, so it will simply appear as a large blank block on computers at school. The video can be viewed from any computer which allows access to YouTube.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Idea for Using Elmos

Many of our classrooms now have document cameras (Elmos). This site has a number of links to ideas on how to use this tool in the classroom: Teaching Tips: Classroom Use of ELMO Document Cameras.

You may also be interested in 101 Ways Teachers Use Document Cameras.

In Elmo Tickles Student Writers, a teacher talk of her first encounter with a document camera and the uses which she found for this tool in the writing process.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

PowerPoint Collection

Putting together a quality PowerPoint presentation takes a little time. Borrowing one that someone else has spent considerable time creating---now that's quick!

This site provided a huge collection of PowerPoint presentations free for the download. Just as a suggestion, when you use them, it would be good to give credit where credit is due by mentioning the teacher or school where they came from. This collection is from Jefferson County Schools in Dandridge, Tennessee.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Truth About Teaching

In her book, The Truth About Teaching: What I Wish the Veterans Had Told Me, Coleen Armstrong offers these suggestions for keeping your practice on an even keel:

  • Bring your principal a solution rather than a problem.

  • Be careful what you say; someone may still be repeating it 50 years later.

  • Never pass up an opportunity to convey a compliment to a colleague.

  • Beg for chances to observe the most talented veterans.

  • Don't feel the need to resolve every problem.
  • Get enough rest

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Education Oasis

From Howard Pitlers' Using Technology With Classroom Instruction That Works:

Education Oasis is an independent, not-for-profit site where teachers can acquire ideas, information, and inspiration. Its stated goal is to provide quality materials that will help teachers take their practice to the next level.

The site includes bulletin board ideas, grant information, lesson plans, lists of educational sites for students and teachers, forms, tips on classroom management, and much more.

To access the site, click here.