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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Music Appreciation...

The following article was written by Chris Norwood and published on the front page of the Daily Home this past Friday. Erin Thielker is the teacher responsible for arranging this wonderful experience for our children.

The students at C.L. Salter Elementary School had a very special educational experience in music Thursday. An education manager from the Alabama Symphony Orchestra came and taught a series of classes to kindergartners through third graders, culminating with a simulated orchestral performance.

Each class was divided into four sections: percussion, woodwinds, brass and strings. Each group pretended to hold an instrument from that family and make a specific sound, with Meaghan Heinrich of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham. “This is a something new for the symphony, expanding educational programs and adding in school workshops and performances,” she said.

The visit to Salter came about after a class from the school visited the symphony in Birmingham last year. One of the teachers on that trip pointed out “Salter doesn’t have a music teacher or any music classes right now, but she really wanted them to have some more exposure to music in class. So this was a good chance for us to do a test run,” Heinrich explained.

The program will be expanding in the future to include not just other schools but other members of the orchestra as well. “As the education manager, I am not a full time player,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll be sending more full-time performers and groups starting next year.”

Salter Principal Jenni Griffin said the school felt very fortunate. “We really hit a jackpot with this,” she said.

And the students had a ball, too.

After completing their performance and taking a bow, the second grade group requested some music as they were leaving the classroom. Heinrich obliged, playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” on the oboe.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Summer School Positions for Elementary and Jr. High

Summer school will be held for elementary and junior high school students beginning June 1 and running through July 2. Times are 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. Monday through Friday. The program is being offered to students in grades 3-8.

Positions have been posted for two elementary and two junior high school teachers. If you are interested in teaching summer school, please send me a letter of interest. The posting deadline is March 31 or until the position is filled.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Language Arts Documents for Elementary School

Two sets of documents have been posted to the Downloadable Documents section of TeachTalladega. For each grade level, there is a correlation between the Hougton Mifflin Harcourt Language Arts books and the Alabama State Course of Study: Language Arts. There is also a correlation between the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Language Arts books and StoryTown.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Want to Bring TeachTalladega Straight to Your E-Mail?

Blogs have become part of our culture, and with most things in life, there is some "best practice" for handling them. Those who like to read multiple blogs may find they are spending more time than they would like going to each site, especially when there is no guarantee there will be new content there.

What if every time something new appeared on one of your favorite blogs, it came to your e-mail? In the case of this blog, you are one mouse click away from making that happen. On the right-hand side of this screen, you will see a link that will allow you to subscribe to this blog through your e-mail. Click it, fill in your e-mail and other instructions you see on the next page. After that, you will never have to worry about missing a post from this blog again....unless, of course, you don't check your e-mail mail. I can't help you there.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Helping Students Identify Reliable Information

For today’s student, finding information is easy. One Google search returns more information than a month spent in the library could ever hope to reveal. Much of that information is great. Unfortunately, much of that information can be unreliable. How do we help students separate fact from fiction?

North Carolina State English University English professor Susan Miller-Cochran and Mesa Community College’s Rochelle Rodrigo have composed a checklist to help. Their point is that students need to ask two questions? First, does the information change over time as opposed to being static. Secondly, has the information been reviewed? To download both a blank copy of the chart they have composed and a completed example, click here.

To read the full article, as it appeared in eSchool News, click here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Web 2.0...What Is It?

Web 2.0...This buzzword got it's start in 2003 and has been gaining steam ever since, but most people still haven't the foggiest notion of what it means. In a nutshell, Web 1.0 was about you and I being consumers. Information on the web was put there by people in far-away places who knew lots about programs such as Deamwaver or FrontPage and had access to servers where they could host their stuff.

Web 2.0 is about creation and participation. What you are reading right now is an example of Web 2.0. It's about the average person being able to share knowledge with the whole word. It's blogs and wikis. It's MySpace and YouTube. It's the ability for you and me to have space on the internet absolutely free where we can post our pictures, our thoughts, and our very best ideas. It's the idea that we are givers as well as takers in a global exchange of ideas. It's the absurd notion that an encyclopedia could be constructed by simply letting anybody who wanted to write whatever they liked, a notion so absurd it's actually working.

So how many Web 2.0 tools are there and what are there? It's a good question, and the answer grows daily. There is a site, however that attempts to answer that question.

Click here to Go2Web20.net

As you mouse over each icon, you will see a short explanation of what the site does. The great thing is that most of them are free.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

School Calendar for 2009-2010

At its March 9 meeting, The Talladega City Board of Education approved the calendar for the 2009-2010 school year.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Virtual AETC

The Alabama Educational Technology Conference has been canceled for this year due to proration. The good news is that a "Virtual AETC" is being planned. That constitutes the bare bones of what you would need to know at this point.

For those who are a little more interested in the subject, I have posted some additional information that I know at this point and some personal reflections on my own blog. If you are interested, that post is here.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Assistant Superintendent Honored at National Conference

ThinkCentral Customer Letter

Pictured from left to right: Rick Carder (President National Association of Federal Program Administrators), Assistant Superintendent Talladega City Schools Douglas H. Campbell

WASHINGTON DC -- On Monday, March 2nd, 2009 Assistant Superintendent Douglas H. Campbell was awarded the Alabama State Leadership and Dedicated Service Award by the President of the National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators (NAFEPA) in Washington DC. Each year NAFEPA presents the association’s state leadership award to current members who have assumed significant roles in the support and promotion of activities and goals of the state affiliate organizations. Recipients from across the United States are honored at an awards luncheon held as a part of the association’s annual national conference. Mr. Campbell is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Association of Federal Education Program Administrators for District 7.

Tuesday, Mr. Campbell and other conference administrators went to the nation’s Capital and met with members of congress. During their visit the Alabama delegation met with Senator Mike Rodgers and visited the office of Representative Artur Davis.

With new players in the Department of Education and the status of NCLB on everyone’s agenda, this year’s conference afforded Mr. Campbell an opportunity to meet with some of the new members of the U.S. Dept. of Education. Similar to his work on the Alabama State Department of Education Task Force for Parent Involvement in 2001 and Computer Competencies in 1996, Mr. Campbell will use this experience to help design future federal program services.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Snow Girl Coming to the Ritz

"The Snow Girl" is an Russian Folk Tale
Adapted by Michael Price Nelson

Set in a land of pure white snow and ice, this fable based on a Russian folk tale, finds the wood carver, Ivanovitch, and his wife, Maroosha, wishing for a child of their own. One night in the woods, Ivanovitch builds a snow statue of a young girl who suddenly comes to life and begins to dance. The rest of the story is told in dialogue and through dancing, with the snowgirl facing challenges and learning what it is like to be human and living in a real family. Exquisite ballet dancing and exotic Russian music transform this land of cold and ice into a warm and endearing family experience.

This adaptation by Michael Price Nelson is being performed by the Birmingham Children's Theatre at the the Historic Ritz Theatre. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 from all Talladega City Schools will attend a performance of this work on March 11. Thanks to Tom Wofford, Executive Director, for bringing this performance to our students.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Introduction to Photo Story

Photo Story is a surprisingly easy and very effective way to blend photographs, music, and voice into an effective presentation. The February 2009 issue of Smart Computing Magazine includes an excellent two-page article which explains the basics.

You can read the article digitally by clicking this link.

One example of a use of Photo Story is the district overview we presented at the opening of our District Accreditation review a year ago. You can view that presentation by clicking here. A second example, entitled "The Faces of Talladega City Schools" can be viewed by clicking here.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Do You Have a Story to Tell?

From Eye on Education's Tales from a Teacher's Heart blog:

We hope you have been enjoying our Tales from a Teacher’s Heart. But we know that every teacher has a story to tell, and we want to hear from you! What is the most memorable relationship or experience you have had with a student? Tell us your story by commenting below or emailing us at tfath@eyeoneducation.com. We will post one of your stories on the blog in April. Thank you for reading, and thank you for all your hard work and service!

Well...anyone have a story they want to share? Someone's will be shared, and it might as well be one of ours!


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

All-County Honor Band

The Talladega All-County Honor Band concert was held Saturday in Harwell. The event attracted band students from across Talladega and Coosa Counties. The two bands played to a full house. Here are some sights from the rehearsals and the concert.


Sunday, March 01, 2009


MIT grad student David Merrill demos Siftables -- cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. Is this the next thing in hands-on learning?