Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alabama College and Career Ready Standard of the Week

This page (which you cannot see, but you can click on this link) is my new favorite section of the Alabama Department of Education. While there are naysayers for the Common Core Standards which are called College and Career Ready Standards in Alabama, you have to love that the State Department of Education is trying to get information out there about the Standards of Learning.
Some people are against College and Career Ready Standards because of the long period of testing while some people are against them because they aren't sure of what they are.
The Standard of the Week paints a clear picture of what Alabama's children need to be able to do and tugs at you emotionally as a parent that Yes! you do want your child to be able to write, be excellent at math, know history, and understand science.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Encouraging Your Kids to Read

Did you know that your children really can lead a better life if they read more? Their grades depend on it, success in middle school, high school and college depends it. The future of their own children depends on being able to read and deciphering the world we live in today. They need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak - find the good websites versus the bad and the good literature versus the bad. The more they read, the better they will be at judging the usefulness of information!

One way they can help themselves as well as their school is to participate in the Be A Champion and Read contest. Students in grades K - 8 have an opportunity to win tickets to the Iron Bowl if they read six books by October 26!

One student will win for Auburn and one for Alabama. The lucky winner will be able to take two guests along to the Alabama / Auburn game, visit the hospitality suite for all the food and drink they can handle, and step onto the field for pre-game activities. Good luck to all students participating! We need 70% participation for the library to be in the running for $5,000. Please encourage your child to get involved!

Here's a Scholastic link about Kids and Reading. Please take a look! You might be surprised at what you find out...

Monday, September 23, 2013

STEM - Do you know what it means?

This weekend I heard a great advertisement about STEM. As an educator, I have known what STEM means, but as a parent - do you know what it means?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The advertisement was geared to parents and was asking them to ask their children what career they were interested in. It also encouraged parents to get their kids interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math because those subjects are where the jobs will be in the future.

And that's where the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) comes in...

Did you know that the AVL has a huge amount of resources on colleges and careers? Just click on the Career Library tab.

 This page will appear.

The site displays an Exploration Center, a Resource Center, an Activity Center and over to the left students can click on resume creator and a Search for Colleges tab on the sidebar.

This resource is valuable and all parents should see it!

College tuition, fraternities and sororites, subject majors, and a whole world await this discovery in this online resource.

Middle school is not too early to think about STEM and college.

E-mail me if you have questions about navigating the website!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Students Enjoying Speaker during Constitution Week

A number of students were able to participate in hearing Congressman Spencer Bachus' Field Representative Ethan Vice today.

He spoke about amendments to the Constitution; what it means when the flag is flying above the White House (that President Obama is at home); decorating the Oval Office and how the President gets to choose his desk. Obama choose John F. Kennedy's desk.

Students had lots of questions about the safety of the White House, what's underneath the White House, and how long a person can serve as President.
They also each received a pocket-size version of the Constitution of the United States. Hopefully our speaker will join us again in the spring so more students can enjoy hearing about our government!
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Best Thing about Tuesday and Thursdays...

is The Tutors!
Remember, tutors are here from 7:20 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. to help with every subject. And it's not just for struggling students - tutoring is for all levels of students. That's just one way students get smarter - by working with smart kids who've been there, done that in middle school.

So, join us in the library on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for talk about math, history, science, social studies, ideas about papers and projects.

We hope to see you soon!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Surprise! A Classroom Wish List Granted!

Community partners are truly the fairy godmothers of the education world.

The AT&T Pioneers Volunteers started passing along Box Tops to us last year which has been a big help. An even bigger surprise is the letter I received in my box today - $100 of supplies from the AT&T Pioneers!

So, thank you to the fairy godmothers who are our partners out there getting teachers what they need. I've made my list and thank you for the opportunity!
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Tutors on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

If your student needs help with any subject, send him/her to the library for tutoring help. IB tutors come on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m.

Our hallway sign reminds students to stop by for tutoring.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

21st-Century Learners at Irondale Middle

In an day and age when just about everything is moving to an online format, it is incumbent on teachers to teach their students how to operate in a digital world.

I am proud to say that we are moving more in that direction every day at Irondale Middle. Our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Rachel Holifield, just created an online ballot for homecoming representatives!

Now that, my friends, is an excellent example, of a 21st Century Skill. She created a ballot for each grade through Google Drive (a Google App formerly called Google Docs).

Think, Create, Share, Grow is an American Association of School Librarians tagline and I am pretty sure we just grew at our school!

Google Drive - Check out the App today!