September 21

McDowell Media

Would you like to know the latest news from McDowell?

I would like to introduce you to McDowell Media.  McDowell Media is a new project that the Advanced Language Arts class will be collaborating on throughout the year.  This blog will serve as online student newspaper for the students at McDowell Exchange School.  The students selected the name of the newspaper and have brainstormed topics and ideas for the newspaper.  They will also be connecting with other classrooms around the world as they work on this blog as part of the Student Blogging Challenge.

Do you have ideas for the school newspaper?  Is there news from McDowell that you would like to read about?  Feel free to leave a comment here or on the McDowell Media site.

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September 9


This year, the 7th grade students will again be discussing precepts as part of our Language Arts class.  (I was inspired to start this activity last year after reading Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio)  Today, we discussed a simple definition of a precept as “words to live by”.  One precept that all students were familiar with was “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”  Precepts are everywhere.  Our parents, grandparents and other family members teach us valuable precepts.  Precepts can also be found in books we read, on bumper stickers, billboards, and advertising campaigns.  With the popularity of social media, precepts can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

I love precepts.  I love reading words that make me THINK.  Precepts make me think about my attitude, my actions, my behavior, how I approach others, and they even make me think about what I’m thinking about! (Sounds crazy, but it’s true.)  I want my students to be thinkers, also.  I want them to think about their attitudes, their actions, their behaviors, and how they approach others. And I want them to strive to be a better person.  Because if we all strive to be a better person, wouldn’t this world be a better place?

So each week I will present them with a new precept.  It may be one that they have already heard, but my goal is to present them with new precepts.  New words to live by. I want them to think of people who demonstrate the precept.  I want them to think about how they have seen the precept in action.  I want them to think about how THEY could put the precept into action.  And even if only one student puts one precept into action this year, then this will be a better place.

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August 9

Getting Ready for a New Year!

schoolAre you ready for a new school year?   I’m getting excited to meet my new 7th grade students and my students from last year!

Here are the supplies needed for 7th grade Language Arts at McDowell:  Just two 70-page spiral notebooks, a pocket folder WITH 3 prongs, a highlighter, and of course, PENCILS! ✏️ A box of tissues would also be greatly appreciated and put to good use!


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March 3

Help Make a Difference for Our School!

PHOTO-153547-74721360PWould you like to help make a difference for our school?  Would you like to help the students at McDowell Exchange School have access to 30 Kindles?  Would you just like to know that you have done a good deed for the day?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then PLEASE vote for McDowell Kindles in the NBC 4 Make A Difference grant contest.  All you will need to do is register using an email address, confirm that registration, and then vote for McDowell!  And remember, you can vote EVERY DAY!  We would appreciate votes from ALL around the WORLD!

Here is a detailed description of McDowell’s proposal:

Program Description: As the 21st century progresses with increased technology usage, the McDowell Middle School staff and students are committed to implementing various technology tools to support and enhance growth in education. Our current technology integration includes document cameras, interactive whiteboards, netbooks, Chromebooks, and several educational-based software programs. In furthering our goal of pursuing technology implementation, McDowell Middle School is submitting a nomination to the “Make a Difference” school grant. Our entry for the “Connect” category requests funding for a 30 piece Kindle lab. The Kindle lab would consist of 30 paperwhite Kindles, protective cases, charging cart, and remaining funds would be allotted for Amazon gift cards to purchase Kindle ebooks.
Impact Of Grant: With the funds from “Make a Difference” grant, McDowell Middle School would be afforded limitless possibilities in utilizing Kindles in the library and classrooms. These grant dollars would allow our student to access numerous ebooks that are offered at a lower cost than physical books. With limited funding for our library, lower priced ebooks added to our collection via Kindles would offer students a greater selection to satisfy their reading needs. Several Kindle features will benefit our students, but especially those students with special needs. With 19.5% of our students qualifying for special education services, taking advantage of changing font size for individual preferences, accessing built-in dictionary, and utilizing text to speech features will prove very invaluable to these students. A set of Kindles presents our student population with digital experience that will aid us in reaching one of our district goals-“The vision of Logan Elm Schools is to be a leader in providing a superior education and the necessary technology skills that improve the quality of life for the school community.” Because 48.7% of our students are economically disadvantaged, providing reading materials on Kindles gives our students the opportunity to further pursue familiarity with 21st century technology and aid our our fulfillment of the Logan Elm District technology vision.
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December 11

Student Spotlight Post

Have you ever wondered what other students see when they look out of their classroom window?  Students are blogging all over the world and those views are quite different depending on where they live.  Jessica has written a nice post describing here view from her classroom window.

Here is the beginning of her post titled “What Is The View Outside Your Classroom Window??”

What is your view outside your classroom window? I live in the country so my view is different from those who live in the city. When I look outside my classroom window, I see…

To find out exactly what Jessica sees, check out her blog.  Also, her blog has been nominated for the best student blog in the Student Blogging Challenge.  If you like what you see, be sure to vote for Jessica’s blog!

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November 11

Thank you, veterans!

Happy Veterans Day!  These are pictures of MY favorite veteran, retired Staff Sergeant Kenneth H. Faerber, US Air Force.  My dad spent 20 years in the service, serving in the Korean Conflict and serving two tours during the Vietnam War.  Later he volunteered many hours for AMVETS, serving in the Honor Guard and volunteered his time to help veterans in many other aspects, as well.  He taught me to love my country, to respect the flag, and to appreciate all veterans and soldiers for their service.

This was always a special day for him, so today I honor all veterans, but especially him. <3young soldierIMG_2624021 (2)

grampy veterans day

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October 26

Hhhmmm….. want to check your IQ?

IQ TestMy daughter found this online IQ test tonight and proudly announced her score.  I decided I had nothing better to do (other than lesson plans) so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  The questions are difficult, but I’m proud to say that I did score higher than my daughter! :)

Interested to see how YOU would score?  Take the test and find out.  Comment your score!

IQ Test

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