January 28, 2015
From the Director
Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to the text/email system for weather notifications. We now have 118 subscribers. Since I am also a subscriber, I can see when the notification goes out. It takes about 10 seconds from the time that I press “submit” until it reaches your phone. Before I do that, however,I have already called Miss Beth and Miss Vicki who put the message on the school phone and the school website. After sending out the text message, I call a few staff members on the school phone tree and then post a message on Ray’s Weather/NC Closings and Watauga Roads. Miss Beth notifies the local radio stations. Whew! All this is done in the early morning darkness if it is a morning decision, with a posting at or near 6:30 am. If we are a having a delay and decide to cancel school, that will be posted about 8:30 am.
Tuesday morning, I found that my Ray’s posting had dropped off overnight and I didn’t get it reposted until 7:30. If you are concerned about whether school is delayed or canceled and your “go-to” doesn’t have any information, please check another source. The school telephone (828-262-5411) always has the delay/closure message and the website also has the message.
It is not too late to sign up for the text message notification or email, or both if you prefer!
For the text message: Text (704) 310-5559 with the message @drrizo
If you prefer or also want an email notice: email firstname.lastname@example.org. com You can leave the subject blank.
Our attendance area (Watauga County and the surrounding counties our families travel from) is big with a lot of microclimates, so decisions to delay or close school are pretty tricky. Even the Mayor of New York, with every possible forecasting service at his disposal, couldn’t get it right! Always use your best judgment for traveling on the roads where you live and stay safe.
News & Reminders
*Save the date* Please join Two Rivers Community School on Thursday, February 12 from 5-8 PM at Panera Bread in the Boone Mall. Bring this flyer to dinner and Panera will donate a percentage of its sales to our school. See you there!
Say No to Night Owls!
Families are busy these days with many activities after school–sports, eating out, chores, shopping, visits with friends and family. But extending children’s day until 10 pm or midnight adversely affects their ability to learn and participate fully in school day instructional activities. Tired, yawning, cranky children, who want nothing more than to take a long nap, cannot focus or concentrate on their work. Taken from several websites the following figures are recommended for the number of hours of sleep children need to function well.
- Ages one to two need 11–14 hours of sleep
- Ages three to five need 11–13 hours of sleep
- Ages seven to twelve need 10–11
- Teens need at least 9 hours of sleep.
Google around and there are many suggestions for how to get children in bed at a reasonable hour, but routine and setting the expectation are key factors. Let your nightly ritual include a bedtime story and cuddling and you’re more than halfway there. Our school days are highly stimulating and take a lot of energy. If you provide the right environment most children are happy to lay those sleepy heads upon a pillow.
This year’s middle school spring expeditions are Humanities focused. The 7th grade expedition is Model U.N. In preparation for our culminating event, a class-wide United Nations simulation, we will choose topics about which to research, write persuasive essays, and debate. We will study the history and mission of the United Nations. We will also do an in-depth study of the country we are representing in our delegations. As in the fall, 7th and 8th graders are invited to participate in Model U.N. at ASU. This will be an all-day field trip which will take place on Wednesday, March 18th. The 8th grade expedition focuses on government. The highlight of this expedition, of course, is our trip to Washington D.C. April 13 through 17. In conjunction with American and North Carolina history, we will focus on the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. We will especially study Supreme Court cases that involve the Bill of Rights.
In 7th Grade science, we are just finishing our exploration of cellular organelles. The students are currently working on comic books or short stories as a creative way to show their understanding of organelle functions. In February, we will begin exploring body systems. The 8th graders are just finishing our ecology unit by looking at the connections between ourselves and what we eat. As we continue discussing factors that affect living organisms, we will begin exploring the structures and hazards of disease causing agents. I see research and presentations in our future.
Ms. Kelly & Mr. Clint
New Year! New quarter! It’s time to begin fresh again as report cards have already gone home, and we are now well into the 3rd quarter. This time of year is always a great time for reflection whether it is on academics or personal goals for the remainder of the school year, and middle school students have already gotten a head start. We started off the year with a survey in 7th and 8th grade for feedback about Spanish class and past activities as well as suggestions for new units. These ideas will be taken into consideration for these last two quarters. Middle school students are also working on a project that helps them reflect on and establish either New Year’s resolutions, for more short term goals for the year of 2015, or plan and develop more long term goals with their future dreams and ideas in the form of a Bucket List. This project will incorporate the use of infinitive verbs and phrases and will be conducted in the target language. Other grade levels will also begin new units soon, as we wrap up and review this week. And so, I leave you with this quote from Jim Rohn,
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps
Let us all work together to develop some new and positive habits for the remainder of this school year!
Inspired by a TED Talk given by John Francis, I posed a challenge to the 2nd-8th grade classes. John Francis was determined to avoid using motorized vehicles, but found himself arguing his point incessantly; thus, he took a one day vow of silence. This one day vow turned into 17 years. During that time he earned a Ph. D., taught university classes, traversed North and South America, and was named a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador—all without speaking or using motorized vehicles.
I challenged my classes to forego speaking for an entire class. We, for the most part, used gestures; I refrained from writing instructions the best that I could. The students found that the games were sometimes easier to play because they focused on each other’s actions, instead of just yelling instructions at each other. They had to pay attention to body language. They also stated that communication was simple because of the limits imposed by not speaking. Arguing is very difficult when you can’t speak. Students usually settled arguments in games by letting transgressions pass and moving on. It was quite peaceful.
In our after school Fitness Club, hordes of students have attempted the Warrior Challenge of going one full day without speaking. If my records are correct, only one has succeeded—Savanna Randle, Ms. Beth’s daughter. Savanna, in fact, created this challenge for herself.
Dates to Remember
- January 28 – K-3 Report Cards
- January 29 – Yearbook Meeting