Thursday, November 15, 2012

Live Streaming of Thanksgiving Play

Once again Smithville Elementary will be live streaming an event. This Friday, November 16 at 12:00 pm (noon) we will broadcast from Mrs. White's 4th grade classroom. Mrs. White's students present the play each year and it is always a masterpiece. If you can't join us in house we hope you can enjoy via your computer, tablet, or phone.

For instructions on how to connect to the live stream please visit the Smithville Elementary webpage and click on Mrs. White's class - Thanksgiving Play.

The play will be videoed using an iPad!

We hope you'll join us.

Tour of Smithville

Smithville Elementary students and staff will be participating in a walking tour of our city, Smithville, on Monday, November 9th.  Each grade level will visit six community businesses during the day to learn about the city and the history as it relates to our grade level curriculum.

3rd Grade will visit Victoria State Bank, Post Office, Patricia Wolf Designs, City Hall, Police Department, and the Bark and Skate Park.

4th Grade will visit the Fire Department, Public Library, Heritage House, First National Bank, Smithville Times, and the River Overlook.

5th Grade will visit the Railroad Museum, Veterans Memorial Park, Gingerbread Man Exhibit, City Hall, Playhouse Smithville, and the Mary Nichols Art Center.

We are all very excited about this opportunity to learn about our city and the history connections.  Thank you to all of the businesses for allowing us to visit on Monday, November 9th.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

4th Grade Musical "Go Fish"

Days like today remind me of the good in the world. 

Our 4th graders Musical performance of "Go Fish" was simply outstanding today and our music teacher, Cathy Sherrill, deserves all the credit.

The kids played their parts with the confidence and expertise of experienced actors and never missed a mark. As the kids moved from one song to the next and line to line, I felt I was watching a performance made for television.

The kids did a great job and the costumes really added a nice touch to the performance. The costumes are all handmade and donated by Mrs. Sherrill's mother. She even drives to Smithville from Odessa to deliver them, making alterations if necessary. We owe a big 'thank you' to her for the wonderful costumes.

Another special piece of the musical today was that it was live streamed. We received word that family and friends from San Antonio, Odessa, Mississippi, LaGrange, Austin, and even Ireland were able to watch the show. Hearing that our costume maker couldn't stay for the show but saw it over the Internet, that dad's who've not been able to attend a school event was able to watch their child for the first time in a school event, and that family as far away as Ireland were able to watch the show left an incredible and overwhelming sense of connection to our S.E.S. family.

If you weren't able to attend today, we hope that you'll be able to view future live streams of our events. Today's production was not as good as we know it will become. The picture was static and we would love to be able to pan out, zoom in, and move the camera to show off stage activities. We will continue to work for improvement and appreciate your patience and understanding as we grow in our video capabilities. It was an overall great first run and we're looking forward to upcoming streams. We hope you enjoyed it too! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The 'Great' Debate Bad Kitty vs. BabyMouse

Smithville Elementary students and staff were able to be a part of The 'Great' Debate between BabyMouse and Bad Kitty.  The debate took place following the Rise & Shine Assembly on the cafeteria stage.  The two candidates were represented by Dr. Rock McNulty (BabyMouse) and Mrs. Cheryl Burns (Bad Kitty).

Questions for the candidates included health care concerns, homework, favorite foods, and changes the candidates would make during their term as president.  The debate was energetic and crazy at times with both candidates exciting the crowd of nearly 400 students and staff.  Both candidates kept their answers focused on the issues and were respectful throughout the debate. 

Following the debate, the candidates posed for photographs and shook hands with the crowd.  The candidates were able to make a few last minute appearances before the end of the day visiting classes, encouraging students to vote.  At the end of the day the candidates were seen side by side campaigning as students left for the day.  

It is not quite clear at this time which candidate won the debate, but it is clear that the students and staff of Smithville Elementary are eager to cast their vote for president tomorrow, November 6th.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Election Time!

Smithville Elementary is having a mock election on November 6th.  As you can see in the picture our candidates are BabyMouse and Bad Kitty.  Students have been working hard on both campaigns to help their candidate get elected. The polls are predicting a tight race.

We will host a debate during our Rise and Shine Assembly on Monday, November 5th.  Each candidate will have a chance to answer questions from the student body about why they should be elected. 

Students have completed their registration forms and will vote during the school day on Tuesday, November 6th. Election results will be announced at the end of the school day after all classes have had a chance to cast their vote.

The City of Smithville has been very helpful in our mock election providing us with ballot boxes and voting stickers.  The students are getting excited and I know they'll enjoy the best debate in Texas on Monday morning.  That's when we'll get to meet the candidates in person!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tiger Time News on the SES Website

Thanks to our Librarian, Mrs. Gutierrez, the Tiger Time News will be available for parents and families to watch on our school website.  The video shown below is an edited version which does not include the three minutes of pledges, moment of silence and school creed. We encourage you to click the link below to view our news from today.  Enjoy!

Tiger Time News was established three years ago and is under the direction of our Librarian, Krystel Gutierrez.  Mrs. Gutierrez works with our news crew twice a week to produce the news segments for our campus.  The TTN is viewed in classrooms via the website which is projected through our LCD's providing a large image for the entire class to see. We are proud of our TTN and look forward to each broadcast.  We hope you enjoy it too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reading Adventures Part 2

The adventures of reading a book with 5th grade boys has continued to be fulfilling.  I look forward to the book club each week and ward off potential meetings that would interrupt it from happening like a superhero on a mission to save the planet. So far, I've been successful.

The Homework Machine
At the second meeting with the boys I was delighted to see they all returned.  The gusto of which they returned was energizing to me.  These kids don't want to miss the book club and were happy and smiling as they entered the room where we meet. In true 5th grade boy style I had to set some ground rules for behavior and they readily agreed it was for the best.  Before I could began reading the book for the day I was told that one of the boys had checked out one of the books that we had discussed reading.  When I questioned the student, he smiled wryly, and said that yes he had checked out the book. The satisfying piece for me was that this kid, who does not really get into ready, checked out a book.  I check with him when I see him around campus to gauge how the book is going.  He smiles every time! 

When I began this book club the purpose was for the boys, and I truly feel they are getting positive reinforcement through the book club.  However, I failed to recognize the power and positive affects this club would have on me.  Once the time is up for the book club to return to class, some boys stay back to talk with me about the characters, some of the boys share books they're reading, and others ask if we're meeting again next week.  The boys seek me out on Tuesdays, wanting to be sure they get their book club pass.  During the day I find myself in conversations with the boys more easily and they often initiate the conversation in passing on the sidewalks, in the hallways, and in the cafeteria. 
I am no longer only their Principal.  We share a common bond, a book. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reading Adventures

The Homework Machine

Tuesday of last week I began a new adventure, a book talk with a group of 5th grade boys.  I LOVE IT!  I had no idea the boys would be so enthusiastic to listen to me (their principal) read.  The excitement for me leading up to the first reading was nerve-wracking. I could not wait for the time to come to have the boys join me and help choose a book.

Once the boys arrived with their lunches, we talked about the book selections and after much deliberation, we chose The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman.  Within just a few lines in the book, the boys were laughing, talking about the characters, and eager to hear more.  It seemed like time flew as we read the first pages together.  Before we knew it, our time together for the day was over, and it was time for the boys to return to class.

As the boys gathered their things to leave, one of the boys asked, "What about when this book is finished?"  I reassured him we would continue reading books together if that's what he wanted to do.  That was an incredible feeling for me, and one that will keep me energized until next Tuesday when we meet again to read.