Mark Your Calendar for the Upcoming Band/Choir Concert!

Extracurricular activities, such as Band and Choir, can be an important part of a student’s life.  Which is why at McDowell, these classes are offered and up for any student to join.  Both the Band and Choir have been working very hard for their upcoming concert at McDowell, on March 8th, which begins at 7 P.M.  Although the 7th and 8th Grade Band, and the 7th Grade Choir will be the main discussion, there will also be a performance from the 8th Grade Choir.  Up next, are the pieces that are going to be played by the 7th and 8th Grade Band, in the upcoming concert.

The pieces that are played, are what make every concert different from one another.  These pieces  are practiced over and over, in order to entertain the audience.  It takes bands months in order to perfect everything about a piece.  The pieces that the 7th and 8th Grade Band will be playing are Night Flight by Bill Calhoun, which is a piece that is fast-paced and very aggressive.  Above and Beyond by James Swearingen; this piece is exciting with a lot of dramatic melodies.  Ancient Echoes by Ed Huckeby, which is a combination of the two pieces Ahrirang and Simple Gifts.  This piece is very slow and soothing to the ear.  The final piece the 7th and 8th Grade Band will play is Mi Casa Es Su Casa, which is another piece by James Swearingen.  The title is Spanish for, “My home is your home.”  This piece has rhythmic energy, and is Percussion oriented with an array of instruments.  There is more than just the 7th and 8th Grade Band for the upcoming concert, there is also the 7th Grade Choir.  There will be more detail about the songs that the 7th Grade Choir will be singing next.

Along with pieces making every concert different, songs can make them different as well.  Which is why singing different songs at every concert is important in separating your performances.  The different songs that the 7th Grade Choir will be singing are All Star by Smash Mouth.  This song was originally featured in the movie Shrek.  Lean on Me by Bill Withers, is a song from the 1970’s.  The song is about hope and overcoming pain.  The final song that the 7th Grade Choir will be singing is Hallelujah.  Although the 7th Grade Choir will be performing less songs/pieces than the 7th and 8th Grade Band, their performance will be just as good.  That wraps up everything about the 7th Grade Choir, time to conclude about the entire concert.

All in all, make sure to mark your calendar for the upcoming concert at McDowell.  The 7th and 8th Grade Band, and the 7th and 8th Grade Choir have worked very hard and have been preparing for months.  From aggressive fast-paced pieces, to songs that were featured in a popular kids movie, this upcoming concert will be different from every other.  So, make sure to be at McDowell on March 8th, at 7 P.M. for the future concert.     

Accelerated Reader (AR) Goal Race


    In Language Arts class at McDowell Middle School we have a program called Accelerated Reader. This program is where you have to reach a certain amount of points or reach a goal by the end of the each nine weeks. Usually in 7th grade you have a pretty low goal the first nine weeks then it gets higher as you go throughout the year. So how this works is you get a book from anywhere and go to a website that tells you how many AR points it is worth. After you read the book you go to the same website and take a ten question multiple choice test. Depending how good you do on your test the better score you get. So for an example if you had a eight point book and got a 10/10 on your test you get the whole eight points!

    So far this year we have had most of the students complete their AR goal. Mrs. Caudill and Mrs. Binkley have a chalkboard that you write your name on after you are completed with your goal. At the end of the nine weeks they look at who all got their AR done and see what class has the highest percentage. This nine weeks fourth period won the race with a percentage of 96%!

    In conclusion, even though some kids don’t like AR it is always fun to see who comes out on top. Maybe my period will win this upcoming nine weeks!

New Chromebooks For The District!

At McDowell we have small computers that we used for class. The computers that we use are called Chromebooks. Chromebooks are super easy to use. To sign in you simply use your google account. If use don’t have a google account then you can make one. If you do not want to make a google account then you can just browse as a guest.

McDowell and the rest of the district have been using Chromebooks for about threes years now and has just bought new Chromebooks. I do not know the exact number of Chromebooks that were bought, but I did help unload them. There were five pallets and it took all morning to unload them.

The new Chromebooks are nicer than the original Chromebooks that we had. The screen has better quality and they load faster than the original Chromebooks too. The old Chromebooks were also getting old and worn down. The screens were scratch and on some the keys would not work very well.

Getting new Chromebooks is something I never expected to happen. I am even more surprised that we are getting Chromebooks for the whole district.


Student Spotlight

Every few months teachers at McDowell will change out the Student Spotlight.  The Student Spotlight is a piece of black paper with two yellow spotlights on it, in each spotlight is a picture of a student and a paragraph or two about them and what they do.  The current students are Timothy (Tim) Miller and Tayla Tootle.   Tim is a wrestler for Logan Elm.  He won 2nd place in the Mid-State League Buckeye Division Wrestling Tournament.  Tim also plays soccer.  Tayla is a gymnast.  She has been in gymnastics for nine years now and is a level six gymnast.  She competes on vault, uneven bars, beam, and floor.  She has made it to nationals a few times before.  They were in Tampa Bay, Florida  and Savannah Georgia.  Tayla said that gymnastics has taught her many things, one of them being how to manage her time.  Now the question is, who will be the next Student Spotlight?



 At McDowell Exchange School, track is a sporting event you can do in the Spring. The events in track you can do are running (long distance, medium distance, short distance), shot put, hurdles, discus and pole vault. The event I’m writing about specifically is the running part of track which is just running. When you run for track you can run long distance or short distance.       

  There are 5 different distances you can run in track. The longest distance you can run is 1600 meters or 1 mile. The next shortest distance is 800 meters then, 400 meters then, 200 meters then, the shortest distance is 100 meters. 1600 meters and 800 meters are considered long distance. For medium distance it is 400 meters and short distance is 200 and 100 meters. You also run with 7th graders and 8th graders mixed together.                                                                            In track there is also something called relay races. How it works is there are 2 lines at each end of however many meters your running. Then the coach picks a few people out of the team to race with other teams. So someone will start out and run to one end them you hand like a stick to the next person then that person runs and you just keep going until you finish. The first team that finishes is the winner. There is a really race for each distance.                                      Track is one of the really fun sports the we have at Mcdowell Exchange School in the Spring. There are so many events you can do in track that make it more interesting. Track is also a sport you do outside which is another great thing about it since most sports are inside. If I could choose out of all the events in track I would choose running.

Blizzard Bags for Snow Days?

Almost everyone has heard of blizzard bags, have you? Blizzard bags are something you do when your school has run out of ‘free’ snow days, and has to make-up the schoolwork somehow. Blizzard bags are schoolwork that is done at home, and is usually placed online. Of course, if internet isn’t available at your home, all you have to do, at McDowell anyway, is tell the teachers that, and they will usually give you an extra day to finish it up. Usually we only have simple assignments to do, like Brainpop for Science, or Technology, or maybe doing something like studying for our science quiz. Sometimes though, we get a not too difficult, but tedious assignment, like the one we had to do for Social Studies, which was making thirty-seven flashcards to study for a big chapter test.

Our Blizzard Bags are usually placed within the school website, easily found by everyone. Then once you’ve clicked ‘Blizzard Bags’, the link takes you to a location with a link for every single teachers’ assignments for that snow day. We have already had 2 Blizzard Bags, with only a few left, and once we go through the blizzard bags, we have to start adding on school days, and I’m pretty sure no one wants that, but that’s just my opinion, what’s yours? Vote here.

Try Out McDowell Students!

Basketball season is nearing its end, along with baseball and softball season coming up here at McDowell. Many new girls and boys have showed interest to play either baseball or softball this year, some of the same girls and boys have come back to play this year, too. For those kids at McDowell who are looking for a schedule for tryouts and conditioning for this years softball and/or baseball, schedules have yet to be released. They however, should be released shortly,  so check back in soon!


STOP! You’ve Been Caught Being A Brave

The caught being a brave board is supposed to be a way to reward those who are caught being good and also to encourage people to be better so they can get their name on the board too.  Not to brag but our school is pretty good, just this time we took down the names and we had 66 people caught being a brave.  Now that may not sound like a lot but our school is small.  Now you may be thinking that it’s not gonna work on most people because what’s “in it” for you.  Well every month we take all the names down and put them in this big drawing and you win a really awesome prize.  The prize that the winners got this time is a gigantic party size bag full of Hershey chocolates.  So I don’t know about you but that’s definitely good enough for me.  If you’d like take this survey and tell us if you have anything like this at your school. 

Create your own user feedback survey

New Grade Scale

The Grade Scale

By: Owen E

In this past year there has been a change in the grade scale, and people have mixed feelings on it.  Depending on their personal grades, their opinion may differ.

The new grade scale is a normal ten percent difference, the old one used to be a 7 percent difference. The ten percent grade scale makes it to where you can have a grade within a ten percent range for a specific grade (A is 90%-100%, B is 80%-89%, C is 70%-79%, D is 60%-69%, and an F would be a 0%-59%). The old grade scale was a 7 point scale (A was 93%-100%, B was 85%-92%, C was 76%-84%, D was 75%-70% and an was 0%-69%).

Some people like Bradyn Allen love the new grade scale. He says, “It has saved his grades like three times now to make the honor roll”. I agree with Bradyn. I personally love the new grade scale because it makes it a lot easier to make the honor roll.

While there are some people who do not like the scale, I personally know some people in my family who say, “It does not prepare us as much for college”.  Which even if you do support the new scale you probably agree, the old scale was much more challenging which could help prepare the students. However, it could also be a lot more stressful.

I feel the new grade scale is beneficial because it not only will give a better name to our school by giving us better grades, it will also boost the students confidence and work ethic by making them feel more self gratitude and appreciation.  Even though a three percent difference in a grade scale does not seem like much it changes the game by a landslide.  A ten point quiz is very common and with the old grade scale if you got a 9/10 that would be a B grade and now it would be an A, which helps a lot.

In conclusion there are a lot of mixed feelings in the grade scale but the majority of students enjoy the new one.  I hope other students find more self confidence in their grades with the new grade scale.

McDowell’s New Major Math Modification

McDowell Exchange School is always focusing on preparing students for the upcoming AIR Assessments (American Institute for Research).  Recently, the teachers at McDowell have decided to better prepare students for the Math AIR Assessment through an online program called ALEKS.  The McDowell Staff have also constructed a board in one of the hallways to showcase students’ progress.  Before going into too much detail, here is a description about the ALEKS Assessment Program.

Firstly, the ALEKS Assessment Program is a website that helps students with their Math skills.  The website was founded by McGraw Hill, the same company that produced a few of the Math books at McDowell.  The program helps develop Math skills in young minds all the way to seniors in high school and higher education; grade levels ranging from Kindergarten to 12th Grade.  The goal of the ALEKS Assessment Program is to determine what a student already knows in their Math level, and what they need to learn.  Students learn new Math skills through a process of learning topics.  Once the student spends enough time and learns a certain number of topics, they take a Knowledge Check and master the topic.  The goal is to fill the entire Pie Chart by mastering every topic.  The Math Teachers have also decided to make ALEKS count for a grade.  There will be more detail about ALEKS counting as a grade next.

The Math Teachers have also set a goal for the number of topics the students have to complete in a certain amount of time.  Some of the Math Teachers decided to set a number of topics to be completed every quarter semester, while others set a goal to be completed every week.  Either way, all of the Math Teachers made ALEKS count as a quiz grade.  So, ALEKS can either make or break a student’s grade.  A few of the Math Teachers also count extra topics completed as extra credit.  This can also boost a student’s grade if their grade is suffering.  Along with topics completed, the teachers set up a board to represent each student’s progress in the ALEKS Assessment Program.  More detail is to come about the ALEKS Board soon.         

In McDowell Exchange School, there is a board in one of the hallways that compares student’s progress in the ALEKS Assessment Program.  This board is divided into six sections: 7th and 8th Grade, and whether the student is in advanced.  Every section of the board is broken into different parts, based how many topics a student has completed, whether it is 100, 200, 300 and so on.  The ALEKS Board is a recent addition, as it was added last Wednesday, January 31st.  The more topics completed, the higher up the student’s card with their name advances on the board.  Enough talking about the ALEKS Board, time to conclude about the ALEKS Assessment Program at McDowell.

Overall, the ALEKS Assessment Program is a way to better prepare the students for the Math AIR Assessment at McDowell Exchange School.  The program is another way for the Math Teachers to help students perform better in Math class as well.  The ALEKS  Assessment Program has also lead to the development of a board that compares students’ progress on the website.  The total effect that the ALEKS Assessment Program will have on McDowell Exchange School should be positive, resulting in students having better scores on the AIR Assessment.