Give Thanks for Thanksgiving!

There is one day every year where many American people get together with their family, friends, and maybe even someone that they just met.  They make a big turkey (or a ham for some families) and many other food items.  After the food is all made they sit together at the table and enjoy their feast.  This special day is called Thanksgiving.  Today, families still eat many of those various types of food that have been enjoyed for many years. The average American person eats 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day!  On a regular day people eat much less, 2,000-2,500 calories a day which is only half of what people eat on Thanksgiving Day.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. That was 396 years ago!  The first Thanksgiving consisted of ham, lobster, clams, berries, etc. Considering the time when they made those things, it sounds like it would take a while to make. To prepare that food you couldn’t just go to the store and buy what you wanted.  Instead, they had to go hunting, gathering, and have a fire to be able to cook their food. There was so much work that was put into that day. In the end, I bet they had no regret for starting a tradition that has lasted for such a long time.

Have you ever thought what life would be like if we did not have Thanksgiving Day?  I think it would be bad. First of all, we would not have a day off school or work.  I would still be sitting in a chair rather than being at home with my family.  I also wouldn’t get together with my family near the beginning of winter to make a lot of food.  Finally, I wouldn’t be allowed to be lazy all day and instead would be yelled at to get up or go outside.  I am  very thankful for Thanksgiving Day.

History of McDowell

George D. McDowell Exchange school was built in 1971 and using info from the McDowell School Site, I know that the school was named after former Pickaway County Superintendent, George D. McDowell. The text states, “Originally, the building housed all of the Logan Elm District’s kindergarten classes, seventh and eighth grade classes and various high school classes. Thus, the term “exchange school” since the building was used for a variety of grade levels. Today, the building is primarily used as a junior high, although some high school classes still meet here. Explaining that multiple classes are taught here, but only 7th and 8th grade classes are taught.

The McDowell site is very helpful when finding information about McDowell. As you read on, you learn that in the text, it states that;”Our building currently serves approximately 380 students in grades seven and eight. We have a staff of 28 teachers, one guidance counselor, a school nurse and two secretaries. Mrs. Keitha Lane is our building principal, and our superintendent is Mrs. Jan Broughton.” The teachers at McDowell Exchange school are all very kind and generous.

More about McDowell, students can take 4 main classes, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Students can take extra curricular classes like band or choir. More EC classes are sports like (American) Football, Volleyball, Cross Country, Cheerleading, or Colorguard. McDowell is a great school rich with history.  

The Importance Of Sports In Schools

     In my school, lots of sports are offered. In the fall McDowell offers sports like Football, Cheer leading, Cross-Country, Volleyball and Soccer. In the winter we offer Basketball for both boys and girls and Cheer leading. In the summer we have Softball, Baseball and Track.

     Lots of kids are involved in sports and make it an important part of their life. I personally do Cheer for Fall and Winter. In the video below I interviewed two other student-athletes. In the video I interviewed Kaitlyn, who plays Volleyball.

 

    

 

 

    

Bell Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

     There are many subjects with different bell times at George McDowell Exchange School. This is my bell schedule. There is first period, which every class has a different first period. Then there is second period, where classes branch off. It branches off three ways: you can go to band if you are in band, you go to choir if you are in choir, and if you are not in those two, you have guided study. Next is third period, being followed by another fork. If you have Lunch A, you go straight to lunch, then fourth period. If you have Lunch B, then you go to lunch when the bell in fourth period goes off during fourth period, then head back to fourth period. If you have Lunch C, then you stay in fourth period all the way, with an added ten minutes, until the bell rings. After lunch is fifth period. Yet again the classes branch off into art and technology. If you have art for first semester, then you have technology for second semester. Same goes for the other way around: if you have technology for first semester, then you have art for second semester. Afterwards is sixth period. Personally, this is my second favorite period, as it is the last period of endless onslaught of pain (I mean, yeah, knowledge is great, but it’s too much for me each day!). Then there is WIN period. WIN stands for What I Need, as it is sort of like a second guided study. It is my favorite period, as we leave as soon as the bell rings, signaling the end of the school day.

 

image from mcdowellmedia.edublogs.org

The McDowell Band

     Here at McDowell Exchange School, second period is an interesting one.  This is because we have a choice of what class to take during that period.  We can choose from band, choir, or just guided study.  All of these classes are a great thing to do, but today we are just going to talk about one particular class: Band.

     The junior high band is, in my opinion (I might be a tad bit biased), is a great class to take and a fun and rewarding one as well.  We are given songs which we practice everyday on our instruments, and all of that practice leads up to a big concert or parade.  Band is also a great place to make friends that we wouldn’t of made if we had not taken the class.  The band, like all school bands, is divided into three groups of instruments:  The woodwind, percussion, and brass.

     The brass family includes some notable instruments like the trumpet, trombone, and tuba.  I play the trumpet. The woodwind family includes instruments like the flute, clarinet, and the saxophone.  Finally, we have the percussion family:  The backbone of the band.  This family of instruments provide the beat of the song.  Some instruments in this family include the snare drum, bass drum, tenor drums (only in marching band), cymbals, xylophones, triangles, and…  woodblocks?  Yeah…  Anyway, in the end, it all comes down to how we sound as a group, rather than how we sound individually.

   The McDowell band is actually two bands.  One for eighth grade, and one for seventh grade.  We practice separately, but perform together.  Our seventh grade band consists of fourteen kids.  Five trumpets, one flute, one clarinet, one tuba, four drums, and two xylophones.  For concerts, we rely on the eighth grade band for trombones and saxophones, since the seventh grade band doesn’t have anyone who plays those instruments.  We have a winter and spring concert, and we marched in some parades at the local Pumpkin Show just recently.

     So, there you have it.  The McDowell band is a great class that this school offers and there are many benefits that you people gain from this class.  Anyways, thank you for reading my blog.  Comment if any of you are in band and what instrument you play.  Bye!

 

 

A Day in The Life at McDowell

A day at McDowell is different for every student that goes here. Some students may have math for first period or science or any other subject that is taught at McDowell. But for this post I’m just going to tell you about what a day at McDowell is like for me.

My day at McDowell start off with advanced Language Arts for first period, which is taught by Mrs. Caudill and lasts for 53 minutes. Next I go to Choir where I learn to sing… that’s it, not sure what else you were expecting, its Choir. My Choir class is taught by Mr. Neff and lasts for 50 minutes. Then I go to math, in math, well, we do math that’s pretty much it. My Math teachers name is Mrs. Riddle and it lasts for another 50 minutes.

Now for the best time of the day, lunch. there are 3 different lunch periods, lunch A, lunch B, and lunch C. I have lunch A, the earliest lunch starting at 10:30. The lunches that are served can range from hamburgers to pizza to even Asian chicken. After lunch I go to Technology. In technology we have stations, these stations include, VR expeditions, skills and research, arduino, and video production. Technology is taught by Mr. Barnes and is the longest class at 1 hour. And now for 5th period, Science. Science is my 2nd favorite class and is taught by Mrs. Ross and lasts 50  minutes. Next i go to my favorite class Social Studies. Social Studies is my 6th period class and is taught by Mrs. Griffey and lasts for 50 minutes.

Then there’s 7th period. Everybody that goes to McDowell has this and it is called WIN period (What I Need) And in this period everyone gets a chance to get homework or any other things that students may have to do

Subjects At McDowell!

 

 

Some of the teachers here at McDowell.

 

     Education and going to school is a very important thing for students. The things that you learn in school now can affect you for all of your life. Education will help you graduate high school, then go to college, then after that you get a job to help support your family. So that comes back to my point, which is students education is important. But  what exactly do students learn and what subjects do students take here at McDowell Exchange Jr. High School?

     At McDowell every student has Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Technology or Art, and WIN. Each class is about 50 minutes long and each student has 3 minutes in between classes to get the items they need for the next class. During Language Arts class, students would probably be reading, working on vocab, or working on a writing assignment. In Math, you’ll find students working on a new math lesson, taking a quiz, working on IXL, or doing homework. Next is Social Studies. In Social Studies, students are learning about Ancient Greece and Rome. In Science, we have been learning a lot about animals, food chains, ecosystems, adaptations, and so on. The next subject is Technology or Art. Students will either have Technology for the first semester of the year and Art for the second semester, or they will have Art first and then technology. So, you will not have either of these classes for the whole school year. In Art, we are currently making walking sticks. In Technology, I don’t know what students are doing since I have Technology for the second semester, not the first. Finally the last class is WIN. WIN is a class that every student has at the end of the day. During WIN period, students can work on homework or any assignments, read, or ask teachers for help.

     Every students takes the subjects I just mentioned, but there are subjects that students get to chose if they want to take them or not. The classes that you get to chose from are Guided Study, Choir, Band, or both Choir+Band. In Guided Study, you get extra time to work on homework/assignments and study for tests. In Choir, you sing. In band, you get to pick an instrument that you want to play and then you practice playing songs and getting ready for parades. If you take Choir and Band, you will switch from singing to playing an instrument. These are all of the classes that McDowell offers to each student. McDowell is a great place for students to learn everything they need to know to succeed.

 

Featured Staff Member: Mr. Barnes

          Mr. Barnes is a great technology teacher at McDowell, however there is a lot more to know about him.  I wanted to know what he used to do and what he was actually like.  I knew he got a huge grant last year to get everything has this year, but what did he do when he did not have VR headsets or a green screen or the makey makeys or even the 3-D printer.  Let’s find out!

 

Question – How did you get all of the technology you have?

Answer – A lot of it is from a class that I took to allow the school to get special funds from the state.

Question – What did you do before you had all the technology you have now?

Answer – We did work on the computer and learned a lot about google and practiced typing.

Question – How long have you been teaching?

Answer – This is going to be my twenty-ninth year.

Question – How many people are in your family?

Answer – Me and my wife live in my house with a dog and a cat.  However I have two daughters that are both teachers.

Question – How long have you been married?

Answer – I have been married for twenty-eight years to Beth Barnes

Question – Where did you go to college?

Answer – I went to Ohio University, and attended the Chillicothe and Lancaster campuses for most of college.

Question – Have you always wanted to be a teacher?

Answer – Yes, but while I was in college I worked many jobs such as: working in a shoe repair shop and a factory as well as laying carpet.

Question – If McDowell did not have technology would you still teach here?

Answer – Yes, I hope so.

Question – If you did still teach here what would you teach?

Answer – I would probably teach science again, since I taught science before technology.

Question – What all have you done at McDowell?

Answer – At McDowell I have taught science, technology and I have coached football and high school wrestling.

Question – What sports do you like to watch?

Answer – I like to watch football and baseball.

Question – What is your favorite sport to play?

Answer – I enjoyed football and wrestling when I was in high school.       

These are all of the questions that I asked Mr. Barnes and his answers. Hopefully you learned something about Mr. Barnes as I did.  If only every school could have the same technology that we did.  

Veterans Food Drive

     At McDowell we care about our veterans. November elventh is veterans day, this is a day for the men and women who have fought for our country.  Great right? Well, not really, there are over 100,000 veterans and their families here in Ohio that rely on food services.  The student council at McDowell decided that they wanted to do something about this.  So we did a food drive.  All the food goes directly to the veterans in Ohio. The food drive started on November third and went through November tenth.  We collected a lot of food for our local veterans and are continuing to bring in food.  I hope that even just the little we have done will help the veterans that need it.  

 

     On Thursday November ninth the McDowell Middle School is having a Veterans Day assembly.  We will be recognizing our veterans by having a guest speaker named Deb come.  Deb was in the military for six years.  She was a sergeant and very respected.  We really appreciate that Deb can come and tell us about her military  experience.  I think that Deb will make us think more of Veterans Day by the time she is done.  The food drive we are having here at McDowell is only one way that we can give back, there are many more ways to help the veterans that deserve more than the life they are living now. 

     On Veterans Day don’t forget about your veterans, thank them for what they have done.  Start a food drive at your school to help out your local veterans. Remember that every little thing counts.  Never forget what they did for us and how many sacrifices they have made for our country.  Don’t take for granted the freedom they have given us and how they have sacrificed their life for our country.  After all the sacrifices they have made they deserve to have a better life than this.  They risked their life for our country and yet they are living on food services.  There should not be 100.000 veterans in Ohio that don’t have food.  

My Dream School

 

My dream school would be an fun, but strict place.  There would be certain days every month where the kids would learn, but do it in a more fun way.  Such as play learning games, and do word bingo, etc.  I would have positive quotes posted all up and down the halls, and make it clear to always ask questions. I would also have anti-bullying propaganda everywhere.  Their would be security cams and security guards everywhere just to bring down on the threats and issues.  I would up the ante on security also because it would make the students feel more safe.  I would have bright colors everywhere.  I would have programs for students with special needs or are more prone to bullying, to be paired up with upperclassmen (older kid’s) to prevent bullying. I would have  an student designed menu (to an extent) and some days we would have something special.  We will also give out a treat to the kid’s that have been good during lunch.

Now we are to the strict part.  I would not make a lot of rules but for the few rules, if they are to be broken their will be very strict punishments.  Such as if you were to be caught bullying you will be either miss out on fun days and not get the treat at lunch for a certain amount of time, to being suspended or even expelled.  If a student/teacher is caught drinking or smoking on school property they will be expelled, and if they are a teacher they will be fired immediately.  If a student is rude or talks back to an teacher he or she will be issued detention.  This school will love and teach discipline so much that it will even have an ROTC ( Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) for fifth grade and up.   

This is my ideal school because it is a fun welcoming place but strict at the same time, and that is my kind of school.

Now for the poll question.  Would you rather keep you school that you have or have a completely different school of your design? Answer the survey here.