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Blackman Elementary Newsletter - January 2016

Happy New Year!

We hope this New Year brings much peace, happiness and joy to each of you. Blessings for a Happy New Year!

Blackman Choir and Instrument Ensemble presents Holiday Cheer

We are very proud of our BLE Choir and Instrument Ensemble for their wonderful performance in the winter concert! They worked hard and looked very festive in their costumes. We also had around sixty choir members perform several of their songs at the Rutherford County Board of Education meeting held on Thursday, December 10. Way to go, 4th and 5th graders!

Fifth Graders Give Back

The fifth graders’ community service project was a huge success in December. They went to two different Assisted- Living Communities here in Murfreesboro spreading Christmas cheer with gift bags of needed necessities and holiday carols. A big thank you goes to the parents of this grade in helping to teach these children the gift of giving. The two facilities greatly appreciated us coming – however; the best gift of all was seeing the interaction of our youth with the elderly in our community – PRICELESS!

Computers for Education

Keep your eyes open for a booklet of postcards that your child will bring home January 25, 2015 for Computers for Education.

The Media Center will be sponsoring this program to help Blackman Elementary School earn funds to support the purchase of items needed for the Media Center. By completing the booklet, you will be helping our school meet its goal.

Mrs. Ford will be sending more information home to you regarding this exciting program benefiting our Media Center.

Thanks in advance for your support.

All students tested in grades 3 through 11 will complete an online test in February.

Each student in grades 3 - 5 will take the TN Ready ELA and MATH Part I, as well as the Social Studies Part I assessment. All three of these assessments will be online.

ELA Part 1 will be 2 sub tests both testing at 75 minutes. Sub test I and II will be students writing in response to a prompt based on a piece of text given.

MATH Part I will be 15 to 17 items (depending on grade) and 1 performance task, testing at 55 minutes.

Social studies will be 1 extended response item, testing for 45 minutes.

Grade 3 will test February 8-12, 2016.

Grade 4 will test February 16-22, 2016.

Grade 5 will test February 23-29, 2016.

TN Ready and Social Studies Part II will be tested in April.

As always, we thank you in advance for all you to do help your child/children to be successful during testing. You will receive more information prior to testing.

As we prepare of upcoming assessments, please remember Homework Hotline can be a very helpful resource.

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Five Small Starts to Becoming a Healthier Family in the New Year From

As a family, you can start new habits that will help your children grow and develop properly, perform better in school, and feel better overall. These same healthy habits can also help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. To help you and your family get started, the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness created Small Starts, a series of simple action steps you can take that can lead to big health gains.

Here are some ideas from Healthier Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Health that you and your family can try today to kick off a healthier lifestyle.

1. Get moving.

Take a stroll. Post-meal walks provide quality time with your family and help with digestion, controlling blood sugar and burning calories.

Throw a dance party. Turn on your favorite music and dance in your living room or hallway. Short bursts of activity burn calories and help kids use up extra energy. Let children take turns picking their favorite song.

Exercise during commercials. Think of a physical activity you can do indoors in just two minutes—jumping jacks, pushups, lunges or situps—and do that activity during commercial breaks when you watch TV. Finding even small intervals of time to get active can help your family become healthier.

Try these additional resources. GetFitTN offers a wide range of activities to get your family moving. Also try these other fun activities.

2. Eat well.

Eat healthier snacks. To make sure your family eats more fresh fruits and vegetables, keep carrot sticks, apple slices, pears and bananas readily available during the day as healthier snacking options.

Reduce sugar intake.Give your family a break from sugary, processed snacks. Try putting out fresh fruit, vegetables or whole-grain snacks like popcorn instead. Drink fewer sugary beverages, and encourage your family to drink water. You can add a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange to add some flavor.

Manage food portions. Balance is the key to a healthy diet. Before you put anything on your plate, mentally divide it in half. One side should be full of fruits and veggies; the other side should be equal parts meats/protein and whole grains.

Choose healthy recipes. For nutritious meal plans, visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s website.

Children have special nutritional needs. Find out how to provide kids a more balanced diet.

Get help feeding your family. You may be eligible for a state or federal food program in Tennessee. Find out what is available here.

3. Stop smoking.

To protect you and your children, don’t smoke!

If you are pregnant, find out how to stop smoking to protect your baby and give them the best chance for a healthy start.

Thirdhand smoke is also dangerous. The chemicals from cigarette smoke cling to soft surfaces, such as carpets, clothing and toys, and can harm your family even long after you’re done smoking. Learn more here.

Mark the date. Decide when you’ll quit tobacco and write it on your calendar. Also share the date on social media, so your friends and family will help you feel accountable and support your decision.

Make a list. Tobacco cravings can seem strong, but they usually last for only three minutes or less. Curb the craving for tobacco by listing the things you can do to distract yourself from smoking. When you feel the urge to smoke, pick one item from the list and do it right away. Examples of activities include drinking a glass of water, taking a quick walk, chewing gum, crunching healthy snacks, playing an online game or checking your social media sites.

Call for help. If you need one-on-one support, call or visit the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine, a free telephone and online service, at 800-784-8669

4. Stay well.

Hand-washing is critical. Wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom, after blowing your nose and before handling food. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes for those times when soap and water are not available.

Keep coughs under cover. Cover your mouth and nose whenever you need to cough or sneeze. Use a tissue whenever possible, or cough into the crook of your arm. Then head to the sink to wash up.

Get proper shots. Getting children up-to-date on their immunizations is also an important preventive method and a requirement for them to attend school. Find out what immunizations your child needs here.

Prevention is key to staying healthy. See more basic tips on how to keep your child healthy year-round.

5. Track success. Healthier Tennessee’s new Streaks for Small Starts iOS app will give you the tools to make better decisions for a lifetime of healthy habits—one small step at a time. The app, available as a free download from the iTunes App Store to your iPhone 5 (or higher), iPad or iPod touch, will enable you to:

Choose from nearly 50 simple daily health actions or challenges that encourage physical activity, healthy eating and tobacco cessation

Select and set health goals

Set daily reminders so you stay accountable

Track your progress and find out how you can improve

Share your successes on social media

For more information, visit Healthier Tennessee’s website