Specialists' Newsletter January

Music with Mrs. Schlagenhauf

ESL with Mrs. Vue and Ms. Shook

Mrs. Vue and Ms. Shook are working with their students on new vocabulary in weather and seasons. We are preparing our students for the ACCESS test, which will be given the month of February. We continue to work on reading comprehension, fluency, and text features.

Exceptional Children with Mrs. D. Bolick and Mrs. Dula

Happy New Year! As we finish up our 2nd quarter, our classes continue to work hard to achieve goals. Please look for progress reports in with your child’s report card. In reading we have worked on phonemic awareness, decoding, reading fluency and comprehension as well as vocabulary. In math we have worked on number sense and identification, shapes, operations and fractions. If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s IEP goals or progress, please contact us.

Drama with Mrs. Abernethy

It has been a wonderful time for Drama at Blackburn this past semester. I am packing my drama "stuff" and heading to Banoak Elementary to create drama there!

Mrs. Ackroyd will be here, while you're home enjoying your three day vacation, getting her new Art room ready. The best thing about her coming is her art room is right beside the Drama room so you can't get lost!

Have a great rest of the year at Blackburn, the best school in Catawba County.

Title One with Mrs. Elliott and Mrs. Donadio

Kinder students have been working on letter identification and sound association within our inclusion time with them. We have also been working on sight word lists and writing short sentences with those sight words.

First grade students are working on specific phonemic sounds prepared for each group specifically. We are also beginning to use those phonic sounds to complete sentences using sounds to guide our writing. We have also began our second set of leveled readers.

Second grade is working on word family familiarity with the Making Words intervention. We create word families by manipulating the sounds and letters within words that are similar. We are also focusing on our Fountas and Pinnell leveled readers with writing after reading the text.

Third grade is working on CLOSE reading within the text and then using the evidence within the text to answer text dependent questions after reading.

Fourth and Fifth grade are working on non-fiction close reading. We are learning to use the text features such as graphs and charts to answer questions from the text. We are also building our non-fiction vocabulary when we read for meaning.

Sixth grade is reading a leveled novel and searching for vocabulary meaning using context clues from the text. We are also using CLOSE reading to determine character traits of the main characters of the novel with evidence from the text to prove them.

We hope to continue to have a great year in Title 1 helping our students to succeed in reading. Remember to read nightly with your child or to have your child to read to you!

PE with Mr. Morrell and Mrs. Lomanic

Media Center with Mrs. Hudson

Media Happenings!

We have had a lot going on in our Media Center the first semester! We have implemented the Monthly STEM Home Challenge. This month our challenge is, “What can you make using a paper plate?” All of the projects are showcased on our Blackburn webpage and are on display in the display case outside the office! We have also started a Coding club on Tuesday afternoons. We have had such a positive response; we hope to start another session this spring! Our Battle of the Books team is working hard and looking forward to our county competition in March! In the fall, Our Media Center won a Lowe’s grant which purchased items for our outdoor reading garden! We are looking forward to the spring when classes can help tend the garden and spend time reading outside! We have also won a Windows of Opportunity grant-we will use the funds to create a garden in the raised bed (outside the hallway leading to the lunchroom) and another reading area around this bed. We have been busy using our new set of Chomebooks-some sample lessons include: The Giver Book Trailer Videos, QR Code Book Marks, Chatterpix Severe Weather Projects, I am Thankful Videos, 13 Original Colonies Interviews, Greek Gods Green Screen Projects, Land Form Research Projects, Reading and Math small groups for K, 2nd, and 4th grades, and Hour of Code lessons.

Looking ahead:

February Monthly STEM challenge: “What can you make using a cardboard tube?”

March 7th-11th Spring Book Fair

March 2nd Read Across America Day

March 9th Elementary Battle of Books Competition

Guidance with Mrs. Hairston

Hello! My name is Miranda Hairston, and I am thrilled to be the new full-time counselor at Blackburn Elementary! I cannot wait to get to know you, your family, and most importantly your child!


First, I want to take a moment to tell you a few things about myself. I am originally from Granite Falls, NC. I attended Lenoir-Rhyne University where I graduated in 2011 with my Bachelor's Degree in Human and Community Services. In 2014 I graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University, once again, this time with my Master's Degree in School Counseling. I have been married to my husband, Ryan, for 2 years and we are currently expecting our first baby!


This is my third year as a School Counselor, and I consider myself to be so lucky to have found Blackburn! Although I will be out for a short period on maternity leave, I am so excited to finish out the school year with your family and child. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the counseling program or if there is anything I can do to assist you and your child!


Contact Info:

Miranda Hairston

email: miranda_hairston@catawbaschools.net

phone: 828 466-7065 ext: 316119