Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fifth Grade Play, Veterans' Day, and Looking Forward

Here at Presbyterian Day School, we try to encourage love and loyalty to our country, as well as to our God. If you have been to chapel in the past few weeks, you have experienced some of that patriotism.
In early October, the fifth grade students presented "Singing the Red, White, and Blue", a musical drama by Amalgamated Talents. In the musical, Uncle Sam, and Miss Liberty (the Statue, that is) helped remind us of the history of our great nation.

On November 4, New Song, our fifth and sixth grade choir, presented a service of songs and poems honoring our nation's veterans. Our guest speaker for the service was Brad Keeton, a former marine, and long-time PDS parent and supporter. Area veterans were invited to come and enjoy the service, and the reception that was given in their honor by the PTF association. Many thanks for all students and parents who participated in the events of the day.

On Nvember 11, at 6:00 in the evening, New Song participated in the annual Boy Scouts  Flag Retirement ceremony at the downtown walking trail. The local Boy Scout troops do an excellent job of modeling respect for our nation's flag by teaching these boys the proper way to "retire" a flag.
I was very proud to have several of our New Song members doing double duty by wearing their scout uniforms, singing in the choir, and participating in the ceremony.

Looking Forward

On Thursday, November 17, New Song will perform at  Bayou Academy's Harvest Festival. This is a night of fun, food, and entertainment, held in Bayou Academy's gym. We will sing at 6:00-6:15. Please come and enjoy the fellowship.

Christmas is Coming!!!!!
All grades have begun working on our Christmas songs. Save the date, December 13, 6:00 pm, to attend our annual PDS Christmas program at the Bologna Performing Arts Center!!! Remember, grades 3k - 5th grade need to wear a long sleeved red turtleneck or crew neck top, nice blue jeans, dark shoes and a belt.

See you all there!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Composer of the Month-October

Welcome to Composer's Corner

The composer we are studying during the month of October is
Franz Joseph Haydn.

                I am enjoying teaching (and learning) about Haydn this month. The students are learning about Haydn's early years with the Vienna Boys Choir, and his career as a court musician for Prince Nicklaus Esterhazy. WE are also learning to appreciate his sense of humor , which is so evident in symphonies No. 94 (The Suprise Symphony) and No. 45 (The Farewell Symphony). Ask your children to tell you what they know. Hopefully, they will be able to share some interesting facts and stories about this wonderful composer.

Go to  http://www.classicsforkids.com/  to learn more about Haydn and other composers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Yee-haw! We are gittin' all geared-up for our annual Hoedown/Square Dance. As I have said before, this is one of my favorite performances of the year. For the last 3 weeks, we have been learning our country and western dances in music class. It's just GREAT FUN (and pretty good exercise).

Our hoedown will be held next Tuesday, September 27, at 6:00 pm. We will be meeting in the gym to watch the classes dance. The 3k classes will dance first and we'll go right up the classes. The 5th and 6th graders will end the evening with the Cotton-eyed Joe. Your child has been "partnered up"  for the dance, so please do your best to have him/her here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Composer of the Month - August

We are learning about one composer each month in music class. Our composer for the month of August was Ludwig van Beethoven. The children learned about his early music education (which he began at age 5), his friendship with Haydn, his admiration of Mozart, the loss of his hearing in his adult years, and that he continued to compose music after completely losing his hearing.
We all found it pretty amazing that he could continue to compose and perform music after becoming deaf. He never heard some of his own greatest compositions.

We have been singing "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee",  a hymn set to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from his 9th symphony.   I also let most classes play "Ode to Joy" on the handbells. The older students read the melody line. They really enjoy playing the bells, and they get excited when they can recognize the tune. After reading/playing the tune in music one day, a 5th grade student exclaimed "We're not so bad that I can't tell what we're playing!"

The younger students played "by tap."  In this method, I give the students the handbells, and as I tap each one on the head, he rings his handbell. They sound great as long as I know my part and play it well. Look below, and you will see photos of some of the 4k students playing (and being played) "Ode to Joy".

Monday, August 22, 2011

Let Everything That Has Breath PRAISE THE LORD!!!

"Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD." Psalm 150:6

This has been the theme of the music lessons and chapel services for the first week (more or less) of school at PDS. We can do that with our words, songs, instruments, and our actions. (See the rest of Psalm 150)
We also know that creation praises God. The mountains, the stars, the sun, the flowers and the animals all praise God.
Please join us Friday mornings at 8:30 a.m. for chapel. You can help lend your breath in praising God.

Miss Mississippi, Mary Margaret Roark speaks to the students, reminiscing of her days in chapel at PDS.

Mary Margaret Roark, Miss Mississippi praises the Lord with the piano.
Bro. Walt Griffith uses books for an object lesson in Friday's chapel service.

Several students celebrate their birthdays in chapel.

3k students wait patiently for the older students to file in so chapel can begin.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Love notes on my white board

Below you will see pics of my white board after some 6th graders "decorated" it for me. They accomplished this within about 7 minutes of their recess time. I promised I wouldn't erase it until I had taken photos of it. I know it may look like mass chaos, but it is a very sweet reminder to me of how blessed I am to be able to work here at PDS. Some, might see a mess. I see LOVE NOTES.

The younger students all think it is really AWESOME.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Song and Chapel News

New Song has been invited to sing for the Crosstie Arts and Jazz Festival!!!
On Saturday, April 16, New Song will be singing at the Crosstive Arts and Jazz Festival on the Cleveland Courthouse square. Our performance time is at 1:30. Southern Halo (Natalia Morris, Christina Morris, and Hannah Morris) will sing at 1:00! I know you will want to come early so you can enjoy their wonderful talents!!! Then, stick around and we will sing after they are done. We've been practicing some great songs for this event.


  • Holy Week is April 18-21. We will have chapel every morning this week at 8:30. PDS families and friends are invited to join us for worship.
  • The First Grade play, "Donkey Tales" will be this Friday morning, April 8, at 8:30 in the gym. Y'all come.
  • Congrats to the 3rd grade for doing a splendiferous job on their play this past Friday,  April 1. They presented "Sermon on the Mound". What a coincidence: that was also the opening day of major league baseball season.
Stay Tuned. More events coming up!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saying "So Long"

If you've been in the building at PDS within the last week or two, you are probably aware that Bro. Sid is retiring at the end of this month (that's just a few days away). As one of our 5k students so sincerely put it, "Retired means that you don't get to go to work anymore." Sadly, Bro. Sid won't get to come work and play with us after this week. We are sad and happy, as I know he is. He told me that reality set in when he spoke at his last PDS chapel service last Friday.  There were many tears and hugs from students, parents, teachers, and (shhh) Bro. Sid, too. I have estimated that Bro. Sid has brought God's truth to the students at PDS for 350+ chapel services since he came to First Presbyterian Church in 1999. Now, I'm not even going to try to figure the number of students that have been in those chapel services. Just suffice it to say, he has spoken God's truth into MANY lives.  Mine included.

We all have an opportuntiy to express our appreciation to Bro. Sid, and his lovely wife, Karen, at their retirement reception (behind every good man, is a woman) this Sunday. Please note the invitation below.

The Presbyterian Women
cordially invite   
PDS Family and Friends
to a
Retirement Reception
Sunday, February 27, 2011
from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Family Life Center
to honor
Sid and Karen Harmon
Let's come and celebrate the way God has used Bro. Sid to bless us here and the way he will continue to bless others in Alabama (Roll Tide) , and wherever he goes.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Young Musicians

Ms. Walker's 5k class rhythm hand bells.

Mrs. Thomas's 5k class getting down with the rhythm sticks.

The 5k students have been learning to play instruments in music class. If you'd like to watch them perform,
come to TASTE OF PDS on February 8.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taste of PDS

The annual "Taste of PDS" is February 8. This is a wonderful night of good food and good fellowship. The evening kicks off in the sanctuary (chapel) with entertainment by YOUR KIDS. Dinner follows in the gym where we can all get a "taste of PDS".
The students are preparing some fun songs to perform for parents, grandparents, teachers & special friends. Look for a note in the next week or so indicating the time the singing begins.

I look forward to seeing you all then.

Mrs. Jackson

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

WOW! Wasn't  Christmas a whirlwind? When I think back to just a few short weeks ago, my heart races a little. We did SO MUCH in such a short time. Praise God for good health and a school where we can celebrate CHRISTmas, not just a winter holiday.

The Christmas program, "Just Believe", was so much fun. (At least it was fun for me. I hope the kids enjoyed it as much as I did.) I watched the video last night, and the kids sounded wonderful. The bar is set very high now. I'm already thinking about the 2011 Christmas program.

Now that we are back in school, we are beginning to get revved up for our spring plays and performances. We are learning new chapel songs,  traditional hymns, classical music, and silly songs. Soon, the 5th and 6th graders will begin playing recorders. I'm having too much fun.

Come join us in chapel this Friday!!!