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Specials News

Alcoa Elementary School Specials (Essentials) Classes



Art and Innovation with Mr. Grant


Welcome back to a new year with Alcoa Art 2019, I have some interesting themes planned for the year ahead to help meet several objectives in a fun and engaging way. 



-       January - Food, art, and eating healthy. (Reading several books, then attempting to have students create recipes)…and touching on Black History (a little early, since One Book Blitz is in February).

-       February - I will be connecting our art lessons to One Book Blitz, (starting February 4) and if time allows, connect art to other national holidays like Presidents day, Black History month, dental hygiene month, and Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2) etc.

-       March - We will be beginning our art projects for Night of the Arts tentatively scheduled for April 4.

-       April - We will be doing spring themed artworks, things that grow, things that move (flip books animations), or creating innovative design ideas for 3-D playgrounds. 

-       May - we will be trying to do activities that allow us to take art outdoors, like side walk chalk, “plein air,” art, bubble art, textures, etc.


Art Objectives  

The National Standards for Art have changed this year, see the following website for more info:   

The places that I see art standards overlapping its standards with Classroom teachers are call Arts Integration. These are some of my goals in art:

K:  Learning geometric shapes names, learning to draw basic shapes to make something greater (it doesn’t matter if its letters or drawing artworks), pattern, special awareness (positional words), sequencing of events (first, second, third), and learning fine motor skills in cutting, gluing, pasting. 

1st: All of the above, but more focus on more fine motor control and awareness of their work. I often challenge them, by asking more questions instead of giving the answers right away.  I attempt to have them to speak Common Core language, using words like “When looking at the artwork, my evidence for what I think is…”  I attempt to have them explain more about what they see in each others artworks (Art criticism) or in famous art examples, using broader vocabulary.  This may seem small, but students write the way they speak, and if they begin to speak more intelligently, it changes their writing abilities. 

2nd: All of the above, but using trying harder to have students, expressing more with writing titles, labels, and words.  In art lessons I attempt to giving more open-ended problems to solve, allowing for more complex though and challenges. I implement a lot of science connections in all grade levels K-5 because of its natural connection to exploration, beauty, and mystery.   

Ideas, Connections, or Donations? 

Would you or your child want to learn something new in art? Connections to science, music, books, math?  Have a bulk of a material you want to donate.  Let me know early so I have time to prepare, and make sure it is something that can be done on a larger scale with the rest of the students in that grade level (preparing for around 150 students or 7 classes per grade level). 

Feel free to come see me, or email me some time:    


Computer Lab

Computer Technology with Mr. Whitecotton


* Computer Usage - learning how to hold and use mouse, navigate, open and close apps, open Google Chrome

* Keyboarding- locating letters on the keyboard and learning right hand left hand using a variety of online apps. Intruduction to online keyboarding software Typing Club.

* Intro to word processing with Google Docs

* Use kid-friendly websites to practice content and skills.

* Use Google Apps for Education to create projects and complete assignments

* Acceptable use and digital citizenship

* Introduction to computer programming (block code)


* Keyboarding- locating letters on the keyboard and learning correct finger placement using a variety of techniques, and online apps. Work through 1st grade level keyboarding program Typing Club

* Word processing with Google Docs

* Use kid-friendly websites to practice content and skills.

* Use Google Apps for Education to create projects and complete assignments

* Acceptable use and digital citizenship

* Level 2 computer programming skills (block code)

* Demonstrate understanding and use of Google Classroom


* Keyboarding- locating letters on the keyboard and learning correct hand placement and finger placement while working toward keyboarding skills without looking using a variety of online keyboarding apps. Work through 2nd grade keyboarding program Typing Club.

* Advanced ord processing with Google Apps

* Use kid-friendly websites to practice content and skills.

* Use Google Apps for Education to create projects and complete assignments

* Acceptable use and digital citizenship

* Level 3 and 4 computer programming (block code) 

* Use Google Classroom tools to create projects, complete assignments and collaborate.

* Use age-appropriate websites to research, practice skills, learn concepts, complete activities, and create multimedia projects and collaborate. 


Computer/Internet Safety Rules at Alcoa Elementary School

* Do not give out your personal information (name, address, phone number, etc.)

* For websites that require a username, do not use your real name.

* Get an adult's permission before signing up for anything on the internet.

* Be polite on the computer. Don't send mean or inappropriate messages. The golden rule applies to the computer, too: Treat others the way you wish to be treated.

* Don't respond to messages that are mean or make you feel uncomfortable. Let an adult know immediately.

* If something inappropriate pops up on your screen, turn the monitor off and go get an adult immediately.

* Do not download anything on the computer without an adult's permission. It could be harmful to your computer.


School Computer Use Policy

  1. All students and parents sign a Alcoa Schools District Computer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Please refer to AES school handbook.
  2. Students are NOT PERMITTED to play games on their computer unless it is either an school approved educational games (example: anything on Happy Computer) or teacher approved game (ex: games a teacher assigns to students through Google Classroom). 

  3. Although we expect all students to understand and agree to school-wide use and care of  Chromebooks, each AES teacher determines the use and care expectations of Chromebooks in their own classroom. Students are expected to follow all of teacher and school rules. 
  4. Students are never allowed to remove Chrombooks from classroom without prior approval from teacher. 
  5. Students are never allowed to take Chromebooks from school at anytime.

Violation of any AES school-wide expectation will result one or more of the following depending upon violation: 

  • Student/teacher conference
  • Loss of student assigned Chromebook privileges (teacher or Mr. Whitecotton) determines length of time.
  • Parent contact
  • Principal Referral



Library with Mrs. Grant

Happy New Year!

I am very excited to be the new librarian at Alcoa Elementary for the remainder of the school year! I will be collaborating with classroom teachers at each grade level to enhance what students are learning in their classroom during my read aloud and class activities.

My goal is to provide fun and engaging opportunities for your child to learn about authors, books, important reading skills, and to encourage your child’s motivation and love for reading.

Author Spotlight

Each month a new author will be featured in the library. There will be a special bookshelf in the library highlighting books written by the featured author. We will also be reading and discussing books and/or topics related to books by that author when your child comes to class. The following authors will be featured for the upcoming quarter:

January: Jan Brett

February: One Book Blitz author (TBA)

March: Dr. Seuss

Library Classroom Routine (Kindergarten)

  1.     Movement Activity: Students will begin each class with a 1-3 minute movement activity to get “wiggles” out.
  1.     Interactive Story Movement Activity/ Check Out Books: Students will participate in a movement activity that tells a story while waiting their turn to check out books.
  1.     Read Aloud: Students are expected to sit on the carpet for the remaining 10-15 minutes of class to listen as the teacher reads a story to the class.

Library Classroom Routine (1st and 2nd grades)

  1.     Read Aloud: Students are expected to sit on the carpet for the first 10-15 minutes of class to listen as the teacher reads a   story to the class.
  1.     Library Stations/ Check Out Books: Each student in grades 1 and 2 will be assigned to a library station where they will work on a hands-on, engaging learning activity with a small group of students. They will also be introduced to new books at each station that coincide with the activity. Students will rotate to a new station each time they come to library class.
  1.     All Students are expected to begin cleaning up stations in a timely manner.

Overview of Skills To Be Taught (discussed primarily during read aloud)

We will continue practicing how to choose “just right” books to read at all grade levels:


  •       Too Easy- Knows all the words, reads very quickly with no mistakes, need more of a challenge.
  •       Just Right – Can read most of the words, but may need to sound out a few words or have help from

         an adult (have a little "growing room"), story is interesting to student.

  •       Too Hard - Feels too challenging, words are too difficult (student can read very few words on their

        own), student is confused about what is happening, and is very frustrated while reading.


Kindergarten: We will practice identifying the characters, setting, main idea, and key details in a story. We will also practice sequencing events in a story.

First: We will practice comparing and contrasting events/ characters in a story. We will also practice retelling events in a story.

Second: We will practice identifying and comparing character traits in stories, describing the structure of stories (beginning, middle, and end), and practice answering and asking questions to enhance understanding of stories.

Expectations and Rewards

Be respectful. Be Responsible. Be your best!

A “mystery person” will be chosen at the end of each class. If a student is the “mystery person” and has had excellent behavior he/she will be able to choose from the prize box. Other individual rewards (such as stickers, bookmarks, skittles) may also be given to students who demonstrate great behavior during class.

Students in each class will also be working toward a class reward for good behavior. Each class has the opportunity to earn 3 points during class for the following behaviors:

  1.     Entering the library quietly and ready to learn
  2.     All students in the entire class have great behavior that day
  3.     Cleaning up and lining up quietly

The class in each grade level that has earned the most points at the end of each 9 weeks will earn a reward for their class.



P.E. with Mrs. Boring & Mrs. Regina

We will be working on movement and space. Some of our objectives will be, teaching your child about good sportsmanship, cooperation, demonstration of skills and performance evaluations. Your child is expected to come to class prepared to participate by wearing tennis shoes. No sandals, flip-flops, slip-ons, boots, or any of the other types of shoes will not be allowed. Students not wearing tennis shoes cannot participate. You can send an extra pair of gym shoes in their backpack or send in an old pair, with their name on them to keep in our office. If a student needs to be excused from class for a medical reason, please send in a note signed by the parent/guardian, stating the reason and length of time they are to remain out. If the student needs to miss three or more days of gym class, a doctor's note will be required. Should you have any questions:


feel free to email one of us at:

or call 865-982-3120 and leave a message for the

best time to return your call. We are excited for another great school year

with your child here at ALCOA!!




Guidance with Ms. Davis

Classroom Guidance Lessons will be designed to encourage students’ academic, social/emotional and career awareness. Students will learn how to develop peer relationships, effective social skills, decision-making skills, effective communications, and explore safe and healthy choices. Student will also learn various coping strategies and ways to handle various challenges through:

Large and small group hands-on activities



Role- playing


Guest Speakers

Classroom Guidance Topics

Aug. Wisdom/Intro to Guidance

Sept. Initiative/ Anti-Bullying

Oct. Contentment/ Alcohol & Drug Awareness

Nov. Cooperation/ Teamwork

Dec. Compassion/ Responsibility

Jan. Self-Control/Respect

Feb. Service/Kindness

Mar. Individuality/Conflict Resolution

Apr. Hope/Career Exploration

May Diversity/ Perseverance

2nd Grade Preparation for AIS

Student Recognition- AES Superstar Student

Students are recognized monthly for exhibiting school-wide behavior expectations.  Students are selected by the Specials Teachers and given a yard sign.


Student Recognition- AES Superstar Student

Students are recognized monthly for exhibiting school-wide behavior expectations.  Students are selected by the Specials Teachers and given a yard sign.



Music with Mr. Adler


January- March

Focus:  Expressive Qualities (Tempo- fast/slow), Duration (steady beat/meter in 2)

Pitch:  Melody Upward/Downward


1st Grade


Focus:  Tone Color (unpitched instruments), Duration (rhythm- quarter rest)

Pitch:  mi so la


2nd Grade


Focus:  Duration (rhythm- dotted half note, meter in 3, equal and unequal), Expressive Qualities (articulation- accents)

Pitch:  do re mi so


Additional Information

*In February we will celebrate Black History Month and Multicultural Music




Contact Us:

Mr. Whitecotton -

Mr. Grant -

Ms. Davis -

Ms. Long -

Mrs. Boring -

Mr. Adler -




You can pre-order your AES 2018-19 yearbook and get 15% off.

To order visit:

Use Code: 1015066149822337

For students returning to AES:

If you purchased a yearbook last year or if you have already created an account, sign in using your username and password.

For new students to AES:

Create a new account