Monday, March 20, 2023

JES Students Tour Texas History

Johnson Elem.Carroll ISD.3.28.14

Johnson Elementary fourth grade students take a day-long field trip to Austin to learn about Texas history.

Johnson Elementary fourth graders recently traveled to Austin with Education in Action’s “Proud to be Texan” field trip.

Teachers and students took their classrooms on the road Friday, March 28. Students visited the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Texas State Capitol to experience what they are learning in fourth grade Texas History.

On the charter bus ride to Austin, students discussed why Texans are so proud of their unique heritage and participated in activities and games in preparation for their visit. In Austin the students visited the Texas State Capitol where their legislators, The Honorable Kelly Hancock, State Senator, District 9 and The Honorable Giovanni Capriglione, State Representative, District 98, office. Students saw first-hand where Texas laws are made as they toured the State Capitol including the Senate and House of Representatives chambers. At the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum students explored exhibits about Texas’s earliest inhabitants, the Texas Revolution, and events that created our Lone Star identity. The students’ visit to the museum concluded at the multi-sensory Texas Spirit Theater with the Star of Destiny where they saw and experienced the history of our great state including a gusher exploding from an East Texas oil derrick and the takeoff of Saturn V as seen from Mission Control at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“Education in Action’s field trips are based on the understanding that the most effective way for students to learn is through experience,” stated Lori Duncan, Education in Action’s School Programs Director. “Student activities during Education in Action’s Proud to be Texan” field trip reinforce and supplement fourth grade Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills learning objectives with a focus on why Texans are so proud of their unique heritage.”

Education in Action’s Travel, Explore, and Learn field trips make it easy for teachers to take their 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade classrooms on organized, fun, and meaningful site-based learning experiences. Education in Action handles all details, including round-trip charter bus transportation, reservations, and TEKS-based program curriculum, so participating teachers can focus on their students and making connections between the experience and what students are learning in the classroom.

In addition to Travel, Explore, and Learn field trips to Waco/Georgetown, Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Education in Action also offers spring break and summer Lone Star Leadership Academy camps for outstanding 4th-8th graders. During the weeklong, overnight camps, participants experience significant Texas sites in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio, or Houston/Galveston with Texas educators and a focus on leadership.

Education in Action is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to fostering educated and involved young people. For more information about Education in Action visit

Tipi Storytelling at Johnson Elementary School

The librarian at Johnson Elementary School is always looking for unique ways to get students excited about reading and the art of storytelling. Margo Rudder, who also serves as the Library Coordinator for Carroll ISD, organized a visit from the Tipi Storytellers to come to the campus and visit with students. Their visit was funded by the JES PTO.

On a cold Tuesday morning, students huddled inside a 28-foot high tipi, set up on the Johnson Elementary School campus. Inside, the floor was covered with blankets and animal skins. Jaye McLaughlin is one of the groups founders, she told students about the lives of the Cherokee and played music. McLaughlin tours schools across the area, giving students a new perspective about Native American culture. A short video clip of the event is posted below.

The Tipi Storytellers’ visit to Johnson is part of the school’s efforts to introduce new children’s literature to the students as part of Johnson Elementary’s “school read” initiative where every student and staff member reads the same book. The entire school staff and families are invited to read Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The school will be sharing their reading daily in the classrooms and over morning announcements.

This school year, Carroll ISD continues to focus education efforts on literacy and establishing a love of reading in every student through the district’s “Once Upon a Dragon” theme. Click here to visit the “Once Upon a Dragon” page located on the district’s official website.


JES Students Get Caught in Charlotte’s Web

Johnson Elementary recently kicked-off it’s “One Book, One School” reading program with the classic, Charlotte’s Web. In keeping with the district’s Once Upon a Dragon reading initiative, JES Principal Lori Allison wanted to create an opportunity for JES families to come together around a shared story. For some, this was the first time to read the book, for others it was a time to revisit a childhood favorite.

JES parent Kimberly Orosco said, “I vividly remember reading “Charlotte’s Web” as a child; in fact, my daughter and I read the story from my antique copy. She was fascinated to see how I wrote my name inside the book cover in elementary school.”

JES bus drivers, custodial and cafeteria staff also read the book. “One of our goals was for students to have conversations about Wilbur and Charlotte on the bus and in the café serving lines,” Allison said. “We provided them copies of Charlotte’s Web to share with their families.”

“It was great for the students to see the drivers reading their books and hear the children commenting on the story as they loaded the buses in the afternoon,” Allison said.

“Each week we designated specific pages for families to read,” Allison said.  “During our morning announcements we had questions associated with the assigned reading.”

JES café manager and parent Ana Pereira thought the book was humorous and entertaining.

“The cafeteria ladies loved the book,” Pereira said. “Every morning we discussed the occurrences in each chapter and laughed at how comical Charlotte and the animals in the farm were.”

“My daughter and I spent about 20 minutes reading every day until we finished the book,” Pereira said. “We were shocked towards the end because we did not think that Charlotte’s life would end since she was a main character and helped Wilbur throughout the entire novel.”

Fourth grade student Toni Afolabi agreed that the book was entertaining. “Charlotte’s Web is a great story and a lot of fun to read,” Afolabi said. “Usually, I read by myself so this gave my mom and me time to read together again.”

After completing the book, students watched the movie and discussed the differences between the two.

“My friends and I really liked the story. A lot of us hadn’t read it,” Afolabi said. “We had fun talking about what was different in the movie and the book.”

Allison was thrilled by the participation and enthusiasm of the students, parents, and staff.

“I would highly recommend this type of reading program to other schools,” Orosco said. “It generated a lot of excitement at our house for reading – something schools are always striving for.”

“We are already planning do this again,” Allison said. “Our next book is The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks.”

Southlake's Chief of Police is "Mystery Reader" at Johnson Elementary School

Each week First Graders at Johnson Elementary School are treated to a very special mystery reader. The students have no idea who it’s going to be until the mystery reader walks in. This time it was our own Southlake Chief of Police Stephen Mylett.  The students were really excited to meet the Chief and he thoroughly enjoyed reading to the kids. “Education is so important to our young people.  I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to encourage students to read and learn as much as they can and hopefully influence them a positive way,” said Chief Mylett.

Chief Mylett read, “The Day in the Life of a Police Officer and Officer Buckle.”  The kids loved it and afterwards they were able to ask the Chief lots of questions. Chief Mylett also gave each student a Southlake Police Officer badge.

School teachers and administrators from Johnson Elementary said they really appreciated the Chief taking time out of his busy schedule for the kids.  The students also made “Thank you” cards for the Chief.  Here’s a big “Shout out” to the First Graders at Johnson Elementary!

First Graders at Johnson Elementary School

Johnson Welcomes New Trees

On October 25, Johnson Elementary School and PTO held a tree dedication ceremony to commemorate the arrival of two live oak trees. The trees were awarded through a grant sponsored by the Bob Jones Nature Center and the Alliance for Community Trees – People’s Garden Grant.  Teachers, parents and students attended the ceremony as well as officials from the city of Southlake, Southlake City Council Members, CISD Administration, CISD School Board, Bob Jones Nature Center and the Texas Forestry Service.

The two live oak trees were planted in the back of the school in the garden area and kindergarten courtyard. Our JES PTO Tree Poem winner, Sophie Platt, 2nd grade student in Mrs. Moss’ class, read her winning poem as part of the celebration.  An Arbor Day proclamation and the Tree City USA Designation for the City of Southlake was also highlighted during the event.  Receiving and planting these trees was a great way to show our support, not only for the beautification and improvement of our campus and the Southlake community, but also demonstrated the importance and the beauty of our natural surroundings.

Click here for more information about the event.

Tales from the Shelf: Favorite Reads from Dragon Librarians

Librarian Margo Rudder sits with JES kindergarten students

Carroll ISD’s theme for the 2012-13 school year is “Once Upon a Dragon”. It is a fairy tale theme with an emphasis on reading. Throughout the school year, Carroll ISD will provide news stories, events and feature articles from inside and outside the classroom that incorporate this theme.

Today, we interviewed Margo Rudder, librarian at Johnson Elementary School. She is also the Johnson Elementary School campus Teacher of the Year for 2011.

Question: “What is your favorite book?”

Rudder: “As a librarian, asking me what is my favorite book is like asking a mother who her favorite child is.  My feelings towards reading are best summed up by Harper Lee in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout says, “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” Like Scout, my passion for reading goes beyond love.”

Question: “What makes a particular book special?”

Rudder:  “Books with characters that make me laugh out loud like Down Girl from On The Road or Jon Scieszka’s autobiography, Knucklehead are favorites. Books with characters that make my heart break, like Rue from the Hunger Games or Comfort from Each Little Bird That Sings are favorites.  Books that compel me to turn the page to see what happens next like Surviving Antarctica and The Lightning Thief are favorites. Any time I get emotionally invested in a character, that book becomes a favorite.   Each is special to me for a different reason.”

Question:“What are some of your favorite books from childhood?”

Rudder assists students in the JES library

Rudder: “As a child I loved The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I often imagined myself in Narnia, talking to Mr. Tumnus, fighting alongside Lucy, Peter, Edmund, and Susan. I wept when Aslan died on the stone table and rejoiced when he came back to defeat the White Witch. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Pinocchio were also read repeatedly. I still have a great fondness for marionettes. As an adult, there are many that fit the favorite criteria: Little Women, Wuthering Heights, Pillars of the Earth, The Stand, Game of Thrones, Seabiscuit, and The Book Thief, just to name a few.”

Question: “Is it possible for a librarian to have just one favorite book?”

Rudder: “One favorite book? Not possible.  My dream is that before my students leave JES they will have a similar connection to reading that I did as a child, a connection that lets them access a book through their heart.”