Friday, February 29, 2008

Goin' Green is Catchin' On!

Two teachers today did the drawings, one for the two we were doing and then an extra because the teachers thought an 8th grader should win one too- since they're so enthusiastic! Three went out and four new ones went up. It's a great way to start the last day of the week. I do want to be better about catching the students wearing the tees they win. So, if you win and wear it, tell me, or if you see another student wearing the one that he/she won, tell me. Thanks!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The day is done.

A good reading day for many of you. And, some of you decided to work on your essay. That was okay too.

I also want to comment on how many people are taking responsibilty for things due. Here in February I do not believe it is up to me to remind students of what is due. It's up on my board all week--usually in two places! We go over it on Monday, and this week I even had students tell for the class what we needed to be aware of. With that, I specifically did not remind you of the poem on Tuesday or the reading comp. for today. Yet, most had them. Thank you.

As Mrs. Morey says in such a calmer and quieter voice than mine, "You should be writing your assignments down on your paper [or planner]." Please do. On Monday. Then, look at it nightly! Be responsible.

Today's sentences did seem to come better for more people. I look forward to the day when students (and they will; this is new) come in prepared with a sentence. See the pattern.

Reading day for you and me? A catch up day....

... so let's start with some great pics that Jenna took of 8th graders! Thanks Jenna (don't forgot the boys! They're real posers too!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A tough, but great story...and poems

"The Tell Tale Heart" is a perfect example of why literature can stand the test of time. Many end up believing whatever the servant tells us--that he stood for an hour, that the lantern shown only on the evil eye, that the old man's heart would be heard by the neighbors; that the old man's heart was beating...after he had been killed and cut up. Whatever I have taught in the past could have come out in the questions you came up with. Thank you. And, thanks to 8th period for doing three examples as a class and having me write them on the board. I remembered to take a pic of the first and third. It's easy to see that a good, developed and organized paragraph can be done in 5 sentences, but that 10 details can be gotten in too. Good thought with organization and development makes for some terrific writing.

I have graded three sets of the poems. You all do terrific work with this format. Putting me in the game, in your day, in the sport you love: it's all there. I should be getting them on the blog tomorrow. I have to finish grading and then I'll get them on here.

More work with sentences today. Thank yous to Chris, Tyler and Ricky who were definitely into what I am trying to show. It's all about the patterns; get the pattern of where a word fits in and you have it--even to the point of then being able to change the structure a little--thank you Tyler for that one!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday: conversing and vocab, looking back and The Tell Tale Heart, a reading

I loved all the info about the pyramids! The numbers, the connections, the observation. Then, take a look at the drawings: some not just drawings but the adding in of detail. Scott put the brick with the tons but added in a person to have comparison. We had a pyramid to how they did it to how tall and wide. Wow!! Excellent conversing and drawing.

The sentences went well today also. Some are seeing that there are similar patterns to words or uses. That's not 'cheating'. That's the word.

It is uncanny.... We will meander...
I will have vengeance...
It is improbable...

The sentences tend to follow along the same formats because that's how words fit in sentences. Watch over the next few days as we make them and you read them. Words aren't a mystery; they just have their place and once you know it, they make sense!

Wow!! What a great week this will be if you see that.

I hope all enjoyed the reading of "The Tell Tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe. I will be on the couch with my sudokus early tonight, beat! Speaking of sudokus, all mine went out to be used. Enjoy them; bring them back and get more. Maybe Mrs. Morey will count them, but if not, hey, I do mine for fun every night-- no grade, just fun.

Tomorrow you develop a fact-filled paragraph off the questions you came up with today. Looking forward to that. And, the poems: everyone is remembering? Hope so!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mondays after vacation--ugh! say many, but I say, hey, we're in it again. I've got a pic of all the sentences we ended up doing for the day, and a pic of the spelling words. I also put on the space conversing poster. I'm looking forward to seeing what was conversed and drawn for the pyramids. At the end of the year, you'll be amazed how much you remember from the conversing about each one. One student, thank you Brandon, already has his poem and essay in. Wow! Love it!
See you tomorrow for drawing and questions about a great short story, "The Tell Tale Heart".

Back and sp/vocab with a poem and an essay

I'm back and so are you, but many are looking like they're not. I wish I could ipod you all into my voice. You might listen better!!

We are trying conversing and drawing today with the reading comp. I'm also trying to make the vocab words come more alive for you. It is true what I say: vocabulary makes the intelligent person. Unfortunately, not many of you care about that now. Many will in the future, and some might never care. That will be the sad part. It is my job to figure out how to make words exciting for you. I'll keep trying. Today we're putting sentences on the board of vocab we know of that are this week's words. (You can tell my Sunday School schooling with the text to text on vengeance!!)

I did hand back the essays and poems from before vacation. Hopefully you'll look at the comments and improve on them. Many of you are growing in so many ways. Keep pushing yourselves to do the best you can. It will only make high school (and the world beyond) easier for you.

You also need to finish your Depression era books by Monday of next week. Please do. We'll be doing a DBQ to connect your writing into history. Looking forward to that; I hope you are also.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Road Trip!

My husband and I have just decided, after going back and forth, to go to the bball game at Walton. What a distance. But, high school bball at its best is the best. So, forget the dishes, the kids and the work to be done, we're outta here!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Back from Vacation

I hope all are enjoying vacation. We left Saturday morning and were able to do a short ski Saturday around the camp. Sunday I did 3 skis and then it rained and turned everything to ice. You should have seen me yelling at Benny for barking and trying to get to him. He has 4 legs and at times I only had one, since one of mine was flying up into the air as I was going down!!
But, we had a great time and now I'm back, excited about finishing the short story unit and moving on to Old Yeller.

I know many of you know the story of Old Yeller, and that's actually good because we will be tearing it apart like we did the stories so we can see how a good novel is written. We will also be doing the question and drawing while adding in the other two. I think so many of you are becoming better readers and thinkers with these tactics (converse, connect, question and draw). If you engage your whole mind when reading you can get so much more out of it.

I am reading a book about Burma, the British occupation, and a piano tuner. It's difficult going but I like getting a feel for history through novels. I then go to Google to read more sites about that time if I'm really interested. You don't think you're the only one to learn through reading, did you?!?!?

Can't wait for the next set of poems. I'll be handing back the essays and poems on Monday to get you back into writing.

Be sure and vote on your choice of unit for the end of the school year. I will try to go with it if enough vote.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I just responded to a nice comment from a student who studied. I know that there were ones who did. Thank you to those who did.

Read your Depression era books. Enjoy the weather and vacation and so will I. I've got a few books I hope to get through.

I will also, at some point, come on and go over the teaching poems, although I think that they are fairly self-explanatory. There was excellent content. I would have just done a bit more editing. And, who knows? It's not to say I'm right. Poetry is very, very personal. Don't anyone think I know the answers. All I ask is that you've followed the directions, worked them to the best of your ability, and then reworked them and done a final draft quality. I can't ask for anything more than that. As General Patton said, (paraphrased) "Do the best you can and no one can ask for more than that."


A short message on Sp/vocab...

...they were (pretty much) awful today!!!

Sp/vocab is about doing what one should, not about being able to spell or knowing words. It's straight memorization.
Sure, you can do a whole lot more with it, but I just want you to care about words. Not many of you do.
After vacation we will get back to weekly sp/vocab. Please, to be a student, you have to put in what is necessary. In this case enough time to study. Yes, I have a few who have trouble with this, but not many.

For most, you just don't care to study. How sad. A good vocabulary divides the intelligent from the not. Which do you want to be?
Please, study!! (sheesh! what a way to start a vacation!)

Poems for teaching.

9th's poems

8th's poems

5th's poems