Friday, February 27, 2009

Are you

...using my comments on your writing?

Greg did above. So did Billie below

and see how I noticed.

I think the person below understood last week too about effort and look at this week's!

Now, this person seems to have used my notes from last week and written a wonderful poem this week, and see how I can now give her new comments to think about. That's exactly what I want to be doing, adding on ideas to learn from.

Below I have a wonderful part of the poem from Brenna. Brenna has grown every week in poetry writing, and I appreciate that, but look how I had to circle last week's comment and then drop this week's grade.

Please, use my comment or ask about it if it's confusing. That is your responsibility.

Finally, we have Mitchell's poem. He also is coming alive. I love it, and this one a serious poem on a serious topic.

But, again, I had to circle caps two weeks in a row. Please! Understand or ask; that's your responsibility.

We have one more week of listing to write your poem. Even if you like the 2 sentence format, you're supposed to be trying the listing one. Now, if you're writing more than I require, okay, but keeping at last month's format is not all right.

Enjoy the weekend, get outside and do continue to read and finish your Depression Era book.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Five easy steps the Eiffel Tower....

with a little stop in England for a 'cuppa' tea....

(See the cup and saucer?)
before landing in France.

Do you see it in the background?

Your French moment brought to you by Mrs. Smith and Ashley.
Bon Soir!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


...again: the two parts to learning, the big picture or main idea and the details.Sometimes you're given the main idea and you add in the details as you go. Sometimes, you figure out the big picture as the details are given. Either way, you need both.

Reading Thank You, M'am today we, again, worked on those two concepts. You took notes on the story, but there should be, at the end, an idea that holds all those notes together.

When you can do that in any high school class, while reading a newspaper, watching a tv show, or listening to the news, you will be a student of life who can think and learn on your own.

Wow! You thought you were just reading a Langston Hughes story today! Who knew!?!

And, on Mardi Gras day, no less!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Knowing the name

...vs knowing something.(See last one of blog for a great simile.)

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.
Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988)
Are you still naming or are you knowing?And, are you developing a picture? The simile that makes your meaning come alive for the reader?

All by nature desire knowledge.

Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
, Metaphysics

Today's desire for knowledge is taking the form of review.

Today we're reviewing subjects from history, science and math: Colonial times, Native Americans, and the Revolutionary War; the universe; and measurements.

We're using List, group, label, which then moves us into 'The Important Thing About...'.

The detail of list and group gives us the meaning, the big picture, which, in turn, moves us into knowing what's important, the meaning, while using detail, the lists and groups, to develop that meaning. Kind of circular, yes? Yes!

In life the big picture and the detail go together. Through the detail we learn the meaning, and we then give others the big picture through the detail we use. See how that works? Can't really have one without the other.

So, what knowledge did you find today?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is it

...Marley and Me?

Call of the Wild?

The Lady and the Tramp?

Nope. It's Benny and his friend Emmett on vacation.

We go to the Adirondacks with friends every year. The last two years we've taken our dogs. They love it.

They actually get to go on another vacation together, up the lake to a camp called Camp Gregory. We go there in August.

For this year in the Adirondacks, there was some snow, so we could ski. Benny waited on the trail whenever he thought he had gotten too far ahead of me.

It was a bit crusty and someone had hiked right in the middle of the trail so there were some holes, but for the most part we did fine.

On our last day there, Wednesday, we had snow. That was the day we decided to traverse around one on the lakes. Of course, with the snow came wind, not the best day to be out in the open, but it was still terrific.

The good thing about skiing is when moving, one is warm.

We also played cards and sat around and talked and laughed. Emmett and Benny pretty much just slept at those times.

They did, probably twice or three times as many miles since they went back and forth and up and down and all around.

You can't tell from the pictures below, though, because I'm the one looking beat!

Benny also decided he didn't like the snowmobilers we shared the camp with. I didn't see it, but I guess he jumped out at one going by, hit the front, flipped and somersaulted before getting up and coming back into the cabin.

Needless to say, we kept him on a leash after that!

And this dog? This is Squeaketta, our friend's dog, who comes also, but she doesn't see herself as a dog, so we don't either. She's 15 and our diva dog.

And so, it was happy trails. Now? Waiting for spring.
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


...a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.
Herodotus, The Histories of Herodotus
Greek historian & traveler (484 BC - 430 BC)
I skied, laughed, played cards, treasure hunted, slept, read.

What did you do for relaxation over vacation?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Vocabulary, organizing

...and What Do You Know, oh my!

When students work with their teachers and move and do, so much can be done.

Today we continued with the vocabulary sentences,

doing so well, that I am upping the ante on the quiz (wow to you guys!); we listed, grouped and labeled for a possible poem; and then you continued on your own to add to your "What Do You Know", otherwise known as prior knowledge, or, your brain.

I like to see students focusing and concentrating on their own. That's a major step: to be able to learn and work on one's own.

Have a great break.

Ps. And, if you have time and money to get a movie? Jeff L. came down to tell me (again!) that the Depression era movie about the real life of a boxer is called Cinderella Man.