Thursday, April 30, 2009


... and poems.

Look at these poems, some with titles and some without:

Now, the absolute best title of the week? Rocks or Rivers. Read it and tell me Jess hasn't pulled out the BEST idea. Wow!

Eyeing by John is pretty darn good too. And, Talking? Well, it's the acrostic so I would have liked something else, but it works, just like the Monster one did too and the Bath one or Summer.

How about these? They're good poems; what titles would you give them?
Read last week's comments on poems, especially the yellow poster that was up in my room where you handed in your poem this week, and tell me you can't do a title.

So, the titles?

Last chance next week to do what I ask. Looking forward to it!

Ps. One of the labels is synthesis for this post because you're putting your thoughts all together and finding the main image or idea.....and like the poster said? You can do that with your essays too. It's a great skill to have: to be able to pick out the main idea.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Similes, names

...and more. Yes, I have graded the "Important thing about..." Many were so good I'm putting them up outside my door but not on here. I just can't get them all scanned!

I have put four that started and continued right into their second paragraph with the simile. See below how they did it.

These four were Emilie, Daphne, Chris and Jake.

Then we have all that came up with similes: the visual for the reader to understand what you're seeing, or instead of calling it a simile, it's the everyday, common image that people can connect to.

Check out the names and similes

Kaitlyn, like telling a story
Dana, like a pizza
Kaylean, like a movie in your head
Philip, like cooking
Sam, like the structure of a house
Loren, like a banana split
Steveen, like a spine
Mitchell, like plans for a house
Brittany, like a fairy tale
Cheyenne, like Travis without Old Yeller
Carmen, like my life packaged up into a novel
Kenny, like a chain, not a brick
Jenna, like a banana split-no good without the banana
Sara, like a part of a machine
Joel, like a spider's web
Jessie, like a boy becoming an adult
Brenna, like a bike with small things keeping it together
Jeremy, like a fairy tale
Andy, like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly
Dustin, like a skeleton

When such vivid and everyday images are used, you are helping the reader to see exactly what you mean. If you use this as a study guide and review sheet for next year, you'll have a terrific image to bring it all back to your mind, say when you study at the end of the year.

And, now, here are the people whose papers went up outside my room. Stop by and read some!

Sam R.
Jenna Z.
Sam K.
Sam H.

I am pleased that so many are beginning to see the whole picture: the main idea, the visual and the details that make it all come together. Those skills will stand you in good stead when in high school and out in the world. Great!

Now, it's the poems to grade and the themes of OY yet to do. Get cracking, Bassette!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pleasure reading

... and more plaids.

Nate's mom reminded me of how much her son had read this year. The chart is below.

And, now I say, look at how many students read so much this year. Some read triples too.

And, I'm betting some haven't even kept up on their charts because they have found the pleasure is in the reading, not the stickers. Now, that's what I call wonderful.

For readers, like Ralph Waldo Emerson, who we studied and who read what he wanted and not necessarily what teachers wanted him to read, good readers often realize that so much learning is happening in the reading. And, that is sooooooooooooooooooo true.

I look at the chart and some are readers who also do all their work, but some are students who listen and learn and read but who don't always end up getting their assignments in. It's not good for my gradebook, but in the end, they're learning....and isn't that why we're here? So, you can learn?

Keep up the reading, and know that most of the writing is finished for out-of-class this year. 2 poems, one due tomorrow (see blog below) and 3 DBQs that will be started in class and finished at home, with a book report and writing on The Diary of Anne Frank, well, that's it.

Keep learning. Life goes on and we want lifelong plaid?

Themes and

...stories from acrostics: the end of a year of poetry.

We started way back in November, with a unit on how to write poetry, dividing to lines, thinking of caps and punc, using terms and creating titles.
We have added in wrapping of lines and editing to the most succinct wording.

Some have learned and done so much, like Joel's above, one this week that puts it all together. Allison does it all too.
Or, below, Sam and Cheyenne's who both used phrases, not just a word- wow!

And, then others below, who do such a good job, but forget to have the best, best title they can. Remember the directions?

So, what would you title these wonderful poems?

Or, these?2nd poem due tomorrow.
Please do try wrapping, where the thought continues to next line, like Kylene's below.

Can't wait!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It was a

...plaid and fun fashion Monday!

But, no one called me!! (thanks for the phone pic of our tshirt, though!)

Saturday, April 25, 2009


...beautiful out! I've done my suduko and am now trying to motivate. Benny and I still have to walk.

I hope you're all out enjoying this weather.

What's on your agenda?

Friday, April 24, 2009


...been a tough week, but here we are at the end.

And, there's been some good out of it. I have started to both grade the poems that came in this week and the essays you wrote today. Some are very good. I hope to finish them this weekend (if I can come in out of the sun!!) and get posts on with examples of great poems and essays.

You then write for me again on Monday.

I leave you for the weekend with a picture of Jake,

who finished his essay and quietly went into reading his WWII book, all on his own. So many have grown into fine students this year. I can be proud of the growth, effort and gains you have made. Thanks!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Here home today with a daughter who has a stomach bug.

How'd you do with your reading comp? Did you bring in your reading book? Did you behave? Here's hoping you did. Use this day to show me you can behave when the cat's away.

Tomorrow you write on the structure of a novel. I put up a sheet (under the flag) on how you could take the format of "The important thing about..." and turn it into a highly developed paper---like Adonica did last time.

Looking forward to seeing you all ... and having more wild and crazy discussions with 5th....who has to still go over the themes yet!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


...head here.

Boy, did I need my Stress Reduction Kit today!

I think we peaked with Larry (yes, Larry!) in 5th who connected my 'The important thing about novels' to House and pieces of literature other than books. Wow! That guy was paying attention to me this unit. Thanks to him and all who did.

Steps to Friday's assignments:
Read the post I put on this morning (it's down below).
Fill in page 105.
Write what you need to know about a novel in general.
Use Old Yeller as examples for anything you write about novels in general.
Decide what simile you're going to use on Friday, comparing a novel's structure to... what?
Figure out how you'll organize your essay or poem on Friday.
Come in Friday with a pen, paper, and a brain ready to use.
It will be due at the end of the period.
No breathing grade.

By the end of the day students have said that terms, major conflicts, minor conflicts and themes go into making the structure of a novel.

There, I've given you lots of help.

Now, think on your own and do the rest. Use Old Yeller as your detail, examples of anything you write!

This week's

writing assignment is due Friday at the end of the period. You'll be writing in class on Friday ... with it due at the end of the period.

You are doing another "The Important Thing..." writing, but I will really be looking for specific detail. I had you read the blog post of awhile ago about adding detail. Today I am trying to show you how to add that detail in.

You will be writing about 'the structure of a novel' as your important topic.

The structure of a novel means how the novel is set up or made. I have tried to show you that in both the short story unit, using specific stories to show how certain terms are more important than others. In the novel, I've used Old Yeller to show how a novel is developed.

Old Yeller is the detail that you will use to make the general ideas come alive.

Using my chart and the info you have in your notes, you should be able to focus in on how a novel is developed and have specific details from Old Yeller to make your points.

Good luck thinking and organizing your thoughts. Come in ready to write!

Monday, April 20, 2009


...and runnng back into teaching, finally.

It took all day, but I'm awake and back into the swing of things.

Some came back with haircuts, some with more maturity and some came back just like we hadn't been gone (John, John, John!). It was good seeing all of you again. Now, let's finish out Old Yeller and move into history: The Diary of Anne Frank for reading and DBQs for writing. I was also so pleased with how many read their WWII books over the vacation. Thanks!

Tomorrow it's vocab and OY. See you then.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


...into the vacation. I'm reading the paper, having my first cup of coffee, and I look down, and there are our two characters relaxing together (probably keeping an eye on eachother!)I hope all of you are looking this content.

As Loren says, though, I don't know if I have to picture any of you this content!!

Tommy really knows how to let it all hang out!

I think Benny is just waiting, pretty patiently for him, for me to take him for a walk.

Whatever you're waiting to do, enjoy the time off and get out and have fun!