Tuesday, October 31, 2006

halloween fun

Today was neat! We watched the Disney version of Legend of Sleepy Hollow with narration and songs courtesy Bing Crosby. We talked about the mood of it and how it accomplishes the spooky feeling.

I also scared you guys something awful with a fake car commercial! That was so cool!

And we did fun spooky mad libs, which were hilarious. You guys are getting so good - I barely ever have tom remind you what the parts of speech are anymore! :)

Have fun and be safe tonight!

Monday, October 30, 2006

messing with fate - not a good idea when animal appendages are involved

Today two classes read The Monkey's Paw and watched the Simpsons take on the story (the Simpsons have a take on everything!). We talked about the similarities and differences between the story and the Simpsons clip. The other, middle, class read Legend of Sleepy Hollow and we ran out of time to talk about it. It was way too difficult and long and I realized this after we were really far into it. So, I summarized sections of it for you and then finished it. In the end, when he was being chased by the headless horseman (Galloping Hessian) it got really exciting.

We also reviewed the expectations for classroom behavior because some of you have forgotten that you aren't supposed to talk while I'm talking...you know who you are...
And we talked about the upcoming intruder drill and what to do if there is a stranger in the building. I think we're pretty safe in my room because there is no window in the door.

Tomorrow, in honor of Halloween, we will be silent reading the entire class period - just kidding! You will find out what we are doing when you get there, but remember that your projects are due! 400 points!

Friday, October 27, 2006

the business of business letters

Today was a work day and most of you got a lot done! I got the mobile lab so that you guys could type your business letters and any of the projects. I think most of you are doing extremely well on the projects. I think about seven or eight of you have even already turned them in to me. Excellent!

Remember that the typed business letter and take-home test are due Monday. The projects are due Tuesday. 5/6 and 7/8 hour, the podcast scripts are due Wednesday. We will record them on Thursday. :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

epistolary fun!

Today 3/4 hour had some time to work on projects. The due date is quickly approaching (Tuesday) so we all need to get a move on!

5/6 and 7/8 hour worked on their podcasts, which will be available on my Lindbergh website for a listen late next week. Don't miss 'em! I also started reading the book, Griffin and Sabine to them. This is an epistolary novel or a novel written in the form of letters and it is a rather interesting one in that the letters are actual letters in envelopes that you can take out and unfold to read. There are also many postcards with beautiful and haunting artwork. It is going to be such fun to read and view.

Tomorrow we will spend some time working on our business letters. We will also read more of the story.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

this place is a ZOO!

Today we went to the ZOO! It was so much fun! I enjoyed getting to see you guys and talk to you outside of school. It was great.

I decided to extend your deadline on the take-home open-book test to Friday, so it is due at the beginning of the hour on Friday.

Tomorrow we will work on business letters. 7/8 hour will work on podcasts. I will also read to you guys - a new story called Griffin and Sabine.

I am going to the choir concert tonight and it is going to be wonderful! :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Today we spent some time reflecting on the previous quarter. I had you guys fill out self-evaluations and let me know what has helped you the most in your reading and writing. I also handed out a take-home open-book test on Witch of Blackbird Pond worth 50 points. It is due Thursday. Finally, some of you worked on your business letters and we will continue with that the rest of the week.

Tonight I went to the orchestra concert and I must say that you guys were amazing. So wonderful! I also loved the costumes!

Tomorrow we are going to the ZOO! It is going to be a blast! My 8th hour needs to remember to check in with me by the sea lions at 11:30 and to meet at the south entrance at 1:00 to depart. There are consequences if you are late, so be on time!

Monday, October 23, 2006

that sounds like witch talk to me...

Today was fun! We watched three videos. One long one about the Salem witch trials to put some more historical perspective on the novel we just finished (or are finishing) and two silly shorter ones to show how popular culture has grabbed onto the story.

We also talked about grades and I handed out a "final" grade printout. I will accept any late work tomorrow and tomorrow only. I am entering grades tomorrow after school.

Also after school, I plan to attend the orchestra concert. If there are any other events that I should know about and attend (choir, band, stamp collecting expo), let me know.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

go cards!

Today we played a game for the first part of class since you guys were so good with the sub last week. It was fun! And I learned some things about you guys that I didn't know. We also read some more of the novel (3/4) and will finish it on Monday. The other classes got time to work on their projects. Some of you have even turned them in! Excellent work! :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Word redux

Today was so much fun! We listened to another chapter of the novel and will be finishing it tomorrow. One class took a quiz instead. But most of the hour was spent with Mrs. Hunt's class learning the basics of Microsoft Word. Now we are all on the same page and should be able to do everything we need to when typing papers. We learned centering, double spacing, saving, and keyboard shortcuts. We were also reminded about how much I hate the grammar check and how it doesn't know what it is talking about! If you need another copy of the pretty purple sheet, let me know. :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kit...a witch?

Today we read another chapter of the novel. It is really getting exciting! I wonder what is going to happen to Kit! Remember to read the chapter at home. We should be able to finish the novel by the end of the week. You should also be working on your projects at home. They are due on October 31st!

We also did some work with verbs (it's more than just what you do). We talked about states of being verbs and infinitives and how English is screwy in how it forms infinitives (with "to" in front of the main verb). We compared the "to be" conjugation with Spanish and then we brainstormed some wonderful movement verbs. No more "walk" and "run"...bo-oring! We now can flip, slither, trudge, and creep.

Tomorrow is an early release day and we will be doing something special with the laptops and Mrs. Hunt's class. It's a surprise! :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

projects work part 3

I got an awesome report from the substitute - so, way to go, guys! For that, I am giving you no homework tonight and we will do something fun at the beginning of class on Friday! :)

Today we spent most of the day working on projects. Most of you are doing very well and have plenty of points. Remember that they are all due on Halloween, but you can turn them in earlier if you want to do so.

We also reviewed Tungsten and most of you saw where you were making mistakes. Remember that if you get a high enough score or improve by at least 20 points you get a homework pass.

Tomorrow we will continue with the novel and work on some more vocabulary.

Friday, October 13, 2006

friday the 13th?!?

Hey guys! I was home sick today and I would have missed you except I was sleeping! I left plans for you to continue with the book, work on vocabulary, and take a quiz (not in that order). I hope you were all good for the substitute (I'm looking at you, Sam - jk).

Yesterday we took the Tungsten and I am so happy about the scores! Most of you improved so much from September and I think those reviews we had really helped.

Next week we will be finishing the business letters and continuing with the novel. Remember to work on those projects this weekend. I will be checking your progress on Monday and you all should have at least 200 points finished.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

tungsten review

Today we went over some strategies for answering the questions on the test. We will be taking the Tungsten tomorrow and I hope this will help you do better on it. We also went to the library since it will be closed tomorrow and Friday to get the new shelving in. 7/8 hour - We spent some time talking about dialects and how people talk in different parts of the country (and right here in St. Louis). I had a lot of fun with that and I hope you guys found it interesting too!

Remember, get lots of sleep and be ready for the test tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

love trapezoids?

We read some more of Witch of Blackbird Pond and it is starting to get complicated with all of the people who like each other. I love it! I do hope it all works out for everyone. We also started our business letters. I can't wait to read what you are writing to everyone! It is so much fun!

Tomorrow we will do some more preparing for the Tungsten. We will also try and read some more of the book. I can't wait to read what happens next!

Monday, October 09, 2006

reviewing tungsten

Today we went over some of the Tungsten questions you guys missed last month in preparation for taking the October test on Thursday. Some of you worked in small groups, some of the review was as a class. After we were finished, I gave you some time to work on your projects. Too many of you are waaaay behind and need to get a move-on with those. Remember - they are due on Halloween.

Tomorrow we will be reading more of the novel and working on our business letters. Hooray!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

party like it's 1687 - question 6

How would the story be different if it were set in a different time? How would it be different if it were set in the present, future?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

projects work part 2

Today was our second work day for the projects. Most of you are doing a fantastic job using the time in class wisely. Remember that if you do not, you will lose the time. I will be checking your progress on Monday, so be sure you get some done over the weekend. My 3/4 & 5/6 hours should have at least 80 points finished. My 7/8 hour should have at least 100 points finished. Remember that all of the projects are due October 31st.

Enjoy your day off tomorrow! I will be thinking of you while I sit in meetings. :p

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

question time - "question" 5

Now it is time for you all to submit some questions of your own. They must be about the novel, Witch of Blackbird Pond. What are you wondering about? What do you want to bring up? This is the place to ask. This is a requirement for the class. So, let's go! :)

love triangles

Today we read some more of Witch of Blackbird Pond and discovered some interesting things about the story. I truly hope it is getting more interesting for all of you! Now Mercy likes John Holbrook (who Judith likes) and Kit is hanging around with Nat Eaton when she is supposed to be dating William Ashby. I think there will be some explosions soon!

Starting tomorrow, I will have you all submit questions to me on here. I will make a post inviting you to ask your questions (required). Then I will invite everyone to answer the questions and truly have a discussion. Yay!

We also started working on business letters today. Be thinking about recipients for your letters!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

meeting the witch at blackbird pond...

Today we continued reading the book and took a look at how the author created her characters. We also had a little time to work on projects (5/6 hour). The story is starting to get really good, I think!

Tomorrow we will start working on our business letters and continue reading a little bit in the novel. :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

projects work

Today was a work day for the Witch of Blackbird Pond projects. For the most part, you guys got a lot done on the projects. There were only a few that were not using their time. Make sure you use it or you will lose it!

Tomorrow we will spend some time going over the characters and how the author developed them. We will also read the next chapter.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

witchy projects

Friday I introduced the projects you need to be working on in the coming weeks. They are all due October 31st. This assignment is worth 400 points, a third of your grade for 2nd quarter. You need to be certain that you've done enough of them to get you an "A". We also read some more of the novel.

Monday we will take some time to work on the projects and clarify any questions you have about the novel.