Monday, January 22, 2007

alliteration always alleviates anger

Today was pretty good. Regular classes read up to chapter 8 in the novel. Some mysterious coincidences have been arising. If you can think of some, comment them here!

Challenge class learned about and identified alliteration in poems and then we wrote our own poems with alliteration. Many of them were quite inspired.

Tomorrow regular classes will look at what makes something a piece of art and challenge class will continue to study figures of speech. Pretty cool! :)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

mystery schmystery

We continuing the novel in my regular classes and learning more about Petra and Calder. Friday we spent a lot of time working on the MLK poster and essay. I am so impressed with the ones I have already seen. You guys really worked hard on this. If you are entering the contest, I need your form tomorrow.

My challenge class also worked on the poster and essay. Then we played Taboo. I love that game and you guys are getting a lot better at it. The key is thinking around the object - "thinking outside the box," which is your specialty.

This week regular classes with continue the novel and try to decide what makes something a work of art. Challenge class will continue with poetry, moving on to alliteration, hyperbole, and personification.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

pentomino fun

Today the regular classes continued reading the novel and we have gotten through chapter 5. We also read the paragraph descriptions of the objects and had fun guessing what they were. Some of you did an excellent job describing them!

In challenge class, we covered some heavy stuff, but you guys did great asking questions. I hope that eventually all of you were able to understand. We talked about the idea that language affects how we see the world and how we behave. For example, how we label things affects what we think of them. I enjoyed the discussion!

All classes got some time to work on the poster and essay due tomorrow. The ones I have seen are so wonderful! You guys have really done fabulously and I can tell you really understand what diversity and togetherness are all about! :)

mysterious poetry

Okay, guys. This week has been busy for me, but I will do better at updating this. Really. :)

This week we have started new, but different, adventures in all classes. It is so neat! We are beginning to study some of my favorites!

My regular classes have begun to study mystery stories and are reading Chasing Vermeer. We are really getting into the puzzles in the book, as well as the playing with the pentominoes. Some of you have already gotten a twelve-piecer! Excellent! We are going to continue with the novel, but also look at what makes something a piece of art.

My challenge class has begun poetry and figures of speech. I love the poems you have already written. We have been focused on simile and metaphor this week, which can be tricky. Remember - NOUN VERB NOUN, NOT NOUN VERB ADJECTIVE! You are comparing something to something else, not describing it!

Okay, okay. You guys are so talented. I know the rest of the year is going to be fabulous. Keep it up! :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

text support

I know today wasn't the most fun, but this is all designed to help you be successful in the future, even beyond the MAP test. We began our weekly MAP preparation and most of you seemed to do pretty well on it. Remember to echo the question, stay within the margins, and use at least three examples from the text to support your answer and you will be just fine. We will be doing this every Wednesday, so be prepared.

Tomorrow we will be starting Devil's Arithmetic. I can't wait! :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

we're back!

Sorry, guys! I got lazy just before and after break. I will try to update regularly here on out.

This week we are celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday by learning about his life and work, as well as many of the other important people in the Civil Rights Movement. We watched a biography of MLK today and completed a KWL chart, detailing what we knew about him, wanted to learn about him, and learned about him. I even learned some things from that video!

We are also going to learn about other times in history during which people treated each other horribly based on arbitrary things like the color of their skin or their religion. Later this week we will be watching The Devil's Arithmetic, a wonderful film about the Holocaust. Some of you have read the book and I hope you are not disappointed by the movie - it is really quite good.

Also, I uploaded the memory box podcasts to the podcast manager on my website. Check them out and tell me what you think! :)