Thursday, March 22, 2007

giants of iron

I love this movie so much! I had forgotten how good it was since it has been awhile since I have seen it. I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am. Remember, fill out those sheets on it. I need you to really know those literary elements for the MAP test. Also, 7/8 hour, the essay questions are due after spring break. Work on them during the week you are off school!

Tomorrow we will finish the movie and do some more review before we exit for the lovely week off.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

iron man

The movie we are watching tomorrow and Friday was based on a long children's poem written by Ted Hughes, a former British poet laureate. He was also married to Sylvia Plath, a renowned American poet. It takes place in the past, but is still science fiction since there is a very definite message in there.

3/4 & 5/6: Today was a work day since we are watching the film tomorrow. Most of you got a lot done and several are completely finished with the projects. They are looking so fantastic! Remember that they are due the moment you return from spring break.

7/8: We talked about chapter 9. We also discussed Bilbo's luck, the importance of words, the use of magic, and I can't remember the last one (if anyone knows, comment me and tell me). I enjoyed talking about the different important events so far in the story. I am hoping to have many more discussions like this and like the Socratic seminar after the break. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

work day, shirk day

Today was mainly a work day for Bronx Masquerade projects and vocabulary. Some of you were slacking off a bit and that disturbs me. I expect to see spectacular things from you on your projects.

I forgot to hand back the ch. 4-7 vocab (7/8 hour), so the quiz will be Friday instead of tomorrow. I'll give you an extra day to work on it.

Don't forget to turn in your movie permission slips tomorrow!

Monday, March 19, 2007

the poetry of simon and garfunkel

Today was fun! In the regular classes, we listened to "I Am a Rock" because of Amy Moscowitz's poem from Bronx Masquerade - "Ode to Stone". We also found a whole bunch of figures of speech in it (the title for one). We also read "Richard Cory" and listened to "Richard Cory" discussing what they were about and what they said about life. We talked about the fact that material possessions and money do not buy happiness, especially not for Richard Cory. In challenge class, we talked about our wonderful Socratic seminar on Friday, went over the questions from chapter 8 and started reading chapter 9. For homework, you were to finish the chapter.

Remember that we are watching The Iron Giant on Thursday and Friday, so bring in the permission slip by Wednesday!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

socrates schmocrates

Friday was absolutely fantastic! We got a lot done in 3/4 hour and 5/6 hour. We read more of Bronx Masquerade and talked a bit about the third quarter grades. I am most excited about 7/8 hour, though.

We did our first Socratic seminar and it went to incredibly well! I was so impressed by the way you all discussed the two questions and some of the insights you had. It was so wonderful! I was especially happy with the fact that you took turns and were so darn polite with one another. That is something that has been missing in our classroom this year. It is good to know that it is possible. We may have to use that bear for the rest of the school year! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

March madness?

Today seemed hectic, but that may just have been because grades were due and I was behind. Overall, I am pleased with the grades for third quarter. I expected them to drop, but most of you managed to keep it up. I will be giving you a breakdown of how many people had what grades in each class tomorrow. We'll see how each class stacked up. Even those of you struggling mostly managed to keep your heads above water. I want to see you do more than that during our last months together!

We did different things in each class today, which also contributed to the hectic feel of the day.
3/4 hour: We took the Tungsten and I cannot wait to see your scores! I think everyone did really well on our last Tungsten test of the year.
5/6 hour: We covered hyperbole and I think most of you got it down. Those examples you came up with were so good, they seemed like they came from the smartest people in the world (my lame attempt at one myself). We also read a little of Bronx Masquerade. My goal is to finish it tomorrow or Monday, but we will see.
7/8 hour: We did vocab charades, which is so much fun! We also prepared for a Socratic seminar tomorrow and I just know you will do fantastic. Jessica and Jordan have a chance to show they are really tops in the class by leading the discussion. It will be so much fun!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

got those old tungsten blues again

Today two of the classes took our last Tungsten test of the year! From what I saw, the scores were fantastic! We also had some questions to do along with the Tungsten passages to practice some more for the MAP test. We will continue to do more practice in these last few weeks before the test.
Tomorrow, 3/4 hour will take the Tungsten and do constructed response questions. Whatever time is left will be devoted to project work. I know you guys will do well!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

masquerading as a work day

Today was extremely productive! I was so impressed with all the work I witnessed - definitely not a masquerade. In the regular classes, you guys got so much done on your Bronx Masquerade projects. I can't wait to read what you guys are writing! In challenge class, I let you spend some time working on the vocabulary that is due tomorrow. It was difficult because the page numbers listed were based on a different edition of the book and I heard lots and lots of complaints about that. But you were able to figure it out since it was only a page or two off most of the time and many of you got close to finishing it. I was disappointed at the number of you who hadn't even started it. I gave it out on Friday, people!

Remember, no late work during fourth quarter! Get that stuff in to me on time!

Monday, March 12, 2007

so sue me...

Okay, okay, okay...I know I have been really bad about keeping this up-to-date during second semester. I also know that I have promised a couple of times to do better, but this time I mean it...really. Fourth quarter has begun and we are finishing poetry in the regular classes and working through The Hobbit in challenge class. I have been having a blast with these two subjects since I love poetry and science fiction/fantasy.

In regular classes: Today we looked at Nikki Grimes's website with the mobile lab and learned more about her. I had a good time with it. We were also going to take an online quiz to find out your learning styles, but the website wasn't working. Try it from home and let me know the results! Go here for the inventory quiz. I also introduced the projects you will be doing with Bronx Masquerade. Tomorrow will be a work day for it, so make sure you use that time wisely!

In challenge class: Today we spent some more time on riddles - they are so much fun and so difficult! You guys did a great job on them and I am impressed! We also read most of chapter 7, where they go to visit Beorn and ingeniously trick him into letting them all come in by telling the riveting story of their journey so far. You need to finish chapter 7 and read chapter 8 tonight. Also, your questions are due for chapters 6-7 tomorrow. Don't forget about the vocab due Wednesday. We will act out the words to see if you really know them.

I think this quarter will be the best! We are doing some of my favorite activities! I am excited for it all and I hope you are too.