Saturday, September 12, 2009


Okay.....Sometimes I am NOT very bright...aarrrghhh!

I created a new blog yesterday thinking I would use it as a "subscribe only" blog for my students and their parents to see photos, et cetera of things we do at school.
Well, today I spent an inordinate amount of time creating a new post with the above title for what I thought was THIS blog......but it wasn't, it was my NEW blog. The students and parents don't know about the blog because I was still "toying' with the idea of exactly what and how and even IF I really wanted to do that.
Anyway, today's blog may be found at

It actually looks better on my new blog:(


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Okay, Lovely Readers, I need help!
It has been mandated by the powers that be at our school that every grade has to write a term paper. In the junior high and high school, the English classes have first semester; the history classes have second semester. (I plan to begin sometime in October.)
Not only must they have a written paper, but it must be such that it can be developed into a power point or smart board presentation also...aarghhh! ....They will receive 2 for the paper; one for the presentation.

My problem: I need about 35 suggestions for possible topics.
(I have 32 eighth graders, and I would like for them each to have a different topic.)
These topics need to be able to sustain four or five sources. Oh, and did I mention that these term papers are to be written in MLA format?
Have a Lovely Day!

Monday, September 7, 2009


My eighth graders keep what I call a Quote Journal.
I set a timer for 10 minutes at the beginning of every class period during which they copy the quote of the day from the board and write a two-paragraph response...
Their first paragraph should tell what they think the quote means. The second paragraph should give an example of how the quote applies to their lives.
When the timer "dings", we discuss the quote as a class during which time they may add to their responses as they see fit in order to get the required 75 words.

Last year I decided to change it up a little by giving them an Unjournaling once or twice a week. The students loved it!
They were having fun AND developing creative writing skills along with increasing their vocabulary.

Great book!

Includes entries such as ........
Write a story about a girl named Dot,
but you may use NO letters with dots over them...i.e. no Ii's or Jj's.
This is harder than you might think and forced them to think "outside the box" as they tried to think of other words that meant the same but had no I or j in it. For example, the word said. They had to use retorted or yelled, etc, etc.
They were using the thesaurus and the dictionary to find words:)
My students are a pretty competitive bunch, so each one was trying to have the best story with the best words:)
On another day we did this one:
Write a good sentence consisting entirely of three-syllable words.
(You may use the articles a, an, the.)
and this one:
Write a paragraph that twenty words with double vowels.
Examples: poodle, peep, needle

and this one:
Write a good sentence in which every word begins with a letter from the word "sentence" in the same order as the letters in "sentence"....
Example: the first word in your sentence would begin with "s", the second word would begin with "e", the third with "n", etc.
Isn't this fun?!
And then sometimes on Mondays, we just have plain old "FREE WRITING":)
Write freely now to your heart's desire
the number of words that I require:)

Have a Lovely Day!

P.S. Pictured below is their Homework Board: