Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Student Share


Hoof Prints
By Kristin

Pure tranquility,
Nature’s calm,
Beast and human as one.

Balletic movement,
Effortless aids,
Piaffe and tempis,
Tempo and leg.

Muscles aching,
Sweat from the sky,
Thoughts rushing in.

Beautiful job, Kristin!

Friday, December 14, 2012

For Sandy Hook Elementary


Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-By W. H. Auden

What a sad day for our country.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Measuring the Universe


Here is a cool movie to show your students when learning about measurement, or even statistics!

Starting as an empty white room, Roman Ondak’s Measuring the Universe at Tate St. Ives has grown through the contribution of around 90,000 participants to a constellation of black marks.

For more information about Roman Ond├ík and Measuring the Universe, visit MoMA.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Online Presentation Programs


This week in Comp Lit, we are learning about presentation software like PowerPoint and Impress. If you are working on a class project, there are many interactive online programs like Prezi and Glogster... and they are free! Check out the presentations below. These autobiography book reports were created by my English students last year.

Anne Frank Timeline by Kennedy
View more PowerPoint from rsol68

Anne Frank by Alyssa

 Nikola Tesla by Logan

Excellent work!

If you create an online presentation, send it my way and I will post it here!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Epic Characters


The Pirate... The Magic Cow... The Ringmaster...

Sounds like an epic tale!

I found this postcard at Cabanon Press and thought it might come in handy. 

When you look at these images, you just can't help thinking up 
a great story.

If you were going to write an epic tale,
what three characters would you choose?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Teens + Digital Media


As a "teen between the ages of 13-17"...
What are your thoughts on the information posted above?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Six-Word Memoirs


When looking for juicy tidbits of writing wisdom, I came across a funny site called Six-Word Memoirs. As you are learning about and writing your own memoirs this semester, I thought this was only fitting!

Okay, so here's the deal. Can you come up with a memoir in only 6 words? I believe you can! Think of an event in your life. Perhaps it is something that happened to you today. Now explain the moment in six words.

Here are a few samples from the site's archives
to get you warmed up to the idea:

Relaxing with the family. So cozy. 

Dressed up today, I love compliments.  

A blank paper is my enemy.

Broken iPod means a broken life. 

You get the picture. Bring on your six-word memoirs, people!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

50 Teen-Approved Novels


The following 50 books (and series) were enthusiastically recommended by the high school freshman in my homeroom class. If you are a fan of young adult fiction, print out this list and take it with you to the library or your favorite bookstore. This list may also come in handy as you do your holiday shopping!

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Acceleration by Graham McNamee
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Beauty by Bill Walace
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Build Your Self Esteem by Glenn Harrold
Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima 
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Gone by Michael Grant
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Haunting Tales by Mary Downing Hahn
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
Lady Grace Mysteries by Grace Cavendish
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkien
Magyk by Angie Sage
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
Penguin Anthology of 20th Century Poets by Rita Dove
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Connan Doyle
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Surviving Hitler by Andrea Warren
The 39 Clues by Gordon Korman
The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 
The Rangers Apprentice by John Flanagan
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Secret and The Magic by Rhonda Byrne
The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John
The Wrecker by Clive Custler
Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Warriors by Erin Hunter
What I Saw and How I Lied By Judy Blundell
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
William series by Richmal Crompton
Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sharing is Caring


Well kids,

We have successfully completed Sections 1 - 3 and are half-way through the Comp Lit course! Now it's time to share.

What was your favorite Class Connect, lesson or activity in Sections 1 - 3? 
What did you like about it?

I look forward to your answers!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Text Formatting Assignment


In Computer Literacy, we are learning about formatting pages and text in word programs like Microsoft Word. To check for understanding, I created this end of unit assignment using an excerpt from The Outsiders (a novel many of my students are reading in their English courses this semester).

You will need three files for this assignment.


Original Text File:

Sample of Completed Page:
This assignment asks students to change the margins, format text, create columns and add a header and footer. I have gotten positive feedback from my Comp Lit kids AND it's a fun one to grade!

If you would like to download a printable copy of the instructions and the sample, click the link below.

Then, copy/paste the excerpt below into a Word or Writer file for kids to manipulate:

An Excerpt from The Outsiders
By S. E. Hinton

Dally was waiting for Johnny and me under the street light at the corner of Pickett and Sutton, and since we got there early, we had time to go over the drugstore in the shopping center and goof around. We bought Cokes and blew the straws at the waitress, and walked around eyeing things that were lying out in the open until the manager got wise to us and suggested we leave. He was too late, though; Dally walked out with two packages of Kools under his jacket.
            Then we went across the street and down Sutton a little way to The Dingo. There are lots of drive-ins in town--- the Socs go to The Way Out and to Rusty's, and the greasers go to The Dingo and to Jay's. The Dingo is a pretty rough hangout; there's always a fight going on there and once a girl got shot. We walked around talking to all the greasers and hoods we knew, leaning in car windows or hopping into the back seats, and getting in on who was running away, and who was in jail, and who was going with who, and who could whip who, and who stole what and when and why. We knew about everybody there. There was a pretty good fight while we were there between a big twenty-three-year-old greaser and a Mexican hitchhiker. We left when the switchblades came out, because the cops would be coming soon and nobody in his right mind wants to be around when the fuzz show.
            We crossed Sutton and cut around behind Spencer's Special, the discount house, and chased two junior-high kids across a field for a few minutes; by then it was dark enough to sneak in over the back fence of the Nightly Double drive-in movie. It was the biggest in town, and showed two movies every night, and on weekends four--- you could say you were going to the Nightly Double and have time to go all over town.
            We all had the money to get in--- it only costs a quarter if you're not in a car--- but Dally hated to do things the legal way. He liked to show that he didn't care whether there was a law or not. He went around trying to break laws. We went to the rows of seets in front of the concession stand to sit down. Nobody else was there except two girls who were sitting down front. Dally eyed them coolly, then walked down the aisle and sat right behind them. I had a sick feeling that Dally was up to his usual tricks, and I was righte. He started talking, loud enough for the two girls to hear. He started out bad and got worse. Dallas could talk awful dirty if he wanted to and I guess he wanted to then. I felt my ears get hot. Two-Bit or Steve or even Soda would have gone right along with him, just to see if they could embarrass the gurls, but that kind of kicks just doesn't appeal to me. I sat there, struck dumb, and Johnny left hastily to get a Coke.