Sunday, December 18, 2011
The books all were finished more or less on time and we were able to share them with the grade one reading buddies Thursday afternoon.
The Polar Express, when the boy only wants a bell from Santa's sleigh as a gift.
We had a party Friday but between recess and lunch as we had a holiday assembly in the afternoon. We had Secret Santa ( and everyone brought their gifts and all seemed happy-they didn't have to participate if they didn't want to do so), they brought food and drink, listened to Christmas music, etc., and everything was cleaned up by lunchtime. Yeah!!!
Students Council had a successful food drive, my class brought in the third highest amount with 187 items (no party unless they had 100 items, always an incentive). Our class diligently sold Paperblank journals for the last couple of weeks and raised almost 400 dollars for the Nepal Library Foundation. They were also thrilled to get old leftover day planners and journals as an unexpected reward.
They have also been excellent Hall Monitors and Peer Helpers. Kids feel good when they see themselves making a difference.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Rather than have each present to the class, I let them present in the computer lab with half the class presenting and the other half watching their classmates' presentation and evaluating as they went. Having presentation one at a time can be quite time consuming and often involves waiting for technology to kick in.
We invited a grade five class to see their presentations. Their regular teacher was away and they aren't the easiest group so I planned carefully. Two students went to each presentation and then in about three minutes moved to the next (my class knew where to send them next). That worked out really well. I was a bit concerned because the one presentation I hadn't seen was because this student had been away. It was supposed to be about the invention of video games but mostly focused on Modern Warfare and had a few too many guns on that prezi and not great information. I think I need to have a conversation with his parents about how he is spending his spare time and if they have closely looked at this game.
The grade sevens (I don't currently teach them Social Studies)have been begging for projects so they are researching decomposers for science. Stay tuned...
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Today I had cajoled a friend,Val, who has just retired as a high school home economics teacher to come in to teach my class how to make peace dove Christmas ornaments. Another friend, a retired teacher, came to help as well. Now a project that Val thought would take an hour took all morning and I was still finishing up with a few when my class had choir in the afternoon, but it was a total success. At the end of the day everyone had a peace crane and knew a heck of a lot more about sewing than they did previously. Most of them really hadn't sewn anything until today.
Of course I should have taken pictures but I was just a bit too busy so this blog will get finished tomorrow because I know you will want to see the finished project. I am writing this today because who knows how I will feel tomorrow and the experience won't be so immediate.
Today was wonderful. They were really proud of their creations. They were in the zone of creation and were working well cooperatively. The usual stars weren't necessarily the usual stars. They were also experiencing the exhilaration of trying something new and succeeding.
I had the joy of having "an expert" enable me to do something out of my comfort zone, teaching sewing. Val was great, figuring out how much fabric we needed, providing the pattern, cutting fabric pieces etc. and then providing the model and instructions and coaching. Sandy, both a teacher and an accomplished needlewoman, was great cutting thread, helping thread needles etc. I could never have pulled this off without them being there. You may remember I am teaching my own art this year for the first time in decades!
I think one of the funniest moments was when Renfil couldn't remember Val's name and called her Mrs. Beautiful.
In the new Heroes of Olympus series in the first book, The Lost Hero, we meet three new demi-gods, one Roman and two Greeks. The Roman demi-god, Jason, has lost his memory, somewhat disheartening to his two friends, Leo and Piper who are Greek demi-gods. All three find themselves transported to Camp Half-Blood from where Percy Jackson, the lightning thief, has disappeared. The three, Jason, Leo and Piper, end up going on a quest to once again save the world. Their rather windy adventures take them from Quebec City to Chicago to finally near San Francisco where of course they are victorious but more battles will occur.
In the Son of Neptune, we find Percy, who like Jason, has had a memory loss, and he finds himself in a West Coast Roman camp for Roman demi-gods. There he teams up with two Roman demi-gods (one actually from North Vancouver) and they end up having to go to Alaska via Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. In the last book, these six gods plus Annabeth, Percy's girlfriend, are to go to Greece for the final battle.
I thoroughly enjoyed both books and look forward to reading the third.
I also read the sequel of The Maze Runner, , The Scorch Trials. This series is now a trilogy with a prequel coming out. Again I was swept away by the story. I often think I am not much of a fantasy or science fiction fan but then I find these books I really do enjoy.
My current read is Bruiser. I have read a couple of Neil Shusterman books along the way and once met him and found him very charming, a fan of our racetrack because you could watch the ocean and a horse race. I had not read anything recently though The Schwa Was here was a favorite in my class last year. I somehow thought of him as a humorous author, but Bruiser has humour but it is a very serious book. Initially Tennyson is very upset because his twin sister is interested in a guy thinks he is a loser, but when he follows home he realizes the situation is much more complicated. Told from the points of view of Tennyson, a lacross player; his sister, Bronte; and Brewster and even his younger brother, we learn that Brewster is a truly unique person sensitive beyong anything you have ever seen. I am absolutely fascinated and really enjoying reading. I can see why it is winning many awards.