Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Required Reading for Rising Eighth Graders

Are you a rising eighth grader? Check out your choices for the required summer reading requirement. You can find the full list and the directions for your response on my school webpage. If you have questions, you may ask them in the comments section. Please include your first name and last initial plus the name of your 7th grade Language Arts teacher. I'll answer you here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I see art people...

Miss Turner sent me pictures of the classes that were missing from my blog. I can't believe we never got one of all of us. It's nice to see your faces.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yearbooks Are Coming!

Tomorrow, you get yearbooks (and I ordered one as well). Be sure to take your book pockets down carefully and tape them into your yearbook, if you ordered one. This is the best place to keep it for future reflections and nostalgia. When you get older, you'll love looking at a list of what you read when you were in 8th grade. Then, I've got some tips on how to sign yearbooks so that people will actually remember you. The best tip I can give you is to be sincere. Don't forget to sign my yearbook, too. I'll ask Mrs. Chason to pass it around.

First, here's what NOT to do in a yearbook message:

•Do not write a generic boring message that could be to anyone from anyone.
•Do not write an inappropriate message or one that makes fun of others. Don’t scratch out anyone’s picture—even your own. You might regret this when it hurts someone else or when your own children read it. (or your mom)
•Do not say things that you don’t mean. Stick to common memories and experiences if you can’t think of what to say.

Here are some cool things TO DO in a yearbook to really be remembered--fondly:

•Help the person remember memories you both shared.
–Were you in 2nd period together? Say so and then list some of the sensory details that the person won’t remember when he/she is 50.
–Arts areas? Talk about particular performances or field trips that you both experienced.
–Nothing else? Lunch…reminisce about the experience and how you won’t have to experience that again.

Write a short poem:

•Haiku—5-7-5 syllables
Second period
Your notes made me laugh out loud
“Talk to you later.” (ttyl)
•Lune same as a Haiku but with number of words instead of syllables
Lunch—we shared a table
You spilled hot mashed potatoes-we laughed
Mrs. Jackson made us clean-up.

Make lists:

•Top Five Lame Excuses for Not Turning in Work
•Top Five Laughable Moments in 8th grade
•Top Five Lunches We Shared

Start with famous quotes: You could print a list of popular ones & bring it tomorrow.

–Charles Dickens said “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” He could’ve been an 8th grader at LaVilla. (Then, go on to list a few sad times and a few great times.)
•Another example: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso Then, write about how you see the person’s path as an artist.

Write your note or entry in a meaningful shape like a "concrete" poem:
–Print a template and write a note inside the cut-out.
–Write in a spiral or around the border of a picture.

P.S.--Enjoy the picture of the baby's feet. They are pretty cute, aren't they?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Early Arrival/Early Departure...

She's early! Yes, the baby came early which means I'm missing out on some special times with you guys. Exams are almost over and soon you'll have the eighth grade dance, yearbooks, and TWO last days of school (A and B) which could mean two days of crying for some of you. I'm thinking about you.

I'm still getting regular updates from Miss Turner, Mrs. Chason, and all your other teachers via e-mail. Did you still owe me an assignment? You better give it to one of them soon if you want it factored into your grade. Believe it or not, there's not much time to finish up--even though I'm not there. Even now, in the middle of the night, the baby finally fell asleep and so I'm updating my blog for you guys. (I hope you read it...) Remember that you have to share first name and class period if you want your comments published. It would also be nice if your comments were grammatically correct since it is a Language Arts class. :)

I'll try to post again soon. Since I can't post any new pictures of you, maybe you'd enjoy seeing the baby.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I promised you pictures...

I usually take whole class pictures a few times during the year. This year, I haven't gotten the chance to do that. I think it's just harder to remember to get pictures when I only see you every day. So, I've remembered to take whole class pictures of two classes so far. If I haven't taken one of your class yet, please remind me! I like to take the pictures before the last day when everyone is crying--and a few people are always absent. The great thing about these are that we're all present! Enjoy the pictures...

Two cute ones of 1A

Our biggest class: 4A....

One of the pictures is blurry but everyone was laughing and it made me laugh.

And here's 1B. They could have posed for hours.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Never Too Late for Poetry...

April was National Poetry Month and unfortunately, we didn't celebrate or commemorate it in any way. We're making up for it in May and I've been sharing some of my favorite poets and poems with you in class. I've enjoyed watching your faces light up and listening to you say insightful things about poetry. I think your arts really enhance your ability to appreciate and understand metaphors and other figurative language. It's also nice that we can count the poems we read toward our twenty-five book total. Twenty poems roughly equal a book so keep track of the ones you read (and be able to recall the poem and say something insightful about it.)
I'm writing this post in order to include links to some of the websites I use to find poems for teaching--and for enjoying on my own.

Enjoy the poems and be sure to tell me which ones you like!