Monthly Archives: March 2012

Six Word Memoirs

Getting ready for FCAT testing here in FL we have really been studying the structure of sentences this week. The students were asked to find five ‘”beautiful” sentences and bring them to class. We had a sentence gallery, each student wrote their sentence on the board and we discussed them, why they thought that sentence was beautiful, intriguing, why it caught their eye, and so on. Then they had to take a sentence off the board and paraphrase it. We required them to use all different words but keep the same meaning. For some it was easy and other, more in-depth sentences it was harder.

Today and yesterday we tasked the students with writing six word memoirs. I found this activity to be fun, creative, and sometimes mysterious! For some examples I found this website to be helpful in showing the students what is expected. This activity is quick and easy and generally fun. We even had them put their memoirs on half sheets of paper and decorate them with drawings or by cutting pictures out of magazines.

Here are a few examples that I made up for myself:

Never sitting, always on the go.

Many changes over many short years.

Nomadic sorta life, stress and strife.

Working hard to keep achieving goals.

You can find many examples online or you can actually buy many versions of the book, the newest one can be found here.

And a teen version here!

This is a fun activity for all, try writing one yourself!

Here is what the bulletin board looks like with some of the student examples!


This one I found amusing; from a ninth grader.


And I too am a pintrest addict!



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An age of ignorance… it true?

The teacher that I am working with found a blog post yesterday that really made me stop and think.  You can (and should) read that post here.  The blog post mostly talks about how students are becoming more and more ignorant and the nation seems to be fine with that.  That high school students who are graduating and moving on to college, are more stupid than before because high school is dumbing down its curriculum and parents are less and less involved.  Even though the writer may go over board on some points, I think that he really has something to say.  I work in a high school every day, I see what goes on, and I can say high school has changed a great deal just since I graduated from it almost 13 years ago.  These students are a product of their environment and that product may not be the best that we can produce.  Read it and tell me what you think.

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Book Review: The Outsiders and Dope Sick

The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton



S.E. Hinton’s 1967 classic, published when she was a freshman in college, is as appropriate and realistic today as it was then. Fourteen-year-old Ponyboy, his brothers, and his friends are poor outcasts–“greasers.” They have little but always stick together. After they’re victims of the town’s “socs (socials)–kids with lots of money, tough cars, and chips on their shoulders–everyone comes to realize how deep and serious their divide is. (S.G.B. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine– Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine)

I never did read this book when I was younger. Or if I did I do not remember.  But I am pretty sure that I would have remembered. I think that this book is still great for kids today as well as in the past.  The big idea of the book still exists out there today. The clothes, speech, and time may be different, but teens can still relate and I think that they would really get into this book.  It is not on the county reading list where I work, but I would suggest this to students to read on their own.

I give this book ****

* Wish I never read this book.  ** Okay read.  ***This was  a good book  ****Great book, recommend to all!

Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers

From Publishers Weekly

Using both harsh realism and a dose of the fantastic, Myers (Game) introduces an inner-city teen in the jaws of a crisis: 17-year-old Lil J is holed up in an abandoned building, believed to have shot an undercover cop in a drug bust, while police officers assemble in the street below. As he searches for a way out, Lil J is stopped by Kelly, an eerily calm vagrant who invites him to cop a squat and check yourself out on the tube. Kelly’s TV not only plays scenes from Lil J’s life but projects what will happen if he sticks with his current plan: suicide. Shocked, Lil J considers Kelly’s question, If you could take back one thing you did… what would it be? Aided by Kelly’s TV, Lil J revisits pivotal moments and wrestles with his fate. As expected, Myers uses street-style lingo to cover Lil J’s sorry history of drug use, jail time, irresponsible fatherhood and his own childhood grief. A didn’t-see-that-coming ending wraps up the story on a note of well-earned hope and will leave readers with plenty to think about. Ages 14–up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
Walter Dean Myers is an author that I had never read before I started my student teaching. Not being around teens I had never really paid much attention to the books that they were reading. But now that I am working in a high school it is important that I know what they are reading, why, and also to read it myself so I know what books to suggest to what students. Walter Dean Myers is a great writer. I have read three of his books so far and they all have many real life themes that students can relate to.
Dope Sick is about a drug addicted teen. The school and students I work with don’t have these types of issues, that I know of, drug use is not prominent. But teens like books that will grab their attention. His books certainly do.  Students will read his books because they can be racy, they are short, and they are relatable. But what I can see is that they can take away a bigger message.  This book is telling the reader that it’s okay if you are going through life and you have not figured it all out yet. The time will come.  There is always hope and the possibility of change.

I give this book ****

* Wish I never read this book.  ** Okay read.  ***This was  a good book  ****Great book, recommend to all!

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End to spring break

Here is a recap of our spring break, many photos included!

The first day of spring break we finished our fire pit and also I planted a pretty extensive garden! I love fresh veggies and also not having to buy them at the store at outrageous prices! Here is the fire pit, not fancy, but it is big and will do the job well!


We had many St. Patrick’s day parties the past weekend. The ship that the hubs is on is the USS The Sullivans, named after 3 brothers who were Irish, so this holiday was a big deal for the ‘ship family’. The girls had lots of fun and I made green cookies for each of the two parties!


My poor Lola was spayed on Monday. She was so mad at me that she wouldn’t even look at me when I picked her up later that day. But she is back to normal now and still hyper!


Emma tried to make her feel better with a hug.


Girls night out dinner. Just me taking a picture to show how I joined the colored jeans fad. I do love purple!


Wednesday we went to Fernandina Beach and visited Fort Clinch and went to the beach.  Our trip was cut a bit short because it was starting to rain, but it was fun for a few hours!






Thursday we met up with friends at the zoo and visited the newly opened butterfly garden. The girls loved it and it was so neat, they had ‘fairy’ houses everywhere. No butterflies landed on them, so they were a bit sad about that.


Friday I took my oldest daughter to go see the Hunger Games, it was really good!  Then I took the younger two on a date to Tutti Fruitti, a yogurt shop, they loved it and it was pretty tasty as well!


Picture of the garden this morning, looking good after a little rain last night!  I have a ton of cucumber and tomato plants, I might need to learn how to can vegetables!


So far today has been me doing homework and laundry. But now all that is done we might just spend the rest of the day at home, watching movies. We have been on the go all week, had fun, but now I need to relax before we are back at school on Monday!

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Book Review: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Here is the description from I would rather copy this part and then state my own opinion of the book.

Now, with humor, tenderness, and awe, he confronts the traumas of our recent history. What he discovers is solace in that most human quality, imagination.
Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
An inspired innocent, Oskar is alternately endearing, exasperating, and hilarious as he careens from Central Park to Coney Island to Harlem on his search. Along the way he is always dreaming up inventions to keep those he loves safe from harm. What about a birdseed shirt to let you fly away? What if you could actually hear everyone’s heartbeat? His goal is hopeful, but the past speaks a loud warning in stories of those who’ve lost loved ones before. As Oskar roams New York, he encounters a motley assortment of humanity who are all survivors in their own way. He befriends a 103-year-old war reporter, a tour guide who never leaves the Empire State Building, and lovers enraptured or scorned. Ultimately, Oskar ends his journey where it began, at his father’s grave. But now he is accompanied by the silent stranger who has been renting the spare room of his grandmother’s apartment. They are there to dig up his father’s empty coffin.

I think this was a good book. It has some great themes and use of symbolism.  But on a whole it was not my favorite read.  I am glad that I did read it but it is one of those books that can be confusing at times. Oskar’s mind is hard to figure out and if you cannot figure out the main character it can make the reading slow going at times.  I do think that the author did a great job at looking at the 9/11 tragedy in a whole new way. We have not really seen the emotions from a young child’s view before so in that way this book is unique.  The one pet peeve I really had about the book was the extremely long paragraphs! In some sections the paragraphs would go on for pages.  I understand that the author probably had a reason to print the book like that but sometimes it can make reading it a bit difficult. I have many interruptions (kids) during reading and, personally, I hate having to find my spot over and over again.  I would recommend the book, it is a good read, but seems like those who read it will really love it or just think it’s okay.  I am kind of in the middle.

I give this book ***

* Wish I never read this book.  ** Okay read.  ***This was  a good book  ****Great book, recommend to all!

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Spring Break is here!!

I have been waiting for spring break to arrive for a few weeks now! Not working for many, many years has made me a lazy!  The first day of my spring break I headed off to the commissary. Then came home and put my dad to work building a fence for my garden!   I have been wanting to plan a decent sized garden for a while. I am excited to see my plants grow and make me some veggies!  Nothing tastes better than what you have grown yourself!  The second thing on my to do list was to clean my house!  I have been letting that go, long hours at work and after school activities has meant that my housework suffers. So now the garden is planted and the house is clean.

Today was a day filled with appointments. First I dropped off my youngest baby girl, Lola, to the vet. Poor girl needed to get spayed.  Needless to say later today when I picked her up she would not even look at me! Broke my heart!

This was the car ride home.  Now she is walking around whining and staring at me, giving me dirty looks. I feel bad, but twice a year, putting a diaper on her, not cool.

At least Emma is there to make her feel better!

Tomorrow is the last day I plan on doing ‘unfun’ stuff. I need to submit an assignment for class, go to the post office to mail the hubs his last package, and do a mini cleaning again.  Oh, and tomorrow night I am doing a girls night dinner! A break from the kids is much-needed. Then the rest of the week we have a fun activity planned for each day! Wednesday is a beach day. Going to hit up a new beach.  Thursday is a zoo day, have to check out the new butterfly exhibit.  Friday Kaitlyn and I have a date to go watch The Hunger Games!! And Saturday I have a date with Abby and Emma, I think we are going to go to a place called Tutti Frutti, a new frozen yogurt place where you can add all kinds of yummy toppings.

Later on in the weekend I have to do some lesson planning and get ready for my third observation at school.  Working on a final project since we just finished reading Nothing But the Truth.  Haven’t quite decided what I want to do for that yet.  I only have 5 weeks left then I am done with college forever! Oh, I forgot to add to my list, study for the FL certification exam :(.  I have really been putting that off. If I do not pass I seriously will consider trying to just teach at a community college.  So that is my spring break in  a nutshell. Time to go to bed and read a good book!

Just wanted to leave everyone with a parting shot of my husband’s ship at sunset. Only a bit longer and he will be home!


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Race results!!

Here are my results from the 15k today. I am beyond tired! And I can barely walk! 20,000 people ran and I was the 7,775th to finish! Not too bad for my first time ever running that long of a distance!
Age 30
City Jacksonville
State FL
Bib 9847
Place 7,757
Class 536
Chip 01:48:28
Final 01:50:26
Pace 00:11:40





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