Monday, September 29, 2008

Wiki Updates...Just for You!

Check out the class wiki for some updates for this class.
  1. On the grammar page, I added a link further explaining appositives. Remember, this is the type of "add-on" that we discussed in class last week. This is one of the revisions I will be looking for in your sci-fi main character blog post. (Note to 3A...I'll need to take those up on Wednesday.)
  2. On the main page, I inserted a rubric for the first three blog posts. On the rubric are the criteria for each blog assignment and how the points will be distributed. These three blog posts will be a test grade...due Oct. 15. Then we can check that off our "to-do" list for good!
  3. On the Sci-Fi Project Page, I uploaded my completed character brochure. Several have asked about minor character descriptors...what makes each of your minor characters unique? Describe those traits. The last phase of this project, the narrative, is due on Wednesday! Remember to include dialogue...enough that I know you understand how to punctuate and indent dialogue properly.
  4. As a reminder, the rubric for the Letter to the Next President has been on the wiki for some time. Please consider what information you want to present in the body of your letter and have this ready to type when we work in the lab on Friday (or next Tuesday, depending on what we complete in class on Wednesday).
  5. As you read the two sci-fi poems, just know that you are reading the final genre in this sci-fi unit, just as you are completing the creation of your own sci-fi world.
  6. I will be scanning your sci-fi characters...maybe some tomorrow after School Day Photos (smile!). Look for that .jpeg in your student file.
  7. Final thought...are you caught up on your Writer's Notebooks? Remember, they are a test grade each nine weeks. This grading period ends Oct. 17...a little over two weeks away.

Thanks for all you do for this class!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

To Those Who Missed 9-25-08

To your question, "What did we do?"'s the answer.
  1. Wrote in your Writer's Notebook a description of your world's minor sci-fi characters.
  2. Punctuated and identified poetic devices within the two songs we listened to in class.
  3. Handed in your speech draft...unless your speech does not follow this format
  4. Draft of minor character brochure is due next time.
  5. Quiz on "There Will Come Soft Rains." Hand out and assigned "The Machine That Won the War."
  6. Bring to class copy of your sci-fi main character blog with transitions and verbs circled...remember to use "strong, active" verbs. May refer to chart. Also insert some "add-on's"...yes, appositive phrases would be great!
  7. Reminder: select your presidential candidate and choose an issue and begin researching that issue.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Conflict Resolved?

Hollywood strives daily.
Daily, she forges ahead,
Ahead to the front of the class,
To the front of the class to rescue all damsels.
Rescue, yes, she does.
Yes, to the forefront to conquer,
The forefront of all forth-grade kind,
The kind who struggle to overcome,
To overcome the female race,
A race to show the most affection.
To present trophies of candy and animals
Stuffed with …uh, yuck…stuff!
But back to the journey,
The journey to the defeat of boyfriends,
The defeat of romance.
Romancing the princesses.
Prince or princess?
Both too young.
Today, they remain simply,
Simply forth-grade students.
Students striving to meet benchmarks.
Not benchmarks of love, either!
Arkansas Benchmarks.
Thanks to Arkansas’ own version of Hollywood.
With rays of friendship she vanquishes.
Now boys are friends…not boyfriends.

Did you notice the repetition of words from line to line?

You did? Very good!

No? Then, please re-read!

This poem continues the saga of Hollywood, Mrs. Gillmore's heroine in her unique sci-fi world as she "births," (yes, Mike, that term is for you!) as she writes along with her students as they, too, create their new sci-fi worlds.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pretty, Stylin', or Unique

Ready to make your blog represent you?

Here are steps for you to follow...just as promised, Mason!

First, I would recommend that you have your blog open in two screens: one to see these instructions and two to make your changes.

Here we go...
  1. At the top of your blog, click on either "Customize" or "Dashboard."
  2. Click on "Settings."
  3. Click on "Layout."
  4. Under "Nav" on edit. Here you can change the title of your blog and add a descriptor. You may also insert your image into your header. See IDK, MY BFF JiLL?! for an example. When finished, select save.
  5. Next click on "Add a Gadget" (should be on the left or right hand side...depends on which layout you choose). Select the gadgets that you want to display down the sidebar of your blog. Again, select save.
  6. Under the word layout, select "Fonts and Colors." Have fun and click save to activate changes.
Reminder: Everything that you choose to display on your blog is a reflection of this class.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Here's the Plan

Fourth hour asked...I am providing. Here is an overview of where we are going over the next couple of weeks...hopefully!

Please remember...I post lesson plans daily on the white board to your left (when sitting at your desk).

I encourage you to check out the class wiki...lots of info there for you!

Hope this helps!

Reminder: Please email me your blog url and blog title.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Passwords and Posting

During 4B, some expressed concerns about giving out your don't. Change your password.

Go to gmail and click on "My Account." There, you should be able to click on "change password."

Later, when this blog is no longer being used as a class assignment, you may use whatever password you want. Okay?

My apologies if this caused some confusion. As long as I am requiring this for class purposes, I have to be able to access your sites if needed...and only if needed. Trust me...I do not have enough time in my day to spend what little free time that I might have browsing your emails! This is just to remove inappropriate comments.

Also...I had also made the statement that all posts should relate or reflect the work of this class. Well...after reading the letter to the editor on Friday, I have changed my mind. Writing of this calibur should, of course, be posted! Wow! Very good!

Just keep me "posted" or get your post ideas pre-approved if you have any concerns about publishing something not directly related to a class assignment.

Now, let's draft and edit/revise so we can post and make comments!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Linking Together

I need your help! Please paste your blog URL into an email, along with your blog title, and send this info to me.

Then I will paste your info onto the wiki so you can check out each other's blogs. this for blog topic assignments on which to be pondering.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hollywood to the Rescue

Never fear; Hollywood is here! She, the fearless wonderette, will rescue all fourth grade weak-minded girls from those creatures who simply insist upon being these girls' boyfriends. With her quick shooting rays of red, she will insist that these boys back away and realize that the time is not right for their romantic advances. That's right...those red dots, no, red Holly Berries will shoot out rays of red that will become a force that these advancing young knights cannot overtake...not yet, at least. For the power of the Holly Berry causes the romance to die until they turn thirty (that is what this momma is hoping, anyway!) Once the rays have been administered, Hollywood utilizes her rollerblades to rescue the innocent little girls who had so unwillingly succumbed to the powers of the want-to-be boyfriends. With lightning speed, Hollywood rushes in, scoops up the dim-witted girls, yes, those girls whose mothers have shed many tears at the thought of the monstrous ways of the unwanted cute looks and flashy winks of the eye, and, oh, yes, the teddy bears and chocolates given on Valentine's Day by these miniature men of the future. Then Hollywood returns to commit her final heroic deed...that of saving these now heartless young male minds (yes, heartless...remember, they can now have no romantic thoughts until the age of thirty! Right?). With the love of a teacher, Hollywood shoots her rays once again...this time from what looks like her hair, except they are really coming from her grand brain. With these rays comes a love for learning, as the leaders of the future now go to prepare to be our next doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, truck drivers, firefighters, and, okay, knights in shining armour. With all these wonderous heroic qualities, Hollywood has once again saved the mothers from sleepless nights and the dads from waiting up for their darling innocent beauties.

Isn't that how the story goes? If not, please do not tell this mother any variations to this story's ending!

I look forward to meeting your heros and heroines!

The above is my homework assignment for my new sci-fi world...the world of Hollywood. The assignment? To write a descriptive paragraph about the hero of this unique world. Must also include three "chunks" within the the body of the paragraph.

The sentences are highlighted according to the guidelines in Step up to Writing, an awesome program to which I attribute previous high scores on the End-of-Level Literacy Exam.

9/11 Remembered

Today I read "9/11 Remembered: An Eyewitness Account" to my eighth grade lit lab class and was proudly surprised how my students responded when I said, "You may not remember what you were doing..." Didn't get to finish, for they quickly told me that they do remember exactly what they were doing on that day, seven years ago.

May we never forget. For as vivid as our memories are, the memories of those there and of those who lost loved ones have to be that much more vivid.

Tomorrow on 9/11, I will share this story aloud, this story of Suzanne McCabe, an eyewitness account of when our country was attacked.

May we never forget.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Plan to publish!

Your blogs are created; now the time has arrived to decide about what to post first!

Never fear, the teacher is never far away with just the right blog assignment close in hand!

Blog Topic 1:
As you draft your letter to the next President, plan an excerpt or summary of your thoughts to place in a post.

Blog Topic 2:
Using your assigned novel as a basis, either promote or discourage science-fiction as a genre of choice.

Blog Topic 3:
Later when your sci-fi worlds are completed, plan to introduce your blog audience to your main character.

Then as we subscribe to your classmates' blogs, take advantage of your Reader and comment on one or two blogs. Remember through comments comes the confirmation that you are a published writer!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blogger Is the Winner!

After some deliberation and debate, Mrs. Huff and I have decided to use Blogger as the class blog type.

If you have created a Edublog or a Wordpress blog....I do apologize, but Blogger is adding some features that will work great for us. For example, soon our Readers can feed right into our blog! I know...the excitement will come as your understanding of these Web 2.0 tools develops. It will...I promise.

So let's all set up a Blogger. (My apologies for pics...I only have Paint to work with here at home, and the quality is just not good enough. Sorry!)

Step 1: Go to your gmail account and click on "more"; then scroll down to "blog."
Step 2: Click on "my account" in the upper right corner.
Step 3: Select Blogger.
Step 4: Proceed to set up a blog.
CAUTION: Remember, this is a class blog, for class assignments, for a grade. Okay? If you want to publish personal posts, please set up another blog in what is now called your "dashboard."
Congratulations you have now left your digital fingerprint on the web! You are about to be a published author!
I look forward to reading your entries and watching you grow as a writer...and reader!