Sunday, April 26, 2009

lightning read

Friday was the consummate Awesome Day for the English Teacher.  Students started writing their memoirs on notebook computers, and after the prerequisite review of basic word processing rules ("I know some of you are very familiar with keyboarding due to extensive IM'ing and/or texting, but word processing is not the same") and completed graphic organizer notes ("this organizer is not how you tell a story, it's just a reference when you run out of things to write, so you can check whether you included enough descriptive details"), they worked on the computers in a focused manner, either absorbed by font style decisions or actual writing.

During this Golden Silence, I read in a feverish manner The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Of course, I told students what I was reading and why I was so absorbed in the excellent story, clever incorporation of Greek mythology, and gratifying character development.  A few students responded with "Oh I read that book", but most barely looked at me and resumed to their laser-like focus on the computers.  I also told them that I may be "lost" in my reading so they should make some polite noise to attract my attention if their raised hands failed to bring me back.  And don't you know occasionally I'd glance up and see a lone student with his/her hand raised, silently staring at me.

Hall passing time provided opportunities to share my responses ("I think I know who's going to betray him!") to whatever I was reading with the random passerby.  Fortunately for me, the student whose locker is next to my classroom and the teacher across the hall both loved the book and indulged my utterances with misleading commentaries ("Oh too bad his friends died").

It was an excellent Friday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

Here's the cute and cheesy movie version of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax - "I speak for the trees!"

Monday, April 20, 2009

top thrills in NYC

I started a self-imposed 10pm internet curfew... so very quickly, here are my top 2 NYC thrills during our trip over Easter break.

#1 - Passing by the new CitiField on the 7 train as we traveled from Flushing, Queens into and later out of Manhattan on the day of Mets home opener in the new stadium.

#2 - During a guided tour of Ellis Island, excellent tour guide Dennis demonstrated 10% (representing how many immigrant hopefuls at Ellis Island were labeled "sick") by choosing some people in the crowd, including my daughter who was sitting on my husband's shoulders. Dennis just pointed out specific individuals and told them to raise their hands.  See my girl raising her hand?  Later Dennis hinted that his 10% criteria was wearing sunglasses on top of the head, ha!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

more vacation reading

I admit I brought along to NYC but did not read either book mentioned in previous post.  We returned home yesterday, and I have now picked up and started yet another book, The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman.  I've read a few chapters and feel bogged down by a lot of tech history, but generally I love the idea of individuals reaching across the globe to other people. Of course blogging is one major example of our flat world :)  The author noted early in the book that we Americans need to be creative, empathetic problem-solvers.  In essence, this validates the point of A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

vacation reading

I promise to blog properly soon about The Book Whisperer and how it addresses my frustrations and ideas about reading instruction.  I'm already on chapter 3 - it's a pretty easy read and has many great resources throughout.  If you google the title, you'll find the author's blog etc.

The Lightning Thief has been on my to-read list for some time.  I read a few pages and, instantly, the main character grabbed my interest!

Spring break started this afternoon :)  We're going to New York City for a few days, and I promise to post pics!

Friday, April 3, 2009


This is the backdrop of my daughter's second grade music class performance today of "Horton Hears a Who", a Seussical! Jr. production.