Friday, June 21, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fun Facts!

posted on Facebook

Monday, June 17, 2013

Frightening books?

What book or books from your childhood most traumatized you?

I had nighmare from --
Anything by Dr. Seuss
Alice in Wonderland and Beyond the Looking Glass

Who would have thought that the song "Happy Birthday" could have such a complicated history and present existence?
Hear this podcast at

Yes, this has to do with math, but also with spelling and computers!

Fact you learned in grade school, but may have forgotten: GOOGOL (note spelling) is a famously large number – 1 followed by 100 zeros. The web site with the phonetically identical name was simply misspelled by the Stanford PhD students.

Before Text Messages

Parents and Books

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013


What has 8 eyes and 8 legs? 8 pirates!

Two peanuts were walking down an alley. One was assaulted.

Why don’t oysters give to charity?
A. Because they’re shellfish.…

What do you call a stick of dynamite in a steer? abominable

What do you call a man with a rubber toe?
Roberto:) (say it slow)

Katherine Paterson

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer Reading Recommendations 2013

Don't forget that our school will be participating in the Battle of the Books next year.  You can get a head start on reading the books!   Go to


July 12, 2013
     I attended the Utah Shakespeare Festival and thoroughly enjoyed Peter and the Starcatcher.  Back home, I've started reading the novel Peter and the Starcatchers.  Both play and novels (there are, I think, four) are delightful, creative prequels to the Peter Pan stories we already know. 

    I just finished reading The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson.   If you like fantasy, you'll enjoy this book.  Sanderson has created new forms of magic for other series he has written.  (You might want to also try his Mistborn Series!) In the world of this series written for teens, the magic is created by drawing with chalk.  The Rithmatists who are able to wield this magic are rare, and are identified young and trained at special schools to protect their world.  The schools also include non-rithmatist students, and surprisingly, the main character is one of them, though different from other non-rithmatist students in his dedication to learning about the magic, even without being able to use it himself.
      My only reservation about recommending this book is that you'll have to wait for the next  book in the series to come out.  I read this one entirely too quickly -- not my fault -- it pulled me through, so now I'm left waiting impatiently for book two.

Book Trailer for The Rithmatist:

July:  I'm reading The Way of Kings -- hundreds of pages -- also by Brandon Sanderson.  I've loved the high fantasy genre for years, and have already read several of Sanderson's books, so am very much enjoying this one.


     I'm listening to CD's of the Chronicles of Narnia as I take summer road trips.   This the excellent set  of recordings I used:
     Later: I finished the Chronicles of Narnia and passed the set of CD's on to some of my grandchildren, and then listened to Kira, Kira by Cynthia Kadohata, which was a Newbery Award winner.  I enjoyed it, but realized that not all of my students would enjoy it.    It is written like a memoir, with a Japanese-American girl telling about her family and life in the 1950's-1960's, so it isn't action packed, but it is well-written and if you enjoy realistic fiction, you'll probably like
it.  The CD set I found at the public library was recorded by

Elaina Erika Davis.  Here is more information about the book:

Here's another book coming out:
Have you read I Am Number Four and The Power of Six? (Genre: science fiction)
I need to catch up by reading the second book before The Rise of Nine comes out on July 23!

One of my top picks that I read before summer vacation was  Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  It is realistic fiction and it can be fun and funny, but also deals with a very serious issue and makes you think!  

See also 

Summer Reading 2012


Friday, June 7, 2013

Respect, Names, and Civil Rights

Shall vs. Will

SHALL vs. WILL? In short, shall is wheezing and dying, but not yet deceased. 100 or so years back, shall was used where one today would likely use will. Today, shall is mostly relegated to legal-speak, and in the form of a question, (Shall I drive?) taking the place of should, not will.
Brian P. Cleary


Source: Click here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fun Fact: Jeep!

Fact You May Have Known and Forgotten: The Jeep got its name from the two letters "GP,” the army abbreviation for a "General Purpose" vehicle.
from Brian P. Cleary

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lay vs. Lie from Brian P. Cleary

Lay vs. lie? To LAY something, you are placing it. Examples: Lay your head on my shoulder. LAY down your sword. LIE means to recline. So, lay your keys down, and lie on the couch. For bonus points: Can anyone correctly use LAIN in a sentence?

Dramatic Structure/ Story Structure


Prehistoric Googling


From Rillene Nielson:
Another great TED talk for classroom writing.
I used this as the basis for a scribble at this summer's institute. Just showed a 3 minute segment from the middle where she discussed her featured project. Plan on using it this year with my seventh graders.

Joe Anson says he's done this too. 

Essay on Doughnuts!

What's in Your Head?

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Students, for safety sake, do not approach anyone you do not know without your parents or other responsible adults present.   But are there things you could do to help others?