Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011 4th Tues. Slice Iceland

It has been many years since I arrived on the island of Iceland.  However, I still harbor wonderful memories from my time there.  I was only seventeen when I first stepped off the prop plane in Keflavik, Iceland.  It was scary at first. 
The bus I was riding on drove over a gravel road through fields of lava.  The land was black and barren. A cold blue sky was clear as crystal lakes I had seen in pictures.
At seventeen, life is so exciting. I was ready for adventure and it never occurred to me that I wasn’t going to see my family, pets, and friends for over a year.  I just went with a vision of seeing the world.  All I had to go on was a picture of an older couple, who turned out to be 14 years older than my own parents,  that I was going to live with.  I had found out the last week of my senior year of high school that I was accepted into the exchange program to go to Iceland.  My plans originally were to go to Switzerland, but there were no openings.  In fact, I flew to New York City for my Senior Class Trip two weeks before I left for Iceland.  There was no time to think, buy clothes, pack, or fill out papers.  I even had to get certain shots to leave the country and barely had time to get them.  They had to rush my passport.  I have to stop because it is getting late and I have to teach tomorrow.
 I will continue at another time.  "Gotha nott!"  That’s as close as I can get without using Icelandic letters to "Good night" in Icelandic! Happy Slicing! J

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011 3rd Tues. Slice - Persuasive Research Paper

I’m continuing the persuasive research paper in class.  The students have their notes written.  We marked them with the arguments/counterarguments.  Then they cut them out and pasted them on paper in the order in which they wanted to write them in paragraphs.

They wrote their introduction.  Today we worked on beginning to type the rough draft.  I am conferencing with the students while they work on their papers.

Tomorrow they will be back in the computer lab to type the whole paper.  They have to add the conclusion.  My goal is to have the paper at least typed by Thurs.  We’ll type the bibliography in the classroom because next week we begin to take our state proficiency test and we won’t have the time nor the computer lab. 

I’m excited because most of the students appear to understand what I have asked them to do.  There are a few who do not have all their notes and don’t have the rough draft. These had the notes but have lost them or just didn’t have the rough draft written today but I have high hopes they will be written for tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a blessed Easter!  Happy Slicing! J
I added a picture from my smart board this time!  I figured it out!

The outline shows one way they can set up their paper.  The bun is just another idea to help they see how the introduction and conclusion can be similar but yet different. 
The body is the meat of the paper and the condiments are the support details which are what make the paper interesting and easier to understand.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Slice of Life Tuesday 2nd one April 12, 2011 Persuasive Research continued

Today I feel somewhat overwhelmed.  We have less than 8 weeks of school left and so much to do.  I am working on a persuasive research piece with my students and today we began reviewing taking notes, paraphrasing and summarizing.  I gave the students some information about their topics so they could take some notes today and possibly tonight so I can help them with their notes tomorrow.

I plan to review bibliography so if they are researching, they won’t forget to get the information they need for their bibliography.  It has helped students in the past; otherwise they get to the end and have forgotten where their information came from.  I give them a worksheet to keep track of the information in the correct order.

Most of the students have chosen within about eight different topics.  They seem to be pretty passionate about their topic as I discuss it with them. I find as I talk with them and have their three arguments written down that they have a good idea of the direction they are headed and what they are looking for in their research.  A few still are confused but I should be able to help them.

I’m excited to see how much better this paper goes than the last research paper we did.  It was in conjunction with the Science Fair Project.  It was our first try since we did it many years ago and we had some kinks to work out, but it should run smoother next year.

I must really go back to working on setting up my smart board for tomorrow.  I’ll try to include a small picture of my basic outline plan I showed them today so if they get their notes around that they can begin to think about their paper.  We had reviewed their planning ideas such as mapping/webbing, listing, and/or using a flow chart. Then follow a basic outline. 

So far I haven't been able to load the small picture from my smart board, but I'll keep trying! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5, 2011 My first Tues. Slice Baby Eagles

This is my first time slicing for the Slice of Life Tuesday.  I don’t start anything small, at least that is what my husband tells me.  I had to go for the Slice of Life Challenge for the month of March 2011.  Started this blog and began my first writing every day, not just one day but everyday and now it has become a habit that I don’t want to break

I watched a live webcam this morning on the internet that was streaming baby eagles in a nest.  It was beyond amazing how a bird that is so majestic soaring in the sky, swoops down to take an animal for food, but can be so gentle in a nest of baby fledglings.

I couldn’t pull myself away.  I understand the nest was not without drama the day before.  Apparently one of the eagles was cleaning out the nest by picking out the egg shells and accidentally picked up one of the fledglings and pushed it to the edge of the nest and almost knocked it out.  Then it had quite a time climbing to the center to be back under the eagle that was sitting on the nest.  It must have been a dramatic moment.

It’s about that dramatic for me when a student doesn’t comprehend whatever I am trying to teach.  Perhaps I am exaggerating but I am sincere in wanting each one to succeed.  Without the skills to read and write, it will be difficult to be successful in what ever career they choose.

So as I embark on my first Slice of Life Tuesday, I am committed to write about life and how I am instructing my students to become the best that they can be!  Happy Slicing! J

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 3, 2011 Sunday afternoon...

Today is Sunday and it is the second day after I have started Spring Break!  Yeah!  So far it hasn't hit me that I'm on a break yet, but it might tomorrow.  However, besides attending worship service this morning and eating lunch, my husband and I decided to go bike riding.  I was cold at first, because there is a strong wind blowing from the southeast.  I dressed warmly in a scarf, sweatshirt, coat, gloves and hat.  We traveled about 15 miles south of our home to ride on a path.

It turned out to be about 60 degrees fahrenheit which wasn't as cold as I thought it would be.  With wind and with humity being very high, it made the temperature seem cooler than the thermometer indicate.  At any rate, we scrambled to retrieve our bikes out of the back of our van.

We rode about 3+ miles weaving in and out of the woods.  It wasn't much, but for the first ride of the season it was enough to see how we will feel.  There was no sun out and it was a little dreary but not a bad ride.

My husband then drove me to Steak and Shake for a Strawberry Sunday that we split.  That was sweet and fun.  Well, I just had to write today. I didn't get a chance yesterday, but it didn't seem right not to write again today, so here I am!  I have developed a habit and one I want to continue as much I possibly can. Writing is good for you!  It feels great! Enjoy today!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Reflection on Student Slice of Life Challenge by me April 1, 2011

As to writing with my students and having them take the slice of life challenge:

This was awesome. I can’t tell you what an improvement I saw in their writing! Maybe not in grammar and conventions, but in what they were willing to write about.

They wrote more about their feelings, their everyday life, what mattered to them and where they were in their lives. I kept telling them that someday they will read this and be amazed at what they wrote.

We celebrated today with slices of oranges(they're not in the picture), apples, pizza, cake, (cupcakes- I know they're not slices), grapefruit, and wrote a reflection. The students shared how they felt about it. I had a few who just weren’t that interested but managed to say that they did learn something from it. When I read their slices, I saw many ideas that they will have to choose from if they have no idea of what to write about in the future.

It was worth the time and effort.

Those who risked it to post on my blog, were delighted with the comments and wanted to write more. They are sharing with their families now.

Authentic writing is truly the answer to motivating students to write. I wish I had started this long ago. So glad I did this time!

Thank you so much for this opportunity, Ruth! I appreciate all the long hours you have put into this blog site. I can’t imagine just what it does take to keep it going! Happy Slicing! :)

April 1, 2011 My Reflection

First, I learned that I could get over the fear of writing for my peers. I have always been fearful of that. I felt so insecure and that what I wrote didn’t matter. Well it does and others helped me to comfirm that! I was so elated by what others were willing to write on their blogs and reading them inspired me and helped me to keep going.

I found that I had the motivation and the stamina to continue at least for 31 days and maybe more. It was difficult at times, and at the end, I was have some difficulties but knew that it didn’t matter because as one person put it, writing is our life- well maybe I paraphrase, but it is a part of us and it gives others a glimpse into who we are at a given time.

Thanks for the opportunity. I loved the comments and they really kept me going. Now I know what I MUST do for my students. This really reinforces Writing Workshop! Happy Slicing! :)