Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

New Year, New Blogs

August 5, 2009

Cary Academy has decided to host our blogs in-house using WordPress MU. I’m excited because this gives us lots of opportunities for cutomization. Each student will have his or her own blog, and I’ll keep a class blog.


WE (Writing Enthusiasts) Magazine

May 28, 2009

Lots of hours of student and teacher work went into the middle school (6th-8th grade) literary magazine. The results are fantastic! Congratulations to all the authors, artists, and designers. Hope you enjoy browsing the magazine.

We used Microsoft Publisher to create the magazine and Adobe Acrobat Pro to publish it as a pdf. Section covers were created using Adobe Photoshop. We uploaded the final product to Scribd in order to embed it in the blog. We ordered print copies from MagCloud. The results were fantastic! I’d highly recommend them.

Some of the formatting may look slightly off because we needed to leave trim area for the publisher and last names were deleted for the online version. The magazine is best viewed in full-screen mode. To access this, click on the button in the top right-hand corner.

View this document on Scribd

Red Scarf Girl Characters

May 6, 2009

This week students created ways to present their knowledge about the characters we have encountered so far in Red Scarf Girl. Here are some great examples of student work.

This group of students recorded quotes for each character using Audacity and embedded them in the PowerPoint. Unfortunately, you will not be able to hear them while vieing the SlideShare show. There is a way to record audio with SlideShare; we just didn’t do it for this project.

This group of students used Glogster for their presentation. If  you click on the picture, you will be able to interact with the glog. Students knew that origami is traditionally Japanese, not Chinese, but it “looked cool.” 🙂


Here’s another glog. This group chose to give more detailed information about fewer characters.


Students planned this poster on their tablets and then created it on poster board.

LitMagSpring09 006

Red Scarf Girl

April 26, 2009
Image from Ji-li Jiang's website

Red Scarf Girl

We have begun reading Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang in conjunction with the World Cultures unit on China. You can find out more information about the book by visiting Ji-li Jiang’s website.

We Are Poets!

April 20, 2009

On Friday night, students, parents, and friends gathered at Barnes and Noble in Cary to share poems written during the course of poet Phillip Shabazz’s residency. I am in the process of creating a “book” from poems students wrote during the week. For now, I’ll share an album of photos of students reading their poems and a clip of Mr. Shabazz reading one of his poems.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Art and Poetry in the Garden

April 13, 2009

floweringcherryStudents completed their haiku and Japanese line drawing projects today. The project was inspired by Tosa Mitsuoki’s paintings, Autumn Maple and Flowering Cherry with Poem Slips. Mitsuoki’s paintings feature trees bedecked with traditional Japanese poetry. An excellent resource for teachers about the Flowering Cherry painting is available from The Art Institute of Chicago, where both paintings are housed.

The project was a collaboration of World Cultures, Language Arts, and Visual Arts classes. Students completed line drawings of an object in the Japanese dry garden and then wrote a haiku based upon their drawing.

Here’s a Power Point I used in Language Arts class for an introductory lesson on haiku. Here are some haiku students wrote as part of that lesson.

Below are pictures of the Japanese garden and one of the completed scrolls.













Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

April 6, 2009
Photo credit: amazing_podgirl

Photo credit: amazing_podgirl

Odes were originally a form of Greek lyrical poetry composed to honor important people, places and events and were accompanied by music. (More about the history of the ode) Over the years, poets have adapted the form by writing odes to more commonplace items. Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet, published a number of these types of odes. Today in class we read Ode to My Socks, Ode to a Tomato, and Ode to the Storm. After we read and discussed the odes, students drew objects out of a bag and composed odes to them. You can read some of their poems here.