Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Poetry Websites

I found some poetry websites for students in the elementary grade levels. Kenn Nesbitt's site has poetry that students can read and enjoy. You can print them out and read them to your students as well. Please click on the website below:

http://www.poetry4kids.com/poems

Another website that I found tonigh is Jack Prelutsky's. Click on the link that follows.
http://jackprelutsky.com/

To be continued tomorrow.

Minecraft Mike Poem by Mike Nesbitt

Minecraft Mike

A Funny Video Game Poem for Kids
by Kenn Nesbitt

Hello, my friends. My name is Mike.
I never hike or ride a bike.
You see, the only thing I like
is playing lots of Minecraft.

I never run, or climb a tree,
or sail a ship across the sea.
Why, I don't even watch TV.
I just play lots of Minecraft.

I don't play sports of any sorts,
on basketball or tennis courts,
in training shoes and running shorts.
I'm only good at Minecraft.

You'll never see me pet the cat,
or shop online to buy a hat,
or instant message, text, or chat.
I'm busy playing Minecraft.

In fact, I'm busy as can be,
so if you'd like to talk to me,
there's just one way, and that, you see,
is multiplayer Minecraft.

Copyright © 2015 Kenn Nesbitt
All Rights Reserved
From http://www.poetry4kids.com  www.poetry4kids.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Student Poetry Slam

I found some great student poetry recited during a poetry slam. These are great for all of us to know that poetry is for everyone. These young poets are quite good! I used these video to show them what a poetry slam look like and to prep them for their own poetry slam. To be continued!


Crystal Allen Comes to Visit

Crystal Allen visited my school yesterday. She came to share her love of writing with my students and school. My students were so very excited to see her and ask her lots of questions. One of my girls said, "Wow! I never met a real life author before!" They were so inspired and are working on a writing context from Crystal Allen's Website-Strikerwriiters. I made a Stupeflix video to try to capture a few moments of that glorious day.


Poetry Recital

Today I was so inspired by my students. It is not that I am not normally inspired, but today was a tad different. Today was different because my students volunteered to recite my poem called Tip. We studied the structure of poetry and then had some time to recite it aloud in groups. The previous day I showed them some YouTube videos of some rather fascinating young poets at poetry slams. We were amazed. These students in the videos recited their own poetry. Today my students had the opportunity to recite my poetry. This is a precursor to their own poetry slam. They will be crafting their own poetry and then we will have a poetry slam to celebrate. I was so excited to see such enthuisasm for poetry. I was able to share my love of reading and writing poetry. I recorded them and in the next few days, I will be uploading more student recital. It was extra special because they were reciting MY poetry! Wow!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Edublogs and Writing

My students and I are embarking on a blogging journey with Edublogs. Everyone started their journey on Friday. Each student has started working on their blog. Some have posted. This week they will be doing more. I am excited about this journey. We will see how this goes.

I am also considering having them also create a blog on Blogger. I like Blogger better because you have access to more Google tools. We will see.  I need a little more information on how I would go about this.

Look for my students' blog called Bloggers In The Wild on the side bar.

Here is the link to my Edublog:

http://uclesm.edublogs.org/

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Poop Machines

I was cleaning and changing the kitty litter today. It is not a job that I love to do weekly. I abhor having to change the litter. NOT A FAN!  As I was changing it out, I kept thinking that this experience is writing worthy.

I could write about this, I thought to myself.

I always tell my students that writing happens as a result of our environment. There is so much out there to consider. My writing could also include my feelings about changing cat litter. Why can't I write about cat litter and these poop machines? What is stopping me? I have plenty of material. The words are flowing in my mind. I have plenty of material. Starting to stink to high heaven!

Tell the truth, Maureen. Tell the truth, my inner voice pleads.

But other people will think it is too gross or silly. They will say that I shouldn't be writing about changing out cat litter. You are not supposed to be gross,don't ya know? The inner conversation continues.

Yes..no...but the really good reads are the gross ones, I reply more confidently. Writers must tell the truth. The truth the way that they see things. Don't compromise for the nay-sayers.

Okay...that sounds better, I say in agreement.

Now I have decided to let it fly. I don't want those oppositional voices to keep me away from writing what could be a decent piece. I think my students will like it too. There you have it!

Here is my first draft.

Poop Machines


I love my cats. I do. I have three beautiful, sweet, and crazy felines. Love them to pieces, but I DON'T LOVE cleaning up after them. Cleaning up their hairball fiascos, stomach upsets placed nicely on the tile floor, or the kitty litter. Above all, I hate changing out the kitty litter! Hate, abhor, detest anything to do with kitty stinking litter!

Sammy at rest-practicing inertia
I have three kitty litter boxes. I need to start saying cat litter boxes because these once furry, playful balls of energy are adult snoozers now.  The sleep nonstop. Although they snooze, they find lots of time to churn out the poop...in droves. They are full grown POOP MACHINES!

These poop machines have many jobs in my house. They sleep probably 23 out of 24 hours a day. I know...the have it extremely hard. Their lives are full of endless ZZZZs. When they wake of from their thousandth cat nap, they roll over and purr. They stretch out their long bodies and then jump down from the window sill, the couch, the table, my bed, or their kitty skyscraper and search for their prey. They stalk the kitty bowl full of cat kibble. The bowl is very elusive to them. But after 5 seconds of stalking, they pounce upon the kibble and begin to devour the remains.  That hunt takes up lots of energy. They then decide to find a comfy spot to groom themselves for another five minutes. They spit in their paws and wipe their spittle over their ears, nose and head. They love the smell of their spittle and want to spread it all over the place.  After a little while, they might take a nap or charge up the poop machine.

They walk into the kitty condo (cat litter box) and then do their business. When they are done, if they are normal, they cover the remains with excess kitty litter and walk out of the condo refreshed. One of my cats does not do this. No, he or she (I am not sure which one it is) uses the facilities, then leaves their excrement or poop uncovered. I suppose he/she is proud of their production and wants the world to see what a great poop machine they have become. Upon further reading, this uncovering may be due to the fact that one of my cats wants to show the other cats who is the boss. They want everyone to know that they are, in fact, the dominant one. My cats are psychos!

Poop Machine Sammy at Work
Their daily routines consists of these four activities: sleep, groom, eat and poop (in no particular order.) I could add another activity to the list as well. It could then be sleep, eat, poop, groom, and meow at their owner to pet, feed, pet, feed, pet, feed, and entertain them. In the mornings, my three crazies like to sit on my lap and have me scratch them behind the ears and under the chin. They meow to demand more scratches at a time when I am getting ready for work. That doesn't work well when I have my work clothes on and ready. They shed so much.

By the end of the week, the kitty litter gets pretty smelly and in need of a changing. When I change it, I try to look away. I get grossed out by all the poop that has accumulated in last few days. (I try to clean it out daily, but I don't always get to it.) By this time, my cats are in the living room plotting their next visit to a cleaner litter box. When they see that I am finished, they run in acting all nicey-nice. They meow sweet and kind meows. They expect me to give them some wet cat food and to fill up the kibble bowl, which is usually 3/4 full. I don't know what it is about cats and kibble. If the bowl is not filled up to the brim, they react as if there is no food in the bowl. They meow with a harsh shrill, sounding as if they hadn't eaten in a week or more.They like to complain. The food bowl is practically filled. Go figure!

Dominant Poop Machine Sandy
I do love my cats. They are good companions of chill. They like to read with me.

They sometimes allow me to blog. I have to tear one of dominant felines away from me. She likes to stay positioned on my lap. I have to fight her to work on my lap top and read by pushing her off of me numerous times. She keeps coming back with her loud, loud lawn-mover like purrs. It is difficult, but after a while, she gives up and lays next to me.

Poop Machine Suzy the Timid
It is great having cats as pets. They are clean and independent. Not bad at all...except for being feline poop machines. That, and cleaning up hairball problems, are the only downfalls of having cats.


Am I a part of the problem? When I feed them their kibble or wet food, I am perpetuating the poop production problem. There is no way around it. I just wish they could be more like dogs and go outside and do their business. My cats are indoor cats though. I think it is better for them to stay inside and be safe. It is good for them, but more work for me. I do it reluctantly and with much trepidation, but I do it. After all, I do love my sweet poop machines!





Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Day

I decided to post this because today is Friday. I have several parents conferences. All of my conferences were wonderful so far. I have learned lots about my students and their families. It is nice to see the parents and to share with them the work we are doing. To celebrate this day, I have brought back a video of my very energetic and hilarious sister dancing to Happy. I hope it brings a smile to your face and brighten an overcast day.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Proyecto de Estudios Sociales-Regiones en Texas-Social Studies Project

My students have been working on a Social Studies related project. They have been researching information about the regions in Texas. They have worked on this within a group situation. They used computers, their own hand held devices, hard copies of Social Studies Weekly, and some other websites that they found to be helpful. I uploaded some websites on Edmodo too. One of my students found a site that would be beneficial. She added the link on Edmodo as well.

They decided to have their presentation materials use a backdrop of posterboard, student writing, and printed copies of photos. They then congregated, make a plan, and presented.

I recorded their presentation on my iPod. As they went through this presentation, I gave them some tips. They had presented before using video, so I think that they are becoming more familiar with it. We took a few takes on the presentation. What you will see is the final cut. I feel proud of their progress so far. Soon they will be doing other projects where they will be video taping and making their own projects digitally. One step at a time!  I hope you enjoy this.

(My class is bilingual/biliterate. I teach Social Studies in Spanish. That is what you will see. They could have easily done the same in English.)


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Photocopying Diaries

Today was a good day. I had to pinch myself and make sure that I wasn't dreaming. It is not that my days aren't good. I am very fortunate to be doing what I love. I just don't adore the paperwork, the endless deadlines, the interruptions and the feeling of always being behind. I race to get to school so that I can have some quiet time before the rush. Before the craziness and deadlines smash me in the face. I get there super early so I can prepare myself and my classroom. I tidy up and make some copies....well sometimes. Making copies is rare. I do it very, very reluctantly. Photocopying is one my least favorite things to do. It is up there with root canals and Houston traffic. Because it causes so much angst, I arrive super early to the copy room, hoping to avoid any semblance of a human being. Sometimes, I stay super late, for the same reason. I avoid human contact because I need to concentrate and get my work done. When I start talking to someone, I invariably copy the things in an order that is not desirable. Don't want to waste my time.

I hate the pressure of photocopying. When I am by myself, I can think clearly and not feel the pressure of the looks from other homo sapiens. The looks. The tapping, Clock watching. Obnoxious sighing.  Too, too much to tolerate. Too much to bare. People who come in after me to photocopy, put a tremendous amount of pressure to move me on my merry way and let them copy 'til their heart's content. Not what I need in the morning or any time of the day.

Then you have the Only-ies. The Only-ies you probably know very well. They always seem have to photocopy on my watch. I think the ratio is one in three people. One in three people who photocopy are known as the Only. They are those pushy, yet friendly, line skippers who think that just because they only have one or two copies to make, I should stop what I am doing and let them take advantage of my kindness.  I so want to say, Hey, I woke up at 5 am to get here and make copies in peace. Take a number. Why is it that the skippies think that they somehow deserve to cut in line and I should oblige? I usually do not oblige. It is the principle of the situation. My philosophy is that you just take a number and wait. Wait your turn. Wait like everyone else.There is no express lane or self check out at the photocopier. It doesn't work that way. It really doesn't work that way at Kroger's either. I have never witnessed anyone cut in front of the coupon lady. She has bought the whole store. No one in their right mind would say to her mid check out, I only have 2 items. Can I possibly cut in this long line? Nope. I don't think anyone should ask that of anyone. Take a number, Bub! That is what I so want to say. I, however, don't say anything. I act as if I didn't hear the lame request. I say, I only have a few more myself in the most boring monotone way possible. I take extra care in pronouncing each syllable ever so slowly. After I avoid this situation, the pressure mounts.  My heart pounds excessively and my palms sweat profusely. I feel I have to hurry, hurry, hurry. The stares and sighs move me into a full blown panic attack. The pen taps. Then I make mistakes. The copier stalls and makes a groining noise. Ugh! Time to dash!  Are you happy now? I wish I could say. I don't say a word. I sigh and grab my ruffled papers that are dying to be placed in some semblance of order. I'm done. I walk and breathe slowly and try to put this incident out of my mind. Now get ready for 20 bouncing, smiling, eager to learn students. Build a bridge and get over it, Maureen. My self talk sometimes works. I guess it is better than being in the copy room.

Like I said, I  prefer to make my copies early morning or late in the evening. I avoid  human contact, the pressure and definitely the Only-ies. Don't want to allow it to ruin my day, week, month. Nah! There are more important battles to wage. Photocopying won't be one of them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Young Writers in the Wild Video

I dedicate this video for National Why I Write Day! I love taking photos of people writing. I hope you enjoy this video of Young Writers In The Wild.


Why I Teach Writing-Say Back

I wanted to have something special for today. One of my friends sent me a tweet last night. She mentioned that today is National That's Why I Write. I was hoping to have time to write something special. There's nothing more special than writing itself and sharing my love of writing than teaching writing with young writers. I wanted to share this video that I was thinking of producing over the weekend, but never had time to do until now. My wonderful, wonderful, wonderful students are sharing the fruits of their writing with other young writers. They are conducting a peer conference called Say Back. It comes from Dr. Joyce Carroll's and Eddie Wilson's book called Acts of Teaching. The students are conferring and listening for things that they like about the writing and also letting the writer know things they are curious about knowing more. Here is a peek into this world. I thought I would tweet out #whyiwrite on Twitter.  This is why I teach and have a passion about writing! Love it! I hope you do too!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

STATES

Yeah, I know. I should be grading papers, leaving sticking notes, washing my clothes, thumbing through pages. Yeah, I know. I didn't use a conjunction. Did it on purpose. Yeah, I know. I don't quite feel ready to conform to conformity. Don't quite feel the need. Just sitting here. Waiting, waiting on a poem. I am waiting for the poem to run through my veins. Run through my mind. Please words, be ever so kind. Reveal yourselves to poor, poor me. I am in a state. Catatonic comes to mind... here is comes!
STATES
by Maureen Ucles


I am in a state
Not a
solid, liquid or gas.
Nah!
I am in a state of mind.
Catatonic
if you wanna know... 
the truth

Veritas
What's that?
Pilate  to Jesus
Truth
My truth
What's that?

Like I said
In a state
saturated
can't take any 
any more
any less
anything

I need some time
to breath
to wail
to chill
for just 
a second
millisecond

 Time
please
 stop...
slow motion
 complete notion
I espouse

State
of mind
gotta come out
willing
to let it fly
TIME
 must
slow down
my time
my place
my choice
my face
wish 
I
could 
move
enjoy
time

Oh, it's time
I say
looking up
ostentatious clock
moves
erratically
twice a day
moving forward
warp speed
wish it was
me
that easy
Scotty,
Beam me up!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Spending Time with The Analysis Pyramid

My students and I spent some time using The Analysis Pyramid with Cajas de carton (The Circuit) by Francisco Jimenez. While using The Analysis Pyramid, my students were able to have a deeper understanding of  the text. They began bridging the gap between reading and writing. They responded as reader and approached the text as writers as they focused their attention on the word, tone, language, and craft elements. They highlighted different parts and then used The Analysis Pyramid to help them in their discussion. They wrote about their experiences. They returned to their writing and looked  for areas of the pyramid that they could use to analyze their own writing. What fun! Thanks Alana Morris for sharing this great way to read, analyze, and write text! It bring reading and writing together so well.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Westwood Wild Readers Video

Here is the latest Westood Wild Readers video production. I uploaded it to YouTube to make sure the video quality was superior than on Blogger. The Blogger video's pixels were as nice. Hope you enjoy. I may be revising it one last time. It is fun to create these videos.


Pennies and Poems

Penny and Poems

by Maureen Ucles

Penny 
for your thoughts
Penny 
for a poem?
Not!
I'd expect 
 more
lots more

Poems take time
to think
simmer
compose
lots of thought
writing down the bones
considering
you
the reader
my audience

More and more
thought
What have I wrought?
Words on a line
taking up space
my spare time
for whom?
The bell tolls 
for me
you
and 
others

Penny for my thoughts?
Inflation
Cost of living
insurance
set the score
broke
poor
need a little 
more

Poems for a penny?
priceless entities
hearing
rhythm
message
words and more words
 just write
bring together
very tight
revision decisions
decisions for revisions
for you

Pennies for my thoughts?
Sounds better
Rings true
Working on it
Moving
Deleting
Repeating
Making it 
right
 exposing thoughts
ideas
feelings
not pennies
just for...
 you

Inspired by a Comment

Yesterday, after a day of teaching and a long nap, I looked at my phone for any notifications. Unexpectedly, I saw that someone had left a comment for this blog Just Write Baby 1, 2,3...Go! I have received comments de vez en cuando (from time to time), so that wasn't so surprising. I noticed that the comment originated from one of my students. She had commented on one of my poems. It wasn't any of my poems that I had shared previously in class. It was a poem that I had written for my daughter on her 18th birthday. A few minutes ago, I read the comment. It was very exciting to see that one of my students is reading my blog at home and took the time to make a comment. Wow!  It may not seem much to some people, but it means the world to me. I have been sharing my blog since school started. My students are exploring and using it with Edmodo in class and now I see at home. 

Seeing her comment has made my day. It is not everyday that I get comments on my blog, much less from a young reader. Not a bad way to continue my day. Not bad at all.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wild Readers Revised

I will be posting more video's of my class this year. I have about 3-4 more students to add. For some reason, when I went to edit my video tonight on Stupeflix, some section's of last night's video became null and void. I don't know why. Perhaps the video snippet was too long. Whatever the case, I decided to go ahead and post what I have. Since it is a tad different from last night, I won't replace it on last night's post. I have been speaking to my students about video production and it is a part of the composing process. Today I shared with them the video production process and revision. I thought it would be a good idea to post the video, as I get it finished, so they could see this like the writing process. Have a gander. There will be more to come.

When I showed them the video from last night's post, their eye lit up. They very much enjoyed sharing their reading accomplishments with a wider audience.

video



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wild Readers

I made a video about my students. They are proud of the amount of reading that they have accomplished the first month and a half of  school.  I plan on revising this video very soon. I need to add a few more students. We ran out of time on last Friday when I was collecting the data and media. I wanted to get it produced to show it to my students. I know they will be thrilled to see themselves celebrated with all their wild reading. The numbers aren't as important as the fact that they love to read and explore the different authors and books. I am proud of them. I would like to track their reading adventures once a month to track. In the next video, they will talk about the books they recommend and are currently reading. Stay tuned!


video

Bullets and Boxes Revised

I willingly and knowingly dedicate this poem called Bullets and Boxes to Noemi Leon-Garcia. She is a good friend of mine and a colleague. She is the inspiration for this poem. I brought it back because of a Face Book post yesterday. I hope you enjoy!

Bullet and Boxes

I've got bullets and boxes
Chalk full of soxes
Running like fire ants 
all over the floor
next to me
next to the door
scramming for an exit
next door

More stinking
bullets and boxes
How did this happen?
When did this occur?
Did you hear me
Sir? Sir? Sir?
Anyone home?
Next door


Can't believe 
I'm  a 
witnessing
too many bullets
and boxes
such brutality
all over
tarnation
Sony and Cher
do you even
care?
Next door

When you think
it's safe
to escape 
through the gate
Here they come
running, running
running me
down
all over town
shouting
bullets and boxes
boxes and bullets
fists clenched
raised high into the air
seems so
darn, darn
TOXIC
EXPLAIN THIS!
Insanity...
Next door

Put them away
explain it-
nah-
someday
how we're
going, going
 gone
back
back
backwards
Ice Age
far enough
for ya?
Artic vortex
blasting
out my
mind
confusion
contusion
next door

Primal screams
rude, rude
prude
awakening
in the Mesozoic
or...
Cenozoic
Like you
know it--
R-i-g-h-t 
with your
bullets and boxes
seems so untenable
next door

Don't quite
think,
think so
Bro'
whydya
have to go
so postal?
Coastal?
and ruin
a good 
better
and best
thing
ever
with 
all your 
clamouring
hammering
'bout
posthumous
offerings-- 
bullets of info
when you
don't know
where they
go...
not even why
oops!
my bad
lost in the
.....
in the cardboard
perforated
box
box
boxes!
Next door


Slam it shut!
Throw away the key...


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Poem Plumbing

Poem Plumbing
by Maureen Ucles

All my ideas
Going down the sink
No place to go
Stopped up

I've got a poem
poem plumbing
poem plumbing problems

My sinks are clogged
Minds continually fogged
want to get 
words down
onto this screen
page
why me?

Nothing flowing
halted to the ceiling
waters flowing out
onto the floor
can't think
can't deal with this
poem plumbing problem
plugged
stopped
screeching to 
an abrupt halt

What to do?
Feeling the pressure
to amuse
my kids
their smiles
laughter
I can't write!
what a disaster
natural
in my brain
cannot think
ideas not flowing
me not knowing
calm down 
the panic
to perform

What if they 
don't like it?
What if I flop?
What if it's 
plain bad
ugly
Oh, please!
Just stop!
It will be fine.
Start to write
You will see
things just 
pop out
pop in
words fly
don't know why

Okay
will try
start some place
on this 
white 
blanketed page
for less
than minimum wage
for free
just to see
a smile
laugh
a wow
maybe tomorrow
maybe right now

No more poem plumbing
call off the dogs
got the answer
this sink's not clogged
pen to paper
paper to pen
think I can do it
in the zone
of my very own
poem plumbing
left the building
for today

Expository It Is!

The state of Texas has decided that our students will write an expository composition the 4th and 7th grade writing tests.  In the past, the writing samples that were required were one expository and a personal narrative given two consecutive days. Just yesterday the test schematics were released. The writing test will take place on one day. There will be twelve multiple choice questions that are categorized as being editing type questions and six coming from the revision realm. I am not sure how all of this will be weighted. I know that of the multiple choice portion, 66% of those items are editing questions and 34% are revision questions. That was the pattern of all STAAR testing cycles. I wonder if the composition will be scored on the adjacent model of 0-8 and then just multiplied by two to keep it consistent with the way it was previously. In the past, the expository and personal narrative were each scored and then combined. The maximum score for both compositions would be 16 points out of 44 possible raw score points (these include 28 multiple choice questions.). That is why they could possibly multiply the expository composition on a scale of 0-8 and then multiply the score by two. This would be the same method of determining the raw score as in previous years. If that is the case, then the composition would weighted at 36% of the test. the multiple choice questions would be weighted at 64%. We will see as we wait for more information by the Texas Education Agency. It will be interesting.  To get the current documents, go to the link below and download. You can also go directly to the TEA website to download.



4th Grade Writing Documents from TEA

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I Am From-Young Poet in the Wild

I will be posting, from time to time, some poems and other writing from the young poets in the wild. I decided to post one of the poems because I had taken a photo with my iPevo document camera. I may have others on my phone. I need to import them to my computer, but I always get these warning on my computer that I don't have much memory. I love media and I like to keep it stored on my computer for easy use. I guess I am going to have to buy a portable hard drive for all of my media from my phone. I have some in the cloud, but it takes so much time to figure out which photo I want and to then begin the downloading process.

Without further adieu, here is one of poems from one my young poets in the wild. I know she will be extremely excited to see her work on this blog. I hope you enjoy it!


First Draft

Friday, October 2, 2015

Cat and Dog Video

I used Camtasia to produce this video about crazy cats and dogs. They are little snippets of laughter. The dog and birds photographs hail from 98.5 Sonshine FM from Australia.  The cat drinking water, while laying down, was produced by Guff's videos. The disappointed dog video is from 2GO 107.7. The Sammy video was my video that I uploaded to Youtube. Many of these were shared on Face Book. I want to show them to my class for different purposes. Each part of the video could be used for different purposes. I hope you get a good chuckle!

video

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why We Write Poetry-What Will Your Verse Be?

I found this video tonight. It has been years since I watched The Dead Poet's Society. I remember watching Robin Williams captivate the audience. I wanted to be one of his students standing on the desk. I was in college at the time. It inspired me to want to continue my educational trek into teaching. Looking it over, after so many years, still bring tears to my eyes and inspiration to my soul. I thought about my poetry and my student's poetry. Poetry definitely can set the mind and heart on fire. I see it changing the lives of many of my students. Many of my students are giving it a whirl. I learn so much about them in their writing and sharing. It is such an amazing thing to walk into my classroom and hear my students ask me, "Can I share my poem today?" I have shared my poems intermittently with them. They like them and it is great to have a captivated audience. I see how poetry has boosted their confidence as readers and poets. What Robin Williams says is true. We all have a voice. What will your verse be?


Layers The Teaching of Theme from the Teaching Channel

I found this post from my Facebook feed. I really like how these teachers layered the teaching of theme. Teaching theme can be quite complex. I really enjoyed seeing how these middle school teachers layered the teaching of theme. Seeing the actual teaching snippets was helpful. I also liked how the teachers shared their experiences and planning throughout the video.  I really find videos of the Teaching Channel informative. Nice!

Layering the Teaching of Theme

Chowing Down

I used Camtasia to produce this funny video. I saw this shared video on Face Book. I recorded it in Camtasia and add voice narration. The video came from Veterinaria  Biotechnology on Facebook. I added my voice narration. I am going to show this to my students. I know they will get a kick out of it, plus I would like to brainstorm possible uses in classroom. I believe that they will find more uses than I can imagine.

Today, I showed them some of my videos and posts from my blog. I wanted them to see this, so that they will see some things that they could do in the future. I finally got out my computer today and had them go to Edmodo to respond to some clips, posts, and websites. I know these are small steps, but they are my steps. I know where I would like to go, but it will take some time. My next project will be to create a class on Edublog or Blogger. I would like for my students to start creating their own blogs and start to communicate within the school and globally.

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