Friday, January 29, 2016

Lugubrious Joy

Yesterday, I had a blast with you all as we shared stories from our childhoods of when we felt lugubrious or were in lugubrious situations...

Our storytelling exploded into loads of narratives, and there was a sense of joy as you each used the word so well and revealed fascinating (and sometimes even funny) memories of things you thought were lugubrious but in actuality were not!

We also talked, more seriously, about Parvana's situation in The Breadwinner, and how aptly her struggle fits with the darkest and hardest meaning of our word, lugubrious. Yet, her inner courage finds a way for hope to maintain life.

Today, we had our 13th Vocabulary Voyage!

For homework this weekend, be sure to read through page 43 (up through Chapter 3) in The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. And our word of the day for today was VOCATION which means a desire towards a certain job or career; an ideal job; a calling.


Mr. R

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Credible Account

Today, in some classes, we finished our IDEAL SCHOOL presentations, and began our new class novel, The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. The novel is a powerfully credible account of a fictionalized journey of 11-year old Parvana in her quest to courageously stand up to the Taliban regime and help her family survive.

Our word of the day today is CREDIBILITY, which means trustworthiness, or the ability to inspire belief, respect, and trust. And example is: Because of her work in Afghanistan. author Deborah Ellis has a lot of credibility in her writing of the novel The Breadwinner.

For tonight, share a brief response to the following question: what do you think is one of the most important values of a government and why?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Ye Intrepid Presenters!

Hello Lovely Students!

Today we continue on with our Ideal School presentations. So far, I am loving learning from eahc of you what might be possible in education, and I have laughed, pondered, wondered, smiled, and even had a few epiphanies!

Our word of the day from last Friday was INTREPID, which means bold, brave, fearless. Our word of the day today is LACONIC, which means using few words. Laconic is the opposite of one of our previous words, LOQUACIOUS (which means using loads of words).

Have an awesome day today!


Mr. R

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Presentation Time!

It was a blast listening to the first rounds of Ideal School presentations today. In each class, I felt as though I was on a school board listening to proposals for a brand new school--and so many of your schools are imbued with creativity, hands-on learning, and fascinating field trips!

I am looking forward to continuing to hear and see more of your schools in the upcoming days!

Our word of the day today is RESILIENCE, which means the ability to keep going in the face of obstacles or failure. We used the example of J.K. Rowling and her 13 rejections from the book Harry Potter as an example of resilience!


Mr. R

Friday, January 15, 2016

Antique Photographs and New Schools

Today, we had our creative vocab quiz whereby you used our past five words to write a compelling (and sometimes hilarious) personal narrative based on an antique photograph that you selected from our big table at the front of the room.

I can't wait to read your narratives--as I loved hearing the ones that some of you read aloud in class today!

Be sure to finish up your presentations for your IDEAL SCHOOL project by Wednesday (here is the assignment), and "share" your presentation with me by clicking the little blue button on the top right of the Google Slides screen that is called, aptly, SHARE.

On Wednesday, we will begin presenting our schools to one another. Scroll down to yesterday's post for the assignment overview and an example of a great school from last year. Additionally, because some of you said you'd love to see more examples, here are a few more ideal schools from last year!

Example 1 of an Ideal School

Example 2 of an Ideal School

Example 3 of an Ideal School

Have an awesome weekend, and see you Wednesday!


Mr. R

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Schools and Creativity

Today is our last day in the library to workshop and craft our ideal school projects. Remember that they are due on Wednesday, January 20. We will each have the chance to share two of our slides with the rest of the class (or more!0 beginning Wednesday.

Here is the overview of the Ideal School mission--be sure to check your slides against the list of required slides--and then creatively craft your other slides!

And here is the model we explored in class of a powerful Ideal School presentation from last year.

For tomorrow, be sure to review our last five words for our creative vocab quiz: IMBUE, PERFIDIOUS, MOROSE, EMPATHY, and APOPLECTIC.

Have an awesome evening, and good luck working on your IDEAL SCHOOL projects!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Creating Your Ideal School

After reading the powerful novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and screening the inspiring film Glory Road, and then delving into the brilliant mind of Socrates with "Plato's Allegory of the Cave," we are digging into our creative projects today in the library: making an IDEAL SCHOOL!

Here is the link to the Ideal School mission overview.

And here is a link to an example IDEAL SCHOOL project from one of last year's students.

Be sure to check it out for examples and inspiration, and I am thrilled and excited to see what you come up with!


Mr. R

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Creating Your Ideal School (and Channeling a little bit o' Socrates)

Today, we chipped deeper into the iceberg!

Way down!

Cracking the dense ice!

Whoa, man, ice chips are flying everywhere!

Another way of saying the above is: we read "Plato's Allegory of the Cave" (which which really spoken by Socrates) and tried to grapple with what Socrates says life is all about.

Here is a link to the reading that we performed aloud and acted out in class today. 

Then, we segued into our IDEAL SCHOOL project, in which each of us will have to decide what core values and ideas matter most when creating and designed a school.

Here is the link to the overview of the IDEAL SCHOOL project. 

Tomorrow and Thursday, we will meet in the library to workshop and create our schools, and we'll continue discussing Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and "Plato's Allegory of the Cave" as we do so.

Our word of the day today is PERFIDIOUS, which means deceitful, as in this example, "The villain was perfidious when he told me that he was only trying to find the secret to my super power."

Our word of the day from yesterday was IMBUE, which is a verb that means to fill completely.

See you tomorrow, and peace!

Mr. R

Monday, January 11, 2016

Poetic Connections

Welcome back! I honestly missed you all very much while I was away on jury duty, and it is great to be diving back into our work together after your screening of the film Glory Road last week.

Today, we engaged in a creative comparison and contrast between the film Glory Road and the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

Instead of writing an analytical comparison to connect the film and the novel, we worked on creative poems by which to relate two characters and their similarities and differences. As an example, I shared a draft of a poem I wrote connecting T.J. Avery from Roll of Thunder to Bobby Jo Hill in Glory Road. Click hear to read the example that we discussed in class today.

Then, we had on music and you all dove into crafting your own creative connection poems. I loved workshopping these poems with you and having the chance to read and connect!

Tomorrow, we will begin our IDEAL SCHOOL project using our novel, the film, and our own experiences! And a little something extra from our old pal Socrates...


Mr. R

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sacrifice and Justice

Welcome back from your holiday break!

Today, we began with a Quick Write for 6 minutes. My hand hurt after the six minutes--and if yours did, too, I hope it relaxes until our next voracious dive into writing nonstop!

We had the chance to change up our seats today for the new year, and then we discussed the denouement of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. We talked about Pap's sacrificial move to burn 1/4 of the Logans' own cotton in order to save T.J. from the mob.

Even though Papa has saved T.J.'s life for the moment, though, we talked about the fight for justice in the South in 1933 and we wondered aloud what will become of T.J. now.

 As we prepare for our first film screening of the academic year, on Wednesday, we also talked about how justice can happen when small groups of people make committed decisions to stay with a goal even in the face of great obstacles.

Our word of the day today is MOROSE, which means gloomy or sullen  (think: sunken in terms of mood or atmosphere).

For tonight, our homework is to find out three fact about Texas Western University, and bring them in for tomorrow.


Mr. R