About Me

My photo
Nottingham, NH, United States
I'm a middle school teacher and science and books are two of my favorite things! (Chocolate and coffee are pretty high up on the list as well)

Search This Blog

Monday, December 17, 2012

AP Central - The AP English Language and Composition Exam

AP Central - The AP English Language and Composition Exam:  While high school is still a few years in the future for you, it's not too early to take a look at some examples of written responses from the AP English Exam.  You'll find examples of writing ranging from excellent to poor - with an explanation of how each piece was scored.  What do you need to do to improve your own writing?  Set some goals now!

'via Blog this'

Christmas History

Christmas History:  Here's another website with more information about the history of Christmas

'via Blog this'

Christmas — History.com Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts

Christmas — History.com Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts:

Why do we hang up mistletoe or set up a tree at Christmas?  Learn about the history of Christmas!
'via Blog this'

The Purdue OWL: Grammar

The Purdue OWL: Grammar:  Another resource to help you with any questions you might have about grammar

'via Blog this'

Rules at Grammar Bytes!

Rules at Grammar Bytes!:  This is a great website with lots of resources for learning about grammar!

'via Blog this'

English Rules | Grammar Rules | Punctuation and Capitalization Rules

English Rules | Grammar Rules | Punctuation and Capitalization Rules:

'via Blog this'

Grammarly | Instant Grammar Check - Online Proofreading

Grammarly | Instant Grammar Check - Online Proofreading:

'via Blog this'

Student Memoir Examples

Scholastic.com | Teachers: Write It | Publish Your Work: 'via Blog this'  I thought you might enjoy reading other student memoir examples!

Friday, November 30, 2012

MacMillan EXTRA books for teens

'via Blog this' MacMillan Publishing's Newsletter has book reviews, giveaways (win a signed copy of Lane Smith's new book Abe Lincoln's Dream), reviews about the newest books and more! Check it out!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Carrie Ryan Visits Random Buzzers

Carrie Ryan Visits Random Buzzers:
Carrie Ryan, author of Forest of Hands and Teeth, will be answering readers' questions! Submit your question for Carrie!  This issue of Random Buzzers has plenty to keep you busy - book reviews, polls, and you can even preview the first chapter or two of some the latest books!
'via Blog this'

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website: 'via Blog this'  Check out the latest short stories, poems and art by teens, for teens!  If you've got some artwork or short literary pieces, check out their guidelines for submission - you might be able to get your work published!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Grammar Blast

Grammar Blast:  Have fun testing out your grammar skills with a variety of different grammar quizzes from Houghton - Mifflin.

'via Blog this'

BBC - Schools - Dance Mat Typing - Home

BBC - Schools - Dance Mat Typing - Home: 'via Blog this'  Typing practice - free from the BBC!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Adele Griffin Visits Random Buzzers

Adele Griffin Visits Random Buzzers: "Adele Griffin is the acclaimed author of many books for young readers, including Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, both National Book Award finalists. She is also the author of Picture the Dead, The Julian Game, and the Witch Twins and Vampire Island middle-grade series. Adele lives with her husband and two kids in Brooklyn, New York. Read Adele's full bio here!" 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Common Core State Standards Initiative | PTA

Common Core State Standards Initiative | PTA: 'via Blog this'  New! The PTA offers information for parents on the new Common Core State Standards.  You can download a free .pdf file to learn more about the new State standards!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Newseum | Newseum Home

Newseum | Newseum Home: Wow! A news / media museum!! You can visit in person the next time you visit Washington, D.C. but for now, you can take a virtual trip to learn about history, the media and current events.   'via Blog this'

162 Sites For Free Children's Books Online

162 Sites For Free Children's Books Online:  Free books online! Wow!!

'via Blog this'


CCProse:  Read along with some of your old classic favorites or listen to an audiobook - free!  The list is quite comprehensive: A Christmas Carol, Tom Swift, The Time Machine, Wuthering Heights, and more are available to listen to or read along with!  What are you waiting for? Check it out today!    'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pets Add Life

Pets Add Life: 'via Blog this'  Do you have a beloved family pet? Can you write a poem? (That was a rhetorical question - don't answer! Of course you can write a poem!)  Enter the Pets Add Life poetry contest.  Six students' poetry will be chosen - you can win a $250 pet products certificate and $1000 for use in your teacher's classroom!  Your poem will also be published!

Monday, October 1, 2012

No Red Ink!

Ask your parents to check their email for your invite code to join your class on www.noredink.com and get ready to practice your grammar skills!

We will be practicing in class and you may have homework assignments that you will complete online.

Check it out!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Theo Lawrence Visits Random Buzzers

Theo Lawrence Visits Random Buzzers: 'via Blog this' Check out some sample chapters of new books, ask Theo Lawrence a question and read some book reviews!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

12 Powerful Words

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/thenews/foreducators/lessonplans/Larry%20Bell's%2012powerfulwords.pdf Here are some examples of the 12 Powerful Words we reviewed in class.  The wording may be slightly different, but each word has an example with the definition.  You will have to click through 4-5 pages of information before you come to the words.  Each word is on its on page - these are the same notes I showed in class. 'via Blog this'

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website: Using images in writing, Op-Ed - How Technology Affects us and this week's popular art.  Check out Teen Ink - written by and for teens! Submit some of your own work or art to be considered for publication - you could be published, too! 'via Blog this'

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beautifully simple learning tools for students | Quizlet

Beautifully simple learning tools for students | Quizlet:  So you have a whole bunch of new vocabulary words to learn?  Try Quizlet! It's free!  Have your parents check their email for the invitation to join your class group!

'via Blog this'


SpellingCity.com: 'via Blog this'  Check out Spelling City - you can play games and practice your vocabulary and spelling words online!  It's free, too!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sarah Rees Brennan and Rob Franek Visit Random Buzzers

Sarah Rees Brennan and Rob Franek Visit Random Buzzers: Learn about authors Brennan and Franek and read reviews of their books!  This issue of Random Buzzers features activities, quizzes and polls and a cool quiz - enter your original artwork for the cover of The Face on the Milk Carton and you could win a copy of the book and an e-reader!! 'via Blog this' 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Web Cartoonist Raises $1 Million For Tesla Museum : NPR

Web Cartoonist Raises $1 Million For Tesla Museum : NPR: Who was Nicolai Tesla? If you don't know, check out this story! A hint - you have him to thank every time you flip on a light...!  Read the story or click the link at the top of the article and listen to the podcast.

'via Blog this'

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website:  Weekly newsletter - featuring art, stories and poems written by teens.

'via Blog this'

David Levithan Visits Random Buzzers

David Levithan Visits Random Buzzers: 'via Blog this'  Check out David Levithan's new book and post a question for him!

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Flappers trilogy by Jillian Larkin

Vixen:  Watch the trailer, check out the books or try uploading a photo to see what you would look like as a flapper! Romance, glamor and secrets - this series has it all!

'via Blog this'

Ever wonder what it was like to be a flapper?

Vixen » create:  upload a photo or use your webcam to add your face to Vixen's create a flapper app!

'via Blog this'

Seraphina Movie Trailer

Teens@Random | Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Teens@Random | Seraphina by Rachel Hartman: " - Historical - Medieval · Random House Books for Young Readers · Hardcover · July 10, 2012 · $17.99 · 978-0-375-86656-2 (0-375-86656-6) Also ava" 'via Blog this' Learn more about author Rachel Hartman, check out the movie trailer or buy a copy of Seraphina!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lauren Henderson Visits Random Buzzers

Lauren Henderson Visits Random Buzzers: 'via Blog this'  Add a question for Lauren Henderson, check out the latest book reviews, contests and read excerpts from new books!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter:

'via Blog this'

POETRY PAIRINGS - The Learning Network Blog - NYTimes.com

POETRY PAIRINGS - The Learning Network Blog - NYTimes.com:

'via Blog this'

WORD OF THE DAY - The Learning Network Blog - NYTimes.com

WORD OF THE DAY - The Learning Network Blog - NYTimes.com:  Want to brush up on your vocabulary this summer? Check out the word of the day blog!

'via Blog this'

163 Questions to Write or Talk About - NYTimes.com

163 Questions to Write or Talk About - NYTimes.com:  Looking for some interesting topics to write about this summer? Look no further! The New York Times posted a list of 163 of the most popular questions submitted by students!

'via Blog this'

Our Third Annual Summer Reading Contest - NYTimes.com

Our Third Annual Summer Reading Contest - NYTimes.com: 'via Blog this'  Want to enter the NYTimes summer reading contest?  Read an article from the NYTimes and then follow the guidelines in the contest link above to submit your opinion essay of the article!  Contest is open to students age 13-25!

Tessa Gratton Visits Random Buzzers

Tessa Gratton Visits Random Buzzers: 'via Blog this'  Ask author Tessa Gratton a question! check out this month's activities, contests and read the latest book reviews and excerpts from new books!

Monday, July 9, 2012

How to get kids reading and writing over the summer - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post

How to get kids reading and writing over the summer - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post:  8 fun and creative ways students can practice their writing during the summer!

'via Blog this'

Why Students Should Learn to Write for the Public | MindShift

Why Students Should Learn to Write for the Public | MindShift:  Should student writing be posted on the web for all to read? What do YOU think?

'via Blog this'

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter:  In this issue - poems for farewells and goodbyes and the poetics of failure.

'via Blog this'

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter: 'via Blog this' Sign up for a free subscription, read new poems and check out this month's podcast!

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website:

'via Blog this'


Book reviews, newsletters, and more- read excerpts from new books here first!  Teens@Random:

'via Blog this'

Rachel Hartman Visits Random Buzzers

Keep up with your summer reading!  Random Buzzers features author Rachel Hartman this week! Check out the newsletter for contents, book reviews and more! Rachel Hartman Visits Random Buzzers: 'via Blog this'

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Last Day of School

The day you have all been waiting for - the last day of school for the year. It's funny how that even though it is an eagerly awaited day, on that last day, there are tears and hugs and some students show back up after the day has ended - wandering the empty halls and looking into their old classrooms to see if any teachers are still packing up before heading home. The last day is bitter sweet - summer's lure is too strong to ignore - swimming, beaches, sleeping in, time with friends and family, hiking, camping, travel - so much to do, to look forward to, but at the same time, the beginning of summer is the end of the school year. Some of the good byes are temporary, but others, for those that are moving away, it is more permanent. Be thankful for the friends you have and the times that you spent together. Tomorrow is a new day - remember the things you've done the past that made you happy and treasure those memories. Have a wonderful summer! Write down your experiences - joyous or painful - and treasure them - because it is part of what makes you who you are. I will see you in the fall - thank you for a great year!
-Mrs. Buzzell

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer Institutes and Workshops for Students

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website:  Browse through the many offerings!  Some are geared towards high school students, but there are quite a few offerings for middle school students as well!

'via Blog this'

Digital Wish - Apps Center

Digital Wish - Apps Center: 'via Blog this'  Check out these apps! There are Android and iPad/iPod apps available - many of them are free and you can search by grade level and subject!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Museum of Science, Boston | Home

Museum of Science, Boston | Home:  You can view current exhibits here to start planning your visit!

'via Blog this'

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lauren Kate Visits Random Buzzers

Lauren Kate Visits Random Buzzers:  Send Lauren a question, preview some new books that will be coming out soon, or click on the activities links to earn some Buzzbucks by submitting your response to the new writing prompt or you can read what others have written!

'via Blog this'

A man who won't forget Ray Bradbury | Books | guardian.co.uk

One of my favorite authors was Ray Bradbury - he wrote Fahrenheit 451- the original dystopian novel which brought you to a world where books were banned -warning people to think for themselves and the Martian Chronicles short stories that could transport you to far away places - both childhood favorites.  He died this week but will be remembered by many - including author Neil Gaiman, whose remembrance of Bradbury can be read here : A man who won't forget Ray Bradbury | Books | guardian.co.uk: 'via Blog this' 

Another remembrance of Bradbury can be read here- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/06/ray-bradbury-fever-inspiration

Saturday, June 2, 2012

INeedAPencil.com – Free SAT Prep

INeedAPencil.com – Free SAT Prep:  Want to get some free practice for the SAT's?  Why not start now?

'via Blog this'

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter:

'via Blog this'

Great Advanced Reads | ReadKiddoRead.com

Some of the best books out there can be found at Great Advanced Reads | ReadKiddoRead.com:

What's on YOUR summer reading list?  I challenge you to read 30 books this summer!  So what are you waiting for? Get to the library right away!!

'via Blog this'

Teens@Random | News

All new book news, author information, and you can sign up for newsletters like the Strange Lands Science Fiction and Fantasy Newsletter, or Sister Ink: Fun Fiction for the Thinking Girl, or the Alagaesia newsletter - all free and filled with information on the latest books available!

Teens@Random | News:

'via Blog this'

The best end-of-summer reads and a chance to win a stereo system!

The best end-of-summer reads and a chance to win a stereo system!:  Check out some great new books - perfect for reading on the beach!

'via Blog this'

Anne Greenwood Brown Visits Random Buzzers

Anne Greenwood Brown Visits Random Buzzers: 'via Blog this'  Killer Mermaids, love in Italy, book reviews and preview sample chapters of the latest books are available now!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Music of the Holocaust

Songs of the ghettos, concentration camps and World War II partisan outposts
Music of the Holocaust:

'via Blog this'

The Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto

This link to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum will take you to the main menu page for the Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto.  You can read the stories of some of the people who lived in Kovno, and view photos of life in the Ghetto.  Kovno Menu:

'via Blog this'

The Kovno Ghetto

This link to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is an article about life in the Kovno Ghetto - before and after the German occupation of Lithuania.  Kovno:

'via Blog this'

kovno lithuania map - Google Maps

After Mr. Sol Lurie visited our school yesterday, I began to wonder about where Kovno, or Kaunas, Lithuana was located.  I looked up a map of Lithuana and surrounding countries, just to get an idea of where Mr. Lurie's ordeal began.  Here's a link to the map I found. While Lithuania is considered to be mid-sized as compared to other European countries, it is similar in size to West Virginia.  kovno lithuania map - Google Maps: "kovno lithuania map" 'via Blog this'

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rose's Amazing Cross Country Adventure

Rose's mom asked me to share the link of their travel blog so we can all travel cross country vicariously! http://smarttripcrosscountry.wordpress.com/ Today they are in NM - they visited Carlsbad Caverns yesterday - venturing 1.5 miles underground and meeting a swirling mass of bats in the process!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" Photographs in the Farm Security Administration Collection: An Overview - Guides, Reference Aids, and Finding Aids (Prints andPhotographs ReadingRoom, Library of Congress)

Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" Photographs in the Farm Security Administration Collection: An Overview - Guides, Reference Aids, and Finding Aids (Prints andPhotographs ReadingRoom, Library of Congress):

'via Blog this'

Great Depression- Photo of a mother by Dorothea Lange

3b41800r.jpg (515×640):  One of Dorothea Lange's best known photos, this image captured the essence of the hardships families endured during the Great Depression.  If you did not bring a photograph or picture clipped from a magazine for class today, this is the photo you will be using to write your photo poem about.

'via Blog this'

Tom Leveen Visits Random Buzzers

Tom Leveen Visits Random Buzzers:  Check out the latest Random Buzzers newsletter!  You can preview the first few chapters of new books - like Zero by Tom Leveen or Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman!

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Francis Scott Key

Here's a little more about the life of Francis Scott Key:

'via Blog this'

Fort & Flag - Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Many of you had wondered what the "ramparts" were that were referred to in the first stanza of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key.  The NPS website below contains photos/videos of the park and there is a lot of information about the historical and cultural background of the park, as well!  If you look at the walls surrounding the fort, you can get a better picture in your mind when you think about what the battle in 1812 must have been like.  Waiting in the darkness behind the walls of the fort, as bombs exploded overhead, raining down molten shrapnel - shaking the very ground you stood on, while soldiers on both sides stained the earth with their blood - through it all, our flag and soldiers prevail, meeting the dawn triumphantly!

Fort & Flag - Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Award-Winning Magazines, Games, Gifts and Books for Children of all ages - Shop Cricket Today!

Award-Winning Magazines, Games, Gifts and Books for Children of all ages - Shop Cricket Today!: 'via Blog this'

If you are looking for something interesting to read, check out Cricket, Calliope, Faces or some of the other magazines available!  Your parents need to do the ordering, but these magazines are great!  Whether your interests run towards learning about other cultures, poetry and fictional narratives, or science, I'm sure you will find something that piques your curiosity!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: What Did It Mean to You?

A star blinked and went dark today and with it, we lost the creator of one of the most beloved children's books. Maurice Sendak, aged 83 died today.  Perhaps you've read Where the Wild Things Are, Pierre, or In the Night Kitchen?  I've read these books many times to my own kids, who often asked me to read it again, as soon as we finished.  I wonder how kids in the world went to bed dreaming of Max and his Wild Things?  Thank you, Mr. Sendak, for your imagination, wit and ability to bring your readers on a journey in a small boat- over the sea for a day and a night, to where the wild things are.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Plymouth State University offers Reading Skills Summer Classes for Kids

PSU is offering 8 different reading programs this summer in Rochester, NH that can help poor readers become good readers and good readers into great readers! They are offering classes for younger kids ages 4 to 2nd grade with a focus on phonics, comprehension and independent reading skills, Grades 3-5 that focus on fluency, comprehension and long word decoding and classes for 6-8 and 9-11 grader that focus on speed reading, comprehension and study skills. Speed Reading for work, school and pleasure are also being offered to adults and high school seniors.

For more information, please call (800)978-9596 Monday - Thursday 8 am - 10 pm, Friday 8 am - 9 pm, Saturday 10 am - 4 pm

PSU offers family discounts and alternate times and dates are available at nearby locations.

Online Rhyming Dictionary for Poetry and Songwriting

Online Rhyming Dictionary for Poetry and Songwriting:  Are you at a loss for words when it comes to finding just the right word to fit your rhyme scheme? Try the online rhyming dictionary!

'via Blog this'

Random Buzzers Newsletters


Ask author Esther Friesner a question about her novel Spirit's Princess and preview a few chapters of soon to be released new books like The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls!

Storybird - Artful storytelling

Storybird - Artful storytelling: 'via Blog this'

This is an awesome, free site - you can create and share amazing books!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter: 'via Blog this'  > Listen to podcasts, read poems online and check out the discussion guide to learn new ways to approach a poem!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Please Vote for Sofia!

Congratulations! From among many impressive entries received from the 2012 SunWise with SHADE Poster Contest, the poster of a Nottingham School 7th grade student, has been chosen by a panel of judges in Washington DC as the top entry from our state. They received 12,000 posters this year, and our student should truly be proud of her accomplishment. Now, her poster moves on to compete with the other state-winning posters in the national contest. The national winner will be determined through online voting open to everyone. All of the state winning posters will be displayed at the National Children's Museum in Washington, DC this summer. I encourage you to spread the word about her great achievement, and ask your friends, family, school and community members to vote for her poster! The voting period is primarily this week – so spread the word fast. Where to vote: http://cts.vresp.com/c/?SHADEFoundationOfAme/dc4c5dcdbe/8d1e4e6006/10275b9e83 (voting is open April 23 – May 1) Use unlock code: shade And school code: voting12 Once you unlock, the vote, select the “New Hampshire” poster.

PLEASE VOTE for Sofia’s Poster!!! She could win a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida and a Shade-N-Net Shade cover for our school.

Voting ends May 1st - please vote today!

Pity the Beautiful by Dana Gioia : American Life in Poetry

Pity the Beautiful by Dana Gioia : American Life in Poetry:

'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website:  Poems, art and stories by teens! Check out the latest online edition of the Teen Ink newsletter!

'via Blog this'

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter

Poetry Foundation - Newsletter: Poems for Mother's Day and more!

'via Blog this'

Edgar Allan Poe's the Cask of Amontillado

'via Blog this'  Read the short story of the demise of poor Fortunado!

Mariah Fredericks Visits Random Buzzers Next Week!

Eve Edwards Visits Random Buzzers:  Ask Mariah a question about her book The Girl in the Park or enter the latest contests and read a preview of some of the new books coming out! 'via Blog this'

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Calf Path By Sam Walter Foss

Sam Walter Foss (June 19, 1858 - February 26, 1911) was a NH poet from Candia.

Read his poem The Calf Path - what do you think it means? You can listen to Garrison Keilor read it aloud, too!

The Poems of T.S. Eliot

One of my favorite books growing up was a collection of T.S. Eliot's poems about cats. This one was a perennial favorite - read it and let me know what you think! This poem was originally published in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. If the poem sounds familiar, maybe you've seen Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats" - which was inspired by Eliot's poems!

Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw—
For he's the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He's the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity's not there!

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime—Macavity's not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air—
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity's not there!

Macavity's a ginger cat, he's very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he's half asleep, he's always wide awake.

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
For he's a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square—
But when a crime's discovered, then Macavity's not there!

He's outwardly respectable. (They say he cheats at cards.)
And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard's
And when the larder's looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,
Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke's been stifled,
Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair
Ay, there's the wonder of the thing! Macavity's not there!

And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty's gone astray,
Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way,
There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair—
But it's useless to investigate—Macavity's not there!
And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:
It must have been Macavity!'—but he's a mile away.
You'll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking of his thumb;
Or engaged in doing complicated long division sums.

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.
He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:
At whatever time the deed took place—MACAVITY WASN'T THERE !
And they say that all the Cats whose wicked deeds are widely known
(I might mention Mungojerrie, I might mention Griddlebone)
Are nothing more than agents for the Cat who all the time
Just controls their operations: the Napoleon of Crime!

Children’s Poet Laureate : The Poetry Foundation

Children’s Poet Laureate : The Poetry Foundation: Best Children's Poetry Books

How many of these have you read? Check one out at the library today!

'via Blog this'

Shel Silverstein's Poems Live On In 'Every Thing' : NPR

Shel Silverstein's Poems Live On In 'Every Thing' : NPR:

Listen to the article or read it yourself.  This September 2011 segment is a tribute to the life of Poet Shel Silverstein, who died in 1999.  He lives on in his poems - which he believed are best read aloud.  See for yourself!

'via Blog this'

Printable Shel Silverstein Activities

Shel-abrate Poetry Month with some fun activities inspired by Shel Silverstein!  These are mostly geared towards younger students - so if your brother or sister is driving you nuts during vacation (and your parents won't let you sell siblings) - here's the next best thing! Print these out, give them to your brother or sister and they should happily leave you alone for hours! (And you will score bonus point for being a good big sister/brother, too!)

'via Blog this'

Mother To Son by Langston Hughes

Read "Mother to Son" (or click the link to listen to the poem as read by Langston Hughes) and answer the following questions.

What is the poem about?
What is the theme?
What does the mother want the son to do?
What is the metaphor of the poem?

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now --
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Home : American Life in Poetry

Home : American Life in Poetry:

'via Blog this'

Shakespeare's Words | Portal | William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Words | Portal | William Shakespeare:

'via Blog this'

Shakespeare's Words | Plays | William Shakespeare

Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!  Check out some of Shakespeare's works!
Shakespeare's Words | Plays | William Shakespeare: 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website:  Weekly Newsletter

'via Blog this'

One Time When Instant Tanka Poem

Create your own tanka using this easy form! Explain something that happened to you and what lesson you took away from the experience.
One Time When Instant Tanka Poem:

'via Blog this'



'via Blog this'

Issue 20: A Few Feet Away

American Tanka Poems - explore!

Issue 20: A Few Feet Away:

'via Blog this'

How to write a Tanka poem

The Tanka poem is very similar to haiku but Tanka poems have more syllables and use simile, metaphor and personification.

There are five lines in a Tanka poem. Here is an example that I wrote!

Line one - 5 syllables Silent desert night
Line two - 7 syllables softly illuminated
Line three - 5 syllable coyote laments
Line four - 7 syllables the cold rocks weep tears of sand
Line five - 7 syllables moonlight's soft touch comforts all

Tanka poems are written about nature, seasons, love, sadness and other strong emotions. This form of poetry dates back almost 1200 years!



'via Blog this'

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Figurative Language Definitions

Figurative Language Definitions:  Practice your knowledge of figurative language!

'via Blog this'

Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation is a wonderful resource - have fun exploring! Poetry Foundation:

'via Blog this'

Poetry Out Loud

As we explore different poems and types of poetry, you will need to do some research to find poems that you enjoy - here's a great place to start! Poetry Out Loud:

'via Blog this'
Wow! Where did the year go? As we enter the 4th and final quarter of the year, we will be embarking on an exploration of poetry - listening to poets, reading poems to learn about the literary devices used and finally, writing our own poems. One of my favorite poems is MOTHER TO SON by Langston Hughes. Here's a link to several recordings of Hughes' poems - courtesy of Yale University and the Smithsonian Institute. What are some of your favorite poems?

Random Buzzers - Week of April 16th, 2012

Ask author Robin Wasserman a question and you might win one of her new books!  To enter this week's contests, read the first few chapters of new books and more, check out Random Buzzers - Week of April 16th, 2012: 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Grammar Games

Wow! I found an enormous listing of Grammar Games:  check them out and let me know which ones are your favorites!

'via Blog this'

A.Word.A.Day -- lipogram

I think I'm going to assign a lipogram! No, it's not a telegram that siphons off unwanted fat!  Good guess, though!
Visit the link below to learn more!

A.Word.A.Day -- lipogram:

'via Blog this'

Games for Kids in The Stacks | Scholastic.com

Games for Kids in The Stacks | Scholastic.com:

'via Blog this'

Random House - Books - Juvenile Fiction

Looking for something new to read? Many of the books in my classroom were published by Random House- you'll recognize some of your favorites, like Maze Runner and Carl Hiassen's newest book Chomp! You can browse by category and even read a preview of books to see if you're interested!

Random House - Books - Juvenile Fiction:

'via Blog this'

Teen Writing Contests

Teen Writing Contests:

Here is a listing of a variety of writing contests that you can enter!

'via Blog this'

Teen Ink | Contests

Teen Ink | Contests:

'via Blog this'

River of Words - Art and Poetry

Enter the River of Words international art and poetry contest - based on the theme of watersheds!

River of Words - Art and Poetry:

'via Blog this'

Author Webcasts - Read.gov

Watch some of your favorite authors on the web as they talk about writing and share some of their work.  Football player Tiki Barber is among those featured here!

Author Webcasts - Read.gov:

'via Blog this'

Teens - Read.gov

As you write, it is helpful to read!  How else can you recognize good literature?  The Library of Congress has many books that you can read online for free.  This link will take you to the Featured Classic Book - A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I read the entire series - marveling at the imagination of a man born in 1858 who envisioned life on Mars before space travel was even a reality.  Burroughs died in 1950- before we put a man on the moon.  Read his tales of John Carter to see the outer space he imagined.  Oh, and if Edgar Rice Burroughs sounds familiar, he also wrote another story that you've probably heard of - Tarzan of the Apes!

Teens - Read.gov:

'via Blog this'

Here's a link to Burrough's official website, too!

The Rocket Book | Read.gov | Library of Congress

I thought you might enjoy this 1912 edition of The Rocket Book - it is a rare book and you can read an electronic copy at the Library of Congress website!

The Rocket Book | Read.gov | Library of Congress:

'via Blog this'

Consequences - a Writing Game!


To play consequences, you’ll need at least three people (the more the better), and a sheet of paper per person. It’s a great game for parties – whether young or old – and would be a good ice-breaker for a writers’ workshop. The game goes like this:
Each player writes down a man’s name – it’s funniest if it’s someone the group knows, maybe a political figure – folds the top of the paper over to hide it, and passes it on.
Everyone writes down “met” and a woman’s name – again, try picking a famous person – folds the paper again, and passes it on.
This time, write “at” or “in” and the place where they met.
Next, write “He said…” and a line of dialogue. (Fold, pass it on…)
Now, write “She said…” and a line of dialogue. (Fold, pass it on…)
Finally, write the consequence, eg. “And they lived happily ever after” – but be more imaginative than that!
Pass the papers on one more time. Everyone unfolds their paper, and then takes turns reading the mini stories that have been created!

Quick question: What do you call words like "First", "Next" and "Finally"?



'via Blog this'

Create Comics with Chogger

Create Comics with Chogger:

'via Blog this'

MAKE BELIEFS COMIX! Online Educational Comic Generator for Kids of All Ages

MAKE BELIEFS COMIX! Online Educational Comic Generator for Kids of All Ages:

'via Blog this'

ReadWriteThink: Student Materials: Comic Creator

ReadWriteThink: Student Materials: Comic Creator: 'via Blog this'

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cobo Cards

Flashcards can be really helpful to use, but not everyone has the patience to cut out little rectangles of paper and then write out the word on one side and the definition on the other. Plus, they really aren't much fun to use by yourself.

Have you tried Cobo Cards? If not, read on and you'll be ready to get started in no time at all!

What are Cobo Cards?

Cobo Cards are a free, web based app that allows you to create flashcards or you can search Cobo cards that other people created - frequently you can find a collection that has all the words you need! Once you have created or found the collection you want to use, you can use them on your smartphone (iphone or android) or on your computer. Here is the link to sign up: http://www.cobocards.com

If you want to use Cobo Cards on your smartphone, here is the link you'll need to download the app: http://www.cobocards.com/smartphone

Why use Cobo Cards?

Cobo Cards were created using the Leitner Algorithm. Picture a box with all of your vocabulary words in it - as you begin to commit the words to memory, all the words you get correct are moved out of the box into a second box. You will be checked periodically to make sure you still remember all the words in the second box, as you are quizzed on words still in the first box. Once all the words have been "moved" to that second box, you will have succeeded in moving these words into your long term memory!

Here is a link to a video that will show you how you can use Cobo Cards to study with your friends:

Did I mention that you can also export these to your own computer in a .CSV file, too? So what are you waiting for? Try Cobo Cards today!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Online Newsletter - Star Crossed Lovers, summer programs and Writer's Workshop - exchange stories and ideas with other kids!
Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website: 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Get some of the premium benefits free for a month!

SpellingCity.com: 'via Blog this'

Friday, March 30, 2012

Links to Poetry Websites

If you enjoy poetry, check out some of the links listed on the pagelink below!  We will be starting a poetry unit soon.  What types of poetry do you enjoy the most? Do you have a favorite poem?  If not, start looking for one now - you will need a poem that you enjoy to share with the class!

Educational Resources and Middle School Lessons | Melbourne, FL: 'via Blog this'

Poems written by teens

Poems written by teens: 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

First, Second or Third Person - How Do I Tell Them Apart?

Click the link below to take a look at key words to look for in order to determine what point of view something is written in!

Point of View - reference and practice activity

'via Blog this'



'via Blog this'

Monday, March 26, 2012

Interactive Writing Resources for Students

Results on ReadWriteThink - ReadWriteThink:

Lots of cool project ideas and interactive websites to help you with a variety of writing projects! Create your own comic strip or character trading cards!

'via Blog this'

Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes- meet author Jarrett J. Krosoczka!

You and your classrooms are invited to a special virtual visit to Jarrett J. Krosoczka's studio onMarch 27, 2012 in celebration of the publication of Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes.
Live book talks happen every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. EST to 3 p.m. EST.

StudioJJK on USTREAM: .:

'via Blog this'

Writing - Where Do I Start?

Writing is a vital communication tool. Choosing the right words to make your point or to evoke emotions in your audience are just two of the many ways that we use writing on a daily basis.

Fun and Easy Web2.0 Tools:

To get started with the brainstorming process, try wordle! Wordle can also be used to make a collage of vocabulary or spelling words you are learning about. Tagxedo is another site where you can make word clouds - try choosing a shape that is related to your word list!

Once you have an idea about what you are going to be writing about, consider the purpose for your writing, who your audience is and how to best organize the information. A letter to the Governor asking him to ban smoking on public beaches would have a very different tone and level of formality than a text to your best friend about the stores you want to shop at when you go to the mall on Saturday.

Graphic Organizers:

If you need a graphic organizer, I've uploaded many of the ones we've used in class to the Worksheets and Student Information page on my website. If you click on the link, look in the Writing Workshop folder - you'll be able to view or download several different organizers.

Resources for Ditching Dead Words and Adding Transitions:

After you've written your rough draft, you are ready to start the best part of writing - revising! Revising is an exciting process - this is where you choose the perfect words to make your point, and where you may decide to move some of your information around, so that it makes sense and you've successfully said what you wanted to say! If you go back to the Worksheets and Student Information page on my website - look in the Writing Workshop folder for Dead Words - avoid using worn out third grade words like "said" and "talked" - Dead Words will get you started on the path to an expansive and exciting vocabulary! You can always use a thesaurus, too!

Editing Checklists:

Once you are happy with the wording and organization of your writing, it is time to start the editing process. Spelling? Punctuation? Fragments? Where to start? So many different areas to review... -don't panic! Take a deep breath, click on the Writing Workshop folder and use one of the editing checklists to make sure you don't miss any errors.

My number one piece of advise for finding problem areas is to read your essay aloud. If you pause when reading and there is no comma or end punctuation in your writing, go back and take a closer look. You may have found a run on sentence. Can it be broken into two sentences or will it sound choppy? If you have two independent clauses, you can add a semi colon to connect them!

Another great resource that you have right at home are your family members - have an adult or older sibling look over your paper - see if they'll go through it with you. Use the rubric to make sure you aren't forgetting something important! It is amazing what an extra pair of eyes can find - especially if they haven't read the essay before!

I hope this helps! If you get stuck, write a note about your question in the margin of your paper and ask me about it during class or come see me at study hall. Keep writing! The more you practice, the better your writing will be!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Random Buzzers - Week of March 12th, 2012

New books to preview the first few chapters of, contests, and this week's feature author is Sasha Gould! Sasha's new historical fiction book is about a 16 year old girl whose father is forcing her to marry the repulsive elderly merchant who had been engaged to her recently deceased older sister.  Will she have to marry Vincenzo?

Random Buzzers - Week of March 12th, 2012:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Poetry Contest!

Middle School Poetry Contest Celebrate Your Cooperative Spirit in a Poem A Poetry Contest for Middle School Students Making a Difference: Open to Students in Grades 5 - 8 Sponsored by Cabot Creamery and Potato Hill Poetry Have you worked alone, with your family, or in the classroom to give back in some special way? We want to know what you've done. Write a poem about how you have made a difference to your community and the people who live there. You must be a student in Grades 5-8. Your entry must be your own original, unpublished work. Deadline is April 30. For complete contest rules, great prizes, and submission guidelines, click here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Random Buzzers - Week of March 5th, 2012

Here's the latest Random Buzzers Newsletter! You can read the first few chapters of Chomp! by Carl Hiasson - he is one of my favorite authors and the book is guaranteed to make you laugh! Meet Author Josh Berks, send in a question to win an advance copy of Cross My Heart and more!

Random Buzzers - Week of March 5th, 2012:

'via Blog this'

Monday, February 20, 2012

Random Buzzers - Week of February 20th, 2012

Here's the newest Random Buzzers newsletter! You can enter to win a copy of Lissa Price's new book Starters, read the first few chapters of newly published books, ask Lissa Price a question and more!

Random Buzzers - Week of February 20th, 2012:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Here's the weekly Teen Ink Newsletter -
check out the latest most popular articles and photos!

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, February 2, 2012

CSI: The Experience - Web Adventures

Do you have what it takes to solve these forensic mysteries? Check out these three new games today! CSI: The Experience - Web Adventures:

'via Blog this'

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Here's the latest Teen Ink newsletter - they are looking for student art and stories - submit some of your work and see if you can get published! Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Great Source iwrite - Students: Grammar Handbook

Tips for editing your writing and more can be found here! Check out the I Write website!!Great Source iwrite - Students: Grammar Handbook:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website

Teen Ink | A teen literary magazine and website:

'via Blog this'


Apps to improve your vocabulary - check out the free illustrated idioms app! Vocabulary:

'via Blog this'

Writing & Storytelling

Wow! If digital storytelling and writing interests you, check these apps out! There are tons of free apps!Writing & Storytelling:

'via Blog this'


while many of these are geared toward younger kids, you might find a few apps here that you will enjoy. There are many fun stories that could be downloaded for free that would keep your younger siblings from annoying you during car rides, too!Storybooks:

'via Blog this'


Lots of fun apps designed to help you improve your spelling - many free apps, or you can purchase fun games like Boggle starting at .99!Spelling:

'via Blog this'


Reading apps for your iPad/iPod - there are some fun free apps- you can download the complete Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale collection for free!Reading:

'via Blog this'


Here is a collection of apps for your iPad/iPod that can help you with grammar! Some, like Madlibs, are free! Grammar:

'via Blog this'

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Random Buzzers - Week of January 23rd, 2012

Send in your questions for author Lauren Kate! She'll be taking your questions about her Fallen novels!
Random Buzzers - Week of January 23rd, 2012:

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 20, 2012

I've got book 1 in the Maze Runner trilogy in my classroom library - it is a great book with lots of action, twists and turns. I read this book when it first came out and had to wait for the 2nd and 3rd books to come out - you can get the 2nd and 3rd books from the library now! Happy reading!

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Story of the Week

Read the account of Betty Rice Hughes, who, in 1962 decides to take a tour of the South to experience the effects of desegregation. Read her story here. Story of the Week:

'via Blog this'

Story of the Week

Sign up to be emailed the short story of the week! Story of the Week:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teaching with Brian Selznick | Scholastic.com

Check out the Brian Selznik author biography and video! He's a great writer. I loved his book The Invention of Hugo Cabret - I've actually seen the animatron that he bases this story on. It is on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. If you haven't read any of Selznik's books, check one out today! See Mrs. T. in the library!!Teaching with Brian Selznick | Scholastic.com:

'via Blog this'