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, 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'