Thursday, September 28, 2006

Problems and Solutions

So far, we have read stories about people (and animals) that have to cope with problems around them. In this week's assigned post you must respond to all of the following prompts about your experiences with problems.

How do you deal with problems in your life? What bad habits do you sometimes use when trying to solve a problem? Do you use different strategies when you are under pressure compared to when you are have time to reflect? What are they?

Think of a time that you made a mistake when you were trying to solve a problem that involved other people. (Everyone has problems and everyone makes mistake, so don't even dare to say "That's never happened to me.") What was your mistake? What caused you to make it? What did you do about it? Did you try to fix it? Did you apologize to the other people?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Posts of the Week

It was a hard choice this week - there were so many very good posts. There are a couple extras that get an honorable mention.

The posts of the week are:
When I Had to Adapt to Something New by Nohora and
My Old and Big House by Catalina

Honorable Mention:
Shakira and Her Life Story by Ana Caro
4-Shopping Lovers by Valeria

This week there is also a blog of the week. Luis Carlos has spent some time fixing up his blog by adding links to everyone's blogs and to some other websites. Check it out.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Reflections of a Blogger

Now you've had your blog for two weeks. Go back and read your expectations about blogging from your first post.

  • How has your blog lived up to your expectations?
  • What is harder or easier about maintaining your web log?
  • How do you feel about it now?
  • Has your feeling changed since the beginning?
  • How do you feel about the technical aspects (links, pictures, settings, etc)?
  • What has surprised you most about your experience so far?
  • What have you learned from blogging?

Write a post that describes your blogging expereinces so far that answers some or all of these questions.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

How to Print an Assignment on the Computer

First, you title should be centered at the top of the page. Use size 14 font and make it bold. Don’t use quotation marks around the title. You should not skip any lines after the title either. Never use text art.

The main part of your assignment must be in Arial font (not Arial Black or any other font). You should use size 12. Print the whole assignment in the normal font. Save bold, italics, etc for places where you need to emphasize a certain word. Set the line spacing to “double” or “2.0”. To set the line spacing, select all your writing, go to the “Format” menu and then choose “Paragraph…” Now you can set the line spacing.

When you start you second paragraph, do not skip any lines. You should use the “Tab” key to indent each of your paragraphs. Another important setting is the page margins. The margin on each of the four sides should be 1 inch or 2.54cm. Some versions of Word use metric and you will need to set the margins using centimeters and other versions use the imperial system and you will have to set the margins using inches. In either case, the margins size is exactly the same since 1 inch is equal to 2.54 centimeters. To set the page margins, you need to go to the “File” menu and then choose “Page Setup…”

If you follow these settings, you will produce a piece of work that looks the same as everyone else’s. It makes things fairer since students who write more will hand in assignments that are actually longer. No matter which printer you use, your work will look the same if you use all of these settings. Believe it or not, part of your grade for your work will be for following these directions. If you don’t, you will lose points.

Note: Blogger does not allow you to indent paragraphs - so you leave spaces between paragraphs. On typed assignments you must indent paragraphs and must not leave spaces between them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Posts of the Week

Well, I have finished correcting your first week of blogging, and I would like to congratulate you on a job well done. Your blogs look great and we're ready to face the world. A extra-special congratulations to the top two Posts of the Week:

My Trip to New York City! by Isabella G. and
Reggaeton by Maria Paulina F.

Both of these posts are carefully written with lots of personal opinion along with some information.

Take a look at them to see if you can take the Post of the Week crown next week! (but not if you should be studying for social studies ;-) )

Monday, September 18, 2006

Chapter One Review

Here is a little quiz made by the publishers of the textbook to test your knowledge of chapter one. Note: All the online questions are multiple choice, but the test will have written questions as well. I recommend that you answer the questions on page 28 in writing as part of your preparation for the test.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Response to Literature

This week, your assigned entry is a response to "Three Skeleton Key." The purpose of the response is to explain how you reacted to the story we read.

DO NOT RETELL THE STORY! Do I need to repeat that? Do not retell the story. You should only tell about something that happens in the story if you are going to also explain your reaction in the same sentence. For example, "The Sentinel walked into the bedroom and returned Duffy's Jacket," is not appropriate for a response to the story. Instead, you could say, "When the Sentinel walked into the room and gave Duff'y jacket back I laughed out loud. It reminded me of a student trying to avoid a teacher because he or she doesn't have their homework done, when the teacher is trying to tell them that they can hand it in tomorrow."

Instead, your writing should describe how you felt about the story while you were reading it and how you feel about it now. You should do some (or even all) of the following
  • Make connections with your own experience. What does the story make you think of? Does it remind you of anything or anyone?

  • Make connections with other stories or events. Do you see any similarities between this text and other? Does it bring to mind other related issues?

  • Ask yourself questions about the text: What perplexes you about a particular passage? Try beginning, "I wonder why..." or "I'm having trouble understanding how..." or "It perplexes me that..." or "I was surprised when ...."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Capitalization Quiz Practice

Hi-ho grade sevens,

Here it is: the quiz practice. Go to Quizstar and login with the username and passsword you created in the first class in the computer room. You should have your username written in your English notebook very close to the beginning. Even though the capitalization quiz is for English class, you will find it in the social studies class in Quizstar. The quiz is called Capitalization and you can take it five times. At the end of each try, you can see the correct answers.

Happy capitalizing!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Response Posting

One of the things that the internet is good for is the ability to connect ideas together. If you want to give your opinion about something that others might not know about, you can give them a link so they can find out more about it.

Your assignment this week is to create a post that responds to another webiste.

Here is an example that links to a site.

Why I Might Be Wrong About School

Sometimes, when I have to go to school in the morning, I don't really feel like going. For me, school is the place where I work. I think that a lot of students feel the same way too. Cassandra Nelson's report for Scholastic News where she travelled across Afghanistan and talked to young people about their lives shows a group of people that feel completely differeently about school. For them, school is an important part of their goal of improving their life. A 12 year-old girl describes her day:
"I get up before sunrise to say my morning prayers, and after that I study and prepare for school. Then I have to bring water from the well, make tea, help my mother cook breakfast, sweep the house, and help wash the dishes. I go to school at 8 am. It is just a short walk from our house. School gets out at noon. Then I come home and help my mother cook lunch and clean house. I do homework for about two-and-a-half hours in the afternoon. In the evening, I get more water from the well and help cook dinner. After all my housework is done, I study a little more and work on my embroidery. We usually go sleep at about 8 p.m. We do not have any electricity so there is not much to do after it gets dark."
Wow, that girl does a lot of work during the day! It sounds like she spends three or four hours on homework a day on top of all the housework she does. I think that she must feel like the work she does at school is for herself. It will make her life better. Why else would she work so hard?

How different is her school from the one that we go to? Why do we think of school as work, when she works so hard for school?

When you respond to another internet site, you should:
1) Give the title, author and website of your source.
2) Link to the source.
3) If possible, quote from the source (using the quotation marks button).

Here are a couple places where you can go to look for ideas to respond to:
1) Scholastic News - check out the News and Special Reports sections
2) CBBC News - Look on the left for the news areas like World, Sport and Sci/Tech.
3) Time for Kids - The magazine Time publishes an online edition for young people.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Quality Comments

A teacher named Anne Davis made this list of beginning for comments to help people make thoughtful comments.
  • This made me think about…….
  • I wonder why…….
  • Your writing made me form an opinion about…….
  • This post is relevant because…….
  • Your writing made me think that we should…….
  • I wish I understood why…….
  • This is important because…….
  • Another thing to consider is…….
  • I can relate to this…….
  • This makes me think of…….
  • I discovered…….
  • I don’t understand…….
  • I was reminded that…….
  • I found myself wondering…….