Friday, May 30, 2008

Sixth Grade Outdoor Ed. Camp

We are back with a few bruises, scrapes, and a little poison ivy, but a good time was had by all. The Laurelville students did an awesome job facing challenges, and working with their group to succeed.


A special thanks to all of the staff members who made this possible including Mrs. Griffey, Mr. Congrove, Mrs. Stevenson, Mrs. Blubaugh, Mrs. Cartee, Mrs. Bower, Ms. Fraley, and Mrs. Caudill. Also thanks to our special guests, Mr. Guthrie, Deputy Thomas, and Ms. Bowlby.

More on camp later.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Relay for Life

Today is the kickoff for the first Laurelville Elementary Relay for Life. A kick off rally was held in the gym at 2:45. A special thanks to Lori Reid ( for coming down to help get us started. Students took home envelopes with an explanatory letter on the front. Hopefully parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors will support us as we work to help this worthy cause.

We do have some great news already. VanCuren's Graffics sold Laurelville Elementary Relay for LifeT-shirts for $10. They donated $5.00 of the cost for each shirt sold. Over 90 T-shirts have been sold!

Also, the sixth grade students have been selling window stars for $1 each in the cafeteria every day at lunch. They have sold over 150 stars.

Great job to parents for your help! Hopefully this weekend students will be able to build on this great start!

Relay for Life Graph

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where am I #6?

The McGuire family prepares for a trail ride. Just like in the old west, we are heading out. Where am I?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Group Work

As part of the Sixth Grade Outdoor Education Camp experience, students must cooperate and work as a group. In order to prepare students, they will have several opportunities to work together, and get their group ready for camp.

Today students had to make 2 lists:
The Top 10 Things That will Help a Group Succeed The Top 10 Things You Don't Want to Happen at Camp

After making the lists, students then shared their top three with the entire sixth grade class. Their lists were interesting, and the groups worked well together. Below is a compilation of the lists.

The Top 10 Things That will Help a Group Succeed

1. Teamwork
2. Encourage each other and be supportive
3. Respect group members
4. Follow camp rules/behave
5. Try your best
6. Don't give up
7. Respect Oty Okwa staff and teachers
8. Believe in yourself
9. Be Understanding
10.Have fun

And on a lighter note

The Top 10 Things You Don't Want to Happen at Camp

10.Don't forget to pack your underwear
9. Don't talk to Mrs. Stevenson before she gets a diet Coke in the morning
8. Don't pee in the pool
7. Don't run out of hot water after you go through Fat Man's Squeeze
6. Don't make Mrs. Griffey yell
5. Don't sleep in the bunk next to a snoring female teacher
4. Don't break a leg
3. Don't get poison ivy
2. Don't pass gas at dinner
1. Don't get sent home

Monday, May 19, 2008

Outdoor Education Camp

All thoughts in the sixth grade are centered around Sixth Grade Outdoor Education Camp at Camp Oty Okwa. Tonight (5/19/08) is our parent informational meeting at 6:00 in the cafeteria. Students will receive their Camp Book at this time. It includes a schedule of activities, supplies needed, camp rules, and camp groups.

Sixth Grade Camp motivates students to work as a group member to achieve common goals. Activities also push students to achieve individual success and overcoming fears to reach goals.


Camp Oty Okwa

Thursday, May 15, 2008

10,000 Hits!

Boing Today The Reading Workshop blog passed 10,000 hits. This means that the blog has been viewed 10,000 times. WOW! Thank you to parents, students, teachers and visitors for reading. There have been over 4,000 unique/different visitors.

This is remarkable for several reasons.

1. Students are listening.

2. Parents are using this resource.

3. Teachers tune in to see what we are doing.

4. This proves the value of a blogs in education.

5. Parents, students, and teachers are all reading the same thing.

6. Educational issues are being discussed.

7. Students are feeling ownership for the class and what happens here.

8. Where Am I? causes students to think critically and use map skills.

9. Student write with the knowledge that their writing has an audience.

10. Students are taking advantage of the opportunity to earn extra credit.

Thank you to everyone that has stopped by to see what we are doing!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where am I #5?

I am not on Gilligan's Island, but I could be. Except we stayed at a resort instead of in a grass hut. You can yell and shout, and beat the drum, those thinking UP are getting close. My pap and I spent a week there last summer.

Where Am I 5?
Where am I?

Congrats to Josh and Caleb, you get 17 trillion rocks from the shore of extra credit!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Magnetism of Bad Attitudes

Bad Attitude StudentIn this whole world, there is no attraction stronger than one bad attitude to another. Today, when two classes were together for about 3 minutes, the complainingest student from one class immediately joined the unparticipatingest student from the other class. You're shocked, I know (yeah right!).

Now, this is absolutely the hardest working sixth grade I have ever seen. This really makes a complainer, or someone with a bad attitude stick out.

What is amazing is how bad attitudes attract bad attitudes. They remind me of how

stink is attracted to armpits and old shoes or

ear wax is attracted to a Q-tip or

mustard is attracted to the front of a fat man's shirt or

grass stain is attracted to a 9 year old's knees or

spaghetti is attracted to a first grader's face or

a teenager's ear is attracted to a cell phone or

lipstick is attracted to a collar or

Mrs. Caudill is attracted to dark chocolate or

a 16 year old boy is attracted to his first car or

a sixth grader is attracted to camp or

a teenage girl is attracted to MySpace or

Mrs. Griffey is attracted to new clothes or

Those bad attitudes just love bad attitudes! Do you know of any attractions?

Relay for Life

Relay for Life Logo
The Relay for Life at Laurelville Elementary is moving forward. This week, students will be selling window stars for $1.00 to raise money. All of the stars will be posted in the window of the cafeteria.

VanCuren's Graffics is offering Relay for Life T-shirts for sale. Each shirt is $10.00. For each shirt sold, VanCuren's will donate $5.00 to the cause. These will be gray shirts with a Laurelville Elementary/Relay logo. The T-shirt sale will be May 12 -20. Shirts will be delivered on June 2 so we can wear them at the Relay for Life on June 3.

Relay Calendar

5/12-19 T-shirt sale

5/12-19 Star sale in the cafeteria

5/23 2:45 Relay kickoff for the whole school in the gym—envelopes & letters will go home

6/3 9:00 Turn in envelopes in homeroom

6/3 1:30 Assembly in gym with Relay for Life walk around school grounds to follow

Help the cause and purchase a star for only one dollar. The stars are available in the cafeteria at lunch each day and in the school store.

Relay for Life Star

Monday, May 12, 2008

Scary Story

Today we will be writing a scary story. When I told students this last week, they thought I had lost my mind. "It's not Halloween," they said. "Why would we do it in May?" they asked.

Well, funny you should ask that. The things we will cover include:

1. The plot and developing problems;

2. Descriptive writing and adding supporting details;

3. Punctuating dialogue;

4. Character development;

5. Building a narrative to a climax;

6. Cooperation and writing with a partner;

7. Edditing-git that speling write;

8. Writing with an introduction, body, and conclusion.

The assignment is to write a scary/horror story. BUT, shooting or guns, and stabbing or knives, or killing in any way is NOT allowed! All injuries must be incidental or accidental. The focus is on scaring the reading in only the most imaginative ways!

I can't wait to read them.

Plan for Success in Jr. High

As Laurelville students head off in a few months to McDowell Jr. High, how will teacher's describe them? Will they be the organizational nightmare destroying the sweet dreams of their teachers? What do they need to do to start of their two years of jr. high on the right foot?

On Friday, May 16, the sixth grade will go to McDowell for their orientation. As they begin to think about their future, what goals should students have to face this new challenge? And, what should their plan be to succeed?

I read this recently on Polski3's View From Here.

Helpful or Coddling?

Teaching 7th graders, every school season I get a good number of them who have absolutely NO organizational skills. Our school gives each student a binder and dividers at the beginning of the school year. Most have backpacks to use for lugging their school stuff... many arrive to us with no organizational skills.

The main problem many have with this is that when it comes time to turn in their work, they can't find it. Their assignment might be in their backpack, crammed amongst the remains of who knows what else in the pile of mulch found in many of their backpacks. Their assignment might be someplace in their binder, if they have a binder.


Will our students be a smiling example of success? Will they hold up "A" papers that prove their ability as jr. high students. Or will they be the Pig Pen from Charlie Brown.

What is your PLAN for success?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Problems in Writing

GhostsAll good writing has problems, lots and lots of problems, with lots and lots of details. The more problems in a narrative, and the more descriptive the writing, the more the reader will be engaged. Problems are what give the story a body. They create the interest by getting the reader to insert himself into the story, to think of solutions, and to root for a character to succeed or fail.

Today, students brainstormed a list of problems that could occur in the setting where their scary story takes place. Each partnership came up with problems that might fit in a horror story. These problems had to be realistic enough to be believable, but "sick" enough to fit into a scary fictional narrative.

Once each group came up with a list of 8 - 10 problems, we came to the circle, and shared ideas. Then students revised their essays, inserting new problems and adding details. As we continue writing and improving these stories, I am sure the final drafts will be excellent and eerie.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Carinval of Education

Thanks to Bellringers for including this blog in the latest Carnival of Education. This is a series of posts hosted by rotating blogs, that feature educational blogs.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Two Person Journal

One journal, one topic, one file, but two writers make a Two Person Journal. Students were partnered with a peer from another class. A folder with a file was created on the Laurelville server. The page was divided down the middle using a two column table. For the rest of the school year, students will write each day about a different topic.

This system has an advantage over a regular journal in that the writer has an audience. Everything written will be read daily. Also, with a peer to share ideas, comments, opinions, and information, it means more. Whether students write about books, school, friends, hobbies, family, or any other topic, they know a reader cares about what they have to say.

I originally did this project with composition notebooks that students shared. Now, with the technology available in Reading Workshop, students keep a common Open Office Word file saved on our file server. They can each write to the file from anywhere in the school. Because there is a computer for each student, they can access their file during class each day, read their partner's post, and respond.

This is a great motivator for students. After all, what does every writer want? To be read, of course.

Where am I #4?

Once again, back by popular demand, everyones favorite post, Where am I?

Don't let the sun set, without this view, at the end of the day.
If you think you know, grab a seat and guess away.
If the day was bad, or just okay,
Reading a book here will whisk my troubles away.

You might think that it's a place to pray,
That's sometimes true, depending on the day.
The Church of God are where most guesses lay,
But you better swing some other way.

There is a field in front, you could say,
With horses grazing through the day.
I might soon go there, but not today,
Although this spot will keep the rain away.

In fact, it's a nice spot for a mini soiree.
Or, to get over a school day filled with disarray.
Me and my diet Dew overcoming the fray,
Of wrong guessing students at school today.

Just looking at the picture is no way to play,
Think about what the clues convey.

Dillon was so so close guessing yesterday,
But, close doesn't win this game we play.
Congratulations to the KW's because hey,
They guessed it right, I may be there today.

Monday, May 5, 2008

How Do You Feel About Reading?

Today's post is a guest post by Shayna T. She is a sixth grade student at Laurelville Elementary.

If you don't already know, reading is an important part of your education. Reading can give you knowledge and entertainment. If you don't read you probably can't comprehend some of the most basic Social Studies, Science, Math and Writing skills. The only reason why you can't do these things is because you don't read enough! I know some people don't like to read, but sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do!

As I said earlier, some people don't like reading, but I do! Reading has helped me get A's in all of my school subjects. When I was in 3rd grade I didn't enjoy reading that much. That was before I found out about the Harry Potter books! After that I started to try more and more books until I found the right genre. The genre that I like the most to this day is realistic fiction. Realistic fiction is like where the things that happen in the book can be real, but they are not proven facts.

If you want to know where to get some really good realistic fiction books I would look in Mr. McGuire's bookshelf. Some of the best books that I read were The Outsiders, Party Girl, Define Normal, Kira Kira, Star Split and the Watchers series.

To end my post I wanted to ask you some questions about your reading habits.

1.What kind of books do you read?

2.How often do you read?

3.Do you like reading?

4. Do you read as a hobby?

Role of Technology in Education

I first viewed this on Betchablog.

Parents, students, and teachers, how should technology be incorporated into education? What would the ideal Reading Workshop look like? What would reading and writing instruction look like? What processes would we follow? What activities would take place in this "ideal" classroom? What would determine success?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Learning Styles

What kind of learner are you? North Carolina State University has a test you can take to find out how you learn best.

Just follow the link, take the test, and then print out the results.

Felder and Soloman, researchers for NCSU look at four areas of learners in their report of Learning Styles and Strategies. Listed below is a breakdown of the areas.

Active and Reflective Learners

Active learners tend to retain and understand information best by doing something active with it--discussing or applying it or explaining it to others.

Reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first.

Sensing and Intuitive Learners

Sensing learners tend to like learning facts, intuitive learners often prefer discovering possibilities and relationships. Sensors often like solving problems by well-established methods and dislike surprises.

Intuitors may be better at grasping new concepts. Intuitors tend to work faster and to be more innovative.

Visual and Verbal Learners

Visual learners remember best what they see--pictures, diagrams, flow charts, time lines, films, and demonstrations.

Verbal learners get more out of words--written and spoken explanations.

Sequential and Global Learners

Sequential learners tend to gain understanding in steps, with each step following logically from the previous one.

Global learners tend to learn in large jumps. Global learners may be able to solve complex problems quickly or put things together once they have grasped the big picture.

My Results

The chart below shows the results from my test. As you can see, I am strongly an intuitive, global learner, with a tilt towards visual learning. Basically, this means I tend to work quickly, always looking for new ideas, and need to see the whole concept. I need to picture an idea to understand it.

What is your learning style? What does this tell you about how you learn best?

Why Blog?

Why? Why? Why?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Brain Teaser

A student from Chicago was a very good runner, so he went to France to enter a race. A French web site reported that the student won the race, averaging a speed of 25,750 kilometers per hour. Back home, his classmates were impressed but confused. When they plugged 25,750 into a kilometer/mile converter, it seemed that their friend raced at the brisk speed of 16,000 mph. How is this possible?