Dear Students:

Thinking back on your life so far, what is something your parents did (in raising you) that you appreciate?  And, if you could do something differently for your own child someday, what would it be?

Consider decisions that have really affected your life or who you are: siblings, interests, moving, values, friends, etc., and the role your parents played in these things.

You may remain anonymous, as I may like to include some of your comments in a research paper at some point.

Thanks for taking the time to respond!  [Y]

MrH

My two seventh grade language arts classes spent time covering a unit on the genre of mystery.  The culmination of this unit was combining previously learned skills (such as sensory detail) and the genre elements to create their own mystery in the form of a classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" story.  (This sounds like a relatively simple idea, but to actually plan out a story and develop a coherent plot in this style is very challenging.)  We began with software called Inspiration, to help us map out plot options for the choices.  Then we covered some advanced MS Word features like hyperlinking and bookmarking within the document.  This skill, along with the insertion of graphics (and in one instance, sound!), combined with descriptive writing, made for some very entertaining writing.

Take a moment to read the students selections and offer some feedback.  Positive feedback or constructive criticism welcome.  [I]  All feedback must be approved by me, the moderator, before appearing as a post.

Story links click here.  More info about the unit click here. 

Short on time?  Too many choices?  The following students' stories received high praise from classmates: Eryn, Dee, Cacey, Mikaela, Taylor, Doug, RJ, Allie, Calin, Chelsea, Diana, Kayla, Alyssa, Chrstina, Koran.

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In case you're curious as to what I've been doing so far, I've just finished teaching a short web design class over at the MISD on Garfield.  I was surprised to have both Ian and Tyler H in my class, and felt lucky to have this short "reunion" with former students so quickly after we all parted ways.  But, this class being done, I'm pretty much free for the summer.  I've got a lot of home projects in mind (cleaning the basement, painting, something else I've forgotten), and playing some catch up with family and friends.  I've got a bunch of books to read (Wicked, Empire of the Sun, something about students <gulp>), so I'll try and tackle a few of these...maybe even the Da Vinci Code.  Anyhow, let me know how you're doing, and I'll try and respond as soon as possible.  Also, please let others know about this Post, and encourage them to take a minute to keep in touch.  Note: Comments are moderated, and will not post immediately.

What reflections do you have about your teachers this year?  (Be nice!  We still have a little power left in your grades <wink wink>)

When you think back on seventh grade, what sorts of memories come to mind?  Think about classes and time spent with friends and your favorite teachers (haha), projects, an accomplishment you achieved, etc.

What did you think of this class?  What is something that you learned that you recall as being most challenging, or your favorite?  The high schools offer a web design, would you be interested in taking this?  Compared to other classes, do you feel you learned more, less, or the same amount of content ("stuff")?  Any thoughts you would like to share with incoming class?

What did you think about the PocketPC's?  What are the ups-and-downs of working with this technology?  What did you use your personal device for--besides games or paperweight?  Would you ever want to own one of your own with wireless Internet capabilities?  Comment, if you can, on both the wireless classroom set, and your own that you may have had with you for the year.