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Directions: Write a minimum of six one-paragraph entries in a blog and add other elements you think Melinda might include if she had designed a blog.  Consider which timeline you would like to use- you could write from Melinda’s perspective during the book, before the book happened, or predict how her sophomore year would go (after the events of the book).   In order to do this, you must go to www.breee03.livejournal.com and post under the “Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Project Option 3” post.  Make sure you consider reflecting Melinda’s personality, character development, interests, etc.  You should include pictures, quotes, and even song lyrics that you think explain Melinda to the outside world. 

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Updated English Ideas for the Classroom

This is a previous post back in 2008, 2010, and now 2012.  I did not re-read all of this, so sorry if it is repetitive.

I wanted to make an running list of teaching ideas.  This started off as an email, but I wanted to post it somewhere else where others may be able to use these ideas as well.  Even though graduated in English Education Master's program 2009, some ideas can be adapted for other subjects.
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  • Try These 7 Simple Learning Centers You Can Do With Post-It Notes

  • 1Prefixes and Suffixes

    Visuals are great for ESL students, and post-it notes can be just what your students need when it comes to prefixes and suffixes. Starting with a base word written on a post-it, have students add prefixes and suffixes to the word, each written on its own post-it. Or reverse the process and have them break down a longer word. Want a real challenge? Try breaking down the longest word in the English language: antidisestablishmentarianism!

  • 2Student News

    Post a laminated piece of poster board in a corner of your room. Label it The News Nook and explain to your students that they can write a short note about something in their lives. If a student has a piece of news to share, give him or her a post-it and ask the student write the news there. Tell students to include their name at the end when they write a note. Encourage the rest of the class to read the notes, and make sure you read them, too. At the end of the week, return the notes to your students and start fresh on Monday.

  • 3Content Review

    Give your students a self review by writing a question on one post-it and the answer on another. In a folder, stick the answer and then the question on top of it. Students can review the content information by reading the question and self-checking with the answer underneath it.

  • 4Alphabetical Order

    Write a series of words on post-it notes. (You may want to use current vocabulary words.) Students put the words in alphabetical order on a flip chart. When finished, students can check the answers on the next page of the chart and then re-scramble the words for the next student.

  • 5And The Answer Is

    Tap into your students creativity with the answer of the day center. Simply write an answer on a post-it note and put it at the center each day. Your students then use their creativity and question writing skills to write the questions it might answer.

  • 6Becoming Experts

    Challenge your students to become an expert on a new vocabulary term. Write several words on post-it notes and display them in a learning center. Each person chooses one, writes his name on the note, and researches that word until he feels he is an expert. Then, he explains that word to the rest of the class when you review the vocabulary set.

  • 7Sentence Explosion

    Take a famous quote and write each word on a separate post-it. Then display the words in your learning center. Students must either group the words by part of speech or arrange them in logical order to reassemble the quotation.


Try These 7 Best Games for Your Next Vocabulary Class

  1. Charades

    Write vocabulary words on individual index cards. Break your class into two teams, and have one individual from each team act out the same word. The team to correctly guess the word first scores a point.

  2. Pictionary

    Write vocabulary words on individual index cards or use your set from charades. Break your class into two teams, and one individual from each team draws a picture on the board. Drawers cannot use letters numbers or symbols in their drawings. The first team to guess the word correctly scores a point.

  3. Memory

    Create your own memory game using vocabulary words. Write each word on individual index cards. For each existing card, make a matching card with the definition, a synonym or an antonym. Students shuffle the cards and arrange them all face down on a table. Students take turns flipping over two cards. If the cards make a set, the student keeps the cards and takes an additional turn. The person with the most cards at the end of the game wins.

  4. Modified Catch Phrase

    Write each vocabulary word on an individual index card. Students sit in a circle with a timer set for a random amount of time (3-8 minutes works well). Shuffle the cards and give the deck to the first person in the circle. That person draws a card and tries to get his classmates to guess the word by giving verbal clues. He cannot say the word or any part of the word. When someone guesses the word, he passes the stack to the next person who takes a turn with another word. The person holding the stack of cards when the timer goes off loses.

  5. Scattergories

    Choose ten categories with your students or before class starts (e.g. types of pets, city names, sports, items in a kitchen, etc.). Use an alphabet die to determine the letter for each round of play. Set a timer for three minutes, and students must think of one word for each category that begins with that round’s letter. Students score one point per word, and the person with the most points at the end of three rounds is the winner.

  6. The Dictionary Game

    Choose an unusual word from the dictionary and spell it for your students. Each person creates a fictional definition for the word and writes it on an index card. You write the actual definition on another index card. Collect and shuffle the cards, and then read all the definitions. Students must try to guess which definition is the real one.

  7. A-Z Pictures

    Using a picture with many elements (I-Spy books work great), students attempt to find an object in the picture that begins with each of the letters A through Z. After about five minutes, students compare answers. The person with the most correct answers wins the round.

Apr. 22nd, 2012

This skirt is pleated with side pockets. This skirt has outer pleated pockets. Pink hair clip/brooch. A few more pieces.

More crafts


T-shirt infinity scarf with lace!


Magnetic brooch/belt attachment.  Also can go on purses, pillows, skirts, etc.


Felt bobby pin with pale pink pearl accents. :)


Different shades of browns, grays, and black magnetic brooch.



Fabric flowers

MOST (but not all) pieces range from $10-$15. If you are interested in anything, I also have been taking requests and custom making magnetic brooches, headbands, belts or removable belt attachments (slide on and off to interchange skinny belts), hair clips/barrettes/elastic ties, baby accessories, garter belts, etc. Magnetic brooches do not ruin clothes, as well as can be attached to thinner purses, scarves, hats, shirts, skirts, tank tops, and so forth. Headbands can have attachments also that slide on and off, so it can be interchanged with other pieces or headbands. Hair clips can double as a brooch as well. :) You can request colors, design, etc. I like to be practical, affordable, and versatile. I can make or alter designs to fit your personal tastes.
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Color color color!

No markers, crayons, colored pencils, creativity or color at a HS level?  You may say no, but I'll give you 10 reasons why this is needed:

1. tabbing/marginalia for critical reading/close reading/critical reading lenses/literary elements/etc.
2. visual learners
3. creativity is not a course or elective; it is EVERYDAY!
4. body biographies
5. posters, wall post-its, reader responses
6. organization
7. storyboarding/story mapping
8. visual representations, journaling through drawings/images
9. graphic novels
10. reading and writing children's lit., graphic novels, comics through various points of view...
I can go on forever!  

Who still says no?  It is a complete disservice to suck the creativity out of HS students.  This is not an elementary only requirement, color and creativity should exist in all classrooms of all ages.  Yes I am proud of my markers, scissors, crayons, colored pencils and funky designs for file folders, index cards and its holder/box, pencil/pen holder, etc.  I will not succumb to mute and boring colors.  It is not me and I don't care how many books say otherwise, color needs to exist in HS level classes.
Flash Fiction

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Of Mice and Men Quiz (created by Briana L. Ciffa 5.5.10)

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Found on Math Teacher's Desk..

10 Things I needed to Know About Life I Learned Through Fishing

1. When in doubt, exaggerate.
2. Everyone has a story about the one that got away.
3. Get reel.
4. The fishing is always better on the other side of the lake.
5. Sometimes you really got to squirm to get off the hook.
6. Take time to smell the fish.
7. There is no such thing as too much equipment.
8. Even the best lines get weak after being used a few times.
9. Cast everything in the best light possible.
10. Good things come to those who wade.

I could add in Dad's quote, "A bad day of fishing is STILL better than a good day of work." :)

I was thinking of using this in the English classroom as an example of Top 10 Life Lessons based of sayings that could be applied to subject x and life (like the above). I was thinking of doing one about shopping so there would be two examples. More may be coming in a future edit.

Handing in Papers on Time

All of the following were written by Miss Rebecca. I love this idea, great way to have pop culture, English, and music combined. :)

I totally just wrote lyrics about handing essays in on time to the tune of "Paparazzi", maybe now my children will understand the concept of due dates.
It begins with the "I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me" part -

If that essay's late, you know it's 10% off each day,
do you, do you not see.
Come on be the student superstar you know you can be,... Read More
Don't you disappoint me.
I gave you class time,
and I won't stop until that paper's mine.
Just put your name on it, staple it and give it to me.
It's so, it's so easy!