Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Virginia Colonist' Despair/Colonial House

Loving and kind father and mother:

My most humble duty remembered to you, hoping in God of your good health. This is to let you understand that I, your child, am in a most heavy case because of the nature of the country, which causes much sickness. When we are sick there is nothing to comfort us. Since I came out of the ship, I never ate anything but peas and loblollie (that is, water gruel). As for deer or venison, I never saw any since I came into this land. There is indeed some fowl. But we are not allowed to go and get it. We must work hard both early and late for a mess of water gruel and a mouthful of bread and beef.
We live in fear of the enemy every hour; we are but 32 to fight against 3,000 if they should come. And the nearest help that we have is 10 miles from us. When the rogues overcame this place the last time they slew 80 persons.
I have nothing to comfort me. I have nothing at all—no, not a shirt to my back but two rags, nor no clothes but one poor suit, nor but one pair of shoes, one pair of stockings, and one cap. My cloak was stolen by one of my own fellows. And to his dying hour, he would not tell me what he did with it. Some of my fellows saw him take butter and beef out of a ship, which my cloak, I doubt not, paid for.

I am not a quarter as strong as I was in England, and all is for want of victuals. I tell you that I have eaten more in one day in your home than I have here in a week. You have given more than my day's allowance to a beggar at the door.
If you love me you will redeem me suddenly, for which I do entreat and beg, And if you cannot get the merchants to redeem me for some little money, then for God's sake get a gathering or ask some good folks to lay out some little sum of money in meal and cheese and butter and beef. The answer of this letter will be life or death to me.

Your loving son,
Richard Frethorne
3rd April, 1623

After watching some of the Colonial House episodes, how does the letter above compare to what you saw on the video? Was the colony in the video realistic?

Imagine you have been selected to participate in Colonial House 2. Write a letter home talking about your living conditions. Are you a freeman, indentured servant, or even the Governor? What kinds of things do you do day by day? Are you having trouble keeping the rules? Is the life you are experiencing similar to the writer of the letter?

Use Paint to draw a picture of your colony and include it in your post. Make sure you save your picture as a JPeg so it will upload properly. Here is a link to a virtual tour of Jamestown.

Internet Safety: Learn How to Stay Safe Online

Today we are going to be looking at internet sites dealing with safety.

Site one is Netsmartz.org. We will be looking at the teen section today. As we watch the videos make sure to note the lessons learned through them.

Site two is Disney's Surfwell Island. You will play a few trivia style games. Be careful with your answers and error on the side of caution if you want to do well. Are there any answers you disagree with? Write them down so you can talk about them on your blog post.

Site three is Welcome to the Web. Find out what each letter in the acronym SMART stands for. Definitely a good thing to write about on your post!

You will be writing a blog post about what you learn in this assignment. Here are some questions to answer:
  • Which site did you like best? Explain
  • Which site had the best information? Explain
  • Would you recommend any/all of these sites? Why or why not?
  • What did you learn? How will that help you be more safe online?
  • What does the acronym SMART stand for?
  • Did you disagree with any of the advice? Explain why you disagreed.

Play only after have all your posts caught up.
 Netsmartz Cyberbully Zombies This is a Plants vs. Zombies clone where you keep zombies from getting in your house and posting inappropriate messages on your computer. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's Not About Me! (Actually This Time It Is!)

The next assignment for your new blog is to create an "About Me" post. Read this great About Me page done by Karl Fisch before you begin. Below is the information he is asking his students and I would like you to answer them to:

Please include information about:

  • you and your family (First names only please)
  • things you like to do (sports, hobbies, volunteer work, etc.)
  • things that are important to you
  • you as a student, and particularly as a math student
    • What are your strengths as a student?
    • What are some challenges for you at school?
    • What’s your experience in math class been like?
    • How can I help you be successful in my class?
  • anything else you’d like to share that doesn’t quite fit into the categories above, but that you think would help me get to know you.

*stolen by permission from Fisch Algebra 2010-11

Student Learning Manifesto

A manifesto is a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives,
or views of its issuer. I wrote my teaching manifesto last summer. In it I describe actions I will take to make my classroom a better learning environment and myself a better educator.

Now I want you to write a student learning manifesto. I want you to seriously consider three or four positive actions you can take to be a better student. You can model your manifesto after mine if you like or you can come up with your own format as long as it fits the definition.

Here is Kiley talking about her manifesto:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lookin' For Lyrics (in All the Right Places!)

The eighth grade reading class is searching for lyrics to songs.The assignment is to find a song that tells a story. Here is the link to the only lyrics site you will be able to use for this assignment. If the song you are looking for is not here, see me and I will find it for you. Do not do a Google search! 

A-Z Lyrics Universe

Because much of the music played on the radio is not appropriate for school, choose wisely. If you think the song you want to look for is inappropriate for school, do not search for it. If you search for songs that are inappropriate, the school handbook will be followed and you will

If you cannot think of an appropriate song to search for, here is a great Wikipedia page on Folk Songs. You should be able to find an appropriate song here without any trouble.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to School!

In the vernacular of the times: It is time to do work! The first two days of school happen to be the last two days of the week and that makes it difficult to come up with a really engaging project, especially when the students can't get online until they turn in their technology agreement form signed by their parent/guardian. With less than half of a year for my students to learn I really don't want to wast any time.

After the first few minutes where we discuss class rules I am going to challenge my students to do something they rarely have to do on the first day, think critically. You may notice that these questions really are not about technology, instead they are about learning.

1) What do you want to learn in this class?
2) Why are you going to school?
3) How can this class help you be a better student?
4) What can you do to be a better student?

Here is one of my classes answering these questions. Tomorrow we will continue to discuss these questions and answers.