Writing

March 2017 


Young Ameritowne -  The field trip to YAT is fast approaching!  Students have many important tasks and lessons to complete before we go, so attendance is key.  The field trip is on Tuesday, April 4th in Belmar.  This is the week after Spring Break!  Westminster students will be riding the bus from Woodrow Wilson Academy and Lakewood and Evergreen students will meet us at YAT in the morning with parent pick up in the afternoon.  Please make sure you are reading your email so you know all of the nitty gritty details.  I will be sending a final email a couple of weeks before we go!  


Creative Writing - Students spent several weeks developing characters and will be moving on to setting and plot before we get to writing our individual or group projects.   Many of the students will be working on their own versions of the choose your own adventure books.


Poetry - Students continue to add poems to our class poetry collections.  Classes spent some time learning how to read poetry aloud - we had some amazing volunteers sing poetry like pop stars and opera singers, and your students have some hilarious accents that entertained all!


Yearbook and Media - Weekly newcasts are going really well and students are finishing up the core work on the yearbook. If you have any snapshots to share please email me: nweaver@wwahomeschool.org.


** Parents can view the newscast videos by going to my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCzBIsbWdD3MGfR56QE2E-dQ


Book Club - We are really enjoying our books in Book Club!  Your students are great readers.


Stories Around the World - Classes are now reading stories from European countries and continuing to discuss the relationship to each country's culture. 


February 2017 


Young Ameritowne -  YAT is SUPER BUSY these next two months preparing for our day in Towne!  The week of February 13th the students will be interviewed (by our awesome parent volunteers), then the week of February 27th some more great parents will conduct job training classes, and then we will focus on final banking lessons and staff meetings before our field trip.  The field trip is on April 4th in Belmar. Please make sure you are reading your email so you know all of the nitty gritty details.  I will be sending a final email a couple of weeks before we go!  Thanks again for all of your help.


Creative Writing - Students spent several weeks developing characters and will be moving on to setting and plot before we get to writing our individual or group projects.   Many of the students will be working on their own versions of the choose your own adventure books.


Poetry - We are working on several writing crafts, including onomatopoeia and rhyming.  Your students have already added many poems to our class collections. 


Yearbook and Media - Weekly newcasts are going really well and students are finishing up the core work on the yearbook. If you have any snapshots to share please email me: nweaver@wwahomeschool.org.


** Parents can view the newscast videos by going to my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCzBIsbWdD3MGfR56QE2E-dQ


Book Club - We are really enjoying our books in Book Club!  Your students are great readers.


Stories Around the World - We are getting ready to finish up Asia (Japan, Thailand, India) and head to Europe. 

January 2017 


It's great to be back for another semester at HSC.  Thank you for the thoughtful gifts I received before break!  I enjoyed the personal notes, home made goodies, gift cards and other gifts. I tried to thank each student personally, so if I missed anyone please know I truly appreciate your kindness and generosity.  


Young Ameritowne students and parents: Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 4th.  We will be attending our YAT field trip that day.  If you did not receive my email discussing times and arrangements, please let me know.  Students will need a sack lunch that day.  I may also be contacting parents for assistance in conducting job interviews before we go to YAT.


More news to come as the semester continues...


December 2016


Hard to believe the semester is almost over! Book Club students are wrapping up their latest reads; Stories class finally made their way "home" to North America; Yearbook class is working hard on placing this year's student pictures in the yearbook and continues to create weekly newscasts; YAT class continues to learn about concepts like banking, advertising and the concept of philanthropy; Poetry class is working on bio poems; and Writer's Workshop and Creative Writing are in varying stages of completing projects and continuing to develop their own writing through writing crafts.  


I look forward to seeing parents and family members at Open House as we celebrate the students' accomplishments!  Enjoy your winter break and I will look forward to seeing your students in January.  


October/November 2016


Book Club:  Students in Lakewood finished, or are almost finished, reading The Fourteenth Goldfish - a first for HSC. Ask your student what she/he thought of the story!  Westminster students on Tuesday are reading The Year of Billy Miller and are getting ready to make dioramas as an end of book project. Wednesday is reading Ellie McDoodle and will create some diary pages when we have completed the book.  Thursday is finishing Fish in a Tree and will move on to Please Write in this Book.


YAT:  Students in Young Ameritowne class learned about the basic ideas of what macroeconomics entails, including the economic flow of the money in a free market economy, the definition of free enterprise, the concepts of choices and decisions as they relate to products and services, and supply and demand. Students began a banking unit and learned about government and voting, as well as advertising.  Parents: If you have any opportunities to take your students to the bank in order to do some banking (not online or by check capture on your phone), please do so!  Many students have never been inside a bank and several said they do not have accounts, so any real world experience you can offer will help them grasp the banking unit more quickly.


Writer’s Workshop/Creative Writing: Students used writing skills we worked on as a class (parts of a story and technical writing) to create writing projects related to their interests. Some students worked to create plays, some made board games, and still others worked on picture books. In the coming month we will work on persuasive writing and we will wrap up unfinished projects.


Poetry: Poetry class continued to focus on figurative language, such as simile, metaphor and onomatopoeia.  Your students have limitless imaginations!  We will continue working on different writing crafts related to creating poetry and we will also practice how to read poetry out loud!  The non-readers should be entertained by the readers during this class as it usually gets a bit raucous. Limericks, shape poems, and enjoying Love That Dog also helped inspire some in-class discussion and poetry inspiration.


Yearbook/Media:  Newscasts are getting better and better with practice and as the school has more “news” to report!  Those with a 6th period Yearbook and Media class suffer the frustration of slow wifi connections - the newscast takes longer to upload than we have class time, so those newscasts are shown the following week. We are working on fixes for this and may see same-day newscasts before the end of the semester.  In the meantime, all students are writing an article or story for the school magazine.  An introduction to yearbooks and placement of student photos will take place in November.


** Parents can view the newscast videos by going to my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCzBIsbWdD3MGfR56QE2E-dQ


Stories Around the World: Class has traveled to Europe and read stories from Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Italy, and Ireland. Students really enjoyed imitating Dutch children and playing marbles, and any food samples are usually a big hit. If you have a student with food allergies and would like to send a snack that will keep for the last several weeks (so they have something to munch on when we have samples), feel free! I will lock any special snacks up in my cabinet. In November we will venture to North America and learn read some Native American stories, among other stories. As always, a short discussion of culture and customs will accompany our stories.


August/September 2016

Welcome back! Below are some quick summaries of what we are getting up to in Writing/Book Club/YAT and Yearbook and Media.

Book Club students selected the first class book club book for each day (M-F) and have been reading and discussing as a group.  Students are welcome to bring a book from home for silent reading at the end of class - sometimes we have small group or independent reading time and your student may complete their reading more quickly than others.  Evergreen students may bring a pillow to create a more comfortable reading environment.

Stories Around the World began their travels in Japan and will continue to learn a bit about other cultures and reading stories from and about those cultures!

Media Network/Yearbook began work on our magazine and will continue to work on the magazine throughout most of the semester. Students have been creating much-anticipated weekly newscasts that teachers show during 6th period.  Barring technical difficulties (videos take longer to download at certain locations and the tablet we used to film suffered an untimely demise), students should continue to see a newscast from Media Network staff on a weekly basis. Parents can view these videos by going to my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCzBIsbWdD3MGfR56QE2E-dQ.  

Creative Writing/Writer's Workshop students are starting with some basic concepts, like character, setting and plot, and will ramp up towards bigger writing projects as the semester continues.

Young Ameritowne students asked plenty of questions about the day in Towne, took a pretest to discover what they already know and what they will be learning about, took a virtual "tour" of Towne, and are getting down to the business of learning about the economy and other great and useful "stuff".  PARENTS:  This year we will take our field trip on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.  Please mark your calendars now!

Poetry is working on word choice, making your word choice interesting, and bio poems.  We will continue to create poetry for a poetry book I will compile at the end of the semester.

June/July 2016

Thank you for your kind, generous and thoughtful end of year gifts!  The best gift is having your children in class.  Another great year at HSC is behind us and I've truly enjoyed spending time with your students.  I will spend the summer reading potential book club books, thinking of new and fun ways to excite your students to write, and hanging out with my family by taking hikes, swimming, going to movies, concerts, and walking our dog.  The teachers have plans to meet up, too, and enjoy some grown up teacher time playing in the sun, having campfires and catching up on news.  See you in August!


May 2016

It cannot be May already!  

Writing classes are very busy finishing up their semester-long projects and displays for Open House.  Cultures students will have informative posters on display about countries we visited during the semester.  HSC Media staff continue to created weekly newscasts viewed by the student body during 6th period. (Parents an view these videos by going to my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCzBIsbWdD3MGfR56QE2E-dQ.)  We are also wrapping up our newspaper/magazine for distribution at Open House. Yearbook students are working on adding pictures from school events to the yearbook.  Poetry, Creative Writing and Writer's Workshop students are wrapping up projects from the semester and working on some new works.  Book Club students should finish the books we are working on and may have time to create a display for Open House depending on how many chapters we have left! Young Ameritowne is basking in the success of being fully prepared and awesomely amazing during their day in Towne.  Classes wrapped up closing activities and are now enjoying a bit of well-earned fun time until the semester ends. (Seriously - I was complimented several times on how prepared HSC was for the day by staff at YAT, and your students were singled out for their hard work and dedication.  They should be super proud of themselves.  I'm certainly proud of every one of them.)

2015/2016 was another fun year at HSC.  Thank you for sharing your students with us - it's been a joy to see them every day!  I will miss those who are graduating and those who are moving on to new adventures next year.  I would love to hear from students and/or their parents with updates in the future - please keep in touch.   

Hope your summer is full of fun and learning.  See you next year!

April 2016

Book Club on Tuesday will complete the second book in the popular Lemonade War series - The Lemonade Crime - by the end of April and hope to have time to fit in one more short book before the end of the semester.  Wednesday and Thursday should be on to another book choice part way through April.  Class votes determine the read, so it remains to be seen which book students choose from the HSC library!

Cultures of the World continues our travels.  We have been to Puerto Rico, Australia, Ireland (for St. Patrick's Day), New Zealand, and more!

Media Network/Yearbook continue work on our magazine and yearbook.  Students have been creating much-anticipated weekly newscasts that teachers show during 6th period.  Barring technical difficulties (videos take longer to download at certain locations and it took me a few weeks to discover that youtube is the best forum for our short videos), students should continue to see a newscast from Media Network staff on a weekly basis. Parents can view these videos by going to my youtube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCzBIsbWdD3MGfR56QE2E-dQ. Yearbook students are working on adding pictures from school events to the yearbook.  If you have any pictures you've taken from the beginning of the year until now, please submit them to nweaver@wwahomeschool.org. 

Creative Writing/Writer's Workshop students are really enjoying creating their own books in Creative Writing and the play in Writer's Workshop looks to be very entertaining! We will finish up these projects in April.

Young Ameritowne will (finally!) get to experience their day in towne this month! After the field trip students will work on balancing their check books, both personal and business, they will evaluate their day and business performance, and engage in other activities to wrap up the semester.  Once we cover all YAT post-field trip curriculum activities, students will be in charge of creating either a written display about their experiences or an advertisement we can show during the 6th period newscast informing other students about YAT.

Poetry created some entertaining limericks and small alliteration books.  Thursdays class also read Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, and we will read this book on Tuesday during April.  Students will gather their favorite poems for our class poetry collection to be ready for open house.  

March 2016

Book Club participants continue to enjoy class reads, and two classes are currently reading books brand new to our HSC library!  The Lemonade War is such a big hit, we will have to add the second book in the series to our collection.

Cultures of the World continues to "travel" to far off destinations... March will find our students on a whole new continent!

Media Network/Yearbook continue work on our magazine and yearbook.  Evergreen students were the first to complete a weekly newscast! This semester we are working to implement a new format and videotape a weekly newscast each day to be shown by all of the teachers during 6th period.  We are working out the process now and hope to have definite system in place by next semester. https://youtu.be/y2NX2WQMtX0

Creative Writing/Writer's Workshop students continue to amaze me and their fellow classmates with their humor and creativity.  Students are gearing up to create their own picture books in Creative Writing and our first student-written play in Writer's Workshop.

Young Ameritowne is moving fast - we go to our day in Towne on April 5th. I have 15 students listed to ride the bus to YAT.  Others should be prepared to be TIMELY to YAT.  I estimate we will be starting our day at 9:30, so plan to reach YAT by 9:15 or 9:20 so you can find parking and bring your student to the lobby.  The day lasts 4 hours, so please return by 1:15 to make sure you are ready for student release (otherwise the bus may leave and leave Ms. Nancy stranded in Belmar).  Attendance leading up to YAT is important for all students, but particularly for our accountants and managers and some of the classes will be manager-led and accountants have training and work to complete before our day.

Poetry class is working on parts of speech and we will continue to create poems using figurative language during upcoming classes.


February 2016

The new semester is underway! 

Book Club participants started off with some old favorites - Please Write in this Book  and The Lemonade War, and students are getting ready to read their second choice books in both Evergreen and on Wednesdays in Westminster.  HSC purchased some brand new books, so we are looking forward to reading those.  Evergreen students may bring a pillow to class with them to make their reading environment more comfortable.

Cultures of the World started off learning about what comprises "culture" and discussing what items they should pack for our "trip" to some countries outside of the U.S.  South America is first on the tour this semester.

Media Network/Yearbook are hard at work on their magazines and the first student-created issue of the HSC yearbook.  Look for the products of their labors at this semester's open house.

Creative Writing students are using mentor texts to study the parts of a story, to include setting, character and plot.  Ask your student about his/her crayon post card.  Almost everyone enjoyed the mentor text The Day the Crayons Came Home.  

Writer's Workshop students are, much like creative writing, learning the parts of the story, but with a different result in mind.  For the first time in one of our HSC writing classes we are going to attempt a student-written play! Students have worked on dialogue and character, and we will continue to employ different activities throughout the semester as we work to complete our play.

Young Ameritowne is moving fast - we go to our day in Towne on April 5th. I sent all YAT parents an email requesting volunteers to assist with student interviews.  Please let me know if you can help with this task! Also, I need a final count for the bus on the day of the field trip. Please let me know your availability and plans.

Poetry class has discussed how to read poetry aloud and what how the meaning of a poem can change depending upon the reader's inflection, tone, speed, etc. We also have used descriptive words to create poems about ourselves, and class will work on figurative language and poetry formats in upcoming classes.



January 2016

It was wonderful to have a break and spend time with family and friends.  I'm ready to start a new semester at HSC and I look forward to seeing the students this month.  We truly have some of the most amazing folks attending HSC.

Thank you to all of the families for the thoughtful and generous gifts I received before break. The hand made cards and the many goodies made me feel special and appreciated.  Please know that I appreciate all of you, as well.  

I really love getting to know all of the families at HSC and thought I would share a bit about my family with you, too! Below are some pictures of my family during our birthday and holiday celebrations this season. My two daughters took me to lunch for my birthday - Sara is on the left, she is my CSU senior majoring in Natural Resources, Recreation and Tourism.  My daughter, Emma, is on the right.  She's my high school sophomore who is enjoying a much-needed break from school and sports. The furry child is our dog, Cody, a 9 1/2 year old baby who managed to destroy his present in about 30 seconds.  The last picture shows my husband, Jerry, and I - it may be the only time during break I was wearing something other than yoga pants. 


Again, thank you all for your kind and generous gifts.  You make HSC a great place to work!

December 2015

It's hard to believe this semester is almost over.  I've enjoyed my first semester in Evergreen and the additional class each day at Westminster so much - thank you for bringing your students to HSC!  It's been great getting to know new students, and also seeing those I've known for a while grow.  After spending the Thanksgiving break with my family, in particular my oldest daughter who is a senior at CSU in Fort Collins and who we don't get to see as often as we would like due to her busy school, work and social schedule, and my youngest daughter who is a sophomore in high school and who plays two sports and seems to always be working on a heavy homework load, the Writing/YAT department is recharged and ready to wrap up semester projects!

Book Club

Tuesday thoroughly enjoyed the role-playing and read aloud of Please Write in this Book, some for the second or third time! The students created a journal and took turns writing until it was time to move on to the next book. Class is now reading El Deafo and will likely be able to finish just in time for the end of the semester.  Wednesday students all gave El Deafo the highest of ratings and capped off their reading by creating warm fuzzies.  Students are reading The Lemonade War; however, it looks as though we will not have time to read the entire book by the end of the semester.  Fortunately, this is a popular book and students should be able to find it at their local library or on Amazon.com if they want to continue their reading. Thursday enjoyed some lemonade (made the way Jesse and Evan made it in the book) after completing The Lemonade War, and are now working on finishing Granny Torelli Makes Soup by the end of the semester.

Cultures of the World

Cultures class continues its way through Europe, learning about interesting customs, history and landmarks in countries such as Russia.  Students requested a cultural feast, and the turn-out was amazing!! From home made Korean kim bob, student-made pumpkin pie and fancy treats from the French bakery, there was enough to share an sample each day. THANK YOU to all of the parents who participated in providing food for the feasts, and all of the students who helped prep, cook and/or bake food to share.  Class used feast time to discuss our own cultures (both in the U.S. and within our own families) and the special traditions and foods that make up our celebrations.

Poetry

The theme of poetry class continues - laughter! I don't believe I have ever laughed quite so much in a poetry class.  Students love playing word games, and using the parts of speech to recreate famous poems by poets like e.e. cummings was a big hit.  Class participation continues at a high level.  Students worked on cinqains, poetry of thankfulness, haiku, and free verse.  December should bring more of the same and my goal is to have a book of all student poetry compiled by the end of the semester for each student to take home.

Writer's Workshop

Young writers completed persuasive letters home, and some received written responses! HSC shared a particularly well-written and entertaining letter on our Facebook page. Check it out if you missed it!  Students are finishing the semester by working in a team to create a script advertising a product of their creation. Advertising their product will require students to use their newly-practiced persuasive writing skills - they will need to convince customers to buy what they are selling.  Students are creating slogans, logos and jingles to assist in making their ads memorable.  If time allows, student infomercials should be complete by open house day.  All student videos will be available on Youtube through a login only available to HSC families.

Young Ameritowne

Students in YAT have covered topics from banking to advertising and back to banking again.  Classes held mini elections for Judge and Mayor after they held primary elections for candidates.  Students helped candidates with their campaigns by creating campaign slogans and posters and assisting with speech writing. Teamwork is the key to success in YAT, and each day at HSC has a very different work group!  Some teams have worked well together since the start of the semester and some are working towards being great co-workers.  Every day seems to really enjoy being in a classroom with peers of their own age. Next semester will bring more YAT, to include job interviews, job training, staff meetings, investments, and banking (continued).

HSC Media Network

HSC Media Network students completed entries for this semester's school magazine, which parents and families will receive at the open house.  Students created news scripts for a completely made up news broadcast and will spend the rest of the semester filming and putting together their newscasts.  If time allows and student newscasts are complete, parents in Westminster will be able to see these broadcast at the open house (before and after the other presentations).  All broadcasts, once complete, will be available through Youtube on the HSC password-protected login.

November 2015

Book Club: After completing post-book projects, Book Club students are working on reading their second books of the semester. Tuesday created post cards of California to "Pa" and "Big Ma" in Brooklyn; Wednesday replicated Billy Miller's school assignment and created their own dioramas; and Thursday enjoyed some lemonade (without having to pay for a cup like Jesse and Evan's customers!). Wednesday students are reading the graphic novel, El Deafo. 

Cultures of the World: Cultures class continues to travel through Europe, making stops in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and on to Russia and the United Kingdom. Students are learning basic words and phrases in other languages and discussing, food, art, music, celebrations and customs of each nation. By request, students would like to have a multi-cultural feast the week before Thanksgiving break. Any parents willing to provide a snack from another country (all types of food are welcome even though we have focused mostly on Europe this semester), please email Ms. Nancy at nweaver@wwahomeschool.org and let me know what you plan to send with your student.  

Poetry: We've laughed over limericks and seriously contemplated life from the eyes of animals in our animal prayer poems this past month, and poetry students will continue to create new works when class discusses shape poetry, haiku and more in the coming month!

Writer's Workshop: Board games complete, WW students are working on persuasive writing this month and should be bringing home a request letter to parents. Students were to make a case for their request and back it up with anticipated responses to parental objections/concerns.  If you have the time, a response to student letters would be greatly appreciated!  Students are also learning about advertising, including false advertising and how to appeal to an audience.  Next project on the agenda is an infomercial selling a product of students' choice/creation.

Young Ameritowne: Banking and government are the two main subjects students in YAT have covered recently and will continue to cover in the coming month.  From choosing a party to represent in Jelly Bean Land and learning how to fill out a deposit slip, check and check register, students are getting closer to learning the skills required for a successful day in "towne".  Although most people have moved on to new practices in banking, banking practices at YAT are still mostly paper-oriented.  If you have an opportunity to take your YAT students to the bank when you need to deposit checks, etc., and if you could ask them to fill out the information on the deposit slip it would be great hands on experience for them!

HSC Media Network: Students are wrapping up their articles, games, puzzles and comics and working on creating a script for their HSC news broadcast. Look for the broadcast either at open house or on Youtube (HSC users only)!  

October 2015

Book Club: Book Club students are reading several fun and though-provoking books this semester.  Tuesday classes are reading One Crazy Summer, a Newberry Honor Book written by Rita Williams-Garcia; Wednesday classes are reading an entertaining book called The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes; and Thursday students began the semester with a graphic novel, El Deafo, but requested we read something a bit different.  After a class vote we are now reading The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies - a hit with every class who has read it thus far. Your students' insights and willingness to read and share with each other never cease to impress me.

Cultures of the World: Cultures class spent the first part of the semester discussing what makes up "culture", what our individual family cultures look like, how to pack and prepare for journeys to other nations, and filling out an posing for pictures for our passports.  The first "trip" landed our group in France, where we learned some basic French words and phrases and discussed French culture in general, including foods and places to visit.  After leaving France, our group traveled over the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain and sampled Spanish olives (Wednesday class was especially adventurous with their olive sampling), discussed Spanish words and phrases, and what a day in the life of a student around our students' ages looks like. Next, we talked about the "microstates" or "micronations" in Europe.  Students created their own micronations and described aspects of the culture of their tiny countries, including currency, food, language, dress, climate, and flag appearance.  We will continue traveling in Europe throughout October.  Food allergies keep us from sampling very much in class, so I've included the following recipe below per student request:

Churros con Chocolate

Ingredients

Churros Dough:

1 cup milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
3 cups peanut or veggie oil, for frying

Chocolate Sauce:

9 ounces Mexican chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Cinnamon Sugar:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt


Directions

For the dough: In a small saucepan, combine the milk, butter and salt and bring to a medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk to combine. Switch over to a wooden spoon and cook the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the pan and it has a slightly sweaty sheen on it, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Using an electric mixer beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Do not add the next egg until the last one is completely combined.

Place the batter in a pastry bag outfitted with a large star tip. Reserve.

To make the chocolate sauce: Place 1-inch of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

In a heatproof mixing bowl, combine the chocolate, heavy cream, butter and corn syrup. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and all the ingredients are well combined.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and remove the saucepan from the heat. Reserve.

For the cinnamon sugar: In a bag or large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon

In a large saucepan heat the oil to 325 degrees F.

Pipe the dough into the hot oil in sticks or desired shapes (I kinda like to make mine a little curly). This might be a little tricky at first, but you'll get the hang of it. Fry the dough until it is brown and crispy on all sides, 60 to 90 seconds total, turning frequently. Fry in batches.

Remove the churros from the oil, blot on paper towels for a second and then toss in the cinnamon sugar. Be sure to do this while the churros are still hot. Serve immediately, while churros and melted chocolate are warm.


Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/churros-con-chocolate-recipe.html?oc=linkback

* Several gluten free recipes are also available on the internet.

Poetry: Poetry class is full of prolific and creative writers! Class warms up with journal entries and oral games, and then each day we discuss either a type of poetry and/or a technique for making our poetry interesting and alive. Students have written simile poems, small ABC poetry books using alliteration, and much more. All of their poetry will be available for parents to enjoy at the end of the semester.

Writer's Workshop: Writer's workshop is off to a productive and busy start.  Students practiced technical writing and discussed plot, character and setting in order to begin working in teams on their own board games. Board games incorporate the concept of setting in the background of the board, character in the player pieces, and plot in the object of the game.  The technical writing aspect comes in when students create their game instructions for set up and how to play.  Students will wrap this project up and begin working on persuasive writing in October.  

Young Ameritowne:  YAT students have adapted quickly to our much more "schoolish" environment in the YAT classroom. Class has covered topics such as an introduction to basic economics, supply and demand, and banking.  Students surveyed each other to discover what products are more popular when given a choice between two, and learned how to determine how a business may decide to price goods and services.  Students are working together in groups and individually, and we place quite a bit of emphasis on the idea that they will be a "staff" at YAT during their field trip and must work as a team in order to have a successful day. We will be going to YAT on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 with 4th grade students from Woodrow Wilson Academy.  Parent volunteer opportunities will be available next semester - I will need help interviewing students for job positions and training for jobs once students have received their job offers. Thank you to all of the parents who have emailed to show interest in volunteering, ask questions about the class, and offer helpful information to make your student's day at HSC the best it can be!  

HSC Media Network: After discussing journalism basics, students are well on their way to finishing their stories and articles for the next edition of the HSC magazine. Once the magazine submissions are complete, students in Westminster will begin working on their news broadcasts, and students in Evergreen will begin work on the HSC yearbook. This is the first year students will create their own yearbook! Parents:: We would love for you to send in pictures you may have of the back to school field day, talent show, or any other event during the school year.  

August/September 2015

Welcome back to returning HSC families and welcome, welcome to all of the new faces!  

What an exciting year it will be at HSC.  This year I've added a 6th class to my day as well as classes at Evergreen.  It was awesome to see all of the students I've had in class before and those I'm just getting to know... We have one of the best student groups around here at HSC!  I can't say enough about your students - they truly are wonderful people who teach me more than I teach them on a daily basis.

Classes offered this year include: Writer's Workshop, which may become more of a creative writing course if students are younger/less experienced writers as the curriculum is geared towards experienced writers; Poetry; HSC Media Network (plus yearbook if your student attends HSC Evergreen); Book Club; Cultures of the World; and Young Ameritowne.   

For each course I have an established outline that remains fluid based on student interests and abilities, with the exception of Young Ameritowne.  Young Ameritowne, by necessity, has a structured curriculum set by the YAT organization itself.  Students must master certain skills and absorb certain information in order to be successful during their day at Young Ameritowne (which occurs in April for HSC students).  

A few students started Young Ameritowne class unsure if it was something they were interested in sticking with for the semester since the course is more like "real school", but once we had done our tour of town and discussed the class most were excited about the opportunity to participate in their day in Towne.  Please take a moment to talk to your student and find out if they are committed to the one-year class as the class has a wait list on Tuesday and Thursday.   HSC has EAs who are very willing to assist in YAT class if  your student has certain subjects that they might need more assistance with, like math, reading comprehension, etc.  Both Ms. Stephanie (Evergreen) and Ms. Natalie (Westminster) have offered to come  to class if we need them.  I am super excited about taking such a large group to YAT next spring!  We will join the 4th grade team at Woodrow Wilson Academy and it's sure to be a great experience.  

If you have any questions about writing classes at HSC please do not hesitate to email me: nweaver@wwahomeschool.org.

I look forward to working with your students this year!


May 2015

Writer's Workshop:  Writers in WW class finished writing scripts and worked on filming their infomercials.  Students used concepts class worked on throughout the semester to complete the task: persuasive writing, poetry, technical writing, and working as a team. Class then used Youtube Moviemaker to create a completed video clip available for all HSC families to view!   

HSC Media:  Media staff continued to work to create complete newscast videos that include transitions between sections and clear, concise news reporting. The end of the semester will find students editing their newscast videos and editing and compiling the finished HSC Review, our in-house student-written magazine.

Cultures of the World:  Students visited Central America, South America and Puerto Rico before returning to the U.S. after all of our amazing travels. Students learned facts about countries such as Panama, Chile and Brazil while sampling mango lollipops and creating Maoi statues that resemble the stone statues found on Easter Island.  Stamped passports and any worksheets students collected will be available for pick-up at the Open House.

Book Club:   Book Club continues to read their last choices for the semester.  Resting on our awesome reading pillows and discussing what we are reading has turned out to be a relaxing end to the school day! 

Creative Writing:  Creative Writing students continue to work on their superhero stories as time allows, and we are also getting further into setting, plot and character.  Students have shown amazing creativity and their input and stories keep the class entertained.  Several students who started writing reluctantly have to be pulled away from their stories when the bell rings! 

April 2015

Writer's Workshop:  Writers in WW class worked together to create board games complete with setting, characters and a plot (or several plots depending upon the complexity of the game).  Part of the activity focused on technical writing as students composed their own instructions for playing the game, including a description of the game and the object. Parents can view and/or play these board games at the end of semester Open House.  Next students worked on poetry by copying the (kid-friendly only!) lyrics to their favorite songs and analyzing the words as poetry. Students chose a product to sell in an upcoming infomercial and used their poetry exercise to help inspire words to a jingle. April will find students working on creating an infomercial.

HSC Media:  HSC Media staff members spent some time watching sample student news broadcasts and discussing what makes a successful newscast.  In order to avoid the pitfalls of rushing (incomplete takes, difficult to understand scenes, poor transitions), students began working on scripts in early March. Staff focused on the concept of audience and that the purpose of news is to inform and entertain.  Students are working together to create news scripts and to film the finished product.  Parents will be able to view these at the end of the semester.

Cultures of the World:  Students ventured to the southern hemisphere to visit Australia and New Zealand.  Students rose to the challenge to create a “souvenir” from Australia that looked like kangaroos (as opposed to the one Ms. Nancy made that Ms. Bobbi thought was a squirrel).  Travel continues to South America!

Book Club:  Tuesday Book Clubbers voted to read The Lemonade War next and are having fun reading about Jesse and Evan.  Wednesday’s “ladies book club” finished Bunnicula and moved on to some first-time book club books. 

Creative Writing:  Creative Writing students continue to work on their superhero stories as time allows, and have moved on to writing poetry in the mean time!  Haiku started the poetry unit, and Limericks followed.

 

March 2015

Writer's Workshop:  Students completed their persuasive letters and brought them home.  THANK YOU to the parents who wrote the students written responses!  Class found the responses entertaining and they loudly cheered for classmates who received answers of "yes" and even "maybe".  Warning: This may not be the end of the persuasively written request letters. I heard several students plotting to continue using this method as the years pass and their requests become larger (financially, anyway). If you have a written response that we haven't read in class yet, please send it.  We would love to read your letters.  The students are now using their technical writing skills and creating to create their own board games using the concepts of character, setting and plot.  I am so impressed at how students are working in teams!  What a great bunch of people. If you have a chance, please encourage your students to play board games in their free time and to focus specifically on the written directions as this may help them in completing this project.

HSC Media:  HSC Media staff members are wrapping up their articles and working on games, puzzles, comics and other entertaining "fluff" to round out the magazine submissions.  As soon as all of the projects are wrapped up we will begin discussing elements of a news broadcast and script writing.  Students will spend the rest of March working on writing their scripts for their own version of a newscast.

Cultures of the World:  Students visited India and China and learned about customs, language, daily life, celebrations, and places of interest.  Students bravely tried my homemade fortune cookies when celebrating Chinese New Year and were very complimentary of the misshapen confections. They wrote each other some very interesting, creative and sometimes hilarious fortunes to go with the cookies. Next up on their itinerary is Australia and New Zealand! Students asked that I share the recipe for the fortune cookies I made (found at www.allrecipes.com), so please see below:

INGREDIENTS:
3 egg whites
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
DIRECTIONS:
1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. Have fortunes ready to go on small strips of paper.
2.In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and stir in melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, water and flour one at a time, mixing well after each. Consistency should resemble pancake batter. Spoon the batter into 3 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets. Leave room between for spreading.
3.Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Quickly remove one at a time, place a message in the center, and fold in half. Fold the ends of the half together into a horse shoe shape. If they spring open, place them in a muffin tin to cool until set.

Book Club:  Book Club class is reading Liar and Spy on Tuesday, and they will finish this by the first week in March.  Class will have some post-book wrap up exercises (we may do a taste test - ask your students about Georges' science class), and then we will vote on our next read as a group. Wednesday class continues to read Bunnicula and is enjoying a book told from the family pets' perspective.  

Creative Writing:  Creative Writing students developed their own superhero characters and worked on simple three box comic strips telling a short story involving their character.  Students also described their superhero's "headquarters" and learned about the concept of setting.  Most of March will find students working on their own superhero books, which may take the form of a diary, comic book or short story. 

February 2015

Writer's Workshop:  Students in WW class are working on persuasive writing.  Parents may see a letter come home; please respond in writing so we can share these in class!  Persuasive writing is step one in the process leading to one of the class' projects - an infomercial. We will begin step two in the process, technical writing, once we complete the final copies of our letters.

HSC Media:  HSC Media staff members covered journalism basics and brainstormed ideas for the next issues of the HSC Review.  Students are researching and writing their first stories, creating interview questions and interviewing folks, and they are working together to share resources and computers. 

Cultures of the World:  Students in Cultures packed their bags and left North America for Asia. Our first stop is India where we learned what customs are important, a couple of basic phrases, what the climate is like, what the currency is called, among other important information. We will study some places to visit and create postcards to send home before heading elsewhere in Asia.

Book Club:  Book Club class is reading Liar and Spy on Tuesday and Wednesday class just finished The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant).  Both books are new to Book Club class and students seem to really enjoy them.  Wednesday is getting ready to start Bunnicula, another Book Club class first!

Creative Writing:  Creative Writing students worked on letter writing after reading a mentor text. Tuesday class really enjoyed sharing their letters with each other and elected to trade and answer letters from other students. Wednesday worked hard to create interesting letters from their animal alter egos. The next concept we will work on is character.  Students will develop their own superhero character, complete with special powers, weaknesses and other chosen character traits. 

January 2015

It's wonderful to be starting a new semester! This semester writing classes are the same with the exception of Writer's Workshop, a class for more experienced writers.  This is the first time HSC has offered this course, so we may be making tweaks and changes as we go.  Also, Creative Writing will involve different activities and topics then last semester, and Book Club will read all new books.  Looking forward to starting 2015 with your students!

December 2014

HSC Media:  HSC Media staff members are filming their "news" broadcast. With large class sizes both Tuesday and Wednesday students are really having to work together to make their broadcasts successful. You might see props and other (sometimes unusual!) items make their way from your home to our classroom for filming purposes. Classes hope to have their videos created and edited by the week before the Open House. 

Cultures of the World:  Students in Cultures packed their bags and left Asia for North America. The rest of the semester will find class traveling Canada and the United States on their way home.  Students will put together their passports and will get "stamps" from each country they have visited this semester.

Book Club:  Book Club class is reading The Lemonade War and, as soon as we finish, will be enjoying some refreshing lemonade at the end of the semester. It is apparent to me that everyone must read quite a bit at home as your children bring a great enthusiasm for books and wonderful insight into the stories! 

Creative Writing:  Creative Writing students will work on stories with no words and letter writing as the semester winds down. These students have all shown such positive attitudes and creativity all semester! It will be hard to see class end in a few weeks.

Legos:  Lego students have worked on team builds and will be continuing those, as well as re-organizing their Lego tubs for the next semester's group at another location. While we organize tubs we will be watching The Lego Movie.  All students told me they have seen this movie before and their parents will allow them to watch it again. If you have any objection to your student watching the movie in class, please let me know!  These students have worked well in teams and individually, and their expertise in Lego construction is impressive!


November 2014

HSC Media:  HSC Media staff members are finishing up the final touches on stories, games and puzzles.  What a wide variety of historical reports, fiction, information pieces, and editorials we have! Staff is looking forward to sharing their issues at the end of the semester Open House. November will find them working on scripts for the newscast.  The newscast usually contains entirely made up information - it's a chance for students to explore more of their creative side versus gathering facts and citing sources.  To practice at home, the staff member who writes a short script about the disappearing Sharpies in Ms. Nancy's classroom will win a prize!

Cultures of the World:  Students in Cultures class should have brought home some souvenirs from their journeys to Australia (yes, folks, those were kangaroos - not squirrels!), and New Zealand (Maori bookmarks).  We have used several methods of learning about the different countries we've visited, like using the student computers to go to National Geographic Kids (http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/) and having students find three interesting facts that they didn't know about our destination, together with class discussion, handouts, music, games, and maps. Students will be headed to the continent of Asia during the month of November. We are lucky enough to have a student who knows quite a bit about one of our destinations (China) and she has offered to share her knowledge with the class. 

Book Club:  Book Club class is STILL enjoying our new reading pillows!  Tuesday finished Maniac Magee and will be starting a new novel this month, and Wednesday read Please Write in this Book  and is working on Granny Torelli Makes Soup.  Any student who brings in a completed book review of the book the class finished will find that review published in the next edition of the HSC Review! 

Creative Writing:  Creative Writing students worked on autobiographies and biographies by creating a timeline of their own life events and by interviewing each other. Class moved on to discussing setting and had fun creating their dream bedrooms.  Currently class is working on the concept of plot through the use of different mentor texts and activities.  This semester's group of students really enjoys writing and seems disappointed when class begins with a game instead of a journal entry, so the first portion of class is almost always devoted to writing in journals.  To the student who creates a description of our dream writing classroom (it can be a map of mostly pictures depending on the level of writing skill), may go a prize!

Legos:  Lego students have moved on to team builds and are creating much more complicated structures, including fishing poles and street sweepers. It's awesome to see the students working together to find the right pieces and to complete their builds. Any student who recreates a build we do in class at home using their own Legos, and either brings it in to show the class or takes a picture is eligible to win a prize! Class has plans to finish off the last day and a half of the semester with a movie and inventory of the Lego tubs (so Ms. Heather can use them next semester at a different location). Students would like to watch the Lego Movie, so I will need to obtain parent permission beforehand as this movie is rated PG.  Please watch for permission slips or requests for permission if it's acceptable to you to have your student participate.  

October 2014


HSC Media:  HSC Media class has learned some basics of journalism and they are off working on their own stories for the next issue of the HSC magazine.  Staff currently shares 6 laptop computers for researching and typing up stories, so several students said they may also wish to do some research at home.  Love the dedication of these students!  Each student will write at least one story before working on the "fun" stuff, like comics, games and puzzles. Since both Tuesday and Wednesday classes are full, this will be the first semester we print separate publications for each day. 

Cultures of the World:  Students in Cultures class traveled to Central and South America for their first leg of the journey to destinations around the world.  We started in Panama - the country of two bridges (ask your student what that means!), ventured to Brazil and Chile, and we made souvenirs (worry dolls) with the help of supplies from Ms. Holly and Ms. Jamie. Next stop is Puerto Rico and then on to Australia! If your student has been to either of these places and would like to bring in items to show the class, please have them do so. 

Book Club:  Book Club class is enjoying our new reading pillows!  Tuesday continues to read Maniac Magee and Wednesday is "booking" through The Lemonade War.  Tuesday's class is discussing such topics as racism, acceptance, bullying, friendship, and homeless youth, while Wednesday's class often talks about sibling relationships, economics and friendship.  It really shows that your students read at home because they are all wonderful at reading aloud in class and making predictions. 

Creative Writing:  Creative Writing students continue to write in their journals with daily prompts and play word games. Class created their own diary entries based on a made up character (most of the characters were animals) as part of their study of character development.  Students will begin working on biographies/autobiographies this week. 

Legos:  Lego students continue to work on building the components of simple machines, such as levers, wheels and axles, and pulleys.  Class will continue on with simple machines and each build will increase in difficulty.  A special thank you to our class "Lego Masters" who finish their builds quickly and willingly assist their classmates in locating Lego pieces and putting together their creations. 


September 2014

 

Welcome back! What a great start to our new school year. It was wonderful to see all of the returning students and to meet several new students as well.

 

This year, in addition to writing classes, I am also teaching Legos and Cultures of the World.  I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to work with the students in different areas, and I'm sure that, when it comes to Legos, I will learn more from the students than the other way around!

 

HSC Media:  HSC Media is off to a great start with full classes.  Class reviewed policies regarding school equipment and behavior expected from HSC "staff".  Since this class requires students to work independently, we spent quite a bit of time discussing responsibility and self-motivation.  The rest of the first month we will take the time to discuss writing in journalistic format, citing sources, interviewing skills, and in brainstorming for our next edition of HSC's student magazine.

 

Cultures of the World:  Students in Cultures class discussed class policy and what we would be studying. We filled out some cool worksheets Ms. Heather made so that I might get to know the students better before we start traveling together. Cultures class will start with a trip to Central America.  Students will be constructing their U.S. passports and getting ready to travel to Panama.  Students will keep a travel journal to record important facts about each country and their culture, as well as to keep a short list of words in that country's native language. Next stop: Brazil.

 

Book Club:  Book Club class is invited to bring pillows from home until HSC can purchase some reading pillows for students to use.  We spoke in class about how we read at home.  The majority of students do not sit at a table in a metal chair, so we would like them to be a bit more comfortable while reading at HSC, too. Class spent time talking about what book we will read first, and Tuesday will begin Maniac Magee and Wednesday will begin with The Lemonade War

 

Creative Writing:  After discussing classroom expectations, CW students played a different kind of name game than we usually play.  I researched your students' names and their meanings on some popular baby name websites and the students told me whether or not they felt that the meaning of their names fit their personalities.  We had fun with the exercise and are ready to begin reading and writing diary entries as our first topic in CW.

 

Legos:  Lego students began the semester by inventorying their Lego kits.  These kits have been around HSC for quite some time, and they travel from facility to facility, so it's to be expected that we are missing some pieces.  While we wait for our missing pieces to arrive we will begin with some of the more basic constructions as a group.  Please note: If your student has already taken Lego class the curriculum is the same.  There is a wait list for this class, so if your student does not wish to repeat the same curriculum you may wish to speak to Ms. Bobbi about options.


May 2014
 
  • HSC Media Network staff are filming their "highly factual" news broadcasts. Thank you for allowing them to bring props from home!
  • Creative Writing I created travel brochures to advertise their favorite vacation destinations! The classes continue to focus on character, setting and plot.
  • Book Club students finished Wonder. Both classes decided to read (or in a couple of students' cases, re-read) Please Write in this Book.  This book is short and is a great read aloud book that, so far, all classes have enjoyed.  It's good to read something light after Wonder, a book which definitely inspired thought and discussion.
  • YAT completed a successful day in "towne".  Neither business managed to make a profit, so students spent some time discussing what they might have done differently to change the outcome of the day.  Students balanced their individual checkbooks and accountants (two super hard working guys whose dedication to their jobs was impressive) balanced the business checkbooks, and we discussed the good, the bad, as well as what we would change about the day if we could. Parents, I was so impressed at your students' attitudes!  Not only did they have to wait about 30 minutes for the bus to come (there was a mix up and someone sent the third bus away in error), but we also did not get to participate in closing ceremonies because of our late arrival; the YAT staff had to cut the day a bit short.  Some of your students didn't get their last breaks (so no icy treats from the Snack Shop), and some didn't have time to complete all the tasks and activities they wished.  Not one student complained or showed any kind of negative attitude! All were positive and handled themselves like the mature 5th and 6th graders they are. Instead of complaining about the late bus, I had one student brave enough to ride to YAT with Woodrow Wilson Academy students she didn't know, and 19 others who sang the song to Frozen as a group all the way to Lakewood.  On another note, HSC students were the first to donate their YAT cash to the non-profit organizations supported by YAT.  They should be proud of how they conducted themselves during their first day as business people. Now that the day in "towne" has come and gone, students are working on a small yearbook of sorts for HSC students.  Hopefully we can get that project together for the end of the semester.
April 2014
 
  • HSC Media Network staff are working on creating scripts for this semester's broadcasts.  Your student may ask to bring some relatively random-sounding items to school as "props" during the month of May; thank you in advance for being so awesome and letting them bring their belongings to school - from hats to hamsters!
  • Creative Writing I on Tuesdays decided they wanted to create a fractured fairy tale, and they will be finishing up their version of Hansel and Gretel this month.  Wednesdays CW I class continues to learn parts of a story.  We will finish up setting and move on to plot during April, with the help of mentor texts.
  • Book Club students have less than 80 pages left in Wonder!  Tuesdays group is doing a great job of reading aloud as a large group and helping each other read aloud in small groups.  Wednesdays group prefers to have me read aloud or to read to themselves. Both classes are doing a great job making predictions and identifying with aspects of August's story, as well as the stories told by the other characters.
  • Thank you to the parents who generously gave up a part of their kid-free day, part of their work day, planning day, etc., to conduct YAT  interviews!  The feedback was very helpful in assigning student jobs.  Students were prepared and professional, so choosing among students for certain positions was difficult.  This month students need to report to Woodrow Wilson Academy on Monday, April 7th no later than 12:30 (shoot for 12:25 please!) for job training. We will be possibly working through lunch during the two weeks we have class prior to our day in "towne" because students still have the last banking unit and business meetings to cover. Students will need to report to WWA again on Friday, April 11th around 8:45 to head to YAT on the school bus. The bus will leave at 9:00 am. Parents need to pick up their students at WWA by 1:45 p.m. after we've completed our work day.  YAT curriculum includes follow up lessons, so April will continue to be a working month for students.  If we have time in May students might film an "infomercial" for YAT to be shown at the Open House. 
March 2014
 
  • HSC Media Network "staff" will finish up their submissions to the school's newest edition of the paper. Class determined that, due to students preferences towards writing some fiction, factual scientific and historical reports, poetry, and other types of writing other than actual journalism, we would now call our publication a "magazine" versus a "newspaper".  Before spring break students will begin working on writing a script for the HSC newscast.
  • Creative Writing I will move on from characters and character development to setting.  Each day students write at least a journal entry, and some classes really love taking their time with the journal entry!  As a result, some of the activities surrounding the day's subject have been oral activities.
  • Book Club students are still well into reading R. J. Palacio's Wonder. Please see last month's blog entry for more details regarding this book.  When families elected to take this class all agreed that they would provide a copy of the book at home for potential "homework" assignments.  This is a longer book, and in order to read more than one book this semester I've asked that families please purchase/borrow/rent this book so that I can assign some at-home reading. Several students have the book at home, but other's do not. This week I will be sending home some at-home reading assignments, so hopefully everyone has their copy!
  • Young Ameritowne students learned about banking, how to fill out deposit slips and how to write checks. Next we will be learning about investments, saving, budgets, and job interviews.  Some students seem to be struggling with the more "real school" aspect of the class. Please talk to your student at home and make sure they still want to continue with the class as unnecessary interruptions and lack of interest slow down the class progress and make it difficult to get to the more active parts of the curriculum.  I've spoken with the students about everyone learning at different rates and asked that they remain respectful of their fellow classmates when some need to review a topic or ask for some assistance. I would really appreciate it if you could reinforce this at home. Thanks for your help, and thank you to the parents who have volunteered to assist with job interviews.

February 2014
 
  • HSC Media Network "staff" learned important information about writing in journalistic/news style and they are working on researching and writing stories for the next issue of the HSC Post.  Parent suggestions for article ideas are always appreciated - just tell your "staff" member and we can discuss their story angle in class.
  • Creative Writing I enjoyed last month's mentor texts and writing diary entries. February is all about character, setting and using descriptive adjectives. We will touch on certain writing crafts, too, like personification and speaker tags.
  • Book Club students are well into reading R. J. Palacio's Wonder. This book offers quite a bit of food for discussion, and students have shown great insight as well as empathy for the main character. Parents should be trying to obtain a copy of this book as students will need to read some at home in order for us to be able to cover more material this semester. Also, this book is a great one for the whole family to read (school age and above) as it deals with topics such as friendship, family, bullying, and dealing with serious illness.
  • Young Ameritowne students will continue to learn about free enterprise, as well as supply and demand, choices, investments, and banking. Please keep watch, parents, as I will be contacting you for assistance with job interviews in March!
January 2014
 
  • HSC Media Network "staff" is getting ready to begin a new semester! Students will learn the fundamentals of journalism and how to write in inverted pyramid format.  We will discuss interviewing skills and brain storm ideas for the next issue of the HSC Post.
  • Creative Writing I will start the new semester with some ice breaker activities and then it's on to diary entries using mentor texts.  Throughout the semester we will discuss basic parts of a story, including character, setting and plot.
  • Book Club students will read all new books this semester, staring with R. J. Palacio's Wonder.  Last semester's students discovered that they preferred to read aloud and in groups and discuss the books over completing written activities related to the reading.  This semester we will try the format that last semester's classes enjoyed with some written activities to take place at the end of each book.
  • Creative Writing II starts off a semester of learning to write persuasively.  This class will take the basic writing skills of Creative Writing I and crank them up a notch to include some technical writing, advertising, more in-depth fiction, non-fiction, and other types of writing projects depending on time and student interest.
  • Young Ameritowne starts up again this semester with full classes and an advanced and fast-paced curriculum.  Students will jump right into taking a pre-test to give them an idea of what topics we cover in this class and what their knowledge of those topics is going into the semester.  Hopefully all students and parents read the letter forwarded by Ms. Bobbi and have responded to the agreement.  If not, families have until the third week of the semester to complete this.

    • December 2013
  •  

    • HSC Media Network "staff" is working to film their newscasts. If your students tells you he/she needs to bring random items to school as props (for example, rubber duckies), they're not fibbing! It will all make sense (maybe!) at the Open House when you see the newscast.
    • Creative Writing I worked very hard for several classes on creating their own fiction "masterpieces", taking up more weeks then originally anticipated. These works will be on display at the Open House. Class will now be working on letter writing and, if time allows, mythical/magical creatures.
    • Book Club students continue to read The One and Only Ivan.  The book is a long one, so we are reading as much as possible each class.  Throughout the semester it became apparent that the students really prefer reading and discussion to reading and questions/activities, so we are focusing on reading and understanding the author's intent.
    • Poetry Class continued work on ballads and discovered the joy of putting any and all written work into a MS PowerPoint presentation. Class also continues to discuss word choice and figurative language. We read some Shakespeare and attempted to created some Shakespeare-inspired poetry. The end of the semester will find the class formatting the "published" poetry for the poetry book we will display at the Open House.
     
    November 2013
     
     
    • HSC Media Network students completed work on the paper and are working to put it "to bed".  Students are also working on developing a script for a newscast and practicing so that they can film and edit the newscast before the Open House in December.
    • Since studying the parts of a story, students in Creative Writing I are working together and individually to create their own masterpieces.  In November students will also learn letter writing format and we will discuss magical creatures as characters. 
    • Book Club read Mary Amato's Please Write in this Book together and students really seemed to enjoy reading the different parts supplied by the author.  During the month of November the students will read The One and Only Ivan.
    • Poetry Class worked on creating a Cinquain and also a ballad during the month of October. Class also focused on publishing poetry not only in MS Word, but also in MS PowerPoint.  During the month of November poetry will focus on great works of poetry and what makes a poet, as well as creating poetry using our knowledge of the parts of speech.
      
     
    October 2013
     
    • HSC Media Network began researching and working on stories for the next issue of the student newspaper.  When you speak to your student at home about his/her stories, please be sure to ask them what style of writing they are using and if they are remembering to cite their sources! We go over these topics every class period and students should be able to tell you about the Inverted Pyramid and what a lead paragraph contains. Class should have a completed paper by the end of October.
    • Students in Creative Writing are getting set to work on the multiple parts of a story, namely characters, setting and plot.  Students have enjoyed the mentor texts used in class and frequently ask for time to re-read or silently read them at the end of class. Thank you for instilling a love of books in your children!
    • Book Club will finish Granny Torelli Makes Soup and work on follow-up activities.  Once completed, we will read Please Write in this Book together. By the end of October class should be ready to start our third book, The One and Only Ivan.  Students on Tuesday enjoy reading aloud as a group or in small groups and discussions are lively. Students who initially preferred not to read in a group setting are showing what amazing readers they are at this point in the semester! It's great to see (and hear). Students on Wednesday prefer reading individually and discussing the real-life situations detailed in the book.  By October we should have a class structure that works for all types of readers so that everyone can get the most enjoyment out of class.  Right now we continue to practice a little of everything to suit all students. 
    • Poetry Class created our own art books with Ms. Desirae's help.  We hope to fill these books with poems by the end of class. Class discuss Haiku and the 5/7/5 syllable format, Limericks and the rhyming format, and we continue to work at a break-neck pace to write as many poems as possible by the end of the semester.  Student goal? To create a HUGE book of poetry to share with all at the Open House.
     
     
    September 2013
     
    What to expect this coming month from the writing classes at HSC
     
    • Students in HSC Media Network will learn the basic concepts of writing in journalistic style and what it means to research and cite sources. 
    • Students in Creative Writing will start each class with a journal entry and they will begin working on individual writing activities. 
    • In Book Club, we will start reading Granny Torelli Makes Soup and enjoying class discussion and follow-up activities. Students have permission to bring pillows from home to sit on while in class. 
    • Poetry class will work on making interesting word choices and we will discuss voice. 
     
    Just after Labor Day, the church is hoping to have our regular writing classroom back to a classroom and not in use as an office.  If this is the case, HSC Media Network students will begin conducting research using the computers.  Other classes may use the computers to publish their works if time and class size allows.  Students have done a great job of adapting to a room without our regular tools, such as the computers and the white board, and we are all looking forward to being back in our usual classroom.
     
    August 2013
     
    Welcome back to HSC and welcome new students!  Writing has a new class this year, as well as some old favorites, and Ms. Nancy cannot wait to get started!
     
    This year's new class is Book Club.  Students in Book Club will be able to use HSC's copy of the book we are reading during the school day, and I would ask that parents obtain a copy of the book at home for any at-home reading assignments. The first two books are: 1st & 2nd Graders - Please Write in This Book by Mary Amato; 3rd Graders and Up - Granny Torelli Makes Soup by Mary Amato.  We will begin using these books the second week of school, so if you have trouble finding one for home please let me know. Also, if you did not receive the email I sent on August 15th to parents of fall semester Book Club participants, please let me know.
     
    Creative Writing I and II are back, as well as Poetry and HSC Media Network.  The first couple of weeks will be a time for discussing expectations, both student and teacher, and for getting to know each other and beginning activities that will result in learning some of the concepts we hope to cover, like parts of a story in Creative Writing I, persuasive writing in Creative Writing II, basic journalism in HSC Media Network, and word choice/diction in Poetry.
     
    Please read next month's blog for more information on class activities.  Feel free to email me at any time if you have questions. 
     
     
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    Nancy Weaver,
    Aug 25, 2013, 8:00 AM