Friday, April 28, 2017

X Blitz Quiz

And this year X fell on a Friday. Woo-hoo! I can find an X quiz...

This one is kind of a challenge. But the positive is you can answer in any order. Just type in the answer you're thinking of in the box and it'll appear in the correct box. You don't need to toggle through. Good luck.

I got 24/40. I bet you can do better. Let me know how you did in the comments.

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Writing Assessment Day

"The senioritis is strong with this group..."

12th graders. It's April. Graduation is eight weeks away.

The district does these writing assessments in every quarter. (Two quarters per semester. Two semesters per year.) They are given article excerpts to read a couple days ahead of time so they can read them and annotate them. Then, they have a period to write an essay for a prompt based off the sources.

I've covered various English classes on writing assessment day. But apparently not seniors.

Every period began with the same discussion:

"Does this count for points?"

"No, it's just for the district."

(I hedged and said it might count. To be honest, I don't know. Some teachers might include it in their grades. But, the students were discussing this amongst themselves.)

So, of course the inevitable happened...

"Then I'm not doing it."


As there was no way I could force them to scribble coherent words on paper, my only recourse was to make note of the conversation and take down names of those blatantly avoiding the writing task.

(In some cases, I didn't have to look very hard...

Seriously, this is what this boy turned in for the task.)

I so hope the teacher made this worth points. I would love to be there when they find that out...

How bad did you get senioritis? Would you have skipped the writing task? How would you discipline the students who did not do the assessment?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Video Bargaining

It's testing time. While not all classes test, the whole school was on block schedule to accommodate those that do. For me, this meant two hour classes.

Mr. W had planned things out well, though. His 10th graders were reading Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, so we started with 40ish minutes of listening to the end of Act III (with breaks for them to answer comprehension questions). Then they had some end of act questions, some vocabulary, and then we started Act IV. We were to finish with the last half hour watching a movie version.

Not that they really watched the movie (even though it was the part where the senate murders Caesar--go to about the 49th minute to see that scene if you're interested). Nor were they really following along with the audio. But they'd rather have the video so I wasn't hassling them about answering questions.

"Let's watch the video for the last hour of class," one boy requested.

The lesson plan was clear. "We'll watch it for the last half hour."

The boy would not be dissuaded. "But the last hour will be better."

Me: "We'll watch the video for the last half hour."

Still, the boy would not take my hint. "We'd rather watch the video for the last hour."

At a certain point, I lose patience with the argument. "Okay then. We'll watch the video for the last fifteen minutes..."

"Oh, ho, ho, ho..." He saw what I was doing.

"So, the last half hour, cool?" And the argument was finished.

I don't know why they think they're going to talk me down. Do they think I'm really going to negotiate? Well, when it gets to this point, I do negotiate. Just not in the direction they'd like. (This trick works every time.)

Have you ever tried haggling with someone? How did it turn out? Have you ever read Julius Caesar?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Under the Sea

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements ;)

What if we had dwellings (communities, cities) in the depths of the ocean? Would you want to live there?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Taking Orders

For my eldest nephew's birthday, I let him pick what he wanted me to make. At the time, I told middle nephew that he'd get the same opportunity for his birthday. I think. I've forgotten. But he hadn't...

At the end of March, middle nephew told me what he wanted for his birthday. Naturally, he wanted what eldest nephew got, but with a slight modification. He wanted Godzilla on a beanie.

Back to the internet...

I found one. Only one. And it was way too big to fit on a beanie. Naturally.

So, I sat down and shrank it...

And this week I finally sat down to knit it...

And I've already gathered the rats' nest of yarn...

Which is only going to get worse before it gets better. Deep sigh.

I've got almost two weeks to finish this. Think I'll make it?

And, of course, someone else ordered a jellyfish. In pink...

It's almost done. It just needs a face and stuffing. After it's gone through the wash.

Time to get cracking.

If I were to make you a jellyfish, what color would you want? If I were to make you a Geeky Beanie, what character would you want on it?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Seen in class (on Thursday)...

(I've been struggling with this letter. I was going to take a selfie, but it just didn't happen. And not for lack of trying. Ah well. This works.)

Has there been any letter you've struggled with this month? What interesting things did you see this past week?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...

Friday, April 21, 2017


It was the Friday before spring break. I had an Earth Science class. And I was dreading it. (This is the class for freshmen who didn't take biology. In other words, these are the kiddos most likely to be difficult.)

But, the teacher gave me an early present. She left a video. Trolls.

A fun video the day before a break? Score!

The only problem: I would have to watch the first 55 minutes of this video over and over and over again.

It's not a great movie. It has the usual kind of theme for an animated film, so while I was not going to get to see the end, I had a pretty good idea of what it would look like. (To see the ending, I would have had to stay after school. Since I didn't get a prep period--see Wednesday or Thursday to see where I was then--that would have been the only time I could view it.)

But then something surprising happened. It turned out that 6th period had started the movie on Thursday. So, instead of starting from the beginning, we got to start about a half hour in.

And so, something that never happens actually happened. I got to see a whole movie in class that day. I got to see the end.

The ending turned out to be just about what I expected. Ah well. At least now I'm not going to wonder how it ended.

Have you seen Trolls? What's your favorite animated film? Can you think of a movie that you pretty much knew the ending half way through?

Today's A to Z Challenge post brought to you by the letter...