September 30, 2008

Pirate iPoem

I am fierce and determined

I wonder where all the treasure is

I hear the cannons firing

I see the fear in the faces of my prisoners

I want to have another duel with the HMS Scarborough

I am fierce and determined


I pretend to walk the plank

I feel my heart is imprisoned

I touch my long, tangly, and smoking hair

I worry that Leutenant Robert Maynard will find me

I cry out as I am beheaded

I am fierce and determined


I understand why they are after me

I say that my career developed from privateering

I dream of my homeland, England

I try to enter the Beaufort Inlet, but ruin my boat-Queen Anne’s Revenege

I hope that I am well remembered

I am fierce and determined


“Me Map”

September 23, 2008

When thinking about how to introduce myself as a new teacher to my students on the first day of school, I had to think about the age of my audience.  I wanted my “me map” to be best understood by middle aged elementary school students.  In particular, I was thinking 2nd or 3rd grade.  I included quite a bit of text in my “me map”, but this text was fairly easy to read and understand.  I also included a lot of pictures and illustrations in my work to engage and interest the readers.  I would be able to implement this in my classroom as early as the first day of school.  Students could then tell me and the class a little about themselves by making something similar.  This was a very fun project and will be a great activity out in the school too!  :0)

Not So Jolly Roger- DRC

September 22, 2008


A little poem…

September 14, 2008


You are barefoot every day

And never have too much to say

Moo is what I hear

You make that sound very clear

Your body so large

You think you’re in charge

Your hide so furry

You never appear to be in any hurry

I really liked the suggestions for launching the pirate unit in your own classroom.  It would really excite and begin to get the kids engaged in the upcoming unit if you did the suggested centers in your classroom.  Playing pirate music, displaying pirate books, and creating centers seems like a great interactive approach.  This approach reminded me of what we have been talking about in our science class.  This first part of the unit seems experimental, where the kids are able to write down what they know and question what they do not yet know.  This unit allows for the teacher to be creative and make learning about social studies fun! Even though this unit is mostly intended for the fourth grade level, it could be adapted to higher or lower grades in between.  As for the students keeping pirate notebooks, I think this a great idea because it allows the students to work on their writing skills, but also to learn more about pirates.  I had never really thought about strategies and importance of making a unit launch so interesting and engaging.  I am excited to learn more about this pirate unit!  🙂

History of my name

September 4, 2008

Emily Brooke Howell

As far as I know, my parents chose my name because they simply liked the sound of it.  The name Emily has no family ties, and neither does my middle name, Brooke.  I do know that my parents were expecting me to be a boy and wanted to name me Lee Edward.  They had to settle for Emily I guess.

When looking up my name on www.behindthename.com, I found a historical background for my name.  Emily is the English feminine form of Aemilius.  The name Emily was not common until after the German House of Hanover came to the British throne in the 18th century.  According to the Social Security Administration, my name has been the most popular girl’s name for 11 years in a row.  This really bizzarre video popped up on this website too! http://www.ssa.gov/pgm/flash/emily.htm  After researching my first name, I became curious of the history of my other names.  My middle name, Brooke came into use during the 1950’s and was influenced by the American socialite Brooke Astor and popularized more by the actress Brooke Shields. My last name, Howell is considered to have Welsh origins.   However, Howell is not the last name given to me when I was born.  My biological father’s last name was McEntire.  My name was changed to Howell when my stepfather adopted me at the age of 7. 

According to hhtp://ww2.howmanyofme.com/search/there are 317,256 people in the U.S. with the first name Emily.  Statistically, my name is 196th most popular.  There are 152 poeple in the U.S. with the name Emily Howell.

I have many nicknames, with the most popular being Em or Emmy.  My parents and grandparents normally call me either one of these names.  My grandfather also calls me curly sometimes.  My younger siblings have always called me “sissy”.  Now that’s starting to wear off since they are teenagers.

Notebook Know-How II

September 1, 2008

I think writing about names would be a very personalized and important activity to include in your students’ writing notebooks.  I remember doing several activities throughout elementary school that involved my name.  I was always excited to learn the heritage and make-up of my last name.   I also remember doing an activity that required the student to describe themself using words that start with each letter of the name.  There will be a variety of names within each classroom and each one will be unique to each particular student.  I think this would be a great activity. 

I enjoy making lists as an organizing tool for myself.  I had never thought that list writing would be considered “writing”.  The examples of this list writing that these students completed in their notebooks reminded me of the game “Scategories” that I loved to play as a child.  I also liked this idea for notebook writing.  This requires quite a bit of brainstorming on the student’s part. 

I shared Buckner’s frustration in the way that she is always pushing for deep and reflective writing.  Whenever I write, I always expect the most out of my first entry and want a professional product immediately.  I think it is important to remember that writing is a process and takes time develop. 

The student’s notebook entries made me even more excited to implement this in my classroom.  A teacher could come to know their students in ways that may not be shared orally.

Notebook Know-How Pp 1-15

August 27, 2008

Notebook Know-How

Part 1 Writing


I found this book within the first chapter surprisingly to me, so easy to read.  Considering this is a textbook, I rather felt as if I were reading a novel as a pleasure read.  Just from the first few pages, it is already easy to tell that Aimee Buckner is an incredible teacher with amazing ideas who has such a passion for the teaching profession.  As she said in the first chapter, there are going to be students in every class who already enjoy writing and expressing their thoughts.  On the other hand, there will be some students who do not find writing as exciting and need some encouragement and enthusiasm. 

The way that she has set this up within her own classrooms seems to be so captivating and intriguing to the students that they don’t even know they are writing.  Writing in the notebooks is not only writing, but also storytelling.  I think that this notebook idea is so wonderful and would be rather simple to implement in your own classroom.  We all know how much kids like to talk to one another and to their teachers about anything imaginable.  Many times, the student is not able to orally express a story in the time given and number of students that are being worked with.  If the student can write down what they are thinking then, and later come back, it’s almost as if their thought has been recreated. 

I identified with a statement of Buckner’s when she said that most of the time writers feel as if they have nothing to put down into their notebooks.  Rather, writing in a writer’s notebook is more of a process.  The student/s will grow more and more comfortable to the idea of writing with practice. 

Beginning in Kindergarten when I was enrolled in a Montessori school, we were required to keep notebooks.  I was just learning to read and write, but I wrote about my family and things that were important to me.  Looking back, I now see that the notebook was a part of me and was a great insight into my 5 year old life.  I now treasure those writings dating back 16 years ago.  I remember continuing these writing journals on through elementary school and some middle grades, and even one semester in college. 

As she used the book Chrysanthemum as a prompt for her students’ notebooks, it is easy to see how easily writing can be integrated across so many subject areas.  When creating a writer’s notebook program in my own classroom, I would like for my students to use loose leaf paper notebooks with inside pockets.  I would want for them to decorate them any way they would like and make them very creative and personable.  Being able to rearrange the paper and their entries would make the notebook more organized in my own opinion.  I think that it would be important for me to also have a notebook which I could share with the kids and get them excited about keeping their own writer’s notebooks.