Monthly Archives: October 2009

We’re Here!

We have made it safe and somewhat sound to Camp Caritas. The bus ride was, well, interesting. As soon as the bus pulled out onto Brandon Road, they all started singing “The Wheels On The Bus Go Round and Round.” I’d like to know who put them up to that! You are soooooooo on my list!!!

About an hour after we left, they started in with the “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?” or its evil twin “What time is it?” And then there was the following:

Angelo: “I’m bored.”

Nick M.: “Are we stopping at McDonald’s?”

Michael: “HA!! Drive Thru!!”

McTeach: [sigh]

Slow forward (as opposed to fast forward) to 10:30…our bus stopped at some railroad tracks and the kids all called out in unison: “Are we there yet??!!” Great. As we started to move forward, everyone started singing again…The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round, Round and Round, Round and Round….


But the singing didn’t stop until we got to Camp…an hour and a half later! Some of the highlights (or lowlights, depending on your perspective):

  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat
  • You Belong With Me (Taylor Swift) – everybody was singing that one!
  • Jesus Take the Wheel (Carrie Underwood)
  • There was even a little Journey…Don’t Stop Believing

It was about that time that we passed the Korbel winery. Teacher started singing, “Oh please, oh please, oh please…”

To bring in a little education, they also sang The Alphabet Song! But it was when they started singing The Itsy Bitsy Spider that I had to say something. “Ok, seriously?!”

The wireless has been fairly spotty this afternoon, but I will do my best to add posts to this blog. I should probably start a new page for my Caritas journal. One last thing…you know you’re going to have a good day when God smiles on you like this:

Beautiful Morning

Beautiful Morning



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It’s Raining, It’s…

…ok, not really. But, in case you’re curious…and haven’t already checked out, here is what the forecast looks like in Cazadero for the next week:

Weather Channel

Caritas Forecast

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Are You Ready?

Welcome to Camp Caritas!

Welcome to Camp Caritas!

Are you packed? Have you checked your list? Have you checked it again? Do you have your dress uniform washed and pressed and ready for mass Monday morning? 😉


If you have questions over the weekend, please email me. I’ll check in frequently in between getting myself packed and giving George extra scritches and smooches. Biggest question for me as I get myself ready: What book shall I bring?! I’m leaning toward The Magician by Michael Scott. Any other suggestions?

If you’re looking for a good book to read, check out the Books! page on this blog. I’m adding reading lists for all levels to that page as I find them. You’ll also find two websites at the bottom of the page that let you type in the name of a book you really liked and they will offer you a list of book suggestions you might like. Pretty cool!

What’s even MORE cool is that I noticed some of you have started talking about your favorite books on your blogs! I LOVE IT!!!!!!! You’ve made this teacher very happy!


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Welcome to My Morning!

Sunrise at CTK

Sunrise at CTK

Clicking on the photo above will send you to a slideshow of all the pictures I took this morning as the sun rose behind our church.


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Seventh Grade Writers

To celebrate the National Day on Writing today, my seventh graders and I spent a good deal of time talking about writing (my students have absolutely no trouble when it comes to talking about anything!)

We started our day with a discussion about the two types of writing: narrative (telling a story) and expository (giving information). The discussion moved on, eventually, to the importance of writing in our lives. Why do we write?

  • To express ourselves
  • Because we can change minds with our ideas
  • We write to remember; “paper can’t forget”
  • For communication
  • To help process our thoughts and feelings

I asked my students why it’s important to them that they express themselves.
I’m paraphrasing here, but Kate shared with us that if we don’t express ourselves we can’t change any minds with our ideas and we would deny the world the progress it could be making.

Have I mentioned how wise these young people are?

One of my favorite writing assignments is the six-word sentence. Students get so excited about what appears to be a simple assignment: one sentence, six words. Piece of cake, right? Perhaps you should try it before reading much further. No, no…really. Pick up a pen and a piece of paper and write me one six-word sentence that tells me about your life.

I’ll wait.


Still thinking?

The teacher grows impatient. Write faster.

See what I did there with that last one? One sentence, six words. It didn’t describe my life, but it could.

My students are adding six 6-word sentences to their blogs this evening, and they’ve come up with quite a few good ones that I’m anxious to share with everyone. Here is just a sampling:

  • Outgoing, loud, what’s not to love.
  • Author-in-training, hope to publish.
  • Small goals accomplished, next stop Whitehouse
  • Big Life, Big goals, Big hair!
  • Siblings, you fight, but love them.
  • That’s annoying, brother. Can you stop?
  • I eat, sleep, learn, and grow.
  • A great past, even better future.
  • Even though we love our sisters…..
  • School to homework to sleeping restart.

And the new Seventh Grade philosophy:

Homework, not fun. Do it anyway.

Thanks, Luke!

All in all, it was a wonderful day spent with wonderful students. Well, except for the practical joke they played on the teacher. But that’s another story…

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Seventh Grade Jokesters!

Not funny! That’s all I’m sayin’!

Well…maybe a little funny. 🙂


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National Day on Writing

On October 8th of this year, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution declaring October 20th the National Day on Writing. The first celebration today coincides with the opening of the National Gallery of Writing, an online gallery where writers from all walks of life can contribute samples of their writing.

Celebrate With Us.

My seventh graders and I will be celebrating the National Day on Writing (although they don’t know it yet 🙂 ) by:

  • talking about the importance of writing
  • reviewing the use of the Step Up to Writing program
  • writing, writing, writing

I started thinking that I would share with my students the reasons I feel writing is important and the different ways I write every day (from emails to blog posts to poetry). But they listen to me every day! I think it’s time for a new perspective. So I’m asking all of you, my gentle readers, to contribute to our conversation today. Please leave a comment here, send me an email (if you know it), tweet it, or Plurk it, but, most importantly, WRITE IT! Tell us why you think writing is important and how you use it in your daily life.

We can’t wait to hear from you! Thanks for contributing to the conversation!


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New Homework Site

As I believe I’ve mentioned to a number of students and parents, I haven’t been entirely happy with the site I was using to post homework. It wasn’t easy to work with (from my perspective), and it seemed awfully easy to read (from yours). So I created a new site yesterday that I hope will work much better for all of us. You can go directly to the site here:

Seventh Grade Homework and Schedules

Or you can go to the homework page on this blog and you’ll find the same link. I will also be adding it to the Favorite Links in the sidebar. The site has a Homework page which has a table that shows the entire week; I’ll add the homework to it as we go. That way you’ll be able to see all of the homework that’s been assigned, all at the same time.

You will also notice a page called Looking Ahead which has my seventh grade Google calendar attached to it. This calendar includes quizzes and tests along with special items like Blog Action Day and Crazy Hat Day (from last week). And then there’s something that’s on the calendar for a week from tomorrow (October 26th), but [sarcasm alert!] I’m not sure we’ve talked much about it so I’m having trouble remembering what it might be. 😛

I’ll be adding one more page to this site today (hopefully) that will list all of the mass dates for seventh grade (at least those I know about). I know we’ll be going to mass next Monday, October 26th, and I’m thinking we should make it a dress uniform day! What do you think? 😉

Be sure and check out the Home page on the homework site…time to start thinking about planning for weather! 🙂

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please let me know.


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Homework Reminder

Please don’t forget that you do actually have homework this weekend. You need to finish reading The Giver and, if you didn’t finish it in class, you’ll need to finish your literature journal entry.

Also, I’ve added a page to this blog called “Books!” It contains links to a number of reading lists online that I’ve been finding. That should keep you busy for a day or two!

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Hope Notes

Have you placed a Hope Note yet? Did you take a picture of it? Have you sent it to your teacher? Well, your teacher was out running errands today and I placed a few Hope Notes of my own.

You can see them here: Our Notes

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