Monthly Archives: January 2010

Values Poll

As we discussed in class today, let’s see which values are most important to seventh graders. Please select five values or character traits in the following poll. We’ll review the results together in class.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good morning. While we do not have school today, it is important to remember that the reason today is a holiday is to celebrate, to honor, a man who so believed in the God-given rights of all people that he was willing to risk his life for the cause. In his most-remembered speech, Dr. King said:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

Do you think he was limiting his reference of “all men” to just men? Men and women? And was it just men and women here in the United States? Or all men, all women, all over the world? What do you think?

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Our Family Story

In class on Friday, Mr. Watson shared a lot of wonderful information with us both about why it’s important to know our family history and how we can go about doing just that. Here are two of the  sites that he recommended for research:



Don’t forget you can also check out the library’s website, Contra Costa County Library, and search their databases (with your library card, of course). You might want to start here:

Genealogy Guides

I will post these links to the Helpful Links page on my Assignment Blog also. I’ll be doing a bit more research this weekend and will add anything I find to the Assignment Blog as I can.

The best place to get started with your research is your own family! When I started researching my dad’s side of the family, the first place I looked was my grandparent’s Bible. My grandmother had kept some family records in it, as many people used to.  I can’t wait to see your projects!

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We Remember Fourth Grade!

We Love Reading!

In class this morning, we traveled back in time a few years to revisit our fourth grade reading list. We talked about how much we enjoyed (or didn’t) reading back when we were fourth grade, and we talked about books that we might recommend to a fourth grader who doesn’t necessarily enjoy reading as much as we do now (right?!)

Our discussion was based on a blog post I read over the weekend titled Warning! Don’t Let This Be You! I think most teachers, myself included, have a hard time understanding why some people hate to read. Maybe students like yourselves who are closer in age to Mrs. Kolbert’s fourth graders can help us figure this out. Were you a reluctant reader? Do you have a sibling who is or was a reluctant reader? How did you or your sibling learn to enjoy reading?

Let’s start with these two questions:

  • What would you say to someone who says they hate to read?
  • What books would you recommend to a fourth grader? Explain why. Is there a book you would especially recommend to someone who doesn’t like to read?

Please respond to these questions in the form of a comment to this post. Let’s start talking about books!

Photo Books from the Past by Lin Pernille


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Many Thanks!

He's One Cool Cat

I think what Cool Cat here is saying, or trying to say, is “thank you so much for all of the wonderful Christmas gifts!” Not that Cool Cat got to enjoy any of them…I don’t think he’s particularly fond of chocolate…he’s just a very thoughtful Cat.

To be serious (as hard as that might be for me), I truly appreciate your kindness and generosity, as well as the wonderful lesson you taught me…

I talk too much about chocolate!

Ok, you knew I couldn’t be serious for too long, right?!

And now we’re back at it, my friends! The teachers and staff were hard at work all day today in anticipation of your return tomorrow. We’re only a week and a half away from the middle of the second trimester, so be ready to GET WORKING!!! WOO-HOOOOO!!!

Wow. Too much caffeine today.

One of the first things we’re going to do is a type of book report, with hopefully a 21st century component to it! You get to choose the book, it just has to be more than 150 pages, a work of fiction, and be a book you’ve not already read. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow.

Aren’t you excited?!! You get to spend ALL DAY tomorrow with McTeach!!! Now, who doesn’t love that!

Can’t wait to see y’all! Happy New Year!!!

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