Monthly Archives: November 2010

Day 51: All Saints Day and the climax

Jack O' lanterns, pumpkins, and gourd decorate our front step on Halloween

Sunday was the church observance of All Saints Day, though officially it is November 1st. It is the time in the Christian calendar to remember the saints as well as those in our lives who have passed away in the previous year. It also helps explain Halloween, which is All Hallows Eve, when the spirits of the dearly departed would come back to visit. Originally, the idea of trick or treating was that tricks were played and blamed on the spirits coming back to visit. I know that plenty of mischief has been played on Halloween and at other times including ding-dong ditching and other harmless pranks. Continue reading Day 51: All Saints Day and the climax

Numbers and Daylight Savings Time

The view Sunday morning into the backyard.

Saturday was over before I knew it, it counted in so many ways: thirty, two, twelve, forty-four, ten, and negative one. All of these numbers are significant because they are related to an event during the day. Yet, the most important number of the day is the rollback of Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. It is always a sad time, yes we do gain an ‘extra hour’ of sleep Saturday night, but we lose daylight in our day. Continue reading Numbers and Daylight Savings Time

First Saturday in November

Saturday morning view, looking out the kitchen window at all of the leaves!

I was looking at the trees in the backyard this morning when I was taking Ivy outside. It looks as though we’ll have a good day to work and cleanup the leaves. The temperature dipped into the twenties last night and it will pop up into the fifties with bright sunshine later today. Leaves were wafting from the trees to the ground as Ivy and I went outside and I’m hoping more will fall before we start yard work in a couple hours. I have a few errands to run before I get outside and start raking and bagging. Continue reading First Saturday in November

Day 50: Rising Action

Warren, David, and the author at the Tower of London, July 1975

I shared the introduction paragraph with my classes yesterday and most seemed interested in my story. We broke down the elements of the paragraph and they could see the flaws in their writing and made notes on their papers before I collected their work. I will make copies and pass them back today. I introduced the rising action paragraph and got them to work while I checked in with students around the room to coach, motivate, and to discuss the stories they’re writing. Continue reading Day 50: Rising Action

Day 49: Leads and Seeds and the Introductory paragraph

As I wrote last week in Day 45: The Writing Process, I am teaching students to write a personal narrative and their assigned topic is a time in their lives when they had a personal conflict and the conflict led them to learn a lesson or an important life-changing lesson. As adults, it is easy to look back and see some of these moments, but it is not easy for a seventh grader to look so introspectively at their lives. Continue reading Day 49: Leads and Seeds and the Introductory paragraph

I Voted!

I voted this evening. I arrived at the polls after six when the final push to the polls was happening. It was a hectic end of the day. Because of Election Day my school district does not have attendance, but instead has parent teacher conferences from 7:30 until 3:00 and the students have the day off. As a social studies teacher it concerns me that students get a day off for elections. However, looking at the broader perspective, safety, there is no easy way to secure a public building for a day and a polling place needs to be open and accessible. So voting won out and for the past few elections it has worked well. Continue reading I Voted!

Vote: Responsibility or Right?

The American flag flies proudly in front of the house.

Today is Election Day in the United States. It is always the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and the day has been set by Congress dating back to the early days of our republic. The reasoning for the day is to keep from having Election Day on November 1st, All Saints Day, a religious holiday. Continue reading Vote: Responsibility or Right?