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    Teaching and learning constantly... government and individual schools since 1995.
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    Inland Empire
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  1. My memory may be hazy in my older age, or I may have been young and naive and overly influenced by 2 years of journalism classes when I lived in England, but I think it was not respect and honour. The press (specific newspapers) was threatened with being shut down if they would not stop printing stories on the then-minor grandsons. (this was 1993/1994 - if anyone recalls the time, or the stories, enough to share links I'd love to revisit them!)
  2. Why yes, yes it is. Living in several other countries has helped me to understand American pride/ prejudice/ brainwashing/ patriotism. Just trying to look into the roots of why this question would be asked, and enjoying seeing people on both sides of oceans/ borders try to determine what is a freedom or why Americans think they have "more." :001_smile:
  3. While I would agree that many, many Americans are knowingly or unknowingly terribly jingoistic and inward-looking, there are different perspectives on what freedom is. Most Americans were raised "pledging allegiance to the flag." The pledge was actually a poem written after the Spanish-American war but when faced with the "creeping menace of Communism" post-WWII, Congress decided to require each public school student to begin the school day with a declaration of national loyalty and unity. So, basically, we are taught to think we are the best and from a very young age are daily drilled with the idea that we are "more free." That said, I remember being completely shocked while living in England that the queen could just TELL (threaten) the press to stop printing certain types of stories and, at least for a while, they did. I also remember being told in Morocco that they had "freedom of religion," which to the speakers meant "the freedom to convert TO Islam from any other religion." The freedom to convert FROM Islam, however, was not a part of their understanding of "freedom of religion." So it all comes down to what your culture has taught you to value. If you have that, then you have freedom.
  4. That does not happen in this book. This one is set about 30 years before school integration.
  5. If you do choose "Roll of Thunder," you will need to have a discussion about lynching. The climax of the book involves quite a bit of violence and the threatened lynching of a 14 year old friend of the protagonist family. It is hinted at all the way through but ends with the white men in town chasing after the kids' school friend, who has been beaten up and otherwise mistreated by 2 white boys. I guess you just decide which conversation you don't want to have.
  6. I just read this last week (again) - I had read it in 6th grade. I think I missed the main points as a 6th grader. The curriculum we use includes it on a recommendation list for grades 4 and up. In my opinion, your 7th grader can get it with a lot of guided discussion. I would not just hand it to a 7th grader to read. I am pretty sure that most 4th graders will not understand the bigger picture/ themes.
  7. Our book group based our choices on this list, which has been floating around on Facebook the last couple of years. It is a mix of contemporary and (mostly) classic, (mostly) British. We have really enjoyed the ones we have read. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/mar/01/news "Cold Comfort Farm" was well liked!
  8. My first thought is a handful of cotton balls to feed the stuffed animal. Maybe in a little container or plastic bag, or just in the toe of the stocking. A handful of yarn to use to make a leash. This is a very sweet idea!
  9. Dh brought home a free kitten for an early Christmas present and it has pooped and or peed on all of our beds. I HATE laundry. And now my kids hate me because I am not willing to live in the crazy cat lady pee-smelling house and after consulting with a vet friend, need to get rid of the cat. And it rained yesterday so every ant in the yard has come inside looking for something to eat. So now the house smells of cat pee AND ant poison. And dd11 is about as slow as Molasses in January when it comes to finishing her work and has proved herself untrustworthy to the degree that I cannot go in the other room and trust that she is doing the work she has been assigned. The end. Thanks. I feel better!
  10. My grandmother did this. She once lost a very valuable ring for 2 years. When my aunt came to visit from another state, she stated out loud, "Now, if I were you and I had taken it off to put it somewhere safe I would have put it right..... here," and reached up to the lip of the decorative door frame. There it was! When my grandmother died we found wrapped Christmas presents that had to have been hidden for at least a decade, based on the ages of the intended recipients. I think it must be genetic. I do it too. :D Makes me think of her every time.
  11. Thank you for saying that! I was just needing a place to vent. We (11 yo and I) JUST NOW finished a very long day of school - it's 9 p.m.!!! (Ah well, I like to remind her sometimes of what her life would be like with PS homework). And she just came out to ask for a PRIVILEGE and is huffing off in anger and tears because I told her no, you have not earned that today. You need to go straight to bed! How do I tell her it's only partially because I think she needs the sleep. The other, major portion, obviously, is that I want a break from her so I don't throw her out the window.... Let's just all repeat together - We. Are. Not. Alone. :glare::glare:
  12. Earthquake activities: make your own seismograph (hang a marker by string from a table, one students shakes the table, the other pulls the graph paper slowly). Build "homes" out of sticks, "adobe" (sugar cubes or play blocks), etc in different shapes and see which ones stand up best to seismographic waves (shaking the table). Go on a hike and find some rocks to try to compare. Create your own "grand canyon" to show effects of erosion - basically build a big hill of dirt (or fill a large baking pan with dirt and tilt it slightly); run a faucet or slowly pour a stream of water over it to show that water washes away the dirt. Build a structure out of sugar cubes and spray with a water bottle for same lesson. Make "igneous rock" : Melt chocolate and pour over a hill made of aluminum foil; show how melted "rock" will flow and then harden. Chocolate chip cookies make great metamorphic rocks. Peanut butter sandwiches are perfect for sedimentary rocks. Make fossils with plaster of paris/ add in shells
  13. Great question! We have been using the same timeline for 8 years now. We usually put the figures closest to the dates their work was most important - usually somewhere in the middle. But I can't wait to see if anyone else has other ideas! (For art and music we have used Fandexes as starting points that list the most famous or important works - we then put the figure closest to those dates).
  14. I learned to do this overseas where they didn't have "microwave popcorn." It's so much less expensive too! There is a great microwave caramel to put over it _ SOOOOO good. (eta recipe!) Large glass bowl: 10 large marshmallows, 1 stick butter, 3/4 c. brown sugar. DO NOT STIR. Microwave 2 1/2 minutes. Stir, then microwave 30 seconds. Heavenly over popcorn.
  15. I taught in a public school for several years and even did private tutoring for students in their homes. I did NOT understand how to teach reading/ learning letters until I moved to a country which uses a completely different but phonetic alphabet. When I tried to learn to read and write, it opened my eyes to what younger students were going through. Not everyone can move to a new country to learn these lessons, but when I am in charge of educating educators, I will require reading specialists to learn to read in Cyrillic or Arabic or another phonetic alphabet.
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