Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New blog link

I've created a new blog link for my C squad basketball team. This link gives our game recaps and scoring titles for the boys. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sample of Character Letter

The following documents are for your child's next major response, a letter to the character in their novel. We will be working on several items in class so I'm the final draft of this reponse will be due on Friday, December 17th, but we will be working on the drafts beginning in 2 weeks. They will receive in class time and instruction to work on this response so all they need to be doing is READING and TAKING NOTES about a character-driven book. They will be choosing character-driven books in the library tomorrow, November 14.
Here is the writing assignment and a sample...

Letter to your Character
Your assignment now that you are halfway through your character novel is to write a letter to the main character. Your letter must include the following:

Section 1
Introduce yourself and explain to your character what you know about him or her so far. (This will be a brief summary of what your character has experienced)

Section 2
Ask 1 or 2 questions that you want to know in order to understand your character better. Ask your character the question and then explain why this would help you to know him or her better.

Section 3
Describe something your character did and then explain to your character if you thought this was a good choice or not. Also, explain how you would have handled the same situation.

Section 4
What do you like or admire about your character. Explain this to him or her and remind the character how you came to find out this quality about him or her.

Section 5
Conclude your letter by wishing your character well in whatever challenges he/she is facing. Also, you can make a prediction about how he or she will “end up” at the end of the novel if it seems appropriate. (See example)

Total ________/40

Sample Letter:
Dear Khyber,

I’m Natalie Guymon and I’m so excited to be able to write you a letter. I know that you are probably out playing in the park with David and Daniel or having a sandwich with X in the park. However, I thought you might also like to get some mail. Now that I have learned about you and your family I am so interested in learning about autism. It sounds like you are really good with your brothers; you must be so upset about them possibly going to a boarding school! I can’t believe that Tammy is doing that! It must be hard to concentrate on school with that going on. That is why I don’t blame you for hitting Tiffany. Actually, there is a girl at my school that makes fun of me like that. Sometimes I just wish that I could get back at her like you did, but I know that I’d get in lots of trouble for doing that too!

I just have some questions for you, Khyber, that are really bothering me. I want to know why you hate your dad so much. How old were you when he lived with you? Did you ever have a good relationship with him? What did he do? Was he abusive? Did he leave you, Tammy, David and Daniel? I wish that I knew this because I feel like I would know more about what struggles you have gone through. Also, this would help me to relate to you. I know people that have had bad relationships with their fathers and maybe this would help me understand how you are feeling about him. I know that it might be hard to talk about it, but if you feel comfortable, will you please tell me what happened?

Khyber, I just found out about the windows in Mrs. Melon’s classroom. I know that you were out looking for X when the windows were broken, but the Principal and Tammy don’t believe you. How could you let them think that you did that? I know that Tammy started to talk bad about X, but you should have stood up for yourself. I think that it would be really hard to face all those adults, but you are so strong and so right most of the time. You can’t give up that easily. Tammy has to believe you. I wish that you had given her a chance. I’m scared for you that you won’t be able to attend school now. I wish that your school had cameras around the outside so that they could have seen who was at the school. That would really make things easier for you!

Khyber I love learning about how strong and opinionated you are. It seems that no matter how badly people treat you or judge you, you always know that you are better then that. I remember when that social worker came to see your family and you said that she looked like “she couldn’t wait to wash her hands when she left,” that must have hurt your feelings so bad, but you never let it show. Instead, you just stood up to her and didn’t let her see that it bothered you. This also shows me that you are confident enough to know that what other people say and do isn’t necessarily right. It must be hard to not let other people’s judgments get you down, but somehow you really do seem to keep a good attitude. I admire you for that!

I hope that this letter finds you soon. I know that things are hard right now with you, Tammy, David and Daniel. I wish you the best with making amends with Tammy, and that she understands how hard it will be for you if David and Daniel really do leave and live in a boarding school. No matter what she decides to do, I think that she will make sure that you and she will always be close to David and Daniel. She loves them too much also to be too far away!


Natalie Guymon

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Me" week

Last week in class I gave students a writing prompt to choose their favorite holiday of the year and explain why it was their choice. In my example, I stated that my favorite holiday is a "Me" day because I can have them as many times as I want throughout the year, the focus is all about "Me," and I don't feel guilty for sleeping in, or shopping, (or apparently buying a puppy dog 3 states away from my home! After their intial questioning period, "Is that a real holiday?" "Can we have "me" day's too???" they decided that a "Me" day sounded like a pretty cool thing. Well, from Friday to early Wednesday morning I got to have a "Me" week. My husband and I went to Phoenix, Arizona for a wonderful desert getway! I promised students that I would chronicle everything, and "blog" it when I returned so the next few responses will be all about my big trip!
"Hi guys, hope your not missing me! I'm having a blast in Arizona, but still thinking about you back at school!" "Hmm... Did I leave the barn door open back at the farm?" "Do I have to go home??? Me week should last forever!"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Phoenix International Raceway

My husband has raced stock cars locally for most of his life. Racing is a passion in my family that at one time I thought I didn't inherit, but have come to love! Scott surprised me with tickets to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races in Phoenix, AZ. Our wonderful friend Becky got us garage passes which meant that we were able to mingle amongst the NASCAR elite, and I could see my favorite driver Carl Edwards up close and personal. Amazingly, when we went up to our grandstand seats we looked down a few rows and saw our Prosser neighbor, Jeff Hall with his good buddies. It's such a small world isn't it?
Standing on pit row during Nationwide Qualifying

This is the opening of the tunnel that goes underneath the racetrack and into the pits.
Phoenix International Raceway!
And... Carl Edwards won--the Nationwide race anyway! This was in the winner's circle after his famous backflip.
Thank you Becky, you are such an amazing friend!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rawhide Steakhouse

One place I was sure to visit on my vacation was the Rawhide Steakhouse. Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse at Wild Horse Pass features old West family fun with a variety of rides, attractions and games! Here are some pictures from our visit, and the web address if you'd like to learn more should you find yourself in Chandler, AZ in the near future!

Scott just couldn't understand why I wouldn't pull him around playground!
Little bit of target practice...
Apparently I need much more practice!

Food, glorious food...

Phoenix International Sausage Dog. Yum!!!

One of the things I realized on my vacation was how much it was centered around giant quantities of food! I began to take pictures of the mega-meals we encountered, looking at them makes me hungry all over again!
Ruby's diner, which was my FAVORITE place to eat when I lived in Southern California, is this great little 50's joint where the service is friendly and the food is great!
Another all-time favorite is IN-N-Out burger, this fast food restaurant prides itself on the freshness of their product. Boy had I missed their burgers!
Delicious ribs from the Rawhide Steakhouse. Rawhide was this awesome old western town setting. It was a really fun atmosphere with entertainment and great food!
Some of the best pizza I've ever eaten! This was what we ordered when we got back from the racetrack late at night! This pizza place was right in the middle of the ASU (Arizona State University) campus.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Phoenix Purchase

When visiting Phoenix Mills Mall, my husband made the mistake of visiting a pet store... Soon my cell phone rang and he said, "You have to come down here right now!" I think I now believe in love at first sight! This little puppy stole our hearts in an instant and we were in BIG TROUBLE! We walked away for a day, but immediately returned the next morning and bought this little guy. When we were playing with him Scott's sunglasses fell from his head, the puppy pounced and a name was born. So here are some pictures of our new puppy, Oakley!
Staying still is not his thing!!!
Checking out his new backyard...

10 weeks old, Golden Retriever, survived his first plane ride and 3 hour drive home from the airport and pretty much will play ALL DAY along if you'll let him!

That which I am thankful for...

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