Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Great Mixing Bowl - Z Daily Journal -- Day 2

     A thousand apologies for not posting, yesterday.  The second grandchild was born, yesterday, and grandpa had to go fuss over him.
     On Friday, my science classes finished researching background on the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, and learned that by viewing my daily journal they were able to answer several difficult questions in their packet.
     I pause to reflect on how several students became angry with me because I would not tell them the answers to their questions, but, rather advised them to use their laptop computers to query for an answer.
     Many groups completed the first packet, which I graded and returned to them.  Those grades are recorded in parent portal.
     The second packet involves using a drinking straw, clay, BB's, masking tape and scissors to construct a working hydrometer - a device that floats higher in the water, the denser the water, becomes.
     Students will make comparisons of typical ocean water versus freshwater and then, make brackish water - a combination of both salt and freshwater, to simulate bay conditions.
     This activity is rather fun and easy, but, lends itself to better understanding of the varying ecosystem that exists in the bay.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Great Mixing Bowl - Z Daily Journal -- Day 1

     Today, was the official start of our Chesapeake Bay project.  I arranged students into groups of three or four students per group.  Each group received the first of three packets and each group "signed-out" a laptop computer. 
     The first activity, due Tuesday, April 17, pertains to a bit of background information about the bay and asks students define such words as; brackish, gamefish, spawn, and Shad.  Additionally, students were asked to record several things they already knew about the bay and then interview another group to see if they could add to the list of things, already known.
     Students used the computers to learn more about where the bay is located, a bit of trivia about the Susquehanna River, and research information about the American Shad, a native gamefish species that will be making a comeback when all the dams between Williamsport and the bay are equipped with fishladders to accommodate the Shad's annual spawing behavior - similar to salmon.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Playing with Paper Airplanes?

My goodness, what better way to learn about surface area and tension/friction.  How about understanding a balance between lift and gravity, or thrust and drag?

There be paper airplanes all over the school, but, the learning that took place is beyond expression.  Today, most of my kiddoes designed and launched airplanes from the gym balcony, with the emphasis,, on keeping the plane in the air for a minimum of five seconds,.

Monday we launch for distance. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

surface tension

water molecules maintain a magnetic link bond with one another. 

Okay, to shake his bond, we need to interrupt the electrical field that maintains that grip. 

what better way to show than with 10-mL of water in a petri dish and a small metal needle. 

Aside from a discussion on distribution of weight, students learned that using the tines of a fork will ensure a needle can be lowered slowely onto the water and it will float.

 the key, here, is that the molecular bond of the water is strong enough to suspend the needle at the top of the water.  so, by adding a drop of soap, we disrupt this cohesive electrical bond and the molecules separate enough to permit the needle to sink.

hmmm, is this why soap removes dirt and grime better than water, itself?

what if we replicated this experiment using ocean water?

Have a great weekend, folks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The polarity of water

How can the jumbling of water molecules result in so many being tossed out of water and into the air?  Ya know, this is how water evaporates.

 But to consider that heating of the air and water by the sun causes the molecules to accelerate so violently as to cast so many into he air, is hard to comprehend.

With that philosophy, there would have to be an exhorbitant number of molecules cast out by violent shaking.  Kinda hard to accept that thought.  My students became aware there are other forces at work, here. 

Okay, here's where polarity steps in.  Each molecule possesses an electrical charge - sorta like a magnet.  When one molecule is bounced outta water, it clings on to another molecule that also gets bounced out.  A chain of molecules are pulled from the water to explain why during condensation molecules form clouds that weigh thousands of pounds.

To demonstrate, I had one class hold hands in a string, held together through this electrical bond.  I left the classroom holding the arm of one student, who held the hand of another with her other hand, and that chain continued until quite a few kids were led from the room before the chain broke.

Cool, eh?  My kids are ready for Joe Snedecker's wham cam.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Read Across Science

Pappa Z, today, read pages 93-99, to his classes.  It was all about freshwater beneath the surface of the Earth.  Studens kept their vocabulary sheets next to them as they followed along in their own texts. I stopped occasionally to reiterate context, otherwise, it was good old-fashioned teacher-initiated learning.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Well, well.

Sorry, feeble attempt at humor.  We started discussing freshwater beneath the surface of the Earth.  And, what kind of water do we find from underground?  WELLS! 

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Okay, You May Now Follow Directions

Introductory paragraph:

Do people use way more water than they need?
     Major F.R.E.D.- Conducting home water use evaluation
     Major F.R.E.D.- Background information
     Major F.R.E.D.- Analyzing collected data

Paragraph 2:
Major F.R.E.D.- Conducting home water use evaluation
     1.) Minor F.R.E.D.- home survey tally sheet
     2.) Minor F.R.E.D.- comparing each activity to total gallons used
     3.) Minor F.R.E.D.- percentage of water use

Paragraph 3:
Major F.R.E.D.- Background information
     1.) Minor F.R.E.D.- how third world countries get water
     2.) Minor F.R.E.D.- does weight of water determine water use?
     3.) Minor F.R.E.D.- how much does the average American use

Paragraph 4:
Major F.R.E.D.- Analyzing collected data
     1.) Minor F.R.E.D.- compare your data to average American
     2.) Minor F.R.E.D.- compare your data to third world countries
     3.) Minor F.R.E.D.- compare your data to one other student

     Answer the prompt by summarizing paragraphs 2,3, and 4, then, explain if you need to conserve water, or, if you are doing a good job at conservation.

   Well, it loses something in translation, eh? C'mon, I handed this to every munchkin. All they had to do was follow the format.  Very, very few, did.  And, what really irks me is tha many students chose not to do the assignment.  They lose points for every day its late.

     Progress reports on Wednesday.

     Have a snow-free night, folks.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Writing a science report

okay, so, the shift button on my 'puter is stuck, as with the letter "t."  bear with me, obviously time to clean keyboard keys.

anyway, the cherubs are putting together a rough draft of their water conservation project.  i even gave them the four-square components and outlined the rough draft.  go to my website and look under taking account of water.

well, i am at school tomorrow - an in-service. 

have a great weekend, folks

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Conserving Water Means Boring Math

Oh my goodness.  The cherubs discovered that trying to determine water conservation requires detailed data collection and transposing water useage into gallons used, converting that number into a decimal and ultimately a percentage.  To make matters worse, I had them take the data and convert it into a bar graph.

so, why the big deal about water conservation?  the story of Mono Lake, tomorrow, will show 'em.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Not Applicable

We "learn" them about math, just not how to use it.  Well, I am teaching them the practical side of mathematics, while teaching them about water conservation.

First, they did a two-day water usage survey with their family. Each time they brushed teeth, washed hands, flushed the toilet, took a 10-minute shower, laundry, etc., they recorded the event with a checkmark.  We then equated each event with average amount of water used; such as .25 gallons of water to wash hands, one gallon to brush teeth, five-gallons per toilet flush, 30-gallons per 10-minute shower.

Students added up all the water used for the survey and tallied the amounts to somewhere around 200-gallons per person for the weekend.

We then used that tally to breakdown the percentage of water used for each activity.

Today, homework was to take either percentages or gallons used to create a bar graph.

Needless to, a lotta kids came in during lunch or planning to visit after school, for help.

I will check my email, often, tonight.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Most Americans Use About 200-gallons-day Of Water.

Did your cherub?  Does your family?  That's what we calculated, today, as part of an ongoing project "Taking Account of Water."  I was punched as pleased to learn our Loyalsock family conserves water in our homes.  Tomorrow, we will take that data and turn it into a bar graph.

Got an afterschool meeting, today.

Have a great night, folks.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

If I give an assignment, its only right I should expect it to be done

Rather uneventful day.  I asked two of my classes to distinguish between a valley glacier and a continental glacier as outlined in the the homework reading assignment from last night.  I had several teary-eyed munchkins asking for a retest, extra-credit, etc.  LOL! I did not grade that bellringer, but, it did serve as a fair warning that when I assign reading - it better be done.

I am so far behind in my teaching, this year.  I suppose because I had to cover things that should have been done at Schick.  Aw, its no big deal.  At least it gave me a chance to ensure they are learning this material.

Let's just say tomorrow we discuss frozen water and running and standing water.

Backpack Mail
My boss passed out backpack mail detailing a pilot after-school academic program.  I hope all parents take advantage of this program for their cherubs to strengthen math and reading skills.  You folks have a most excellent middle school.  We all bend over backwards to instill pride, skills, and diligence. 

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Teaching two ways, becomes four-ways

Holy Cow!!!  First period went according to plan, but, we ended-up with a lockdown during second period that extended well into third period.  Improvisation was the key, as we took that extra time to delve deeper into our textbook readings and talk about the dangers of drinking water from those pipes that shoot out water near roadways.  Sure, they were once public oases that featured pure spring water, but now, PennDOT uses those areas to channel surface run-off.  Anyway, after lockdown, we a third period class that consisted of a dozen or so minutes.  Hardly time to teach.  Finally, fourth period features a different way to teach the material and was difficult because the cherubs were still in goofy-mode from the lockdown, although most of my kiddoes were back to normal halfway through class.

All-in-all, it woulda been a good day to have stayed at home.  Whew!!!  This is a terrific sixth grade, this year, so despite my panic-mode teaching, they fared pretty well.

No clue why we had a lockdown -  really don't care.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Was-oh so-Clever; RRRRiiiigggghhhttt

Okay, so I took the textbook and I photo-copied chapter 3 for two of my classes - ya know, so they highlight key passages, color-in diagrams and illustrations, and, above all, add little notations.  Oh, yes, spent some time in the copy room to run-off 40+ copies.  Then, ran-off 100 copies of the vocabulary words from that chapter as additional reinforcement.  Gave the list and the packet to those two classes,  Yes, I, patted myself on the back for ingenuity.  RIGHT!  Learned later today, two pages in half the packets did not copy and were not in the packets.  The best laid plans, my friend, the best laid plans. . .

Have a great night, folks.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Working at a snail's pace

Each year, the water unit goes slower and slower.  This year it came to a standstill.  It will seem unfair to the kiddoes, but, I have to speed-up the pace and pray those kiddoes that get lost will come in for help before or after school, or during REACH.  It's not complicated, it's just I became an enabler and opted to go forward only as fast as the slowest student, permits.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You are now entering sixth grade - fasten your seatbelts, please

Today, we finished the Eureka video clips on molecules, heat and temperature, and expansion and contraction.  The videos are geared for a younger audience.  However, my cherubs prove to have very little, if any, exposure to molecular structure, necessary for my unit on water.

Still Using Bill Nye
I love using Bill Nye in my classroom as a teaching aid.  Previously, I used his show as a catalyst to teaching about rocks.  Now, I am using his show on water cycle in my REACH class as a catalyst to my sixth grade water unit.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Little Lumps

The munchkins, today, watched a series of mini-clips on molecules - little lumps, to get them prepared for sixth grade water unit.  for whatever reason, they were not exposed to molecular processes in baby school. These videos are kinda cool.  click on \the link
 look for my Tuesday lesson.  and click on those links.  Totally, cool.

Taking Account
The weekend assignment requires the cherubs and their families to participate in a water survey.  Here is a link to that survey.

Have a great night, folks

Friday, January 15, 2010

Finished with Earth's Innerds

I completed the unit with a short video on the New Madrid earthquake of 1812, and a 20 minute overview video of volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics. The cherubs were able to answer every question from the video, that I asked. "Day done learned."

Dance of the water molecule
Oh yeah, on Tuesday, we start the water cycle. The boys will be air particles, the girls will be water molecules, and one particular boy will be dust particle. We will then act out the processes of evaporation and condensation. We also go back into the textbook, and the munchkins will be given reading assignments from the book. WHAT?!? Mr. Z expects them to read for themselves? I pray, they will be able to handle the three or four-page reading assignments.

No school, Monday
Teachers become students on this in-service day. Have yet to be given an agenda of what we can expect. Ho boy, I hate these days. I got into this gig to teach the best way I know how and with a method that will inspire children to learn. Often, those latest and greatest new methods are simply a rehash of methods that were tried and failed, in the past.

Have a great weekend, folks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Human Tragedy

It pains me to teach about the earthquake in Haiti, knowing I must limit my remarks to the scientific phenomena - the quake, and side-step the human drama. It "ain't" my job or place, however, it is in the news because we are studying earthquakes, right now, in science.

I hope parents sit and watch the unfolding events with their children and speak frankly about the quake. Your kiddoes do know how to equate this magnitude quake with the 1989 San Francisco tremblor, and we also mention other significant quakes to affect the United States.

Science Quiz Today
I am "sorta" impressed and "sorta" distressed that my munchkins either found today's quiz easy, while a handful found it difficult and did poorly. If your child is having a difficult time with these powerpoints - on my website - please, fire off an email to me. We can play internet tag and get the student up to speed.

I was so excited yesterday, to be able to blog, again, that I neglected to thank all my students that thought of my during the holidays with the "Christmas" gifts they presented. I enjoyed the fudge, biscotti, coffee, gift certificates, and yes, my Christmas Yoda bobble-head.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I AM BACK!!!!!!

Sorry for the long hiatus. Contractual issues, "ya" know.

Currently, the sixth grade is engaged in learning about Earth's "innerds" interior. Oh yes, we doing the whole nine-yards, including seismology. So, yesterday, was a lesson on earthquakes. And, wouldn't you know it, a 7.0 quake devastates Haiti.
This unit is in the form of seven powerpoints I wrote several years ago. The link to those powerpoints is on my website.
After each powerpoint, students are given a five-question quiz pertaining solely to that powerpoint. We complete each powerpoint with accompanying worksheet, in class. Whatever I don't get done in class, is the student's responsibility to complete independently.

I strive to keep edline updated. However, understand that not all assessments are graded. I engage the children in inquiry discussions and in-class problem solving using learned materials. So, if you don't see an updated edline for upwards of a week or so, please bear that in mind.

I get 25 minutes with just a few kiddoes, each day, to review or enrich science materials. That is so difficult to do, and because of band and/or chorus do not have the luxury to get each munchkin. And, we rotate, each day, so I get one group every six days, and even then, its not all the same cherubs, due to band and/or chorus.

Social Studies
Civics in sixth grade, wow. I do Constitutional rights and amendments. Very low-key. So much so, I rarely assign homework and prefer daily, face-to-face learning with my students.

Contact Me
Got a question, concern, quip, query, comment, quandry? Fire me an email. Bear in mind, I am not the greatest at receiving criticism, however, don't let that stop you. I am a big boy and if you have any concerns or criticisms, please share them with me. If I don't know, I can't act on it.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sorting rocks by diameter

Okay, so far, we separated a pile of rocks and sand into three equal piles, according to mass. One pile is labeled, "wind." Another, is "Mountain Stream," and the third, "Mass Movement."

Now then, starting with the wind pile. Students separated the pile according to diameter size and placed them in categories that include; boulder, cobble, pebble, gravel, very course sand, and course sand. The pile was weighed, the categories counted, and the sand weighed separately.

One rock was picked, weighed, an outline drawn, and it was painted with fingernail polish.

The pile and painted rock was placed in a plastic jar with a lid. A stopwatch was set for 3-minutes and the jar was shaken vigorously for three minutes. The painted rock is retrieved, weighed and outline drawn.

This process is repeated with mountain stream and mass movement.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Will be absent on Tuesday

Sorry, folks. I will not be in school on Tuesday. Family emergency. However, my sub will be showing a video in science, starting a packet on metrics in REACH, and starting a packet on learning to use maps, in social studies.

I will be at an area hospital, all day, doing school work on my 'puter, as I wait for a family member to undergo minor surgery. I will be checking my email, as always.

Have a great night, folks.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Edline is Updated

Better check your munchkins' grades in science. This, after hand-holding, fix-its, and downright chasing after the kids.

I handed back the leaf collection project/science notebook. Ask your cherub to see it.

Please do not ask for extra-credit work. Also, please do not ask me to adjust the project or notebook grade. I went over everything in class, gave classtime to do work, made certain students that were absent received work they missed the days they were out, and even conferenced with students over the work.

Final note: I had a blast at the Bloomsburg Fair with my son and his family.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bar graphs

Wow, what a neat class. We learned the concepts of making and interpreting data tables and bar graphs. Let's see how the cherubs learned, today, There tables and graphs are due on Friday.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My current anchor is interpreting data

Tomorrow, we take those leaf projects and determine the most common trees in Loyalsock Twp. by surveying each class and tallying the top seven common trees, or something like that. We will then create a data table to show that survey and create a bar graph. All this ties into my current anchor of interpreting data. I was surprised to find that Mrs. Antonacci is currently working with data tables in her math classes. Cool.

Have a great night, folks.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First test tomorrow

Well, the first science test of the year is tomorrow. Today, I handed out and reviewed a study guide to prepare the cherubs for a 10-question, multiple-choice test on chapter 1 - soils.

I have thumbnail photos of each kiddo that I had laminated. Tomorrow, before the test, they will cut-out their photo and adhere it into their leaf project.

On Monday, the munchkins will need their completed leaf collection project. They will receive a 24-point project grade for the mounted leaves, and a 5-point test grade for their folder containing all the leaf project handouts. Parents, you will need to sign a paper verifying you checked that folder and all the items listed are included in the folder.

Also, on Monday, we begin our first experiment on soil.

Has this week really been as long as it feels?

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When is the leaf project due?

look at my blog, look at my homework page, look at my daily agenda entries, look at the posters on the wall in my classroom, passed out the rubrics with the due date, passed out a page detailing what is required on that due date, along with a parent signature, and, of coursed, listen to the daily oral reminders by Mr. Z. I really should make an effort to communicate to these children. OKAY -- the leaf collection material are all due on Monday, Sept. 28, at the start of class.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In the 'puter lab

we introduced the leaf id key, today, in the computer lab. kiddoes are invited to work at home on the internet. however, we will be in the lab on Tuesday, and Wednesday.

The big news is the leaf collection project is due on Monday, Sept. 28.

Chapter 1 test on soils is this friday.

have a great night, folks. the shift key on my laptop is sticking and i am having difficulty with capital letters.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

This Week's Game Plan

Okay, here it is:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we are in the computer lab with our leaves and data tables. Using the link on my website ( we will find the common and scientific names of our leaves to complete the leaf booklet.

That pesky leaf booklet is due Monday, September 28, at the start of class. One letter grade penalty for each day late.

Also, we are completing Chapter 1 - soils and I plan to have a review on Thursday and the start of class on Friday, before handing out a 10-question multiple-choice quiz on Friday.

Starting on Monday, September 28, we begin an experiment with sand. Actually, there are a couple of sand experiments, before we move on to Chapter 2 - landforms.

Whew! Welcome to middle school. The paper chase - begins!!!

Have a great rest of the weekend, folks.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

'my Bad

It's been a couple of days since my last blog. Sorry. It's just been so hectic, this week.

Well, open house is over. It was nice to meet or remeet some of the parents, last night. I, of course, was in rare form as I bounced around the classroom. The show was free, the information I relayed was important and true. Please, please, please, please peruse your child's agenda and binder, often, just don't take anything scholastic out of the binder.

Leaf press is due, tomorrow. We will mount the leaves and complete the available data before we hit the computer lab, next week, and research the identity of our leaves.

Have a great night, folks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sorry for the late blog

Had to drive to state college to pick up my son from the airport. He is home on leave as he transfers from Lackland AFB, San Antonio, to Warren AFB, Cheyenne.

Anyway, we introduced soil to the munchkins, today. They learned the definition of lithosphere, geo, regolith; the suffixes, logy, and, graphy, and the difference 'twix soil and dirt.

What's the difference? Dirt is simply, regolith, is nothing more than weathered and powdered loose rock, and soil is dirt with minerals and live and dead organisms.

The homework handout covers that material.

4-sight Testing
Tomorrow, we do reading 4-sight during 3rd and 4th periods. Section 61 - my normal 4th period class will meet after lunch. Oh, yeah, all sixth graders eat lunch from 11:10 to 11:40 a.m. Several of the sixth grade teachers will be in the cafeteria to teach our kiddoes proper cafeteria ediquette. It seems a handful of them are using the cafeteria as a track and many, many more seem to think normal conversation volume is to shout.

Have a great night, folks

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

No Fungus, Among Us

How to demonstrate taxonomy - the action of organization through sorting and elimination. Okay, we sit in a circle toss our shoes into the middle of the circle and through direction sort and eliminate shoes and sneakers until we come down to just one or two possible choices that fit our requirements. Thank goodness, sneaker and shoe-wearers had socks. And, the sandals and flip-flop wearers were made aware of the bacterial dangers associated with walking around in flip-flops.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Impressive Press

WoW! The munchkins took well to making their leaf press, today. I brought in a few newspapers for those children that forgot, but, for the most part, they did well. Now, parents, ensure your kiddo finishes the press and places the press with leaves on a shelf or counter with a book or rock atop it for the next 7 to 10 days.

In social studies we are making posters of the Freedoms of Expression. The only problem is the posters have no words, other than the student's name. Hee hee, what a great lesson on interpretation.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, September 07, 2009

WoW! No Questions!!!

I kept a laptop with me all weekend, thinking some of my new cherubs will have some difficulties in collecting their leaves for the current project. As of right now, I've only had one email from a young lady with a very fixable problem.

So, as I prepare for my last night of summer and a cookout at a location with absolutely no cellphone reception, the laptop stays home. Afterall, I just can't imagine any of my students waiting until the last minute to complete their science assignment.

Students should have their leaves and an old newspaper for tomorrow's class. We will cut the newspaper into multiple sheets to create a leaf press. In between several sheets of newspaper, munchkins will place a leaf. Upon completion, students will have a leaf press to take home and place on a shelf or counter with a brick, or heavy book, atop. They will leave the press there for about 10 days before bringing the press back to school.

Have a great (end-of-the-summer) night, folks.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Time to leave

LOL!!! Munchkins, get those leave collected and those data tables completed for next week. No rocket science, here. Collect a leaf and note the items for each leaf and tree before moving onto the next tree.

Enjoy the weekend. See you on Tuesday.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Should I Post My Units?

Currently, we are creating a leaf collection. To do so, we need to learn a little background and then proceed to collect leaves, according to directions. Well, here I have kiddoes that went out and gathered leaves and placed them in ziplock baggies or something as such.

Where in the agenda do these kids have written to collect leaves? Everything in due time, folks. You would not have your kid cross a street without looking both ways, first, would you?

Therefore, I went over the field packet the munchkins will use this weekend, and, tomorrow, I will take them outside the practice how to use that packet in this assignment.

Think of my class as a jigsaw puzzle. Perusing the entire unit is like looking at the completed puzzle illustrated on the box cover. The actual puzzle needs to be assembled.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I am so tired, but, delighted with my new sixth graders

What a pleasure, it was, to work with my newbies, today. I actually got through with two lesson plans with better retention. We got to joke around and play. I am so tired. I'm gettin' old, but, boy its a good tired. I adore this class.

Although they have a homework assignment due on Friday, most of them finished it with me, in class. It's in their binder, check it out.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


They were nervous, the incoming sixth grade, some, even terrified. Some were told Mr. Z is nice, others that he is an ogre. Some of the cherubs were fearful of being the little fish in the big pond. And, all along, those teachers heaped information after information on these children that would make any adult grimace in complete confusion.

We gave them a schedule that was short of being a highly-secret code, then, we gave them lockers and combinations, then, we put them in groups and asked them to go to lunch at this time or at that time. Then, we placed them strange related arts rotations and gave them a tour of the building. INFORMATION OVERLOAD!!!

What a sweet group of kids. Way too much information to absorb in a short time span. It will be okay. You will quickly get into the swing of things.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mex As A Celebrity

We took the daughter to State College airport as she left again for school in Texas -- she is now a junior. Anyway, the wife picked up a copy of "Town and Gown" to see a photo of our former superintendent, Dr. Richard Mextorf. The article was about his history in education as he takes the reins as superintendent of State College public schools. Needless to say, we snatched a handful of copies of the magazine and I dropped off a few at the district office, Schick elementary and the middle school.

Our New Principal
Although I have yet to meet Mr. Gaetano, our new middle school principal, a few parents in the district stopped me recently to say they think he is a real charmer. That's great that parents like him. It is tough to move into a new neighborhood and make such a great impression. I think I'm gonna like this fella. I hope you all welcome him to our district.

More New Faces
Well, our boys' and girls' gym teachers have moved to the high school, and the newbies have been assigned to the middle school. I will meet them, nxt Wednesday. Apparently, they subbed or student taught in our schools. Also, I am eager to see who gets the learning support teaching job for sixth grade. Mrs. Pulizzi's classroom is now the new learning support room, and Mrs. P. has moved into the old learning support classroom -- right next to me. Poor woman does not like loud music and in the mornings, I crank the tunes until the windows rattle.

Mr. Johnson has moved into the old middle school computer lab and is now the 7th grade reading teacher, while Mrs. Krout, came down from the high school to each 7th grade language arts. She is a nice lady and the kids will be very pleased with her.

I Was Correct!!!
For a couple of years, I've been harping about not permitting flip-flops in school. My reason is sanitary. Click on this link for a neat article about the footwear.

Have a great night, folks.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

New Year, New Principal, Returning Friend, Same Z

I see we have a new middle school principal, Mr. Gaetano. He comes to us from Millersburg, where he was the high school principal. Yes, he has three grown children - two college grads and one still in college. He was officially hired by us, last night. The man has an ominous task as we get down to just a few weeks before school begins. Welcome aboard, Mr G.

Howdy Newbies
It appears we are getting a large incoming sixth grade class to be shared among only four teachers. That means we will be crammed into a small science classroom, where I have all our science-related gadgets, supplies, and tables, stored. Remember, when working in such close quarters -- to shower, often. LOL!!

She's Back
Our own Mrs. Fry, sixth grade reading teacher, is back, after a two-year hiatus. I saw her earlier this week getting her classroom ready for the upcoming year. She looks great and is eager to get back to work.

Earth and Space
Pay close attention in class, this year. It's the only time you will receive instruction in Earth and Space science, while at Loyalsock. That means, you've "gotta" remember all this stuff for not only your 8th grade PSSA science test, but, for the 11th grade test, as well.

You Will Need. . .
This is complicated. You need a notebook, pen/pencil, notebook paper. The trick is, you need to bring them, everyday, to class. Last year's group wiped me out of more than 100 pencils. You are responsible for your own pencil and paper. If I give you a pencil, be prepared to contribute $0.25 to the "Money I Raised For Charity" jar.

Nobody Messes With My Newbies
I am a daddy. My oldest is in the Air Force, a military cop. My baby is in her third year of college at Texas A&M in Galveston, studying to be a marine scientist. Expect me to treat you the same as I would my own children. I will guide you, protect you, hug you, hold your hand, listen to your problems and concerns, and -- "yell at 'ya," when you misbehave. Most importantly - I will love you as if you are my child. Anyone "messes" with you, must answer to me!! Or worse, to Mrs. Antonacci, our sixth grade math teacher, resident dynamo, and mommy of two elementary school kids.

Send Me E-mail, or Comment on this Blog
I love hearing from you and/or your parents. Comments, quips, queries, quandries, etc., are always welcomed. I post homework and copies of our current unit on my website. Please visit, daily.

Okay, let's get started. Click the web address to get to my website.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Gonna revamp my curriculum

okay, folks. what did you like and dislike about 6th grade science, this year.

let's start with geology. our study of rocks and things. making rocks, identifying rocks, making sand from rocks by shaking in a jar, understanding the three main types of rocks.

how about the timelines we made of earth?

how about the computer powerpoints on earthquakes?

water? fresh and salt. great mixing bowl. the sand in the soda bottle experiments. how wells work? ground and surface water? life in the oceans? life zones in the oceans? motions of the ocean?

the atmosphere? layers, jet stream. . . weather?

space? c'mon, we need more space. i need more space. send me your ideas, thoughts, reactions.

have a great summer, kids

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fence Posting and Michael

Well, well. Lookie who stopped by my classroom to explain how to convert the speed of light from miles/second to miles/year - or, light-years.
Michael, an 8th grader, utilized the mathematics comparison weapon of fence posts, to explain how to convert that number. Michael used my smart board to construct the fence post and then painstakingly explained each step of the process. The only problem was that 8th graders were enroute to lunch at that time, and my cherubs were more concerned about watching them, than Michael.
Never to be dissuaded, Michael announced, "I'll be back, tomorrow."
Light travels about 186,400 miles per second. How far will it travel in a year?
Have a great night, folks.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The End Is Near

Chapter test on Atmosphere, this week. We reviewed today, tomorrow, they get study guides. Test on Wednesday, except Section 64, their test is Thursday.

Then, we do the universe. I'm gonna cover that unit in light-speed.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Look to edline

Progress reports are due, today. Students with a "D" or lower will have a hard copy of the progress report sent home. I have 'lotsa' hard copies to send, today.

Please, parents, I update edline each week, when needed. If your kiddo did not turn in a paper a month ago, that means I have already spoken to that child three times. Please do not ask me to print-off a copy of that assignment, now, and give it to your child to redo. That time has long passed and we are working on something completely different.

You would not believe how many requests I get for such action or to do extra credit work. Why?

I post my entire unit on my website for easy download and printing. My homework page is always up-to-date. I monitor my email to provide quick response to queries. Short of calling each of you, daily, I am doing things at my end trying to make your child successful.

Feels like pigs flying
Just because I went to San Antonio, last weekend, and am now sick as a dog, means my allergies turned into a cold. I do not have "swine flu."

Have a "cough-free" day, folks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Know The Chemical Formulas

Okay, folks. Leaving to go see my boy graduate from basic training. I will be back on Tuesday. In the meantime, wewill be in the textbook. pages 15-19. Homework Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Whadd'ya Mean, Not Enough Time?!?

This is a good one. I gave a chapter test. In that test, I returned all homework and project papers several days prior to the test, so kids had something to study. I did two days of review and even handed out study guides to those that asked. The entire chapter is on my website.

The test?
-Well, they had the entire period.
-It was 20-questions.
-They were permitted to use their science notebooks.
-Each question was in chronological order, according to homework.
-I even provided information from which homework assignment that particular test question was taken.
-Each question was worth 5 points, but, I gave partial credit when appropriate.

From the e-mails I received, it appears there was a sale on wool -- the kind that can be worn over the eyes.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Test on Friday

As we finish the ocean chapter, students are well aware there is a test on Friday. The test also entails the Mixing Bowl project. So, on Wednesday, I will hand back all the papers I have been keeping so the kiddoes can study.

Have a great night, folks.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Did y'all read the newspaper?

Both of our middle school OM teams are advancing to world competition. The older middle school group won first place for Lost Labours of Herakles -- yes, this was a story about a Greek hero, named, Herakles. By the time the Romans stole the story, the name was perverted to Hercules. Sorta like how white men perverted the Indian name of Lawasaquik (Loyalsock). The Teach Your Creature gang -- mostly my current students - won second place.

Long live creativity and intelligence!!!!

Did y'all read the newspaper?

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Done Yolked My Meringue

We restarted clubs, today. Me, the guy that burns water, is helping Mrs. Beard and Mrs. Helminiak, with the cooking club. I did have a ball, today, however. Mrs. Beard taught and I copied making Baked Alaska. It is ice cream sandwiched in a cake and layered with whipped meringue. My first task? Separate the eggs - whites and yolk. Apparently, even the slightest bit of fat from egg yolk, interferes with the protein egg whites in creating meringue. It was only a sliver of yolk, yet, once we added cream of tartar, sugar and set the hand-mixer on super, deluxe, maximum thrust high, were we able to whip those egg whites into a frothy meringue.

From there, it was a matter of encasing the ice cream/cake sandwich in merigue to form a super-tight seal. We baked it in a preheated 500-degree Fahrenheit oven until the meringue turned golden brown. Then, it was matter of slice and serve the 36 kids in our club. Folks, home ec is a small kitchen and how Mrs. Beard managed to squeeze those kiddoes in there is testiment to her remarkable teaching skills.

Oh, Mrs. Beard did admit that she was my teacher, when I was a Loyalsock student back in the 70s. And, I might add, she has the patience of a saint.

Look out, Food Network, here comes your next combination of Paula Deen, Alton Brown, and Rachel Ray!!!!!

Have a great weekend, folks.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Seaweed and Rice Crackers

Gave most of the cherubs a treat - a rice cracker infused with sea salt and sea weed. Although the boys enjoyed the snack, the girls were a bit less receptive. A couple of girls wanted to go the water fountain to wash-down the foul biscuit. Oh well, no accounting for taste.

Three Kinds of Plankton
we use to gauge the health of the Chesapeake Bay: phytoplankton, zooplankton, and macrozooplankton. Ask your kiddo about them.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Features of the Ocean Floor

Gave an intesting test on the features of the ocean floor. How did your kid do? I handed back the tests to sections 63 and 61. The others will get their test back, tomorrow.

I will be updating my edline gradebook before Thursday. Still grading those pesky Mixing Bowl paragraphs.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Boy, Did Nature Get Me On April Fool's Day

Started my day, cranky and lazy. I got sick at the gym, yesterday, and spent the night with a high fever and dashing to the potty. Thought I was better, today, until I found myself ill first period. I left school at the start of third period.

The cherubs are reading about the continental margin, turbidity currents, and submarine canyons. While I was there I clarified there is no food chain, but, a food web. Afterall, the continental shelf is a plethera of life, more abundant than anyplace on land.

Glad You Feel Better
A really good guy went under the knife, yesterday, but, reportedly was feeling better by the evening. That's great. Perhaps, we will both be mended enough by tomorrow to function normally.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Since 2000, I have been teaching about the Chesapeake Bay as part of my ocean unit and as an ecology lesson. This year, my voice is being heard about our responsibility to save the bay. Before it was a buzz phrase, I said, we needed to make changes in order to save that ecosystem. Today, those of us living along the Susquehanna River, are now faced with the multi-million dollar penalty for our inaction the last 20-30 years. My kids understand just a bit more, about saving our environment, at least, being good stewards of our watershed.

Tomorrow, I mark the end of our project, The Great Mixing Bowl, for yet, another year. I really enjoy this unit and miss teaching ecology and the environment.

I Guess It Is Official
Our own superintendent, Richard Mextorf, is leaving 'sock. I know its official because its mentioned in Mr. Fausnaught's blog, today. I have enjoyed working with "Mex." He was a super principal and is a nice guy that takes the time to stop into your classroom, shake your hand and just chat. Yeah, I will miss, him, but, he is moving onto a school district that boasts over 7,000 kids, compared to our teenie 1,500. Good Luck, Boss.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Redoing Hydrometer Experiment

A couple of classes are redoing their experiment. This time, read the rubrics.

Good Luck!
The manly man will hide his pain whenever friends and women are around. Remember, ain't nothing like a good pillow to muffle those cries, after they leave. Good luck with surgery, buddy.

My Smart Board Is So Cool
Thanks to Mr. Fausnaught, I have an interactive whiteboard in my classroom. It goes through the computer, onto a projector and is flashed on a screen. Imagine a computer image background with an overhead projector foreground -- TOTALLY COOL!!!! Thanks, boss.

Have a great night, folks.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Down Came The Hammer

Okay, I had the cherubs begin activity 2 of the Great Mixing Bowl, last Friday. It is a two-class period lesson. And, Activity 3 is a 15 minute activity. However, enough is enough. I started today's class with a stern warning that both activities are due at the end of the period. No, I will not accept any packets, except from those children that were absent from class yesterday and/or, today.

Since today is the last day of the marking period, the Great Mixing Bowl project will go onto the 4th marking period.

Thanks, Parents
Thanks go out to the parents that took time from their busy schedule to meet with the sixth grade team, regarding your child. To be honest, I don't want them back for another year. Once they've heard my cornball jokes, they do not react a second time. Better to move 'em on to 7th grade. Okay, folks, let's get those kids hustling this last marking period and get those grades - UP!

It's Not Like The Recruiter Described!!
LOL My boy just called, basic training is not at all as the recruiter described. He gets very little sleep, everyone is sick with the flu, and he spent the last two nights on guard duty. HA ha ha. If the recruiter had been truthful, would you have joined the military? At least, the boy said, the food is good. Five more weeks and then graduation and 65 days of tech school. Funny. the boy called his girlfriend, first, then, dad. Hmmmm. I wonder why?

Daughter also called. Seems she wants to stay in Texas all summer and maybe even until Christmas. Ain't parenting grand? The empty nest did not feel so empty with my two precious phone calls.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back to the books, today

Yeah, we went about reconstructing our plastic straw hydrometer and testing it in fresh and salt water. Also, we modified our simple device by creating a scale for the straw which will make it a valuable tool in measuring the density of fluids.

Got my smartboard
Talk about a totally cool toy. A white board that you can draw on from the computer and even touch the screen to give the computer commands. Well, the board was installed, today. Mr. Gee and Mr. Black still need to install the software.

Got a letter from the boy and my daughter is now 20.
All alone on the Galveston campus during Spring break, my baby observed her 20th birthday on Sunday. I got a letter from my boy, today. He is in week #2 of Air Force basic training. He is doing a mile and a half in 13 minutes -- hee hee, I do three miles and on the treadmill in an hour -- not bad for an old man in his fourth week at the gym, eh?

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Some Shocking News, Today

I repaired a van de Graaff generator, over the weekend. This electro-static generator delivers a low-voltage lightning bolt. There was absolutely no educational value to today's class, other than electrical safety. Hey! I just wanted to have some fun after last week's PSSA tests.

Okay, we did learn a little about positive and negative polarity, but, most importantly, we saw some phenomenal sparks.

Back to the Chesapeake Bay project, tomorrow.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PSSA - Day 2

God love these kids - I'm spent.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hi. My Name is Murphy.

Laws were meant to be broken. Well, not the one set forth by Murphy - if something can go wrong, it will. Yep, our first day of PSSA testing occurred that way. But, I work with some fantastic people. We rolled with the punches and all went as smoothly as possible as we dealt with every new fiasco without our charges even being aware of any problems.

Big kudos go out to Mrs. Preisch and Miss Porter for assembling all the materials for a school over 500 kids. Big task and they should be thanked publicly for performing that job.

Guess what?
We get to do it all again, tomorrow.

Have a great night, folks. I need a few aspirins.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We Reviewed The Salinity Test

Did your cherub bring home his/her corrected science test? Well, they are to use it as a study guide and return it to me, tomorrow. I wanna see they fixed all their errors in preparation for a scaled-down retest on pages 44-48.

I am not doing them any favors by permitting them to retest. In fact, it is a disservice to them by minimizing the importance of self-preparation for a graded assessment. "If I screw-up, oh well, I can take it, again." That perception scares me when I see teenie-boppers taking their driver's test, over and over and over. At what point do we hold ourselves and our charges accountable for their actions. We learn best by lessons learned through failure.

Oh, well. I know I will never adopt a revolving door policy when it comes to tests, an occasional retest will not adversely affect my munchkins psyche or overall performance -- or will, it?

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Late to post

Sorry. I have been grading some dismal science tests, this afternoon. How could I spend 3 days covering four pages of textbook material and still have so many kids fail? What did I do wrong? I used a powerpoint presentation as a teaching tool and posted the presentation on my webpage.

Okay, I'm going to review the test with them, tomorrow, and on Friday, I will retest. I will take the average of both test grades.

Am I Getting Sick?
I feel funny, tonight Very sick to the stomach. Okay, who breathed on me?

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Test Tomorrow

Well, notes on pages 44 to 48 are on my website as a powerpoint. We went over the textbook and the powerpoint, in class. They better be ready for my short answer test, tomorrow.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, March 09, 2009

P.44-48 (20-question) test on Wednesday

review my powerpoint on my webpage.

OoTM Was A Blast
I was given the honor of serving as a style judge in the division 1 category of problem #5 (superstition), during Saturday's regional competition of OM. A busy day, but, loads of fun. Division 1 is elementary school. Some of those cherubs were dolls and so darned smart. Whew!

Mucho congrats to our two middle school and one high school teams that now advance to state competition at WAHS in April.

Have a great night, folks.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Why Gargle With Saltwater?

My kiddoes know why. Yep, we talked about the properties of ocean water, today. We also compared the fallacy that sea salt is better for you than table salt. HA HA!! It's the same thing.

Have a great weekend, folks. Don't forget about tonight's dance, and, OM regional competition at Berwick, tomorrow.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I Plum Forgot, Yesterday

Sorry. Hey! My kiddoes learned today that an iodine regiment dissuades a thyroid malady, called, goiter. Yep, not only did they learn about a goiter, but, discovered that seafood is rich in natural iodine. And, for all you people that don't care for seafood - Mrs. Dincher - we added iodine to certain containers of table salt. Now, it is added to a myriad of other foods and we have discovered it is also contained in soy, as well. Live healthy. Gee, now I'm in the mood for oysters on the half-shell. Yummy.

My Social Studies class
started individual group projects from the civil rights movement, to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., to Brown vs. the Board of Education. We are using, that way, each group member can share in producing this project, and I can view their progress from my computer.

Dance Tomorrow, and OM Regional in Berwick on Saturday

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

We Feel The Pressure

The next stage in hydrology is the ocean. Today, we started Chapter 2 and learned a bit about converting from metric to standard measurements and a bit about underwater pressure. Ask your kiddo about pressing a square-inch thumb onto the other forearm. Ah, pressure. The weight of the atmosphere on our fragile little bodies. Combine that weight with the weight of water and we get some heavy-duty pressure. That is why Godzilla could only be six-inches tall, if he were to attack Tokyo.

Band Concert, tonight

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Sand to Rock

Well, we layered sand inside our two-liter soda bottle. We chose a couple of different colors. With water added,we permitted the sand to settle - i.e.; sediment. Then, we opened the cap to the bottle and let the sand and water run out. Some interesting patterns, emerged. Ask your kiddo to share with you the drawing he/she made of the display. We recapped the bottles and I added sodium silicate, a matrix, to bond the sand particles together resulting in a newly-formed rock - by tomorrow - I hope.

My Boy Is Gone
He left for Air Force basic training, this morning. Did I cry? You'll never know. Mr. Conoway's son is finishing his 8-week basic training, this week, and Mr. Gee's son leaves soon. It's tough being a parent - ain't it?

Have a great night, folks. Give your child a little extra hug tonight - they'll be gone before you know it. Now, where did I put those blueprints for the boy's bedroom conversion to my new computer room?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Do You Have A Sinus Headache?

Whew! Had a doozie this a.m. With the storm coming in the head pounded. All three grade levels were off-the-wall by lunchtime. I saw two 8th graders about to duke it out, but, stopped when they saw me in the hallway. A herd of 7th graders stampeded past my room coming back from lunch, and the sixth graders were climbing the walls and crawling on the floors. It was nuts.

One group opted out of our experiments
One section of students opted to destroy my equipment, throw sand on the floor or play water tag at the sink. The continued to chatter and refused to listen, much less, follow directions. I ended their hydrology project and tossed their labs into the garbage. The frequency and severity of the misbehavior of several Cretans in the classroom forced my move. I am saddened by the fact that a dozen or so children that do not misbehave are suffering. However, it is a matter of safety and when it goes beyond my control, I must take action to restore order.

Thanks for the help, Ms. Silvagni
My parent volunteer, who comes in on Fridays to help with PSSA preparation has been a Godsend. She is not only adept at mathematics, but, the kids pretty much know her and respect her. Plus, we went to high school, together. So, when the cherubs are out to lunch, we get caught-up on post-high school news. I work with a couple of former high school classmates. It keeps us from getting old, ya know.

Have a great weekend, folks.

Do You Have A Sinus Headache?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is NEWS!!!!

I have nothing to say. I am actually dumbfounded.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

At What Point Do You Realize.. .

you actually do make a difference?

I received a hug, this morning, from a young lady that I thought was so terrified of me, I was concerned she would learn to hate school. Folks, I simply melted.

I made an appearance at History Night, last night. I was overwhelmed by the number of cherubs that ran-up and joyously greeted me, excited that I came to their presentation.

A young man that hauntingly teased me about how well he is doing in Mr. Conoway's 8th grade science. How easy 8th grade is compared to 6th grade science. Did I have anything to do with him finding 8th grade easy?

My Boy Leaves Monday
His four-year hitch in the Air Force begins on Monday. Talk about nervous. At 22, my boy, it is time for you to live your life. Enjoy the ride.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not One Kid Asked Me. . .

a.) what it was like during the fall of the Roman Empire
b.) if Ben Franklin and I hung-out, as kids
c.) my age
and for that, I eagerly await History Night in the middle school, at 7 tonight. Mrs. Walls' students are presenting some of the things they have been working on in her classroom. If it is anything like Museum Night, a couple of weeks ago, at Schick elementary school, I am in for a rewarding night.

I hope to see lotsa my current and former students - and their folks - tonight.

T'Ain't Gatorade
A new use for old plastic bottles. Filled with colored-water, they served well in offering my students a chance to discover tracing the water flow through an aquifer.

Have a good night, folks.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flow Rate

A couple of groups, today, worked on the permeability of a one-liter sample of sand. Setting a countdown stop watch to 40-minutes, they activated the stopwatch when the water poured through the sand began to trickle through the other end of their two-liter soda bottle. Not a very dramatic experiment other than to determine the flow rate of water through a material that is one-third pore volume.

Have a great night, folks -- Spring is a'comin'!!!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009


The soda bottle hydrology labs continue as two groups learned about capillarity, and another two groups started on permeability. I must say, the munchkins loved class, today -- For the most part, I lost my voice. Science without the bellowing sounds of PappaZ? Unforgiveable. How will they know I love them if I can't yell at 'em?

Have a great weekend, folks.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

When Does Your Head Swell?

I received a most gracious compliment, today, from Mrs. B-B. She was subbing for Mrs. Phillips. The compliment stems from today's lesson on Permeability. That little pat on the head recharged me.
In turn, my coworkers.

Mrs. Helminiak
A last minute substitution for Mrs. Pulizzi, who is out on sick leave. This woman picked up the ball and has been running with it, ever since. The kids love her and she is here each night to somewhere closer to 5 p.m. A remarkable lady and, as turns out, has become a valuable friend.

Miss Porter
Another last minute substitution for Mrs. Fry. She has become a no-nonsense kinda reading teacher that makes her kids accountable, responsible and mannerly. She invites them in for tutoring during lunch and stays after school, every night, helping kiddoes maneuver through the perils of comprehension. She has taken ownership of the reading classroom and is a true asset to the sixth grade department.

Mrs. Antonacci
Whew! Remarkable woman. With two of our number out, she has become our team leader. She gives 150% to her kids and coworkers. Gotta tell ya, those days I am ready to pull out what is left of my hair, she is there to calm me down. And, now that she has included me in the "Buckle-down" math series during BASE, I often ponder how she manages. Such a talented and gifted woman. Oh, did I share? She is unofficially, my little sister.

Well, that's my team, my cohorts, my friends, my buds, my family. But, I also sing praises to the other teachers that have direct contact with my sixth graders.

Do you have a favorite teacher? Who? Why? There will be a quiz, later.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Experiments Continue

Section 62 got to do an experiment on permeability, today. Kinda neat in the fact that some set-ups had water literally dumping out, while others dripped slowely. Say what? Permeability is the ability of water to easily flow through rock and soil. Another group discovered 30% of their sand sample is made-up of air pockets - pore space.

The Bug Got Me
People have noticed this week I can move quite rapidly through the hallways. A new exercise program? Naw. The bathrooms are a slight jaunt from my classroom. Hurry is the key word.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A New Coffee Mug Joins the Team

Thanks, Courtney, for the Montana State University coffee mug. She was on a planned family vacation, last week, and thought of her grisled old science teacher. Wow! I got some cool kids, this year.

Bottles and Sand
Check out the Mrs. Helminiak, the pollution lady, project. A couple of 7th graders stopped by at lunch to see the latest and greatest in my science class. We did not do this project, last year. The older cherubs were impressed at the fact my kiddoes will be dealing with recharge, discharge, pollution and all aspects of the hydrologic cycle using two bottles, sand, and water.

Have a great night, folks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gonna Gang-up on Mrs. Helminiak

It has been an agonizing couple of days, but, I've come to the conclusion my "Safe to Drink" project is not conducive to my sixth graders, this year. Therefore, starting on Tuesday, I will dump that project and all of my sixth grader will do the same, "Mrs. Helminiak, the pollution lady," hydrology project. That means, I gotta get about 20 more two-liter bottles, over the weekend. Somebody wanna serve as lookout, while I go Dumpster diving?

Congrats to our middle school bballers
I enjoyed watching our 7th and 8th graders trounce those Millville upstarts, last night. I sat with Mr. Miller, Mr. Ellis, Mr. and Mrs. Bomboy, and several of our student teachers from Lock Haven University. Ms. Born came by with a camera and risked life and limb taking my photograph. It was a nice, enjoyable night. I got to chat with several parents and students.

My ladies got feather roses
Who said I ain't cultured!?! I gave each of my female co-workers a Dollar Tree feather rose, stapled it to a computer-generated Valentine's Day card and taped the whole shebang to each teacher's classroom door. Who said I ain't romantic? It even scored me a couple of hugs. Oh, yes, being 50 is grand.

No school on Monday
Man, do I need a break. Thank goodness.

Have a great weekend, folks. See y'all on Tuesday. Or, if something cool happens before Tuesday.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Building Soda Bottle Laboratories

Two of my science classes are building these mini-labs in order to replicate, or simulate, a hydrologic cycle, in nature. Kinda cool project. All it cost me was two 50-pound bags of sand from Lowes.

Bye Zaria
She snuck out, this morning. All her friends gathered at lunch, only to find Zaria was gone. She moved to another part of the state. She is such a sweetie, I will miss her.

Yes, we have school, tomorrow!! It's a snow make-up day. We are off on Monday.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Updated My Webpage

Sections 62 and 64 started the hydrology soda bottle project, today. I added a link on my homepage. Then, another link for Sections 63 and 61's projects.
Still think teachers are paid too much? Try following my exploits during these projects. All in-class, and I even have two groups doing daily journal entries that I must read, each night!!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE IT!!!! I see my munchkins evolving from baby school to responsible middle-schoolers.

Short blog, today, I am itching to get outside with the dog. It is a beautiful day.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

They ain't no Xerox machines - that's fer sure

I gave my cherubs a chapter test, today. It was the same as the study guide we reviewed, yesterday. It even had a word bank attached. Absolutely no reason why the words on the word bank could not be spelled correctly on the test. It was a matter of finding the right answer to the question and copying it word-for-word. I must have given several children that test back, three or four times to correct misspelled words before I graded it. OIY!!!!

Progress Report time
Check out The sixth grade teachers will only send out a hard copy of the progress report upon request or if your child has a "D" or lower in that particular subject.

I went to my first middle school basketball game, yesterday
As I stated yesterday, I am not a bball fan. However, I went to cheer on our 7th and 8th grade boys. I actually did enjoy the 7th grade game. The guys played their hearts out against Jersey Shore. Coleman made a phenomenal shot - it was called, half tripping backwards and half tipping the ball off. Hey, it went in!! I stayed for the first period of the 8th grade game. I was more than a little annoyed at the inappropriate language used by some of our boys, and they were called on it. GOOD! You're too young to swear. Hey, who am I kidding, you're never old enough to swear. Where's that bar of soap?

Have ya seen my addition to my website?
Beneath the photo of me, I have a link to a Toby Keith song. Yeah, I know, but folks. I love all genres of music -- 'ceptin' rap - yuck.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, February 09, 2009


The munchkins will have their first real serious science test, tomorrow. Twenty fill-in the blank questions. My learning support cherubs will get 20 multiple-choice questions. Either way, I've spent a lot of time going over and over the material. I hope they do well.

My name is not, Mr. Glacier
Kiddoes, tell your folks where that came from.

Did 'ya see my webpage?
I added a song beneath my photograph. It lends itself to my life. Let's have a show of hands, guys, who can relate?

Trained on Saturday
A most fascinating day in Lewisburg, as I underwent training to be an OM judge at the Berwick regional competition on March 7.

Are going to the bball game, tonight?
I am not a big basketball fan, but, I am going tonight to cheer-on our middle school boys. Since I am going stag, are there any volunteers to sit with me?

Have a great night, folks.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Chapter 3 test slated for Tuesday

The chapter test for freshwater entails fill-in the blanks or short-answers. I need to get away from multiple-choice.

Goin' to Lewisburg
tomorrow for OM training. Although I am excited about participating in OM, I do not relish spending a Saturday playing student.

Hmmm. What Could Be The Reason
why a couple of 8th grade boys chose to stop and visit with the beautiful Mrs. Rogers, our 7th grade science teacher, after school, rather than me? If you know me, you would understand. LOL.

The sun is shining and the weekend promises to be fantastic. Have a great weekend, folks.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Integrating Math and Science

Sort 'a. Today, we described the words solvent and solution in terms of water. It's when I wrote Solvent, on the whiteboard, that they understood the math phrase, to take apart a math problem. And, when I wrote, Solution, that they understood in science it is to mix substances together to make a new substance, or, to mix numbers together to find the solution to the math problem. Am I amazing, or what?

Have you been keeping up with

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I'm attracted to magnets

LOL. Today, we started the study of polarity, using water molecules. Aside from an illustration of a molecule that looked more like the Disney logo, I used a set of floating magnets to illustrate how like charges repel and opposites attract.

We also discussed the definitions of solvent and solution, with a make-believe glass of milk and cocoa powder. Then, we talked about hardwater and softwater. I challenged my cherubs to wash their paws before lunch to determine if our water is soft or hard -- I GOT NO RESPONSES!!??!!!

My first period class asked some really neat questions. First, does hard and softwater freeze at the same rate? I don't know. We placed 50-mL each of hard and soft water into my freezer at 8:50 a.m. - at 11:05 a.m. both specimens were frozen. Okay, the next question was, do they thaw at the same rate? How about evaporation? WOW!!! Great questions. I'm going to Walmart, now, to buy this group a treat for tomorrow.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Mrs. BB would be so proud of me!

I came in, this morning, and started the most colorful design of an aquifer. Ya, I drew, freehand, the zones of aeration and saturation. I identified permeable and impermeable materials. I explained how the water table is similar to surface runoff and flows downhill. My design even showed an artesian well, and how all water eventually makes it to the ocean. It was a most dramatic lesson, as I quizzed each class to recite the actions of an aquifer. It must have worked. I gave a quiz, afterward, and most of the sixth graders scored a 100%.

Grades are entered. Look on to see how your kiddo, did.

What did all this have to do with Mrs. BB? She's an art teacher, and whenever she subs for me, I come back to find the most fascinating artwork of the lesson she taught.

I had the honor of attending Tuesday night's show at the elementary school. Folks, I was literally bedazzled by a first-grader that explained to me, about blood.

Another munchkin that explained the differences between organic and man-made dyes. Or, everything, and then some, you wanted to know about the pyramids of Egypt.

There was even one cherub that did a presentation on the stock market -- I fully understand P/E ratio, now.

I am jealous of Austin, who showed up with what he called, a plasma ball (Van de Graff generator), and he got it at a yard sale for $1! His presentation was on cathode-ray tube - (your television picture tube).

Wanna know more about diamonds, how to battle the affects of aging skin? How about tea at the Governor's mansion at Williamsburg, Va.?

If it wasn't for the fact I had to get down on one knee to look these children in the eyes, I would have sworn they were college-educated adults.

All this was organized by our own, Mrs. Walls. What a fantastic lady! To be able to inspire children to succeed in such a manner-and at such an early age. TERRIFIC!!!

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Well, well

We discussed wells, today. Ya know, the underground puddles o' water that we pump out for drinking, cooking, bathing, flushing potties. Sure, we discovered the zone of saturated is the layer of rock and soil soaked with water and held in place by an impermeable layer of small "pored" soil and rock. When that zone can hold not more water, the extra floats on top and forms a water table. Above that is permeable rock, or the zone of aeration.

Then we got into artesian wells -- ya know, springs. Wells forced to the surface by water pressure. The water that bubbles up from the ground.

Finally, we talked about carbonic acid and caverns. Seems like this lesson gets harder and harder to teach in the prescribed time period. Could it be I talk too much? Naw.

Five question multiple-choice test, tomorrow. I gave out a study guide.

Have a great night, folks.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ew. Da Blog

I'm back. We are knee deep in the hydrology unit, starting freshwater under the earth, tomorrow.

Steelers won!!!

Have a Terrible Towel night, folks.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How Did You Do On 4-Sight?

So, how did you do on the test? My first period class was with me doing the math part. Tomorrow they move to Mrs. Pulizzi for the writing test.

Have a good night, folks

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thanks For Noticing

Wasteful Americanoes
My kiddoes learned, today, that they are typical Americans willfully and woefully wasteful of water. In a weeklong, take home experiment, my students kept track of water useage. Although several came in with about 200 gallons a week, I did have a few that used 'twix 800 and a 1,000 gallons of water. Average is 325 gallons per person, per week.

4-Sight Tomorrow
First and second period in homerooms.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Moving Speech. Was That MLK?

Okay, Mr. Fausnaught and Miss Porter wrote about President Obama. I did not vote for the gentleman, but, I was moved by his speech. I pray he holds true to his words.

Quietest Volleyball Tournament
I've ever attended. The sixth grade tournament during related arts was so quiet I felt our library has more noises and cheers. Have the kiddoes succumbed to the winter blahs? Really, the spectators just sat there.

Water Tally Sheet Due T'marrow
You started the tally on Friday and ended it tonight. Tomorrow, we perform the lesson. Better be ready or you will fail this project. No kidding. No excuses, save for being absent last Thursday, or tomorrow.

Have a warm night, folks

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Zero Hour Was 8 Below

The drive to the airport, this morning, seemed so much longer. At 8 below zero, the fan in the car did not work, and so, the defroster was not clearing off the windshield. It took some time, but, finally, we had a fan, defrost, and we were pulling into the airport. My 19-year-old baby was going - as she put it - "home," back to Galveston. She was delayed an hour, here, as they had to de-ice the plane three times. Other than that, the trip to Philadelphia and now to Charlotte, N.C., was uneventful. She leaves Charlotte at 1 p.m. for Houston. Her boyfriend, hopefully, will be there to meet her.
Will update, later.

She made it to Houston about 3:30. However, the boyfriend was not there. Seems his mother took his car shopping and lost track of time. At 4:30, she had to call a friend for a ride. However, that friend lives an hour away. She is having such a long day. She really hasn't eaten since 5:30, this morning.

The boy is on his way out to go ice skating in Lewisburg. Here with a storm coming. Oh well.

Have a safe night, folks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Excuse Me, While I Panic!!

We are watching live coverage of the US Airways plane crash in the Hudson River, in New York. Yeah, Flight 1549 from New York to Charlotte, NC., went down at 3:26 p.m. today, with 155 people on board. The daughter leaves for Charlotte, Saturday morning, on US Air. Just a couple of days ago a Blackhawk helicopter crashed on the Texas A&M campus. Things happen in threes, so I am now in panic-mode as my daughter prepares to go back to school.

Weekend Homework
My kiddoes have science homework, this weekend. Better get it done. I will not be dissuaded to hand out zeroes to those students that do not complete the assignment.

Have a good weekend, folks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Couple 'O' Bucks Worth

Hey, some Dollar Tree Slinky(s), some cotton rope, and a couple of pieces of scrap wood from Mr. Wheeland's wood shop, and I have manipulatives for Earthquakes. Today, some of my munchkins attached a slinky to my classroom door handle to demonstrate a Compression Wave, while the rope served to simulate Shear Waves. The wood? Well, rubbing them together simulates plate tectonics and faults.

I'm Seeing Agendas Getting Signed
Thanks parents. You get to see, daily, what's going on in my classroom.

Did Ya See The Mrs. Fry Photo?
On Mr. Fausnaught's blog, today. She was seen at Monday's bball game, in the bleachers. She stopped by, today, for a quickie visit. She is lookin' good. She is such a phenomenal teacher and I pity the cherubs that did not have her in class the last two years. However, I am enthralled with Miss Porter, Mrs. Fry's substitute. I certainly hope the district finds a place for this talented young lady. Even old dogs, like me, learn from the young talent coming into our schools. Check out Miss Porter's web page and blog -- good stuff.

Mrs. Antonacci Is Tireless
in her duties as sixth grade math teacher and sixth grade team leader. I am using her Buckle Down math series for my BASE classes. Once you get into the swing of it, it is really cool. However, you have to have the stamina of an Olympic athlete to keep up the students, each of whom are working in different parts of the book. You have to check problems and then provide one-on-one help for those having difficulty with a particular skill. It is really cool, but, tiring. Hats off to Mrs. Antonacci. Only a totally dedicated individual would do this everyday, five times a day.

Ya gotta be kidding!!!!!!! Possible four inches!!!!!!!! My one kid goes to school in Texas, the other is leaving for the Air Force in Texas. They want me to move there. The PERK? NO SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay warm and safe and have a great night, folks.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's Da Wolf!

According to native American folklore, tonight's full moon, known as Wolf moon, is roughly 15% larger, at moonrise, than any other part of the year. Too bad I won't be able to get a snapshot of moonrise. This darned storm.

I Can't Win
My bad leg went bad, again. Since I have no feeling in my feet, I was unaware of the infection in my big toe. The result? My large, swollen right leg -- the result of lymphedema from sepsis (blood poisoning) -- is infected, again. I zipped out of school at 3 p.m., yesterday, to get to the doctor's office. So, back on antibiotics. The swollen leg makes it difficult to shovel snow. You work up a sweat falling over everytime you toss a shovelful of snow, and then struggle to get back up.

Have a safe weekend, folks.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Just No 'scapin' It

I felt the cold icy stare of Mother Nature, yesterday, as I broke and scraped ice from the driveway, patio and sidewalk, at home. It was then, I decided, the Christmas decorations had to go. Despite it all, I still have the holiday spirit as I look at my "Mr. Z Rocks" cup, I got from Dalton, for Christmas.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, January 05, 2009

We Got Slimed!!!

To reinforce the notion that the mantle is a molten, solid rock, that flows like a liquid - we did an experiment in Plasticity. Okay, we made slime. It's a simple third grade experiment that should take a group of five kids about 30 minutes to do. Believe it or not, not all the munchkins made their slime. They ran out of time!?!?!?!

They Have The Recipe
The kiddoes are now armed with the recipe for making slime. All they need is a 4-oz. bottle of Elmer's glue, a smidgen of corn starch or borax, water, and a squirt of liquid hand soap.

Have a great night, folks.

Friday, January 02, 2009

It's My Mom's Birthday

My mother passed away in 2002, but, we still visit her grave on her birthday. I miss my mom. My kids miss their grandmother. Kids, have you hugged your mom, lately?

Welcome to 2009
Time is fleeting. Oh, thanks to those who wished me well on my birthday, and my students that gave me cards and gifts for Christmas.

How Was Christmas and New Year?
Christmas was spent at my dad's house. Most of the Zdun clan assembled for several days. My daughter, Krysia, took command of Christmas Eve dinner (Wigilia), the most solemn time of Christmas in Poland. She cooked, served, and played the hostess as my mother taught her. We all enjoyed the family time. What did you do for Christmas?
For New Year, the fridge konked out about 10 p.m., so I toasted in the new year by defrosting the freezer. I did stop for several minutes at midnight, then, stayed up 'til 2 a.m. - fridge is working well, now. How did you spend New Year's Eve?

Pappa Z Baked
I made, from scratch, pumpkin rolls for Mrs. Antonacci, Mrs. Dincher, Mrs. Phillips, Miss Porter, and Mrs. Pulizzi. They were my Christmas present to the womenfolk. To date, I heard only from Mrs. Antonacci about how much she enjoyed my baking effort. Either I poisoned the others, or, they were too afraid to taste something I made. I keep telling them I can cook and dance, and although I choose not to display my prowess, I do have those skills.

Will We Be Back On Monday?
Weather guys are calling for a nasty storm for Sunday night. I suppose I should make my own prediction, but, I am not yet back in the swing of prognostication.

The ability of a solid to flow like a liquid. Hmmm, Kiddoes. In your Earth Innerds unit have you encountered a substance that is a solid, yet, flows like a liquid? Hopefully, you made the connection, because I am planning on making Monday a day to make our own homemade example of plasticity.

The Core
Saw the movie on FX at 5 p.m., today. Even my daughter saw the connection with what we are doing in science class, right now. You gotta rent the video.

Have a great weekend, folks.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's My Birthday, And I'll Blog If I Want To

Yepper. I am officially 50. And, ya know? It ain't that bad. My kids and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning and then, I was up at and showered by 5:30. Coffee is brewing, the dog is outside, the cat's have gone out and are back sleeping on the radiators, the bird is flying around the house, and I am blogging.

I am getting my new driver's license picture, today. My old one, has the most horrendous photo of me when I weighed over 400 pounds. Yuck.

So, what's new at 50?
a.) I've dropped 150 pounds and feel great.
b.) I realize I've lost track of every childhood friend. And, am picky about whom I call friend, today.
c.) My life is centered on my children, who are both grown and about to leave - for good - to start their own lives.
d.) The dog and I have become inseparable as we spend every afternoon walking three or more miles through the Vallamont area of Williamsport. You get to ponder life during such walks.
e.) I can get away with flirting.
f.) I feel intellectually alive!
g.) Maturity still escapes me
h.) Love is underrated, overstated, and, misunderstood
h.) I understand the phrase, "Life begins at 50."

Have a great weekend, folks.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mr. Z! Is That Your Daughter?

Yep. She's home. A race to State College, last night, because our local airport cancelled all flights from Philly. No wonder I never use this airport. Anyway. The baby is home. We called family and friends to notify of the safe arrival. Krysia came to school, with me, this morning. She already misses her boyfriend.

Pangea to Present
Most groups are working on the Pangea packet in science. It is an introduction to Plate Tectonics.

Do You Think School Will Be Cancelled?
Unfortunately, yes. Looks like about three-inches of snow for us for tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Antonacci!!
She still looks like a teenager. It's hard to believe my baby sister, whom we found under a cabbage leaf, has grown to be such a beautiful woman. All I can tell you is, she is over 21 - barely.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bad Weather

I hate two-hour delays! Why? Because it means the weather was bad enough for my daughter's flight to be moved from 10:45 a.m. to 3:07 p.m., today. That means, she will not arrive in Philadelphia until after 7 p.m. That means, she misses her flight to Williamsport, which leaves at 6 p.m., which means, she will have to catch a puddle-jumper to State College at 9 p.m. Which means, I have to drive to PSU, in this weather, to pick her up and return home.

I hate two-hour delays.

Have a grumpy night, folks. Hhhhrrrruuuummmmpppphhhh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome To My Nightmare

Okay, imagine this. Six groups per class. Some getting ready to test on a powerpoint lesson, others testing, others finishing the packet to test, still, others finished testing and starting the next powerpoint. I am barraged with kids coming, going, flipping, tipping, fanning, banning, tearing, swearing, mixing, fixing, tickling, etc. Suddenly, half my computers go down because I overloaded the internet server with a computer switch. Aaaaarrrrrrgggghhhh! Thank God, Mr. Black happened by. He got me up and running by noon.

Looking For Parents Signatures
Are you signing your kid's science agenda? Each signature counts as 20-points on a 100-point scale. I have one kid that did not get a single signature, last week. She got a zero for that grade.

The Good News?
My baby is coming home, tomorrow. Haven't seen the youngest of my offspring since late June. I stink at this empty nest stuff.

Got An Interesting Text
It appears my daughter's boyfriend is preparing a birthday gift for me. He is sending it home with my daughter. I really like this guy. He is a good and caring man. Actually, after she leaves Houston, he is going to Colorado to ski. Hhhrrrmmmppphhh.

Have a great night, folks.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Please parents. Sign those science agendas. But, first, check with your child as to where they are at in the current science assignment. Quiz them as to what they learned on the computer, today. They are working in groups, sharing one computer per group, trying to find the answers to nearly two dozen questions pertaining to a powerpoint lesson.

Hope Mrs. Pulizzi
feels better, tomorrow. She was flushed, today, and complained of being cold and "headachy." More importantly, I hope she stays clear of me, Mr. "I get sick just by looking at'ya."

Have a great night, folks.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I thought for certain there would have been enough ice to prompt a tw0-hour delay, today. Nope. It never got to freezing. Actually, I'm glad. A Friday and a two-hour delay would have made today nearly impossible to survive.

Have a great weekend, folks. In particular, best wishes go out to our resident "grandma-to-be." December 18 is getting awfully close.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It Done Snowed In Houston, As Rare As Mr. Z Smiling

The daughter sent this photo from the University of Houston. She is visiting with her friends and boyfriend before heading home, next week. The boyfriend, Eric, told me it is very rare to see snow, much less, enough to make this snowman.

This is the storm heading our way.

Can you say two-hour delay tomorrow?

Have a great and safe night, folks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is It Time To Go Home, Yet?

Such a long day. Whew. I've got a weather headache and my cherubs are nervous about a simple six-question multple-choice quiz, tomorrow. Hey, guys! I quizzed you during the movie. You know the answers. Unlax. It will be fine.

Have a great night, folks.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Trying Desperately To Save Time

All the timelines fell off the hallway walls, overnight. Oh well. Fear not. I gathered them "up" and placed them on a desk outside of my classroom. Mrs. Pulizzi suggested using them to decorate a Christmas tree. Hmmm. Methinks, I have an old 7-footer at home. Whaddya' think?
Have a great night, folks.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Blame Mr. Fausnaught

The boss kept us after school for a faculty meeting. I did not get home in time to go for my daily walk with the dog. So, here I am, sitting at the 'puter, blogging, instead of walking. Do I feel guilty. Arrrrgghhh!! Well, better make some coffee to comfort, myself.

Timelines Are UP
I got nasty looks from our maintenance guys. We're not supposed to hang anything from the walls in the hallways. I have about 11o, 15-foot long geologic timelines hanging in the sixth and seventh grade hallways. The epoxy paint they used on the walls does little good in permitting masking tape to hold. By the time I left the building, half the timelines were on the floor. But, ya know, they look good.

Oh, here is where I wanna thank Section 62, my first period class. They not only got their timelines up, but, all the students in that class did a timeline. Also, we got a chance to review the timeline packet. Mrs. Dincher suggested a candy reward, tomorrow. To be fair, Section 64, my second period class, also did a nice job in completing the assignment, getting timelines up, and reviewing the material. Okay, I'll give them candy, as well.

Timeline Quiz
on Thursday. Six questions. Multiple-choice. Hopefully, easy.

Funny Day, Today
Two members of my harem were a bit out of sorts, today. Something that never happens, with them, they were relatively quiet. I am concerned. The only good part of that is my ears got a well-deserved respite. I know, that comment will earn me some time in the boo-boo box.

Another one of my girls said she is feeling the impending weather, and, although she was not "bummed-out," she was on the reserved side. Still another of my girls, who is normally bouncy, bubbling and excitable, actually kept both feet on the ground. In fact, she was serious in several of our conversations. Thank goodness the last member of my gorgeous harem was back to normal, today. The last two weeks she was kinda stand-offish with me. Today, we joked and I even smiled. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. If the media were to find out I smiled . . .

I'm Not Ready For A Two-hour Delay
I hope the storm passes without affecting the school day, tomorrow.

Jealous Of My Boss
Not only did he infuriate me, today, by reminding me he is about a dozen years younger, but, Mr. Fausnaught tells me his blog has had over 1,500 hits since the third week of October. Is anybody reading my blog? Hello, lo, lo, lo, lo.

Have a great night, folks.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pages 4,5, and 6

Ho, ho, ho. Only 21 more days until Christmas is over.

Okay, so you've pasted the time labels on your timeline. Now, you need to answer the questions on page 4. Which eon are you discussing on page 4? What's an "eon?" A definition is on the first page.

Anyway, you have answered all on page 4 and now move to page 5 and the first thing you are asked is to color in that eon. You know, the one you answered questions about on page 4. The eon that lasted 700 million years. That's right. The first one. Color it in on the timeline. I asked you use blue, but, if you prefer another color, go ahead. Just tell me what color you chose on your agenda sheet.

Look at that, you have a time line with the first 700 million years of Earth's existence, colored-in. Easy to see and recognize this first stage of Earth's development.

So, you have two other eons to color-in. Get it? The questions deal with those eons. Gee, that was easy.

Pages 4,5, and 6 are due on Friday. For Mrs. Phillips' crew, that went on the field trip, today, you will be working on your pages in class, tomorrow. They went, today, to see the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.

Click here to see another kind of geologic timeline.

Have a great night, folks.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Getting Closer To Earth

The cherubs are putting labels on their geologic timelines, spaced every 100 million years apart. Then, they will highlight each of Earth's four eons by coloring each eon a different color. When you're dealing with a 15-foot length of paper, well, sometimes you have to spread out on the hallway floor.

Last Day For Nice Weather
I hope you enjoyed today's weather. It's the last you will see for a while. I am looking forward to getting out for my nightly walk with the dog. The crisp air has made for some terrific three-mile excursions. Feelin' good, folks.

My Baby Is Taking Her Finals
The countdown is on as my daughter finishes her semester in College Station, Texas. She has been housed in an old hotel since Hurricane Ike damaged her Galveston campus and displaced her. The kid is so anxious to get outta there. She had a wonderful turkey day vacation in Houston. Although she stayed with a friend, she managed to spend a lot of time with her boyfriend. Both Shirin and Eric are terrific kids. I'm glad she met such wonderful people. She is finished at College Station on December 9, but, will spend a week in Houston before coming home on December 17. She already has decided to come to school with me on December 18 -- oh, oh, watch out sixth graders - she's a taskmaster. Makes me look almost housebroken.

Have a great night, folks

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Whatsa Constant?

Yepper, the cherubs learned the meaning of a constant in mathematics. They applied that knowledge in learning how to determine the number of centimeter marks required on their geologic timelines. I mean, they knew they needed 450 marks, they just did not know, why. Well, now they know.

Reading from the geologic timeline packet
Homework, tonight, is reading the articles about the first three eons of Earth. The students are to underline three unique items from each of the articles. Nice introduction for tomorrow's class.

Was it tough coming back?
I think only the teachers were dragging, today. The kids looked full of life and energy and ready to learn, today. Well, they were here. I did miss a number of kids, who apparently went hunting.

Have a great night, folks

Sunday, November 30, 2008

To Post Or Watch Boring Commentators?

I will post a blog as I await the Bears/Vikings game at 8:15.

So, how was Turkey Day? It was a nice get-together at my sister's house. Her husband passed away in September, so this was the first family holiday without Kurt. My sister's girls came in, my family, and my dad. Although I can no longer eat turkey, I did sample a little of everything else.

When they were in Poland several years ago, my son, sister, her family, and my dad, were served a soup - zurec - prior to each meal. So, my sister got the soup fixins' from a Polish deli and made the soup for Thanksgiving. Man, was that good. We all filled-up on soup prior to the turkey. Heh, heh.

My dad and sister live in Middleburg, along the ridge of a hill that overlooks the valley. A most tranquil setting. My dog, Missy, and my sister's dog, Molly, and I, took a long walk along the ridge. The dogs ran, played, kept vying for my attention by frequently stopping me for a pat or petting. After all that fresh air, I nodded off a couple of times in my sister's Florida room as the women folk prepared the meal. My son and niece's boyfriend played video games.

Well, the game is about to start. See y'all on Tuesday!