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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It is a Wednesday. I'm beginning to think about school and plans and lessons. But, I'm not quite ready yet.
I've been experimenting with Pinterest this summer. It's been fun looking for new "education ideas" for the next school year when we'll be celebrating St. Albans's 50th school year!

I've also been experimenting with HOW to publish different types of writings. I've enlisted my son, the writer, to help. I've taken some of his haiku and put them with a few of my photos. What do you think? Why don't some of you give it a try. Everyone takes pictures today since so many use their phone for that purpose. Write a haiku that goes with one of your clever pictures. Remember that Haiku poems are made up of three lines consisting of five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line.
Haiku #208 by Cloud Buchholz
Photo by Sue Watson

Until next time......

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Here is the middle of summer...2013

If you are like me, you haven't been thinking very much about school. Although I see that I have had a few views to the blog, and I've been late in updating it. I really have taken the summer off - after summer school.
We had a great time in drama this year, and I had many laughs with Fun and Games. I hope everyone had a great time too.

One of the things we did in Fun and Games was to make story videos from just taking pictures. Using MovieMaker, we turned the pictures into videos and had a great time creating 3 minute videos. I wanted to share them with students, but I've found that the size is too big to email. We may have to wait until school starts to share them.

Have you been thinking about words? There is a fun site with a variety of vocabulary. It can be found at

Anyone interested in the Spelling Bee. You can visit this site to practice your spelling. It's the National Spelling Bee site:
An interactive site by Annenberg Learner can be found at

Have you been working on a story or video? Have any of you completed a movie for extra credit? Don't forget that you can go to the movies and write a review of what you saw.
I thought I would do a quick little video using MovieMaker and my dog Dylan the Corgi. He is one of my favorite subjects. It didn't take long, and I found a website that has royalty free music that you can use online. It's called "purple planet royalty free music" at

 Here's my little video called "Summer" starring Dylan the Corgi.    

Until the next post....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Extra Credit Reminder

Well, here we are in the last few days of summer vacation. I was at the school straightening my room earlier in the week. There are still many things to do, but they will have to wait a few more days since I came down with a cold. Who knew you could get a cold in 100+ weather. It been over a year since I had any type of sickness, so I guess I shouldn't complain. It has forced me to rest a few more days.

I wanted to remind those of you who read this about summer extra credit that will be due the first week of school (that includes through the end of August). Hopefully you have been keeping track of things you have done - reading, writing, performing - anything related to language arts. If you took our summer drama class or my digital storytelling class that counts towards extra credit. If you are following this blog, it counts for extra credit, so be sure to write it down. I don't always remember. Bring in your lists, reports, videos, writings, and scrapbooks, and I'll give you an extra credit card.

I've been working on a website that you will be able to access on the St. Albans' website. I wanted to make sure that all students had access to the MLA format when they had to do bibliographies. In the process of completing it, I ended up making my own website. I have links to Essay writing, General English Classes, and Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth grade English classes. I've posted important handouts and some interesting ideas. For those of you interested in working on the yearbook this year, I've posted the link to the Yearbook Avenue log in page. If you're reading this, you can check it out early by going to . I have my own domain name...that sounds a bit intimidating.

I may have another blog post before school starts. I think I'll try to write on a bit more regular basis. We'll see.
Mrs. Watson

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Catching up and Vocabulary

I wager to guess that many of us are avoiding the thought of getting back into the routine of school. I've been working in my garden, working on the computer, and playing with Dylan dog. However, I went to the school on Tuesday to pick up some new vocabulary books. Yes, for those of you really reading this blog, we are getting new vocabulary books. There is an on-line component, games to help you practice the words, and fewer lessons. Remember we always had 30 lessons and skills after every third lesson? Well, those days are gone. There are no skills and 16 lessons for sixth grade and 20 lessons for seventh and eighth grades. I guess that means more time for reading comprehension and grammar! If you're interested in checking out the new vocabulary, you can go to this web site and check it out.  You can find it at  Click on the student section.

I finally finished the digital story "Pignapped" we worked on during summer classes. I can appreciate the difficulties with synchronizing different types of technologies and programs. That's one of the reasons it's taken so long to finish it.  I've added it to the blog for those who want to watch it. 

We still have some time to enjoy summer and the hot weather. I'll be writing again, soon.
Mrs. Watson

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 19

Catalina Island - July 2012

It's already almost the end of another week of summer. I was down in southern California last week to take my son (the archeologist) to Catalina so he can participate in a dig. He will be there in connection with Sonoma State for six weeks.  There is a great web site describing the history of the island. The original people had a distinct lifestyle , "They called the Island Pimu and themselves Pimungan's (or Pimuvit's). They lived a hunter-gatherer life style, utilizing the island's abundant ocean and plant resources." You can read more at this site, Catalina Island at

Traffic in LA - July 2012

Catalina is a beautiful island. It is an hour and forty-five minute boat ride to get there from Long Beach. However, I must say that after my visit to southern California, I like northern California much better. The thing I noticed most was that the trees in the south look very sad and droopy. 

I spent some time working on a digital story that was completed during summer school. I decided that it would be better if students weren't recognized as themselves. I had some fun with Photoshop touching up some pictures. I thought you might enjoy seeing what we did for fun, and it might inspire you to try doing something similar for summer extra credit. I'm trying to add the video to the blog. I'm not sure how it will work. Hopefully, someone can give me some feedback. The music is "Tybalt's Anger Management" by Todd Barton from Romeo & Juliet Remix. I purchased it in Ashland, Oregon, at the Shakespeare Festival several years ago.  

I'm working on another digital story from summer school. It's called "Pignapped". It was written and illustrated by many of the students in the Digital Storytelling class. I found the Movie Maker program at school to be difficult to use and then I lost some of the work we had done. I've had to recreate some of it. The Windows Live Movie Maker is much easier to use. As soon as I get it done, I'll share it on the blog.
Kind regards!
Mrs. Watson

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Fourth of July! I'm sure many of you will be having a great time. I love fireworks!

There are still many days of summer left, or so it seems right now. I'm still feeling a bit lazy, though. Are any of you feeling the same?  I've looked at my new grammar program I'll be starting this fall, and for those of you who LOVE vocabulary every week, I'll be starting a new program in the fall for that too. Do you have any suggestions?

I've been looking around for some interesting web sites this week. I found this one for those of you who enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time. PBS Nova has a program later this month called "The Illusion of Time." Here's a web site that gives more information.

Here are some sites about people that liked to write about America. This seems appropriate for the Fourth of July!
I've always been fascinated by Benjamin Franklin. You can read more about him at these web sites.

Thomas Paine was a prolific writer. He's famous for his essays like "Common Sense."

When I was in school, I was intrigued by the story about the man without a country. You can read it at this web site.

I really enjoyed the short story, "The Devil and Daniel Webster"by Steven Vincent Benet. You might like reading it, too. You can find the text of the story at this site.

For poetry lovers (and there must be a few out there) check out Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Emily Dickinson. 

Thanks, Reina for the comment about my Haiku poems. Maybe you would like to try to write some, too. 
Enjoy the day!
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin

On the way to Tahoe

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hello everyone,

I took some time off after school was out to enjoy some time with my family. However, the first Monday of summer vacation found me back at school learning new ways to use the Promethean board. It was actually fun! The second Monday of summer vacation found me back at school teaching Summer School at St. Albans. This was the fifth year Mr. Cook and I taught our drama class. We had a great time with drama games, writing our own plays, and making up songs to produce original musicals. This was the third year we've had classes in the afternoon. The first year I did Making Your Own Paper. The second year I did Cunning Creations, and this year I did Digital Storytelling. We wrote stories and published them in PowerPoint or Movie Maker. Some storytellers decided to write the stories in Word, too. We had a great time in the Computer Lab.

For an example, I took several photographs I had taken and wrote Haikus to go with each one. I then put them together on Movie Maker and added music. Then, for the first time, I put it on YouTube. I'll put a link on the blog if you would like to see what I did. Maybe it will inspire you to try to do something, too.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer vacation, but don't forget about doing some summer extra credit. It's worth it in February of next year - trust me.

Here is the link for my Digital Storytelling Example:

Empty chairs by the boxcar...

The Pond

The Pond
By the Reader's Grove

Communication is sharing meaning. It's elementary my dear Watson!

Communication: giving or exchanging information through speaking, writing, or movement.