Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Operation 100 Goals--Day 10


            Despite having a highly engaging cloth book in his lap, Caleb is eagerly reaching for the Day 10 sign in the above photo.  I mentioned in the Day 2 post that Caleb chomped on the sign after our photoshoot, and if you look at the Day 1 pic again, you’ll see that the sign is on its way to his mouth there, too.  Main bullet point: Caleb seems to like paper better than pureed avocado, as you’ll see in this pic:


            You may have noticed that Caleb is sitting in a Bumbo baby seat in both of these pictures.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Bumbo and its rationale, here is some highly engaging reading for you (by highly engaging, I mean about on par with Caleb’s cloth book): http://www.bumbo.com/index.php?nav=products&view=1.  I jest, but basically, Bumbos are meant to help babies learn to sit up and strengthen the necessary muscles to do so.  However, Bumbos have come under fire as of late.  In fact, 13WHAM ran a story last night more or less saying that Bumbos are no good and babies need to learn how to sit up on their own.  More on this later...

Goal:  Participate in “No Shave November” every year, encourage others to participate, and make donations to “Movember” when funds are available

As I typed the sentence about 13WHAM, I also hunted around the 13WHAM website for the clip from last night.  I couldn’t find the clip, yet I did find this, a little tieback to the Day 8 post: http://www.13wham.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoId=3058140&navCatId=21078.  This reminds me that I need to refine my plan a little bit.  Instead of wearing a moustache my first day back to school, I’m thinking that I’ll go with the beard until March begins, and then I’ll form out a moustache in March (Moustache March—ahh…alliteration).  Not only alliteration, but another cool cause: http://moustachemarch.com/.  I’ll have to work on re-wording my goal so that I can do a little something for both of these causes each year.  How about this?: Participate in “No Shave November” and “Moustache March” every year, encourage others to participate, and make donations when funds are available…I think that’s perfect!

Goal:  Have children and become a successful father

          For the record, Caleb did not ingest the Day 10 sign.  I laughed with him (he’s funny!), called him goofy, and took the sign away so that, of course, he could continue reading.  Nor did he sit in the Bumbo for hours—he only sat there for the photoshoot, as I’ve been trying to change the scenery each day (though I’m pretty much out of options now!).  Plus, he’s quite the unsupported sitter these days:


It’s currently 1:30 PM, and though Caleb has long since had his lunch, I haven’t.  I’m going to go make that happen……

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Operation 100 Goals--Day 9


Goal:  Have children and become a successful father

          Today was a busy one for the Martin men.  Caleb and I were up at about 7:15 AM for a feeding.  After eating for about 30 minutes and playing with some toys for 30 more, Caleb went down for his first nap.  This gave me a chance to find a turkey soup recipe (dinner tonight) and plan some other meals for the rest of the week so that I could then make a shopping list.  Caleb had an appointment with the nurse practitioner today at 11:00 AM to get some shots, so it made sense for us to do our shopping afterward.
            I am sad to report that I was unable to get a good picture of Caleb buried in groceries in the shopping cart due to a low phone battery—this will have to suffice:


And, as you can see, shots and shopping tuckered the little guy right out.  Notice the cereal and avocado to Caleb’s right—those were his special purchases…which brings me to the next exciting portion of our day.
            After getting the stock going for the turkey soup while Caleb finished napping, he and I whipped up (yes, that's a pun right there) some homemade baby food via the ol’ Baby Bullet—check out the pics below:


Nothing says “yum yum” like a little pureed avocado...if Caleb had teeth, I'd offer him a corn chip (guacamole joke...yes, no?).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Operation 100 Goals--Day 8


Goal:  Participate in “No Shave November” every year, encourage others to participate, and make donations to “Movember” when funds are available

            This morning, I decided to get in the picture with Caleb to show off my beard.  The last time I shaved fully was on the last day of October in accordance with the rules of “No Shave November”.  Basically, No Shave November entails not shaving for the entire month of November and seeing what one’s beard looks like by the end of the month.  In the past, I have treated the month of November as a contest with the goal being growing a better beard than a worthy beard-growing adversary.  Last year, a senior student and I both grew beards during November (said student, at the request of his girlfriend, shaved before the end of  the month—Mr. Martin=winning).  However, this year, I decided to kick my goal up a notch by linking it to “Movember”, a campaign which came first and, in my opinion, is far more powerful.  The following is an explanatory blurb from http://us.movember.com/:
“During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.
Once registered at www.movember.com, men start Movember 1st clean shaven. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts.
Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.
 At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their gallantry and valor by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Part├ęs held around the world by Movember, for Movember.”
            Pretty cool, right?  My facial hair/Movember-related plan for the rest of my parental leave is as follows: continue growing out the beard, trimming around the edges weekly; make a general donation to a men’s health-related charity (most likely Movember itself); and trim a moustache out of the mess that is my beard come the end of February, and wear the moustache to school on my first day back.  The last item on this list relates to another of my goals which reads: “Wear a moustache to work at least one day (SEE PREVIOUS GOAL ABOUT “NO SHAVE NOVEMBER”)”.  This particular goal is inspired by a good friend of mine named Rich Smith, who used to be an English teacher at Livonia.  Mr. Smith made a 100 Goals list the same year that I did, and one of his goals included growing a moustache with a friend and wearing the moustache for a day.  I was the friend, and he and I sported moustaches for a few days one summer.  Originally, this goal was a goofy one intended to be funny and nothing more, but since I’ve learned about Movember, I decided to do the whole moustache thing again but for a noble cause.  I hope you all enjoy the ‘stache when the time comes!  (Related sidebar:  When I was watching the President’s Cup [a professional golf tournament] a couple of weekends ago, I noticed that some of the participants were sporting moustaches—check out this YouTube vid of Australian professional golfer Geoff Ogilvy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZkX1OL8exo).

Goal:  Actively clip and use coupons to save $

            Have you ever watched the show Extreme Couponing on TLC?  Basically, the premise of the show is a person who is a master in using coupons to save money goes shopping with about a billion coupons and a plan while cameras follow the person around.  While the couponer is in the checkout line, viewers wait in suspense until the goods are fully processed to see how much the person saved.  One time, my wife and I watched the show, and the extreme couponer actually made money at the register.  It was ridiculous!  Anyway, I clipped coupons today, and in so doing, I came to the realization that I will never make money like the lady on the TV show.  I may, however, save 20 cents on a Dawn product (yep, I clipped THAT coupon today—no big deal…).

Goal:  Have children and become a successful father

          In the Day 8 photo above, you may have noticed that Caleb has a little scratch on the left side of his face.  He has the sharpest tiny fingernails, and he woke up this morning with that mark on his cheek.  In true “successful father” fashion, I washed up the cut and slathered a little A + D ointment on there.  (If you’ve never used A + D, I suggest you do, like, say, next time you get chapped eyelids—believe me, it happens to the best of us, and A + D is there to lend a helping hand.)  Then, I had an idea…...Caleb received a gift recently from a family friend.  The gift included three CDs of children’s songs sung by one of the family friends himself (he’s a musician), and the other night on the way home, we listened to one of the discs and heard “The Boo-Boo Dance”.  Before Caleb goes to bed tonight (and by that, I mean a few minutes from now!), I thought my wife and I would play “The Boo-Boo Dance” for him while we put a little bit more medicine on. 

            Overall, it was another good day at home.  Due to the holidays, which were great (lots of family, lots of friends, and lots of turkey [four full turkeys over five days, to be exact!]), Caleb was a tired little guy today—here he is at 11 AM this morning still sleeping after going down for a nap at 9:20 AM:


Caleb’s lethargy allowed me to finish up another important task today: a letter of recommendation for J.G.!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Operation 100 Goals--Day 2


                I spent a good chunk of time today alphabetizing my 100+ Goals list.  While I did so, I also added some goals (e.g., “Keep my list alphabetized by category and alphabetized within categories”) and got rid of/“cleaned up” some old goals.  For example, one of my goals read: “Read all of the Gregory Maguire books”.  At the time that I crafted that particular goal, I was about to start the novel Wicked, and because of the intriguing concept (writing the “untold story” behind a well-known classic), I figured the book would be amazing.  Since most of Maguire’s other novels follow this same concept, I envisioned myself plowing through all of his works, relishing every minute.  Then I read Wicked……and I darn near despised it.  With that said, I have little to no desire to ever read the rest of Maguire’s books, so I got rid of that goal.  There are too many phenomenal books out there to force my way through Maguire’s catalogue for the sake of crossing off this dated goal.
                I found that the alphabetization process was worthwhile for a few more reasons:  #1. I am extremely anal, and I now feel better about my list because it’s more organized.  And #2. I was reminded of some of my goals that I had forgotten about.  One of my goals reads: “Challenge people to Bobby Flay-style 'throwdowns' at least ten different times throughout my life (e.g., challenge Jenny Wilson to a 3-point shooting contest)”.  This reminded me that I have to challenge a student this year......and, guess what!?  I have something in mind:  Let’s just say that if your initials are W.S. and you’re comfortable behind the 3-point arc, we need to “throwdown”.  I’ll be practicing my J while I’m out.
                I also added a few goals that I’ve thought of but haven’t put to paper yet.  I plan to continuously add to my list while I am out as new ideas pop into my head.  Today, I added a goal that reads: “Follow people’s book recommendations by reading the backs of suggested books and then the first 100 pages.  If a book is good, finish it—if not, stop reading!”  Underneath this goal, I will keep a running list of books that I read (or give a chance) following recommendations.  I am currently 65 pages from the end of a book called Snow Crash that was recommended to me by T.D.  I’ll probably finish the book tonight and add it to my goals list.  Ah, yes……that just reminded me of another goal that I have to add onto my list.  This goal (I just opened my 100+ Goals list and added it before I forgot!) reads: “Keep adding books/reviews to GoodReads each time I finish a book”.  Tomorrow, I’ll probably spend some time posting a book review for Snow Crash to this site.  Feel free to check out this link: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/966112.
                What has Caleb been up to all day?  Well, about the same as yesterday really, though he’s been more tired than he was yesterday.  The highlight of the day so far was probably when he started chomping on the “Day 2” sign during our morning photoshoot.  Since reading has been a theme of this post, I think he and I will read a book soon, maybe Spot Loves His Daddy!?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Operation 100 Goals--Day 1


Goal:  Raise my children to be intelligent, compassionate, responsible, successful, and unique

            As Caleb incessantly covered his face with a burpcloth this morning while I thought to myself he’s crazy!, I decided to read through the “The Sixth Month” chapter of What to Expect the First Year just to check on what’s “normal” and to find tips for this month.  To my delight, I read that “[g]ames of peekabo delight” (345).  He likes to pull the burpcloth off of his face and giggle as I say, “There he is!”, so I’d say we’re playing a modified version of the classic.  Perfectly normal, right?  The only minor issue is that sometimes, he leaves the blanket on his face for a long time and kicks wildly, making it appear that he’s struggling.  Don’t worry—I pull the burpcloth off for him and remind him that we’re playing!  


            As for What to Expect the First Year, here are some other delightful tidbits from my reading:
  • “The passion for exploration continues, and extends to your face, which baby will pull at as if it were a favorite toy” (345)—that explains Caleb thinking my nose is a bowling ball!
  • Note to self: “Some babies can pick up small and possibly dangerous objects with their fists—so be careful not to leave such things within reach” (346)…later that same page: “keep all dangerous objects out of baby’s reach”…and I guess I’ll be “baby-proofing” the house while I’m home!
  • This paragraph made me think of teaching English, too—I’ll keep this in mind for my return to the classroom: “Encourage a love of learning.  Though teaching specific facts and concepts to your child is important, equally important is teaching how to learn and imparting a love of learning.  Remember that learning is always more effective when it’s interactive and when it’s fun” (369).
We got some good playing/learning time in this afternoon.  Caleb is now able to sit up for long periods of time without support (though I’d be lying if I said he doesn’t tip over fairly often!).  He sat up and played with toys for about 45 minutes but now is down for his afternoon nap, giving me an opportunity to put up this post.  Daddy Daycare—so far, so good…

Thursday, November 17, 2011

English 10 Honors--11/18/2011

Jump Off -- Think of any questions that you still have after studying via the unit outline and review sheet.  We will go over a few last-minute queries before the test takes place.

S. the C. -- introduce Ms. Dancause, go over J.O. and test directions--link to midterm

Assessment -- Short Story Unit Exam
--when finished, turn in exam--"study hall" until all are finished

Teambuilder -- ????????

HW
--enjoy the weekend! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Senior English--11/17/2011 & 11/18/2011

Jump Off -- Take a couple of minutes to jot down what you remember about our impromptu public speaking activity from one week ago (rationale, goals, protocol, tips, etc.).

S. the C. -- go over J.O., agenda/rationale/HW, introduce Ms. Dancause, discuss the purpose of the blog while Mr. Martin is out

Public Speaking Unit Introductory Activity -- Helmet O' Destiny/The 60-Second Club
  • review protocol and 60-Second Club entrance requirements 
  • draw cards
  • Closure -- What is your unit goal? 

DEAR -- Outside Reading Books
  • with a few minutes remaining in class, share book summaries
HW
--enjoy the weekend—keep on reading!

Monday, November 14, 2011

English 10 Honors--11/16/2011

FINISH FROM +++++++ ON...
Jump Off
–take a number from Mr. Martin
–notebooks out—Naturalism as a Literary Movement

S. the C.
–agenda/rationale/HW
–share exemplar for “The Open Boat” questions
–Part 4 essays in from anyone who hasn’t resubmitted

Discussion – “The Open Boat”
–independent work time—craft responses for assigned questions
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

–small-group discussions
Transition – form a circle
–whole-group discussion (notes from HW, questions from earlier in class, commercial vs. literary fiction, Naturalism, Mr. Martin’s notes, etc.)

Transition – re-row desks/poem up

Closure – Controlling Idea Practice (“The Open Boat” and “I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing”)
–explicate poem first (model, independent practice, share out)
–craft controlling ideas and share out

HW time – hand out sheet for unit exam review

HW
–continue preparing for the Short Story Unit Exam (Friday)

On the Backburner:
–looking more closely at question #27
–expanding controlling idea sentences into full responses (“The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Necklace” or “The Open Boat” and “I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing”)—question #26
–Part 4 Literary Analysis essays

Sunday, November 13, 2011

English 10 Honors--11/14/2011

Jump Off
–take a number from Mr. Martin
–notebooks out—Naturalism as a Literary Movement

S. the C.
–agenda/rationale/HW
–share exemplar for “The Open Boat” questions
–Part 4 essays in from anyone who hasn’t resubmitted

Discussion – “The Open Boat”
–independent work time—craft responses for assigned questions
–small-group discussions
Transition – form a circle
–whole-group discussion (notes from HW, questions from earlier in class, commercial vs. literary fiction, Naturalism, Mr. Martin’s notes, etc.)

Transition – re-row desks/poem up

Closure – Controlling Idea Practice (“The Open Boat” and “I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing”)
–explicate poem first (model, independent practice, share out)
–craft controlling ideas and share out

HW time – hand out sheet for unit exam review

HW
–begin preparing for the Short Story Unit Exam (Friday)

On the Backburner:
–looking more closely at question #27
–expanding controlling idea sentences into full responses (“The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Necklace” or “The Open Boat” and “I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing”)—question #26
–Part 4 Literary Analysis essays
–Quarter 1 self-reflections

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Senior English--11/10/2011

Jump Off – The first fifteen minutes of class will be spent engaging in outside reading.  If you do not have a book, look through the options here in the room/talk with Mr. Martin in order to get a good book.  Remember that the whole purpose of this unit is reading a book that you enjoy.

S. the C. – agenda/rationale/HW, discuss transition to long-term substitute

Activity – Speech Critiques
  • View each of the two (maybe three?) speeches with the “pros” and “grows” framework in mind—jot down notes for discussion
  • Transition – form a circle
  • Discuss both speeches (content and delivery)
Closure -- What is your unit goal?

DEAR -- Outside Reading

HW
--Enjoy the long weekend and the Senior Trip (if you're going)!
--You have ample time to finish your outside reading book, but why procrastinate?  Get reading these next few days!

English 10 Honors--11/9/2011

Jump Off --notebooks out--Realism as a Literary Movement

S. the C. -- agenda/rationale/HW, briefly discuss Regents research, essays in from those who took them back

On-Demand Writing -- "The Masque of the Red Death" or "The Necklace"
--writing time
--discuss approach after approximately 5 minutes of writing
--finish writing

Transition -- form a circle

Discussion -- "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Necklace"
--commercial vs. literary fiction--how do our stories fit?
--stories as products of literary movements ("The Necklace" especially)
--notes/literary analysis

Transition -- re-row desks

Closure -- Controlling Idea
--after reading and discussing both "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Necklace", create a controlling idea sentence (a theme statement that unites the two works).

HW 
--mindfully read Stephen Crane's "The Open Boat"--be prepared to discuss the story next class

Monday, November 7, 2011

Senior English--11/8/2011

Jump Off -- brainstorm topics for the Helmet O' Destiny

S. the C. -- agenda/rationale/HW, Outside Reading Unit information

Public Speaking Unit Introductory Activity -- Helmet O' Destiny/The 60-Second Club
  • share protocol
  • share 60-Second Club entrance requirements
  • draw cards
Closure -- What is your unit goal?
    Looking Ahead -- look at books from the Senior English Library--what looks good to you?--jot down options on an index card--bring a book/get book next class

    HW
    --more speaking will take place next class (if not finished today)
    --if you are bringing in one of your own books for outside reading, BRING THE BOOK NEXT CLASS

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    English 10 Honors -- 11/7/2011

    Jump Off -- pick up the unit page from the front table and take a quick look

    S. the C. -- agenda/rationale/HW, briefly discuss Regents research

    Mini-Lesson -- "The Masque of the Red Death"
    --take a thoughtful look at pictures via slides
    --Transition -- notes and literature book up
    --mindfully read "The Masque..." (use notes page)--keep our predictions based on pictures in mind
    --engage in discussion via notes

    Closure
    --Notetaking (Short Story as a Literary Form, Allegory as a Literary Term, and Romanticism as a Literary Movement)
    --wrap-up discussion

    HW
    --read pages 3-9 of Perrine's Story and Structure and complete the "Reading the Story" sheet
    --mindfully read Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace"--be prepared to discuss the story next class

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Senior English -- 11/4/2011 & 11/7/2011

    Jump Off -- pick up and quietly complete the Unit #2 vocabulary quiz
    --when finished, place quiz on floor next to desk
    --pick up a computer and log in--set up a Microsoft Word document in MLA format

    S. the C. -- agenda/rationale/HW, trade and grade

    Writing Workshop -- An Analysis of My Life
    --What is MLA format? (RESEARCH SKILLS)  What does MLA format look like? (PRIOR KNOWLEDGE)
    --Transition --pick up instructions page from the front table
    --properly format documents together
    --assignment directions (choose two An Analysis of My Life responses, type in paragraph form, have grammar and vocabulary in mind)
    --take a look at Purdue webpage about effective paragraphs
    --type!
    --when finished, print and turn in

    Looking Ahead -- Helmet O' Destiny/Outside Reading
    --begin preparing for the Public Speaking Unit:
    • brainstorm topics for the helmet (directions given)
    • share protocol/60-Second Club entrance requirements
    --look at books and online reviews--what looks good to you?--jot down options on an index card

    HW
    --enjoy the weekend--Public Speaking Unit begins next class!

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    English 10 Honors -- 11/3/2011

    Jump Off -- pick up quiz from the front table--DO NOT FLIP OVER

    S. the C. -- agenda/rationale/HW, directions for after quiz, model directions for quiz with first error
    GOALS:
    --demonstrate understanding of first two comma errors
    --hone textual evaluation/critiquing skills via practice--use the "pros" and "grows" framework
    --build on each others' ideas to come to a common understanding of what a solid literary analysis essay looks like
    --familiarize ourselves with Regents scoring standards (where is the bar?)/scale
    --hone inferencing skills while "gearing up" for the Short Story Unit

    Assessment -- Comma Usage--Introductory Elements/Transitional Phrases and Compound Sentences
    --complete quiz--submit when finished
    --pick up writing piece from the front table--read the prompt, and then read the sample essay--evaluate/critique the essay as per "pros" and "grows" framework

    Transition -- form a circle

    Writing Workshop -- Regents Part 4
    --re-read the essay together with "pros" and "grows" framework in mind
    --discuss the sample essay as per "pros" and "grows" framework--draw cards (though may break protocol)
    --what makes a 6 a 6?--answer this question based on our discussion
    --what distinguishes a 6 from a 5, 4, 3, etc.?--answer this question via inferencing
    --Transition -- rubric up
    --compare rubric to our work--flip rubric over and read commentary for sample essay
    --for HW, read a Level 5, 4, or 3 essay and take notes (Mr. Martin will assign)--become an expert and be ready to discuss next class
    WEBSITE: http://www.nysedregents.org/comprehensiveenglish/ (we are dealing with the June 2011 Scoring Key and Rating Guide)

    Transition -- re-row desks

    Looking Ahead -- "The Masque of the Red Death" Prereading

    HW
    --read a Level 5, 4, or 3 essay and take notes (Mr. Martin will assign)--become an expert and be ready to discuss next class
    --take your TC/MDB essay home and improve it based on today's work
    --FIND AND READ A SHORT STORY...
    --enjoy the weekend!