Monthly Archives: December 2012

Let the Holiday Fun Begin…


Happy Holidays

It is finally here, time for Christmas break. I have posted the wishes from my students but now it is time to send my own. I wish all of you the Happiest of Holidays. Take time to relax, refresh, and enjoy your families. Appreciate the blessings that you have been given. When I do that I definitely have to include the wonderful students I see each day, the exceptional people at NJHS that I am privileged to share each day with, my team members who I have a special friendship with, and the two administrators that have made every day at NJHS a great place to be. All of this, along with my loving family and friends, makes me one lucky person.

Now time for some more of our featured authors and their special Christmas wishes.

Breanna Merriweather has this wonderful wish:

Breanna Merriwether

Mickey Smith sends this wish:

Mickey Smith

Amanda Davis wishes everyone something special:

Amanda Davis















Kee’Von Hightower is wishing this:

Kee'Von Hightower

Dena Ferguson sends this wonderful message:

Dena Ferguson


















Alex Price has this wish:

Alex Price

Brittany Skinner adds these words:

Brittany Skinner




















Finally, Morgan Steckler has written this wonderful story for everyone’s enjoyment:

Wishing Bell


seasons greetingsThis will not be the last post before Christmas. As the wishes continue to come is I will continue to share them with all of you.


Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, Oh My…








Today at NJHS is “Ugly Christmas Sweater Day” for the teachers and staff. This has brought a smile to the faces of adults and students alike. Sometimes a day like today is what everyone needs to remember that the holiday season is a time to be with friends and to share moments of fun. Here are Mr. Huff and Mrs. Gmutza leading the fashion parade. It is ALWAYS a great day at North Junior High School, but some aare just more fun than others.


Now it is time for more of our featured authors and their holiday wishes. The previously featured authors have really enjoyed all of your comments, please keep them coming.

Annie Gilkey has this wish: 

Annie Gilkey







Elaina Adams wrote this special wish:

Elaina Adams

Evan Stroud is sending this wish:

Evan Stroud








Jadan Manion, Tanner Turpin, Donovan Sears, D Sylvain is rapping their wish:

Jaden, Tanner, Donovan, D

Keaton Briggs has these words for Christmas:

Keaton Briggs










Magan Leystra sends these colorful wishes:

Magan Leystra




















Grant Barnett offered the following wish:

Grant Barnett












Elyssa Francis wishes everyone:

Elyssa Francis


















Trea Ommart shares this with us:

Trae Ommart






Harley Miles wrote this beautiful wish:

Harley Miles


Nekayla Roberts adds her special wish:

Nekayla Roberts


















Sam Hahn wishes this for everyone:

Sam Hahn


















Owen Price wishes everyone:

Owen Price





McKinsey Simmons shares these good wishes:

McKinsey Simmons













Lexi Wells sends special wishes to everyone:

Lexi Wells

Leah Wentzel sends the final wish for today. Hope you enjoyed today’s featured authors and look forward to sharing more tomorrow. Don’t forget to comment on your favorite authors, these are always appreciated:

Leah Wentzel

Christmas Wishes are Pouring In…


reading love

Hello Everyone,

I hope that the classroom library book lexiling went well today. You cannot imagine what a big help that will be for me. Over the break my own two children, Allison and Alex, are going to help me put the finishing touches on the organization of the books. Prepared to be wowed! I know I have posted this before, but if anyone has any books at home that they are finished with we would really appreciate the chance to use them in our classroom library. Any donations are appreciated and welcome.

This is going to be my favorite part of the blog for the holiday season – the CHRISTMAS WISHES from our favorite featured authors. If you see one you particularly like, feel free to comment. The kids are doing a very thoughtful and caring job and would love the praise. I am very proud of them, not only for their work, but for their warm and giving hearts. Get ready to ENJOY.

Emily Buehn’s wish is:

Emily Buehn

Zach Martin and Jimmy Hoang rapped a wish:

Zach Martin Jimmy Hoang



















Bailey Shorter’s wish is for all mankind:

Bailey Shorter

Cameron Moore’s wish is:

Cameron Moore

















Larry Alvey








Makayla Chamberlain

JUSTIN PARK gives us a poem that wishes:

Justin Park

BRAEDON HUBER has this wish:

Braedon Huber

DAWSON McINTOSH is sending his wish:

Dawson McIntosh



















And Finally, JARIK SPRINGER ends our wishes for today:

Jarik Springer

Our continued wishes for a wonderful holiday season. Hope you have enjoyed these. See you tomorrow!

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow…


snowman cheistmas wishes

Well I made to school today but realized I wasn’t as well as I thought. I will be out tomorrow and back Thursday and Friday. Mrs. Martin will be with you again, which is a really good thing.

First, let me address the grade situation. I will be adding grades daily this week. Please do not worry about your grade until all of the grades are recorded. The grades you see each day will be changing, so be patient.

Tomorrow you will be doing something to get our classroom library in order for next semester. As I have told you, we will be using these books alot! All of the books need to have an interest level, a lexile level, and sorted into genres.  You will be using the Scholastic Book Wizard. Just click on this link and follow directions, Mrs. Martin will help with this if you have a question. Use a post-it note and write down the info; interest level, lexile level, and genre. After you have done this make a seperate stack for each genre on the front table. If you have a book that isn’t listed on the website put it in a different stack so I can look it up. This will really be a big help to me. Thanks so much.

Also, do not forget to send my your “Christmas Wish” so I can put them on the blog. Please save as a word document and then send it to me as an attachment. I am including the first selection of these today: ENJOY!

Brooke Bittner’s wish is:

Brooke Bittner



Maddie Mills’s wish is:

maddie mills


Andrew Wilderman’s wish is:

ANdrew Wilderman


Maddie Mauser’s wish is:

Maddie Mauser













Michele Helm’s wish is:

Michele Helm



















Finally, Gavin Meffort’s wish is:

Gavin Meffert










We hope that everyone checks the blog daily between now and the first of the year. There will be many more featured authors. Thank you to those whose messages appeared today, your work is wonderful, as are you!

Finally Fabulous Friday…


christmas 2012

Hello All,

It has now been a week and I am still not feeling very good, but I think I should be back on Monday. I know your hands are getting tired so I had better be there to give you a rest. Today’s TASK SHEET will not be very long, although there is something that should interest most of you. So here goes,

TASK SHEET, December 14, 2012:

  • Free Read or do Achieve 3000 (do this if everything is finished, so maybe save this for last)
  • Finish ALL of the work that has been on the blog and My Big Campus this week
  • Write a CHRISTMAS GREETING to put on the blog. I would like to feature these starting Monday and use several each day throughout the holidays, even when we are not in school. There are not many guidelines for this activity, but here are a few suggestions:

blogWrite in any format you like. Example: poem, story, greeting, holiday wish, song, rap, etc. Just use your imagination.

Include pictures and graphics. You can also do videos or interviews if you choose.

Make your message colorful, clever, and fun!

Check to make sure your spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct. Tip: Have someone else look at it before you turn it in.

Save it on your Netbook or Flashdrive. Don’t send it to me until I am ready for it, you know my email gets overloaded.

This activity needs to have thought and planning put into it. Remember, our blog is getting quite popuar and has alot of followers, so it will be seen and read by many people, both those you know and don’t know.

There is not a length requirement.

You will be getting time next week to perfect these. Today will be a day to start your planning and get your thinking caps on.

This is NARRATIVE WRITING so you want to make sure that you appeal to the readers senses; sight, taste, touch, & smell. When someone reads your entry they should be able to get a mental picture of what you are writing, even if you use pictures.

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE – we will be discussing this next week, but you should be including alot of this in what you are creating. Here is a FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE POWER POINT  for you to review and get you acquainted with using figurative language. Open it, read  it, and you should be able to get a good idea of what figurative language is and how to use it for now until we can discuss further. Get started, be creative, think outside the box, and have FUN!


Have a great weekend, see you Monday.

La, La, La, La Lexiling…



bunker catHello again! Today I visited the doctor again and it is confirmed: I have pneumonia. I have to be at home the rest of the week. My cat, Bunker, is taking very good care of me. He really doesn’t care if I am sick; he just likes me being home with him. Luckily, Mrs. Martin will be with you. What would I ever do without her? I am going to put some more activities on the task sheet, but I believe Blocks 2& 3 will be doing some Lexile Testing. I will explain that later, so read this carefully. I will give you the task sheet first and tell you what else to expect.



TASK SHEET: December 13, 2012:

  • Free Reading (Blocks 2 & 3), Achieve 3000 (Block 1) – 20 -25 minutes
  • My Big Campus ( this was on yesterday’s task sheet, but really I am putting it on now), go to your class’s resources and click “Why We Celebrate? Do all of the questions on your own paper and do the writing assignment, including the Venn Diagram. Make sure and read what is required for the writing portion, make sure to include everything it asks for, especially text references.
  • Grammar Exercise Workbook (in the baskets by the big bookshelves) page 177, Exercise 1 & 2, page 178 Exercise 1 & 2. Some of these you will have to write the sentences and some will be answers only. Don’t take shortcuts, please.

I really do know how much work this is and the reason I am giving it all at once is so it will last both Thursday and Friday. You will have both days to do this. If you finish early you can continue to free read or do Achieve 3000. If you are talkative I can always give Mrs. Martin more work, if you are quiet and working this will be all there is.



LEXILE TESTING: ( This will be for Blocks 2 & 3 only)

This test is to measure your current reading level. You will be using this to choose books to read next semester and, I will using this to determine what materials you will be using. It is VERY important that you do your very best on this because you do not want to be reading or working at a level that is below what you are capable of.

I am not completely certain what method Mrs. Martin will be using. The rest of the 8th grade ELA teachers have come up with the format while Iread aloud have been gone. I fully support whatever method they have chosen to use. You will be reading individually to Mrs. Martin. This is why it is important that while one student is being tested the rest of the class is working quietly and not disturbing the testing procedure. There will also be a question portion of this also. Again, let me stress the importance of this. It will not be for a grade but will determine what level you will be working and reading at after Christmas. This is new to all of us, so please be patient. I am confident you will all cooperate and do your very best, you always do. Thanks for all of your hard work in advance.

santa's nice listI really miss seeing all of you and I hate not being there. Although I feel like I talk to you through the blog, it isn’t the same as seeing you. I really like all of the emails you have been sending. Please keep sending them and letting me know what is happening. Also, don’t hesitate to ask me any questions; I am always happy to answer. Please pay attention to Mrs. Martin and do what she asks. One thing that always makes me feel better is knowing how lucky the sub who is there gets to spend time with such great students. You always make me proud and I am never surprised when the good notes start coming in. I asked the office today if everything was OK in my room and they said, “Of course, your room is always perfect!” That is a true compliment to all of you. You are the BEST! I have written Santa and put all of you on his “Nice List”, hope that helps. Let me know if yu need anything, I will be at home trying to feel better.

Walking in a Wednesday Wonderland…




You are all probably too young to recognize that song, but I thought the change of words made it funny. Let me first say NOT TO WORRY ABOUT YOUR GRADES!!!!! I have alot more grades to put in, although I can’t do that until I get back. If there seems to be a problem I will let you know, until then stop worrying.

I have really loved getting your emails, I get lonely here at home – SICK! I still have a fever and cannot stop coughing, and it stinks. I would much rather be there with all of you.

12 12 12

I’m sure all of you know that today is 12/12/12, and that sure doesn’t happen very often. I found some activities specially for that day, so this is your only chance.





12 things that make me happy

Use your own paper and find the 12 things all of these ask. We will be sharing some of these when I get back. Although I hope this is fun, it will count for points. The TASK SHEET will be after all of these, make sure and see what else you have to do.

12 things i am good at12 things I can teach others

12 mixed up sentences

12 scrambled words


12 things I wish







































































































TASK SHEET, December 12, 2012 (12/12/12):

  • Free Read 20 minutes
  • Work on the 12/12/12 activities on the blog
  • Finish all of the work from the last two days
  • Go to My Big Campus (click resources) and do “Why We Celebrate” on your own paper, including the writing assignment and the Venn diagram

Christmas tree

I know we will have alot to grade when I get back, but just think, all of that can raise your grade, Yipee!! Continue to be good while I am gone. I have left word with this sub that you know what you are doing, so I trust you will do that. By the way, Block 3 – STOP TALKING so much!T hat goes for the rest of you too. I am going to the doctor and then I will know when I can come back. hopefully the sooner the better. Only 13 days until Christmas – time to get excited.