Category Archives: Challenge

October 2012 In Review

Books Read:

It is still slow going on this end. School work swallows me whole and by the time I am ready to read, I can’t keep my eyes open! But, I have finished one or two over the last couple of weeks.

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins (Review below)

Write Like This by Kelly Gallagher (Review below)

Posts Written:

Reviews:

Perfect

Write Like This

And some random posts (some are from Sept, as I forgot to do a rundown of Sept!):

on the thirteenth

And, sadly, that’s it. School has kept me going and running out of steam and energy. 😦

But the good news is my students are great, my classes are great, and I am enjoying this year. And, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo starting today, in fact I already have 1758 words! Go me!

Happenings:

School work has included having a class read and act out The Crucible! They thoroughly enjoyed it and they are very excited about our next project, based on the book Native Son. I have decided to combine their required research “paper” into a mock trial of the main character.

I am currently working on the Verse Challenge. And have FINISHED reading Perfect by Ellen Hopkins! I adore Ellen and can’t wait for more from her.

My parents came down for a quick visit, but it was great to see them.

Intriguing Search Terms Pointing to My Blog:

“it’s all about me quotes”

Am I really that self-centered? I hope not!

“visual writing prompts”

This one probably disappointed the seeker. I don’t have any prompts, but I do use the visual ones frequently in my classes. I will need to do a post with links to the sites I use, which have great prompts!

“why did John Steinbeck write the novel Of Mice and Men the way he did”

dang it! This is exactly what I try to encourage my students to avoid. Number 1) please have enough dignity and self respect to at least try to do this on your own. There is no magic answer. The teacher wants you to think and analyze and evaluate Steinbeck’s writing. Because, if you can do that, you have a pretty well-oiled mind and can analyze and evaluate almost anything. Number 2) learn some decent search skills. I hope I am teaching my students better search skills, because anyone who goes to google and types in the EXACT question the teacher has asked, will be disappointed, because he/she will find nothing helpful OR find other students’ work, who also lack the same skills he/she does. *SIGH*

“langston hughes bedtime”

Why is someone seeking this? I am intrigued. I feel a writing activity coming on…

“beautiful things happen in your life when you distance yourself from all the negative things”

So true! Glad it brought you to my doorstep.

What I Learned this month:

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August 2012 In Review

Books Read:

Hmm…I have started a handful but finished none in August :(! I blame it on school starting. Really!

Posts Written:

Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer

Readers are Created, Not Born

I am still reading… and I promise I am. But it happens every year around this time. School starts and my attention is pulled in a hundred directions and I always pick up and start books, to be finished later.

The Start — as mentioned before, at this point school has taken over any spare corners of my brain…lol

Sunday Salon

SWUR Goals & Update — my second reading challenge, which I didn’t meet my goals. *sigh*

Happenings:

Attempted to participate in the Summer Wrap Up Reading Challenge–didn’t meet my goal at all! Sad, but work came first.

I am currently working on the Verse Challenge. And have started reading Perfect by Ellen Hopkins :).

School started. I spent a week in my classroom getting it prettified and then sat through the first of the year meetings. Now, we are back in full swing. Students have been in class for over a week and a half now and we are setting into a groove. Here’s to the start of a great year!

Intriguing Search Terms Pointing to My Blog:

“quotes to begin a new school year”

Oh how I wish I had some good advice for this one! Starting my tenth year, you would think I have the words of wisdom, but every year is a new year and I have never started the same way twice!

“who will save your soul quote”

Very interesting. Love the song. And pondering what quote they were looking for–Jewel or possibly a higher power?

“i am just a girl quote”

hmmm…yes I am. And when I first read this search I immediately thought of No Doubt’s song.

“all done”

Are we ever?

“gwendolyn brooks we real cool and a roller skating”

Wow! I am sure I posted about “we real cool” during April (National Poetry Month), but roller skating??? Not sure.

What I Learned this month:

SWUR (1) Goal Post–UPDATED

 

 

 

 

Read-a-thon Signups

Update: 8/12/2012

I shouldn’t be surprised, but this week I read a whole lot of…wait for it…NOTHING. 😦

There are some pretty good reasons:

  1. a personal issue pushed me to be busy for busy’s sake, so I went in to my classroom every day this week to get it ready for the new school year. And it looks–AMAZING! I will be posting pictures soon!
  2. I have decided to allow MiniQ to take her 8th grade year classes online. We moved here in Dec and she had a hard time fitting in (small town, midwest, USA, where everyone has known everyone else since birth). She will be taking choir at the middle school, after her choir teacher called and BEGGED me to let it happen. She’s excited, as am I, but it requires SO MUCH prep work here on my end, because she will be taking the traditional classes online, but I will be requiring a bit more of her–as one of the reasons she wanted to take online courses was because she spends so much time sitting there doing nothing in school because learning is “easier” for her than some of her classmates. So while the teachers re-teach and catch up the others, she is bored.
  3. My part-time job (teaching online) will be gearing up in the near future and I have been organizing for this as well.

I go back to my full time teaching job Monday. Lesson plans are ready, meetings for a week, then bring on the students! So my reading life is about to stall again. At least for a few weeks, while I get into the swing of work again and learning how to navigate MiniQ’s schedule and daily life.

So, this will be my 2nd summer challenge. I didn't meet my goal on the first one, but it did push me forward in my overall summer reading. This one will be better, because it is a longer challenge and I report back to school on the 13th. The timing is perfect!

My to read books for the SWUR :

12 Angry Men

I just bought the play of this and plan to read it to see if it will work in my English 11 course!

 
And I need to find a novel in verse to help with my progress on the Verse Challenge.

July 2012 In Review

Books Read:

Secret Windows by Stephen King 🙂 *
How to Write a Sentence: and how to read one by Stanley Fish 🙂
On Writing by Stephen King 🙂 *
Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith 🙂
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland Through a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente 😦
Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay 😐
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 😀 *
I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells 😐

*Reviews coming soon!

Posts Written:

Reviews to some of the books read above, plus:

Sunday Salon July 4th

Sunday Salon

Happenings:

Participated in the Once Upon a Reading Challenge–didn’t meet my goal, but it was a good experience. I think I learned some reading challenges may not be for me, especially the short focused ones.

I am currently working on the Verse Challenge. And read the following novel in verse in July : Love and Leftovers

I am also currently working on the 14 Books, 4 Months, 1 Challenge:

July 1: 20 points, July 31: 60 points

I am a bit worried I may not make this challenge :-(. But, I am not giving up yet!

Intriguing Search Terms Pointing to My Blog:

“push knife in back quote john grisham book”

I must admit, I went and used this search term myself, to see if it would pull anything up. I couldn’t find a quote, but I remember the book and know it probably had something to do with Cowboy…

“batman buckets”

I ❤ using sayings like “Holy Buckets Batman” when I am speaking or writing. I use them in my classroom quite frequently and my students are constantly giving me new ideas.

“summary of chapter 1 in nevermore by william hjortsberg”

Sadly, one of the books I have read I wished I hadn’t. The novels premise was promising–Houdini, Poe, magic, psi abilities, and murder. Unfortunately, it did not deliver a great read for me.

What I Learned this month:

Just keep moving ahead. There is no outline for tomorrow, there is no forged path. Every day is a chance to move forward or backward and I have chosen it’s all forward from here.

As for blogging, the school year seemed to keep me more on track, however, I am reading far more in summer!

RC: Once Upon a Read-a-Thon (3)

Sponsored by Reading Angel.

Goals Met:

I finished Unholy Night and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, which means I finished 2 of the 4 I had intended.

I did not get as much finished because my part time teaching job was a bit more busy than originally planned. So, if you count all the essays I read…LOL

RC: Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Update (2)

I signed up for this challenge over at Reading Angel.

Books Completed: 1

Mini-Challenges Completed: 3

Here are my Goals & Updates:

Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith

Finished this morning! I stayed up past midnight, but wanted to wait to read the last 20ish pages this morning. Right when Balthazar and the man who turned him in the Antioch Ghost meet up for the first time in 9 years. I will be posting a review soon!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

Beginning this one now. My first impressions, just from the title–I really want to know what the ship of her own making was, what spurred her to travel around fairyland, and to begin with-what is SHE doing in fairyland. I can’t wait! This one is on my TTT list for this week as well–All about Fairy Tales & Retellings!

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
Cane River by Lalita Tademy

I may add one or two more after I hit the library tomorrow.

Check out today’s mini challenges @ Kindle Fever & Stiletto Storytime (will update when SS updates their mini-challenge):

Kindle Fever Bookish Fight Mini-Challenge Answer:

It’s a fight between Bridget Jones (totally lacking any real feminist qualities) and Lizzie Bennet (not completely a feminist, but definitely not moonstruck lovey dovey as BJ is). The fight takes place primarily through a letter writing/instant messaging campaign:

EB: One ought consider the outward appearance of one’s actions towards gentlemen, if such a word can be used to describe YOUR Mr. Darcy. Such outright brash behavior will only encourage trouble to follow.

BJ (does anyone else see what I see in those initials???): Yeah, well, we can’t all be as uptight and stuck up as you. Some of us don’t have the beauty you have to even get the men, including YOUR Mr. Darcy, to look at us.

TBC…

RC: Once Upon a Read-a-Thon (1)

It’s time for my first short challenge. I signed up for this challenge over at Reading Angel.

I have decided to tackle the following books during this 3 day read-a-thon:

Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith

Currently on page 91 now on page 163 and will be up for awhile : Haven’t read as much as possible today because 1) I had to do work for my part time online teaching job, 2) had an appointment I inadvertently scheduled today, and 3) created this post…

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente

Cane River by Lalita Tademy

I may add one or two more after I hit the library tomorrow.

Check out today’s mini challenges @ Between the Pages & IBBookBlogging.

The IBBookBlogging Mini-Challenge Answers:

Question 1:

What is your favorite cover that has been revealed this summer and why? Post a link or picture of the cover if you want.

I have yet to read Cinder. It was checked out of the library right before I could grab it. But, it’s on my TBR list and when I saw the cover for this one, I knew it would be on my TBR too! They did such a great job with the cover of Cinder and this one is just as good. The simplicity and boldness makes it stand out.

Question 2:

Do you rely on the cover to help you choose whether you want to read a book or not?

I try not to judge books by their covers, but it is the first thing that draws me in if I have never heard of the book and/or author before. Also, a recent trend I have seen and am not fond of–using real models for covers–often turn me off of a book. I don’t like having models on the cover, because it does not allow me to build the character as fully in my own mind. And, sometimes, the models look NOTHING like what the characters should look like.