Filed Under (writing) by Lee Kolbert on 31-10-2009

This post is written by student, Julia, who invites readers to edit this post for punctuation. Other comments are welcome as well.

Wow (Exclamation Point)!

What would our writing be like without punctuation you wouldn’t be able to read words in sentence form or tell if the sentence was sad,excited,scared,nervous or a command If you look at it,punctuation gives a good sense of order to both narratives and expositories. So,instead of “She rushed to the mall I know she loves to shop which is a strong sentence with incorrect punctuation use”She rushed to the mall.I know she loves to shop.”The bottom line is that looking at punctuation as something not tedious and annoying can truly fix up your writing!!!!!!!!!Poor punctuation and good punctuation are like night and day!!!!!!

Can you fix this blog post?

Filed Under (writing) by Lee Kolbert on 28-10-2009

From the same assignment as the previous post, this post is just one more of the outstanding essays from our class. Please add your comment for Brooke.

Once upon a time, there was a nice, fair maiden.  She lived with her mom and dad.  She was as happy as a child getting a present.  Shortly, her mom passed away.  She now lived with her dad in their king-sized house.  Soon, her dad married a mean lady with her ugly twin daughters, Anastia and Brianca.  Oh no!  After her loving dad married the stepmother, he quickly died.  The poor little girl.  That’s when the world went upside down.

Cinderella!  That’s what they had called her because of the cinders on her clothes and pretty face.  Poor Cinderella had become a slave in her own house!  She had to do tons and tons of awful chores.  Sweep the floor, wash the dishes, do the laundry, and so forth.  Then one day a handsome page arrived on a midnight black horse.  Hear ye!  Hear ye!  The prince is throwing a special ball to see who he will marry.  Every girl in the town is invited.  He was a nice chap, as quick as a wasp, he was off riding to the palace.  When I marry the prince, Cinderella thought, we would move to a nice, pretty house. Anastia cried, “Well you can’t go Cinderella!”  That made Cinderella doubt she would marry the prince.  Brianca yelled, “You don’t have any good clothes.  Right mom?”  Her mom said, “if she finishes her long, long, long, long (long 1,000,000 times), long list of chores first, she can go.”  Sweet Cinderella worked hard day and night and still didn’t finish the list and the ball was starting now!  Cinderella ran to the blooming garden and started weeping on an empty bench.

Poof!  A fairy godmother appeared out of the blue.  The plump godmother gave an orange pumpkin, four white mice, and a green lizard and frog a touch of her golden wand, and they turned into an amazing coach, four horses, and two weird looking coachmen.  Then, she touched Cinderella’s filthy rag clothes, and they transformed to a beautiful dress with a tiara and glass slippers upon her dainty feet.  “At midnight the magic will wear off,” the old fairy godmother said in a hurry, “Shoo! Be gone with you, or else you’ll be late for the ball.  Have a miraculous time.”  As quick as a flash, Cinderella was off.

So, Cinderella went to the ball.  As she arrived, she thought about how big the brick castle was.  It scared her a lot.  When she walked in, no one noticed her including her stepmother and stepsisters!  They have never seen her in such magnificent clothes and without cinders on her face.  The prince asked her to dance with him.  Cinderella was flattered.  She thought to herself, I hope I marry the prince. How angry the sisters were.  Cinderella found out that the prince was funny, kind, and smart just like her!  What a perfect match.  Just then Cinderella saw that it was a minute until midnight, “goodbye,” Cinderella exclaimed.  “Wait!  I don’t know your name,” the prince called after her.  She left her slipper running so fast.  Out of the corner of the prince’s eye, he saw something sparkly.  Her glass slipper!  “I will search every kingdom in the land to find the maiden whose foot fits into this tiny slipper,” he told his dad the king.

Off he went on a quest to find the woman who could fit her foot into the glass slipper.  All day and night he searched and came to the last house in the kingdom, Cinderella’s house.  “Madam, could you try on this slipper?” the prince asked Anastia.  Her foot was longer by three inches.  Brianca’s foot was wider by two inches.  The prince asked if they had any more girls in the house.  “Only our servant girl,” Brianca replied.  “Cinderella! Come down here.”  Cinderella dashed down the stairs as quickly as a bee getting pollen.  Her foot fit into the shiny slipper!  “Will you be my bride?” asked the cute prince.  Cinderella replied, “of course.”  They rode away in his magnificent carriage.

Soon, they had a lovely wedding.  They had a baby boy named Jack and a daughter named Rapunzel.  They learned not to try to love her because when she was 13 they had to give her away for good.  Meanwhile, the stepmom and sisters were seething with rage.  “How ‘com Cinderella married the prince,” whined Anastia.  “No fair,” Brianca moaned.  They were JEALOUS!  They rode on a chestnut brown horse to the gray castle, off to ask Cinderella a question that was going through their minds.

Cinderella was in a boring conference about the kingdom’s profits.  Ughhh. Cinderella didn’t like the castle at all.  Outside was Jack and Rapunzel.  Jack was now 11, and he was outside always climbing up the castle walls.  Rapunzel was with the animals who loved her beautiful voice for 10 years.  It was a short, sweet tune.  Cinderella went to check on each of them.  The sky was so clear, flowers were starting to bloom, sweet little birds were tweeting so happily, and infront of her was her mom, Anastia and Brianca.  Anastia, her mom, and Brianca!  “What are you doing here?” she exclaimed shocked.  They told her that they want to move into the royal castle.  Cinderella would also love to move into a little cottage.  The castle was to humongous and there were too many doors.  It was confusing.  Cinderella discussed switching houses with the prince, and he said of course.  Yeah!

The next day, they packed their suitcases, and Cinderella and her new family moved to a forest and built a log cabin.  They cut down trees and tied them together.  Meanwhile, the mom and sisters had a ball living in the castle.  The prince used the tree tops to make a fort for the kids.  It took Cinderella and the prince all day to build their house.  When they finished, it was breathtaking.  Finally, their new house was finished, and they lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER.



Filed Under (writing) by Lee Kolbert on 25-10-2009

In class, the students wrote essays based on Cinderella. They were to begin their essays similar to the traditional Cinderella story, and then somewhere around the middle, they were to make the story their own; taking it in a new direction.

Below is Alayna’s story. What are your thoughts?

A Different Cinderella Story

By Alayna S.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far, away….a beautiful girl named Cinderella lived a lovely life with her Mother and Father.  One sunny, spring morning, Cinderella’s Father awoke to find his wife lying motionless in bed.  They escorted her out to their quaint cottage and to the Doctor.  Checking her heart, the Doctor realized that it was not pumping blood.  Astonished and depressed, Cinderella’s Father headed for town to find another young maiden to marry.  He soon found a tall woman with hair as red as ripe apples named Madame Dooney.  She had two girls of her own named Looney and Gooney.  Desperate to be in love again, Cinderella’s Father married her.  One year after their wedding, he died.  Cinderella was forced to live with her Stepmother who insisted she be the family’s servant.  Looney and Gooney, her daughters, always teased Cinderella and made more work for her.  They taunted her by calling her names like “bucket of mud” and “dirty diaper.”  Cinderella had to sleep in the kitchen corner with all of the rats and mice.

One day, a letter from the Prince, Prince Peter, arrived. He was in search of a young maiden to marry. Of course, Looney and Dooney bragged that they would be the gorgeous maiden he was looking for.  The letter stated that the Contest Ball would be held that night. Cinderella watched as Madame Dooney, Looney, and Gooney got dressed up in their finest clothes.  “May I come? “ she asked hopefully.  “Yes,” Madame Dooney replied, “but only if you finish these chores.  Sneering, she unraveled a long list of chores that nearly reached the ground.  “Yes Ma’am,” Cinderella sighed.  Taking the list, she watched as all three women departed.  Sobbing, Cinderella ran swiftly to the garden and wept.

Suddenly there was a puff of smoke and a blast of light.  Standing near the large oak tree was an old woman with her cloak as black as the night.  Her hair was white and her skin was wrinkled like a raisin.  Cinderella stopped crying abruptly and stared at the old woman in front of her.  “Who are you?” questioned Cinderella.  The woman explained that she was her Fairy Godmother.  “I see you wish to go to the ball.” With a wave of her wand, white horses, tall coachmen, and a beautiful carriage with gold trim appeared out of thin air. “Thank you!” cried Cinderella.  With another wave of her wand, Cinderella’s torn rags transformed into an elegant, shimmering, blue gown with delicate glass slippers on her feet.  “Beware, “warned the Fairy Godmother, “the magic will wear off at midnight and everything will return to normal!”

As Cinderella stepped into the ballroom, music and laughter filled her ears.  The staring crowd, including Prince Peter, gasped at her beauty.  Cinderella and Prince Peter danced gracefully through the night.

Suddenly, the clock chimes began to ring.  “It is 12:00 – I must be going,” Cinderella cried as she turned to flee the room.  “Wait,” the Prince hollered, “what is your name?” “My name is…………………..Cinderella, “she cried over her shoulder as she sprinted out the ballroom doors.

“It’s Cinderella!” exclaimed the stepsisters to each other.  “She must be punished,” screamed Madame Dooney.  The three angry women marched out the palace door to find Cinderella!

When they arrived home, Madame Dooney and her girls found Cinderella in her dirty rags sweeping the dusty floor.  “You went to the ball, “the stepsisters said through their clenched teeth.  They grabbed her by the hair and forced her into the attic, locking the heavy, metal door behind her.

Back at the palace, Prince Peter was desperate to find Cinderella.  Having no luck going door to door, he searched for her name on Facebook.  Surprisingly, there was only one young maiden named Cinderella!  He was ecstatic and typed her a message immediately that said, “Where are you, my darling?” Luckily, Cinderella had kept her iphone in her apron pocket.  She received his text message and told him her location.

Prince Peter disguised himself as a cleaning service.  He knocked at Madame Dooney’s door, and explained that he was from, “Peter’s Perfect Paradise Cleaning Service.”  Because they were in need of a new maid, they were thrilled to see him!

Searching the dirty laundry, Prince Peter discovered the attic key hidden in Madame Dooney’s dress pocket.  The brass key was heavy, but Prince Peter slowly crept up the steep and winding attic staircase with it.  He unlocked the heavy, metal door, and found  Cinderella waiting there patiently for him!  Cinderella leapt into the Prince’s arms, and they hugged each other tightly.  “I know this is a little early, but will you marry me?” asked the Prince.  “Of course I will,” Cinderella cried, “But, how shall we get out of here?”

“That is simple,” replied Prince Peter, “we will use the app ‘fly for free’.”  Then they kissed as they parachuted out the attic window and landed on the green grass.  Hopping onto Prince Peter’s steed, they rode off into the sunset and lived happily ever after!


Filed Under (Collaboration, Internet) by Lee Kolbert on 19-10-2009

Screen shot 2009-10-19 at 9.25.01 PMOur class is beginning a new venture this week. My students will meet and interact with two college students, Jonie and Michael, from the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. Although we’d love to pack our snowsuits, hats and gloves and travel , all of this will happen online, of course.

Facilitating this exciting project is Dean Shareski, a Digital Learning Consultant, and good friend of mine. He works for the Prairie South Schools in Moose Jaw, SK. As part of this college class he teaches, he has gathered together about 50 educators from around the world to work with and mentor his approximately 30 students. His goal is to give them a chance to experience a classroom where the teacher engages the students with technology. Additionally, these college students have the benefit of virtually traveling around the world to interact with children in truly diverse settings.

The benefit to my students is that they will get to know and learn from Jonie and Michael. It’s not everyday that such young students as mine get the opportunity to learn in a virtual environment. This experience should be something they will remember for a long time.

Our first order of business is to host a video conference with these folks so that my students can have an opportunity to see and speak with them. We will do that in class using video conferencing software provided by our school district. Some other activities “in the works” include having Jonie and Michael comment on our class blog (here), write posts for it (guest bloggers), participate in some lessons and otherwise engage my students based on future lessons and individual needs. Upon hearing that we were studying our constitution, Jonie created this “Glogster” that does a great job of showing some differences between the U.S. and Canadian government. Both Jonie and Michael mention in their videos their coordinates, so that my students can plot their locations on maps (another skill we’ve mastered).

I’m honored to be able to participate as one of these teachers with whom Dean’s students will work. Here are Jonie and Michael:

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Lee Kolbert on 16-10-2009

(This post and picture are both by Zack.)

Dust_v3In class, we are learning about different properties and forms of matter.

There is a very fun game which is a particle simulator. This game is called “Dust” (see it at http://www.notdoppler.com. You’ll see Dust as a link on the right side of the screen under Top 10 Games).

Here’s a screen I made showing a summary of different kinds of particles.

If anyone has any ideas for any new particles in the game, please write.