Tuesday, 31 January 2012

100 word challenge

I am very glad that half term is not far away; am shattered at the moment. The return of the cold weather has made waking up on these dark mornings even more of a challenge! And our esteemed education secretary wants teachers to work longer hours.
The children are shattered by the end of the day as they go from one guided session to another. 
I remember ERIC (Everybody Reading In Class) when we spent half an hour EVERY DAY  (usually after lunch) reading FOR PLEASURE!!! None of the guided reading sessions, none of the reading activities and reading journals, reviews and the like.
It was a lovely part of the day where we as teachers modelled reading with our classes. Children are like flowers- they need the sunshine and fresh air. (Thanks Mum for this quote :) ) NOT longer hours in school.
Longer school days aren't going to be the answer. Less pressure on teachers to get children to make "more than expected progress" and more time to teach them a love of learning. Now THAT would get my vote.

OK, rant over.

Now onto the challenge.
This week, 100 words to include the word Wednesday.

Here's mine:

Old English wodnesdæg "Woden's day" (chief Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic god.)
 In Middle English time (12th century) this became wednesday, or wednesdai .
 The latin form , dies Mercurii, meaning day of Mercury,  dates to the late 2nd or early 3rd century . (Mercury is the Roman god of commerce, travel, theivery, eloquence and science. )
 Many European countries follow the latin form closely- mercredi (French), mercoledì (Italian), miércoles (Spanish) Mercuri (Corsican), miercuri (Romanian). 
The German name for the day, Mittwoch(literally: "mid-week"), replaced the former name  wodnesdæg in the tenth century. Most Slavic languages follow this pattern and use derivations of "the middle".

Now, I'm not sure if I have followed the rules here really, but I didn't know this before now. I knew about the Wodin part, but hadn't really given it much thought. Write the day on the board in school without a moment's thought each day. Tomorrow I will share this with my class.
Check out the others at http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=128273&type=basic I am going to take a look now.
Next week I shall try something completely different...

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

100 word challenge for grown ups- wk 28

Goodness; this is the 28th WCGU; I think I have done most of them so far; where does the time go?
I have been really pushing the children's 100WC with my class recently and have been thrilled to have more taking part; challenge now is to get the parents on board with the whole blogging idea. There is a lot of distrust out there with blogs it seems. although many of the children use the internet for all sorts of things. I haven't been able to put my finger on it yet.
It doesn't help that so many blogs are filtered out at school- I have been trying (unsuccessfully so far) to persuade my HT to let us unblock various sites but he is reluctant to do so. 
I understand that there are lots of things on the web which are totally unsuitable for primary aged children, but school filters are somewhat of a "head in sand" approach to internet safety. Surely we need to teach children how to use the internet safely...
Anyway I could go on and on about this, but wont for now as I need to think about how to integrate blogging more effectively into my teaching and encourage parents to do so too. 

In the meantime, this week Julia  (http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-28/)  has given us a word prompt    : ...you bought her what…

That plus 100 words is the format. My first plan was for a Dad and a son to have bought the same thing for their wife/mother but that didn't work, I tried to see if I could use the ever faithful Kit (see previous 100WCGU entries) but that didn't work either, so I have gone for this...partly influenced by an incredible video a friend of mine sent me a link to...

 “You bought her what?  Are you mad?” Kay’s eyes were so wide that Sky was beginning to wonder if they’d ever revert to usual.
“Sometimes you’re SO dumb!” Kay grabbed the phone, “Fine, let’s see what Jo thinks of it; she’s known Mum like forever.”
“Whatever.” Sky nonchalantly twirled her hair as Kay made the call.
“Yeah, hi, um can I ask you something?...... Sky’s only gone and bought a.... Oh, you already know......you were with her? Oh....but.........OK, bye.”
Kay glared angrily, her eyes narrow slits.
Sky smiled sweetly, “Mum’s had enough of Zumba- pole dancing is her latest fad. I think it’s cool.” 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

100 words week 27

Well, this week Julia has set quite a different challenge: " This week, you are all going to be critics. You are to choose a piece from last week and write a critique of it." More details at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-27/

To be honest, the idea of critiquing someone's work filled me with dread- I am doing this weekly challenge in an effort to improve my writing and am delighted if anyone reads it and leaves a comment- if that comment offers some constructive criticism then I'm even happier.
BUT... that's me!
Anyway, it is an interesting challenge and I am sure the entries will be great reading.
You can find them at http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=125696&type=basic

I am writing about Hurtled to 60 and beyond's piece- Autumn's Auction (http://hurtlingtowards60.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/autumns-auction-shocker-100-wcgu-week-26/)

Autumn, the proverbial black sheep of the family, makes her return in this thrilling instalment in the series. Autumn, well dressed but lacking in morals, continues to cause her family heartache and despair , disregarding her late grandparents wishes whilst leaving a path of destruction in her wake.
In a mere 105 words the writer is able to draw you into this tangled web of deceit and family feud. How will it end? Will Autumn get what she deserves? You will have to wait for the next chapter to find out. I have a feeling that Autumn has a few more tricks up her sleeve.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

100 words for grown ups week 26

This week the challenge was 5 wordsAghast  Aquamarine  Aeroplane  Acted  After    to be used within a creative piece.
My first idea was to do a ten 0'clock news report but I couldn't get it quite right, so have gone for a news report instead.
All the details can be found on Julia's blog at 

These are such fun to do and have made me realise just how hard it can be to come up with ideas! I often talk to my class about doing these and have shared many of them with the children when we have been writing on similar themes. It has certainly made me much more understanding of the child who sits in class and says, "But I just don't know what to write!" It doesn't happen too often, but when it does I make sure that I have provided plenty of prompts and quality examples of writing. I love all the Pie Corbett resources and try to incorporate lots of the "Talk for writing" strategies into my teaching to empower the children.
Anyway, I digress.
Here is my effort at this week's prompt. 

Dangerous  creature on the loose

Residents of Kensington were aghast to find their well tended gardens in disarray after an uninvited creature visited and acted inappropriately towards their prized pets. Witnesses have described a lizard-like creature, the size of a large family dog.
At the time of writing there are no photographs. Here is our artistic interpretation:

This creature should be easy to spot with its bright aquamarine skin. However, for safety, residents have been advised not to approach it , but to call the police. How it came to be here remains a mystery; perhaps concealed amongst baggage on an aeroplane or freight ship.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

100 words for grown ups 2012

Well, a new year has started. 2012 promises to be a memorable one with the Olympics coming to GB, a diamond jubilee.
I don't make resolutions really, but see the start of a new year as a time to look back on the successes of the past and to look forward to what the future brings. Learn from the past, enjoy the present and look to the future is how I try to see things.
This week the prompt from Julia is a bit different; no surprises there. You can read her fab blog at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week25/
This week we have been given a picture and asked to write in the first person from the perspective of one of the people in the picture. Here goes

A very happy new year to all, full of health, hope and happiness.

My year

I’m here; not that anyone was expecting me-no one thought I’d put myself through it again , not after last year.
 This time I'm wearing the same as the others.
Oh yes, how I laughed after turning up as an elf last year when everyone else was a reindeer. And how they all laughed as I struggled.
Can’t look me in the eye now though, none of them, not even Kim.
I’ve been training, haven’t told a soul. They’ll all be expecting me to trundle along as usual...not this time.
My time.
My year.
The year of the dragon.

(note- I noted that this year is the year of the dragon so I put the arrowed girl to have been born in 1988 whic was also a year of the dragon- hence the reference)

check the others out at http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=122903&type=basic