Friday, February 24, 2006

sexual taunts

Today a student came to me with a complaint. Another student has been continually making fun of him for being 'gay'. They have been doing this for awhile. We had a conversation since they really didn’t know what ‘gay’ meant. I understand that while adolescents are learning about themselves, establishing their gender identities and pushing the envelope to explore rules, they also need to understand that there are limits. No child was hurt be the word ‘NO’. Too often I hear students belittling peers by saying, “That ‘retard’!”, sometimes in jest or towards a friend. There is little self-control and little regard for the power of words. They do not understand the power of words used so thoughtlessly.

Gender neutral and politically correct language is ours to create, approve of or disapprove of in schools. Many of our students in the middle school seem to use peers or actors as role models. Big name rappers use gender-biased language, with a flavour for violence and can be aimed at women. Students do not understand that fine line between a playwright making a point and a cutting, hurtful remark delivered electronically or in person. My daughter had a gym teacher who could be overheard dissing a male student for ‘throwing like a girl’. In my daughter’s generation this is now a compliment.

I had to let these kids know that while they would not dare call another student a racial slur, or otherwise make derogatory remarks based on their race, gender or religious affiliation, it is as despicable to mock peers on the basis of their sexual preference. I have been working on these issues, creating an article on Gender Equity back in 1999 and it seems that little has changed since then.

This week our grammar assignment involved determining the gender assigned to a noun. We could choose neutral, masculine, feminine or indefinite. At the end of the assignment, students were required to write a paragraph on how a ‘woman’s position in society has changed in recent history’. This follows a record breaking number of medals earned by Canadian women in Olympic skating and hockey, overshadowed by an inordinate amount of attention showered upon the male hockey team that failed to earn a medal. Much of the air time in various media was devoted to explaining our losses, rather than lauding our exemplary women. At this writing women, in fact, have accounted for 16 of the 22 medals awarded to Canada thus far in the series.

I would hope that educators really listen to themselves and their language. Our students and our children are fragile, as fragile as our high risk students. Please be vigilant and empower our future leaders to ensure that their language matches their beliefs and their values.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

PPT & MadLibs

Your 2nd assignment this week is to take your 100 word Olympic essay and make it into a "Mad Lib" activity.

When we print it we will scan it, post it and laminate it. During class time we'll do each other's Olympic MadLibs!We will share our MadLibs with the other classes. Watch for them at my Olympic site. If only we had more computer time to get this work finished. I know that most of you are well on your way with your Olympic information PowerPoint projects.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


We have been doing quite a bit of work with fractions and manipulatives. We have used some task cards and worked our way through several problems. I hope it pays off!Math6.2011.JPGmath027.JPG

Monday, February 20, 2006

Letter to the editor

Together we read the article: "Role Models, Think Again", as found in the Globe & Mail, Sat., Feb. 18th, 2006. Students, please respond to the article with a Letter to the Editor. Use the 5 paragraph model to organize your thinking. Use the Argument model to organize your writing.

Your 2nd assignment is to take your 100 word Olympic essay and make it into a "Mad Lib" activity.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Olympics Fever

Olympics Fever

Essay Planning This week we have been reading and writing, collecting data and discussing and debating. A busy week all around. Visit our 'photo' page to see what we have been up to.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

computer lab work

Welcome - 8C We have worked really hard on our Election unit. Your powerful work on PPT has been great. I am sorry we can't go to the canal skating today, but it will be opened next week! In the meantime.... Friendship and love mean many things. The Greeks defined many variations on this theme! Wikipedia describes this concept further. Here are just 3 to think about:
    Agape love = to have empathy, selfless, spiritual love, pure love, the love of the soul.
    Eros love
    = romantic, physical love
    Philia love = brotherly, sisterly love, love of humankind, loyalty for friends, family and community.
    = hospitality, rituals between guests and hosts,
    Today I would like you to begin responding to these BLOG questions... How do you know you love someone? How do you know if someone loves you? How does love make you feel inside? What do you do if you love someone? How do you show your love for another human being? What evidence do you see of love in society, in yourcommunity, in your home? Can you make any connection between the Olympics and philia love?.
Go to your server folder, open up a word processing file, and write a response using at least three paragraphs. You need not answer the questions in order, andwer the ones for which you have a comment. Add any questions you think we should discuss. Use spell check! Check out the 'Hamburger'!Have a peer edit it. Pop it into the BLOG site and I will publish it! Happy BLOGGING!

Monday, February 6, 2006


We have been merrily playing with blocks. I hope it makes a difference. Concrete manipulatives galore. math009.JPG

Friday, February 3, 2006

Computer Lab

Olympics webquest

FlagWinter Olympics webquest page and answer the questions on your work sheet! Remember to book mark it, in case you get lost!


avatars -


Instead of using photos, use an avatar to allow students to post 'images'!

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Olympic assignment

Olympic words: 100!

Today's challenge: to write 100 words on some aspect of the Winter Olympics. Due on Tuesday, Feb. 7th.
We brainstormed some ideas about the athletes. As a mind set - I asked them to write 10 qualities an Olympic Athlete might possess. I shared some newspaper articles, presented a 'high interest/low vacab. read a few bios aloud, a book on snowboarding, available on the RBC website or the websites.

We had a discussion about: the difference between amateur and professional athletes, the hours of practice, dedication and effort.

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