Not-So-Jolly Roger

After reading Not-So-Jolly Roger I was amazed at how much factual information was written in the book. Even if children didn’t know anything about pirates before reading this book they would definitely learn a lot. When I was completing my DRC for the book and the National Geographic web site I re-read the book and learned so much more.  My favorite part of the book was when the battle began on the pirate ship. I will definitely have my students read this book. It teaches kids not only about pirates, but is also exciting and fun to read. I loved it. =)

Swashbuckling Adventures Activity

I enjoyed reading this pirate unit. I love the ideas of getting the students as engaged as possible with the music and the different genre’s of text. The activities are educational and fun which is my favorite way of teaching. The KWL, the DRC, and the DED are great techniques for writing not only with this unit but all areas of study. One of my favorite parts of this unit is the pirate dictionary. I think kids would love collecting, learning and using this new language and actually bring the lesson to life. Another activity which would be a great idea is teaching kids why pirates wear eye patches. Pirates use eye patches so that one of their eyes is always adjusted to the dark in case they must go under their ship to fight. This is easily demonstrated by turning the light off and making the classroom completely dark. Have one small light in the middle of the room and tell the students a story while they cover one eye and look at the light for about 3-5 minutes. When a few minutes have passed turn the light off and tell the students to uncover their eye and to cover the one which was exposed to the night. If the game worked then the student should have night vision in one eye. I have done this activity with a group of kids and they loved it! It really works. Pirates are a great unit to study and I would love to try all these activities in my classroom one day.

What my name really means…

Maria Karolina Potocka

Maria – Maria is a traditional family name. My mom’s name is Maria, my grandmother’s name is Maria, my great grandmother’s name is Maria and so on… Many Polish people have Maria as their first of middle name. Even males! My father’s name is Thomaz Maria Potocki. Both my sisters’ middle names are Maria. Maja, which is the name I go by, is a common nick name for Maria. For my whole life I have been called Maja so I don’t relate to Maria at all.

Karolina – My oldest sister was 9 when I was born and my parents allowed her to give me my middle name. She wanted it spelt with a K. Karolina is pronounced with emphasis on the LINA part, not like North Carolina.

Potocka – Many Polish lasts names are masculine and feminine. My father’s name is spelt with an I, Potocki. Where my sisters, mother and I spell our last name – Potocka – because we are feminine.

Although sometimes I wish I had a name that wasn’t so hard to explain, I like it. It is part of me and I feel like it suits me. =)

Notebook Know-How Part 2

This section of the book contained so much good information. So many ways to help students become creative writers. These techniques described for children helped me a great deal in understanding what should go into this notebook. Since I’m so used to writing in a journal only for myself, I’m finding it difficult to write about my observations of the world. These techniques have really helped me to practice writing in a writers notebook. In my CI2800 class our first assignment was to write about our names. I really enjoyed this because I have an interesting story behind my name. I also enjoyed hearing what other students said about their names. My favorite technique described in this section of the book was writing from a word. This is such a great idea because nothing that you write is wrong.
I really like the fact that the notebook is worth so much to the author. She tries to show this to her students. For the list of expectations that is listed at the end of Chapter 2, she writes, “respect the integrity of the notebook by taking care of it and having it in class every day.” I love that. I love that she writes the integrity of the notebook. Maybe the students should name their notebooks…

Notebook Know-How Part 1

I remember having to write in my journal in Elementary school. I also remember hating it. My teacher would prompt us by saying, “write about what you did this summer.” or “write about your best memory” These topics seemed redundant and I felt like I always wrote about the summer or my favorite memories. Reading the first few pages of Notebook Know-How got me really excited to learn how to get my students involved in writing in their notebooks. I believe that writing is a very important skill to master. Guiding children to find love for writing in their early years is crucial for their educational and personal development. Writing got me through a lot of tough times, especially in high school. Just a few months ago a stumbled across my old journals from middle school and high school and couldn’t believe my eyes. I wrote so much. I reflected. I debated. I did so much in writing for myself. For some reason, I stopped writing after high school. I have no idea why because I really had something going. Now, I’m excited to start again. I’m excited to rekindle the love for writing I used to have and maybe (hopefully) pass this on to my future students.

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