Another Flowers for Algernon-inspired "Metaphor of the Week," I suspect.  We had a great book-club discussion last week on what group of people was happiest in life: below-average intellectuals, average intellectuals, or above-average intellectuals.

Anyway, here is 7th grader Gwen's metaphor for ignorance.  I suspect it will add to our discussion this week too!

Have a great week!


Thanks to 7th grader Mitchel (for writing it!) and 8th grader Matt (for illustrating it on my whiteboard!), I have a metaphor of the week in honor of Charley Gordon, main character in Daniel Keyes' Flowers for Algernon, which my 7th graders are currently reading.

The version of the book begins with the following quote from Plato, which we've been using as our "jumping off spot" every time we have had a class discussion about the story's progress.  I chose Mitchel's metaphor this week because it will help us speak one more time about this quote: 

"Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eye are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees any one whose vision is perplexed and weak, will not be too ready to laugh; he will first ask whether that soul of man has come out of the brighter life, and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark, or having turned from darkness to the day is dazzled by excess of light. And he will count the one happy in his condition and state of being, and he will pity the other..." Plato, The Republic

Thanks again, Mitchel and Matt!  Have a great week, everyone.  "Meta-Force be with you, students and teachers!"


Our fourth week of LOVE metaphors to prime ourselves for Valentine's Day this Tuesday.  I've been trying to convince my students that writing a poem to your potential Valentine is the best technique for showing your love or interest in someone; certainly better than a Hallmark card or some fattening chocolate!  I believe I have a number of them planning to do this, and I believe these metaphors of the week have helped them understand poetic elements!

My Start & Stop Poems, which we started last week, have proved a good format for these Valentine's Day poems, especially for those of my kids who need more poetic structure.

Anyway, below is this week's "Mr. Stick Metaphor of the Week."  This is the third week that my students have been the contributors for these metaphors; thanks to Kendall (one of my sixth graders) for this metaphor. And this is the first week that I have turned the writing and illustration of these metaphors to my student aide, 8th grader Matt!

It's a good feeling to be able to turn over classroom responsibilities like these over to my students!

Have a great week!


After spending December and January "boning up" on our ORGANIZATION skills, I've officially switched my trait of the month.  We are now studying SENTENCE FLUENCY skills to use in our next two Writer's Workshop papers.

My classroom trait bulletin board & poster set.

We have also been studying/writing poetry to improve our ability to write sentences that have rhythmic sound to them; in particular, I have used my friend Holly's Four-Metaphor Poetry lesson (from WritingFix) and a brand new variation of my "Start & Stop Poems," which is part of my classroom set of Bingo Cards.

Check back soon!  I will be developing a few more sentence fluency activities that I will post, along with some new student samples.

My second student-contributed Metaphor of the week is now featured!  Thanks, to my seventh-grader, Emily!  Emily actually draws Mr. Stick better than I do (as evidenced here -- the ABC list is Emily's!), so I may have her change my drawing!

After next week, we will start moving to abstract nouns that are NOT love.  :-)


Only had a few students take me up on January's ANAGRAM CHALLENGE for their writer's notebook.  They loved the mentor text so much, but only a few went online to explore their own anagrams.

This month the challenge is based on creating ORIGINAL SUPERHEROES, and I already have numerous students well under way with the first half of the task.

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If I were to rate this month's Superhero lesson against my other lessons, I think this one is pretty strong based on two of my seven elements.  The mentor text (Superhero ABC's) is wonderful, and I found a bonus way to use it this last week during 7th grade enrichment, which piqued their interest in the writing assignment more.  We actually diagrammed four or five sentences from the book when I spotted they needed a review of diagramming.

Secondly, my teacher model from my own notebook really grabbed their attention; this lesson has two different notebook pages to create, and it was the first one that seized them.  I am hoping the second one does the same.  Not sure what it is about superheroes that grabs my kiddos' attention, but it does. 


All right.  I am back.  Finals are over, which pretty much exhausted me this year, and we are back and running writer's workshop in class again.

I told my students that around Valentine's Day, they would be responsible for writing the "Metaphor of the Week" for the rest of the school year.  I explained that I wanted the first few ones to be about LOVE, in honor of the February Holiday!

To inspire them, I created the following metaphor about love.  Zach--one of my eighth graders--informed me that my scientific knowledge was flawed.  Instead of steel, according to Zach, I should have said "iron." 


I am pleased to say that our first student-contributed "Metaphor of the Week" was posted Monday, and this Monday a new one will go up!  My kids are totally jazzed that they are now in charge of this responsibility.  I will continue to do the art; they will provide the inspiration.

Elijah--an eighth grader--contributed this metaphor:

I'll be posting some new lessons I have finalized tomorrow.  Off to make dinner now!