Thursday, March 28, 2013

English II Honors -- Vocabulary 1

Please complete this quiz if you are in 2nd period:

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Oh, man....spring break is only a few hours away for you, and I know you can hardly wait! I'm pretty sure that class will be freakishly rowdy due to those ants in your pants to get out of here for a week. Do you ever wonder what a year-round school schedule would be like? I mean, you'd go to school for like six weeks, get a three week break, then repeat that for 180 days. I've always thought I'd like to try it, but if I don't like it, I want to be able to go back to the regular August through June schedule. But, know you could take a vacation during the school year and not be penalized for it...doesn't that sound scrumptious?? 

Since I'm thinking about schooling and education so much lately, I thought you might be interested in the evolution of modern academic institutions. Who started trying to educate kids? Why? Do boys and girls have equal access to education? Are some countries better at providing education than others? And, most importantly, if a young man or woman is not at school, how does that person spend his/her day?

I found a couple of sites that might help this conversation, if you decide to investigate with me. First is from the Psychology Today website called: A Brief History of Education. The second is a timeline of education's history called: Education Timeline. This site lets you click on whatever year and see the education innovations. It's pretty cool --and, as usual, we get everything from the Greeks!!

Happy blogging today.

“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”
Jane Yolen

Sunday, March 24, 2013

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Only a week to go in our blogging challenge, peeps. How are you doing? If you have a chance today, read through a bunch of posts and nominate some for "Must Reads" of the day. I don't wart o be the only one looking for goodness.

I'm sure we are all ready for break.  Plan on summing up your learning so far (at least I hope you'll be able to pinpoint some learning!)....but today, I'm all about some basketball! #GoDuke!

Oh, one more thing: the Book Fairy came to my house this weekend. I have some goodies for you tomorrow.

If you need a writing topic today, think about this. My son, Jake, has accepted a challenge to study in England during the fall of 2013. If you could go to another country to go to school, where would it be and why? How would you deal with homesickness?

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.” 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

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Sorry about not having a new blog post yesterday. I had Internet hiccups. I'm blogging in my phone which is driving me crazy. Be good to Mrs. Kirby and Ms. Riley today.

Comment on your writing group's posts, please.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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Hey People....

I'm practically incapacitated today from some weird pain in my side. No, you don't really need to know all the body pains from poor OLD Mrs. McCabe, but this is what's on my mind today. I'm going to have a CT scan in a little while, so hopefully some smart doctor will figure out what's wrong with me.

In the meantime, I'm wondering how you're doing with your independent reading. We haven't checked in lately (not officially, at least), and I'm a little worried. Looking out over the class, I see you with your earbuds  and headphones with a book open in front of you. I don't think you're reading, though. In fact, you can't be because of the noisy conversation level. Many of you are reading, and are probably distracted by the noise. This worries me greatly.

The other part I'm worried about is your blogging. I'm hearing through the grapevine that you don't know why we are blogging, and you don't like it. The purpose of blogging is to live the life of a writer -- one who has a story to tell each day (even if it's just letting the world know you don't feel well today); one who sees his/her life as important; one who pays attention to the little things that make life fun.

Do you think this assignment doesn't mean anything because you aren't getting a grade for it? If so, then that becomes a motivation issue, right? Do we need to talk about that?

                 1. Add your post's URL to the class blog.
                 2. Comment on your writing group's posts.
                 3. Comment on 3 posts from the national site: TwoWritingTeachers

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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There's a theme running through the blogs I've read the past few days: stress! You all are stressed because of family life and school life, but just remember that your poor teachers are stressed, too. There are so many of you and not enough of us. The biggest factor, however, seems to be the need for a break! I'm not sure we'll ever make to spring break -- eight days seems so far away, doesn't it?

In the meantime...I found a song that will make life ALLLLLLLL better (at least until we can get us a break!). Just come back here and listen when you're feeling down.

All better, right? Yeah, I know...You're welcome!

                          1. Paste your post's URL in the comments section.
                          2. Comment on your writing group's posts.
                          3. Comment on 3 of the posts from the national site: TwoWritingTeachers.

Monday, March 18, 2013

SOLSC 3.18.13: Voki

Listen to the following message for your assignment today.

**REMEMBER: Paste your post's URL in the COMMENTS Comment on 3 other posts today Comment on 3 posts from the national site: TwoWritingTeachers

Sunday, March 17, 2013

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Happy St. Patrick's Day, Peeps...

Lily and I were on Google this morning, and their GoogleDoodle shows some kids dancing an Irish jig. When we clicked on the doodle, of course, the page that popped up was a search for St. Pat's Day info. So, we watched one from The History Channel about the origins of St. Patrick. Apparently he wasn't interested in religion until he was kidnapped by some Irish folk who turned him into a shepherd. One day, God told him to leave Ireland, so he did. Became a priest, then God told him to go back to Ireland as a missionary. So he did, and the people of Ireland embraced him.

That was a long time ago...and I'm wondering if you ever wonder about how holidays were started? I mean, I'm interested in that, especially because many of our holidays that have a religious aspect to it started off as pagan (nonreligious) rituals. But do you ever wonder? And if you wonder, how do you go about finding the answers?

Write about that today if you're looking for a topic. Do a little research-- even if it's just a Google search-- and find out the origins of your favorite holiday. In your post, link to the sites where you found the information (this would be like citing sources for a research paper).

I can't wait to read what you find out!!


  1. Paste your post's URL in the COMMENTS section.
  2. Comment on 3 classmates' posts -- especially your writing group's posts!
  3. Comment on 3 posts from the national site: TwoWritingTeachers

Sing your song. Dance your dance. Tell your tale. 
    ~~ Frank McCourt


Saturday, March 16, 2013

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Hey Peeps...

I'm in mourning for my Blue Devils. Short post today, sorry.

Just so you know...this is how I feel:

Yep...Just like my hero, Spongebob. That's what happens when I get disappointed. I would have been okay if Maryland had beat Carolina today, but NOOOOOOOOO!!

So, I'm going to stuff my face with Mexican food and sulk. Who knows how long my sulking will last? I may not even have lesson plans for you on Monday.

**Remember: Comment on 3 other students' posts & 3 from the national site: TwoWritingTeachers

Friday, March 15, 2013

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So, today I'm thinking about our This I Believe essays. We aren't spending enough time on them -- reading examples and practicing specific techniques. But we aren't spending enough time reading the literature we need to either. I'm making that okay by telling myself that you ARE reading -- you're just choosing the books/material, and that's okay.

But, today isn't a day for me to whine about what we AREN'T doing. I want you to think about all the things you've learned from cartoons. Yes, cartoons. Don't tell me that you haven't watched cartoons, or that you haven't learned anything--because I know you have. You just have to think a little.

Here's my list:

13 Things I've Learned from Bugs Bunny

1. A little make-up brings a whole new perspective.
2. Missing that left turn at Albuquerque might make life interesting.
3. Music/singing can explain anything.
4. Hot tempers never win (think Yosemite Sam here).
5. Even a rabbit (shy person) can be a leader.
6. Brains before bullets (guns).
7. Seeking revenge on someone usually backfires.
8. You need friends to get through life.
9. Watch out for strange carrots (people!).
10. Aliens are really coming to get us -- and they want an "Earth-shattering, kaboom!"
11. Humor diffuses a host of problems.
12. Just because you're in charge doesn't mean you know everything.
13. Be a hopeless romantic, and others can't help but love you!

What's on your list???

**Remember to link your post URL in the COMMENTS below!
**Remember to comment on your writing group's posts!

National site to post comments: TwoWritingTeachers -- Comment on 3 other posts

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
- Willa Cather

Thursday, March 14, 2013

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Hey People...

I bet you don't know what day it is....IT'S PI DAY!!!!

What's Pi Day, you ask?? Oh, do make me laugh. It's geometry pi, of course. You know...the circumference of a circle and all that jazz??

Watch this video and maybe it will help: Flocabulary's Pi Day activities.

If you need a writing prompt today, write a Pi Poem: write a 10-word poem across the center (diameter) of the circle. Then they can calculate their “word circumference” (hint: it’s 10 x π) and write that number of words around the outside of the circle.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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I'm behind reading your blogs. I know several of you are blogging like all the time & I feel bad that I haven't read them. There are just so many hours in the day, though.

I'm wondering a couple of things though.  Those of you who are blogging, are you getting anything  out of it? Are you finding it easier to find topics? If you aren't blogging regularly, what's holding you back?

Anyway, we're going to spend the next couple of days writing This I Believe essays. I found one of my prewrites  in a previous daybook entitled "I believe in taking that left turn in Albuquerque."  Needless to say, this comes from Bugs Bunny and I have to write about this topic with ya'll.

I found my favorite opera episode of Bugs, so I thought I'd share it with you.  We're going to write about things we've learned from cartoons, so hopefully this episode will get your thinking juices flowing...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

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Dear My Peeps...

I really enjoyed being able to talk to you all about your books today. You must have gone a little nuts sitting for so long in those hard plastic seats -- but I saw you reading. You looked happy!

Thanks those of you in 2nd period who didn't let me freak out too much when I got observed by our visitors this morning. I was totally stressed, but we all got through it!

I can't type long today because my husband needs to be babied right now. He wants to go to Charlotte to see the band Hinder -- and I have to find somebody to go with him. Because lord knows, I can't go to a rock concert on a flipping school night!!!


**REMEMBER:  Copy your unique URL in the COMMENTS...

Monday, March 11, 2013

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I'm a little stressed out lately, peeps...and when I'm stressed, I sing. So here are 13 songs to help me get out of my stress funk:

13 Mrs. McCabe Happy Songs

1. It's a Beautiful Day -- U2

2. Get the Party Started - Pink

3. Somewhere Over the Rainbow -- Judy Garland

4. Set Fire to the Rain -- Adele

5. American Woman -- Lenny Kravitz

6. Sexy Back -- Justin Timberlake

7. A Little Less Conversation -- Elvis Presley

8. Ho Hey -- Lumineers

9. Mean -- Taylor Swift

10. Crazy -- Gnarls Barkley

11. Pretty Fly for a White Guy -- The Offspring

12. Don't You Forget About Me -- Simple Minds

13. Stuck Like Glue -- Sugarland

Okay, peeps....tell me in the COMMENTS what song gets you happy....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

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Hey Munchkins...

Progress reports go out today -- grades always stress me out. Even as a student, I'd get fearful and anxious when report card time came around. I was a good student, but not strong in math, so the thought of failing math classes gave me stomach ulcers. I had these feelings even when I knew I was doing all right!

When you get your progress report, I wonder if you'll be surprised? I wonder if you'll know already how you're doing? I think it's simple in my class: do you read every day? do you write in your daybooks every day? are you blogging right now? are you trying to do things better each time you write?

But then again, my anxiety about grades and grading float to the top: have I even shown you how to notice your own progress so you don't wonder about your status in the class? That's probably what I need to work on!!

Happy blogging today. Remember to write your blog post...copy the post's URL in the COMMENTS section here....comment on your writing group's posts...try to comment on 3 national posts.

If people cannot write well,  they cannot think well,  and if they cannot think well,  others will do their thinking for them. 
-- George Orwell 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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My poor, poor little children....You work so hard every day. Why can't your mean old teacher leave you alone? Why must I push you to complete your assignments, try harder, and learn something every day??? Why can't I just let you be?

Here's the answer: I want you to be curious about the world. I want you to love learning -- and keep wanting to learn throughout your life,  not just when you "have" to in school. If you leave me at the end of the year with just one memory, let it be that you have a love of learning; that you know what your strengths are and you are willing to shine...


Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

**NOTE: Add your post's URL to the COMMENTS section; comment on your writing group's posts; comment on 3 of the national posts (TwoWritingTeachers).

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SOLSC #5 March 5

Ya know the worst part of having to spend half the day giving a standardized test? The boredom. Yep, there, I said it. Reading those directions, walking up and down the aisles over and over and over, trying not to fall asleep. These things all make a girl pretty bored. If I could only read, I might be able to handle these types of trifles more. However, the folks at the College Board don't trust students very much, so the teachers have to police them so they don't cheat.

But, as bored as I'm going to be, it will be worse for you. I'm leaving some good assignments, I think, but still -- you won't see me (unless you're in 4th). THAT is the worst for you, right??

I wonder how it would be if the people who make rules about testing you even care that your day is ruined -- that you probably aren't learning anything for the class periods you're being babysat? Maybe we should write some letters to our legislators.

Anyway, here are some ideas for your blog today from Geeky Momma (I don't think you read this post the other day...)

  1. Are you interested in snakes or something else in nature? Why not make your blog about different types of snakes, birds, insects? Take a look at Santiago's post on The Black Necked Spitting Cobra. Don't forget to pose a question to the readers to encourage comments.
  2. What's your favorite TV show? Create a "TV Review" blog. Each week, review your show. Post a summary of the show and your thoughts. Don't forget to ask your reader what they think too.
  3. What book are you reading? Don't wait until you are finished to post about it. Write about it as you are reading it. Better yet, invite others to read it with you and maybe you can get a "book discussion" going on your blog.
  4. Why not choose a theme for your blog and update it every few days with what's happening? For example, your blog theme might be about your soccer team or theater group. You can update every time your team practices and/or has a game. You can pretend you are a sportscaster and report on the events of the game. Don't forget to pose a question to your readers to encourage comments.
  5. Another theme example could be an upcoming event, like a party or religious event. Every few days, report on how the event is evolving. Once the event passes, it's ok to change your theme. Remember, it's YOUR blog. (Don't post pictures of your friends and if you post pictures of yourself, be sure you have your parent's permission.

Happy Blogging!!

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
― Philip Pullman

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.”
― Stephen King

**NOTE: Remember to paste your unique URL in the COMMENTS section here.
**NOTE 2: Try to comment on at least 3 other blogs.

Monday, March 4, 2013

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Hey Peeps...

I can see you working, working, working. It's a wonderful thing to see, actually. You know that people around the county in leadership and political positions say that students aren't learning anything. They should come to WLHS today and see you!!! They would be oh-so impressed. You're talking about what to blog about; you're encouraging each other; you're trying to embed videos and pictures. Yes, some of you are goofing off (I'm looking at you, Time and Justin!), but mostly you're....showing your learning.

A teacher can't ask for more than that, can she?

Okay, well, here is a writing topic for you today if you're crazily wracking your brain for one:

If you and your best friend could have a free limo for 24 hours, where would you go and what would you do?


Happy blogging!!

“I’m not writing to make anyone’s children feel safe.”
—J. K. Rowling
“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.”
—Ursula K. LeGuin

**Remember to post your unique URL in the COMMENTS section.** 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

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Hey My Peeps....

I'm reading blogs and trying to work on plans for next week. Is there anything specific you want to do? Lily was watching tv while eating breakfast this morning--now she's in her room having a dance contest. Anyway, I was flipping the channels to a news show I like and had to stop. Guess what's coming on in a half hour? JOE DIRT!!!!! One of my faves. My sister and I went to the movies to see it when it came out and all I can remember is how much laughter and fun we had. Sometimes sisters don't stink! Haha...

What movie, tv show or song reminds you of a sibling of family member? Maybe this can be your Slice today if you're having trouble coming up with a topic.

Have a great day.  Remember to link your post's URL in the COMMENTS section.


        "Writing is seeing. It is paying attention."     Kate DiCamillo

"Love the writing, love the writing, love the writing . . . the rest will follow."     Jane Yolen 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

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Hey People....

It's Blogging-Day #2. I've been busy today, so I'm a little late with the post today. My husband has fallen asleep in his recliner and left the TV on some stupid show called "I Want That". I hate that. Do your parents watch stupid TV shows then fall asleep and you don't want to get up and get the remote so you just let the stupid show play and complain about it the whole time??? Yeah, that's how I'm feeling right now.

Anyhoo, I thought that if you're having trouble coming up with something to write about that I'd leave you a writing prompt just to get your juices running. Here it is:

              ~write about your favorite local place or about the qualities of your town or neighborhood.

I'm not sure I have one of these in L-town--a favorite place, I mean. I used to hang out at that coffee shop in town that didn't last long (Witches' Brew). When it closed, I started hanging out at 36th Street Bakery, but it closed during the summer. I keep asking Kev to start us a bookshop/coffee shop. I wish a Starbucks would open here, but I'm not holding my breath. So when I think about hanging out in L-town, I don't. I hang out at the Barnes & Noble either in Hickory (my favorite) or at Birkdale in Huntersville. I can drink coffee, read books, make up stories about the other people who hang out there, and be totally jealous of those folks who can go there every single day.

Where do you hang out??

“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.”
—Ursula K. LeGuin

“Quantity produces quality. If you write only a few things, you’re doomed.”
—Ray Bradbury

***NOTE: Please link your specific URL in the COMMENTS section. I'll add our site to the national site around 10:30.

Friday, March 1, 2013

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Hello My Peeps...

Today is your first day of blogging for a month. I'm glad to see so much enthusiasm -- you really know how to make me a happy teacher!!

Here's how we'll proceed: I'll publish the daily Slice of Life Challenge class post each day. Those of you who  choose to blog will need to paste your day's post URL in the COMMENTS section below. I'll need to post this URL to the TwoWritingTeachers site and you'll need to follow that link to read other classroom blogs.

Things to remember:
1. The unique URL is the address of the POST, not the BLOG.
2. Give a teaser about your post before you paste the URL.
3. Check our class webpage for ideas to write about
4. Complete your calendar so you'll know what you wrote about.
5. Comment on at least 3 other blog posts --KEEP THE COMMENTS POSITIVE!!
6. Have fun!! ;)

I can't wait to read your stories and watch how much you grow as a writer this month!!


"Write about what makes you different." 
Sandra Cisneros

"Good writing happens when human beings follow particular steps to take control of their sentences-to make their words do what they want them to do." 
Ralph Fletcher