Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Orchids and Malaria... What a Field Trip!

Three macaws -Macaw Mountain Bird Park, Honduras-8c

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm re-reading the second chapter, and as you can tell from my title, some of the students are going on a field trip. They are going to the Black Vine Swamp, which is near the Big Cypress Preserve. Nick has been taking the long way home, so he can chat with Marta, so maybe some of my students were right when they had the idea that Nick likes Marta! After finishing chapter 2 again (I had to re-read a bit more carefully after class today) I'm thinking that my new favorite character might be Nadine, the macaw.

As the students go on the field trip, I am noticing that Graham is constantly raising his hand and getting no attention from the teacher. I also read about some of the things they saw in the swamp that I've never heard of like pond apple trees, strangler figs, wax myrtles, sabal palms, wild coffee, and resurrection ferns. Also, there has been mention of panthers, which might explain the cat on the front of the book, and the title of the book. At the end of chapter three, Mrs. Starch goes back into the swamp to retrieve an asthma inhaler, and we learn that she "...won't be coming out."

As I continue to read, I'm noticing all the interesting career choices of the parents in this story... Prison guards, military, detective for the sheriff's office, etc.  I wonder why the author made these choices?

We got some clues about the mysterious happenings - the "panther" in the video had what might have been a belt, and the dog recovered the inhaler later that night. I think this is all very interesting, and I'm going to be paying close attention for additional clues when I read tomorrow night.

I Have To Read This Book...


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I started discussing the book, Scat, by Carl Hiaasen, with a small reading group today, and after just a couple of minutes, I decided to work through the book just as I ask my students to. This means that I'll be reading and posting right along with the students. Hopefully, I'll learn as much from them as they have from me. The assignment directions are located here, but in addition to those directions, I've asked this group to really focus on the characters as well as the great word choice in the text we are currently reading. So here goes my first attempt at completing my own assignment...

The lead from the story lets us know that this is going to be a bit mysterious, because apparently, a teacher goes missing. In the text, the very first line says, "The day before Mrs. Starch vanished, her third period biology students trudged silently, as always, into the classroom." The author goes on to introduce some characters, including a student named Nick, who it turns out has one parent in Iraq, and another who is a prison guard. Graham is the student in the class who always has his hand in the air, but never really knows the answer, and Marta, who some of the students in our group think is admired by Nick. Duane (a.k.a. Smoke) is also introduced. He was a wimpy kid, but over one summer, he grew about 5 inches, and told everyone to call him smoke. Some students have heard a rumor that he is a "pyro," which is short for pyromaniac. He's really got some issues. So far, we've read about how he chewed up a Ticonderoga pencil, while the teacher was pointing it in his face, and about how he consumed a gym teacher's pinkie finger in a fight. We also meet the headmaster, Dr. Dressler, who "was neat and cautious and mild-spoken." The setting so far has been mostly at the Truman School, which is a private school in Florida.

So far I am loving this book because of the great writing. The author is using incredible dialog, and the characters are super interesting. I'm excited to find out more about why the book is titled Scat. In the front cover, I read that this book is "A hybrid madcap swamp adventure and environmental whodunit." All of this makes me feel like I'm going to really enjoy this book. I love mysteries, and I love other books by this author. I'm also interested in anything related to science, so I think there will be a lot for me to love as I read this story.

Side note: I wrote a bit more in my summary paragraph because there was all sorts of new information. Normally, my last paragraph will have more writing. Thanks fore reading, and I lookg forward to reading your work as well!

~ Mr. Moore

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you so much for coming to visit my learning den! I am so glad to see you here. I plan on posting lots of great work here to share my learning with you. I really hope that you take some time to comment on my work. I hope you enjoy my learning den blog.

Mr. Moore