11.19.2013

The Boo Lady Spreads Harper Lee's Message

The Boolady on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Boolady

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Long before I started blogging and well before I discovered TpT, I had a little store on eBay where I sold my hand-beaded book-themed bookmark "thongs" (because they fit in the crack of your book, of course). It was there that I had the good fortune to cross paths with Marsha Gaspari, otherwise known as the Boo Lady.
The Boo Lady's original website

I was already familiar with the Boo Lady before she happened upon my store, though. She used to have a website called the BooHole and it encouraged adults and children to carry on the generosity of Boo Radley and Miss Maudie by creating our own "Boo" holes to pass along gifts to people passing by. She had pictures of her various knotholes and posted those of others. My students and I came across her website one year when they were researching examples of To Kill a Mockingbird in pop culture.


Miss Maudie with the kids - To Kill a Mockingbird from the BooladySo when she bid on one of my bookmarks, I was star-struck. Since then, we've "followed" one another online and she always lets me know the latest happenings in the Mockingbird world. Just the other day in class I was telling my sophomores about the Boo Lady, hoping to inspire that same generosity. And, lo and behold, I received a package today containing stunning prints from the "To Kill a Mockingbird" movie. The prints are perfect classroom decor, showing the after-the-trial scene of Miss Maudie with Jem, Scout, and Dill. The other one of Boo Radley (Robert Duvall in his first big-screen acting role) will stay up the rest of the year, but will be hidden from next year's sophs until we reach that part in the novel. My students saw first-hand how one person's generosity truly touches so many others. THANK YOU, BOOLADY!

To Kill a Mockingbird word cloud


Now, it's my turn to pay it forward. You can download my To Kill a Mockingbird word cloud prints free this week!







And don't forget to check out Marsha's Etsy shop: 

Beautiful TKaM inspired bracelet from the Boolady on EtsyIt is filled with one-of-a-kind To Kill a Mockingbird-inspired jewelry, gorgeous prints, and so many lovely trinkets any English teacher, librarian, book-lover, or human being in general would absolutely love! They would make perfect holiday gifts for those hard-to-buy-for relatives, as well. ;)

To read more from the Boo Lady, peruse her blog: http://boolady.blogspot.com/

Follow the happenings of two owls on Marsha's other blog: The Adventures of Ned and Nellie

Enormous Giveaway to Celebrate #CatchingFire

Enormous Giveaway to Celebrate #CatchingFire

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In case you haven't heard, I'm hosting a huge giveaway on my other blog, Hunger Games Lessons, to celebrate this week's release of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." So many of my great teaching friends donated prizes for this cause, so you won't want to miss it!

The deadline to enter is midnight Sunday the 24th. You can enter here or see my full post HERE.

Look at these marvelous prizes:
Tracee Orman
Giveaway: $25 shopping spree in my TpT store
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Secondary Solutions
Giveaway: $25 Gift Certificate towards any item in my TPT store


Margaret Whisnant
Giveaway: Touching Spirit Bear: A Novel Teaching Pack






Science Stuff
Giveaway: $20 shopping spree to Science Stuff store


Juggling ELA
Giveaway: The Hunger Games Task Cards

The SuperHERO Teacher
Giveaway: Research Binder Projects: 170 Pages of Common Core Aligned Materials

Danielle Knight
Giveaway: Idioms: Enhanced Lesson, Plan, Video Clip, Task Cards, Printables



Created by MrHughes
Giveaway: Easy Teach Poetry Unit









A Space to Create
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Giveaway: Monster Creativity Workbook - Printable Writing Prompts and Activities
The Extra Energetic Educator
Giveaway: KaBlooEy! A Game of Factors



PowerPoint Maniac's Teaching Resources

Giveaway: Anything Under $7


Teaching FSL
Giveaway: French Comparison & Superlative with the Hunger Games


4mulaFun
Giveaway: 7th Grade Interactive Notebook Bundle- Expressions and Equations- Common Core


Krystal Mills
Giveaway: Product of Choice


Teaching Math by Hart
Giveaway: Team Challenges - A collection of team building activities


For the Love of Teaching Math
Giveaway: Hunger Games Coordinate Graph
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hunger-Games-Coordinate-Graph-227980


21st Century Math Projects
Giveaway: Treasure Hunters
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Treasure-Hunters-System-of-Equations-Inequalities-Pirate-Project-782944
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/21st-Century-Math-Projects
http://www.21stcenturymathprojects.com
http://www.pinterest.com/21cmp/


The Creative Classroom
Giveaway: Common Core News Debate: Children and Reality TV
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Non-Fiction-News-Debate-Children-and-Reality-TV-885621
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Creative-Classroom
https://www.facebook.com/thecreativeclassroom2013
 photo CCLogo001_zps8b4bcbdd.jpg
http://thecreativeclassroom2013.blogspot.com/
http://www.pinterest.com/steph_harpole


Kate's Classroom Cafe
Giveaway: Scientific Method Inquiry and Experiment Design

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kates-Classroom-Cafe
https://www.facebook.com/katesclassroomcafe
Kate’s Classroom Cafe
http://katesclassroomcafe.blogspot.com/
http://www.pinterest.com/katescafe/


The Tutor House
Giveaway: 6-8 Common Core Aligned Playing Card Math Mats
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/6-8-Common-Core-Aligned-Playing-Card-Math-Mats-Auto-Theme-529879
http://teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Tutor-House
http://www.facebook.com/thetutorhouse
The Tutor House
http://thetutorhouse.blogspot.com
http://www.pinterest.com/adriannemeldrum


Now that you've followed all these great stores, entering the contest will be easy. 
Just fill out the form.
And you can tweet and pin about the giveaway EVERY DAY for extra entries.

May the odds be ever  in your favor!

11.10.2013

Allegiant: What I Liked, What I Hated...

Allegiant: What did you like? Hate? Click to read post on www.traceeorman.com

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I finished reading Allegiant, the third and final book in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth, and would love to discuss it with you! We started a conversation on my Facebook page, but I thought the comment section below might lend more room for more discussion.

Tell us what you liked about the final novel AND what you didn't like (or hated). If you don't have an opinion you want to share, post anything about the series you'd like to share, or feel free to dispute mine (below).

Allegiant Spolier Alert!   from www.traceeorman.com

** The following contains spoilers. **

Read no further if you don't want the novel/series ruined for you!

Here are the top four things I really liked and I kind of hated (maybe "hated" is too strong...definitely "disliked"):

1. LIKE: I like the "genetically damaged" vs. the "genetically pure" conflict that is exposed in Allegiant. It is a perfect example of how a group of people (i.e. the government) can convince a nation that one group is superior over the other.
  Sound familiar? White supremacists successfully delivered (and continue to deliver) the absurd message that all other races are inferior to whites and should not be allowed the same privileges. In fact, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is one of the leading groups in America that still preaches genetic purity.
  I think this conflict in the novel creates an opportunity to discuss how easily we can be manipulated into believing these warped ideologies. "Scientific proof" (i.e. the DNA analysis in Allegiant) can be extremely dangerous in promoting hatred toward a group of people. Science can prove many things; while it does show differences between people in DNA, it is the human interpretation of those differences that creates biases. For example, we can easily interpret the facts to show how diversity makes a person stronger rather than weaker.
DNA - image by Caroline Davis2010
Photo credit: Caroline Davis 2010
   HATE: While it offers up great discussions and learning opportunities, it can be confusing to the reader. Being "Divergent" (having a more diverse background that favors multiple factions/personality traits) is synonymous with being "genetically pure" (or "GP") in Allegiant. In real life, "genetic purity" (most often used in agriculture referring to seed quality) refers to genes that are not diverse–or have not diverged from their origins. It's confusing to reverse that thinking while you are reading.
  On top of that, the Bureau members don't treat Tris and the others differently. Why aren't they divided up into GPs and GDs? Why aren't they acting superior toward Caleb and Christina? We see Matthew acting that way toward Tobias, then Matthew turns out to be a supporter, so that doesn't really help reinforce that theme. The reader needs more examples of David or the other GP Bureau members acting superior to the GDs in Tris's group. For example, show us a scene in which Caleb is treated badly and Tris witnesses this. That would have helped Tris (and the reader) feel something other than disgust for her brother, and would have helped us hate the Bureau and eased the reader into Tris's final decision to sacrifice herself for him.
  I also think one of the GPs needed to address the fact that Marcus is GP, yet he's violent. How do they explain that? I would have liked Tris or Tobias to challenge David or Zoe or someone on this point.
~
2. LIKE: I like the idea of the dual narrative, having both Tobias and Tris's points-of-view. I kind of grew tired of Tris, so I welcomed seeing things from Tobias's perspective. That said...
   HATE: I can't tell the two narratives apart! Their voices are too similar, their thoughts practically interchangeable. I needed a more authentic "voice" for Tobias.
  Also, I don't think either perspective was deep enough (or deep at all). Often, Roth repeats facts after switching narrators, but is that really necessary? The repetition became so boring I really didn't want to continue reading.
~
3. LIKE: We find out what is outside the fence! And it's not Panem! ;)
What if what's outside the fence is Panem? Divergent-Hunger Games humor   HATE: Perhaps Panem would have been more exciting... I felt like 500 pages were devoted to a bunch of teens hanging out in a hotel room not talking to one another. I mean, seriously, no one talks to each other. What is wrong with these kids?
  And what exactly does this hotel room look like? Is it one big room? Does it have a kitchenette? Do they all have cots or do some characters get the hotel beds? Why don't any of them confront Peter and Caleb for their past behavior? It's so uncharacteristic of teenagers.

~
4. LIKE: The ending. Yes, I am OK with Tris's fate. Perhaps it was because I grew so tired of her by the end. That sounds so cold, so let me say that I did cry when she died and when Tobias found out.
   HATE: The length of the book to get to the end. I think it could have been half the size or shorter. The whole time I kept thinking the book was a ploy to sell Four's short stories rather than a novel to finish telling Tris's story. It felt contrived.

  So now it's your turn! Please comment below and share what you like/don't like about Allegiant. And feel free to dispute any of my comments. I will not be offended!

Thanks for reading and sharing!

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I teach high school English in Illinois; enjoy family time, baseball, collecting PEZ dispensers, and talking about anything related to my favorite books. They include The Hunger Games trilogy, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Chaos Walking trilogy, and anything written by Amy Tan.

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