Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lycanthrope Detector

As the weather gets cooler and the leaves blow around us in different colors, our tend to wander towards the things that make fall wonderful -- apples, candy corn, tiny tots learning the fine art of begging, and, of course, people mutating into blood thirsty werewolves.  I am not talking about the take-the-shirt-of-every-time-I-get-a-chance-and-lose-the-girl-to-a-sparkling-vampire variety.  No.   I mean the say-your-prayers-because-nothing-will-save-you-from-the-furry-jaws-of-death kind.

So, just in case one of you dear readers find yourself plagued by a person that may be a lycanthrope (werewolf for you of lesser vocabulary skills), there is no need to fear.  There are ways of telling if that creepy coworker is licking his chops in anticipation of making you into a midnight snack.

1. The unibrow - this is a sure fire way to tell. Look out for those who shave the middle part.

2. Fur on the inside of their skin - a bit harder to tell. A Roman platoon suspected one of their own as a werewolf and used this technique to discover the truth. After they ripped his skin off and found no fur, well, he was forgiven.

3. Forget the whole moon thing - that was added in movies. True werewolves do not have to wait for the moon.

4. The ring finger - is longer than the middle finger.

5. Excessive thirst - maybe coming for the idea that dogs and wolves pant because they are always thirsty.

6. Obsession with walking through graveyards - I bet Poe was one. He even proposed to a woman in the graveyard.  One theory is that he died of rabies perhaps from being bitten by a rabid bat in a graveyard.

7. Foul smell - werewolves have extra seat glands. Be alert for a smell of hay and horse manure.

8. Check the pee pee - yep, werewolves have urine that is a deep purple.  However, scoping out the color of someone's urine in a public bathroom could result in problems other than the wolf kind.  Use this technique with caution.

9. The Mark of the Werewolf - the dead give away. If someone has a pentagon on their palm, break out the silver weapons IMMEDIATELY!

10. Shoot him/her with a silver bullet - if he/she dies, probably a werewolf.



Side note, if you are out of silver weapons and are being chased by a werewolf, always drop things.Werewolves must stop and pick them up before continuing the chase. Can anyone say, OCD?  That's why I always have a pocketful of rice wherever I go.  It works for vampires too.

O.K. people - be safe out there!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Better Book Titles

Dan Wilbur, stand up comedian, developed a web site a while back where re-titled books to more aptly convey what the book was about.  His site, Better Book Titles, has a ton of books re-titled for your reading pleasure.  Here are a few:


(Oedipus Rex)




(Game of Thrones)




(War and Peace)

(Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Weird Cover Wednesday

Another foray into how did these guys get published?


OK, the guy likes mushrooms, but what's with the trumpet?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Quizzizz

We are all looking for new and different things for which to use for formal assessment, keep the kids happy, or to just do something different.  Quizzizz is hardly new, but you might not be familiar with it and it is a good alternative to Kahoot, which while is a fantastic site in its own right, may start to feel stale if it is the only game you use.


Quizzizz allows you to set up an online quiz, much like Kahoot, but there are some differences and it offers a few different features.

The biggest difference is that the question appears on the students computer, not the teacher's screen.  So this works very well if you find yourself with a blown bulb or a school system that has not moved to SmartBoards or some similar display.

Feature 1 - The students work at their own pace
Yes, the points still are worth more the faster you answer it, but the students can move from one question to the next at their own pace.  This helps those that work slower not to feel intimidated by the pace.



Feature 2 - Scramble the questions and answers
Have a few cheaters in your room?  Foil their nefarious plans by scrambling the order that everyone sees the questions.



Feature 3 - You don't have to be there to run it
You can choose the HOMEWORK option and set a time span for them to complete it.  This is neat for when you are absent and you have a hodgepodge of activities for your class to do.  You can just email them the code and they can complete it on their own time.  This is useful for home bound students as well.


Feature 4 - Reports

You can get a listing of how each individual student performed and how hard each questions was.  The downside of this is that it will show on your screen while the students are taking it, so if you are hooked to the projector, it will project for all to see.  This may or may not be a problem for you, but is easily solved by switching browser tabs during the actual playing of the game.



Feature 5 - Memes

When a student answers the question, a meme flashes before them letting them know if they got the question correct or not.  You can use their memes or import your own.  For that matter, you could just ask a few students to make you memes and I am sure that there will be no shortage of volunteers on that.


So have fun, my friends!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Time Idioms

Need something easy to demonstrate idioms?  I found this image on a Facebook site for English Teachers.  I just joined the site not long ago, so I don't know how great or not so great it will be.  It is called High School Teachers of English.  I did like this image that someone shared on there about time idioms.  This is a very effective and quick way to help your students understand the literary term 'idiom'.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Westeros the Series

By the time this post pops up, you've probably already seen this.  If not, this is a (spoof, I believe) trailer for a Game of Thrones series that takes place in a 21st Century version of Westeros.  They have the same technology we do today, but the culture is still very much the same.  Game of Thrones fans, I present:

Westeros, the Series


So how can this factor into the classroom?  Well, taking old stories and modernizing the setting happens all the time in movies.  This, however, is different.  We are not just taking the old story and retelling it, we are taking the old story and continuing it.  So, students can write about the future generations of the families from Wuthering Heights, or Great Gatsby, or Dante's Inferno.  What about the story of Captain Ahab's great, great, great, grandson?  What happens to the kids from Lord of the Flies after they grow up?

Or you can scale back the time line and just do a what happens next sort of thing.  Now it is time to let the students cut loose.  Obviously one restriction would be that the character traits and feel of the original must be present in the new version.  Descendant must be recognizable.  How can students do this?

1. Story form (this is the simplest)
2. Put them in groups and have them story board out a trailer for it, much like this one for Westeros.
3. Put them in groups and have them record a trailer (I highly suggest you run this by your school librarian to see what audio//video resource you have).