Around Austin

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The State Capitol of Texas at Dusk
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Trey Ratcliff via Compfight

In this Edublogs student challenge for Week 3, one of the activities was to tell a visitor to our area about a must-see place or attraction.  Enjoy the following compositions from students in Periods 4, 6, and 7 about the highlights of Austin, Texas!

Gabriel recommends the Alamo Drafthouse for movie night.

Izzy  loves visiting South Austin’s SoCo for shopping and fun.

Hannah describes the enjoyment of a day spent downtown.

Izadora captures the fun of ACL Music Festival.

Ryan B. explains his love of Lake Austin.

George reminds us that no trip to the capital is complete without a trip to the capitol.

Tarun chooses Torchy’s Tacos for food and sports.

Dahlia enjoys dining at Tony C’s for the best in Italian food.

Dylan reviews Tres Amigos, a Westlake favorite for Mexican food.

Alena says Rudy’s serves the best barbecue, but Emma loves the Salt Lick.

Saira has an alternative recommendation for those with vegan tastes.

Olympia shares the best place for a game of laser tag after dinner!

Visitors, where are you from?  Leave us a recommendation about where we should eat, shop, or play if we ever tour your town!

 

Second Period Spotlight

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It’s wonderful to really hear students’ voices come through their writing.  We’ve talked about the progress they’ve made as writers, and the kids observed that they are writing with more expression and with better organization.  They’d love to have your feedback on their compositions!

Cierra had a great time at summer camp.  Read about why she loved it so much.

You’ll enjoy Ethan’s humorous explanation as to why kids should not have to do the dishes.

Grant’s description of his favorite food will make you hungry!

Nina is a poet.  Read this poem, then visit her blog for more.

Tired of the cold?  Not Regina.  She explains why she loves winter!

Ryan’s narrative about his recent fishing trip puts you right on the water with him.

Overdue library books?  You can empathize with Valerie as you read about the pain of late fines.

 

 

Fourth Period Focus

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Our expository writing has been so enjoyable to read!  Check out the following links (and others to be found in the student blog roll) for compositions that are alive with voice and filled with thought.

Don’t be a corner-camper!  Steven explains how NOT to play video games.

Soham informs us of the disadvantages of using electronics.

A student who DISLIKES snow days?  That’s Matthew.  He explains why.

Ryan sees long car rides as great opportunities for fun.

Izzy shows why Telluride is a great place to visit.

“Bow ties are cool!” declare the Doctor and Gabriel.

Amulya explains why she enjoys pep rallies.

Ava explores the many meanings of the color red.

 

Third Period Thoughts

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Short expository essays, fiction, poems, and personal narratives have been posted by third period students.  Enjoy this sampling of their work!

“The fun is in the risk.”  Eli explains why he loves riding his mini-bike.

Irma calls shotgun!  Read about why the front seat is the best seat.

“The sun falls back underneath the earth.”  Clara’s sunset will leave you in awe.

Sam has written a clever how-to guide for those who want to irritate a brother or sister…

“Too bad it’s not turkey season, I thought.”  Clay narrates a hunting adventure.

“The Merchants’ Village” is a chapter story written by Jane.

Bryce explains the different ways in which people can wear masks.

You’ll be counting the days until summertime after you read this post by Lauren.

 

Spotlight on Weekly Free Topic Posts

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Read Nina’s poem about Daylight Savings Time.

Visit the beach with Madilyn.

Experience a thunderstorm through Anisha’s vivid description.

Savor a just-right cheeseburger with Kelly.

Enjoy Valerie’s post in recognition of our nation’s veterans.

Ava writes about a favorite place in her home.

Have you ever heard of a smartwatch?  Matthew can tell you all about it!

Julius gives us insight into our reading of Robert Nye’s Beowulf:  A New Telling.

Ryan shares a story of a childhood treehouse and has a question for us to answer about our own experiences.

Myles shows us what Science Day is like for the middle school students who present lessons to the elementary school kids.

 

 

 

 

 

Free Topic Posts

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By now people were pouring out of the gates while the rain picked up into a downpour, turning dirt into mud, puddles into ponds and everyone else into an irritated, soggy mob.

                               —Grant A, in his post about having to leave ACL

For the past couple of weeks, students have been writing about topics of their choosing, and the results have been wonderful to read.  Some students incorporate imagery into short pieces of fiction or personal narrative.  Others write expository pieces (though we haven’t introduced that term yet) about topics that interest them. 

One aspect of writing we’ll be focusing on more and more is the importance of paragraphing:  how it helps the reader follow and understand a piece of writing, and how choices in paragraphing can enhance the mood the writer wants to achieve.

Here is a sampling of this week’s student work:

Amulya and her love of a favorite pair of shoes

Hansika and the anxiety of waiting

Rachel and the experience of adopting her puppy (check out the link to the Humane Society)

Dylan and his scary Halloween night

Emma Bernice and the thrill of a rainstorm

Joseph and the challenge of the P. Scary

Shampurna and the nerves before a piano recital

Ariana and the quiet joy of a moonlit walk on the beach

Hannah and her confrontation with a zombie

Neha and her love of jellybeans (don’t miss the hyperlink to a Pinterest page of incredibly designed desserts!)

 

 

Playing with Imagery

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Students in second and third period classes prepared for writing their first drafts of a personal narrative by zooming in on a scene, capturing details for the reader.  Imagery creates the experience through sight, sound, and sensation, evoking a mood so that the reader feels what the writer felt.

Here are some examples of student bloggers playing with language to create powerful images:

 

Weekly Posts

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New posts are up for the week, and I’ve enjoyed reading what students have to say!  A variety of topics are covered in a variety of formats and styles.  Here are just some of the highlights:

  • Grayson expresses the best part of fall season.
  • Human rights is the topic of Sofi’s most recent post.
  • Have an opinion about gaming platforms?  Advice to share about computers?  Brian’s blog is the blog for you!  There’s also a great ongoing fiction story for your reading pleasure.
  • Francesca writes about an interesting incident in Europe.
  • What are you afraid of?  Olympia shares her fear and asks us about ours.
  • Soham has turned a Writer’s Notebook entry into a poem.
  • A swim meet is described by Jane.
  • Ethan, Izadora, and Andrea all shared their thoughts about The Giver.

Great job, bloggers. Visitors, we all welcome your comments!  Student blogs are listed in the blogroll in the sidebar on the right.