Welcome to my blog!

"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to put to rout all that was not life and when I had come to die - discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Have a great year - Live Deep!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Thankful Thanksgiving - Davies Hurricane Sandy Donation Drive

“To give away money is an easy matter in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.”
                                                                                                          — Aristotle (Ethics, 360 BCE)
Davies Donation Drive featured in the Providence Journal on Friday, 11/16/2012

While thousands of Americans are preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, students and faculty at William M. Davies Jr., Career and Technical High School are packing thousands of items to be sent to the New Jersey victims of Hurricane Sandy. 

Every bag, box, backpack, and tub filled with items that has made its way into my classroom has moved me. It is a reminder that, even in the darkest days, humans  have the capacity to rise to occasion to help each other in unbelievable ways. 

What began as a competition between ninth grade students, has transformed into an all-out desire to help those less fortunate. 

Proud doesn't even begin to describe what I feel for the actions of the Davies students and staff. 

Below are just SOME of the items we have collected and bins we have packed.

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” -Mother Theresa
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
-Charles Dickens
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
- Winston Churchill
“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”
-Robert Louis Stevenson 
“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.”
- Pierre Corneille, Menteur 
70 pairs of hand-knit gloves and hats donated by Mrs. Manning (83). No. Words. Needed.

 “I come in a world of iron...to make a world of gold.”
- Dale Wasserman,
Man of La Mancha

Hurricane Sandy Donation Drive - Davies Partnering with Woodlawn Catholic Regional School

Back in October I began to think about how I would introduce my "Cans of Hope" Thanksgiving donation competition to my new students. Then came Sandy. In just a few days, thousands of American lives were changed forever. Although the news footage and pictures were devastating to watch, I just couldn't tear myself away. Furthermore, my sister-in-law Allie is from Brick NJ - any area devastated by the hurricane. After talking to her and hearing the sound of loss in her voice, I knew that I needed to help.

As you know, this year's "Cans of Hope" competition has turned into a massive Sandy donation drive. A few phone calls, emails, and fliers was all it took. Currently, my World Cultures classes have raised hundreds of items for the drive. In addition, Davies faculty and staff hear my call to action and responded without hesitation. Currently, my classroom is literally FILLED with items.

Our Davies SkillsUSA Student Council has stepped up to the plate and made this donation drive a school-wide event. The Executive Board: Blessing, Wesley, Austin and Claudia, have worked tirelessly collecting, lifting, and sorting items. Wesley even returned to his former middle school Woodlawn Catholic Regional School in Pawtucket, RI to ask for support. Mrs. Procopio, the principal, went above and beyond in partnering with Davies.

Today, as I stepped into Woodlawn, I was reminded of true meaning of gratitude and compassion. Dozens of bags and boxes lined the hallway. Donations of food, teddy bears, water, blankets, and hundreds of personal hygiene items were waiting for us. As I watched the students carry the items to our bus I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was in that moment I was, once again, reminded why I love being a teacher.

My students, and the students at Woodlawn Catholic Regional School, are compassionate, selfless, and socially aware. To be in the presence of these students was an honor.

Here are a few pictures from our collection at Woodlawn:

Common Basic Values of Early Civilizations - Prezi

If you have not done so already, please take the notes from the following and submit them to me to receive credit. 

Many of you have already completed this assignment in class. If you haven't ... get busy. 

Common Basic Values Prezi - Click Me 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

VoiceThread Group Work Pictures

For the past week our World Cultures have been working hard on their first VoiceThread of the year. Each group of three were given an early civilization from the Middle East or Latin America. The groups were ten responsible for researching, outlining, designing and writing their VoiceThread. So far, everyone is working hard to get their art work and scripts in on time. Here is a peek of everyone hard at work...enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

African Art Homework Assignment

Benin Bronzes


In the 1400s, Portuguese explorers searching for a route to India came upon the African kingdom of Benin. The beauty of Benin artwork stunned the Portuguese, and they took samples home. Today Benin artworks are among the most prized African art in the world. Despite the Western passion for Benin art, Benin’s greatest patrons have always been their own kings. Throughout Benin history, the king held a monopoly on materials made of bronze and ivory. In this activity, you will learn about and examine Benin bronzes.

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
  • From the home page, click on “Benin.” Read the information and take notes as you scan the text.
  • Scroll down the site, and analyze the sculptures.
Use the information you found to answer the following questions (which were on the handout that was given to you during class):
1.  When did the art of bronze casting begin in Benin?
2.  How did “Benin-style” art differ from traditional tribal art?
3.  What types of items were cast in bronze? Why were bronze bells and rattles placed on the alters of Benin kings?
4.  When British forces entered Benin City in 1897, they did not believe that West Africans made the Benin bronzes. To whom did they attribute the craftsmanship?
5.  Which animal was the sole property of the oba, and why? Choose an animal that symbolizes your personality. Explain your choice.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It was a SPOOKTACULAR Halloween

I hope everyone had fun on our Halloween "Reward Day". You worked hard for it. 
I had a blast dressing up like a Pharaoh (and watching your reaction) and telling you corny Halloween jokes.

Here are some photos to commemorate our fun day.