Clue #3

After almost a week back on terra firma, I did not forget to share the third and final clue in my #WillipediaAbroad clue challenge.  Who will win and not have to do homework for the rest of the school year?

Students, you were challenged to use the clues to ascertain where I had gone, for what reason I was out of town, and to exactly what resort I traveled.  Use the riddle below to help you figure out the last part!

Clue #3: This oasis by a bay had pristine beaches upon which I did lay.  Named in a language of people long gone, its name means a place of rest and comfort where dancing and feasting are accompanied by a festive song.  Family owned and operated, the guests all felt well-fed, loved and supported.

Where did I stay?


Psst…these may help:

Wrapping Up "A Study in Scarlet"

Class started with a warm-up in which the students could decide to either A) create their own holiday on this Cinco de Mayo or B) compare and contrast themselves with Sherlock Holmes.  After sharing aloud, we then had an in-depth discussion about the book and its plot.  The students then returned their work from “A Study in Scarlet” and completed a 10-question quiz over the story.

With whatever time remained in class, the students worked on their Genius Hour Projects.


  • Work on Genius Hour Project.
  • Optional: Work on Kid Talk.

Power Point:

Clue #2

Congratulations to Anna C. for correctly answering Clue #1!

Now, for the next clue.

Some are old, and none are blue, but all are here to see feelings true.  When two equal one beneath the sun, they shall dance when all’s said and done.

For what reason am I abroad?

Clue #1


Can you figure out where I am?  Share your responses in the comments section below with only your first name and last inititial.

CLUE #1: This tropical city sits on a bay, and is home to a hall of flowers known for “evil” powers.

Kid Talks and Sherlock

KidTalk Cobb Logo

Today’s class was a pretty simplified one split between the presentation of Kid Talks and a continuation of our reading of “A Study in Scarlet” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (his first Sherlock Holmes story).  I would like to give a shout out to the following students who had the courage to present their Kid Talks in class today:

  • Zyraina
  • Ben
  • Angie

I would also like to recognize the following students who will be submitting and presenting their Kid Talks at a later time:

  • Soughtout
  • Dylan

In the time that remained, we discussed how Sherlock Holmes was the first forensic scientist who really was one of the main reasons that field of science came into existence.  We also discussed other examples of science fiction in movies, television shows, and literature that then became reality sometime thereafter.


  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Complete any work for Kid Talks
  • Work on Genius Hour projects


Discovering Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes Silhouette BETTER

All of this week we will be delving into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s most famous tales of the iconic detective, Sherlock Holmes.  As my students are ending one chapter in their lives as they prepare to move on from 8th to 9th grade, they are also beginning a new chapter as well.  Thus, we began where Sherlock’s adventures began with the novella “A Study in Scarlet.”

While reading, we will be taking time to discuss the similarities and differences between Holmes’ world and their own in addition to making observations about the characters on the following handout.

A Study in Scarlet Character Chart and Reflection

So far the discussion has been quite interesting and I look forward to seeing what the students think of this tale of essentially, the world’s first crime scene investigator/forensic scientist.

Homework (for the week):


Back to Normalcy!

After a crazy couple of weeks off our normal schedule thanks to Spring Break and then the Georgia Milestones, we are now back on track!

We took some time to review our procedures and then launched into a more detailed exploration of our next project.

For this semester, each student will choose one of the following projects:

  • Genius Hour (back by popular demand)
  • Kid Talks
  • Self-Directed Novel Study

Though I have been giving the students an idea of how each of these would work after each day of testing, today, we really dove into the beginnings of each project type.  In short, the requirements of each project will be as follows:

  • Genius Hour
    • Proposal
    • Genius Hour Product (This can be a video, slideshow, Prezi, or other tangible evidence of what was learned.)
    • Presentation of Learning (This will be the actual presentation of what the student learned in the exploration of the topic of his or her own choosing.)
  • Kid Talks
    • Outline of Kid Talk
    • Rough Draft of Kid Talk
    • Video of Kid Talk (must be submitted to the CCSD contest as well for full credit)
  • Self-Directed Novel Study
    • Student completion of reading a novel of his or her own choosing
    • Completion of 3 ABRs (Alternative Book Reports) as their portfolio of learning

I took a moment to show the students the following video by Katie Emmanuel entitled “In Defense of Teenage Girls” to get their creative juices going regarding Genius Hour and their Kid Talks.


  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Take your brainstorming and begin creating your proposal (GH) or script (KT) if you haven’t already.
  • Novel Study Students-choose your book and bring it to class.


QR Code Milestones Review

During today’s class, the students visited various stations around the room, scanned the corresponding QR codes, and then completed the activities that followed.  All of the activities correlated to the different strands of the 8th grade English Language Arts standards.  As a result, these items were used to review for the upcoming Georgia Milestones.


  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Review notes.


Writing Strategies: "RACE" versus "Go Green"

As a continuation from yesterday’s lesson on writing prompt dissection, my students and I revisited the RACE and Go Green writing strategies.  I took time to show the students some examples of both, when each should be used, and how Go Green can help when writing constructed responses.


  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Review RACE and Go Green.