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February, 2009:

Scat

Scat is the “solid waste, or droppings, of carnivorous animals.”* It is also a book by Carl Hiaasen rated for ages 9-12. When my son was much younger we used to go on a lot of backpacking trips. I think we have slept in a tent in over twenty states. We always use to carry guides to plants, animals, birds, trees, and you guessed it scat. I used to joke with him that when he grew up he was going to become a “scatologist.” That’s why when I saw Carl Hiaasen’s latest book Scat I had to buy it.

I’m glad I did. I had enjoyed his book Hoot and Scatis just as good if not better. Like Hoot it has a story built around an environmental issue. In this case an endangered animal. Hiaasen also brings the Iraq War into the book. Nick is the main character in the book. His father is in Iraq and days go by that Nick doesn’t hear from his dad and is worried that something must be wrong.

The book has some great humor in it including an incident with a Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil. Those of you who had read Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Curtis will remember the Ticonderoga No. 2 pencil from that story. This one is just as good. I think middle school students will like this book. It moves fast, contains mystery, and has some humorous moments. In fact I bet teachers would like it also.

*www.kentuckyawake.org/glossary/

World Math Day Contest

Lights, Camera, Action! Are you looking for the ultimate class project? Now your students can show off their creative abilities and talents online in the World Math Day Video Challenge! Move over American Idol! In anticipation of World Math Day on March 4th, students from across the country are competing in this year’s World Math Day Video Challenge. While the contest is open to only U.S. classes, students and teachers from all over the world will have a chance to vote for their favorite videos! The World Math Day Video Challenge is free and open to all U.S. students. Does your class have what it takes?

How to Play 1.  Just record a two to three minute video highlighting how your students are preparing for World Math Day. Be creative. Tell your story with a song, cheer, rap, or narrative. 2.  Then upload your video to www.teachertube.com/worldmathday where it can be voted on by fellow teachers, students, and parents. Teachers can register for free at TeacherTube.com (only registered teachers can upload videos). Rules 1.  Video must be 2 to 3 minutes in length. 2.  Video must demonstrate how your students are preparing for World Math Day. 3.  Video and audio content must be suitable for all audiences. 4.  Video can include puppets, graphics, music, and voice-over. 5.  Only one class per school will be eligible for first prize.

See the Teacher Tube website for more information and prizes

 

Jim.