What Are You Reading and Why?

I shared with you in class today that I am reading all of these books at once right now. As one of you exclaimed, “Why don’t you just read one and finish it?”

I began with The Hate U Give about two months ago. It’s an intense story. Things got busy in our room with Hero books and other projects, so my own reading time with you diminished. I finished The Mermaid Chair at home and am now reading Small Great Things. I enjoy Jodi Picoult’s books. A few years ago, I got to hear her speak in Raleigh and learned how meticulous she is about researching her topics. I often read before I fall asleep which happens between three and five pages thus resulting in slow progress.

So many of you were excited about Refugee, I had to grab a copy from our library. I read the first chapter and then set it aside. Now it’s been a couple of weeks and I need to start over. Plus, I’m feeling a little pressure as I know others want to check the book out too. A kind soul gave me a gift card so I went to the store to buy a journal and look at books. I walked away with several including Shoe Dog and The Motivation Manifesto. Shoe Dog is fascinating and since it’s the young readers edition, I’ll finish it soon even though I’m a slow reader. The Motivation Manifesto is one I can pick up and read sections at a time without having to remember what came before. I also use that one to journal.

As I shared from the first week of school, I’ve yet to read Little Women. When I was in 4th grade, my mom offered to pay me $5 to read it knowing I never sat still long enough to read a chapter, much less a book. I am almost 50 years old, and despite trying to read it a few times since 4th grade, I can never finish. This will be my year. A friend bet I wouldn’t do it and I am competitive, so I think this will become a reality after all. Not sure if my mom will honor her $5 reward or not.

In our 6th-grade language arts class, some of you have read between 1,000 and 20,000 pages already this year! Please comment below the book you are currently reading along with the author. Please tell us why you chose the book and why you are enjoying the journey. No spoilers, please! Of course, if you’d like to add a few more titles to your list, please do!



It’s so much more than 6th grade. It’s so much more than Language Arts. One can consume all the knowledge in the universe but what good is that if one cannot create? Read more about what we value at Durham Academy Middle School ~


Miró Exhibit at the Nasher Museum


My own Miró using SketchbookX

Today we visited the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to learn about Miró: The Experience of Seeing exhibit highlighting the last 20 years of Miró’s work. Miró was a Catalan Spanish painter and sculptor who was born in 1893 and died on Christmas Day in 1983. His work is playful and open to interpretation. He often used primary colors in his paintings and found objects in his sculptures.

Miró is known for his Surrealism as he deliberately created work to contrast the conventional art of his time. One painting we saw today, Woman, Bird, and Star (Homage to Picasso), was interesting because of not only its composition, but because it was not perfect. There were places where the paint dripped or splattered, and we could see what looked like the pencil marks as a part of his planning. Miró enjoyed sharing the process as much as the painting. His works sell from $250,000 to $26 million dollars. Although some of his art work appears simple, he often took a very long time to plan not only what he wanted to paint but more importantly what he wanted to convey.

If you would like to know more about the exhibit, please visit http://nasher.duke.edu/learn


Thank You Mrs. Schwartz!

Mrs. Schwartz IMG_1736

Mrs. Schwartz was our teacher while Mrs. Donnelly was in India. There are so many things we like about her but here are our top 10 reasons:

1. She has a great personality
2. She makes everything fun
3. She tells funny stories
4. She is very patient and encouraging
5. She is enthusiastic and funny
6. She dressed up as Big Bird for Halloween
7. She is fashionable (cute boots!)
8. She really connects with people
9. She acknowledges you if you do something nice or if you go out of your way to do something
10. She is dramatic and expressive