Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Sideways, Thumbs Down…

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm

The etymology of…the word…CONVERSATION:

Con  prefix meaning “together/with”

Vers  “L. versus “verse, line of writing,” from PIE root *wer- “to turn, bend” (see versus). The metaphor is of plowing, of “turning” from one line to another (vertere = “to turn”) as a plowman does…”

Ation “suffix forming nouns of action”

OR (I could turn this etymology into a sentence…)

Together we turn and bend from one line to another forming action…

(I could turn this etymology into a poem!)


we turn



from one

              line to




Or I could just get to the point!

What a novel idea it was to actually DISCUSS how the year went with you instead of giving you another fill-in-the-blank, circle the number, rank-the-teacher, type of eval. We had a great CONVERSATION! I always thought I was being the “good teacher” by dutifully “taking the punches” or letting myself be assessed by you. And, I was quite surprised when my statement about passing out the end-of-the-year evals was met with lots of eye-rolling and muttered “I hate those things…”


It was so helpful to get feedback from just asking you. After all, Lowcountry gives us the unique opportunity of having to learn how to work together for YEARS instead of mere semesters. Some of you have had me for three or four years. Of course, I can just ASK you. Why did that seem like such a hard thing to do?

I have my theories. Like paper makes opinions seem official. Like numbers mean more than words. Like wouldn’t it be great if we could all reduce the meaning of our work, life, years, into something completely finite and understandable. But how boring would that be?

So, what did I learn from you my lovely learners? A lot. Here are some of the things you said that you would give a thumbs up to:

Love the tenth graders! Will miss you! Toodles!

Thumbs Up:


The ning (except maybe separate ones for each grade)


PC Reading (Tenth graders say this should be sacred and never violated!)

NY Times Essay reading/writing

Sharing and Revising Essays together

Skits & Improv

Twelfth Night

Taming of the Shrew

Rebecca (mostly)

Catcher in the Rye

Operation Yes!


Midsummer Night’s Dream

Field trips

Summer Reading follow-up

Non-traditional exams

Honors’ Outings

I’ll miss these guys, too! Best of luck next year, sixth graders!

Thumbs Sideways:

Greek & Latin Roots

SAT Vocab Practice & Quizzes

Animal Farm

Roundtable (only fun if you are in charge)

Thumbs Down:

Carson McCullers


Textbooks and short stories in general

Awww, snap! You’re stuck with me! See you in the fall, 9th Grade!

Thank you for your honesty! I am taking it all into consideration and staying up way too late exploring new and fun ways to complicate (in the most amazing way of course!) your learning journey next year. See you then! Check back here for more updates on my summer. Happy blogging! Next year we will do more:




from one

              line of conversation to





Mrs. Lewis


I’ll be hanging out with this cute guy all summer…oh yeah, and with Jax!