Welcome Teachers Web 2.0!

I am so excited to be able to share my school blog with you and to make you a part of the blogging community with this course, Learning and Teaching with Web 2.0 Tools!  This is my 2008-09 school blog. I used it for almost everything in my 8th grade Language Arts/Contemporary Issues classroom. All of my students had blogs and you may view their work by clicking on the blogroll.

In addition to this blog being another sample for you, it is also an interactive website. I would like for each of you to respond to this post and send me the link to your blog right here!  We can use my Eight Is Great blog as a meeting place and repository in addition to the discussion board.

I recommend that you take time to go through some of the tutorials that Edublogs has made available. They are valuable and can answer many questions.

Lesson Plans June 8-12

Language Arts

Monday – Write a letter to a rising 7th grader. Give advice on what to do to be successful in LA. These will be posted on the bulletin boards for September 2009 and on your blog.

Tuesday – Find the lyrics to your favorite song on-line. Copy them into a post on your blog and find the following literary/poetic elements: metaphor, simile, alliteration and rhyme

Wednesday – Writing in yearbooks and on teeshirts. Sentiment!

Thursday – Walk to Milton Park and some go to Dorney Park (PE).

Friday – Transition Ceremony! 9:30

Contemporary Issues

Monday – Educating Girls DVD/Debate

Tuesday – Refugees in Tanzania, DVD/Debate

Wednesday – Rehearsal for Transition

Thursday – Walk to park

Friday – Transition Ceremony

One More Thing Before You Go!

Dear Students,

This is a column that I wrote for the Cape Gazette with you in mind and even though I usually read these things to you, I will pass because my words are so close to my heart, I fear that I would just end up a puddle on the floor!  I wrote all of the things that I cannot bear to say to you as you go out my door for the last time. With much appreciation for this school year and the honor of teaching you, I leave you with these words.

Much Affection,

Ms. Albanese

And One More Thing Before You Go

I cannot fathom the end of the school year. My lesson plans are never enough to give my students what I think that they need. Not for one day but for life.


At the end of a school year I create in my lessons a combination of remembrance, facts, advice, and warnings. I give my students projects that reveal my need to have them see the good in the world, to be self-reflective, to work hard, to believe in themselves, to know they can do it, to seek good information, to read and write poetry often. I attempt to give them what I cannot bear to think they are without: a mind that seeks knowledge and recognizes beauty.


Truth is that I hate to see them go. My lesson plans are full of yearning for just one more lesson, one more truth revealed, one more tool they can use along the way. It’s like I’m standing at the doorway calling out to them, “And one more thing before you go!” Even though they are tapping their toes and rolling their eyes in polite impatience. I am asking for the impossible, “Please stay one minute longer so that I can behold your beautiful faces and freeze this moment in time for my memory. You are so lovely at 13. Never change.”


To them I would say, I remember the day that you wrote an essay and revealed a truth that you thought no one should see. But you shared it and you discovered that in writing it out, the words are a release. You are set free. You live to write another day.


I remember the day that you were listening to music as you wrote on your computer wearing you ear buds and you knew that your friend did not have them so you one of yours. Two students: one ear bud each. Two peas in a pod, sharing music and writing essays together.


I remember the day that you discovered Edgar Allan Poe and why Baltimore chose the Ravens as a name for their football team. That look on your face when you discovered that crazy writer have existed throughout time, knowledge really is power and that writing is necessary and valuable.


The one true thing: words really do have power. Regimes have tumbled and mountains moved all because of the power of the pen. There is nothing as powerful as a passion that is coupled with ambition and heart. What we say, what we write, what we read, what we think, make up who we are in a very profound way. What will you choose to write, read, say and think? How will those words impact your life in the future of change someone else’s life.


When you wrote a poem for your mom, it brought tears, when you wrote a letter of gratitude, it brought appreciation. What will you choose to write, read, say and think in your future? How will your words impact your life in the future of change someone else’s life?


Write from the heart. Make it a routine. And remember to email me to keep in touch. All right! Class dismissed!

Writing with Gratitude

You are graduating from Middle School!  Hurray!

Wait a minute, before you go…write a letter of gratitude. Who can you thank in your life? What wonderful person has helped you along the way? Is there a teacher, cafeteria person, administrator who has made your life at Mariner a little better?

Write a letter of gratitude on paper, then write it in Word and print it, sign it, and give it to the person. Post it on your blog.


May 29, 2009

Dear Students,

I wanted to stop for a moment and thank you for a great school year.  I can remember the first day that you showed up in LA and I took pictures and admired your  new shoes. Then we got started with literature and writing and I was amazed at how much you liked Poe, Milton and Shakespeare!   Your enthusiasm for these writers and others that you did your reports on was catching!

Haley Gooch was one of the readers at the Milton Poetry Festival and she got to unveil the John Milton statue in the park. That was a great memory. 

I can still see Tony and  EJ waving me on as I skated around the rollerrink.  Then my big fall. I cannot believe how kind your were to me as I skated off the rink. My injuries resulted in a long absence from teaching and we both persevered! Thanks for that.

I am grateful to Ms. Haskins for stepping in for me when I was sick. I thank you all for making her job easy.

This is a great class and I have you blogs to prove it. Please keep in touch with me through email and stop by. I wish you all the BEST!!!


Ms. Diane Albanese





Lesson Plans May 25-29

Language Arts

Homework – Read AR book. Take test before Thursday.

Thursday – library for Cores 1,2

Friday – library Core 3

Finish Accomplishment essay and share with the class

Work on Team protopage – an interest you share

Vote for music for Transition Ceremony

Contemporary Issues

Team research issue. Each student writes a paper for the newscast either on cause or solution.

Teams present issue as Newscast

CNN Headlines and articles

CNN news quiz

Essay – What has been the most significant news event of this year September 2008-June 2009? Why



What music for the Transition?



Every year the 8th grade class chooses the music that goes with the slide show at the end of your Transition Ceremony. So give me your suggestions here. Name the song and the artist who recorded it. Be sure to think about what kind of songs would be appropriate for a final farewell. 

Also, email me your pictures of Washington DC so I can include them in the slide show.



Think Globally Act Locally

Think Globally Act Locally Groups




Zach, Kendall, Stephanie


Global Warming

Cailyn, Bridget, Alex S, Alex P



Macy, Alex K, Daniel, Lexi



Juan, Sasha, Randi, Kawan



Taylor, Jonathan, Chris, Carly



Jalyn, Tony, Raven, Donald



Jacob, Brittany, Rajein, Robert



You are a researcher and broadcast journalist.  Research your topic. Each team member will find out about the issue and either research the cause or the solutions.  Then write a paper about your part and present it in a panel format as if you are a news reporter on the evening news.  .  Questions and answers will follow as if in a press conference. 


Capstone Project – Your Lifestory


Capstone Project

This is it! The end of your middle school experience. Now get writing!

  • Part 1 – Brainstorm to create list of personal accomplishments and memories
  • Part 2 – Writing Workshop create written material that represents your life so far then post on your blog. Respond to classmates postings.
  • Part 3 – Oral and Visual Presentation protopage project and oral presentation  

List of Choices   * items are a must do                                                         

  1. Accomplishment Essay * – Name a special accomplishment that you are proud of. Tell about it and how it changed your thinking.
  2. Resume * –tells about your qualifications for a summer job
  3. Letter * –  a thank you letter thanking someone for helping you
  4. Proudest Moment Essay or Person You Most Admire Essay * – your proudest moment or write about the person you most admire.
  5. Timeline – your life events in a time sequence
  6. Hobby or Passion – write about something that you love to do. Include pictures and descriptions.
  7. Favorite Things Protopage – tab each of your favorites including food, games, sports, music, dances, art, books, colors, fashions, shoes, whatever! Include website links.
  8. Virtual Vacation – what places would you like to visit? Create a blog page or a protopage linked to your blog to show this place.
  9. Middle School Memories – What are your most precious memories?
  10. Your choice – see me for discussion.