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April 4, 2020

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[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

 

“[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” Copyright 1952, © 1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.
Source: Complete Poems: 1904-1962 (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1991)
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4. Would you rather have hands instead of feet or feet instead of hands?

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April 3, 2020

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When You Are Old

W. B. Yeats – 1865-1939

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

 

This poem is in the public domain.

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3. Would you rather always have to skip everywhere or run everywhere?

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April 2, 2020

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We All Return to the Place Where We Were Born

What remains of my childhood
are the fragmentary visions
of large patios
extending
like an oceanic green mist over the afternoon.

Then, crickets would forge in the wind
their deep music of centuries
and the purple fragrances of Grandmother
always would receive without questions
our return home.

The hammock shivering in the breeze
like the trembling voice of light at dusk,
the unforeseeable future
that would never exist without Mother,
the Tall tales that filled
with their most engaging lunar weight our days
—all those unchangeable things—
were the morning constellations
that we would recognize daily without sadness.

In the tropical days we had no intuition of the winter
nor of autumn, that often returns with pain
in the shadows of this new territory
—like the cold moving through our shivering hands—
that I have learned to accept
in the same way you welcome
the uncertainty of a false and cordial smile.

Those were the days of the solstice
when the wind pushed the smoke from the clay ovens
through the zinc kitchens
and the ancient stone stoves
clearly spoke
of the secrets of our barefooted and wise Indian ancestors.

The beautiful, unformed rocks in our hands
that served as detailed toys
seemed to give us the illusion
of fantastic events
that invaded our joyful chants
with infinite color.

It was a life without seasonal pains,
a life without unredeemable time
a life without the somber dark shadows
that have intently translated my life
that slowly move today through my soul.

Todos volvemos al lugar donde nacimos

De mi infancia solo quedan
     las visiones fragmentarias
          de los patios tendidos
               como un naval terciopelo sobre la tarde.

 Entonces, los grillos cuajaban sobre el aire
     su profunda música de siglos
          y las fragancias empurpuradas de la abuela
               meciéndose en la noche
                    siempre recibían sin preguntas nuestra vuelta al hogar.

La hamaca temblando con la brisa,
como la voz trémula del sol en el ocaso;
el futuro imprevisible
que jamás existiría sin la madre;
las leyendas
cargadas de su peso lunar más devorador;
—todas esas cosas inalterables—
eran las constelaciones diurnas que reconocíamos sin tristeza.

Entonces no se intuía el invierno,
ni el otoño que retoña con dolor
entre las sombras de este territorio
—como el frío entre las manos doblegadas—
que hoy he aprendido
a soportar
de la misma forma en que se acepta
la incertidumbre de una falsa sonrisa.

Eran los días en que el solsticio
acarreaba humaredas polvorientas
por las ventanas de las cocinas de zinc
donde el fogón de barro milenario
decía oscuramente
el secreto de nuestros ancestros sabios y descalzos.

Las rocas deformes en nuestras manos
     parecían darnos
          la ilusión de eventos fabulosos
               que invadían nuestras gargantas de aromas desmedidos.

Era una vida sin dolores estacionales
     Vida sin tiempos irredimibles:
          Vida sin las puras formas sombrías
               que se resbalan hoy lentamente por mi pecho.

 


 

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2. Would you rather be completely bald or covered from head to toe with hair?

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April 1, 2020

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Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Maya Angelou, “Still I Rise” from And Still I Rise: A Book of Poems.  Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.  Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.
Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (1994)

 

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  1. Would you rather eat a small can of cat food or eat two rotten tomatoes?

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April is National Poetry Month!

March 31, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

April is  National Poetry Month. To learn more about this, visit the Academy of American Poets website. To celebrate, I will post a new poem on this blog daily from April 1st-April 30th. Students and families are invited to respond to the poem by replying to my post here or via email at my teacher account: sseyan@sjusd.org. This is not an assignment or an expectation-but I would be curious about your thoughts and interested in your responses!

To recognize and connect with my upper grade students in the after school writing group (College, Career, and Community Writer’s Program, or “C3WP”) who really enjoyed a writing task called “Would You Rather?”, I will be posting a “Would You Rather” prompt daily, as well. C3WP students, I can’t wait to read your Claims, Reasons, and Evidence in response to the “Would You Rather” prompts.

I look forward to connecting with you all virtually throughout the month!

Best,

Ms Seyan :o)

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The Last Day of School

Families,

Thursday, June 6th is the last day of the 2018-19 school year:

  • 8:00 AM   School Starts
    • 5th graders must be in line at 8:00 AM
    • Families of 5th graders: Please wait until 8:05 to park and walk onto campus.
  • 8:30 AM   5th Grade Promotion Ceremony in the outdoor amphitheater
    • After the ceremony and a short reception with treats, 5th graders may go home with families.
  • 12:46 PM  Upper Grade Dismissal
    • The 4th graders’ day ends at 12:46. 5th graders who were not checked out may stay with their class for a final cleaning day and the class movie.

Before Summer Starts….

  • Report Cards
    • Final report cards will go home with your child tomorrow. If yours is misplaced or you need duplicate report cards, please email me at sseyan@sjusd.org, and I will reply with a soft copy. Please note that the soft copy is a non-editable PDF and official report cards are saved online.
      • NOTE TO 5th GRADE FAMILIES: I did NOT choose the new letter grade option for 5th grade report cards. Your child’s report card still follows the 1,2,3, 4 scoring format.
  • “Silver and Gold Awards“-5th grade only
    • 5th Graders may receive Silver or Gold awards for academic excellence. Silver awards go to students with scores of 3 in all academic subjects and solid ROARS behavior. Gold awards may go to students with at least 1 score of 4 along with all those 3s, and great classroom citizenship.
    • Grades are based on a variety of measures across curricular domains, over time. One of the measures we use is a student’s Lexile reading level as measured by the Achieve 3000 LevelSet. Students in 5th grade whose Lexile reading level is 850 or above are considered “at” or “above” grade level in reading, with scores below that “approaching” or “below”.
    • In order to provide consistency across classes, we have made sure to adhere as strictly as possible to the guidelines for these awards. That said, many students from both classes were often very close on one measure but just didn’t make it to a report card “3”, despite being incredible all-around students.
    • My perspective for families: These awards measure students by grade level standards. This provides some objectivity when bestowing the awards and a clear value for each award designation. That also means that Silver and Gold awards do not tell us where students are now compared to where they were at the beginning of the year. It does not tell us how much your children have grown. It is a measure of scores, rather than your child’s heart. For this reason, please keep the Silver and Gold award presentation in perspective, and remember that all of these 5th graders are absolute GOLD in my heart! ❤
  • Summer School and Tutoring
    • Mrs Chitwood sent B7 families an email and letter home with an offer of a place in Summer School at Terrell Elementary for 5-10 students from our class. If you are interested in this opportunity for your child, fill out the form you received and get it back to us-either via email or by hand-ASAP.  Please refer to the information you received for more details!
    • If you are not interested in summer school but would like more support for your child, Mrs. Carroll will be offering 1:1 tutoring this summer. Please email Mrs. Carroll or myself if you would like to get more information. BTW, I also tutor, and will offer a $10.00 per hour discount for students from my class this year.
  • Blended Learning Access this Summer
    • The best way to access Blended Learning- Dreambox, Lexia, Achieve 3000-is through the Carson Blended Learning page. Today, Mr. K sent home information about how to find the page at home. For your convenience, I am linking it here.
    • More about Blended Learning over the summer:
      • Students can’t advance in levels over the summer (only during he school year), but they can get lots of practice!
      • Have your child spend less time more consistently in these programs. 15-20 minutes 3 times per week will lead to better gains than 45 minutes once per week.
      • When in Dreambox, please make sure your student chooses the AssignFocus lessons (the 2 icons with the desktop calendar icon next to them) first.
      • Another tip for Dreambox: Make sure to complete a lesson before leaving that activity for another. That’s the only way to advance in Dreambox! It may seem too hard, or like it does not teach how to do the activity before assigning it. Think of the first foray into a Dreambox lesson as a pretest: Why wold it teach a student a lesson if they knew the material? When students dive in and try the tasks, the program adapts to their thinking and adjusts itself to the student for the next lesson. Give it a try and see what happens.
  • Thank you!
    • Thank you for sharing your children with me this year. ;o) Ms. Seyan

 

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Last Week of the 2018-19 School Year

June 3, 2019

Dear Families,

Here is an update of school and class events this week.

  • Monday, June 3rd: San Jose Sharks at Carson (9:30 or 10:30 for our class)
  • Tuesday, June 4th: B7 Class Party in the afternoon
  • Wednesday, June 5th: Field Trips
    • 4th to Vista Park
    • 5th to Golfland
  • Thursday, June 6th: LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
    • 5th Grade Promotion at 8:30 AM
      • 5th graders may be checked out after the ceremony ends.
    • Grades K-2 dismissal: 12:36 PM
    • Grades 3-5 dismissal:  12:46 PM
  • Report Cards and student materials- math books, personal items- will go home Thursday, June 6th.

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