2012-2013 Standard Test Calendar — Registration Begins August 1st
|Test Dates||Test||U.S. Registration Deadlines (Expire at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, U.S.A.)|
(a fee applies)
|October 6, 2012||SAT &
|September 7, 2012||September 21, 2012|
|November 3, 2012||SAT &
|October 4, 2012||October 19, 2012|
|December 1, 2012||SAT &
|November 1, 2012||November 16, 2012|
|January 26, 2013||SAT &
|December 28, 2012||January 11, 2013|
|March 9, 2013||SAT only||February 8, 2013||February 22, 2013|
|May 4, 2013||SAT &
|April 5, 2013||April 19, 2013|
|June 1, 2013||SAT & Subject Tests||May 2, 2013||May 17, 2013|
I have a new favorite word!!! Mumpsimus!! I have so many friends whose use of the English language is mumpsimus. They think they are using English correctly, but they insist on using words that really don't exist.
There are so many common ones. Some are pure mispronunciations like "aks" for ask and "exscape" for escape. But one of my favorites, or should I say one that drives me nuts the most is irregardless. UGH!!!!
Then there is the word that means the opposite of mumpsimus. It's sumpsimus! It means adherence to or persistence in using a strictly correct term, holding to a precise practice, etc., as a rejection of an erroneous but more common form and a second meaning is a person who is obstinate or zealous about such strict correctness. I always thought that I was born with a red pencil in the brain and here I find out that I am just a sumpsimus!
I realize that most people use spell check or dictionary.com to check spelling, but for a student learning vocabulary, PLEASE get them a real book/paper dictionary.
Here are a few reasons;
Many students get a list of required reading for the summer from their schools. I usually try and read each and every book that is required for the schools that are local to me. I also have come up with some suggestions myself.
Today I am going to focus on the mid-range reading levels of 4th through 8th grade. Notice I identified it as reading level. This does not necessarily equate to the grade in school. It is only frustrating to a child to be forced to read something above their level. After all, the focus for summer reading should be many things, but frustrating isn't one of them.
First on my list is Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. This is the first book in a series. So, if a student enjoys this book it becomes a natural springboard for reading many other books. The main character in this book is Harriet, who is a spy. She keeps all of her information in her notebook. What happens when she loses the book?? It ends up in the wrong hands and before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together? There are many great lessons in this book and also a few laughs. Honesty, integrity, friendship and trust are topics that are great for discussions about life.
Next on my list is Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Del. This book is an eerie yet miraculous story about a young Indian girl who spends 18 years alone on a rocky island off the coast of California. It takes place in the early 1800s and is a story of how Karana forages on land and in the ocean, clothes herself, and secures shelter. Perhaps even more startlingly, she finds strength and serenity living alone on the island.
Another book about the tenacity of a young person alone and living in the wild is My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. This was one of my mother's favorite books, which shows the ageless appeal. It is the story of a city boy named Sam Gribley, who runs away from New York City to the solitude of the woods in the Catskill Mountain in upstate New York and survives on his own, while learning skills and finding abilities in himself that he never knew existed. There are two sequels to this book that most readers can't wait to read after finishing this initial book.
Keeping with the theme of surviving in the wilderness is my next choice for this summer. It is a non-fiction story about Alexander Selkirk in 1704. He was on a ship that was traversing the South Pacific and after arguing with a ship's captain, he was put ashore and abandoned on an uninhabited island. He had little with him besides his musket, but he managed to survive and even thrive for four years. The book is called Marooned: The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe by Robert Kraske
The last two are personal favorites of mine. First, one is a biography about Laura Bridgman. I first read about her when I was in the third grade and she made such an impression on me that I read and re-read everything that I could find about her for years to come. She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer by Robert Alexander and Sally Hobart Alexander is a very well written story about the girl who became the teacher of Annie Sullivan. Annie Sullivan in turn became the teacher of Helen Keller.
And finally, Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I first read this book with a student about 10 years ago. If you are a dog lover, like I am, you will be enthralled with this book and not be able to put it down. It is the story of a young boy who saves his money for a long time to be able to buy hunting dogs. The relationship between Billy and his two hounds, Old Dan and Little Ann, is priceless and will make the reader laugh and cry.
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."
Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
>From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
On the night of March 5, 1770, American colonists attacked British soldiers in Boston which resulted in the soldiers firing upon the crowd and killing five of the colonists. This event became known as the Boston Massacre, a rallying point for colonists against the stationing and quartering of British troops throughout the colonies and against the Townshend Acts which the British soldiers were deployed to enforce. Many different accounts of this encounter are extant as John Adams successfully defended the British soldiers in court and thus had to depose numerous witnesses.
And then read the article by the acclaimed author James Patterson about how to get your child to be a voracious reader. Be sure to check out his website for young readers called “Read Kiddo Read”. It has great lists of books for all ages and different ways to choose them.
Free education and donating rice to starving people at the same time? Seems impossible, right? Well, it’s not. Be sure to check out FREE RICE. While you play by answering quiz questions on a variety of subjects, every correct answer donates 20 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger.