Short story 1

ODD YEARS

Eleven

Sandra Cisneros

What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are–underneath the year that makes you eleven. Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s the part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you’re three, and that’s okay. That’s what I tell Mama when she’s sad and needs to cry. Maybe she’s feeling three. Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That’s how being eleven years old is. You don’t feel eleven. Not right away. It takes a few days, weeks even, sometimes even months before you say Eleven when they ask you. And you don’t feel smart eleven, not until you’re almost twelve. That’s the way it is.

Only today I wish I didn’t have only eleven years rattling inside me like pennies in a tin Band-Aid box. Today I wish I was one hundred and two instead of eleven because if I was one hundred and two I’d have known what to say when Mrs. Price put the red sweater on my desk. I would’ve known how to tell her it wasn’t mine instead of just sitting there with that look on my face and nothing coming out of my mouth.

“Whose is this?” Mrs. Price says, and she holds the red sweater up in the air for all the class to see. “Whose? It’s been sitting in the coatroom for a month.” “Not mine,” says everybody. “Not mine.” “It has to belong to somebody,” Mrs. Price keeps saying, but nobody can remember. It’s an ugly sweater with red plastic buttons and a collar and sleeves all stretched out like you could use it for a jump rope. It’s maybe a thousand years old and even if it belonged to me I wouldn’t say so. Maybe because I’m skinny, maybe because she doesn’t like me, that stupid Sylvia Saldivar says, “I think it belongs to Rachel.” An ugly sweater like that, all raggedy and old, but Mrs. Price believes her. Mrs. Price takes the sweater and puts it right on my desk, but when I open my mouth nothing comes out.

“That’s not, I don’t, you’re not…Not mine,” I finally say in a little voice that was maybe me when I was four. “Of course it’s yours,” Mrs. Price says. “I remember you wearing it once.” Because she’s old and the teacher, she’s right and I’m not. Not mine, not mine, not mine, but Mrs. Price is already turning to page thirty-two, and math problem number four. I don’t know why but all of a sudden I’m feeling sick inside, like the part of me that’s three wants come out of my eyes, only I squeeze them shut tight and bite down on my teeth really hard and try to remember today when I am eleven, eleven. Mama is making a cake for me tonight, and when Papa comes home everybody will sing Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you.

But when the sick feeling goes away and I open my eyes, the red sweater’s still sitting there like a big red mountain. I move the red sweater to the corner of my desk with my ruler. I move my pencil and books and eraser as far from it as possible. I even move my chair a little to the right. Not mine, not mine, not mine. In my head I’m thinking how long till lunchtime, how long till I can take the red sweater and throw over the schoolyard fence, or leave it hanging on a parking meter, or bunch it up into a little ball and toss it in the alley. Except when math period ends Mrs. Price says loud and in front of everybody, “Now, Rachel, that’s enough,” because she sees I’ve shoved the red sweater to the tippy-tip corner of my desk and it’s hanging all over the edge like a waterfall, but I don’t care. “Rachel,” Mrs. Price says. She says it like she’s getting mad. “You put that sweater on right now and no more nonsense.” “But it’s not-” “Now!” Mrs. Price says. This is when I wish I wasn’t eleven, because all the years inside of me– ten, nine, eight, seven, six five, four, three, two one–are pushing at the back of my eyes when I put one arm through one sleeve of the sweater that smells like cottage cheese, and then the other arm through the other and stand there with my arms apart like if the sweater hurts me and it does, all itchy and full of germs that aren’t even mine.

That’s when everything I’ve been holding in since this morning, since when Mrs. Price put the sweater on my desk, finally lets go, and all of a sudden I’m crying in front of everybody. I wish I was invisible but I’m not. I’m eleven and it’s my birthday today and I’m crying like I’m three in front of everybody. I put my head down on the desk and bury my stupid clown-sweater arms. My face all hot and spit coming out of me, until there aren’t any more tears left in my eyes, and it’s just my body shaking like when you have the hiccups, and my whole head hurts like when you drink milk too fast. But the worst part is right before the bell rings for lunch. That stupid Phyllis Lopez, who is even dumber than Sylvia Saldivar, says she remembers the red sweater is hers! I take it off right away and give it to her, only Mrs. Price pretends like everything’s okay.

Today I’m eleven. There’s a cake Mama’s making for tonight, and when Papa comes home from work we’ll eat it. There’ll be candles and presents and everybody will sing Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you, Rachel, only it’s too late. I’m eleven today. I’m eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one, but I wish I was one hundred and two. I wish I was anything but eleven, because I want today to be far away already, far away like a runaway balloon, like a tiny o in the sky, so tiny-tiny you have to close your eyes to see it.

 

Holiday Homework

Read, read, read!

It is important that you keep up your reading over the holidays.

You should have 5 signed sections in your reading log from the last week of term (between Monday 25th June and Monday 2nd July) which I will check on the first day of term.

Over the holidays, you are expected to read regularly. Vary what you read. Read to a parent or sibling or maybe ask someone to read to you. Visit the local library to find something new to read… or find a favourite book you already love and re-read it.

I am not expecting you to keep up your reading log in the same way as during the term, however I would like you to list what you have read, and get a parent or care-giver to sign and say that you have read regularly over the holidays.

Have a happy and safe holiday.

Libby

Homework – Week 11


Due Thursday 29th June 2017

Adaptations reflection

 First you should look through the Rubric we have been using and identify with a highlighter or pen what you achieved.

Then look at the post that was created at the beginning of the Unit-here

At the top there are are 3 areas in red that describe the opportunities you were given for learning:

  1. Science Knowledge
  2. Science Inquiry Skills
  3. Personal and Social Capabilities

During your reflection you should reflect on something you learned from EACH of these areas at least once.

Write a reflection of what you have learnt during this term’s Science unit and project. Your reflection must include:
Section 1
An introduction summarising the project and what you achieved with your team-mention here items from the rubric that you feel you did well or could have improved on. What overall level did you achieve and why do you think that?

Then include:

  • Three facts that you found interesting or surprising.
  • Two understandings you now have.
  • One wonder you still have.

Section 2
Next, refer to your learning throughout the unit (in the whole class lessons, in your research pairs, at the excursion, and in science experiments) and answer:

  • What were the most important things I have learnt.
  • How did I learn it.
  • What am I going to do with what I have learnt.

To conclude create a statement that summarises what you have learnt in both section 1 and section 2 and a goal you have for the next time you work in a group.
Look at Adriana’s and Anton’s Term Three Project Reflection from when they completed this unit when they were in Year 5 to help you get an idea of a standard to reach for:
Adriana’s reflection

Anton’s reflection

Note that these reflections use full sentences and paragraphs. Both these reflections include an extra paragraph where they reflect on goals they had set at the start of the unit. As we did not do this, you don’t have to include this section

Homework Week 8 – Due Tuesday 13th June

  1. For homework this week you are expected to read your usual 5 times for the week – at least 30 minutes each session. Some of this reading may be reading for your science but must still be signed by a parent or caregiver.
  2. You are expected to work on your science project this week instead of all other homework tasks. This means you will need to organise roles and responsibilities with your partner so you both have tasks to work on. I will expect you to show me the work/research you have done on Tuesday when homework is checked.

 

Homework – Week 7

DUE MONDAY 5th June

BTN:

Please don’t forget that you are expected to put a link in your post to the BTN article you have written about.  You are also expected to detail 3 facts, 2 understandings and 1 question – colour coding or using subheadings to show each one.

Click here for this weeks BTN

HOTMaths:

Two-way tables

Reading Log:

Don’t forget to fill this out each night and bring it on Monday.

100 word challenge:

Please set yourself a goal, and write it at the start of your entry. This is one way you can keep improving with every piece of writing you do. You may find looking at the comments others have made on your past work will help you find ways to improve on the next.

The 100wc site is back up, so please aim to do this part of your homework early in the week so you can post it on the 100wc site as well as your blog.

Adaptations Research Project

WHAT WE ARE LEARNING- THE VICTORIAN CURRICULUM STANDARDS

Science Knowledge

Biological – Science Understanding

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment
  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting

  • Create questions that lead into a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be based on previous experiences or general rules

Planning and conducting

  • Plan an investigation to answer questions and use equipment, technologies and materials safely, identifying potential risks
  • Decide which variables should be changed, measured and controlled in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data

Recording and processing

  • Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to record, represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data

Analysing and evaluating

  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations
  • Suggest improvements to the methods used to investigate a question or solve a problem

Communicating

  • Communicate ideas and processes using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena and to identify simple cause-and-effect relationships (VCSIS088)

 

Personal & Social Capabilities

  • Reflect on how personal strengths have assisted in achieving success at home, at school or in the community
  • Describe what it means to be confident, adaptable and persistent and why these attributes are important in dealing with new or challenging situations
  • Describe the characteristics of respectful relationships and suggest ways that respectful relationships can be achieved
  • Identify the characteristics of an effective team and develop descriptions for particular roles including leadership, and describe both their own and their team’s performance when undertaking various roles
  • Describe the various causes of conflict and evaluate possible strategies to address conflict

 

 

OUR FINAL PROJECT

To conclude our science unit on adaptation students will prepare an information display and presentation with supporting resources on a desert animal or plant. The audience for this presentation will be other Year 5-6 students. The purpose is to inform/teach.

Teams should comprise a year 5 and a year 6 student chosen to ensure effective use of time.

Before beginning and during the process teams must allocate roles and monitor progress.

Teams should assist one another to manage tasks and time and remind each other of their personal responsibilities. All team members must be responsible for at least one aspect of research and presentation.

There should be recognition of balancing the responsibilities between team members.

Your presentation should:

  • describe the desert environment to which the species is adapted
  • describe the structural features and behaviour of the species
  • make claims about which are key adaptations that help the species survive.

Your presentations will be showcased during the last week of term where each team member will have to share their knowledge, answering questions from other students.

Examples of oral presentations by scientists on adaptations can be found at:

Museum expert presentations

 

(Don’t worry- your presentation doesn’t need live animals!)

Present your research on a display board or in digital format.

(example only- yours may look different)

Show what you know about writing information reports- features and style. You will have access to and be marked according to a rubric.

Predictions:

Begin by making predictions about what you think might be some possible adaptations of your plant /animal. Say why you think this might be an feature or behaviour of your plant/animal.

Note taking: 

Take notes from at least 3 sources before using these notes to draft your report in your own words.

Drafting & Publishing:

  • The language of your report should be impersonal and contain three tier words.
  • Use a font size of at least 16 points for the text on your display board, so that it is easy to read from a few feet away. It’s OK to use slightly smaller fonts for captions on picture and tables
  • The title should be big and easily read from across the room. Choose one that accurately describes your work, but also grabs peoples’ attention.
  • Graphic features- Use photos or draw diagrams to present non-numerical data, to propose models that explain your claims. Try to find or create a graph to illustrate an aspect of your learning. (you could use Excel)
  • Include an annotated drawing to identify the adaptations of your plant/animal (similar to the one on ‘Camel features’)
  • You may choose to construct a 3D model instead of or as well as your annotated diagram-expected or extension?
  • The diagram and model should highlight the features and adaptations that are central to your species’ survival in the desert. Where possible, structural features on your model should be created to clearly show how the feature works to help the animal survive.
  • A Bibliography. At least three sources.

Experiment!

Your group should include a  proposal for an experiment to investigate if your claimed structural feature of the animal/plant is an adaptation for surviving in a desert environment. You will use your knowledge of models, variables, controls and fair testing that you learned during our 2 experiments this term. Deciding on what you and your team think you can achieve in the given time, you can either:

  • propose an investigation (include mention of what variables will be tested and what variables will be controlled)
  • plan the experiment (using the template we have used in our previous science experiments)

experiment-proforma

  • conduct your experiment and observe, record and share the results in your final display. Would you change or improve your experiment if you did it again? What might be another experiment that could be carried out to extend knowledge of this area?

 

These presentations will be on display during Science week in term 3

Data for graphs

Use one of the following data sources to create a graph on Excel. What sort of graph best suits the data?

post it on your blog with the original data copied from here. High level work will also include an analysis of the graph- what does it show? What can we tell when we look at it?

 

% of worlds wealth held in 2005
Richest 10% 58.2
2nd Richest 10% 16.8
3rd Richest 10% 10.5
4th Richest 10% 6.5
5th Richest 10% 4.4
6th Richest 10% 2.5
7th Richest 10% 0.9
8th Richest 10% 0.2
9th Richest 10% 0.1
Poorest 10% 0

 

GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita means how much a country earns for each person in the country, or the average amount each person earns in that country per year