Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Camas Elementary of Wapato - Write Makes Might!

The Word Warrior and his battle-ready crew.  They totally raided my props. :)
How was it?!  I'll tell you how it was...

It was LOUD!
It was CRAZY!

It was also well-behaved, eloquent, had great listening skills and showed off a ton of positive participation and writing ability.

It was Camas Elementary, the Write Makes Might assembly!

This school was fab fun.  Had some great words and vocabulary, lots of energy, especially for an end-of the day gig, and above all some top-notch staff.  Mr. Salazar rocked the AV and introductions and the Principal, Maria, totally floored me with what has now become one of my favorite presentation moments.  Earlier in the day her counterpart at Adams Elementary, Tavis, had asked "Is everything ready? Did I get it all set up like you asked?"  To which I replied "Yes, Tavis... all except for the bag of blue M&M's."  He played along nicely.  We shared a chuckle.  We parted.  Then Tavis went to his office and called Maria.  She dashed out, grabbed a bag of M&M's and had all the blue ones sorted out by the time I started my afternoon assembly at her school.  Just as I was starting, she popped up to the front and made the presentation.

It was totally awesome.

Thanks for the blue M&M's, Maria!  Now I R a rockstar!
Not only do I now feel like a bonafide rockstar, but I'm going to add "bag of blue M&M's" permanently to my list of required assembly materials.  Hey, what can I say?  Once you get a taste of fame, there's no going back.

And, as usual, below is the entire text for the amazing story the kids created.  This is for YOU, students of Camas Elementary!  Write on!!

Jeff the Janitor Cleans House
Once there was a little frog named Jeff who lived in a pond. He got sucked into the sewer and ended up in Camas Elementary school. The frog was wandering around and found a mug on Mr. Salazar's desk. The mug had something green in it. Jeff drank it. It tasted like seaweed. Then he mutated into a janitor.
      “That was gross!” Jeff croaked. “Let's go clean something!”
      One day an evil snake named Ssindy tried to take over the world. Ssindy using an evil smoke. When you smelled the smoke it turned you into a snake. Jeff decided to make an army of frogs using the same drink that turned him into a janitor. The snake army met the frog janitor army in battle. The snakes got slimed by the frogs' super bazookas.
      “Noooooooooo...” hissed Ssindy.
      Jeff the Janitor won the day!

Adams Elementary of Wapato - Write Makes Might!

The Word Warrior prepares students for combat by handing over a public restroom.
Another great show!  Huge thanks to the administrators, staff and students at Wapato's own Adams Elementary for hosting my Write Makes Might assembly, especially principal Tavis Peterson.  He was great, kids were great, participation was great, story was great... in short, it was great.  They also have more great stuff than just assemblies going on.  Adams Elementary is totally committed to the writing process and are doing some amazing things with showcasing student work, rubrics and other cool educational terms that I only understand in a very basic and non-educator-like way.  Basically, it's great.  One of the teachers typed the final story into Google Docs during the assembly and took her kids straight back to class to continue working on it as an assignment.  Now that's innovation.  Go Adams!  Write Makes Might!!

On a side note, my Sgt. Vocab mustache stayed on the whole time, I only ate about nine hairs from the Word Warrior wig (a big improvement) and videographer Rob Culp from Little Fish Productions (pictured below on the far right background desperately trying to follow the action with his camera) was able to nail some choice footage for the upcoming Write Makes Might promo video.  Go Rob!

Sgt. Vocab gathers ammo for the Word War.  Careful - that thing is loaded!

As usual, I also include here the full text of the story written by the students during the assembly's grand finale.  Way to go, guys!  This one's for you!

The Oink Heard 'Round the World

A long time ago in a farm far far way lived a pig. The farm was run by an evil farmer named Dr. Farmer. Dr. Farmer experimented on the pig and turned him into a super pig named Oink Oink. Oink Oink flew around helping people. He helped old ladies cross the street. He caught someone falling off a roof. Then one day Dr. Farmer got hungry. But Dr. Farmer's daughter loved Oink Oink. She warned him he was in trouble.
     “Watch out!” she cried. “My father is coming!”
     When Dr. Farmer came to make bacon, Oink Oink let loose his secret weapon... the Super Oink!!! Dr. Farmer was defeated and Oink Oink was saved. The Evil Dr. Farmer had met his match!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Stuff I've Learned From the Avengers Part 2: Iron Man - You're Only as Good as Your Armor

And THAT, folks, is some AWESOME armor.  They don't call it "Hulkbuster" for nuttin'...

Continuing this series in honor of The Avengers:  Age of Ultron, let's take a peek at the group's frontman and see what we can learn - billionaire philanthropist and occasional egomaniac Tony Stark.

To learn any lessons from Iron Man, that's exactly where you need to look - not at the tin suit, but at the man underneath.  This super is a great illustration for all of us: when it comes right down to it, we're all pretty soft and squishy.  Vulnerable.  Bendable.  Breakable.  Bleedable (I made that one up).  In short, "human".

Problem is, life comes at us as hard and fast as a dozen Ultrons on any given day, with pressure, stress, temptation, fear, anxiety, pimples, bad choices, bad gas, bad credit and bad weather.  We just don't know what's gonna hit us next.  The GOOD news is... well.. the Good News.

We are not alone.  We got armor.

In Ephesians 6:10-12, God tells us what to do to stand up to life and all the threats and dangers it can dish out.  Put on our armor.  Slap on the Truth, buckle on Righteousness and clamp down Faith all around us.  Even more, we're encouraged to go on the warpath.  With a sword.  Dang.  I want me some of that.  That's something even Tony Stark doesn't have.  Iron Man with a big flippin' sword?!  Now you're talking.

The plain fact is that we're only as good as our armor.  And if we put on that armor, then nothing can stop us.  Not even life.

So put it on.  That's not a suggestion.