Wednesday, June 13, 2018

7th Grade Summer Spelling List Week 1

Yes, even junior high school students need to have spelling tests. My rising 7th grader is given a new vocabulary list every week. He learns to spell, define, and create unique sentences. The goal is to reduce test anxiety, increase vocabulary, improve reading comprehension and writing skills. Follow my blog for weekly spelling words.

  1. deprive
  2. academy
  3. appreciate
  4. advice
  5. tragedy
  6. argued
  7. gazelle
  8. official
  9. favorite
  10. identity
  11. controlled
  12. inherit
  13. evaluate
  14. collision
  15. technology
  16. Argentina
  17. nonessential
  18. cross-examination
  19. Connecticut
  20. discourage
  21. binoculars
  22. shirked
You can also create lists based on the books your child is reading for the summer. This helps to gauge just how much of the material they understand.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

7th Grade Summer Math Lesson 1

My eldest child is an incoming 7th grader. The amount of information he loses over the summer is immense. He also has a bit of test anxiety. He panics when he sees something he doesn't know on the test and it causes him to shut down for the remainder of the exam. When it comes to math, he is a natural, however, he requires more time to initially acquire the skill. I like to spend the summers reinforcing the lessons he learned at school so that he will return to school in the fall with enough confidence to excel on his exams. Entering 7th grade, he will be stressed about the number of class changes, keeping track of seven different assignments and books, and don't get me started on the locker combination. He doesn't need to feel like he's behind on something as simple as a review.

I provide him with two math assignments per day for 5 days. If I find that he needs more time on a skill, I will take the week to remain on that one lesson so that he can grasp the concept in his own time. the goal is to have your student stay in the habit of working math problems. Acceleration is not the goal, retention is. Give weekly or bi-weekly quizzes and exams to reduce test anxiety. Feel free to follow my blog to follow along with my summer lesson plan.

Lesson 1 Rounding Decimals

Round to the nearest whole number.

  1. 41.803
  2. 119.63
  3. 20.05
  4. 3.45
  5. 79.531
  6. 8.437
  7. 29.37
  8. 109.96
Round to the nearest tenth.

  1. 33.335
  2. 1.861
  3. 99.96
  4. 103.103
  5. 16.031
  6. 281.05
  7. 8.741
  8. 27.773
Round to the nearest hundredth.

  1. 69.713
  2. 5.569
  3. 609.906
  4. 247.898
  5. 5.535
  6. 67.1951
  7. 14.0305
  8. 6.9372
This last section was a bit challenging as it requires the student to pay closer attention to the function (x, /). It also requires them to memorize which way the decimal moves for both functions. Expect a few slip ups. Add more problems like these throughout the week to keep your student alert so these mistakes aren't made during test time.

Multiplying and Dividing by 10, 100, etc.

  1. 4.81x100
  2. 37.68/10
  3. 0.46x1,000
  4. 7.12/10,000
  5. 5.4x10
  6. 27,500/1,000
  7. 4.395x100,000
  8. 0.0075/100
  9. 2.274x10
  10. 90,000/100
  11. 0.000618x1,000
  12. 39.006/1,000
  13. 16x100
  14. 28.889/10,000
  15. 36.89x10,000
  16. 0.091/100
  17. 0.0336x100,000
  18. 1,672/100,000

3rd Grade Summer Slide Spelling Words Week 1

I have an incoming 3rd grader who needs to stay on top of what she learned in 2nd grade. Summer slide in general is a program that is aimed at preventing the academic regression that takes place over the summer. Many children don't have issues with forgetting what they learned the previous year and do well with the usual review that takes place the first month of the fall school quarter. My children are not a part of that group.

If your child needs to stay on the grind like mine, feel free to follow my blog to stay up to date on useful links and assignments to prevent the summer slide. Each week I will post a new spelling list like the one below. Your child should be able to read, spell, define and use each word in the list. Tailor the list to your child's needs. If your child is reading at least two books per week like my own, you can create a list of your own using the words in the books.

There are five lessons per list:

  1. Write the spelling words 3 times each.
  2. Alphabetize the words.
  3. Define the words using a dictionary.
  4. Create unique sentences using the words.
  5. Fill in the blank using the words.
A weekly spelling test is optional. The goal is to expose your child to as much new vocabulary as you can before school this fall. This makes reading comprehension easier and reduces test anxiety and frustration during the school year. If test anxiety is an issue for your child, I would advise a weekly test. This will help your child develop a tolerance and a system of preparation for test taking.

Week 1- Short a/e sight/vocabulary words

  1. high
  2. every
  3. near
  4. west
  5. dress
  6. best
  7. next
  8. else
  9. checked
  10. grand
  11. stand
  12. punish
  13. monarch
  14. migrate
  15. butterfly
  16. nectar
As you can see, with the above list the main topic is butterflies. I recommend reinforcing this list with a child's non-fiction book on Monarch butterflies.

5 Reasons Black Women Wear Weaves That have Nothing To Do With White Women

1. We look great.

The most probable and rational reason we wear weaves is the same reason white women wear weaves. We look great. We saw a look we wanted to try and didn't want to wait to grow our hair out, or have to cut it to try it. We saw a color we wanted without the commitment. It doesn't matter how we reached the conclusion, once we've decided it was a good look we did it. Nope, nothing to do with wanting to be like white women.

2. We're protecting our natural hair.

Relaxed and heat treated hair is especially fragile. It becomes more fragile during the summer months when the sun acts like a heat dryer and the chlorine acts as a hair bleach. Having our hair protected under a braided weave eliminates the heat damage our hair suffers which reduces breakage and hair loss. No white people, that doesn't mean our hair does not grow. It means it grows better when its being protected. Still nothing to do with white women.

3. We're eclectic.

I may be emo the first week of June and pop star on the third week of June. I have a range of personality quirks that need to be individually expressed. Its humanly impossible to do so with my own hair. Weaves make that possible. Nope, still not trying to be white. Just trying to express myself artistically.

4. We're pressed for time.

The twist out/braid out method takes time to achieve. So does straightening. Between work, philanthropy, children, a husband and two large dogs, I don't have time to do my hair daily. I'm often too exhausted to remember to put on my bonnet at night. A weave makes my life easier by saving time. Surprise, surprise, still not trying to be white.

5. We're hiding a mishap.

Sometimes the stylist cuts my hair too short when all I asked for was a dust or a trim. Other times, she got the color wrong. Or maybe I left the flat iron on or the relaxer in too long. Maybe I need more time to pull off the Big Chop. Any of the above will result in me needing an immediate cover-up until I can once again be presentable in a way that makes me comfortable. You guessed it, nothing to do with white women.

So why this persistent assumption that black women wear weaves solely to assimilate to whiteness? The evidence often presented by white people and black hoteps alike is that black women don't have blond hair or straight hair. But this is categorically false. It has been proven numerous times that dark skinned black women have been known to have all hair textures and eye colors. Yet, still this false stereotype persists.

Are we even going to address the fact that white women themselves learned about weaves from black women? Show me a white female celebrity, and I'll show you a celebrity with a weave. Is anyone going to accuse them of trying to be black? No? Didn't think so. When we do it, we're assimilating. When they do it, it's fashionable.

I'll leave you with this one freebie. The only time a black woman wears a weave to assimilate to white standards is when we are applying and interviewing for a job, or are facing a judge. The reason is because we have learned that Keisha with the purple braids won't get the job but Keisha with the 14" yaki straight center part will. We know that Tenesha with a fro will be charged with a felony but Tenesha with an 18" wet and wavy blond ombre will be charged with a misdemeanor. So congratulations white women, there is one instance when black women will wear a weave to be more like you, survival.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Election Day Tips

Today, Californians are voting in their 2018 Gubernatorial election. A large number of voters have chosen to vote by mail. For those who are still heading to the polls today, here are some tips to consider.

1. Unopposed candidates shouldn't get your vote by default.

Incumbents in certain offices tend to run unopposed. County District Attorney, Tax assessor, and County Property Assessor are a few positions that tend to have no challengers. This doesn't mean that the candidate should automatically inherit your vote. You have two options when faced with this scenario. You can write in a candidate's name or you can not make a selection at all. If you choose to write in a candidates name, first research the position to see if there happens to be a challenger who entered the race late. Writing in this candidate's name will reduce the percentage of the total vote that the incumbent or unopposed candidate earns. That can send a message to the candidate that may inspire a change. The other option is to abstain. This has the same effect and will also cause the candidate to re-evaluate their course of action while in office. This also sparks the drive of another potential candidate come the next voting term. The likelihood of the incumbent running unopposed more than once will be greatly decreased.

2. Your political party doesn't define you.

Choose the candidate with the best resume. Be clear and focused on what policies and qualities you need from the candidates to best represent you, your district, city, county, and state.

3. Research the candidates.

Campaign ads and commercials are methodically planned PR productions. Don't base your opinion of a candidate on them. Take the time to investigate them, their voting trends, their professional and educational backgrounds and their public statements. Race and political party affiliation is irrelevant. Be wary of a client that depends on name dropping, party representation, or race to help sway your vote.

4. Read the voter guide as a time saver.

When it comes to propositions, the wording can be misleading. You think you're voting for something that accomplishes one goal but it turns out to be something completely different. Read the pros and cons and take note of the organizations and individuals supporting or opposing the ballot measures.

When it comes to voting, you want to make informed decisions not emotional ones. Research, investigate, make the best choice possible and abstain if necessary.

Happy voting!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How Get Out Made Me Hilariously Paranoid

Get Out is a surprise box office hit by Jordan Peele, that has grossed over $100 million dollars. If you have not seen the movie, STOP. DO NOT READ THIS POST. Go watch it first, then come back to this blog and any other blogs that reveal all of the Easter eggs in the movie. Then go watch it again. Since I saw the movie, certain things in pop culture seem suspicious to me now. Things that made perfect sense before, no longer add up. I feel as paranoid as a conspiracy theorist now.

Men In Black

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones starred in this sci-fi comedy along with appearances by Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and Vincent D'Onofrio. The basic premise is that aliens are hijacking human bodies and are walking around Earth in disguise. The MIB have to capture these "illegal aliens". Sometimes, humans see the MIB doing their job. In this case, the MIB use a pen-like device that flashes and clears the human's memory. Their memories are later reprogrammed to remember whatever the MIB planted into the person's head.

If you've seen Get Out, this almost seems like a foreshadowing. Strange people, take over the bodies of black people. However in this case, the flash of light doesn't make the inhabited person forget anything, it helps them remember. Still, they are hypnotized just the same. At which point, any requested thoughts or behaviors are transplanted into the victim's brain.

Spill the tea

This phrase is most commonly used to request more juicy gossip. But what if all this time, the black person being asked to spill the tea was in fact receiving a warning from another black person who was already victimized by those evil body snatchers?

Tea shops

Have you ever noticed how much white people LOVE tea? Like, they love it more than the people who made it in the first place. There are even stand alone tea shops that are as popular as Starbucks. They take a traditional herbal tea from a particular ethnic group or indigenous region and totally revamp it into something no one can resist. There is definitely something suspicious there.

And lets not ignore the fact that they invented tea parties. They had so many, they have to have special China to serve it with. There's an entire etiquette designed around tea, when to drink it, how many times to stir it, tapping the spoon before putting it on your saucer. Perhaps these are instructions for hypnotism.

Skeleton Key

Someone sort of ruined the movie Get Out for me by telling me it was just like a reverse Skeleton Key. Of course this was black people occupying white people with hoodoo, but the premise was basically the same. At the time Kate Hudson starred in the Skeleton Key, black people were still attempting to assimilate to white standards. Our skin prevented complete assimilation, so the idea of a black person becoming a white person against their will was particularly terrifying for a white person. With Get Out the tables were turned. White people wanted to become black people. Perhaps this movie was trying to tell us something.


No one is more guilty of robbing black people of their culture like any one of the Kardashian / Jenner Klan. (The "K" in "Klan" was intentional). Each time a Kardashian couples with a black man, they behave more black, having fully absorbed our culture. However, the black man they were once with, is left to become nothing more than a shell of himself. Lamar Odom wound up in a coma. Perhaps his transplant didn't take. With each new black man, their butts get bigger, their skin gets darker, they start cooking soul food, they have black babies. The Kardashians may be hiding in plain sight. This is not a drill.

Master Race

Show me a post about any set of twins where one is black and the other is white, and I'll show you a comment from a reader that says, "the only way to erase racism is to make more mixed kids." It's the creepiest thing I've ever heard. White people who choose a black mate for the sole purpose of genetic engineering may as well have been a scene in the Get Out movie. If no one can fully claim black or white, no one can be labeled inferior or superior. Which was the focus behind the body snatching in the movie.

This entire post is merely a joke I came up with when a Hotep friend of mine got melodramatic about the movie. Just in case he's right about any of this, I want you all to know that you can count on me to be a friend like Rod. I hope you enjoyed my geeky sense of humor. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Woman Work by Maya Angelou

Woman Work

I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The cane to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.