I know you’re watching the VMAs…


Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games - This shot looks like it's from The Arena... So excited to see the movie! Come with me -- but read the books first!

Hi KIPPsters!

So maybe you put down And Then There Were None in order to tune into the VMAs. It’s okay, I did too. 🙂

But… the reason I did was actually book-related (of course!). Tonight, MTV aired a very short and not very exciting sneak preview of The Hunger Games, the movie. I’m happy to see that Katniss looks pretty much as she should and the set looks beautifully Panem-ish, as it should. I just can’t wait to see the movie next year!

Want to come with me? Read the book! (But finish And Then There Were None first, please!) Anyone who reads the trilogy and passes the quizzes earns themselves a free ticket to the movie when it opens in 2012.

I can’t wait!

Now get back to your reading!




And Then There Were None – Post #3

Hi KIPPsters!

I hope everyone is ok after Hurricane Irene! I think the best thing to do to stay safe and dry is to plop onto your couch and read And Then There Were None until you turn the last page and say to yourself, “And NOW there are none!” 🙂

Anyway, in this post, I’m going to give you a couple of hints about things that you will definitely want to include on your Cheat Sheet:

1. The deaths – who, how, in what order…

2. The crimes and guest histories – who was accused of what…

3. Details about the guests’ search for clues…

4. Details about characters’ actions and accusations during the ordeal on the island…

5. Details about the characters’ mistakes in their attempts to solve the murders…

Good luck!

Call me if you have any questions and make a GOOD CHEAT SHEET so that you have a lot of success on the test!



And Then There Were None – Post #2 – August 21, 2011

Hi KIPPsters!

So I’ve finished the book and fallen in love with Agatha Christie’s twisted mind all over again! However, instead of posting all about the mysterious ending or the crafty extra chapter, I will instead pick up where I left off on Sunday.

This brings me to some more questions…

Question 4: On pages 80-92, several characters are tortured by their memories and their guilt. They are thinking about the charges laid against them on the gramophone. What are some words and phrases that Agatha Christie uses to suggest that these characters feel guilty for those alleged crimes?

One by one each soldier statue disappears...

Question 5: There are several symbols at work in this novel – the rhyme, the soldier statues and the weapons/methods used to kill each guest. Think about the connection between these items. Why do you think Agatha Christie left so many clues and made the deaths so predictable? Why didn’t the guests figure out the pattern and do something about it all sooner?

Question 6: On page 114-119, the characters make an important discoveries about why they were all invited to Soldier Island. Explain what each of these characters has in common and why they were most likely invited to the Island to be killed. Based on these answers, which guest, do you think, is the hidden “U.N. Owen”?

The characters all unravel the mystery of the nursery rhyme and figure that the guests are being murdered according to the order and method suggested in its lines. At this point, they begin a thorough search of the island – hoping to find this mysterious UN Owen. What do they learn in this search?

Now let’s review more of the deaths:

SOLDIER 3: “…. Travelling to Devon, One said he’s stay there and then there were Seven.” Who was the third guest to die? How did he die?

The connection between this murder and the nursery rhyme is a bit trickier. No one travels to Devon, clearly, as they are all stuck on Soldier Island. But the third dead guest does refuse to leave his meditative spot on the cliff. Remember now? General Macarthur! What crime was he guilty of and how did his guilt affect his mental state leading up to his death?

What’s the connection between wanting to “stay” and the way that Macarthur died? (see p. 129)

After Macarthur’s death, the guests become more suspicious of one another. Who leads them in an “investigation” of who the murderer could be? Why do you think each guest is beginning to point fingers at others and is so quick to call someone guilty without proof?

Right before the fourth death, someone locks up everything, hoping to prevent further crimes from being committed. What is the meaning behind Rogers going through these motions before going to bed that evening and how does that connect to what happens to Rogers the next morning?

SOLDIER 4: “chopped himself in halves…” Who dies next and how?

On the same day as the fourth death, the fifth death occurs.

SOLDIER 5: “playing with a hive… a bumblebee stung one and then there were five.” This death is a curious one. There was no bee hive, however, the death mimicked a bee sting. What did the murderer do in order to keep in line with the nursery rhyme?

That’s enough for now. But as you read, pay attention to the psychological effects the deaths have on each guest. What roles do guilt and innocence play in this murder mystery?

Have fun!






And Then There Were None Post #1 – August 14, 2011

A beautiful mansion perched at the top of a rocky, isolated island... The perfect setting for a murder mystery!

Hello KIPPsters!

It’s a rainy, dreary Sunday… the perfect day to curl up with Agatha Christie’s murder mystery. Have you started reading yet?

For my first post, I want to give a few clues and tips about the early portion of the exposition. Please feel free to comment, answer questions, or add to this post.

First Impressions:

The Poem… Christie starts the book off with what seems like a silly nursery rhyme about 10 little soldier boys who, one by one, are killed in what seem to be tragic and sudden accidents.

Question 1: What do each of the 10 characters have in common?

Every character seems to have a secret criminal past. The voice on the gramophone describes each of them as murderers in some way or another, and yet each character seems to be shocked at the accusation.

How does each character react to hearing their dirty little secret made public to a house full of strangers? Who faints?

The voice on the gramophone adds to the frightening atmosphere surrounding this “vacation” for our 10 guests. Suddenly, the guests realize that they are surrounded by people who have committed serious crimes and they also realize that their own pasts, which they formerly thought were hidden, are public knowledge.

Can you describe the emotional setting of the novel — what are the characters feeling? How would YOU feel if you were trapped on this island. Be able to describe the physical characteristics of the island, as well as the emotional atmosphere shared by the guests.

Question 2: Describe the connection between the poem and the major events of the plot. SPOILER ALERT!!!

SOLDIER 1 – “Choked his little self” – How does the first death occur? Who is the first to go?

SOLDIER 2 – “Overslept himself” – How does the second death occur? Who is the second guest to die?

Can you predict how the rest of the guests will meet their tragic ends?

Question 3: Who is Mr./Mrs. U.N. Owen? His identity is hidden… but some of the guests have hidden identities as well. Who are the guests who have secret identities or have hidden information from the guests regarding how and why they arrived at the island?

Think about Blore and Lombard. Who are they, really? How are they different from the other guests? 

There are a lot of mysteries unfolding on this island. Please add to this post with any answers you have to the questions or any clues you have about the mysterious deaths happening daily on Soldier Island.

Check out this floor plan of the mansion on Soldier Island. Maybe this can help you picture the guests' mysterious accomodations a little better.

Happy reading!



Wednesday July 20, 2011 – First OF MICE AND MEN Post

Hi KIPPsters!

I hope you’re enjoying your first whole class novel of 8th grade! By the end of today’s reading, you should know your primary characters and the setting fairly well, so please show me what you know so far…


1. Briefly retell what happened in tonight’s reading (1-3 sentences).

2. Historical Analysis: Discuss what the novel is teaching you about what it was like to live during this time and place in history.

That’s it! But don’t forget you must have 3 HIGH QUALITY NOTES in your iThink Journal as well!



Thursday July 14, 2011 – 8th Grade Post 2

Hi KIPPsters!

I hope you had a wonderful third day of school! I’m so happy that we are finally getting rolling with real reading and not spending all of our time on routines! (Even though routines ARE super important!) Anyway, here’s tonight’s CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS:

1. Title and Author of current IR book.

2. I read from page ____ to page ____.

3. Brief retell of what you read tonight. (3-5 sentences)

4. Describe the personality of the main character.  Provide at least two text details that reflect your description of the character.

That’s it. Please don’t forget to follow the CFS exactly or you will end up re-doing it tomorrow during bench. 😦



8th Grade Post #1 – Wednesday July 13, 2011

Hi KIPPsters!

Welcome to the 8th Grade! I’m so excited for our second year together! Here is the post for the HW…


1. Title of IR book and author.

2. Tonight I read from page _____ to page _____.

3. High quality note 1 (choose from your “My Notes” section of your iThink Journal)

4. High quality note 2 (choose a different note)

5. Describe the exposition of the novel in 3-5 sentences. Who is the main character? Where does the story take place? Has the main character encountered any problems yet?

That’s it. Short, sweet and to the point! Have a great night!