Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"A Man in the Attic" by Imran Zaidi

Assalam Alaykum everyone,

My apologies for abandoning this blog and not writing more often. We have been busy with Connections Academy. Inshallah I will write more about that as soon as I get the chance, for now I wanted to post something that is a little off topic, but very important to relay to everyone.

Ali Imran Zaidi, my brother-in-law, makes short films as a hobby. The short film “A Man in the Attic” is written, directed, produced and narrated by him. It has been winning many awards in Orlando, Toronto, DC and more… And NOW it is finally available online for all to see!!!

This film is now appearing on the home page of Current, the internet/cable channel started by Al Gore. If it is viewed by many people and gets popular they will buy it and put it on their TV channel. So please if you can take 7 minutes out of your time to view it, and possibly vote for it (to vote though you need an account, which is simple enough, but not necessary to view the page) and also to send this to anyone and everyone that you know, we would appreciate it.

This is the direct link to view “A Man in the Attic”:
http://current.com/items/87571021_a_man_in_the_attic

Synopsis:
A MAN IN THE ATTIC (2006)
Written/Produced/Directed by Ali Imran Zaidi, 7 min 25 sec
An American Muslim ponders, discusses and ruminates on his position in America, and the decline of his people in western civilization.
http://www.theseventhlevel.net/AManInTheAttic

If you want to know more about Imran and his work visit: http://www.theseventhlevel.net/AManInTheAttic/aliimranzaidi.asp
His contact info is on there as well.

Thanks everyone and I hope you are all well Inshallah!!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Summer break, Shakespeare and reading charts

I know I’ve been bad about posting this semester, but it was quite productive and we got a lot done so my lack of blogging was for a good cause. Now that the semester is over I’ve been able to breathe a sigh of relief. Since all our lessons have been finished and school has been officially closed we have literally done nothing but relaxed. I’ve done some more reading of my own and have been kind of hooked on Shakespeare recently and have went back and read several of his plays again after a long time. Then we searched the library and they actually have summarized versions of his plays for kids which we got from the library and my 5 year old (who is almost 6 by the way) and I read them together. So far we have read A Midsummer Night's Dream and are currently going through Twelfth Night. Even though these plays were written for kids, they were targeted more towards 9 year olds and have quite a lot of quotes from the originals in them, therefore I have had to explain a lot to her. There’s one book that I particularly loved and I’m thinking of adding it to our library, Tales From Shakespeare by Tina Packer. It retells ten of Shakespeare's most popular plays. It’s wonderful for kids and even I enjoyed going through it.

Another thing we decided to do was create a summer reading chart, to encourage more reading. I’ve noticed lately that my girls have both been really into playing with their dolls and doing all sorts of elaborate imaginative play, which I am so happy to see, but it has been cutting into their reading time. So we created a chart for reading. Basically on one page there is room to fill in 16 books. Once she reads a book (and it has been a proper book, not a book that is only a few pages or a board book that belongs to her little sister) we can add the book’s title, author and the date she read it on to the page. Once she has filled up the whole page with the 16 books (don’t ask me how we came up with that number, we just did) then she will get $1 for that page. Every page she fills up she’ll get a dollar for. There are a couple of rules though, one is that she is not allowed to read the same book twice (unless she wants to, but it won't be counted on the chart) and if she reads a thick chapter book then I will count that as two books. We decided to start this today, since it is the first day of June and she’s already read 3 books! I just hope I’m not bankrupt by the end of the week.

I will be writing more about what we did this past semester (the homelife projects) and what our plans are for the summer, her birthday, and also next year.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-12)

Although many specifics about how the first teacher appreciation day began are unknown, we do know that around 1944 Mattye Whyte Woodridge, an Arkansas teacher, decided there should be a national day honoring teachers. Woodridge began to write to political and educational leaders, and in 1953, she wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in turn persuaded Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

The first Tuesday in March was first recognized as National Teacher Day. In 1985, the day was expanded to the full week that we celebrate today.

Visit this website for more information:
Teacher-Appreciation.info

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Too long, I know

My apologies, I know it’s been a while since my last post. A little too long, but I have lots of updates so no worries.

First, we’ve been coming along real well with Connections Academy. There’s just another few weeks left of school for this year and we’ve completed kindergarten math and have started grade one math. We have also completed all of the other courses, including reading and Spanish. We used the jumpstart cd for Spanish mostly. The funny thing was that my three year old loved to watch my five year old use the cd. She sang along with the Spanish songs and repeated the words that they said to repeat. It was adorable!

Now for the last month of school we only have two courses left that we have been working on, one is grade one math and the other is another elective we picked up called homelife; which has been very different and refreshing. Basically for homelife there are certain projects that you are given to complete and you take pictures while you are doing them and then write up a report with the pictures attached. It’s been great. So far with my assistance my five year old has made a pizza from scratch, went on a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, planted an herb garden and is currently working on a genealogy project by interviewing some family members, making notes and then she will also draw up a family tree. I will write more about each project in detail later, and may even include some pictures.

We’re also still going to Madressa every Sunday morning. That has also been going well and the last day will be May 13th, which will be the day of the final exam. Then on the 20th there will be a party and awards ceremony where the top students will receive trophies and the rest of the children will receive ribbons and medals for different things such as attendance, behavior and participation. We are really looking forward to that and all of the volunteer teachers have worked very hard on it. We also did a program back in March right after the month of Muharram, and Safar on 9th rabi-ul-awwal for Eid-e-Zehra. The children practiced different plays and such to present to the community. Almost 100 people showed up, which included parents and different members of the community so it went off pretty well. The pre-k/kindergarten class that I teach, along with another teacher, (which my daughters are also in) performed the months in islam song and also each one of them read a different surah or dua into the microphone. I thought one of them might get nervous once they were standing in front of the crowd, but they all did so well, mashallah. And my five year old and her friend got so excited they were singing the months in islam song so loudly. They had quite a bit of fun.

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I did an update, it’s just been quite busy here with muharram and school and all. But inshallah I promise to keep this up as much as I can. Thanks for still visiting and reading this blog, even though I haven’t been around much. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding anything or if you would like me to blog about a certain topic.

Jazak Allah khairan