Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are You An Expert?

The second story in our Celebrating Traditions Unit is called
"Anthony Reynoso, Born to Rope."

 This is a story of a family's tradition of Mexican rodeo roping and riding. Anthony and his family work hard and practice their skills for their exhibitions. Because of their hours of practice, they are now expert performers!

*   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Please share about a skill you have worked hard to learn. 

What steps did you take to master this skill?  

Was it difficult at first?

Did anyone help you to achieve this goal?


  1. Dear Class,
    When I was in fourth grade, our music teacher was looking for volunteers to join the school orchestra. She specifically needed a bass player. I had been studying the piano for two years and loved music, so I immediately raised my hand. The next thing I knew, Mrs. Cohen packed the bass in her car and drove me home! My mother was surprised when we arrived, but she was excited for me. The bass was a challenging instrument to learn. I had to learn to bow and pluck with my right hand and to find the notes on the strings with my left. With determination, I practiced daily for about 15 to 20 minutes. That was all my fingers could endure! By the time the orchestra concert date arrived, I was able to perform. My mother was a great supporter in helping me to achieve this goal. She encouraged me in my practice, played the piano along with me, and drove my bass and me everywhere we needed to go. Thank goodness we had a station wagon!
    Mrs. Ranney

  2. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Last spring, I was on the Calabasas Cheetah's Track and Field Team for the very first time. When I first started, I was out of breath when I ran a 200 meter race. Twice a week, I practiced running at Calabasas High School with the help of my coaches. In the beginning, I was so tired. Finally at my last race, I achieved the 1500 meter race. I was able to run around the track 4 times without stopping or walking. This was something I could have never done from the beginning.

    See you in 12 hours,

  3. Dear Class,

    I am really trying to master being good at baseball. I have a good arm, but I can' really hit. I have a net and tee in my backyard to practice with. I really like baseball.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your comments.


  4. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,
    When I started gymnastics I didn't know how to do a backbend kickover. I was so bad at it I fell on my head! But I'm ok. The coach Julius helped me get so good, now I can do it by my self! It is so much fun! I do gymnastics with Bella and her best friend Ava from Mr. Detamore's class.

    I LOVE gymnastics,


  5. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    One of the sports that interests me is gymnastics. I would always watch my cousin practice her flips and routines and thought about how fun it would be if I could do it too.

    When I was 5 I started to take gymnastics in New Jersey. One thing I really wanted to learn was how to do a perfect cartwheel. It looked hard but I would go to class each week and practice every day (sometimes in our house, which my mom didn't really appreciate).

    Finally, I learned how to do it! I am happy to say that I am still going to gymnastics and learning new skills.

    My next goal is to learn how to do a back-hip circle on the bars.

    Your student,

  6. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class

    I learned how to swim when I was 4 years old. I took swimming classes. After two weeks I was swimming.
    When I learned I went to the Calabasas Swim Center and I was the little one at the silver team. They accepted me because I was a very good swimmer.

  7. Dear Class,

    I'm trying to endure being nice to my brother.

    I'm better at being nice to him since last year. Will one of you write to me about a skill you are trying to master?

    See You Tomorrow,


  8. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I play baseball three times a week.
    I mastered hitting, fielding, catching, and throwing. I just need to work on my pitching mechanics. Finally I bat third and play for the Commandos.

    Best regards,

    P.S. I really want to make it to the pros.

  9. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    When I went to Hawaii my dad said that our family should go jet skiing. Later, when I got on the jet ski I had to go in the front. My dad was behind me and my brother was in the back. Then, we were speeding in the water. Next, my dad made a fast turn, and then we all fell in the water. Finally, we got back on the water ski and my dad let me drive back to shore. I was scared at first, but then I got used to it. After a while, I got really good at driving the water ski.

    It was really fun driving a water ski and now I masterd that skill.

    See you later,

  10. Dear Class,

    I'm trying to master basketball.

    I'm pretty good, but I want to get better. My friend inspired me to do this.

    See You Soon,

  11. Dear class,

    I did dance in the past. It was a lot of work. I did it 3 times a week. The classes I did were ballet, jazz, and hip hop. After 4years the instructor said I was so good I can do a solo dance.

    That skill was really hard to master but I did it.


  12. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    I'm trying to master the skill of skateboarding. I practice 4 times a week. I need practice on balancing and stopping.

    I hope to hear more of your comments.

    See you soon,

  13. Dear Class,

    I am trying to master soccer. I've been playing for three years. It is very hard to master. In my first year, I was pretty good. As the years past by, I got better and better, until I hit U10. That's when I started to get really good! I went to goalie camp and learned to get much better at goalie! My next skill I am working on is passing.

    See you in class,


  14. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    One of the skills that I have tried to master is playing the piano.Piano is a difficult but fun instrument to play.At first,I had to know the notes. The notes are different for both hands with different clefts. Most of the time, "F" clef is for left hand and "G" clef is for right hand. Then I had to learn the tempo and the dynamics. Over the years I practiced hard with patience. Finally I could play the first classical song Arabesque when I was in first grade.
    One of the people that encourages me is my mom. She helps me every night. I practice aboout 45 minutes almost every day. I am glad I learned how to play piano. I now can play Sonata, Prelude, and several other songs.

    Best regards,


  15. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Last year I was trying to master soccer. Every time I tried to kick the ball I would hit somebody, but they didn't really care. I have been trying my hardest at soccer.

    All of my friends and I have been working our hardest in practice. Finally we all mastered that skill. Now we are all pros at soccer. I am so happy that I have mastered that skill. I could never have done this without all of the hard work and coaching from my Dad.


  16. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    When I was trying to master doing a backflip it was hard the first time, but I practiced every day. I used my trampoline to practice on, it made practicing really fun! At first I would always fall down, but I was very determined to achieve my goal. Now I can do a backflip and land on my feet.


  17. Dear Class,

    I started to play soccer 2 years ago. When I began I was not that good but the more I practiced the better I got. I remember making my first goal and what a great feeling it was. I would like to continue to play soccer so that I may become and expert or a better soccer player. For now I continue to practice with my dad and family.
    Soccer Rules!!!

    See you in 15 hours and 15 min.,

  18. Dear Mrs. Ranney & Class,

    My friend Oliver had a sleep over at my house a few weeks ago. He helped me master a back flip on the diving board landing in the pool! At first I flopped on my back, then next I was getting closer. By the third flip, I was able to properly do a back flip. It was so cool, it felt like I was in a space ship, and doing back flips. Oliver and I had so much fun in the pool. We even climbed trees like monkeys. I hope you can master a back flip too.

    Your classmate and student,

    P.S.- The Back flip was not easy.

  19. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    I love riding on my skateboard but I was not so good. After I kept practicing and I got a lot better. Now I go to the skatepark with my dad and we have so much fun. I love skateboarding and my favorite skateboarders are Shawn White and Tony Hawk. Who are your favorite skateboarders? If you who have not tried riding skateboarding, try it because it is so much fun.


  20. October 20, 2011
    Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class
    When I was five I started going to boy scouts. First I did not want to wake up early on Sundays and I did not know how to make a spear or bow and arrow. My den leader stared teaching me how to make spears, bows and arrows. He also taught me how to survive in the wild. When I went camping I learned more about nature. I now got used to going to boy scouts and I've collected ten badges. I look forward to learning more about nature and to become an expert boy scoout.
    See you all tomorrow,


  21. Dear class and Mrs.Ranney,

    Last summer I took two sessions in tennis at the Tennis and Swim Center. I wasn't very good at the beginning. Every day when I was not at the tennis center, I was practicing tennis at home outside in our backyard on the wall. I was getting better and felt much better. One day when I went to tennis we were doing a face off to see who was the best at tennis. I was so worried that I was going to lose, but I was going to try my best. I was doing so well that there was only one person in line that didn't beat me. It was a hard match because he was good but not good enough for me. He and I were so worried. The game was on and I won.


  22. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    When I was 5, I was so bad at soccer. Mostly I had trouble with steals, kicks, and dribbling. When I was 6 or 7, I hurt my ankle, but I was ok.Now I am the best in my team G-Force.

    P.S I am the fastest one in my team too.

  23. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    I am an expert at basketball, tennis, handball, football, pingpong, and tetherball.I learned how to dribble through my legs and behind my back, and play tennis against my brothers. I love to play handball against my brother-in-law Steve. He's very quick and I've became an expert at being quick to hit the ball. PingPong is fun because I also have to be quick. Tetherball is always fun when I'm playing against my classmates. Football is my favorite. We play every Thanksgiving.


    Alex G.

  24. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Hi! This is Leah [a past student of Mrs. Ranney’s].

    I remember when I was starting an art class and everyone was better than me. I wanted to be as proficient as the other girls, so I work really hard. After a few months, I was almost the best in the class! I surely achieved my goal.

    I also wanted to be a better soccer player, so I practiced with my dad and I became much better.

    I have a few questions for all of you:

    What has your favorite post been on the blog so far this year?

    What do you like best about Mrs. Ranney’s class?


  25. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    Missy was trying to master dribbling in soccer when she was 5. When Vanessa was 6, she was trying to master a tennis backhand. Now we both have mastered our own activities in sports.


    Missy and Vanessa

  26. Nicole & SydneyOctober 28, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    Dear Mrs.Ranney and Class,

    Nicole and Sydney which is us, have been practicing art by ourselves for many years. We started 2 years before pre school. By first grade our art was great. Now that we are in 3rd grade our art is almost perfect.

    See you Monday,
    Nicole & Sydney

  27. Oliver & GregoryOctober 28, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    Oliver and I are experts at tether ball. We play every recces and lunch. We hit very hard at the tether ball court. We are used to playing tether ball, and now we are experts.

    Your classmates,
    Oliver and Gregory

  28. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    Two years ago Aviv and Adar were trying to master front flipping in the pool. We were always half way,but we kept practicing. Every time Aviv came to my house, we would always get better. One day Adar came to my house. The trampoline was ripped, and we jumped from the trampoline. We had so much fun. It's like were in space.

    Adar and Aviv

  29. Hayley's Grandma LyndaNovember 3, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,
    Hi I'm Hayley's Grandma Lynda.I love to knit but it took me a long time to learn. My Grandmother taught me whem I was 5 years old but I had to practice alot before I became good at it. At first, all I could do was knit row after row, but after awhile I learned how to purl and that's really all you need to know. I love to make sweaters for my family and lately I have been knitting warm and wonderful afghan blankets. My next project will be making warm hats for the soldiers in the army.

    If anyone is interested, I'd be glad to help you learn to knit!

    Hayley's Grandma Lynda

    P.S I live in Chicago

  30. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Last summer I went golfing with my friends. Prior to that day, I did not golf in many years. I used to be a very proficient putter. My father used to take me to the golf course on the weekends growing up and taught me the basics. During the game with my friends, I remembered what my dad taught me and I was able to tap the ball in the hole in two tries. Putting is a skill learned and practice makes perfect.

    Jack ( Adam's father)

  31. Quynh-Anh's fishNovember 8, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney's Class,

    My name is Alex. The origin comes from Quynh-Anh's uncle's name. I am an expert at swimming. I learned how to swim when I was just born. I love water and swimming. I am so glad I get to particiate in the blogging community with other pets.Thanks to blogging I just made a new friend named Cookie, Sydney's dog.

    Your friend,

    Alex ☀ (Quynh-Anh's fish)

  32. Quynh-Anh's brotherNovember 9, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    I am Tintin, Quynh-Anh's brother, and am honored to be able to participate in your blogging community. Even though I am currently in the sixth grade, I remember the time I was in third grade. You are all so lucky to have the chance to blog that I did not get.

    My skill of mastery that I have been able to, achieve is skiing. It took six years to get to where I am now. At first, I couldn't even stand on my skis. Over time with my father's help, I got better as he tought me more techniques. Now I am his proud companion roaming the mountains at his side. The winter is coming so if you're interested in skiing, I'll see you in Mammoth. If I can learn to ski, you can too!


  33. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    When I was 8 I started doing gymnastics. I didn't know how to do a backbend, cartwheel, handstand, or the splits. Now I am 13 and I can do all of that! I am in level 4 and can do back-handspring, front-tuck, back-handspring, and back-tuck! When I grow up, I want to be an expert! I love gymnastics and I want to continue doing it.

    Lexi (Dylan's sister)

  34. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    I'm trying to endure swiming and gymnastics. I am trying to master a three spin front and back flip in gymnastics. I'm also trying to endure a back flip under dive in swimming. All that hard work is harsh and gets my energy gone.

    your pal,
    Vanessa ♥

  35. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    I am an expert at collecting Pokemon cards. I filled up a hole box of them! My best card is my Resheram card that I just got today! I earned it by finishing "The Homework Machine" and taking the R.C. test.

    See you in class,

  36. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Hi, I'm Emily, Andrew's sister. I am 6 years old. I'm trying to master the skill of riding a bike. Do you know how to ride a bike? I do.

    Comment back soon.

    Yours truly,

    Emily ★

  37. Dear class,

    Hi, my name is Donovan. I am Maya's cousin. I think I am an expert at swimming. I joined a swim team when I was 5. I have been competing for over a year. I have a lot of medals and trophies. Over summer I got a plaque for most determined swimmer. I was very surprised and happy.

    Donovan (Maya's cousin)

  38. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    When I was 21 years old, one of my college friends invited me to go sailing on his boat to Catalina Island. I became enamoured with sailing and bought myself an 18 foot sloop. A sloop is sailboat which has only one mast (a single pole). When I bought the boat, I didn't know how to sail. I purchased a book called "Sailing Techniques". I would go down to the harbor, sit in the boat, and read the book. Eventually, I felt secure enough to raise the sail and take the boat out into the harbor by myself. I taught myself how to sail by reading a book.

    Bernie (Adam's Grandpa)

  39. Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    My name is Buddy,and I am Missy's grandmother's little puppy.I was trying master in being cute,but now I am the cutest one in the family.

    Arf arf, Buddy

  40. Dear Class,

    Every time I go to Colorado I ski the Rocky Mountains with my family. Our cousins and grandparents come with us to. We have a lot of fun. My cousin's name is Cate she is really nice to my brother and me.

    At first I did not know how to ski and then over time I learned. I am still taking lessons, but I am getting better. I do not know about you but I have learned a lot over the years. I hope you can learn too.

    Best Regards,

  41. Dear Mrs Ranney and class,
    My family and I are going to Palm Desert for the holiday break.
    I like it because I can go swimming one day in the pool, and go in the snow the next day up in the mountains. I feel we are very lucky to have such a varied climate close by

    I hope everyone has a nice holiday vacation


    PS, It's lots of fun and you should go sometime


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:) Mrs. Ranney