Thursday, December 18, 2008

Over the break...

All that you need to do is find your literature book and bring it to class with you on the first day back from break. There will be a book check when you get back.

Your only other homework is to have a peaceful and relaxing break. Read a book, eat some good food, and sleep in.

When we get back we will begin our study of Romeo and Juliet and other drama.

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Homework for 16/17 December

Tonight you need to finish your paper! Be sure that you review all of your notes and your drafts. If you need to see me to get some feedback, that's fine - but you need to schedule an appointment with me.

Remember that when you turn in your paper you will need to turn in your rough draft, your viewing guide and your final draft. Don't forget to atttach your cover sheet to your essay and fill that out.

If you have any questions, leave a note!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Homework for the weekend!

Your homework this weekend is to finish your rough drafts of your essay. Your draft workshop will be on Tuesday for A-day and Wednesday for B-day. Be sure that you are using your writing notes to review what I am looking for in terms of these papers.

A-day students - I really liked what I saw from you today. If you need more assistance with writing your papers - come see me during study hall on Monday.

B-day students - Your first two paragraphs are due on Monday. I'll be conferencing with each of you about these paragraphs on Monday.

One week left til Break!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Homework for 10/11 December

Tonight's homework is to finish your introduction paragraph and your first body paragraph of your essay. On Friday/Monday - I will be grading you for your thesis statements as well as your organization and the beginning of your essays. If you have questions while you're working - please leave a question. Bring your writing with you to class - do not turn this in to the box.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Homework - 8/9 December

Your homework tonight is to write three sample thesis statements for your essay. You will need to use your handouts about thesis statements and your essay checklist to help you write your thesis statements.

Bring these to class with you - please do not put them in the box. We will revise these in class.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Practice Benchmark

Your Benchmark will happen on Monday and Tuesday of this next week. There will be grammar questions and there will be literature questions. To review for the literature section, you should study your notes on literary terms and any other notes that you have from class discussions. You will not see "The Odyssey" on this benchmark - but you should think about things like character development, theme, foreshadowing, etc. In addition, to prepare for the grammar section, you will need to review your warm-up journal. Looking at these practice exercises will be very helpful.

If you have any questions while you're studying, feel free to leave a comment.

Also, if you did not turn in your viewing guide today - you will need to turn that in on Monday/Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Homework for 12/2 and 12/3

For tonight's homework, I want you to answer the following question. Which do you prefer - O Brother Where Art Thou, the film version of The Odyssey, or the book version of The Odyssey? Be sure that as you answer you use specific examples and tell me why the particular film/book is your favorite. I want to see thoughtful and developed paragraphs.

Also, remember the following things:

1. Any make-up work is due on Wednesday.
2. Study for your Vocabulary test!
3. If you haven't taken your test yet, you need to do that by Thursday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Over Break...

All you should do is relax. If you've got a good book to read, go for it. Though, you may want to also look at your vocabulary notes and begin to study for your Vocabulary test.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Open Thread

If you have any questions about The Odyssey while you're studying - leave a comment and I'll try to get you an answer.

A day test on Friday 11/21. B day test on Monday 11/24. Remember that your book projects are also due on the day of your test.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Review Session!

After school on Thursday we will have a review session for your test on The Odyssey. I am not giving you extra credit for attending, but I can say that attending will help you a lot.

(Note: A lot is two words, not one)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Homework for 11/17 and 11/18

Tonight's homework will be a journal entry. I want you to think over all of the adventures that Odysseus has been on and answer the following question:

What do you think has challenged Odysseus the most? Why?

Answer in a complete paragraph in your journal.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Book Projects

Don't forget that your book projects are due on the same day as your Odyssey test - the 21st for A day and the 24th for B day. Your project options are as follows:

1. You are to do a pamphlet for your book. I have samples that you can look at Requirements are as follows:
• a two-fold pamphlet (both sides of the pamphlet will be divided into thirds)
• cover should have title, artwork, author’s name, publishing company, price, etc…
• inside, on the first third, you should have a summary (don’t give away surprise endings)
• most of the inside (the other two-thirds) should be discussion points/questions
• the back should have an “about the author” section as well as recommended reading – books with similar themes, other books by this author.

2. You are to write a letter to the author of your book. Initiate a conversation with him/her. Ask questions; respond to the novel (characters, events, themes, symbols, etc.). Whatever you do, do not summarize the plot – the author already knows it. Show the author that you have read this book, that you have thought about the book, and that you are a very perceptive reader. You do not have to like everything about the book; you may even dislike aspects of it. Remember your audience, however; it is the author. Think of how you yourself would respond best to someone’s questions or dialogue.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Homework over the weekend

This weekend you will need to finish your creative essays concerning The Land of the Dead. Use the handout that I gave you to help guide you on your writing. I will be looking for thoroughness of thought in your essays and focus in you writing. If you have any questions while you're writing, please let me know by a comment.

I would recommend that you have a parent or friend read over your assignment so that you can catch some grammar mistakes - I will be looking at grammar in grading.

In addition, we will be going back to the textbooks on Monday. Bring your books to class.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Students -

Your homework for tonight is to finish reading your packets - "The Land of the Dead." Make sure that you finish your study questions to go along with the story.

In addition, your Zeus projects are due on Thursday and Friday of this week. You should spend some time on your day off to work on these - make sure that you review your assignment sheets/rubrics.

If you have questions about anything, leave a comment.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sorry about not posting

Hey all - Sorry that I forgot to post the homework for the weekend. I've been caught up with grading your Odyssey quizzes which you should be getting back later on in the week.

Anywho...your homework is to read your photocopied packet from "The Land of the Dead." While you're reading, feel free to make notes in the margins, highlight, underline, and otherwise annotate. Also, answer your study questions - these will need to be turned in to the box. Remember that if you try to answer the questions and I can see that you put some thought into your answer I'll give credit - if you don't try, or leave the question blank, you will get no credit. I know that this reading is difficult, but I just want you to put forth good effort.

See you for another shortened week :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Homework for 11/3 and 11/5

Your homework for tonight is to study for your quiz. Use the study guide the I gave you today in class! Also, you need to work on your projects - you have a book project as well as your Dear Zeus project.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Welcome to second quarter!

Tonight's homework is in your journal. What I want you to do is to read in your supplemental novel for thirty minutes. Then, I want you to construct a double entry diary. First, make a chart that is divided into two columns. Then, write down two or three quotes that stuck out to you in some way on the left. On the right, I want you to write a brief (2-3 sentence) reflection on the quote.

Consider: Why did you write this quote down? What drew you to this quote? Do you like the imagery in this quote? Do you like the words? How does this quote fit in to the story?

You don't have to answer these questions - but you may want to think about them to help you write your reflection.

P.S. - We haven't had a journal check in should expect one.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Homework for B-day students...

Tonight's homework will go in your journal. I want you to think about the concept of fate or destiny and answer the following question:

Do you believe in fate? Why or why not?

Answer the question in at least five sentences. Remember, if I can tell that you didn't put much time into your work, I may choose to not give you credit.

Friday, October 24, 2008


As we finish up the first quarter I just want to remind you of a few things.

1.  Your outside novel projects are due on the 20th and 21st of October November.  

People have been asking me about this a few times and I wanted to clarify that.

2.  You are going to have a quiz on the first half of The Odyssey on October November 6th and 7th.  

3.  You should be bringing your literature books to class with you everyday.  I'm going to be a lot stricter on this for the new nine weeks. 

Enjoy the long weekend!!!!!!

Update: Looks like I just love October - notice the updates!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tonight/This Weekend Homework

B-day students!  I'm going to miss you since we won't see each other for a really long time.  So - I'll see you all on Wednesday.

A-day students, you have homework!  What you need to do is write in your journals about fate.  Do you believe in fate?  Why or why not?  How do you define fate?

Also - everyone, make sure you're reading in your supplemental novels.  Projects are due around November 15th.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some information for you all...

First - I figured that I would tell you about the extra credit.

Extra Credit Project – 1st Nine Weeks

The choice is as follows. This project will add as many as six points to your test average.

1. To earn two points you will need to read the stories “Liberty” and “An American Story” in your text book. You will then need to answer questions one through five for each story.

2. To earn four points you will need to read “Liberty,” “An American Story,” and “Exile” in your text book. You will need to answer the following question as a three paragraph answer with a brief introduction and a brief conclusion: How do these pieces of literature show the immigrant experience in America.

3. To earn all six points you will need to read “Liberty,” “An American Story,” and “Exile” in your text book. You must write two things. First, a three paragraph response in which you tell me how each story influenced or impacted your opinion of immigration. After this, you will then need to write a POSITION PAPER in which you discuss your opinion on immigration with three outside sources. You must cite all of your sources.

Now your homework -

For homework you will need to read in your supplemental novel for thirty minutes. After you read you will need to tell me why the author of your book gave that book that title. This is a pure opinion question. I want you to write at least five sentences. Please put this in your journal.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Homework - 17/20 October

Tonight there are two different assignments - one for Honors and one for Standard.

For Honors: You will need to read the poem "The Lotos-Eaters" by Tennyson. After you read the poem you will need to write a two paragraph compare/contrast assignment. You will be comparing/contrasting the depiction of the lotus eaters from the poem and from The Odyssey. Think about imagery, language use, tone, perspective, the characterization of Odysseus - or any topic of your choice. No matter what your topic you will want to be sure that you are using specific details from the poem (quotes are effective.)

For Standard: You will need to complete the RAFT activity on the handout. Be sure that you're really getting into the character that you are writing from. Be creative, but make sure that what you are saying and the way that you are describing your character can be supported from the story.

If anyone needs help, come to study hall on Monday. This assignment is due to the box on Tuesday for A-day and Wednesday for B-day.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Homework for 10/15 and 10/16

Tonight's homework is another journal entry. Be sure that you are keeping all of your journals together in one space! While I was checking journals today I didn't like the fact that many of you were keeping notes in your journal. Anyway, your prompt is:

If you were Odysseus, would you stay with Calypso or would you go set out to go home? Use specific examples that make your ideas clear.

If you would like to rewatch the section of The Odyssey that we watched today, here's the link:

Monday, October 13, 2008

To Do - Monday Night and Tuesday Night

Students - you have several things that you need to do for homework tonight. To begin, you need to make sure that you study for your quiz on the introduction to The Odyssey. This quiz will concern many of the topics that we covered today in class. In addition, I want to be sure that you read in your novels. Furthermore, be ready for a journal check - you should have warm-ups and journal prompts about your novel ready to be checked next class.

In addition, those of you that didn't complete a Breakdown or Honors Enrichment part of your project you will need to turn this in late. Put it in my box by Wednesday (A-day) or Thursday (B-day). You will get late credit, which is better than no credit.

Breakdown - Following the story, you are expected to give a critique of your story. It should include such things as: what is the critical incident, what is the nature of the conflict, what is the climax of the story, etc., etc.

Honors Enrichment: You are also expected to analyze two elements of your story (setting, character, point of view, tone) and tell me in one paragraph for each how this adds or increases the effect of your story. If you need help, leave a comment with your e-mail address.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend Homework

This weekend you will be reading more in your supplemental novel. You will need to read for thirty minutes and then in your journal you will need to make three predictions as to what will happen in your novel. Your predictions can be about whatever you like. As you are making your predictions, however, I would like for you to tell me why you think each prediction will happen.

Remember - as you're reading, try not to read ahead. You'll have assignments with your reading log throughout the next few weeks. If you do read ahead in your book, you will still be responsible for the journal assignments.

Finally - remember to start bringing your books to class with you every day starting on Monday/Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Before I go watch the debate!

Your homework will be in your journal, and will involve your supplemental novel that you got from the Library today.  You first need to read for thirty minutes in your supplemental novel.  Don't stop.  Don't get interrupted.  Just read for a solid thirty minutes.

After you do this, reflect on the following question in your journals:

Is the author grabbing your attention in the first section that you read?  If so, how?  What are specific examples (quotes) of ways that he/she grabbed your attention?  If the author hasn't grabbed your attention?  Why not?

I'll be checking journals next week sometime - be prepared.  You should have this entry, your entry about the three books you've read and then the past two warm-ups.  The warm-ups are excused if you were absent.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Homework 10/3 and 10/6

Tonight's homework is a journal entry. I am going to be relying more on journal entries during this unit on The Odyssey - so, be prepared. The question I would like for you to respond to is:

What are the last three books you've read? What was your opinion of them? What kind of books do you like to read, in general?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Homework for 10/1 and 10/2

The only homework that you have for tonight is to finish your short stories! Bring in your final drafts to class. Also, if you're in Honors you need to bring in your Honors Enrichment assignment too!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This coming weekend...

At the Carolina Theatre there's a show going on called "History of the Word."  The show is Friday and Saturday night at 8:00 pm.  The tickets are five dollars for students.  I don't know if you need to have a student id or not.  

The website is at:  - Click on Media Gallery and then you can see some sample videos.  See if you like it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Open Thread

This is a place for you to ask questions, post comments, and get feedback.  If any questions come up while you're studying, put them up here and we'll try to get them answered.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Homework for 9/23 & 9/24

This is the final homework for our unit on Short Stories. Your homework is to complete your worksheet on "The Survival of the Fattest" and to write the compare/contrast assignment. You must turn in both the worksheet and the paragraph for full credit. The worksheet can be done in pencil, but the paragraphs must be typed or written in ink.

In addition, be sure that on Thursday/Friday you have your rough drafts of your short stories. You will get a grade of either 100 or 0 on this day. One hundred percent if you have your draft, zero if you do not.

Finally, here's the link for the clip of The Simpsons - feel free to watch as often as you need to.

Have fun!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Homework for 9/19 & 9/22

For homework you will need to finish reading "The Most Dangerous Game." After you finish reading the story everyone will need to complete questions three and five. Honors students will also need to finish quesion eight. Remember to do your homework in pen and then turn it in to the box.

In addition, as you're reading the story I want to be sure that you are taking notes on elements of foreshadowing nin the story as well as examples of diction that you find interesting.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I keep forgetting!!!!

Tonight's homework.  Sorry ya'll.

You'll need to provide me a 3-4 sentence synopsis of your short story and then plan out the events on a plot diagram.  Turn this into the box.

Also bring your textbooks next class!

Monday, September 15, 2008


B-day students!

Please bring your books to class tomorrow!

- Miller

Homework (9/15 and 9/16)

For homework tonight, it depends on what story you read over the weekend:

If you read "Thank You M'am," you will need to complete the writing activity on the back of your handout.  Remember to select one row of the chart and complete that assignment.

If you read "The Scarlet Ibis," you will need to finish your packet and turn it into the box.  This packet will count as TWO homework grades.

Also - don't forget to review your notes on any short stories that we have read so far and your notes on short story structure from the beginning of the unit.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Homework over the weekend (9/11 & 9/12)

Over the weekend there are two separate homework assignments for the different sections of English I:

Honors students need to read the story "The Scarlet Ibis" on page 343. After you read the story, complete questions 6-9 and turn them in to my box.

Standard students need to read the story "Thank You M'am" on page 86. After you read the story, complete questions 2-4 and turn then in to my box.

I hope that you enjoy the reading over the weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I just remembered!

Sorry everyone!  I was just sitting down to watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann and I realized that I hadn't posted the homework.

So - here it is:

I want you to tell me about a time when somebody wronged you.  I want you to tell me about what happened, how you responded to being wronged, and how the situation was resolved.  If you need to change names to protect the innocent - go for it.

This needs to be done in your journals - and you should expect a journal check next week sometime.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Homework 5/8 September

Thanks for all the great birthday wishes today! It was nice to have you all sing to me today. Over the weekend I want you all to read one of my favorite short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, "The Cask of Amontillado." The story is located on page 173. Read the whole story, including the box on page 178. After you read the story you may want to read about the biography of Edgar Allen Poe on page 180. In your journals, I would like for everyone to answer question number eleven on page 181 - Honors students need to also answer question ten.

Remember to bring your textbooks to class next week on Tuesday/Thursday for A day and Wednesday/Friday for B day.

Have a good weekend - enjoy Tropical Storm Hanna.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Homework - 3rd and 4th of September

Tonight your homework needs to be done in your journal. This means that you WILL NOT turn it in to the box.

What you need to do is write a new ending to the story "The Necklace." Your new ending can either be in the form of a poem, a script, or a short story. I may ask a few people to present their responses in class. Have fun with this and be creative. But make sure that your ending is still plausable (believable).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Homework! 29 August/2 September


Over the weekend you will need to finish reading the story "The Necklace" by Guy DuMaupassant. I would like for you to answer the following questions:

  1. For which character do you feel the most sympathy? Why?
  2. What is the point of view in this story? Does it work for you? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think that du Maupassant is particularly feminist? Why or why not? Use quotes from the story to prove your point.

Standard and Honors students need to answer questions one and two. Honors students need to also answer question three. Please answer in a few sentences. For sentence three, answer in a complete paragraph with a topic sentence.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Welcome and 1st day Homework (25/26 August)

Hello Students!

I think that this is going to be a really great year. I've got some fun things planned for us throughout the year for us to accomplish. I hope that you're learning your way around the school and not getting too lost.

Today in class we reviewed my policies and procedures as well as a quick overview as to how to write a paragraph. Tonight for homework you need to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Finish your opening paragraph. Make sure that it's written in pen! Turn in your paragraph to the box in Mrs. Phillips's room - 214.
  • Have your parents complete your information sheet completely!
  • Make sure that you have your materials for class!

That's it! Have a great afternoon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This is the end...this is the end, my friends...

Dear Students,

It's been a great year. I think that this blog is going to go into retirement for the summer because I'm going to be too busy or too lazy to update this thing. I've had a truly wonderful year with all of you.

Thank you,


Friday, May 23, 2008

Wrapping up the end of the year...

1. Guys and Gals - Work on your review sheets. You should be able to define all of those literary devices and you should be able to recognize them when you see them in an example. You may have noticed that from the matchboxes we have done in class, that there are a lot of questions about these devices. Study. Study. Study!!!!!!!

2. After school on Tuesday and Wednesday I will be having study/review sessions. Remember that after school busses will not run. You need to provide your own transportation.

3. In class on Tuesday/Wednesday we will be finishing TKAM and finishing up our writing portfolios to get them ready to move up to next year. Also you can bring questions from your review sheets.

4. I've had a lot of fun with you all this year. I'm really looking forward to the last few classes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tonight's Homework

For tonight I want you to take the list of themes and conflicts from The Color of Water and think about the following questions:

1. How are the themes and conflicts seen in both The Color of Water and To Kill A Mockingbird. Basically, what are some examples of these themes and conflicts?

2. Why are these themes/conflicts important in each work?

I want you to organize your answers to these question in either a venn diagram, chart, or a paragraph. For the paragraph you need to write six to ten sentences and for the chart/diagram you should have six to ten examples. Put this in your journal.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Weekend Homework

For this weekend you will need to read chapters nineteen through twenty-one in The Color of Water. In your journals I want you to answer the following question: "Do you think that James is always a reliable narrator? Are there times when you don't believe him? Why or why not is James reliable?"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Things to do...

For the next class we will be having our quest/tiz (whichever you want to call it) on Non-Fiction.  Here are the things that you will need to review:

1.  Information on The Color of Water
2.  The articles on Albert Einstein from the textbook
3.  The different kinds of non-fiction that are available.  You should be able to tell what each of these things are and how they are different from each other.
4.  The definitions of different literary devices.
5.  The rules of debate - the process and vocabulary about debates.

Also - your poetry paper will be due.  You need to turn in everything (analysis log, outline, rough draft and final draft) tomorrow.

After our next class we will start reviewing for the EOC - and we'll finish up The Color of Water.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Homework for 6/7 May

For tonight you need to do a few things:

1. Get your parents and anyone else that you know who is registered to vote, to vote!
2. Read the next two chapters of The Color of Water.
3. Begin your position paper.

Your position paper will be no more than one page long and will concern your current topic. In the first sentence of your paper you will clearly state what your position is on the topic and why you feel that way. In the body paragraph you will give specific reasons why you feel the way you feel about your topic. Your conclusion will wrap up your argument in one sentence.

I'll give you more guidance on this next class.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tomorrow/Wednesday I will be collecting two things at the beginning of class:

1. Your viewing guides to the show we watched on Friday/Monday.
2. Your humor paragraphs.

The paragraphs will go into your writing portfolios, the viewing guides will be checked. You will get a grade for both assignments.

Also, next class we will begin our research for our debates. Be ready!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Weekend Homework

For this weekend you need to finish your humor paragraph to turn in on Tuesday/Wednesday. In addition, you will need to read the next two chapters in The Color of Water - there's no journal entry for you to complete, just enjoy the reading.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Homework for Wednesday/Thursday

For homework you will need to read the next two chapters in The Color of Water. After you finish reading, write in your journal about the ways in which you, the mother, and James have had similar or different school experiences.

Also, I think that since we're getting close to start review for the EOC. So, I am planning to have a wrapping up non-fiction quiz/test pretty soon. Just FYI!

Monday, April 28, 2008


There is no homework tonight. Remember that rough drafts which were not turned in last Thursday/Friday will be collected no later than this Thursday/Friday.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekend Homework

For this weekend I need for you to do two things:

1. Review your notes for the benchmark. Any literary terms that you're not clear on or anything that you need further clarification on - please ask! Leave a comment on this blog entry and I'll do my best to answer.

2. Read to page seventy-eight (78) in The Color of Water. In your journal, write about what you think is the most significant difference between the mom's childhood and James's childhood. Write at least one full paragraph.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I want to try something...

I want to see what it would be like to have an online conversation about the book that we're reading.  So, I'd like for you to leave a comment about the following question.

I want to see what people think about the theme of identity that is developing in the text.  How are both of the main characters - the mother and James - developing their own identities?  How is each character's identity changing?

So - just leave a comment.  We'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


You will have two things to do before the next class. First, read in The Color of Water until page fifty-seven. I've heard that there is an interesting event in the next few chapters. Second, your rough drafts are due at the beginning of next class.

Next class we will be having an in class review for our final Benchmark. After that will be the Benchmark and then we will return to our study of non-fiction.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Extra Help

If you would like to see me about extra help on your poetry analysis assignment - please come see me tomorrow.  Also, please remember that tomorrow is the last day to finish the poetry test.  If you need to make it up because you were absent, you need to do this before Friday.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Book Club Homework - Weekend Edition

This weekend you will need to read to the end of chapter four in The Color of Water. In your journals, please answer the following questions in a short paragraph:

What is the best part of this book so far? Why? What is the the worst part? Why?

This will be journal entry number five. Also, expect a quiz on the first four chapters soon!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Book Club Homework

Tonight for homework you need to complete reading chapters one and two of The Color of Water. Pay close attention to how this book opens. What does the author do to draw you in as a reader at the beginning of the book? Is it effective? Why or why not?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ideas for studying...

1. Instead of simply reading the definitions of the different literary devices in your textbook or online, write them out and then find examples of those devices and determine WHY that quote is an example of that literary device.

  • For example: simile - a comparison between two things using like or as. "Love is like a rose." This is a simile because it compares love to a rose (two unlike things) by using like.

2. Write practice questions for poems (either multiple choice or short answer) and attempt to answer them. This is especially effective in preparing for short answer.

3. Review the poems that we have studied in class - make sure that you know some basic information on these. Perhaps you would want to use your notes sheet to take notes.

4. Review any notes from poems that you have.

5. Some people find it useful to study in groups - remember that if you choose to do this you should focus on being productive and discussing the poetry.

That should do it. Remember to bring a pencil, pen and paper to the test. My supplies are running low and I will not be able to lend things to anyone on the test day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Next Class

For the next class I will be collecting your poetry projects AT THE END OF CLASS and we will be having our Poetry Slam. For the slam you can either present your own work or you can present something by someone else. I will be grading you on the following elements: your use of imagery, your style and rhythm and your clear speaking and eye contact. Practice!

Your poetry test will be on the 14th for A day and 15th for B day - you'll get a study guide next class.

Also...If I have not seen an outline for your poetry analysis, I need to see something by study hall on Monday. If you feel that you need help on your papers, come see me by Monday's study hall.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


For homework you will need to write a description of the perfect poet. Your description should include at least five character traits and a brief explanation as to why that is an important trait for a poet. This will go IN YOUR JOURNAL and will be your tenth entry. I will check journals next class.

Monday, March 24, 2008

If you missed it...

Don't forget about the extra poem that we studied today - "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams. You can access the poem here.a

Remember also the notes about the modernist movement, imagists and haiku.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


For homework you will need to read "Women's Work" and "Daily" in your text book.  I'm not sure of the page number, but it's in the poetry section.  You will need to answer questions one and two on page 412.  Honors students will need to also answer questions three through five.  Standard students will need to answer question three and four (answer question four as a Venn Diagram NOT A PARAGRAPH).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Extra Credit - Read Carefully

Poetry Scavenger Hunt/Research

Answer the following questions in complete paragraphs (at least five sentences) except where noted. If it is not a question, complete the task as directed. Cite all sources for information in correct MLA format. Failure to properly cite sources will result in no credit.

1. What is a poet laureate?
2. Who is the current poet laureate of the United States? (Answer in just one sentence.)
3. Read one poem by the current poet laureate of our country. Write the name of the poem and attach a copy of the poem with your final product.
4. Based on the rubric that we used with in class with the Sweet Sixteen tournament, decide if the poem is good (gets a high score). Attach your scorecard for the poem with your final product.
5. Why did you give the poem this score? Be specific.

The first four questions will be worth one homework grade. The last question is worth a quiz/project grade.

• Question one is all or nothing – 15 points
• Question two is all or nothing – 15 points
• Task three is all or nothing – 30 points
• Task four is all or nothing – 10 points
• Question five will be graded like a test essay with partial credit awarded. However, since you have more time than you normally would on a test, I am going to be more stringent. Your grade will be determined on the following fields:
• The use of evidence in your writing – 10 points
• The clarity of your argument – 10 points
• Grammar and usage – 5 points
• The level of focus in your writing – 5 points

Due Dates
This is due on the 24th (B day) or 25th (A day). I will not be available over the weekend via e-mail or blog. I will not answer any questions. If you need resources, ask the Media Center staff.

A final note
If your grade is lowered because of the grade on this assignment, I will not count it against you. No wikipedia for research. Your website sources must end with .gov, .org, or .edu.

Get crackin’,


18/19 March - Homework

For tonight's homework you will beed to write a description of an object of your choice. Make your description at least 100 words. Use rich, descriptive language. This will go in your journals.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Weekend Homework

This weekend you will need to read Haki Madhabuti's "Back Again, Home" and answer the questions on the worksheet. Honors students will need to answer all seven questions and Standard students will just answer the first four. Remember to attempt every answer. We will begin discussion next class by discussing this poem.

Also, let's remember Aisha's quote of the day:

"It's not a tongue twister, it's a mind twister."

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Today I forgot the homework...

Your homework for tonight/your last class was to respond to the following questions in your journals.

Why do poets write odes?  If you were to write an ode, what would you write about?  Why?

This will be journal entry number four - you can expect a journal check before spring break.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I forgot Sydney's Quote!

I was just sitting here at my computer and I realized that I forgot Sydney's quote.

"Well, I guess it's pretty awkward in hell."

Looking at the image on the left, I would imagine so.  This is an image of Bartolomeo's idea of what Dante's hell looked like.  I'm going to stop talking about it because I feel like I'm ruining it.

But, if you would like to know more, here are a few really interesting links to Dante's Inferno.

Homework for the weekend

A Day students:

Your homework will go in your journal. You need to respond to the following quote.

"Beauty is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth, but rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted."

Remember that when you respond to the quote you need to write for a solid fifteen minutes. Take the idea in the quote and tell me what you think of it. Use this quote as a jumping off point for your own ideas on beauty.

B Day students:

Your job is to write your own "Love Song." For Honors students I am expecting at least twenty lines of poetry. For Standard students I am expecting at least fifteen. There is no upper limit.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Due next class:

You will need to bring in a poem that was written by someone other than you. Read the poem and then write a brief summary. After you write the summary, write a brief paragraph in which you discuss the author's purpose (why did the author write the poem).

This will be due to the box!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Romeo and Juliet Test

Here's what you should focus on for the Romeo and Juliet test:
Important characters and what they do in the drama.
Literary terms.
Important quotes.
Review Act IV. (Honors only!)
Introductory Powerpoint notes. (Elizabethan England, Literary Terms, Elements of Drama, Shakespeare's stage)
Short Answer:
Double Talk
Character Development
Suspense Building in Act I.

For Extra Credit you need to answer the following question in a paragraph. Make sure that it's a good paragraph that really answers the question. This is worth five extra points.

What is one important different between the play and the movie version that we
have watched in class? Describe the difference (how was it done in the
play, how was it done in the movie) and then tell why the difference
happened, in your opinion.

If you have any questions while you are studying, please let me know. Remember to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you quickly. Also don't forget that your projects are due when you take the test. Friday for A day and Monday for B day.

Monday, February 25, 2008


If you have missed a lot of school recently (a lot of people have had the flu) it is really important that you come to the review session on Wednesday after school.  I want you to be able to ask questions and I want to go over a study guide for you.  (I'll be making the study guide tomorrow.)

Just a reminder.  I'm going to go back to watching Family Guy.


Homework 25/26 February

In journals:

What do each of the characters have planned for Juliet? What is Juliet's reaction to each plan? Which, in your opinion, is the best plan for Juliet?

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Work on your projects this weekend.  You're getting down to the wire!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Your Romeo and Juliet test will be on the 29th for A day and the 3rd for B day. Your projects are also due on the same day.

Please do not forget to work on these projects as much as you are working on preparing for your test because these project grades will be averaged together to be a second test grade. This can really help you if you are afraid that you will do poorly on my test.

Remember that there will be a review session on the 27th, after school, in my room. Please come as this will be the only review session and the only time for you to ask your questions!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Homework for 19/20 February

In your journals, please answer the following question:

What do you think of Lord Capulet at the end of Act III? Why do you think he's acting this way now?

Friday, February 15, 2008



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Homework - 12/13 February

In your journal select one of the following questions to answer:

1. Consider the behavior of the four main characters in III.1. Which of them is the most responsible? Why?

2. If you were directing Romeo and Juliet, what would you ask your actors to bring out about their characters' feelings and motivations in this scene? (Either III.1 or III.2)

This is your third journal entry.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Act II Quiz

Remember to bring your book to class on Friday/Monday for your Act II Quiz.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tonight's Homework

Remember that your homework is a progress check on your individual projects. You need to tell me how much of your book you have read AND how much of your projects you have completed. Put this in the box. It will count as a quiz grade!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Journal Homework

This is your final entry before your journal check next class. The question is:

Now that we have seen more between Romeo and Juliet, how do you feel about Romeo's sincerity (openness, truthfulness)? Do you thik that his feelings are different than what he felt for Rosaline? Why?

Be sure that you're using clear examples and making your own ideas clear through your writing.

You will have a journal check in your next class. February 4th for A day and 5th for B day.

You should have ten journals, including warm-ups for this check. If you are short, come see me.

Quotes of the day:
  • "You got cataracts?!?!" - Rahmir
  • "Isosexy!" - Ebony

Friday, January 25, 2008

Upcoming events

For your Act I quiz you will need to know information about the major characters from the first act. Review your notes and know what family they are associated with, what the characters importance to the plot is and why the character is important in the play.

For Honors students you will have quotes - major quotes - from the first act. You will need to know where in the play the quote happened (context), who says the quote, and why is the quote important in the overall action of the play.

For Standard students, you will have two short answer questions. One question about the prologue and why it is interesting to the play and another question about love and the power it has over people. Also, you will have a graphic organizer that you need to complete about the movie versus the play (how are they different, and why was that change made.)

Also - don't forget that you need to revise (or, in some cases complete) your paragraphs about Romeo and Benvolio and turn in your originals and your revisions.

That is all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

23/24 January - Homework

Today in class we covered Act I, Scenes 3 and 4 - make sure that you have the notes.

For homework you need to answer one of the following questions in your journal:

1. Is Lady Capulet similar to a female figure in your house? In your family? In what ways?

2. How would you feel in Juliet's position? Why?

You should be pulling from Act I, Scene 3 to answer either of these two questions.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

When we get back...

Hooray for two hour delays! I don't know about all of you, but I really enjoyed sleeping in a bit this morning.


Remember that when we get back it will be an A-day. I'm expecting that each of you will have your compare/contrast paragraphs about Benvolio and Romeo and their attitudes toward love. In these paragraphs I am looking for specific examples (quotes and examples). Also, you need to discuss these quotes to show me how you learned whatever you learned about Benvolio and Romeo from their quotes.

If you have any questions/want help/want to wire money into my Swiss bank account - just drop me an e-mail!

Monday, January 14, 2008

B day homework

With the crazy schedule I'm a bit off. This is the homework for when your class finishes Act I, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet.

How are Romeo and Benvolio different in their approaches to love? How does Romeo feel about love? How about Benvolio? Write one paragraph that summarizes Benvolio's attitude toward love and one paragraph that summarizes Romeo's attitude. Compare and contrast their views in two paragraphs. Remember to use quotes!

Friday, January 11, 2008


This weekend's homework question:

What are some parallels to the conflict in Romeo and Juliet and twenty-first century America? List three and tell why in your journal.

I'll check this homework assignment and your other assignment on Monday/Tuesday.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

For your Shakespeare Quiz

You will need to study the following information for your Shakespeare quiz:

  • The vocabulary from pages 781-782
  • The notes from the powerpoint on Shakespeare and Literary Terms
  • The handout on the Globe Theatre and the vocabulary words from that sheet.

In addition, you will have a book check for the next class. Remember to bring YOUR literature book. I will be checking the names to make sure that you match your book!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

9/10 January - Homework and Stuff

Didn't we have fun today? Who'd have thought that "boom, boom, clap" would have a place in an English classroom talking about Shakespeare. Anyway, tonight for homework you need to answer the question on the board - that question is: "What are some stories that we, as Americans, have about teens falling in love? How do these stories end? Why do you think they end this way?" You can use movies, stories, music, television, et cetera for your sources.

In addition, you need to study pages 781-782 of your text book as well as your handout and notes for a quiz on Friday on Shakespeare.

Lastly, you should find a play for your project - see me if you need help on this.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Announcements 8 January

Hey everyone! Please bring your literature books to our next class. We will be starting Romeo and Juliet and I want everyone to be prepared. Also there is a lot of good information in your book that we will need to cover.

Don't forget that book projects are also due in your next class.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


It's a beautiful day everyone.  Get outside and do something fun today!

Be sure that you prepare for your benchmarks, and get your book projects done too!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tips for those nasty revising questions

Remember that when you are asked to revise questions on the benchmark you can do a few things to make sure that you get the right answer:

  1. Use your scrap paper to rewrite the sentence on your own. Then, you can compare your revision with the given answers and see which one (or ones) is (are) closest.
  2. Another thing that you can do is that you can make sure that each possible answer keeps the same MAIN IDEA and the same IMPORTANT INFORMATION. On your scrap paper you may want to make a summary of the main idea of the sentence and then go on to make a list of the important information. You can use this list to check each of the possible answers.

Let's not forget the quote of the day: "Stupid 'A'...I mean 'E'!" - EVW

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Agenda/Announcements 3/4 January

Alright.  We're halfway done.  You've got your benchmark coming up and you should definitely review your proofreading warm-ups (see, there is a reason why we do these things), and you should go over your literary terms to make sure that you're clear on everything.

  • Remember that literature is always in the present tense.
  • If you need to look up anything about grammar or punctuation you need to check out this site:
  • For literary terms - look in the back of your textbook to review.
  • Finally, your book projects will be due on the 9th and 10th of January.  

If you need to ask anything about anything...just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Benchmark and Prep

Our class will be taking Benchmark exams on the seventh and eighth of January.  To prepare for the Benchmarks we will be doing an in class review (Matchbox) on the third and fourth.  After we take the Benchmark we will begin our unit on Romeo and Juliet.  Prepare for the Shakespearean fun!