Friday, December 18, 2009

Work over Break!

To all of my students,

You don't have anything to do over break for my class. I would love it if you all picked up a book and read over the break - but I know that's probably not going to happen :)

You all have been working really hard. Take a long break, you deserve it. I'll have your papers back to you the day we return.

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

English III - Final Draft Night!!!

Tonight you need to finish your final drafts! I will not read over drafts tonight but I will answer questions that you may run into. Please e-mail me at to ask questions.

Also, Psycho starts at The Carolina Theatre at 9:20. I'll be out front of the theatre around 9:10 to meet any of you that want to see the show.

Hope to see you tonight! Finish your paper, then come to the movie.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

English III Work for 12/16

Tonight is the night you write your draft or format your draft if you've already written it.

Make sure that you follow all of the rules for MLA format in your draft. These are very specific rules, and I must hold you to these rules. If you do not follow these specifications, you will be accused of plagiarism.

At the end of your draft, make sure that you have your Works Cited page formatted appropriately at the end of your paper. Bring in everything tomorrow as we will work on drafts tomorrow.

If you have questions on MLA format, use the sample paper that I gave you. Everything in this paper is good except for the works cited page, I think that this is not in the 2009 format rules.

If you run into any problems, please e-mail me. I will spot check your papers for MLA citations tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

English III Homework - 12/15

For tonight!

A lot of you in class today had errors in your outlines that will get in the way as you begin drafting. I would recommend that tonight you spend your time reviewing your outlines and revising the errors seen within those. If you have revised your outline or think that you have an understanding of your errors. Begin to draft!

I will give you a crash course in formatting your draft tomorrow. Tonight, if you choose to write your draft, don't worry about the MLA formatting. You can add this in afterwards. Get your ideas down on paper and create a good research paper. Remember that as you write each body paragraph you will need to make your topic sentences connect to your thesis, and make your examples connect to your topics through thorough explanation.

If you need help/assistance - please e-mail! Ask for help!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

English I Homework - 12/14 and 12/15

Please be sure to bring your final drafts of your essays with you to class on Wednesday/Thursday. Your final drafts will need to come in with your rough drafts, outlines, and rubrics. Be sure that you have everything on the day that it is due. If you need additional help, please come and see me before the paper is due.

English III Homework - 12/14


Tonight you MUST complete the outlines for your research papers. Make sure that you follow the outline format that I gave you today in class. Be sure that everything is labeled. Make sure that every topic relates back and proves your thesis and that all of your topics have evidence to support them.

Tomorrow in class I'll be calling each of you over to go over your outlines. We'll also talk about how to turn the outlines into a full paper tomorrow.

Lastly, Psycho will be showing at The Carolina Theatre at 9:20 PM. It's a pretty late showing. I think that Thursday would be a good day to see the movie, how do the rest of you feel about this?

If you need help on your thesis statements or outlines, please e-mail me or leave a comment.

Friday, December 11, 2009

English I - Weekend Work

This weekend you all need to write your rough drafts of your paper about A Separate Peace. Bring your paper with you to class on Monday/Tuesday. Be sure that you have used your outline, and that you follow the rubric to help you write the essay. The rubric will be helpful to show you what you will be graded on.

If you need help over the weekend, e-mail me or leave a comment. I will not read drafts this weekend.

English III Weekend Work

This weekend you should collect ten notecards on your novel - your primary source. As you go through your novel, think about your thesis. What quotes and evidence support your idea? How can you connect the quotes and evidence from your novel to the criticism that you have been finding the last few days?

Bring your ten notecards with you to class on Monday.

Also, for those of you interested in doing some more research I would suggest Perkins Library on Duke's West Campus. If you are interested I will be willing to meet you at Perkins Library around 2:00 PM on Sunday for a few hours of outside of class research. Let me know by Saturday afternoon (5:00) if you're coming. I'll send an e-mail to those interested letting you know where to meet up. We can also, at this time, work on forming outlines and the other important parts of the paper. If you're interested, send me an e-mail ( or leave me a comment here. If you leave a comment, leave your e-mail address so that I can respond.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

English III Review of Day - 12/10

Today we started the process of researching for your papers. Tonight, to work on this assignment I would suggest that you think about what you found today to create your thesis statement. Your thesis is (like always) key to this paper. Today we also talked about how to create an outline. As you work and research, you should think about organizing and outlining in your head.

Tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday we will be in the library to research. The reason why is because, as you learned today, the process to research takes a long time.

Another thing that you can do at home is to collect evidence from your novel to support your thesis. Remember that this paper will need to include evidence from critics and from your novel.

If, at any point during this process you feel lost, please come and see me! Don't wait to get too overwhelmed. This is a difficult assignment.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

English III Reminder


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Homework - 12/8 and 12/9

English III:

Your homework for tonight is to study for your Realism test. You should also spend some time working on your thesis for your research papers. Work on that three part chart that I gave you today in class to help organize your thoughts on a thesis. As you begin to get into the library and work on researching, you will clarify this thesis.

English I:

Your homework for tonight is to work on your outlines. Use the rubric to see where I took points off of your original outline. Bring your revised outline to class with you on Thursday/Friday. We will use these outlines to write body paragraphs on Thursday/Friday.

If you have questions - please ask!

Monday, December 7, 2009

English III Homework - 12/7

Your homework for tonight is to complete the reading of Jack London's "To Build A Fire" and to complete writing your dialectical notebook. Be sure that you follow all instructions in completing this assignment.

Furthermore, you should work on your thesis statement for your research project if you have not already gotten approval from me on your thesis. Final thesis statements are due on Wednesday.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Things to do over the weekend...

This post is for all classes - you've got some things to accomplish this weekend.

English III:

This Monday you are going to have a timed writing assignment on your novels. I would recommend that you spend the weekend looking over your novel, and reviewing the information about your themes, topics, and motifs.

English I:

Over the weekend you will need to finish reading A Separate Peace. Your finished Dialectical Notebook sheets are due on Tuesday for A-day and Wednesday for B-day. I will be checking for your entries for chapters eight through thirteen. This will result in twelve entries for Honors students and six entries for Standard students. Also, as you finish the book, I want you to think about the following question - you don't need to write something about it, just think.

What did you learn about life from this book? How did you learn it?

Also, on Monday, I will have a redo session for Essay outlines. If you are not happy with your essay outline grade, then you will have the chance to redo this assignment during Monday's study hall. Don't miss this chance!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

English I Homework - 12/2 and 12/3

Tonight for homework you have a few things to do:

1. Read chapter twelve of A Separate Peace. Things in the novel are starting to move to a conclusion - begin to start wrapping up the novel and see what happens to all of our major characters, especially Finny and Gene.

2. Complete your dialectical notebook entry for chapter twelve.

3. Your essay outline is due to the box on Friday (A-day) or Monday (B-day). If you need assistance completing this. Please let me know as soon as you can. Don't turn it in late!

English III Homework, 12/2

Tonight for homework you need to read Jack London's "To Build a Fire." This story can be found in your textbook on page 481. As you read, for each page, you will need to write down a significant quote and explain the quote's significance. For example:

"It was a clear day, and yet there seemed an intangible pall over the face of things, a subtle gloom that made the day dark, and that was due to the absence of sun." (481)

This quote is significant to the story because it sets the mood at the opening. The word pall, gloom, and absence of sun make the setting and mood scary and foreshadow a difficult time for the main character.

As you can see - in the entry I have written down the quote, the page number, and a thorough explanation. You need to do the same, one entry per page, eleven entries total.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

English III Homework - 12/1

Tonight, your homework is to read Flannery O'Connor's story "The Life You Save May Be Your Own." This story is a fantastic representation of the Southern Gothic. As you read - be an active reader. Underline things in the text you find interesting, ask questions, make connections. I want for you to identify elements of the text that are particularly indicative of the Southern Gothic. Focus on the following elements:

1. Grotesque
2. People that are marginalized in Southern society.
3. Southern culture and traditions
4. Disturbed personalities

Enjoy the story - it's pretty good. Not O'Connor's best, but definitely good.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Homework for 11/30

English III:

Your homework for tonight is to read Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." The story can be found on page 460 in your textbook. As you read, keep note of the way that Twain uses different comedic devices in the story to help make the story richer.

We will discuss the important elements of this story tomorrow in class.

English I:

Your homework for tonight is to finish your reading of chapter eleven of A Separate Peace. If you've already finished your reading, you should spend a lot of your time tonight working on your outlines. Your outline is due to the box on Friday morning for A-day and Monday morning for B-day. If you need help on your outline, please see me!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Homework for English I and III


Your homework for tonight is to study for your quiz on chapters six through ten. Remember your last quiz - it will be very similar to that one in format. In addition to studying, you will need to read chapter eleven and complete your dialectical notebook entries.


All of you need to be finished with your reading by the end of the week when we get back from Thanksgiving. We will be working really hard when we get back from break as you all need to write your lesson plans and your research papers. It's going to be a lot - but I know that you can do it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Homework - 11/19

English III -

Today we went over the idea of historical context and what that means. Tomorrow we will be spending the period in the library doing research for our long term projects. Be prepared to work hard.

English I -

Your homework for tonight is to read chapter ten and complete your dialectical notebook assignment. Also, I went over a lot of information today about thesis writing. This would be a great time, as you read, to think about the thesis that you are forming for this novel. You may need to alter or reconsider your thesis as you continue to read.

Let me know if you're having any problems or concerns!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

English III Homework - 11/18

Tonight for homework you should spend your time preparing for your quiz tomorrow on Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. You should be able to comment on their style, literary devices apparent in their work, and the meaning of the work. You will be presented with two poems by these authors that you have never seen before. You will need to do a cold analysis of these two poems. Look at our discussions up to this point to aid you.

Also - I hope that you enjoyed the scavenger hunt today. Leave questions here if you need to ask. Also, don't forget that your final drafts of your poems are due tomorrow. Please submit your rough and final drafts together.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

English I Homework 11/17 and 11/18

Your homework for tonight is to read chapter nine of A Separate Peace. There is a HUGE unexpected plot twist in chapter nine that will really throw you for a loop. You may want to continue reading chapter ten to get a resolution - that's fine. But you can't talk about chapter ten until the class gets there.

Don't forget your dialectical notebook entry for chapter nine as well.

English III - 11/17

Today in class we covered a lot of information about our newest poet - Emily Dickinson. We talked a lot about her biography and different elements of her style that impact the meaning of her poetry. I would highly recommend that you spend time reviewing Dickinson and the information on Whitman - you will have a quiz on Thursday on these two poets.

Tomorrow we're going to do a poetry review through a scavenger hunt. It should be a pretty fun activity.

See you tomorrow morning!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Homework for 11/13

English III

Your homework is to complete your rough draft of your poetic memoir. Bring this draft with you to class on Monday - we will do a draft workshop on this day.

English I

Your homework is to read chapter eight of A Separate Peace and complete your dialectical notebook entries. Chapter eight is pretty long - you should split this up over the weekend in order to get the chapter done.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Homework for all classes - 11/10

English III:

Remember that while we're studying poetry for the next few classes you won't have any "homework" - but you do have a lot to work on. You need to keep up with the reading of your novel outside of class. Remember that your goal is to finish your novel by the first week of December. This will make life a lot easier for you as we will begin studying our last novel of the year - The Great Gatsby - around that time.

English I:

Tonight you need to read chapter seven of A Separate Peace. In addition, you will need to prepare for a check on your dialectical notebooks for chapters four, six, and seven. Honors students should have six entries (two per chapter) and standard students should have three entries (one per chapter).

Friday, November 6, 2009

English I Homework


Your homework for tonight is to read chapter six of A Separate Peace and complete your dialectical notebook entries. You may be running out of space on your worksheet and will need to attach a separate sheet of paper.

In addition to your reading you will need to be ready to hand in your final draft of your Reminiscience assignment. Bring your rough draft, peer editing checklist, and final draft to class with you for collection. Be sure that you have all of the pieces that you need.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

English III

On Monday you're going to have your exam on Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and Gothic literature. I went over what you need to study in class today. Here's a reminder:

Opening notes on the literary periods/movements
Longfellow's "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" and "Cross of Snow"
Bryant's "Thanatopsis"
Emerson's "Nature" and "Self-Reliance"
Thoreau's "Walden" and "Civil Disobedience"
Hawthorne's "The Minister's Black Veil"

Also, you'll have an essay about Transcendentalism. Study hard, ask questions if you have them!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Homework for 11/4

English III:

Tonight you need to finish reading the story "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Complete the worksheet as well. Hawthorne is pretty dense, focus on understanding the main events of the story and answering the questions that you see on your worksheet. Remember that I will no longer accept late homework assignments. If you need help, ask.

English I:

Your homework is to study for your quiz on chapters one through five of A Separate Peace. There's a lot of information on this test on literary devices, your notes on bildungsromans, and the information on the events of the chapters. Study hard!

Also - you can continue to get ahead on your reading if you would like.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

English I Homework - 10/2 and 10/3

For homework you need to read chapter five of A Separate Peace. In addition, complete the worksheet that I gave you to go with the chapter. You don't have to complete a dialectical notebook entry, just answer the worksheet. Bring the worksheets to class, don't put them in the box.

Homework for English III 11/3

Today we did a lot of Thoreau - I know he's dense. But there's some interesting things going on in there. Tonight, you need to finish reading Thoreau's "Civil Disobediance." There is about a page and a half left for you to read on your own.

After you finish that, you will need to complete the reading by Ghandi or MLK. Number ones will read Ghandi, number twos will read King. After you finish reading, consider question five. You don't need to write anything - but it will be really helpful as your group prepares for an in-class debate.

Ok - I think that's it. Enjoy Thoreau!

PS - You have a test coming up soon. We will review in class on Thursday.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weekend Homework for English I


I thought that I'd already posted your homework - then I looked and saw that I hadn't. So, here's your reminder for the weekend:

1. If you're not caught up to the end of chapter four in A Separate Peace, you need to spend some time getting caught up.

2. You need to be sure that you have your rough draft of your reminiscence ready for peer editing on Monday/Tuesday. Make it as complete as possible. This rough draft and participation in peer editing will count toward your final draft grade.

3. If you need anything else to do for English this weekend, you should get ahead in your reading of A Separate Peace.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

English III Homework - 10/29

Tomorrow you're going to have your first group meeting. I'm giving you the whole class tomorrow to work and accomplish goals. Be sure that you come to class tomorrow and are ready to work with your group.

Also, over the weekend you need to read the excerpt from "Walden" on pages 193-200. If you want to read to the end at page 204 - that's fine, but I'm not requiring it. You have until Monday to complete this assignment.

You all have been doing really well during our discussion of Transcendentalists. I hope that you are enjoying what we've been studying lately.

Remember, "to be great is to be misunderstood..."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

English III Homework - 10/28

I hope that you all enjoyed our introduction to Transcendentalism today. Tonight, for homework, I want you to think about the following question. It may help for you to write a response, but I will not be collecting this for a grade. We will use this as a springboard for discussion tomorrow.

What is something that you allow to control your life. How would your life change if this thing were no longer around?

Remember that the idea here is to think about something that you have some control over - your parents or school don't really count. Things like cell phones, facebook, and other obsessions would.

Think creatively!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Homework for 9th Graders

Freshmen -

Your homework for tonight is to read chapter four of A Separate Peace and complete your dialectical notebook entries for chapter four. Also, today I gave your reminiscience assignment out. Try to focus on your topic for this writing assignment. Your rough draft of the Reminiscience is due on 11/2 and 11/3.

Juniors - Read This!

Today I threw a lot of information at you. I would go over this assignment with your parents tonight and discuss what you will be doing over the next nine weeks. I would recommend that you buy your own copy of the book - but I will issue those that I can.

Those of you who elected to read Sister Carrie or The Crying of Lot 49 - you will need to buy your books. Please go to Nice Price Book on Broad Street to find good used copies at a discounted rate. Tomorrow you will begin your group contract - this will set the ground for the work that you will do all quarter.

It's going to be a great quarter. You're about to do some great work!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Freshman Reminders

Remember that by the end of this weekend you need to have read the first three chapters of A Separate Peace. Also, I will be checking dialectical notebooks on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Don't start the second quarter with a bad first step. Be thorough and complete in your dialectical notebook entries!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Homework - 10/22 and 10/23


Your homework tonight is to review the information on pages 138-145. This is an expanded version of the information that I gave you in class today. In addition, you need to read the two Longfellow poems on pages 172 and 174. You will also need to read the information on Longfellow provided on page 170.


Your homework is to read chapter three of A Separate Peace. Standard students will complete one dialectical notebook entry and honors students will complete two. By the end of the reading you should have made the following entries:

Honors - Four entries for chapter one. Two entries for chapter two and three.
Standard - Two entries for chapter one. One entry for chapter two and three.

I will be checking your DN's in class on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Junior Reminders


Remember that your compare/contrast papers are due tomorrow. We're getting to crunch time for the end of the quarter - make sure that you're turning in good, quality papers tomorrow.

Also, tomorrow we will move on to a new unit on Romanticism and the 1800s. It'll be some fun stuff.

Lastly, tomorrow afterschool you will have your opportunity for extra credit. Please report promptly to room 119 at 2:45 to have this chance. This will be your only chance for extra credit this quarter.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Homework for English III and English I


You will have your first Wordskills Exam on Thursday/Friday. For this exam you should focus on learning your twenty five prefixes. Honors students also need to learn the main bases of the words that we studied in this unit. You shouldn't focus on wordparts such as ia, y, ic, and other suffixes.

Also, you need to read chapter two of A Separate Peace. Honors students: You need to write two dialectical notebook entries for chapter two. Standard students: You do not need to complete a dialectical notebook entry - we will do this in a group next class.


You will have your timed writing tomorrow. I will also hand back your group analysis papers so that we can discuss them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

English III Homework and Reminders


Your group analysis assignment is due tomorrow at the beginning of class. If you have questions while you're working on this, be sure that you ask questions here.

Also, tomorrow you will have your first timed writing related to The Crucible. Remember that one topic will focus on the idea of tragedy and one will focus on the applicibility of the play's message. Spend some time tonight getting ready for this assignment.

On Thursday I will be collecting your compare/contrast assignments. Please come and see me if you need assistance with this. Monday and Wednesday are the best days for help.

That's all!

Friday, October 16, 2009

9th Grade Homework


This weekend you need to finish your vocabulary review sheets. B day students will turn them in on Monday and A day students will turn them in on Tuesday. Your Unit One vocabulary exam will occur on Thursday and Friday of this coming week.

Also, A day Honors students need to complete a second dialectical entry for pages 1-4 of A Separate Peace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

English III Reminder

You have a quiz coming up on Act II and Act III. If you were absent from class these days you should get notes from someone and read the play yourself. You've got to keep up with the reading on days you are absent.

The quiz will be very similar in format to the last one. Multiple choice and quotes.

Leave any questions if you have them

Homework - Freshmen

With the strange schedule over the next few days I need to clarify that this homework assignment is due Friday for A day and Monday for B day.

You have a few things that you need to do for homework:

1. If your class finished WordSkills lesson one, you will have received a worksheet reviewing lesson one. Complete this and put it in the box.

2. Buy a pack of post-it notes. Bring these with you to class.

3. Find your copy of A Separate Peace and bring it to class!

Friday, October 9, 2009

9th Grade - Test


You have a test next week on Tuesday for A day and Thursday for B day. Your test will cover the autobiographical excerpts that we have read in class. Below is a list of excerpts and some ideas on what to study with each piece. This list is not all you need to know but only meant to get you started.

1. Malcolm X's "Growing Up" and "Conking"

tone, theme, irony, views of whites, racism, pride

2. Holocaust Narratives

vocabulary about the camps, roll call, selection, dehumanization

3. David Sedaris's "Go Carolina"

stereotypes, characters, tone, theme

** Honors Students, you will also see questions on "Me Talk Pretty One Day"

4. Introductory notes on autobiography, biography, and memoir

5. Rules for Good Writing

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Honors English III Homework - 10/8

In the midst of teaching my Russian class I realized that I forgot to post the homework.

Please write a one paragraph personal response to your section of "Half Hanged Mary" by Margaret Atwood. In this you may break good writing rules because you are writing a personal response. Please make sure to stay focused in your paragraph and provide a lot of examples from the text to support what you're saying.

See you in the morning!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Homework - 10/5


Your task is to read the excerpts by David Sedaris that I gave you today in class. Honors students need to read both "Go Carolina" and "Me Talk Pretty One Day." Also, be sure that you answer the questions on the worksheet. Honors students need to be sure that you answer all of the questions.

The worksheet will be due on Friday for A day and Monday for B day.


You need to keep up with your reading in your independent dramas. Tomorrow we will begin presentations of the speeches/dialogues. Tomorrow we will get the dates set for the presentations and I will be handing back a lot of work.

Friday, October 2, 2009

English III Homework - 10/2

Over the weekend you're going to need to continue reading your independent play and preparing for your upcoming presentations. Furthermore, you will need to prepare for your quiz on Act I of The Crucible. Focus on important quotations, plot events, and information about the characters that we have learned about so far. If you have any questions, please leave them as a comment.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Homework for English I and III - 10/1 and 10/2

English I:

Your homework tonight is to finish reading the piece by Malcolm X and complete the handout as well. Be sure that you complete both sides of the handout and answer all questions. Bring your work with you to class on Monday/Tuesday as I will begin class by checking your work.

English III:

You should be reading your play and working on the memorization of your speech. Please see me if you need any help - I have a lot of tips and tricks for memorization. Also, we will be having a quiz on Act I of The Crucible pretty soon (Monday). You should spend time reviewing what we cover in class and studying.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reminder for Freshmen!

When you come to school on Thursday/Friday please remember to bring your final draft, rough draft, and planning guide with you to English. Also, remember that the "breakdown" is part of your story grade. Instructions for completing the breakdown can be found on your short story project assignment sheet.

Finally, Honors students, remember to complete the Honors Enrichment assignment. Instructions for this can also be found on your assignment sheet.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Homework, English I and III

First, the freshmen:

Your homework is to complete the final draft of your short story projects. When you come to class on Thursday/Friday you will need to turn in your final draft, rough draft, and planning guide. Please do not put any of the work in the box. Bring it all with you to class.

Now, the juniors:

If you have not done so, please select a play to study for your out of class project. I will collect the titles from you next class.

Friday, September 25, 2009

English III and English I Homework

English III:

You should begin researching to find out what play you want to read for your project. Remember that you are locked in after Tuesday. If you find a play that is not on the list and would like approval, please e-mail me or leave a comment.

English I:

Your homework is to study! Get ready for your test!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Short Story Project Reminders

Freshmen - Remember that your rough draft of your short story needs to come with you to class on Friday/Monday. Your final draft is due on 10/1 for A day and 10/2 for B day. On the day you turn in your final draft you will also turn in your rough draft as well as your planning guide.

English III Homework - 9/24

No homework tonight! Rest!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homework - All Classes, 9/23

Your homework for tonight is as follows:

English III: Study for your test. You will have to be knowledgeable of the following pieces:

All poems by Phillis Wheatley
Anne Bradstreet's "Verses Upon the Burning"
Oluadah Equiano
Native American Literature
Mary Rowlandson

English I:

Come to class tomorrow with a copy of your rough draft of your short story. Be prepared for Peer Editing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

English III Homework - 9/22

Your reading for tonight are the selected passages from Phillis Wheatley. I would like for you to read the following:

1. Her biography.
2. The preface and letter written by her master, Mr. John Wheatley.
3. The poems "To Maecenas", "To the University of Cambridge, in New England", "On Being Brought from Africa to America", "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitfield", and "To His Excellency Gen. George Washington"

Make sure that with all of the poems you use the footnotes to better understand the text.

Monday, September 21, 2009

English I Homework - 9/21 and 9/22

Your homework for tonight is to finish the story, "The Most Dangerous Game" which starts on page four in your textbook. You will need to answer questions three and four at the end of the story. This is the last story that we will study in our short story unit. Your final test is coming soon!

English III Homework - 9/21

Tonight for homework you have a few things to do:

1. You have to edit your papers and turn in your final drafts tomorrow along with your rough drafts tomorrow.

2. You need to read Oluadah Equiano's narrative tonight and complete a list of similarities and differences between Mary's narrative and Equiano's. Be sure to read and pay attention to a lot of the details contained in the text. Be sure that you pay attention to both parts of the narrative.

That's all - I hope that you enjoy the reading tonight.

Friday, September 18, 2009

English III Homework - 9/18

Over the weekend you are going to begin your first position paper. These are an important genre of writing to get downpat because you will often write these in English and Social Studies classes. The purpose of a position paper is to state a clear position on the topic (thesis) and then prove that.

Your question is as follows:

Do you think that Mary Rowlandson shows an englightened (educated, rational, free from predjudice) attitude toward Native Americans? Why or why not? State your position in a clear thesis at the top of the page and then complete two body paragraphs filled with examples that prove your point.

Be sure that you review Mary Rowlandson's narrative as well. This will be helpful to you as we move forward.

If you have any questions - please leave a comment. If you need your login for the online textbook, please e-mail me as I don't want to give out this information publicly.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

English I Homework - 9/17 and 9/18

Your homework for the weekend is to answer questions related to "The Cask of Amontillado". The questions that you need to answer are numbers three, seven, nine, and twelve on page 181. Honors students will also answer questions ten and eleven. You will need to turn this in on Monday (A-day) and Tuesday (B-day). When you turn in this homework, make sure that you're also turning in your paragraph about revenge.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

English III Homework - 9/17

Sorry about the depressing reading about genocide and Christopher Columbus this morning. I think it's necessary to get some real context for the literature and the history that we're going to be exploring. Anyway - your assignment for tonight is to read pages thirty-five to forty-two in your textbooks. Be sure that you read all of the related information - not just the narrative of Mary Rowlandson. We'll be discussing this in depth tomorrow in class as well as finishing up our excerpt from People's History of the United States.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

English III Homework - 9/16

Tonight you are starting with the earliest American literature - Native American Myths. Begin by finishing the reading on page twenty-three. As you read this article by Joseph Bruchac, focus on what you are learning about Native American literature. What are some of the elements of Native American literature that are indicative of the genre? In what ways does the literature reflect the culture? After that, read the three pieces on page twenty-four and twenty-five. For the myth called "The Sky Tree" focus on the idea of creation as this is a creation myth. For the myth called "Coyote Finishes His Work" focus on the idea of destruction.

Finally, review the questions on page twenty six, you are not required to write anything down, but we will be using these questions tomorrow in our discussion of these three pieces.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

English I Homework - 9/15 and 9/16

Your homework for tonight is to write a one paragaph response on the following topic:

Do you have any experience with revenge? Have you gone to get revenge? Why do people do this?

Your homework isn't due until Monday/Tuesday. You may turn it in early - but I won't be grading it until next week.

English III Homework

Your homework for tonight is to login to the online textbook and make sure that it works for you. If you have problems using the online textbook, please let me know so that I can get you a real textbook. You can leave me a comment here on the blog or send me an e-mail letting me know that you had a problem with the textbook. Remember that the book is located at - login using the username and password that I gave you today in class.

Monday, September 14, 2009

English III HW - 9/14

Your homework for tonight is to study for your test on The Catcher in the Rye. We went over a lot of the things that you will see on this test tomorrow today in class. Be sure that you're ready!

If you have any questions about studying or anything that we've gone over in class please leave a comment. I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

This thread is OPEN!

Friday, September 11, 2009

English III HW

Your homework for the weekend is to finish your projects. You'll be presenting part of your projects on Monday as a part of your overall grade. Also, you need to be sure that your final dialectical notebooks are ready to go! I'll be collecting those from you on Monday as well.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Homework 9/10

English III:

Juniors, your homework for tonight is to finish The Catcher in the Rye. As you finish your reading make sure that you keep up with your dialectical notebook. I will be collecting your final entries with your dialectical notebooks on Monday. As you finish your reading, be sure that you review the second half of the Seng article as you are about to read what Seng thinks is the most important aspect of the book.

English I:

No Homework! Relax!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

English III Homework

Your homework for tonight is to read the critical article that I gave you today in class by Mr. Seng. If you are behind in your reading of The Catcher in the Rye you will want to get caught up and also get caught up with your dialectical notebooks. Your final dialectical notebook will be due on Tuesday for chapters sixteen through the end.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

English III Homework

Tonight you need to keep reading! You need to read chapters twenty one, twenty two, and twenty three. Make sure that you maintain your dialectical notebook even if you don't have the handout.

Tomorrow we'll finish our discussion of today's reading and we'll go over the reading for tonight.

Friday, September 4, 2009

English I Homework

Your homework for the weekend/Tuesday night is to study for your first quiz. Your quiz will cover the two stories that we have read as well as the notes on short stories that we took a few days ago. Focus on the literary terms that you have been learning as well as the characters and events in the stories.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. However, I'll probably not get back to you until Monday as I'll be celebrating all weekend.

Have a good, restful three days off!

English III HW - Labor Day Weekend

Your homework over the long weekend is to read chapters sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, and twenty. This is a lot of reading but this section of the book cannot really be broken up in any other way. As you read, think about the excerpt of Freud that we discussed today in class. Furthermore, you will need to maintain your dialectical notebook. One entry per chapter.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

English III Homework

You don't have any reading homework tonight. You should spend the time making sure that your dialectical notebooks are caught up - you should have fifteen entries. Also, be sure that you work on your projects tonight!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Homework for English III and English I - 9/2

Another pretty fantastic day. The DPS e-mail account seems to be back to functioning normally, so you can feel free to e-mail me there. Let's go ahead and talk about homework.

English III

Your homework for tonight is to read chapters thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen. Tomorrow we are going to spend a lot of time reviewing the first half of the novel. So you may want to take some time to go back and look over any trends that you have begun to notice throughout the text.

English I

Your homework is to read the story "The Necklace" in the textbook. It starts on page 160. If you are using the online textbook, you will go to Use the login and password that you received in class today. At the end of the story, answer the following questions: Honors will answer questions two, three, four, five, and six. Standard will answer only questions three and four. When you answer the questions, be sure that you answer the questions completely and that you do your homework in pen. The answers to the questions are due to the box by 7:30 on Friday/Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

English III Homework - 9/1

I was really happy with what we were talking about today in class. Tomorrow we'll finish up our discussion of Catcher to the end of chapter twelve. Tonight, you should be sure that you're done reading up to that point. Also, be sure that you are keeping up with your dialectical notebooks!

See you tomorrow morning.

Monday, August 31, 2009

E-Mail Outage

For the time being I would prefer you e-mail me at my gmail address and not my dps address. Access to dps e-mail is spotty and unreliable.

Another late posting for both classes

I'm combining both of your entries in one - I hope that's okay. Sorry that I'm late in posting, the internet at Jordan is super unreliable and I've had to wait to get home to post.

Anyway, here goes.

English I

Your homework is to take your favorite book or television show and plot out the events on a plot diagram. Make sure that you're accurate in labeling each part.

English III

Tomorrow we're going to finish up our discussion on chapters four through seven. Furthermore, for tonight you are to read chapters eight through twelve. There is a lot of important information going on in these chapters and we will spend a lot of class tomorrow pointing out what's happening in this section.

If you have questions - leave them. I'm going to get back to my heap of grading.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Homework, English III, 8/28

Over the weekend you need to read chapters four through seven. As you're reading be sure that you keep up with the different characters that you meet. When you meet a new character, please write down their name and begin a list of any character traits you notice from them.

Also, be sure that you're maintaining your dialectical notebooks. If you're behind on your reading - get caught up this weekend.

If you have any questions as you read, write them down and bring them to class on Monday.

PS - I'll never attempt to draw a cannon on the board again.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

English I HW - 8/27 and 8/28

This weekend for homework you have two things to do. The first thing that you need to do is to finish your final draft of your paragraph. Be sure that you use the notes that you got today during peer editing to help you improve.

The other thing that you need to do is to finish your worksheet on the poem "About School" - be sure that you answer all of the questions for your section.

If you have any questions - leave a comment and I'll get back to you soon!

English III HW - 8/27

Today we began our study of The Catcher in the Rye. Your assignment for tonight is to read to the end of Chapter Three. As you read, make sure that you keep up with your study questions to guide your comprehension. Also, I remind you to complete your dialectical notebooks - one entry per chapter.

As you're reading tonight, remember the questions that I brought up today at the end of class:

1. Is Holden someone that you would like to hang out with? Why or why not?
2. If Holden went to Jordan, what would his routine be like? Where would he hang out?
3. What is Holden's deal?

Today a lot of you were pretty quiet when you should have been talking. I will call on more people tomorrow - be ready.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

English III Homework - 8/26

You all did wonderfully today during peer editing. I hope that you found some of the comments that you got today helpful in crafting your final draft. Tonight you need to finish up the essays and be ready to turn them in tomorrow morning. Fill out your cover sheets and follow the rules specified there - be sure that you answer all of the questions on the cover sheet.

Sorry that I'm late in posting today. I came home and promptly fell asleep.

See you in the morning!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Homework for English I - 8/25 & 8/26

Hello Freshmen!

It was great meeting all of you today! Both of the classes went really well and I'm looking forward to working with you for the rest of the year. Today you have a few things to do for homework:

1. Get your school supplies. The supplies are listed on your policies and procedures page. Be sure that you have these by the beginning of next week.

2. Finish your Tell Me About You questionairre if you didn't finish it today in class. Please turn it in to the box.

3. Write the rough draft of your first paragraph. Turn this in to the box as well. We will peer edit these assignments next class.

Remember that your homework is due to the homework box in Ms. Kaneko's room by 7:30 am!

See you next class!!!!

Homework for English III - 8/25

Welcome to the new year! I'm really excited to be teaching the new class and working with all of you this year. Today we started unpacking the question that we will attempt to answer for the whole year:

What is America?

You started brainstorming the answer to this question today in class - tomorrow we'll work with some of these answers.

Tonight, your homework is to write a 500 word answer to this question. In your essay, I'm looking for a clear thesis statement and developed examples. We will edit these responses tomorrow in class and discuss some of the ideas that this question is hiding. If you have questions - leave them here on the blog. Remember to double space your response. We'll talk about more of the nuts and bolts of how to format your response tomorrow.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

All good things...

As the quote goes, the goodness of summer must be replaced with the return of the school year. I'm looking forward to teaching a new class (Honors English III) and meeting a new group of freshmen for English I.

Blog posts and updates for the new year will begin with the first day of school on Tuesday!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Update on Summer Reading

So - Today I went to Barnes and Noble's to pick up those books that I'll be reading this summer. I went around and looked at a few different copies of The Inferno, trying to find one that cost less than ten dollars. Then I went on to find the Japanese novel that I'd put in my last list.

That book is huge. Those of you that read Great Expectations, this thing was about three times bigger than that. I lifted it, and then immediately put it back down.

When I walked out of B&N I had bought The Inferno (B&N Classics Edition), We, and The Reader. I saw movie version of The Reader with my mom when it came out and have been wanting to read the book for a long time. I'm still planning on Cry, The Beloved Country - I just need to find a cheaper copy.

Used book stores, here I come.

Thus, the new summer reading list is:

We, The Reader, The Inferno, and Cry, The Beloved Country. Probably in that order, too.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Reading

Hey All,

Some of you asked me for some suggestions about things to read this summer. Here's a list of things that I'll be reading this summer. I plan on starting around the middle to end of June on this list. I'll let you know what I'm reading and where I am in the book. If you want to read together, we can set a pacing guide together for each book. So - Leave a comment and let me know if you want to read with me!

1. We - Evgeny Zamyatin
2. Cry the Beloved Country - Alan Patton
3. The Inferno - Dante
4. The Tale of Genji - Murasaki Shikibu

It's all world literature, which should help to get you ready for next year. Next year your focusing in reading just literature from the non-English speaking world. Lots of good stuff out there!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Massive EOC Review Sheet

The Massive EOC Review Sheet

The EOC for English I is broken into two sections – reading and grammar.  You will need to practice your reading comprehension skills, and you will need to apply your knowledge of literary devices to literature sections.  Also, you will need to proofread.


Literary Terms – Be sure that you know what these literary devices are!


  • alliteration
  • assonance
  • character
  • direct and indirect characterization
  • character trait
  • connotation and denotation
  • conflict (man vs. man, man vs. self, man vs. nature, man vs. society)
  • internal conflict
  • external conflict
  • figurative language
  • hyperbole
  • imagery
  • onomatopoeia
  • metaphors (direct and indirect)
  • simile
  • epic simile
  • extended metaphor
  • allusion
  • aside
  • author
  • autobiography
  • ballad
  • blank verse
  • climax
  • comedy
  • comic relief
  • couplet
  • dialogue
  • diction
  • drama
  • monologue
  • epic
  • epithet
  • flashback
  • flash-forward
  • foil
  • foreshadowing
  • free verse
  • haiku
  • iambic pentameter
  • meter
  • irony (situational, verbal, dramatic)
  • lyric poetry
  • mood
  • myth
  • narrator
  • paradox
  • personification
  • plot (plot diagram pieces)
  • poetry
  • point of view (1st, 3rd limited, 3rd omniscient)
  • protagonist
  • antagonist
  • pun
  • rhyme (end and internal)
  • rhythm
  • setting
  • short story
  • solilioquy
  • sonnet
  • speaker
  • stanza
  • line
  • style
  • suspense
  • symbolism
  • theme
  • tone
  • tragedy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Final Day of Class

I hope that you all enjoyed taking a shot at teaching in class. Tonight, you have no homework! You need to begin studying for your EOC - I will repost the list of things to review tomorrow. Also, we will have a review session tomorrow, after school, in my room. We'll begin at 2:45 and I'll leave when the last person leaves. Come with any questions that you may have.

Finally, I've noticed that a lot of people are still missing their textbooks. Return these to me by your exam. Also, if you didn't turn in your novel today, you need to do that ASAP or you will be charged. -- The opening to Great Expectations...check it out!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Homework for the Weekend

This weekend should begin the wrapping up of the course. You will need to prepare for your cross textual group presentation. The presentations will be on Wednesday/Thursday. If your group has not yet given me your handout, you will need to give this to me as soon as possible so that I can make copies.

Also, you should begin using this time for studying. The EOC is coming soon and you will need to be sure that you've spent time reviewing your literary terms and grammar to help you get ready.

I will be having a review session on Thursday, after school, to prepare you for the exam.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homework for 5/20 and 5/21

Your homework for tonight is to finish your novel! Also, I will collect your character charts. I will not accept these late. You must turn in whatever you have by Friday/Tuesday. Lastly, Honors students will have their Oral Exam on Friday/Tuesday. Be ready!

Finally, you will have your last meeting of your CTG group on Friday/Tuesday. I need to have your group's handout ready for me to make copies by Tuesday/Wednesday. If you are not ready this will cause your group's score to suffer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What I'm Collecting and When...

Don't forget to keep reading. Here's a schedule of what we will be doing for the next few days.

Wednesday/Thursday (20th and 21st) -- Your homework will be to finish the novel. We will complete an activity on symbolism in class.

Friday/Tuesday (22nd and 26th) -- Honors students will have their oral exam on this day. I will collect character charts from all students on this day.

Wednesday/Thursday (27th and 28th) -- Standard students will need to turn in the second half of study questions. CTG presentations will happen this day. Books will need to be turned in.

Friday (29th) -- Last day of class.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Homework for 5/18

Your homework for tonight is to read. You're almost to the end of your books.

Honors students: You are to read to the end of chapter fifty-three. Remember that you character charts are due on Friday/Tuesday.

Standard students: You are to read to page 186. I will collect your study questions and your character chart soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Homework for the Weekend

By Monday/Tuesday, all Honors students need to be to the end of chapter forty-eight. I hope that you have begun to see the novel move into its last portions. Things are starting to come to an end in Pip's life. You may want to spend time at the end of the novel going back to earlier portions to see the connections to earlier foreshadowing.

By Monday/Tuesday, all Standard students need to be to the end of page 175. Remember that when you finish the book I will collect all of your study questions.

Also, here are some updates/reminders about upcoming major grades:

5/22 and 5/26 - Oral Exam for Honors Students, Collect Character Charts (quiz grade)

5/27 and 5/28 - CTG Presentations. Remember that you will get a grade for your presentation and your particular element of your project.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Tonight's homework is to read...big surprise, right?

For Honors students, you need to read to the end of chapter 43. Pay close attention to the relationship between the convict and Pip. Also, make sure that you note Herbert's reaction to his friend's trouble.

Standard students, you need to read to the end of page 154. Keep up with your study questions as you read.

Lastly, if you have not yet turned in your Bildungsroman - it is due on Friday. Friday is the last day to turn in this assignment and I will not accept it beyond Friday. If you are going to Busch Gardens, give me the assignment on the bus. If you are staying behind, turn in the assignment to Mr. Brosnan.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Homework for the Weekend

Standard Students: Your homework is to read to page 139. On Tuesday/Wednesday I will collect your study questions from the first half of the novel. You will get your new study questions on that day.

Honors Students: Your homework is to read to the end of chapter 39. Be sure that as you read you are keeping up with your study questions.

All students should keep with their character charts as you are reading. Remember that these will be collected on the 22nd/25th for a grade.

Finally - I leave you with the wisdom of Ms. Sawaya:

"I smell like farts in a can!"

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Homework for Tonight

Honors students: You need to read to the end of chapter thirty-four. Remember to use your study guides as a tool to help you understand what you are reading.

Standard students: You need to continue to read in your book. Read to the end of page 112. Keep up with your study questions.

If you have any questions - please ask!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tonight's Reading Homework

Tonight your reading is as follows:

Honors - Read to the end of chapter twenty-eight. Remember, as your reading you need to be able to answer the study questions that I've given you. A lot of you were asking me about study questions today in class. I remind you that you can also ask me about them or other questions related to your reading here.

While you're reading, be sure that you're keeping track of three major things:

1. How is Pip changing as a person? What is causing this change? Is the change positive or negative?

2. How are the people around Pip interacting with him? How are they changing and developing?

3. Do you notice recurring elements throughout the text? What is the meaning of these things?

Standard - You need to read to the end of page eighty-seven. Remember to answer your study questions as you are reading. I will check your answers.

Finally - Everyone should start working on their bildungsroman. I will explain this in more detail on Wednesday/Thursday.

If you have questions - please ask.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Info about the Quiz!

Hey all - Here's some information to help you prepare for the quiz you have at the beginning of next week.

Honors students: Your quiz has three sections: multiple choice, quotes, and short answer. You will need to study your notes about bildungsroman for the short answer section.

Standard students: Your quiz is all short answer. Some are sentence answers - some are longer. Also, I will check your study questions on Monday/Tuesday while you are taking your quiz.

If you have any questions about the text over the weekend, please let me know. If you have a specific question about a part of the text, please give me a chapter citation so that I can find your trouble spot easier.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Weekend Homework

Some of you have a lot of reading to do this weekend.

Honors students, you have a reading quiz at the beginning of the next week. You are expected to have completed chapters one through twenty-five.

Standard students, you also have a reading quiz at the beginning of the next week. You are expected to have completed pages one through sixty-nine.

If you have any questions about your reading - leave them here. I have meetings in Raleigh all weekend, but I will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Be sure that you answer your study questions.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tonight's Homework

You have papers are due next class. Be sure that you bring them with you to class.

Also - today you started working in your CTG's. Make sure that you keep up with your reading schedules. You have your first reading quiz on Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Weekend Work

On Tuesday/Wednesday you will be peer editing in class. You will need to bring a rough draft of your essay to class with you. Be sure that your rough draft is complete. Furthermore, we will start working on our study of novels on Tuesday/Wednesday. Make sure that you keep up with your reading - we will have our first reading quiz next week.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Things to study for your test!

First, a few announcements:

1. Remember that you should be reading every night. Follow along with your reading schedule to keep up with the dates.
2. Your rough draft of your papers are due on the 28th and 29th.

Your major thing to do tonight is to study for your test. We spent a lot of time reviewing in class things that you should know. You should focus on the following things:

literary devices, titles and authors of all our poems we studied, denotation and connotation, plot of the narrative poems we've studied, elements of scanscion, different forms of poetry, hip-hop as poetry

Here is a list of all of the poem's we've studied this unit:

"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
"Is Truth Liberating" by Haki Madhubuti
"We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks
"Conjugal Visits" by Al Young
"Back Again Home" by Haki Madhubuti
"Ode to Duty" by William Wordsworth (Honors)
"Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda
"Fork" by Charles Simic
"Aunt Jennifer's Tigers" by Adrienne Rich
"The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot

The first four poems will be what you will need to know for your short answer questions. Also, Honors students, you have your essay.

If you have questions - leave them here. I'll be available after school tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Announcements and HW

The first thing that I want to touch on are the upcoming announcements:

1. You have a Poetry Unit test on 4/24 and 4/27. We will review in class on 4/22 and 4/23.

2. Poetry Analysis paper rough drafts are due on 4/28 and 4/29. We will peer edit in circle groups on these days. We will also begin studying our novels in class on this day.

3. Final Draft of the Poetry Analysis paper is due on 4/30 and 5/1. Please come see me for help if you need it!!!

4. You will have your first reading quiz on your novels on 5/4 and 5/5. Read every night - answer your study questions!


1. READ YOUR BOOK! You should read for at least one hour each night. Parents, please make sure that your student has a quiet place to complete their reading free from distractions.

2. Begin studying and reviewing for your test. Bring questions to the review session.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Poetry Forms and Structures

If you're not sure how to write a particular form of poetry check out this website:

It's a pretty cool tool to use and it gives examples of the different types. It may also be useful for those of you that want to experiment with a different form of poetry.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Over the Break

PHEW! I never thought we'd make it.

You've got your poetry projects due when we get back from break. If you have any questions while you're working on the projects, please leave me a note here. I won't be checking my work e-mail often, if at all, over break and I want to be sure to get back to you ASAP. I will collect these in class on the 20th/21st.

Also, when we get back I will be checking your analysis logs for your paper. Remember that you're looking at literary devices used in the poem that you are analyzing. Go into depth - explore the different literary devices and how they show the theme of your poem.

Finally, Honors students, you should start reading Great Expectations. You have a reading schedule and study questions for the first twenty-five chapters. Remember that there will be extra credit available for those that read over break and I will give you this extra credit when we get back from break.

I hope that you all relax, sleep in, and read!

Have a great break!

PS - Happy Passover :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Homework for 6/7 April

Tonight's homework is to finish your Analysis Log. I will not be checking these until we get back from Spring Break but you should put some effort into these. Some students today saw that by spending a lot of time on the log, the paper and thesis was written for them. I would also recommend spending some time over the next few days to do a lot of work on your Poetry project or on your paper assignment as both of these major grades are due when we get back from break.

If you need help with the paper assignment come see me - I'll be available after school on Thursday to give some last minute help. Also, I will have the blog going over Spring Break - you can feel free to leave me questions here.

Lastly, be sure that you review your warm-ups. I may have a journal check before we leave for break.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekend Homework

Your homework this weekend is to read the four poems that won the Sweet 16 tournament. The poems on your handout are "Conjugal Visits" by Al Young, "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou, "Is Truth Liberating" by Haki Madhubuti, and "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks.

After you read the poems you will need to take notes on the poems. Your notes should look at the following elements in the poem: diction/word choice, imagery, meter, rhyme, structure of the poem, literary devices, figurative language, meaning of the poem, the speaker of the poem. You may want to look at other ideas in the poems as well, this of this as a jumping off point. Take your notes in your notebooks and bring these notes to class with you. I will check your notes on Monday/Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Homework and Announcements

First, your homework:

You will need to read the poem "Back Again Home" by Haki Madhubuti. There are questions at the top of the handout. Standard students only need to answer the first four; Honors students need to answer all seven. The answers should be done in complete sentences and then put in the box.


You will have a poetry quiz on 4/2 and 4/3. You will need to review your notes for the past few classes. Be aware that several questions from the last quiz will reappear.

You will have your poetry project due when you get back from Spring Break - 4/20 or 4/21. On this day we will also have a workshop for rough drafts of your poetry papers. You will get this assignment next week.

There will be a final poetry exam on 4/24 and 4/27. Your final drafts of your papers will be due on the day you take your test.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekend/Monday Night's Homework

Students - The homework is different for the different sections of the class.

Honors Students - You will need to read the handout with the poem "Ode to Duty" by William Wordsworth. Throughout the poem I made several notes to you that you may want to pay attention to. Also, there are several questions throughout the handout. Answer the questions thoughtfully and thoroughly.

Standard Students - You will need to compose your own ode to whatever you'd like. Your ode needs to be at least fifteen lines long. This could be a poem you later use for your poetry projects.

If you need help, come to study hall on Monday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No Homework

I hope you all enjoyed having a night off this past night. I just want you all to be aware that we are starting fourth quarter and I am keeping my expectations high. If you need any help, at any time - remember to ask.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Homework for 23/24 March

Tonight's homework is to find a poem and bring in a copy of that poem to class. You will need to include the title of the poem and the author. The poem must be written by someone other than you.

After you find a copy of the poem, you need to write two paragraphs. In the first paragraph you need to summarize what is going on in the poem, and in the second paragraph you need to tell why you think the author wrote the poem. The paragraphs and the poem are due to the box!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Peer Editing

Today in class you were given another student's paper. These rough drafts of the definition essay are your homework for tonight. Your job is to go through each line of the paper, and mark it up. Give the writer suggestions as to how to improve their essay. Don't just focus on grammar mistakes - give comments on the overall strengths and weaknesses in the essay.

I recommend that you use the rubric on the assignment sheet to grade the essay and look for places to improve. You should give the essay back to the writer on Wednesday (A day) and Thursday (B day).

Do not lose your partner's paper. Protect it in the same way you would your own child. If you lose your partner's paper you will get a zero for your rough draft. If you don't get your paper back by Wednesday/Thursday - look at the roster posted on the wall outside my room to see who has your paper. Feel free to harrass them all you want.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Homework for the weekend

I really hate giving you homework over the weekend after a test - unfortunately, that's how the cards fell this month. Your homework is to finish your rough draft of your definition essay. Turn this into the box on Monday/Tuesday. You will be getting either a pass or fail grade for this assignment. If you turn in something - you pass. If you turn in nothing - you fail.

Also, we will have DPS Benchmark Exams on Monday and Tuesday. I, unfortunately, do not have a study guide for you. If you spend time reviewing your notes from the beginning of the year to now, you should be well prepared. This test will focus on reading comprehension and grammar. Be sure you study your warm-ups and literary terms!

Leave a comment if you have any questions.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


If while you are studying you come across any questions and you can't figure out the answer. Ask here. I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Homework for 6 and 9 March

Your homework tonight asks that you continue to work on your definition essays. For this assignment, you should use the outline format that I provided for you in class today to outline your essay. Use your prewriting assignment to help you get started. Please bring your outline with you to class on Tuesday/Wednesday as I will use this time to check over your outlines and give guidance about how to move forward with your drafts.

Unfortunately, I cannot post the proper format here on the blog because it messes up the spacing. Come see me for the format if you need help.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Due Dates!

Because of the snow day earlier this week things are a little off. Here are the new due dates for upcoming tests and projects.

Shakespeare/Drama Projects - Friday the 6th (A day) and Monday the 9th (B day)

Shakespeare Test - Thursday the 12th (A day) and Friday the 13th (B day)

Rough Draft of Definition Essays and Benchmark Exam - Monday the 16th (A day) and Tuesday the 17th (B day)

Final Draft of Definition Essays - Tuesday the 24th (A day) and Wednesday the 25th (B day)

Tonight's homework is to finish your projects. I will collect these at the beginning of class on Friday/Monday.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Snow Day!!!

It looks like Alaska outside today!

Enjoy your day off - use this day to get a lot of work done on your projects!

Friday, February 27, 2009


First, the reminders. You have a quiz on Acts II and III on Tuesday the 3rd for A day and Wednesday the 4th for B day. You should be sure that you study this weekend for this quiz. Use your notes to review. Also, your projects are due on Thursday (A) and Friday (B). You should plan on spending time this weekend working on this project that you have had for a little more than a month. If you have questions about your projects this weekend, please leave a comment.

Finally, your homework:

Standard: Act III, Scene 5 shows the first real encounter between just Juliet and her parents – Does this remind you of a realistic interaction between a teenage girl and her parents? Why or why not? Perhaps you want to draw on personal experience or an example from TV or film to clarify your statement.

Honors: Answer the following question using evidence from what we’ve studied so far in Romeo and Juliet – you should be sure you have a clear thesis statement and clear examples from the text that clarify your thesis. Explain how the depiction of childhood or adolescence in Romeo and Juliet contributes to the meaning of the whole play. In order to clearly answer this question you need to tell me what the meaning of the play is.

Study for your quiz.

If you have questions about your homework, please leave a comment. This homework is due to the box on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Homework for 25/26 February

Your homework tonight goes in your journal. Respond to the following prompt:

What is your impression of Lord Capulet by the end of III.4? How has this changed? Why?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Homework 23/24 February

By the end of III.2 Juliet's attitude and use of language have confirmed our ideas about her character. How would you describe her? Use quotes and support your ideas with evidence from the text.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Homework 19/20 February

Your homework is to complete your prewriting worksheet. This is not only going to count as a homework grade but also as part of your paper.

Honors students - You also need to answer the following question: Who is to blame for the events of III.1? Why? When you answer the question be sure to use clear examples. You're making a case here against someone, you need to prove it!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Answering Ivan...

B-day students:

I will collect your homework (Board Games or Witness Statements) in class on Friday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


See everyone again on Thursday! Hope that you enjoy the field trip!

Your homework is to work on your projects. A lot of people have been asking me about the translation project and I keep stressing that I want to see you work with slang. Remember that just having the characters speak in Modern English Vernacular isn't enough. They need to have a particular slang to use that keeps the meaning of the scene.

See me if you need help - don't forget about the help sessions on Thursdays!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Homework - 13/16 February

Your homework for tonight is to choose one side of the worksheet that you got in class and complete the assignment. Make sure that you follow the directions and keep your interpretations based on the text. You can use the online text that I posted a few weeks ago to help you accomplish the assignment.

Turn the assignment in to the box on Tuesday/Wednesday, remember to either type your work or write in pen!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Homework - 11/12 February

Your homework tonight is to study for your Wordskills Lesson 2 Exam. Be sure to use your review sheet to help you study for this exam as this sheet will be very similar to your exam. In addition, you may want to spend some time looking at the paper assignment that I gave you today. We will begin working on this next week and a bit of extra time spent this week may really pay off in the long run.

Finally, I would like to again stress the higher expectations that I am holding you all to this semester. The work is going to be more difficult, and there will be more of it - I know that all of you are capable of meeting these expectations.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Homework - 5/6 February

Your homework for the weekend is to complete the study questions for Act II. Remember to follow the instructions on the sheet. Honors students need to complete all ten questions, whereas Standard students need to only select five questions to complete.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


While we're studying Romeo and Juliet, I'm going to make myself available for extra help. Feel free to come to me after school on Wednesdays and Thursdays for extra help. We can review notes, reading, discuss things in more depth, or clear up any questions that you have. Also, a lot of people have been coming to me for help on their projects - this would be a chance for you to get more help on your projects.

First help session is Wednesday 2/3. Assuming that we have school.

Homework for 3/4 February

Tonight's homework is a journal entry. The question is:

Now that we've seen Romeo and Juliet actually talk to each other, have your feelings changed abotu Romeo's sincerity? Are his feelings for Juliet different than those for Rosaline? Why?

Be sure that you answer in a complete paragraph with good details from the text to support your ideas.

Also, coming soon is a journal check. Be sure that you look through the blog to get all of your journal entries complete.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend Homework...

Work on your projects! That's all you need to do. Remember that each night you should spend some time reviewing your notes and the reading. Use the online version of Romeo and Juliet in that post's a great review!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Awesome Link!

You all should check this link out:

It's the complete text of Romeo and Juliet with added in extras. Check it out!

Homework for 28/29 January

Today in class I gave you a handout that I would like for you to complete for homework. Please follow the directions on the handout and turn it into the box for credit.

Honors students - if you do not have a copy of Romeo and Juliet at home you can use this excerpt to complete your assignment:

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Remember to continue to bring your books to class with you as we will be starting Act II of Romeo and Juliet next class.

Also - remember that if you are absent it is your responsibility to see me to get missing notes or missing work. If you are unprepared for a quiz due to the fact that you didn't get missing notes, I can't help you.

Work on your projects!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Notes for B-day

We stopped discussion in 3B and 4B on page 813. Here is what you need to know about the last two pages of Romeo and Juliet.

1. Romeo and Juliet's first conversation.
* They speak to each other in a sonnet - check the rhyme scheme
* Fourteen line conversation.
* Romeo begins to speak in metaphors - he compares his lips to pilgrims
--- Note the religious imagery and tone.
* Juliet immediately picks up on this and responds in kind
--- Showing that the two of them have a connection and speak the same language.
* They kiss. Aww.

2. Romeo finds out that Juliet is a Capulet
* Remember the idea of Romeo being impulsive - he's getting the result of his behavior.
* Romeo says that his life now belongs to his enemy.
* Juliet then realizes that Romeo is a Montague
--- She has the same reaction as Romeo, "oh no!"
--- She hides this reaction from the Nurse

Questions to consider:
1. What is the effect of the give and take of Romeo and Juliet's conversation?
2. What do we learn when we see that Juliet knows that Romeo didn't dance?
3. What kind of literary device is on line 135?
4. Do you think that if they had known each other's identity before they met that they would have fallen in love and overcome their identity?

B4 - Remember to do the Who, Where, and When for I.5.

Everyone should answer these questions in their notes. Your quiz is coming next class - review vocabulary, your reading and your notes.

Study hard - study often!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Homework for 26/27 January

There are a few things that you need to do tonight:

1. Review your notes and your reading. You should review all notes and all reading for Act I.

2. Review your vocabulary notes up to and including number fifteen.

3. Written homework due to THE BOX: What is each character feeling about the Capulet party and what are they expecting from it? Choose three of the following characters and answer the questions: Romeo, Juliet, Benvolio, Mercutio, Paris, Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet, Tybalt, Nurse.

Each response should be about three to five sentences.

Study, study, study!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Next Week...

We're going to have a quiz on WordSkills and on what we've covered of Romeo and Juliet. You should be reviewing your notes nightly to prepare for this. Furthermore, A-day's schedule of recitations is off - I'll be rewriting this this weekend and giving you your new dates on Monday.

Keep bringing your books to class! Work on your projects this weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Homework for after I.2

This homework assignment will need to be done after your class reads Act I, Scene 2. For all classes, this will be after Thursday. Thus, when we get back from our mini-break you should have this assignment done.

Your question is: Compare Romeo's and Benvolio's attitude toward love. Use quotes from the play to explain your ideas. As always, you should answer in a paragraph with at least five sentences. Honors students, I want you to answer an additional question - Why do you think that Shakespeare has two characters with contradicting viewpoints? What is the purpose of this?

Enjoy your mini-break! Work on your projects!!!

EDIT: Please put this entry in your journal. I'll look for this entry in your next journal check.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Homework for 9/12 January

Tonight's homework requires you to begin reading your outside play. As you're reading your play, if you find a speech that you would like to memorize - you may do this early, just come see me.

Tonight for homework you need to read in your play for about thirty minutes. You may read more if you'd like. After you read for thirty minutes answer one of the following questions in your journal based on the author of your play.

If you are reading Shakespeare your question is: How is the beginning similar or different to the beginning of Romeo and Juliet? Be specific and use examples. Answer in a five to sentence paragraph.

If you are not reading Shakespeare your question is: How does the author of your play grab you at the beginning. Be specific and use examples!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Homework for 1/7 and 1/8

Tonight for homework you will have another journal entry. Be sure that you have kept up with your journals and that all of the answers are complete! Tonight's prompt is: What are some parallels between the conflict that we see in I.1 and modern society. Explain the similarities and differences. You should answer in a five to seven sentence paragraph.

Also - remember that I will be asking you what your book is for your outside reading project. If you need me to help you get a copy, please let me know when I collect your titles.

Lastly, you need to study for your mid-term. That exam is quickly approaching.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What a day!

Does anyone else feel really tired? I do.

Lots of things to review about today:

Today we went over a lot of notes on Shakespeare and drama. Be sure that you review these notes so that you are prepared for your quiz on Wednesday/Thursday. The handout that I gave you about the Elizabethan stage is included in your notes and is fair game for your quiz.

On Friday (A day) and Monday (B day) you will have your semester one midterm. Use the study guide that I gave you to prepare for this exam. It will count as a major test grade and could count for two major test grades. Also, remember on Friday/Monday that you will have to tell me what play you are reading for your outside project. If you need help getting a book before Friday/Monday - please let me know.

Your homework for tonight is to write in your journals about Shakespeare. Answer the following questions in a 5-7 sentence paragraph:

What do you already know about Shakespeare?
Have you read anything by Shakespeare already?
Do you have any apprehension or fear about studying Shakespeare?

That should do it - don't forget to study for your first and second period exams!!!