Friday, December 17, 2010

Homework over the Break!


Over break you should read chapter six of A Separate Peace. You will want to keep up with your vocabulary assignment as you are working through the book. The first exam showed me that a lot of people are having problems with vocabulary - so I will be collecting bookmarks when we get back from break to check in on your progress with this. Also, A-day students, take the feedback from today's workshop to improve your drafts. Use the rubric to make them really good. Please come and see me when we get back from break to go through your essays and get some more commentary.


Over break you will need to read Act IV of Hamlet. You will want to annotate and keep track of things as you work through this section of the text. We will come back, review the material, and then move on to Act V. Also, you will want to spend some time working on your final papers - Rough Draft workshop will happen on the Wednesday when we get back from break. If you have any questions about papers, please e-mail me over the break.

That's all! Enjoy the time off.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Hopefully we'll have school tomorrow. If not, happy early Winter Break.

Seniors: Keep polishing your websites. We will present all websites tomorrow. Be sure that you check yourselves against the mock-up. If you have questions, please e-mail me. I'll respond throughout the day. Hopefully we have enough time for a bit of a surprise before we head out. Today would also be a good day to spend working on your paper. Collect quotes, organize, begin to formulate an outline.

Freshmen: You should keep working on your drafts. If we have school tomorrow it will be an A-day. A-day students should be prepared with their drafts. B-day students, I won't be looking at yours until after break. If you'd like to see me tomorrow afternoon to conference, I'm more than happy to do that.

Enjoy the day off. I know I will!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reminders for 12/15

So - is it going to snow? We shall see.

Seniors: I don't think that I need to tell you what to do. Work on your websites. Groups with chapters in the forties will definitely present tomorrow. We may get to the first set of chapters from the fifties. The later fifties groups will be presenting on Friday. If we don't have school tomorrow we will have all presentations on Friday. If we don't have school both days, we'll see about that.

Please also be aware that you should begin working on your final paper. Those of you wishing to explore the eight to ten page option will want to sit down with me to discuss how to attack this.

Freshmen: Rough drafts of your essays, in full, are due next class. Do not put them in the homework box, bring them to class. We will begin workshopping these tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Homework - 12/14

Only a few days left to go for break. Keep working all the way to the end!


Tomorrow we will be going to the library to begin working on our final papers. Some of you will need to begin looking at criticism, some of you may need to do some outside research. All of you will need to get deeply into the text to find meaning and find support for your ideas. As you're thinking, continue to refine and clarify your ideas. Outlining is always a good idea.

Presentations of websites will be on Thursday and Friday. We will go in chronological order of the chapters. Make sure that you have your copies of Great Expectations with you on Thursday/Friday! Keep working on your websites tonight!


Rough drafts! In full! All five paragraphs. Now, those of you needing help on conclusions, I would point you at this resource. The main thing to do is to restate your thesis, review your main points, and then end with the "artful ending" - the sentence that brings the essay to a logical conclusion and give the reader the final idea on your topic that you want them to have. Make sure to add no new information in the conclusion, just review what you've already told me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Homework - 12/13

Homework for tonight is as follows:


I'm not assigning you reading in Hamlet because I want you to be focused on your website projects. Continue to work together and hold each other accountable for their required work. Continue to also support and guide each other. I will probably give you a few mintues tomorrow to meet together and check-in with each other. Tomorrow we will finish looking at Act III as well as do a bit of overall discussion with the play.

I also remind you that there will be a final paper when we get back from break. Many of you will want to start working on this sooner as opposed to later. Don't be a procrastinator...wait, you're Seniors...don't procrasinate too much.


Next class you will have your exam. Be ready. On Thursday/Friday, you will need to bring your rough drafts of your assignments with you to class.

Let me know if you've got questions!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Freshman Study Guide


Your A Separate Peace test will be on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. It will cover information in chapters one through five. Below you'll find some ideas for things to study - this list doesn't cover everything, but is intended to get you started. Remember to be active as you study, study in bursts, not all at once.
  • bildungsroman notes - You should know about the different stages of bildungsroman as well as important literary devices that we went over in this powerpoint
  • literary devices - As you saw on the benchmark, a lot of questions relate to identifying literary devices and how they're used in a text. We've gone over a lot of these this year - everything is fair game.
  • characters/plot events
  • motifs/symbols/themes
  • VOCABULARY- You will see vocabulary on this exam directly from the book. Be sure that you are looking over your vocabulary bookmarks as well as going back to those pages to reexamine how the vocabulary is used.
Lastly, there will be writing on the exam. As we have really been doing a lot of writing practice lately I am expecting that your skills will be a lot stronger. I expect clear topic sentences in your writing as well as good use of examples. There will be short answers about topics we've spent some time discussing in class as well as quote identifications for Honors students. Honors students - you will have to identify the speaker, context, and importance of the quotes I give you.

If you want extra help getting ready, please come and see me on Monday.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekend Homework - 12/10


I'm not giving you any reading this weekend in the hopes that you will use this time to get a lot done with your Great Expectations websites. I'll be checking in on these over the weekend - watching just like Big Brother. Please let me know of any problems or concerns as soon as they occur so that we can deal with them.

Next week we will finish Act III of Hamlet. I'll be giving you a lot of work back on Monday including your paper topics and your Act I tests. There are a lot of interesting ideas floating around in the malestrom that is Honors English IV - I'm happy to see you all really wrestling with these.


On Tuesday/Wednesday you will have your exam on the first five chapters of A Separate Peace. Don't forget also that your rough drafts of your essays are due on Thursday/Friday. Use the feedback that I gave you on your first paragraphs to complete the rest of your papers. If you need help, please come and see me Monday afternoon during study hall.

Quick note: The chapter five worksheet asks about the conversation between Gene and Finny on page fifty-seven. This is the conversation that the two boys have while they are in the hospital, before Finny leaves Devon School.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Seniors - Quick Reminder

I forgot to mention the fact that I would suggest you all use GOOGLE DOCS for your paper ideas. This will allow us to collaborate a bit more effectively. If you would like to do this - please be sure that you share your document with me and give me editing privledges.

Homework - 9 December


Tomorrow in class I will be collecting your paper topics. This will allow me to see what you're thinking for your final paper and give me some ideas as to how I can assist you. In my mind, I've already given you all the tools that you will need to accomplish these papers. This second round will be very hands off - I ask that you work hard and ask for any help you may need. I will have these topics back to you on Monday with commentary. Also, I will be handing back your Hamlet Act I tests on Monday as well.

The last thing that I should see from all groups is your Group Overview section. This should be completed by 6:00 on Friday evening. In the overview, be sure that you state what chapters you are studying in your group, what each person is doing in the group, and all of the members of your group. I especially want to know who is responsible for what content.

Looking forward to tomorrow's class as we move deeper into Act III.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Homework - 8 December


Tomorrow we will begin by finishing our discussion of "WAYG? WHYB?" - we're going to focus on the musical qualities and talk a bit more about the character names and the numbers. Be ready for that. We're also going to finish watching II.2 of Hamlet and begin our study of the third act. Please remember that paper topics are due to me on Friday. Also, I would like for you to finish the group overview section of your website by Friday.


Be sure that your chapter five worksheets and your copy of the script get to the box on Friday/Monday morning. Next class we will begin by presenting our scenes, going through chapter five, and then reviewing for your exam on chapters one through five. Also, don't forget that your essays due on the last day of class before break are now ROUGH DRAFTS, not final drafts. I will read these over the break and give you feedback to prepare for your final drafts.

Let me know if you've got questions!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Homework - 7 December


Tonight you need to make it your priority to read the short story "Where are you going? Where have you been?" by Joyce Carol Oates. Take a look at the questions at the end of the story first - these will give you some key points to read for as you go through the story. There are, in my opinion, several connections between this story and Hamlet as well as some other things that we've studied. This is a story with multiple layered meanings, and it's probably one of my favorite short stories ever written. I hope that tomorrow's discussion is productive.

Furthermore, you should be considering your final papers - I will be asking for topics soon. Also, continue working on your websites. Editing should be enabled for all of your group members. Try to get your Group Overview done by Thursday evening.

Enjoy the Oates!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Homework for 12/6

Only NINE more days until Winter Break begins!


Those of you that I did not have a chance to meet with today will get your first paragraphs back on Wednesday/Thursday. The biggest issue that I am seeing in your writing is that you are not explaining everything thoroughly AND/OR you are not really connecting your ideas back to your thesis. Remember to be clear in your writing. The idea here is that you want me to understand the story in the same way that you do. Continue working on these essays. Final drafts will be due on 12/16 and 12/17.

For reading homework tonight you have to read chapter five of A Separate Peace as well as complete the worksheet. The worksheet should go to the box by Friday/Monday morning. Make sure that it's complete.

Lastly, don't forget about your websites. The next deadline will be Thursday! By Thursday you should have the Group Overview for your page done.


Tonight you should finish your reading of Act II. Be sure that you're using the annotation guide which I gave out last week to understand the goings on of Act II. Tomorrow we will discuss Act II in a lot of depth before moving on to one of my favorite short stories ever written. There are a lot of interesting connections between the short story, Hamlet, and a few books of the Bible. Some strange things are going on here - and I look forward to investigating them with you all.

Let me know if you've got any questions or concerns.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekend Post - Seniors

I wanted to start off by sharing a really funny grammar link with you. It's the story of "ALOT" - I think it's hilarious. I invite you to read it.


Your mock-up is due by Sunday. There doesn't need to be content, but you should have the frame up; also, be sure that I and your group can edit the site. You should be done reading Great Expectations - I invite those of you mulling over the end of this book to see me and discuss. There are a lot of really good papers in there and interesting ideas to work out. On Monday you will have your test on Act I of Hamlet. The test will focus on characters, the introductory notes, motifs, and you will be asked to read and analyze an excerpt. The excerpt is one that we have discussed in class. You even saw one of them today in the film.

Today in class I gave you a reading/annotation guide for Act II. Use this to guide you to some of the larger ideas that are being worked out in the play. Feel free to add your own annotations. I do enjoy when you all bring me new points to consider when discussing the text. We will not discuss Act II until Tuesday. But I thought that some of you may want to start now.

Lastly, as we begin moving toward the end of the year I remind you that you will have a final paper on Hamlet. It will be from the ABC option sheet. Remember that you cannot repeat the same project from our study of 1984. I'll be asking you for paper topics before we leave for Winter Break. Those of you graduating early, this is required of you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I don't really see the point of posting the homework for tonight. I'm just going to remind everyone that you all have something major coming up.

Seniors, you have your Great Expectations websites. As of now I've seen two mock-ups. This is one of your last major grades in the class. Make sure that it gets the time and attention that it deserves. Please see me for any help with this. The last major grade that you will have is your Hamlet paper. You may want to begin thinking about a topic and planning now. Some of you were interested in the eight to ten page option - you will want to especially come see me in developing a topic.

I'm in the midst of your poetry explications. I'll have these back to you on Monday. We will be having a Act I test on Monday. Think about characters - this will be a large portion of the exam. Also, go back and review the opening notes; that content will also be there. You will also have an annotation/writing portion based on a passage from Act I. Some important hints about which passages will be revealed tomorrow in class as we watch the film. We will first finish Act I, Scene 5 and discuss some of the big ideas that Shakespeare is establishing - motifs, symbols, themes, and such...

Freshmen, you've got your first essays. Progress reports will go out next week; once I have your Benchmark scores. As you are working on your essay assignment, please come and see me to look at drafts or for extra help. I've got time on Friday afternoon as well as Monday.

Lastly, I get the feeling that some of you may be behind in your reading. Let me be clear and state that by Monday/Tuesday - I expect that you will have read to the end of chapter four and kept up with your vocabulary bookmark assignment.

That's all - one week down, two to go til Winter Break.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

English IV Group Project

Project Example

I couldn't find the mockup, so I'm reposting it here.

Homework - 12/1

Happy Hanukkah!

Tomorrow and Friday, Freshmen will have their benchmark exam. Come prepared with a pencil and your head full of literary terms and grammar knowledge. Your homework from the last post will be due on Monday/Tuesday. Don't forget that it's the introduction and first body paragraph as well as reading chapter four of A Separate Peace.

Seniors - I saw some productive conversations going on at the end of class today for your group projects. Make sure that the group's website mock-up is live by Sunday. You don't need to have any content in the pages, but you should have the empty frames which you will then fill in later. The example site that I made is linked to this blog. If you go back to the posts in November, you should be able to find it. Making a site is very intuitive. Just begin from the blank template at Google sites and you will go from there. Make sure that you share the site with me and all the members of your group. I would recommend getting some headway done on this this week as next week you will have Hamlet reading to complete on your own.

Last note for the Seniors - stay awake in class. Putting your heads down is not only rude, but you're missing content. That's going to come back and bite you when we start having assessments on Hamlet.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Senior Homework - 11/30

I hope that you all are starting to get into Hamlet. It's especially important to notice how characters are connected to each other at this point of the play and the major motifs that Shakespeare is establishing.

For tonight, you should continue to work on your Great Expectations websites as well as finishing the text. Also, don't forget that your poetry explications are due tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing what you've come up with in your poems.

Homework - 30 November


Next class we will be having our Benchmark Test. Please be sure that you come to class with two pencils. If you'd like to study for this exam, look over grammar and literary terms. Don't concern yourself with other things.

Now, for Monday and Tuesday you should come to class with your introduction paragraph and first body paragraph for your first essay. Use the tips and strategies that we went over in class today to write your body paragraphs. Be sure that you're using your outlines to complete this part of the assignment.

This website provides good information on topic sentences and writing body paragraphs. It also contains those transition words which I referenced earlier.

Other than writing, you should also read chapter four of A Separate Peace. I hope that you're noticing how things are changing in this text, especially with Gene.


Your explications are due tomorrow! Use the rubric and other information that we've gone over to craft a well-written piece of poetic criticism. The biggest thing to remember about this assignment is that you are trying to prove to me that the meaning is created throughout the whole piece. Be sure that you take me through all of the poem as you write your explication. I will collect these from you tomorrow at the beginning of class.

Also, don't forget that you should finish Great Expectations this week!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Homework - Welcome back!

Today is the 29th of November - we have fourteen more days of school until Winter Break! Things will move pretty quickly before break, make sure that you're keeping up with EVERYTHING that we have going on. There will be a lot of deadlines for you to meet.

So, let's review.


You will want to be sure that you finish Great Expectations by the end of this coming weekend. I would actually suggest that you finish it by Friday. You will not have any Hamlet reading this week, but this weekend and next week, you will. You will not have vocabulary cards due this week.

Now, don't forget that you have that website project due before we leave for Winter Break. First check-in on this is coming. I want there to be a mock-up shared with me and all group members live by this Sunday. Your group has a task. Today, at the end of class when we had free time - I hope that you were speaking to your group members about this.

Lastly, your poetry explications are due on Wednesday of this week. Remember what I said about taking things late with this project. I have a rubric and will share it with you tomorrow. Feel free to see me before or after class with drafts.


For Wednesday/Thursday - You will want to be sure that you have read chapters one through three. Keep up with your notes, and keep thinking about some of these big ideas that we're bringing up. Those of you with your own books should take notes in your book as you read. Be sure that you also have your vocabulary bookmarks done. Don't forget the page number and definitions.

We have Benchmarks coming up on Thursday/Friday. For Thursday/Friday - just come to class with pencils. You can read when you're done with the test, but you have to remain quiet.

On Wednesday/Thursday, we will be taking the next step forward with our essay assignments. These will be due before Winter Break! If you need help, see me as soon as you realize the problem.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Homework over Thanksgiving Break

A-day Freshmen:

Over the break you'll need to read chapter three of A Separate Peace. Make sure that as you read you keep up with your vocabulary. We will have a vocabulary check in the coming days.

B-day Freshmen:

Over break you'll need to finish reading chapter two. Please keep up with the vocabulary assignment.

All Freshmen: You will have your first benchmark exam on December 2nd and 3rd. Feel free to review your grammar warm-ups and grammar notes as well as important literary devices. Don't spend a lot of time studying; I want to see what you know and where you don't understand things.


Over the break you should make it a priority to finish reading Great Expectations. You've got fourteen chapters left in the text to finish Book Three. If you don't finish it over break, you'll want to finish it in the week that we begin Hamlet, after break. Also, over break, you'll want to get your copy of Hamlet. You can get just the Shakespearean version, but I recommend the No Fear Shakespeare - it will help with understanding the plot!

Everyone! Have a great Thanksgiving! Eat lots of food!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Homework - 11/22


Tonight you should be able to finish reading book two of Great Expectations. Tomorrow we're going to finish reviewing some of the main concepts from book two to give you some things to think about as you finish reading Great Expecations on your own.

Also, when we get back from break we will begin studying Hamlet. I would recommend buying a copy of No-Fear Shakespeare Hamlet - this will provide a great aid to help you understand Shakespeare's language.


You should finish reading chapter two of A Separate Peace. Be ready for good discussion tomorrow!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekend Homework - 11/19

Freshmen (A-day):

This weekend you need to read chapter two of A Separate Peace. As you read, be sure that you're keeping up with the vocabulary bookmark assignment. Jot down the words that are new to you with the page number, after you complete the reading assignment, look up the word and - on the bookmark - write a personal, one or two word definition of the new word. Reading is important because it builds vocabulary!

Also, as you read, pay attention to the ideas that we're raising in the class discussions. Especially in this opening bit of the text you want to really pay attention to the characters of Gene and Finny. Their similarities, their differences, and the relationship between them.

Freshmen (B-day): You've got to finish reading chapter one. Don't forget about the vocabulary bookmark.


You've got memorized poems to present on Monday and Tuesday. This should be your priority for the weekend. As I suggested earlier, try recording the poem and then listen to it again and again. Another good memorization technique is to write the poem again and again until you've literally etched it into your mind. We're also going to get back into discussing Great Expectations in these last two classes before we leave for Thanksgiving break. On Monday we'll be discussing chapters thirty, thirty-one, and thirty-two. Be prepared to discuss areas of these chapters in some depth on Monday.

Lastly - all of you come to the game tonight! HUP FALCONS!!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Homework - 11/18


For tonight make sure that you get your vocabulary cards taken care of. I will be collecting these from you tomorrow. Tomorrow we'll also have a timed writing on poetry. Try to use some of the things that we've been talking about lately in class about writing for tomorrow. Also, think about the sample essays that we analyzed today in class. Be more like a nine, and less like a two.

Lastly, you should be reading two chapters of Great Expecations each night. Tonight you'll need to read chapters thirty-four and thirty-five. I know that some of you are behind, please take the weekend to get yourself caught up. Don't forget about memorized poems on Monday and Tuesday.


Tonight you all need to finish reading chapter one of A Separate Peace. As you're reading, continue to pay attention to your vocabulary bookmark assignment as well as your motif and character lists. Note important quotations as you read as well to bring up in the class discussion.

See you all tomorrow. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homework - 11/16

Seniors: Your number one priority should be the dramatic reading presentation. You also have reading to do tonight, chapters thirty and thirty-one, but we probably won't get to these chapters until later this week. Make sure that you're prepared for the Dramatic Reading!

Freshmen: See the previous post for your reading assignment. Be ready to discuss these opening pages tomorrow in class.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Homework - 11/15


Tonight for homework you have to read chapter twenty-nine. The story is beginning a bit of a turn. Pay attention to Estella very carefully in the chapter. We'll work on understanding key areas of the text tomorrow in class. Come with good annotations.

Also, don't forget that you have your dramatic presentations on Wednesday and Thursday. Feel free to see me in the morning or during lunch to get some extra help on this. The key here is tone. Also, be sure that you're fluency is high. You shouldn't stumble through.

Lastly, think about your writing skills. We're working on our final push for writing. If there are specific skills you really would like to focus on here at the end - please raise those during these next few days.


Tonight you will begin reading A Separate Peace. One of the biggest downfalls of this novel is the opening. It's dry. And it takes a bit of opening up to really get into the text. Remember the importance of narrator and setting. Knowles has got to establish these things before the story can continue. For tonight, read in chapter one up until the point when Gene goes back in time. You should recognize this moment fairly easily.

As you read, make sure that you keep track of your motif list on the back cover, your character list on the front cover, and your vocabulary bookmark. These are meant to be done as you read. Wednesday/Thursday, we will begin talking about annotations.

Lastly, don't forget about outlines.

To all of you:

Enjoy the reading! As always, ask questions if you have them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend Homework - 11/12


You have the personal reflection about friendship due on Monday and Tuesday - please make sure that these get into the box. Furthermore, if you did not turn in your outline to the box yesterday or today, you will want to make certain you attend study hall on Monday or see me at A-lunch. These outlines are very important, not submitting them is getting you far behind in your essay.


Your homework for the weekend is to read/annotate chapters twenty seven and twenty eight. Also, I gave you back your annotated poems today - use these to begin planning for your dramatic readings next week. Dramatic readings will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. Don't forget that the timed writing will happen on Friday and the memorized poem presentations will be on the 22nd and 23rd. We will be signing up for presentation slots on Monday of next week.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Seniors - Reminders

Just reminding you of the mock-up for the Dickens project. We'll probably go to the computer lab sometime next week to set up the templates and do a bit of training with Google sites.

On the topic of Google, how many of you haven't been able to access your gmail accounts on the school computers? I was noticing this with a few people today, and it really held back the activity.

Handing back annotations for you on Friday. We'll spend some time discussing those then; overall, you all did very well.

Hope that you enjoy meeting Bentley...

Homework - 11/10 - 9th and 12th Graders


I want you to continue thinking about the idea of "friendship/brotherhood" which was raised in the story "The Scarlet Ibis." This idea is going to be really important as we start getting into our novel A Separate Peace next week. Over the weekend, I want you to write about this idea. Please answer the following questions in a personal response. Note that since this is personal, writing rules don't apply.

Your prompt:

Describe the perfect friendship. What are important qualities to a good friendship? Why do these qualities matter? What causes friendships to fail?

Be as thorough as possible in your answer. You may want to draw on examples from your own life or from literature, television, or films. Please put your responses in the box on Monday/Tuesday.


I will have your anntotated poems back for you on Friday. You'll need to use these to prepare for your dramatic readings next week. I've changed the date for the dramatic readings: these are now going to be on the 17th and 18th of November. In terms of homework, you will need to read chapters twenty-five and twenty-six of Great Expectations. Furthermore, your vocabulary cards are due on Friday!

You may want to start discussing in your groups who is going to do what for the website. Divide and conquer!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Senior Homework - 11/9

Tonight I'd like for you to continue forward in Great Expectations. Read chapters twenty-three and twenty-four tonight and annotate those chapters. Try to notice how Dickens is building on certain themes - especially the ideas of being a gentleman, the city of London, and the ideas of friendship. Also, pay attention to family and how we begin to pay attention to the family structure with the Pockets.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be sharing your final project on Dickens and Great Expectations - I'm putting you in groups for this assignment and will have you build a website. This assignment will also count as your major paper for Great Expectations. But more on that tomorrow...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Expectations - Jaggers...Devil...Anti-Semitism

Totally just noticed that the Jew in chapter twenty calls Jaggers "Holy father." Now remember the thing about Jaggers being the Devil and you've got some extreme crazy stuff going on.

Would make a really good paper.

Homework - 11/8


Tonight for homework you have two things to do:

1. Finish reading "The Scarlet Ibis" and complete your dialectical notebook. Honors students should have anywhere from seven to ten entries; Standard students should have three to six entries. Do not turn these notebooks into the box, keep them for our class discussion.

2. Don't forget your outlines for your essays are due to the box on Wednesday/Friday! Work hard on these. Come see me if you need help!


Tonight you all need to read chapter twenty-two of Great Expectations. This chapter provides a lot of backstory on Miss Havisham. Pay close attention to what we learn about her. Keep up with your bookmarks and vocabulary cards, I'll collect those Friday. Finally, don't forget the first stage of your poetry project is due Wednesday. I will not accept this late.

Great conversation today in class. You all made me very proud.

Friday, November 5, 2010

English IV Homework - This Weekend


This weekend you should read chapters twenty and twenty one of Great Expectations. Welcome to London! As you read, pay attention to the city of London and Pip's attitude toward the city. Also, take note of new characters and what we begin to learn about existing characters. As we are getting into the reading again, you will want to get back to your bookmarks and vocabulary cards. I'll collect those next Friday.

Again, if you want to read ahead - please do so. Be prepared for conversation in class on Monday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Homework for 11/4 - Seniors and Freshmen


Over the weekend you all should be pulling together your outline for your formal essay. Remember to follow the formatting guidelines that I went over with you in class. Label everything and follow the guidelines about topic sentences and examples to include in the body paragraphs.


Tonight you need to do some time playing around with Google docs and finish the selecting of your poem for your project. Make sure that your posting in the last thread is done tonight.

Now, the Google docs stuff should be relatively easy for you based on the orientation we did today in class. Open your gmail/e-mail account that you set up for the Google group - you'll see that I shared a document with you. That document will include the instructions for tonight's assignment. Bring a paper copy of the response as a back-up just in case the internet fails. I'll be providing feedback in the document that you upload. Make sure that you share your document with me and that I can edit it!

Let me know if you've got questions. I'll be checking these tonight around 9:00 to see what you've all got.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

English IV Homework - 11/3

For tonight you need to decide on a poem and a poet for your poetry project. Please respond to this post with the name of your poet and poem. This is due by Thursday evening. No repeats with this, if someone claims yours first - then that's it. Find another.

Also, you should be reading Great Expectations - get ahead on your reading before next week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Seniors - A Special Note

Copy this link into your browser and use the information to complete your homework tonight. Also, don't forget that only two of your poets can be singers.

Homework - Beginning of the 2nd Quarter - 11/2

Did anyone notice that in my last post I wrote August instead of October? Anyway...


Tonight for homework you will need to complete the first paragraph of your essay. Please follow your writing notes as you begin to write. Make sure that you have your thematic, attention grabbing opening. Then make your connection to the story. Finally, include your thesis. Bring these to class with you on Thursday/Friday as we will begin coming together and editing for strong beginnings to our essays.

Get off to a good start this nine weeks - 100% completing the assignment.


We are going to focus on poetry for a little bit because we've really neglected it. Tonight, to facilitate that, I would like for your to do some research for homework. Find four British poets who interest you in some way shape or form. Note the following information abouth them:
  1. Their name. Birth and death dates.
  2. Major works, poems of acclaim.
  3. Literary period to which they are connected.
  4. Reception by the British public - were they famous? obscure?
  5. Why does this poet interest you?

You can use Wikipedia for this, but you may want to double check to make sure that your information is sound. Don't walk in to class with faulty information tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homework for 8/26


Tonight you are going to finish reading book one of Great Expectations. This is quite an accomplishment. As we discussed today in class, Pip is beginning to change. Pay attention to this change, because it is quite stark. Don't forget - vocabulary cards are due on Thursday! You only have to do three, for three days of reading homework.

If you were absent from class today, you will definitely want to see someone for the notes - there were some very good points brought up by many in the studio audience. Again, continue to pay attention to the tiniest details.

Finally, those of you interested in the 8-__ page paper option will want to begin thinking about a topic now. This is a very wide open assignment, and I will need to work with each of you individually in the beginning to help you decide on a topic. Please come and see me.


Tonight you need to read "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell. It's the first story in your literature books. Many of you, who have read The Hunger Games will appreciate a lot of the similarities between the plots. It's a really fantastic story that, I think, will satiate a lot of desire amongst you for a bit of a change of pace in the reading.

Furthermore, we will begin reading our novel A Separate Peace very soon. I would recommend that if you are, like me, a slower reader that you begin reading in advance. I'll be giving out novels very soon if you would like one to accomplish this. This coming weekend would be a great chance to try chapter one on for size...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Homework/Announcements for 10/25


Tonight you should all be getting ready for your vocabulary exam. We will start class with this tomorrow and Wednesday. Also, if you are going to do the extra credit assignment - you need to get that turned in tomorrow for A-day and Wednesday for B-day.


Only students who need to resubmit their assignments for a new grade need to turn in their paper tomorrow. Other students don't necessarily need to do anything tonight - enjoy your night off.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The 400th Post


Tonight/Over the weekend you will need to read and annotate chapters fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen of Great Expectations. We will be taking a small break from the text in the not too distant future, at the end of book one. Book one will end at the beginning of chapter twenty. Start paying attention to how things are changing in the text from the earlier chapters. Also, notice new conflicts and new developments.

Furthermore, if you need to resubmit your paper - please do this by Tuesday. Also, I am more than willing to go through your paper with you to explain your grade. Make an appointment to see me to do this.


On Tuesday/Wednesday you will be having your Wordskills Unit 1 Exam. Use the guide I provided today in class to prepare for this examination. I will not collect this for a grade. Use it to study. Also, if you choose to complete the extra credit assignment, that will need to be turned in on Tuesday/Wednesday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homework - 10/21


Tomorrow you will have your first major assessment on Great Expectations. You will need to focus on the information presented in chapters one through fourteen. Be sure that you understand the major plot events from these chapters. Also, you will be asked to make connections between 1984 and Great Expectations - be sure that you are putting some thought into these connections. We went over one today in class, you will want to think about others.

Another section of this assessment will focus on the use of satire. I will be giving you a small passage and you will need to annotate the passage and compose a brief essay on the elements of satire used in the passage. Be sure that you can use your literary vocabulary to discuss satire.

Lastly, remember that redone vocabulary cards will be due tomorrow. I will not be accepting these late. If you are going to do this, have them tomorrow.


Tomorrow we are going to finish our Wordskills Unit One information in preparation for your exam next week. I would begin to study for this now. Also, you have an extra credit assignment due on Tuesday/Wednesday. Spend some time putting this together, I will not accept these assignments late.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Freshman Extra Credit - 1st Nine Weeks

For extra credit, you have the opportunity to read an extra short story and answer some questions. This assignment will replace a zero, or add points to your overall average in the class. The story is called "Marigolds" by E. Collier, it is in the textbook. Read the story and answer questions 1, 5, 7, 9 and 11. The extra credit will be due on Tuesday/Wednesday of next week. I will not accept this late.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Senior Homework 10/19

Your dramatization assignments will be due on Thursday. I look forward to seeing good acting, good costumes, accents and props. Be sure that you practice as a group before the big show. Remember that for the group to get full credit I need a copy of your script at the beginning of class, typed.

For tonight, as well as the rest of the week, you should be reviewing, rereading (or perhaps reading for the first time) chapters 1-14 of Great Expectations in preparation for your exam on Friday. If you would like to redo one of your vocabulary card assignments for a new grade you can do that this week - you have to do new words from the first set, and I will not take redo's late.

Let me know if you've got any questions while you're reading. Looking forward to film day tomorrow. Be sure that you understand and have thought about chapter eight before class tomorrow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homework for October 18th


You have a quiz coming up on short stories. Be sure that you can discuss in depth many of the elements in each of the short stories that we have read so far. Your quiz will focus on the stories of "The Lottery," "The Necklace," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "The Interlopers." As you are studying for these stories, you will want to pay attention to literary devices as well as the plot events of each stories. Below is a list to get you started with your studying, this is not everything - just a list to get you started. For each of the terms below you should be able to give an example from a story we've read as well as comment on the importance of the device in the story.

  • irony (situational, verbal, dramatic)
  • unreliable/reliable narrator
  • first person narrator
  • third person limited/omniscient narrator
  • setting
  • foreshadowing
  • protagonist/antagonist
  • mood
  • tone
  • climax
  • suspense
  • conflict

Your quiz will be forty multiple choice questions, short answer questions and quote identifications for Honors students. If you have any questions while studying, please leave a comment below!


I hope that you all enjoyed our character roundup today. I certainly enjoyed watching you all make links between the characters. Hats off to Mr. McGibney for the link between the convict and Joe Gargery. For tonight I would like for you to begin your review of chapters one through fourteen. You will have a sizeable assessment on Friday on this opening chunk of the book. Review your annotations, reread certain passages, and make sure that everything is clear. I will be offering a review session for this exam on THURSDAY after-school. As we work through the week we will have a bit more time to prepare for the exam. You may also tonight want to begin to think about your dramatization activity. I will be giving you the majority of class tomorrow to work on this assignment.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Homework for the Weekend


Read and annotate to the end of chapter fourteen in Great Expectations. This is going to be our first break in the text - we'll be spending the next few classes reviewing the information in chapters one through fourteen and really understanding the opening chapters to lay a foundation going forward.


Be sure that you're reviewing your notes for your quiz next week! Also, be sure that you finish your movie poster and get it in the box for Monday/Tuesday.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quick Note:

When citing the TCLC or CLC you will have to cite the original source and the TCLC/CLC. You may want to see me in the morning for some last minute help. I'm also on Google chat if you need help from 7:40 - 8:30.

Useful Links for Seniors

Bibliographies for your papers:

**Be sure that you're citing everything that is not your original thought. Including images! I need to know where everything is coming from. Be sure that within your paper you are using parenthetical citations to show me any ideas, quotes, or paraphrases that are not your ideas. Don't plagiarize, even by accident!

For Vocabulary Cards:

Using this page, you will insert the word in the search box at the top. For the word's entry find the information under Origin. This is the information that will provide you the etymology of the word. Be sure to look for the root of the word and its meaning.

This is another good source for you. You may need to click on "show full entry" to get to all of the information. Again, look for the Origin information.

Homework for 14 October


Over the weekend you should begin to study for your short story quiz. Focus on the main aspects of the stories, literary devices apparent in the stories, and also the plot events in the stories. Also, you need to be sure that you complete your movie poster review activity. Be sure that on the poster you include the requried information of: title, image, quote, critic's quote, characters and what actors would portray the characters.

Be sure that your movie poster gets to the box on Monday/Tuesday.


You've got a few things to accomplish tonight:

  1. Complete your paper! I appreciate the fact that so many of you have come to see me to review these essays. Finish your papers and turn them in to me tomorrow.
  2. Complete your vocab cards and bookmarks. I'll be collecting these tomorrow too. Make sure that you take the time and get them completely finished.
  3. Watch an episode of The Simpsons tonight - we'll be looking at an episode in detail tomorrow to discuss satire. You will want to consider the elements of satire and how they are seen in episodes of The Simpsons.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homework for All Classes - 12 October


Tonight for homework you need to read the story "The Necklace" by Guy DuMaupassant. Be sure as you read that you read all of the related information connected to the story. Including the note on "Separate Spheres" and any important literary device information before the story begins. When you finish the story, try answering the questions to yourself. This is a great tool to see if you comprehended the story or not. "The Necklace" will be our last story before you have your first short story quiz next week.


Tonight you need to complete the reading of chapters eleven and twelve. We'll be slowing down the pace of the reading relatively soon to allow those of you a bit behind to catch up. Be sure that you're keeping up with vocabulary bookmarks, cards, and your annotations!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Homework for 10/11


Tonight your homework is to continue along with the reading of Great Expectations. Tonight you are to read chapters nine and ten. If you did not have a chance to finish reading chapter eight, I would highly recommend that you re-read it tonight. I would actually recommend that you reread it tonight because Miss Havisham and Estella are supremely important characters in this story and you'll want to pay attention to first meeting them.

I know that the reading has been at a relatively strict pace, we're going to scale it back in a bit, I just need to you to really get into the book before we can move on to some more specialized areas of focus.

Furthermore, you may want to take a minute to reflect on the Housman poem today. Go back and reflect on the poem later - you may find that you get a lot more out of it this way.

I look forward to class tomorrow before our mini-break on the 13th. I've got something special up my sleeve for when we get back on Thursday.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Homework for the Weekend - 10/8


Over the weekend you need to complete chapters seven and eight of Great Expectations. Be sure that you continue with your annotations and with your vocabulary bookmarks/cards. We have yet to have a reading quiz - be aware that we will have one or two during the time that we study this text.


Your task over the weekend is to rewrite a portion of the story "The Cask of Amontillado" from the point of view of Fortunato. You can rewrite this in a variety of ways (Facebook statuses, journal, story, poem, text messages) - but I want to see that you're really getting into the head of Fortunato. Use creative language and have fun with this creative writing assignment. It will be due on Tuesday for A-day and Wednesday for B-day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Homework for 10/7


Tonight you need to complete the reading of chapters five and six. Make sure that you keep up with your annotations and your vocabulary assignment. Try to look for words that you can add to your working vocabulary and USE THESE WORDS! That way, you'll actually remember them. You'll be amazed how high your SAT Verbal score will go.


Finish reading "The Cask of Amontillado" - we're going to discuss that in depth tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Homework for 6 October


Tonight you will need to finish reading chapters three and four of Great Expectations. Remember as you read that you will need to keep up with your annotations and your vocabulary assignment. Vocabulary is always due on Friday. As you begin to move deeper into the book, look at the patters. Do you see any motifs developing in the text? Do you see a tone developing? Remember to focus on the details but keep an eye out for the bigger picture at the same time.

Furthermore, your papers will be due soon. Please come and see me to review your drafts so that I can give you some more guidance on these.


Tonight you need to finish reading the story "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allen Poe. The language in the story is relatively complex, please use your resources to define vocabulary words that you don't know so that you can understand the story.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Homework for 10/5


Tonight you need to read the first two chapters of Great Expectations. Take your time getting through the first two chapters. Keep up with your vocabulary bookmarks and cards. Remember that vocabulary cards are due for all of you on Friday!

Also, tomorrow we will look at drafts of the ABC assignments. Bring the beginnings of your drafts!


You don't have any homework tonight. Take the night to relax and get ready for tomorrow!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Weekend Work for Seniors - 10/1


This weekend you should spend your time creating your rough drafts of your final assignment for 1984. Be sure that everything is clearly cited and that you have a thorough bibliography. I will not accept final assignments without these two elements.

Also, you may want to begin reading Great Expectations this weekend. We will begin our study of the text on Tuesday.

Enjoy the long weekend. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Homework for All - 9/30


Tonight your goal is to complete the story "The Interlopers" by Saki, found on page 150 of your textbook. Be sure that you understand the story completely and that you remember the main events of the plot. We will work on the story tomorrow in class.


Tomorrow you will have a timed writing in class. Your preparation in class today should have gave you some ideas to ponder in preparing for tomorrow. Make sure that you're continuing to work on your final papers - drafts are due on Monday! And, you need to have a copy of Great Expectations on Monday. Please be sure that you have your copy of 1984 with you tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Office Hours!!!


On Wednesday of this week and Friday of this week, I am going to make myself available for extra help in preparing your papers. I'm here from 3:00 to 4:15 for extra help. If we get backed up or need more time, of course I'll stay later. But, if nobody shows by 4:15 - I'm out, or moving on to something else.

Please don't forget with these papers to cite everything! I will return papers without proper parenthetical and bibliographic citations. Everyone needs to cite everything; this includes any images that you use, or anything that is not your original thought. Those of you working with the critical collections will want to talk to me about citations if you haven't ever cited a TCLC or CLC before, it's a bit tricky.

I'm looking forward to reading A Clockwork Orange with you tomorrow.

9/28 - Homework for Tonight


Today was a relatively productive day in the library. You should continue to work on your final 1984 assignments. Please come to see me this week if you're having trouble or to begin working on your thesis. Once you have the basic idea charted out, the assignment should fall into place.

I'm looking forward to what you come up with here. Also, start reading Great Expecations -- get ahead!

Monday, September 27, 2010

English Work - 9/27


Tonight I would like for you to think a bit further on the story "The Lottery." Please answer questions two, six, and eight. Remember to follow writing rules, use a clear topic sentence to answer the question, and use quotes to support your answer. Furthermore, be sure to explain the quote/detail so that I can see how it proves your topic sentence. Answers should be three to five sentences. I will be very precise when grading these, I ask that you be precise when answering.


I think that we had a good discussion today about punishment and its goals. I would ask that you come back to these ideas as we move through the week. Tonight, you don't have any homework that will be turned it, but it would be a good idea for you to spend some time planning for your final assignment with 1984. Begin thinking of a thesis, think of ideas that you'd like to explore in a criticism, think of an important concept. Don't wast time tomorrow in the library, we'll only go back one more day this week before drafts are due.

Further, make sure that you get your copy of Great Expectations. Beginning the reading this week will be very helpful for you as we move forward. The first six or seven chapters are bland and will take a lot of getting used to.

Have a question, ask it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Seniors: Discussion Board 2 is Posted

One of the biggest hang-ups that I have as a reader is with endings of
books. If a book has a bad ending then I think that the whole experience of
reading the novel can be ruined. So, here's the discussion board posting
for this weekend:

Are you satisfied with the ending of 1984? Why or why not?

Of course, be specific in your answer. Use quotes if you feel it necessary
to prove your point. Remember that if you use a quote then you should
provide a page number.

I look forward to your responses!

If you choose not to respond to the discussion board posting, then I will collect a response via this website or on paper in class on Tuesday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Homework for the Weekend - 9/24

Freshmen: Please refer to yesterday's post to remind you of what needs to be accomplished over the weekend.


Over the weekend you need to finish reading 1984. On Monday we will wrap up the book and begin moving on to some other parallel texts before we move back in time to the 1800's. Be aware that I will be collecting your novels to check annotations soon for a final grade. Once you finish the book, please answer the Discussion Board 2 posting on the google group. You may complete the assignment on paper and turn it in to me. Posting to the Discussion Board is due by midnight on Monday.

Also, today I gave you the final assignment for 1984. You have a lot of freedom in completing this assignment and I'll be looking forward to what you produce. Please let me know if you have any questions getting started with this. The rough drafts of this assignment will be due on October 5th. Also, you need to be sure that you have a copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in class on the 5th. As this will be our next major piece.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Homework for 9/23


Over the weekend I would like for you to review the story "The Lottery." If you couldn't answer the question I asked at the opening of class, you may want to reread the story to review key details. Remember, a key to remembering what you read is to be an active reader. Take notes, underline, highlight, be active!

Once you finish reviewing the story, please answer question one at the end. Bring this question to class with you so that we can work on these together.

Finally, make sure that you have your final draft of your assignment ready to turn in. I will be collecting your final draft, rough draft, and your peer editing checklist.


You should continue reading book three though we have not yet discussed much of it. I will be giving your final assignment to you soon; having this reading done will make your life a lot easier. Also, you may want to go out and get a copy of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, our next novel. You will need to have this book in class the day after we finish 1984.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Homework for Seniors - 9/22


Tonight you need to keep up with the reading of 1984. Keep reading book three. This can be one of the most challenging portions of the text, but you've got to push through. Keep annotating as you read. Especially pay attention to the information that you should include on the back of the book: themes, motifs, symbols, etc.

Tomorrow we will get into discussing 3.1 and maybe 3.2. Make sure that you review the information in this portion so that we can have a productive conversation.

Let me know if you've got a question...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Sorry that I didn't update sooner. I just found myself thinking of it as I was wrapping up some grading.


I'd like for you to read the story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. Tonight, I would like for you to read the story all the way to the end. As you read, track any new words that you come across. If you don't know what the word means, then you should note it. You can list the words, or you can just mark them in the text (highlight, underline, circle, etc.) I hope that you enjoy this story, the end is pretty intense.


I hope that you appreciated the costume today. Tomorrow we'll spend a bit more time with Marx and then talk about the end of Book 2. We also have our final presentations. Tonight I'd like to set a goal that you read 3.1 and 3.2. Be sure that you annotate. We will move quickly through the end of the text - keep up with the annotations and the reading goals.

Good night!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The beginning of a new week...9/20

I can't believe that September is almost over. I feel like we just got started a few days ago. Anyway, today's post is relatively short, not a lot to get done.


You should be relaxing. You don't have anything to complete for class.


After speaking to a few groups I've decided to keep the pages open. Some groups were having technical problems and I want to be sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to get their project accomplished. I think that the presentations today were all very well done; they showed me that you all are really looking at these ideas and considering them within the text. As for homework, I would like for you to be reading Book Three. I will not give you a reading goal until we finish up with Book Two, which will hopefully be tomorrow. Keep reading! Keep annotating. Be thinking of what you would like to cover for your final project, details about that are just around the corner.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tomorrow is Friday!

I want to start off by saying that I'm really happy to see so many of you coming outside of class to receive extra help. I saw a lot of people today about their essays and to redo homework assignments. Thank you for that! Keep it up! If you haven't seen me yet outside of class, please do so!


I was particularly impressed to see everyone working in the computer lab; there were some technology problems, but I think that we all adapted well. I was really happy to discuss the thesis statements with groups, and I look forward to all of the presentations. Remember that the pages will be "locked" at midnight on Sunday evening. Be sure that all of your work is done by that point.

A few quick things to consider about the group project:
  • When you're coming up with the thesis statements, examine the small details in the text. Look at the detail and nuance in the text and explore the issue of why these seemingly insignificant patterns are significant.
  • Make sure that everyone in your group understands and can discuss the quotes. I want to see that this is a team effort in which everyone contributed.
  • There is no minimum on the number of quotes. I would rather you have five really good quotes with thorough, shared explanation than fourteen poorly done ones. Sometimes less is more.
  • Be sure that with the quotes with images you've discussed the connection between the quote and the thesis and the quote/image.
Lastly, I will be collecting papers from you tomorrow. Remember that this should not read like a typical essay: it's more of a creative writing assignment. I'm looking forward to reading your personal philosophies through narrative this weekend. Don't forget to finish reading book's a real kick in the face.


Your first test is tomorrow - any final questions?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Homework - 9/15


Tonight you should wrap up studying for your Autobiography/Memoir Test. A-day students will have this test on Friday. B-day students will be tested on Monday. Also, today in class we did peer editing. I would like for you to take the edits from class and improve your draft. Make sure that you have a clear tone, that you have a lot of sensory details and imagery, and that you're focusing just on one specific moment. Everything needs to revolve around that one moment. I'll be collecting your final drafts and rough drafts/peer editing on Monday the 27th for A-day and Tuesday the 28th for B-day. Please come see me if you want help.


We're drawing to the end of the week very quickly. Your Utopia papers are due at the end of the week! I've started to see more of you for conferences, this makes me happy. Remember that the point of this is to not only express your philosophy but to do it in the form of a narrative. Don't just say "My perfect world is..." -- instead, present the life of a character/yourself in such a way that your philosophy becomes clear.

Tomorrow we will be going to the computer lab to work on the group pages; we will also schedule all the groups to present. Remember that you need to have book two of 1984 done by this Friday. I want to start seeing more of you speak up in class. Tell me what you think, tell me what ideas you're coming up with.

Finally, if you'd like to sit down with me to review your test or any other assignment, please let me know. The goal is to always improve your standing in class, and not to backslide.

Let me know if you need anything!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Homework and Announcements 9/14

All of you have something due in the next few days. I wanted to go over all of that with you as well as your upcoming assignments.


The rough draft of your memoir writing assignment is due to class Wednesday/Thursday. We will be peer editing these drafts in class. Also, you have a test coming up. Be sure that you're studying the material and using good study habits (be active, summarize, look for common traits).


Tomorrow you will be getting back your tests on Book One of 1984. I'm seeing a lot of strengths in your analytical skills and writing skills, but I'm also seeing some areas for improvement. We'll start the improvement and building process tomorrow.

I really liked today's discussion on "Oranges and Lemons." There's a lot going on here in the text. Personally, I think that there's something really interesting in all of the songs/rhymes that Orwell includes in the text, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Tomorrow, I want us to discuss in some detail 2.7 of the text. Be ready to discuss and answer questions. It's going to get intense.

Finally, I'm seeing a lot of progress in some of the groups pages. I'd like to see more groups putting in data. Remember that the idea here is to discuss the quotes. These things are open to more than one interpretation - if in a group you can't come to a clear consensus about a quote, then this could be telling you something. Our final in-class group day will be Thursday; presentations will begin on Friday.

Alright, time to get back to my book. Almost done with Waiting by Ha Jin (Chinese-born, but now an American) - it's a beautiful story, very interesting. Reminds me a bit of 1984 but it's much happier. Love is doubleplusgood in this book as opposed to doubleplusbad.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Homework/Announcements for 9/13


I really want you to continue the process that we started today in class when it comes to studying and study skills. Go through everything that we've studied this unit and review it. Look at some of the major concepts that we've discussed including tone, conformity, irony, and family (just to name a few). If you want to study with me on Thursday afternoon, or during lunch this week - I would really recommend it. It'll be like a party, but we bring our own lunches and talk about literature...wait, that is a party to an English teacher.

Additionally you have the rough drafts of your personal narratives due to class for peer editing on Wednesday/Thursday. From looking at a few drafts today - I want to make a few brief reminders: most of this assignment is based on you writing about one specific moment and using imagery and sensory details to make that moment come alive for me, as a reader. Make sure that as you're writing, you keep coming back to these two main points. If you want to bring me a draft, great! Make sure that you have time to sit with me for edits.


From logging in to the group, I can see that there is some movement on the group project front. This makes me happy. Remember today's alterations to the overall assignment:
  1. You do not have to dramatize a scene from the novel.
  2. Instead of this, you have to present three of your quotes with a non-textual representation. Use the magic of technology. You have to be able to explain the connection of the NTR to the quote and the connection from the quote to the thesis.
  3. I want you to include a thesis for your quotes. Some overall idea to bring everything together. You can then use this as an anchor for your discussion of the quotes as a group. Anchors are always a good idea.
We'll talk about formatting the assignment in the group page on Wednesday in the computer lab.

Make sure that you keep up with the reading. You need to be done with book two by Friday. I will be setting you a reading goal really soon - be sure that you can reach it.

Finally, your papers are fully due on Friday. I have talked to a few people about the assignment, and I saw one or two drafts. Remember that if you want to go over a draft with me, you need to be willing to sit down and conference about it. Sometimes things are easier to understand face to face as opposed to my scribbles on a paper. I've got A-lunch, after, and before school for meeting space.

Whew...that was a long post. Any questions?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekend Work - 9/10


All classes have a lot to work on over the weekend.

Freshmen: You should be working on the rough draft of your reminiscence assignment. Remember to use the assignment sheet to give you guidelines. I want to be sure that you're focusing on one specific event, using sensory details to show me the event, and fill your piece with imagery and details that reveal your tone. Also, we have a test coming up next week! You should take the weekend to begin studying.

Seniors: I think that today's class discussion on 2.3 went really well. I hope that as you're reading you're slowing down to examine some of the deeper elements within the text. Be sure that this weekend you spend some time working on your utopia papers, working on your group assignment, and reading book two. Next week we're going to spend some time every class working on the group assignment as well as continuing to study in depth certain sections of book two the way that we did today. Presentations of the group assignments will most likely begin at the end of next week.

All students: Don't forget that I'm always available after school and during lunch for extra help. You've all got papers coming due soon, I'd like to see you to work through any issues that you're having in working on these assignments. Remember, ask for help early to keep little problems from turning into big ones.

Have a good weekend! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gut Yontiff!


Tomorrow (9/9) you will receive your first paper assignment. Your due dates will be given to you tomorrow. Use your brainstorming as a start to begin your memoir. Continue the process. I will be available for assistance in getting started on Friday and Monday afternoons. You can always bring me a draft for me to look at as well.


I hope that you enjoy watching the film that I've selected for you tomorrow. I think that it's a really enjoyable movie and a good rendition of a great book. Remember that you need to be ready to discuss anything from 2.1 to 2.3 in class on Friday. In addition we are going to have a draft workshop on Friday. Come prepared with something to share. Finally, continue working with your groups - I've set up every motif's page in the google group - you can start actually working on your final project there whenever you'd like. I may even drop in online to give some of my own comments.

For those of you who are a bit lost with annotations, I'm making myself available Friday, Monday, and Thursday afternoons of next week for some help sessions. Come and read with me for a bit to get some of the nuts and bolts to annotating successfully.

If you've got questions about anything, feel free to ask! See you on Friday in 5771!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homework - 9/7


Tonight your homework is to brainstorm three important events in your life. With each event, list as many details as you can remember, down to the smallest possible detail if you can! Also, with each event think about what you learned from this event. What is the message that you came away with?


I went ahead and set up your group pages in the google group for your book two project. You can begin using those to collect data and collaborate. Tomorrow you have an exam on Book One of 1984. Remember the activity that we did today in class - important/unimportant. I'm going to be asking you about big ideas. Study, know your information, and be ready to explain your ideas.

Also, today I gave you a paper assignment. Your draft workshop will be on Friday. Papers will be accepted from 9/13 to 9/17. Please let me know if you need any help with anything.

Friday, September 3, 2010

9/3 - English IV Homework


This weekend I'd like for you to spend some time and reflect on what we've gone over so far in 1984. Please respond to one of the following prompts either in the google group discussion board or on paper. Make sure that you have responded before class on Tuesday! I will collect any paper responses then. The prompts are given for you below:

1. In "Welcome to North Korea" it is possible to see many connections between the society and culture in 1984 and that of North Korea. What do you think is the most interesting similarity? Why is this similarity important? What does reading a text like 1984 do to help readers understand life in a totalitarian society?

2. Throughout book one of 1984 the reader is introduced to the world of Winston through a distinct third person narrator. There are several areas in the text where the narrator presents seemingly shocking events as if they were completely normal. However, there are also several places where the narrator presents very everyday scenes in a way that makes the event seem abnormal. Find an example of this in the text and comment not only on the scene presented, but also the way that Orwell uses tone and diction to send a subtle message to the reader about the world presented in 1984.

3. Many readers argue that Orwell's use of irony is one of the most important elements of this text, that without the irony in this story, the novel would not function. Find a scene or moment in the text that is particularly ironic and comment on the importance not only of the scene but also on the importance of irony in this scene. What effect does Orwell's use of irony have on this text as a whole up to this point?

Finally - you will have a quiz/test on Book One on WEDNESDAY! Use the opportunity over the weekend to collect any questions that you may have so that you can get some clarification on Tuesday in class. If you have any problems completing the homework assignment, let me know as soon as possible so that we can try to work that out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Homework - 9/2

English I:

This weekend you will be reading excerpts from David Sedaris. He's a pretty humorous author, and I think that you're really going to enjoy these pieces. Be sure that you read "Go Carolina" thoroughly and then complete the worksheet. Make sure that the worksheet gets in to the box before 7:30 on the day it's due.

Also, Honors students need to read the additional piece "Me Talk Pretty One Day." Those of you learning a new language will really associate with this piece.

English IV:

Tonight I would like for you to finish book one. Make sure that you are keeping up with your annotations. After you've finished reading, you may find it helpful to go through the first book of 1984 and notice the things that you noticed your first time through. Try to figure out some of the deeper messages and movements in this text.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Homework for 8/31


Tonight for homework you need to read both parts of The Autobiography of Malcolm X and complete the worksheet. Answer the questions on the worksheet like notes. We will go over the piece and the worksheet in class on Thursday/Friday.


Tonight I would like for you to read and annotate 1.5. Tomorrow in class we will be discussing and reviewing 1.2-1.5; make sure that you are ready for this by reviewing your annotations and your reading from the past few days. It looks to me that a lot of you are starting to figure out some really interesting things in this text - keep working.

Also, make sure that you join the google group! If you haven't given me your gmail address yet, please e-mail it to me. Once you've done that, check this account for your invitation to the group.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Homework - 8/30


I think that we had a really great discussion today in class. It's obvious to me that you are reading and doing a lot of thinking as you read. For tonight, read 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4 - be sure that you annotate as you read.

Also, get your gmail account established and e-mail me or in some way give me the address. I have been sending out group invitations for our google group to these e-mail addresses. If you have gotten an invitation, please join by Wednesday! We are going to start using this group later this week.

If you have any questions - feel free to ask!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend Homework - 8/27


Using the guide that I gave you today in class I would like for you to begin reading and annotating your copy of 1984. You are, of course, invited to adapt the annotation assignment so that it is easier for you, but you must make sure that you have the required information. For the weekend, finish reading chapter one of book one. As we did today in class, stop after every paragraph or every page to review what you've read and take notes. Underline passages you'd like to discuss in class. Mark questions that you have or things you don't understand.

You may read ahead in the book - this will actually be really helpful for a lot of you. Just make sure that you don't spoil things for other people.

A-day Freshmen:

I think that we had a great conversation today about the poem "About School" - tonight I'd like for you to finish the worksheet about the poem. Make sure that you follow the homework policies for completing the assignment and turning it in. It's due to the box by 7:30 am on Tuesday!

Of course, let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

English I - B day Homework

B-day Students!

Bring back your parent contact forms tomorrow or Monday! Please put them in the box!

English IV Honors - Homework


Make sure that you come to class tomorrow with your copy of 1984. Try to get the Signet edition if you can. If you don't have your own copy for tomorrow then I will issue you one from the bookroom. If you are using a school copy of the book, make sure that you have some post-it notes or index cards to annotate the text. We'll talk more about annotations tomorrow.

Also, if you haven't turned in your parent contact form yet - please get that to me with your google account information ASAP!

Here are some of the links that I shared today in class. I think that the timeline is pretty interesting and goes into a lot more detail than we did today. Also, we've got our map of the British Empire and the image of the Bayeaux Tapestry and Stonehenge.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wow - Just remembered that I need to update this thing...

Hello Seniors and Freshmen!

I think that this is going to be a really exciting year for all of you! I know that I'm really excited and I think that we've started the year off well.

I wanted to remind you all of the homework that you need to complete tonight:


As I said in class today, we will be beginning our first novel and unit on Friday - 1984 by George Orwell. If you plan to purchase a copy of the novel I would like for you to try to get the Signet Classics edition. This way we'll all have the same page numbers. Of course, if you can't find that, any edition will do. Bring your book to class on Friday so that you will be prepared. If you don't have a copy in class on Friday, I'll issue you a copy for as long as you need it.

Furthermore, make sure that you bring back your parent contact form! On the form you can include your gmail account so that I can begin to set up our group.

If you've got any questions/concerns about any of this - see me tomorrow so that we can resolve the conflict.


Your assignment is to bring back your parent contact form! Consider this your practice run with the homework box. Next class, we will begin studying literature and we will have our first warm-up. We're going to start off with studying a bit of autobiographical poetry to begin talking about autobiography, literature, and memory. Make sure that you're prepared for class!

Friday, May 28, 2010

EOC Review Sheet

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

Memorial Day Weekend, part deux


You have your final exam on Tuesday. If you have questions while you're studying, feel free to ask.

Memoiral Day Weekend

English I Students:

Next week we will begin taking the EOC for English I. If you would like some more sample items to prepare yourself, please use the following links.

For grammar items, copy and paste these links in your browser:

For literature items, use this link:

The answers for the questions are provided at the end. If you get a question wrong, think about why the answer given is the BEST answer. Remember that it's not always the right answer, but it is always the best answer. If you have specific questions, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5/25 - Almost at the end...


Those of you who handed in papers today are basically done. I would spend the remaining days preparing for your final exam and getting ready for your presentations.


Your (optional) book projects are due on Thursday/Friday. Also, you should begin studying for your EOC. Use the study guide that I gave you today in class as well as all of the grammar sheets and packets that I have given you. Let me know if you have questions.

Monday, May 24, 2010

D-Day - 5/24

Ladies and Gentlemen of Honors English III,

You have papers due tomorrow. Remember to cite everything, follow writing rules, connect your information back to your thesis.

Make me proud. Work hard.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Juniors - Final Weekend

Work on your papers! Some of you gave me drafts and didn't get them this afternoon. I'll give them to you on Monday.

E-mail me if you have questions or need help!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Study and Work - 5/20

We are almost done ladies and gentlemen - but there is much to do!

Freshmen: You have your Odyssey tests coming up! Study your notes and your textbooks to review the reading. You also have the study guide. You also have your book projects due on the last day of class.

Also - bring back the EOC letters. I will make extra copies tomorrow if you've lost yours.

Juniors: I've seen papers from a few of you! I would like to get drafts from more of you. I'll be around on Friday if you'd like to see me then. Final drafts are due on Tuesday! Don't forget the checklist/tips that I gave you today. Follow your writing rules!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Work and Reminders - 5/19


You have rough drafts for your papers to do! Remember that rough drafts are not required but they are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. When you submit your rough draft make sure that you include a "Works Cited" page so that I can check you with your citations. At the very end remember that the bibliography ends up being work seventeen total points. You will be forced to resubmit if you don't have the bibliography.

Also, remember about the e-mail blackout. I will not speak to you about your papers after 3:45 PM on Monday. Deal with it before the last minute.


You need to study for your Odyssey test. Use the study guide that I gave you in class. Review the major characters, the events, the chronology of the story. Also, consider the role of women in the story too. We covered a lot with this story - be ready for your test!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Junior Homework - 18 May

You have to do your outlines tonight! Tomorrow I will check-in with each of you about your outlines. What I am looking for in the outlines is clearly given in the previous post. Make sure that you have everything you need!

Rough drafts will be collected on Thursday/Friday. Final drafts will be collected on Tuesday the 25th.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday 17 May - Homework


I appreciated checking in with each of you today. Remember that as you are pulling things together you should always see me once you run into questions. Now, Tuesday and Wednesday we will continue to meet in the library to do research. On Wednesday I will be collecting outlines from each of you for this paper. For your outlines I am looking for the following materials:
  • Your thesis.
  • At least three topics - you may have more...but you need at least three.
  • With each topic you should list the research and quotes that you will use to explain and support the topic. Each topic will need a parenthetical citation.
  • Under each quote you should have one or two bullet points to connect the quote to the thesis.

Remember that I will be available today and tomorrow after school. Come and see me! Also, rough drafts will be collected on Thursday. Rough drafts are not required but they are strongly recommended.


You should begin working on your final projects. Please read tonight for one hour. Begin the opening to your project. Also, all library books need to be returned by the 21st of May. You will have your test on part one of The Odyssey on Friday for A-day and Monday for B-day. We will work on a study guide for the test in class on Wednesday/Thursday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

English III - Work over the Weekend

Over the weekend you should begin the process of mining your texts. Find evidence from throughout your novel to support your thesis. Think about the research that you have been doing.

You should be able to find ten to fifteen quotes/examples from your text to support your thesis. Remember, it's better to have more information to begin writing your paper rather than not enough.

Lastly, I am a bit concerned about the amount of work that some groups are doing in class. Most of you are getting good stuff done - but some of you are not really doing much of anything. We don't stop until the final exam. If you need help with the term paper, please come see me Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday after school. Don't come to me at the last minute with problems, those concerns will fall on deaf ears.

E-mail me if you need help this weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Things to do: May 13


Over the weekend you need to read for 90 minutes in your novel. Furthermore, you are required to answer question thirteen from your independent reading log. Remember that with every answer you need to include a quote as well as a page number. You may also want to begin working on your final writing assignment.


Today was your first day in the library doing research. I know that a few of you felt a bit overwhelmed, but the goal is to push through. Tonight you should revisit your notecards and your thesis - see how you can begin to create your paper and build an argument around your thesis. Furthermore, you should find quotes in your novel to support your thesis as well.

Tomorrow we will meet in the classroom to discuss lesson planning.

Only about two more weeks to go...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

English III Homework

Tomorrow we will be going to the library to begin researching for the term paper. I would recommend that you spend some time tonight reviewing your thesis and other information from your first go round. If you have any questions about what to do with the thesis come and see me, or we can conference in the library.

That's where we'll meet in the morning.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

English I - Reading

Freshmen! Tonight you should all read in your novels for an hour. You don't need to answer a question in your journal, but you should make sure that your journal is in order for a possible journal check.

English III - We didn't build a fire...

Today's class was relatively lackluster what with the incidences of sleeping and general apathy. I understand that this is the end of the semester - but it's not over yet. You all still have two and a half weeks left of class and we don't stop until the final exam is over.

If you are not going to put forth 100% of yourself for class, then why are you even bothering? Part of this class requires that you find the internal motivation to do well - we are beyond Freshman year. Now is not the time to expect to be coddled by me.

Anyway, tonight you should review "To Build a Fire" in preparation for a brief quiz tomorrow. Furthermore, you should review the information on page 741-742 on The Harlem Renaissance. We will begin studying the Harlem Renaissance tomorrow. Also, you may find it helpful to read over the poem "Incident" by Countee Cullen and "The Weary Blues" by Langston Hughes. Tomorrow's class will focus more on discussing style and the things that create style.

I hope that tomorrow is better than today.

Monday, May 10, 2010

English III Homework - 5/10

Tonight you need to read the story "To Build a Fire" by Jack London. It begins on page 481 in your textbooks. You may find it helpful to also review the information on London's life.

We will review this story tomorrow. I hope that you enjoy it!

Friday, May 7, 2010

9th Grade Homework - 5/7

Over the weekend you all have some reading from The Odyssey to complete.  Honors Students - you should read the packet that I gave you and answer the questions.  You should answer all of the questions.

Standard Students - you should read the excerpt "The Land of the Dead" from the text book.  Answer the questions that you find the answers to.  Do not answer all of the questions.

Please answer the questions in your notebooks - bring the information to class on Tuesday/Wednesday so that we can discuss.

English III - 5/7 - Prepare for Monday

This is the final weekend of reading. You should finish your books this weekend in preparation for your timed writing assignment on Monday. Your timed writing on Monday will focus on the idea of "America." How have you seen the concept of America in your novel? Focus on the topics and motifs of your novel.

You will have to discuss specifics and pull together a thorough argument in one hour on Monday. This is your second timed writing. Be ready!

On Monday I will be handing back your "research papers" and go over some of the common errors with these. If you are absent Monday for AP's - please come and see me individually.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

English III - 5/6

Tonight you need to complete a final draft of your mini-research assignment. In the final draft I am looking for the following elements:
  • an introductory paragraph which builds to a thesis
  • a thorough first body paragraph with a topic sentence, explanation, and examples
  • parenthetical citations for your outside sources used effectively
  • a conclusion which restates your thesis and begins to wrap up your argument
  • a works cited area which has at least your novel citation and your research citation

Use the rubric to help you to complete a thorough draft. I will be grading you based on this. We have spent this whole week working on this assignment and my expectations are pretty high for these pieces.

Next week we will begin turning these smaller research assignments into a full paper.