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.