Monday, January 31, 2011

Homework for All Classes - 1/31

English I:

On Wednesday/Thursday you will have an exam on chapters six through ten of A Separate Peace.  The test will have four sections.  Section one will be matching.  Section two will be multiple choice.  Section three will be short answer.  Section four will be different for the different sections:  Honors students will have quote identifications, and Standard students will be asked to complete a character web.  Thus, it's important for Standard students to focus in on characters (Who are they?  Who are they connected to?  What is important about them?)

In terms of studying, you are going to want to focus on plot events, literary devices, and the ways in which these literary devices are being used in the text to add meaning.  Also, think about the major motifs and symbols that we have been discussing throughout this portion of the text (reality versus fantasy, childhood versus adulthood, maturity, the war, the school, and the relationship between Gene, Finny and Brinker.)

If you've been engaged with this novel and keeping up with your reading, then this will be an easy exam; if not, this will be very difficult for you.

Lastly, don't forget that your projects will be due next week.

English III:

For homework tonight you will need to complete your "Orientation Posting."  Login to the Google Group and click on the discussion board called "Orientation Post," follow all of the directions.  You will be asked to post three things in your posting.  Make sure that this is done before you come to class tomorrow.  The beginning of class is the cut off time for all discussion board postings.  If you are having problems getting to the group, please come and see me or e-mail me so that we can resolve the issue.  Please remember to check your Spam/Junk folder.  Your invitation may be in this folder if you have strict Spam settings.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Homework over the Weekend - English III


Over the weekend you do not have any homework to be collected or checked, but you do have some things that you need to get done.  First, we will begin our study of The Catcher in the Rye next week.  Most likely toward the end of the week.  Please take the time this weekend to get yourself a copy of the book.  There are a few used bookstores in the area (my personal favorite being Nice Price Books on Broad Street) where you can get a copy, or you can buy it new.  I only ask that you get the small copy with the red horse on the cover.  This will ensure that we have the same page numbers.  Second, I've sent an invitation to join our Google group to those of you who have given me an e-mail address.  Please accept the invitation as next week you will have an assignment using this online resource.

Freshmen:  Your homework is listed in the previous post.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Homework/Notes - 1/27/2011

English I:

For homework over the weekend you have a few things to do.  First, you should read chapter ten of A Separate Peace.  As you read chapter ten, continue to pay attention to Gene and how he is changing in this chapter, again.  Pay particular attention to his treatment of Leper.  Also, you should complete the grammar worksheet on Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement.  Remember that if the antecedent (thing that comes before) is singular, then the pronoun will also have to be singular.  If the antecedent is plural, then the pronoun needs to be plural.  It's all about matching.  Lastly, you should be working on your final projects for A Separate Peace.  Come and see me next week after school if you need any extra assistance.

Lastly, on February 2 (A day) and February 3 (B day) you will have an exam on chapters six through ten of A Separate Peace.  You would do well to begin reviewing these chapters over the weekend.  On Monday/Tuesday we will review chapter ten and then prepare for the exam.

English III:

I want to begin by saying that I was very impressed with the amount of engagement that I saw in our class discussion today.  If we can work as hard as we did today every day, then we are going to have an amazing year.  For tomorrow you have two things to do.  First, you need to complete the final drafts of your "What is America?" essays.  Please submit to me the final draft and the rough draft.  Second, I want you to do an activity tonight called 1Q1P, to do this, you will need to select one sentence that you think is the most important sentence in the whole story.  That is the 1Q (quote).  After you have selected your sentence, you need to write your 1P (paragraph).  As you write the paragraph you will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt why your selection is the best choice for the whole story.

Tomorrow, we will finish up with Oates by playing with the numbers a bit more and then we will move on to our next key piece.  A piece of poetry...

Enjoy the evening, let me know if you've got any questions.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

English III Homework - 1/26

Tonight I would like for you to finish reading the story that we began reading today in class.  As you read, read deeply and slowly.  Pause after each paragraph and look for trends and patterns.  Investigate the text through annotation.  Tomorrow, we will spend a majority of our time discussing and unlocking the story in order to get at some really deep level things going on.  Please prepare the questions at the end of the story as a jumping off point; do not limit yourself to just these questions.  If you have your own questions or points to raise in the class discussion; please bring them tomorrow.  I'm really looking forward to our first discussion.

Don't forget that your essays are also coming due soon.  I will collect your rough drafts and final drafts from you on Friday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homework - 1/25/2011

Welcome back!  I think it's going to be a great semester for all of us.  Only ninety days to go until the end of the year and summer vacation!  Let's get on to business:

English I:

For Thursday/Friday, you need to be sure that you've read and understand chapter nine of A Separate Peace.  We'll be spending a lot of time working through the major conflict that is being established here in this last part of the novel.  Furthermore, your projects on the novel will be due the week of February 7th.  Be sure that you're working on these bit by bit as opposed to waiting until the last minute.  Lastly, I do want to inform you that you will be having a test soon on chapters six through ten of A Separate Peace.  Be ready!

English III:

This was a good first day.  For your assignment tonight, you need to complete your writing diagnostic:  a two page definition essay that answers the question "What is America to you?"  Your answer in one sentence will be your thesis - I encourage you to use the brainstorming that we did today in class to begin this writing.  Your body paragraphs should show me what these concepts mean; you'll want clear, concise examples from our world which support your opinions.  Finally, make sure that you use the rubric to compose your assignments, that is how you will be graded.

Tomorrow we will do a Peer Editing workshop on these essays and begin our first piece of literature for the year, an absolutely fantastic short story by a woman named Joyce Carol Oates.  Get excited for that.  Don't forget to return your parent contact forms to me tomorrow.

Let me know if you've got questions!

Monday, January 24, 2011

3rd Nine Weeks/Semester II

We start brand new tomorrow!

Tomorrow's schedule will have you going to all of your classes like normal.  You will have a new third and fourth period.  Tomorrow will be an A-day.  Tomorrow you'll be getting your essays back and we will discuss chapter eight.  Make sure that you've finished reading the chapter and that you understand it thoroughly.  If you have any questions about the reading; jot those down and ask them in class during our discussion.

Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow after the semester break!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Grades and Wrap Up...

Freshmen and Seniors:

For the most part, I have grades ready for you. Some of you have come to see me about redoing some final assignments to earn a few extra points. Some of you are missing a major assignment, and I have contacted a majority of you about this. Friday will be the last day to make anything up for this grading period. I'm also available on Thursday afternoon (12-2:30) if you would like to come then.

Tomorrow's schedule has me meeting after the 4th period exam with 3rd period for lunch, 1B and then 2B. This will provide a chance for Seniors, and B-day students to make up missing work, redo past assignments, or even play games. I'm bringing Apples to Apples. I know not all of you will be in class tomorrow; especially those of you exempt from your 4th period exam.

The next time that I will be seeing all Freshmen will be on the 25th of January. This will be an A day and the start of a new semester. I will be handing back your essays on this day, and I will inform you of some important changes for this quarter. You will begin your new classes for the second semester on this day: new third and fourth period. In A Separate Peace, I am expecting that everyone be finished with chapter eight. I encourage you to read ahead. The end of the novel moves pretty quickly, and once you see Gene leave Leper out really just want to finish to see what's going to happen.

We will be picking up the pace with this novel as we move to its denoument. Don't forget that you have projects on A Separate Peace. This will be your first major test grade of the third nine weeks! Make it count!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Exam Preparation - English IV


The time has finally come. It's time for your final exam. The exam will have two portions: identifications and essay. For the identifications you will need to know the title and author for each thing, you will also need to explain the significance of the object/thing in the work as a whole. For the essay section, you will have two essays. One essay will ask you to analyze a piece of poetry or a piece of fiction; the other essay will ask you to respond to a prompt using your knowledge of one of the major pieces we studied.

I will be collecting final papers from ALL OF YOU on Tuesday. If you are not taking the exam, come in, drop off the paper, and then leave. If you are taking the exam, I will take the paper when you enter. I will not be accepting any assignments past the end of the final exam.

I will not be posting a list of exempt or non-exempt students. If you don't know, please show up and we can double check then. Don't assume you're fine and then get a phone call from me on Tuesday afternoon.

If you have any exam/class related questions, please let me know.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Notes to prepare for 14 January


I will be seeing all of you tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be playing a small game called Matchbox. All that you will need for tomorrow is something to write with as well as your vocabulary bookmarks. Vocabulary bookmarks will need to be turned into the box to receive a grade. I will be looking for entries from chapters one through eight when I check these assignments


Tomorrow, class will begin at around 1:00. I expect to see you all in costume for the Pub. I will collect your worksheets at the beginning of the period and then check your notes at the end of the period. The reflection of the activity will be collected electronically via Google Docs or you can hand it in to me at the final exam. Don't forget that final papers for my class are due on Tuesday the 18th.

Let me know if you've got any questions. I'm off to the gym to run away from today's horribly long day...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Schedule for Tomorrow - Seniors

According to the schedule for Thursday and Friday, assuming that Thursday and Friday are both full days, we will have two more meetings of third period before the final exam.

Tomorrow, after the first period exam, we will have a normal third period. Then there will be an extended second period for exam review.

On Friday, we will have the second period exam, fourth period, and then a lengthened third period for exam review.

I think that it would be better if we held the Pub on Friday to end the day. It would also give more people time to prepare and the longer period will allow us more time for the activity. It won't feel as rushed.

Tomorrow, we would have a normal class. Looking at the media's depiction of Hamlet through The Simpsons and focusing on the treatment of the ending in South Park, the Branaugh and Gibson versions of Hamlet. I'd also like to ask your opinions on the This American Life story posted a few days ago. We could end the class with a bit of exam review.

How does this sound for everyone? Seniors, leave your comments below!

Freshmen - As soon as I know the schedule for you, I will tell you. I would come prepared to have all of your classes tomorrow except 4th period. B-day students: I will be collecting essays from you. A-day students, you should have read chapter eight and made any vocabulary bookmark entries.

If there are any changes/clarifications with the schedule for tomorrow, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Well, that was a good idea

Looks like the pub is closed due to ice. Lame. I was really looking forward to the pub with all of you. Any ideas for where to go from here?

Snow Day - 2011

Lots of time off this winter. I would have preferred a lot of snow to the sleet that we got instead. As of now we've got a two-hour delay for tomorrow. But, things can change. Tomorrow's schedule is as follows:

Period 2: 9:30 - 10:42

A Lunch: 10:42 - 11:12

Period 3: 11:18 - 12:24

Period 1: 12:30 - 2:30


The Beehive Pub will be open tomorrow! Come in the morning, before class, or during lunch to drop off supplies. If you haven't signed up for food yet and don't know what to bring we could use some decorations to help create more of a British pub feel. We don't have any vegetables yet. Is that lame to ask for vegetables and dip? Or fruit? Pretzels? Anyway...

You'll need to be in costume and on time when class starts; I don't want us to waste any time getting ready outside of the introduction. I'll be collecting your worksheets as you come in to class; I'll check your notes from the interactions as you leave class. You'll need to use those notes to write the reflection. The reflection can be submitted to me electronically via Google Docs.

I hope that you've spent today working on your drafts for your Hamlet papers. I will be available tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday after school to look at drafts. The final draft is due the day of the final exam, or earlier, which is currently scheduled for next Tuesday. A review session will most likely be offered this Friday.

If you're missing any assignments, they need to be submitted/made-up by this Friday. Also, please look around for checked out school books you used during this class. Please return these as soon as possible.


Tomorrow I will be collecting papers from 1B and 2B. Anyone who has not yet submitted a paper, in B day should have it ready tomorrow. I will also be giving out progress reports for B day and A day students. A day students will get them from either Ms. Kaneko or Mr. Brosnan. When you see your progress report, it is important that any assignments missing a grade and not marked as exempt be made up before next Friday.

We will be discussing certain elements of chapter seven tomorrow. Be ready for a meaningful discussion.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Homework - 10 January


In looking at your warm-up checks today, it seems like some of you either aren't reading or you aren't reading as closely as you need to. Tonight, for homework you'll need to read chapter eight of A Separate Peace. It may be a good idea for some of you to go back and reread chapter seven before moving on to chapter eight. Make sure that you pay attention to vocabulary and keep up with your bookmarks as you're reading.


Tonight for homework I would like for you to listen to this episode of This American Life. As you listen, make note of things that are interesting to you. I'd like to start class on Tuesday by discussing this piece with you. If we don't have class until Wednesday, then we'll just have the Pub activity.

With this post, I'd like for you to comment with what you're bringing for the Pub activity. I'm bringing cups, plates, and napkins as well as tea for everyone to drink. If you'd like something other than tea, bring some soda for the group. When you're cooking/shopping, remember that you need to bring enough for 34 people.

Keep up with this to know what the schedule is. As of now, it looks like we'll have school tomorrow. But who knows...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A teaser for Monday night's homework.


A small teaser for you. Happy work on the Hamlet papers...Come and see me Monday afternoon for help. 3:00-4:00 pm. Assuming the weather cooperates. Wednesday afternoon works too.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Homework for the Weekend - 1/7


Over the weekend I expect that each of you will use this time to put together a full rough draft on Hamlet. Then, you can come and see me next week either after school or during 4th period or A lunch to have me review it before the final drafts are due. Please remember what I said last week, this is your last paper of your high school English career, thus I expect it to be the best. Also, this weekend, you'll want to spend some time preparing for our British Pub activity next Wednesday. If you weren't in class today, come see me on Monday to get ready for the Pub activity.

On Monday we will finish our study of Hamlet. The bodies are going to start hitting the floor.


Over the weekend you all will read chapter seven of A Separate Peace. Pay very close attention to the way that the school is organized socially. We're going to start seeing a new side of the Devon School in these chapters. Further, remember that if you didn't turn in your essay on the first due date, it will need to be handed in to me on Monday/Tuesday to avoid late penalties.

If you've got questions, please ask!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homework - January 6th

Freshmen: Over the weekend I expect that you will read chapter seven and complete any vocabulary entries for words in this chapter. I don't want you all getting complacent at this point in the year. Things are only going to get more complicated, and my expectations for all of you are only going up. Furthermore, if you didn't complete your essay and turn it in today, you will need to be sure that it's ready to be turned in on Monday or Tuesday.

Seniors: Tomorrow we're going to finish looking at Act IV and begin the study of Act V. Things are moving quickly to the end of the year. Tomorrow I will also give you the instructions and assignments to prepare for your final assignment. Over the weekend, I would suggest that you all work on your drafts and come in next week with these drafts to be checked by me.

Please let me know if you need any help or have any questions.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homework - 5 January


Your homework is posted in the previous post. Please be sure that you're working on your papers and vocabulary bookmarks. Come and see me for extra help!


Your final papers on Hamlet will be due no later than the day of the final exam. Our final exam will be held on January 18th. Please be sure that you see me as you are working on these papers so that they really will be the best thing you've ever written. For tonight, keep working. Tomorrow we are going to work through Act IV and then move on in to Act V.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The First A-day of the New Year

The first A-day of the year brings with it literary three by three games and a long lecture on syntax. A few things to work on tonight for Freshmen and Seniors.

Freshmen: Today I gave you the due date for your essays. The first due date for essays is 1/6 and 1/7. The second due date for essays is 1/10 and 1/11. Students who would like to opt for the second due date should come and see me to request an extension to the second due date. I'll be available after school on Wednesday and Friday. I would recommend that you come and see me if you are having any problems with your essays; even if you're not having problems, I'd recommend bringing me a draft to read through.

There's no reading homework for tonight. If you would like to read ahead, please do so. I do encourage rereading of chapters and passages so that it is fresh in your mind. If today's discussion was difficult for you to participate in, please reread the chapter for our next meeting.


I threw a lot at you today in terms of syntax and syntactical analysis. I'm not going to recount everything, but I would like to stress a few things. First, remember that syntax is a component amongst many used by an author to create meaning. You can't simply discuss syntax (well, you can, but it's wonky), but it's best to use syntax as another part along with diction, imagery and other literary devices. It's all about showing how the author creates the meaning. Those of you working on a literary analysis will want to include a discussion of syntax. It really tends to round out and create depth in your analysis.

Tomorrow we're going to the library to work on papers. We'll be in there the whole period. I'll be conferencing with each of you about your progress in the course, your website work, and your papers. Be prepared to work hard tomorrow.

Lastly, we've not spent any time talking about Act IV - I apologize for that. We will review it Thursday before beginning Act V.

Let me know if you've got any questions or comments!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Homework - 1/3/2011

Happy New Year! It was really great seeing all of you today in class. I've been looking forward to today for a few days now. Anyway, here's what you need to do tonight.


You have only about seven more classes. All of your energy for the next few days should be directed at your final papers. I expect that you'll be working about an hour to two hours a night on this assignment. I'll be checking in with you all on Wednesday about your papers. Please come with drafts, outlines, notes, or any other preparation. Tomorrow we will be spending most of our time working through Act IV to understand the plot before moving on to Act V.


Your essays are coming due soon. For tonight, revise and edit your essays. Come and see me this week to conference if you need to. Some essays will be collected as early as the end of this week. Be sure that you're prepared.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Last Minute Stuff...

Make sure that you have done what you need to have done for tomorrow.

Seniors: Be sure that you've read Act IV of Hamlet - and by read it, I mean it. This may mean that you read it twice or three times with a high degree of annotation. Also, I hope that you spent some time working/thinking about your final papers. Things will move fast in these last few days of class. Don't fall off the wagon...

Freshmen: Tomorrow is a B-DAY. B-Day students should have their completed drafts for a workshop in class. A-day students, read chapter six and revise those essays. Essays will be due NEXT WEEK for all students. If you want to see me this week, find a time to do that!