Monday, February 28, 2011

Homework - 28 February

Juniors:  You had an exam today.  Take the night off:  go to the LAX game this afternoon, have a good run in the weather, whatever.  Relax.

Freshmen:  Hopefully the Matchbox gave you some ideas as to what you know and don't know in preparation for the Benchmark Exam.  Spend tonight working on the first portion of your poetry project - memorizing.  Try to get the first three or four lines memorized tonight.  Also, make sure that you spend time reviewing for your Exam.  Study your literary terms and your grammar warm-ups. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011



Websites have been graded.  You will see the grades/commentary on your progress reports which I will give to you tomorrow.  This round of progress reports is more for you, but I do encourage you to keep your parents appraised of your progress.  If you would like to work on improving your grade - please see me outside of class (during lunch or Monday afternoons).

Do you have any questions as you're studying for your exam?  Been stretching your hands?  I'm looking forward to seeing your summative ideas about Catcher.  Remember to look over your writing rules tomorrow as well as your notes and annotations.  Remember the stress on using specifics in your writing, you will be able to use your books - but only in the last ten minutes to check yourself.  You will not be able to do well if you're relying on your notes too heavily.

Lastly, look at your vocabulary - try to integrate a few new words tomorrow:  fallacious, lucrative, goad, supercilious, and so on...

If you have questions, consider the post open.  Comment away!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Homework for All Classes - 2/24/2011

Tomorrow's FRIDAY!  I feel that this week has really flown by, and we're getting a bit closer to a break, which is much needed.  Here's your update for the day:

English I:

Today we took our Wordskills 2 Exam and began work on our Poetry Project.  Remember the deal about the project - this is five grades rolled into one project.  The memorization and paper will count as a quiz grade, the creative writing will count as a homework grade.  All of those grades will then be averaged together to create a test grade.  Thus, it is important that you not miss any part of this project.  The project will be due the week of March 14th - specific dates will come closer to this week once I see what the schedule looks like.  This means that you have three study halls before the project is due to meet with me.  You must realize that you will not do well with this assignment if you wait until the last minute.

For tonight's homework I would like for you to answer the following question and put your response in the box on Monday/Tuesday.
Why did you choose the poem that you selected for this project?
As you answer the question use details from the poem as well as your literary vocabulary:  talk about figurative language, tone, and structure.  Also, if you can find any information on your author, please include a few facts with a citation.

English III:

I think that we got off to a good start with today's presentations.  I will be grading your websites this weekend, thus if there is anything not on the site that should be there you have until Sunday morning to make any edits or corrections.  I will grade all of your sites on Sunday.

For tonight, you don't have anything that is due tomorrow.  Those of you presenting tomorrow will want to be ready for that and those of you turning in redo vocabulary cards will want to have those.  I would also spend some time looking over your notes to begin studying.  I will give you some ideas for things to focus on tomorrow as you study; but you should know by now that I won't tell you everything.  Don't forget - your exam on Catcher will be Monday.

Enjoy the rainy afternoon.  See you tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homework/Reminders - 2/23

It is the end of the day and I am feeling wiped out!  Phew!  Hopefully I can summon a bit of energy to enjoy this beautiful afternoon.  Here's what you all need to get done tonight:

English I:

Tomorrow you have a Wordskills exam on Lesson 2 - it's all multiple choice and will focus mostly on prefixes.  You should spend some time looking over the base words as well.  Don't forget that the final drafts of your movie reviews are also due tomorrow/Friday.  I like the fact that a good amount of you have seen me to review your drafts.  Please turn in all of your drafts with your final draft on top.

English III:

Tomorrow we'll begin with talking a bit more about the excerpts that you all got today from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I especially want us to focus in on the idea of voice, authenticity, characterization, tone, and structure/point of view.  We will also begin our presentations.  I look forward to seeing what you all have come up with regarding these different topics in the novel.

Let me know if you have any concerns or questions!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Homework - 2/22/11

Did anyone notice that if you divide the day and the month you end up getting the year?  Crazy...

English I:

Next class you have two major things to be ready for.  First, your movie reviews of A Separate Peace are due.  Please make sure that you are following the guidelines that I gave you on the assignment sheet.  Your first paragraph should provide a hook and then a clear thesis statement which presents your opinion on the film and why.  Your second paragraph should be a review of the main moments in the film.  The final paragraph is where you will speak to your thesis - showing me that scene or element which made or broke the film for you.  Remember that you will need to keep everything on one page!

Also, next class you will have your Wordskills 2 Exam.  Pay close attention to your prefixes!!!  Knowing those prefixes will be key to being successful on the exam.  Remember that you may see some information from lesson one - it would be a good idea to go back and review the last unit too.

On Thursday we will spend some time in the library getting started on our poetry project for the nine weeks.  You may want to come to class with some change to make photocopies in the library.

English III:

Today was another very successful inside/outside circle discussion.  A vast majority of you were participating in the circle discussion and I think that we were able to hit on a lot of major topics in the book.  You may want to continue to consider and think about these ideas as we prepare for the exam on this book next week.  For tonight, you will want to spend a lot of time working on your websites.  Get your information uploaded and in the right place.  Make sure that everyone in the group is pulling his/her weight.  Tomorrow we will have about thirty minutes at the beginning of the period to meet and discuss as groups - I've gotten us a set of laptops from the library - but if you'd like to bring your own, you are more than welcome to do so.

Also, tomorrow, don't forget that I'll be checking annotations across the whole novel.  Spend some time tonight getting those ready for me.

I think that'll do it.  Tomorrow's Wednesday - halfway to Friday!

Monday, February 21, 2011

In review of the websites...

I hope to see a lot of serious movement on these websites tonight and tomorrow.  After just checking in, it seems as though only a few people have really done anything.  I will be checking you against the template, I'm expecting to see thorough pieces of work.

Be aware that everything must be cited, properly.  Failure to do so will constitute plagiarism.  

Please come and see me during lunch tomorrow and Wednesday if you or your group need assistance.

Junior Homework - 2/21


This week we're going to be wrapping up our study of The Catcher in the Rye.  In order to facilitate this, tomorrow we will be having an inside/outside circle discussion on the final chapters of the novel.  Come prepared with points to share with the group so that we can begin to unlock these final chapters and discover Salinger's meaning for us as readers.

Further, you may find it helpful to review the thesis building/prompt breakdown that we did today in class.  Remember that the idea with these timed writing sessions is to do more with less.  Don't tell me about every example, instead explore an example thoroughly to show me how it connects to something greater.

Annotations will be checked on Wednesday.  Be ready for that!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Apologies Juniors!

I didn't get the homework up on Friday.  Had an appointment and the blog completely slipped my mind, especially with all the beautiful weather.

This weekend you're to finish reading Catcher.  Finish up your annotations.  Remember that as we come to the end of the novel it's important to realize how the author is tying up the numerous threads that he/she has created throughout the work.  What is Salinger's message to us as readers?  What has his purpose been?

We're coming up on a very busy week - keep abreast of all of the upcoming deadlines.  I'll deliver those on Monday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homework for Juniors - 2/17

English III:

For tonight you will need to complete your first vocabulary bookmark and three more vocabulary cards from the words on your bookmark.  Remember the mistakes that you made on the first round of this and fix those mistakes for your next round of cards.  I want to do nothing but see 100's on these assignments.  Further, please get your website set up for our Catcher projects.  Once you set up the website, be sure to share it with me and all of your groupmates.  Get that done by the end of the day on Friday.

English I:

Your homework is in the previous post - make sure that your answers get in the box on the day that it's due.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Homework - English I and III, 2/16

English III:

I hope that you all enjoyed walking around Manhattan today during our "field trip."  Unfortunately the computers don't always do what we want them to, but I think that it's important to attempt these types of explorations in order to get a better understanding of the setting and perspective in this novel.  For tonight, I would like for you to read and annotate chapters twenty-one and twenty-two.  Tomorrow we will have an in-class presentation from Guidance and then we will work through chapters eighteen through twenty-two.  It would behoove you to review your notes and annotations on these chapters as well.  We're nearly done with this novel - continue to think about your website project and topic as you move through the final chapters.

English I:

Today we began really studying poetry in some depth.  The next few weeks will serve as our transition from the world of prose (short stories and novels) to the realm of poetry.  For tonight's homework read pages 472 to 474 in your textbook.  It will be important to pay attention to the literary devices defined for you before the poem in order to answer the questions at the end.  You may find it necessary to read the poem several times in order to understand it fully.  When you finish the poem by Pat Mora please answer questions 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7.  Make sure as you answer these questions to base your answers solely on the poem and to follow good writing rules as you will be discussing literature.  Make sure that your answers get to the homework box before the start of the day on Friday (A-day) or Monday (B-day).

If you have any questions, please ask. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Homework - 2/15

English III:

Tonight for homework you will need to read chapters eighteen, nineteen and twenty.  As you read, continue to pay attention not only to your group's focal point, but also the other ideas that we have been talking about in the novel.  As we move toward the end of the novel, it's important to think about what messages Salinger is sending us about these different ideas.

You will also want to go ahead and set up your group's website for your project.  Follow the instructions that I gave you in class.  I'm including the project mock-up at this link.  Once you create the page, make sure that you've shared it with your group members as well as with me.  Follow the formatting guidelines here.  These projects will not be due until after we finish reading the novel, but you will want to be sure that you are spending some time thinking about your ideas over the next few days.

English I:

Your movie reviews are due tomorrow for editing.  Bring it with you to class.  We will also begin our study of poetry in depth by looking at some interesting pieces of poetry by Robert Frost and Billy Collins.  Don't forget, you may want to start looking at all of your literary devices that we've covered this year.  Quizzes are coming up on these things!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Homework - 14 February

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

English III:

In a moment of grace I've decided that you all don't need to do any reading tonight.  It may be a good idea for you to begin looking over what you've already read with an eye toward your website project.  Begin looking through the earlier information in an attempt to find quotes that explain your idea.  Think consistently about author's purpose as you look at these passages.

Tomorrow we are going to spend some time reviewing what we've already read and then going forward into the last few sections of the novel.  For tonight, you will definitely want to make sure that you're prepared for a good discussion tomorrow.

English I:

Today I gave you the outline and requirements for your film review of A Separate Peace.  On Wednesday/Thursday we will be editing these in class to make sure that they are in good shape before final drafts are due.  Final drafts will be due the 24th and 25th of February.  I'm giving you this time so that you will have time to come and see me to get extra editing assistance.  Also, please have your copy of A Separate Peace with you next class as I will be collecting these from you.

Lastly, Freshmen, if you are missing any assignments please see me as soon as possible to get them made up.  The third nine weeks will pass by very quickly.  Keep up with your work, don't fall behind!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Homework for the Weekend - 11 February


Over the weekend I'd like for you to spend some time reviewing chapters fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen.  We'll be discussing these in depth on Monday and I would like to make sure that you are all prepared for that.  Also, I would like for you to take some time and read the Dostoevsky excerpt from the novel Crime and Punishment.  As you read the excerpt, pay particular attention to similarities and differences between the excerpt and The Catcher in the Rye.  There are some very interesting parallels.


Don't forget that your poems are due on Monday/Tuesday to the box.  If you haven't turned in your project yet, make sure it gets to me as soon as possible.  Five points off for lateness per day, ten points off per class.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Homework - 10 February


Great job with the inside/outside circle today.  I'd like to see more people engaging in the conversation when we do these things.  Remember, your ideas get stronger when you discuss them and test them against your classmates.  For tonight, I'd like for you to read chapters fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen.  Be sure that as you read, you are annotating.  Furthermore, don't forget that vocabulary cards are due tomorrow.  You'll need to submit two cards and I will be checking your bookmark.  Follow all of the instructions.


Over the weekend you have a creative writing activity to do for me.  I would like for you to complete a poetic eulogy for Finny.  The eulogy will need to be no less than fifteen lines for Standard students and no less than twenty-five lines for Honors students.  Remember that a eulogy is meant to be in praise of the person - try to use interesting diction and imagery to make your poem more complete.  These will need to be turned into the box on Monday/Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Homework for Juniors - 9 February

Today's class flew by!  Phew.  Tonight, I'd like for you to complete a few different tasks:

1.  Tomorrow we will be having an inside/outside circle discussion.  I will be staying in the outside circle and observing the whole time and will not prompt the discussion unless absolutely necessary.  I want you all to be prepared to lead the discussion.  Tonight, review chapters eight through eleven to prepare for this.  You may want to make a list of topics for discussion or questions that you would like to bring to the group.  You can also raise anything that you don't understand.  The inside circle will consist of ten students, the outside circle will consist of twenty students.  Tomorrow will provide all of you a chance to earn some participation points.

2.  I would like for you to read and annotate chapters twelve, thirteen, and fourteen.  Continue to play with some of the ideas that were raised in today's discussion/lesson especially the Madonna/Whore Complex, sexuality, innocence and corruption. 

3.  Lastly, if you did not finish your preparation on your group's female character.  Please have that done for tomorrow.  The important thing to consider is this character's function in the text.  Why is she here?  What is Salinger trying to accomplish or show by including her?

Don't forget about vocabulary cards on Friday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Homework - 2/8

A good day was had by all, I think.  Tomorrow's a PLC day - hooray for half days.


Tonight you will need to finish reading A Separate Peace.  On Thursday/Friday we will discuss the ending of the novel and begin our transition to poetry.  Don't forget that your projects are also due on Thursday/Friday - a presentation of part of your project is required and will count toward your overall project grade.


Tonight you need to read chapters eight through eleven of The Catcher in the Rye.  We are moving to a new section of the text - Holden's adventures in New York City.  Pay attention to what stays the same with Holden and what changes.  Furthermore, I'd like for you to take one of the words on your bookmark and create your first vocabulary card.  This is a practice - but it will count toward your cards for the week.  Thus, this Friday, you will only need two completed cards and ten words on your bookmark.

Enjoy the afternoon.  See you all tomorrow!

Monday, February 7, 2011

English III Homework - 2/7


Tonight for homework I would like for you to spend some time reviewing what you've already done.  Take some of the major ideas that we discussed today in class (immaturity, living in the past, escape, etc.) and start tying these ideas to areas in the text.  This will be very important as we begin moving through the rest of the novel to see how these ideas are developed and eventually what the message is about these ideas.

Make sure that your annotations on chapters one through seven are thorough.  Also, be sure that you're keeping up with your vocabulary.  I will be collecting cards and checking bookmarks on Friday.

Today's discussion was very productive, let's keepp it going all week.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Forgot the Homework!


Sorry for the delay in posting.  Here's what you need to get done over the weekend.

English I:

Your projects are due this week coming up.  Thursday for A-day and Friday for B-day.  Come and see me after school to go over the written part of your project.  Remember that these projects will count as a test grade.  Over the weekend you'll need to read chapter eleven.  You may want to go ahead and finish the book after that.

English III:

Over the weekend you should complete the reading of chapters four through seven.  Continue to annotate.  Remember, look for patters and things that you find interesting in the reading.  We've been doing a lot of discussion on point of view and narrator.  These may be things to focus on.  Don't forget that you have to have your book every day in class.  Not being prepared in not acceptable.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

English III Homework - 3 February 2011

Juniors -

Today's presentations provided a lot of fodder for thinking, especially as we open up our study of The Catcher in the Rye.  You should have particularly noted the culture of the 1950's - this is something that we will continue to discuss in the first few chapters of the novel.  For tonight, you should read to the end of chapter three.  As you read, keep track of your vocabulary and annotation assignment.  If annotating as you read doesn't work for you, then read first - then go back and annotate.  I think that it's a good idea to pause after every paragraph and then go back to reexamine what you just read.  As you do this more, you'll get into the hang of it.

Tomorrow I'll be handing back your essays and we'll do a bit of talking about where I've found some general strengths and areas for improvement in what I read.  I will also give you a lot of guidelines for improving your writing.  After that, we will get into a discussion of Catcher.  If you have any questions about the reading, we will begin with those.  Raising questions is a great way to earn participation points.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Homework and Reminders - 2 February

English I:

Freshmen, I will try to have your tests graded and back to you by next week.  They will definitely be on your progress reports.  For tonight you do not have any homework that you need to complete, but you should move toward finishing A Separate Peace.  You will need to have the book done next week.  Your projects will be due at the end of next week.  Thursday the 10th for A-day and Friday the 11th for B-day.  If you need any assistance or want me to take a look at your projects, please come and see me for that.  Next week we will wrap up our study of the novel and then move on to poetry!

English III:

Today in the library I hope that you were able to complete your research for your presentations tomorrow.  Tonight, you will need to finish up any research that you need to complete your presentation/public speaking assignment tomorrow.  I will be collecting bibliographies from you as part of your presentation grade.  You will also be graded on your content and the way in which you present the information (good eye contract, volume, posture, and so forth).  Also, tomorrow, we will begin our study of The Catcher in the Rye.  Make sure that you have your copy of the novel with you in class.  I will also be giving out your vocabulary assignment for the year.

As always, let me know if you have any questions.  Assuming that I survive my swim tonight, I'll see you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

English III Homework - 1 February

For tonight, I'd like for you to respond to the following prompt:

What is the distinction between lonliness and anlone? These two concepts are very close to each other, yet, they have a clear difference as well. What is this difference? In thinking of Prufrock, does he suffer from a case of lonliness or alone? Why?
Please respond using the Google group or respond to the prompt via e-mail.  If you cannot do either of these, then a paper option will be accepted.  Just make sure that you are thorough in your response.  You may find it useful to reread "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" tonight - we'll be finishing up with him tomorrow and then moving on to Mr. Salinger.