Friday, April 29, 2011

Work for the Weekend - 4/29

So - April is over and we're only one month away from summer vacation.  It's hard to believe that we're already so close to the end of the year.  As I always say - don't stop pushing until you come to the end of the last question on the final exam.


I will have your exams graded for you on Monday.  To those of you taking an AP Exam on Monday - good luck, remember that you've been studying this content all year, don't cram and stress out before the exam; that'll just serve to mess you up going in.  Take your time and breathe.  We're going to spend a few days next week looking at the work of one Mr. Walt Whitman, a poet who really changed a lot of the ideas of what it meant to be a poet and poetry.  For the weekend, you should concentrate on reading your novels.  You'll have a group meeting on Tuesday and we'll begin moving to the next step of the project - the lesson plan and research paper.


I hope that you all enjoyed the new version of Romeo and Juliet - there are a lot of interesting contrasts to Romeo + Juliet which will be interesting to investigate over the next few classes.  Over the weekend you should prepare for your Act II Test which will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week - remember that there will be an in-class portion and a take-home portion.  For homework, you will need to finish your worksheets on Act II, Scene 6.  Make sure that you answer all of the questions thoroughly and that you've followed the instructions.  Someone from your group will also need to turn in your diagram on moderate/passionate at the beginning of class.

If you have any questions - don't hesitate to ask.  Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Homework for Juniors - 4/28

Well, tomorrow's the last day of April which will bring on May - the last full month of school.   It's important that we keep on pushing hard until the end of the year.  Tomorrow you will have your unit test on Transcendentalism and Romanticism due to the fact that the presentations ran a bit over today.  Make sure that you complete the take-home portion of your test tonight and have that ready to be handed in tomorrow at the beginning of class.  Remember what I said in class, I'm expecting good thorough responses to the questions.  Be sure to use specific details from the text to support your opinions and ideas.

Also, tomorrow is a Vocabular Make-up Day for any student who wishes to resubmit new cards/bookmarks for a new grade.  Don't miss this opportunity.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Field Trip! 4/27/2011

Today the 9th graders took a trip to NC State University.  A good time was had by all, except when the bus broke down at the end of the day.  Freshmen will get back to studying Romeo and Juliet on Friday of this week as we finish Act II.  It would be a good idea to take this time to get ahead on your research projects.


Tomorrow you will be presenting on your Arab Spring rebellion - please be insightful and prepared.  I will also be collecting your viewing guide on the film Pleasantville.  Lastly, you will have your Romanticism/Transcendentalism exam tomorrow.  There will be no vocabulary this week, but it is a redo week for those student who missed an earlier vocabulary check.  Next week you will have cards due!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Homework for 4/26


I have to begin by saying that I wasn't all that impressed with the reading of Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government" - I expect that when I assign a piece to be read that you are going to read it, thoroughly with notes an annotations so that you are prepared to discuss it in class.  I would recommend that if you have been skating by that you go back and read the pieces that you missed before your exam on Thursday.

For your exam on Thursday you will be asked about six pieces in particular:
  • Longfellow's "The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls" and "Cross of Snow"
  • Thoreau's Walden and "Resistance to Civil Government"
  • Emerson's "Self Reliance" and "Nature"
You will be asked some very detailed multiple choice question about all of these pieces.  Be prepared.  There will also be some short answers on this exam.  You may be asked to finish the short answer at home as a take-home portion depending on time after the presentations on Thursday.

Tomorrow I will not be in class as I'll be with the 9th graders at NC State.  You will have a substitute and a film to watch which will help to review some of the main concepts of Romanticism and Transcendentalism.  I will take your film guide up on Thursday for a grade.

Tonight for homework you should begin to study for your exam, do any additional work needed for your Arab Spring presentations, and spend some time reading in your novels.  You will have a group meeting on Friday.


Your homework is in the previous post.  Remember that I will not be checking your homework until class on Friday (A-day) and Monday (B-day).  It would be in your best interest to begin preparing for your Act II Exam. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

First Day Back From Break - 4/25

I feel completely wiped out.  Phew.  It was really good to see everyone today and to get back to learning and talking/interacting with all of you.  I'm hoping that by the end of the week my jaw will feel a bit less sore so that class can be a bit more engaging.  Here's what you need to do for me tonight:

Juniors:  You need to finish reading Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government" - this piece is pretty heady and dense.  I suggest that after every paragraph you stop and review the main ideas and content presented.  This will be one of the only ways to make sense of what he's trying to say here.  Pay attention to his criticisms of government and what he thinks government should be.  Also, note all of the metaphors that he uses to discuss the government and what it does.  We will really break down this text tomorrow to understand what he is trying to do.

Freshmen:  Tonight you will need to read Act II, Scene 6 of Romeo and Juliet - the wedding scene - and complete your Who, What, Where, When notes.  I will be checking these notes on Friday.  Don't forget that with the field trip on Wednesday that you assignment will not be due until then.  I would spend some time reviewing the rest of Act II as well seeing as you will soon have (next week) an exam on Act II.  Finally, those of you not keeping up with your notecards are going to be in for a world of hurt next week as we move foward with the research project.  Please take this week to get your notecards done and see me if you need any help.  We have very few classes left until exams start - you've got to meet every deadline as we come to the end.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Absentees on Friday

To those Juniors absent on Friday, be aware that your papers are due once you walk in the room on Monday the 25th. Failure to turn it in will result in the late penalty.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Work over Spring Break

PHEW!  It is now 4th period, thus, for me it is now Spring Break.  I hope that all of you have a relaxing time and stay safe.

Freshmen:  Over break you should use web resources to do some more research for your project.  Honors students should move on to your new topic of research; Standard students should continue to research your first topic.  The document for the project is a few posts back and there is also the link to the links on the Jordan website for this project.  I will be looking for ten new notecards when you return from break.  I'm not requiring that you read Romeo and Juliet over break - but getting ahead is always a good idea.  We will return from break on an A-day.

Juniors:  I was pretty impressed with the conversations going on in class today.  Over break you will need to meet your group goals.  Read your books and focus on your motifs/characters.  When we get back we will finish up on Transcendentalism and then have a test on this on the Thursday or Friday after break.

If over break you need any help, feel free to e-mail; though it may take me some time to get back to you.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Juniors - Homework for 4/14/2011


Tomorrow in class I will be collecting your Crucible/Mean Girls papers.  I've appreciated the fact that a lot of you have come to see me to review your drafts.  For tomorrow, I only need to collect your final draft - not any of the preliminary materials.  I will also be collecting a completed vocabulary bookmark from each of you, be sure that you have twenty new words all defined with their source.  Tomorrow's class will be spent working in your groups.  I will spend some time getting you started and then you will have approximately seventy minutes to work together to discuss your novel and to begin planning your upcoming paper/lesson.  I look forward to a very productive day with all of you tomorrow.

Freshmen - Homework over the Break!


Over the break I am expecting that you will take the time to do some more research on your project.  Honors students should begin to move on to their second topic of research; remember that the topics are listed under "Writing Topics" in the document in the previous post.  You are more than welcome to use internet and book sources as you research - just make sure that your information is sound and accurate.  Please remember to use the links on the Jordan website, which you can access by clicking this link.  Those websites are categorized and geared toward this project.

When you get back I'm looking for ten new notecards.  Get it knocked out tonight, and you have no English work to do over the break.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Document for Elizabethan England Project

Here is the document for the Elizabethan England Project.  The topics for research are located under "Writing Topics."

Homework for 13 April 2011


Next class will be your final class before Spring Break.  To start class we will have a warm-up check and I will be checking your two homework assignments that are due.  Remember that you will need to have your WHO, WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE notes for Act II Scenes 1, 2, and 3.  Furthermore, you will need to have your notecards for your project.  I'll be looking for anywhere from five to ten notecards.  Over break you will not have any additional reading to do, but you will need to keep researching for your project.  You should be moving on to your second topic if you are in Honors or continuing to research for your first topic if you're in Standard.


For tonight I would like for you to do some reading for me.  Take our discussion of Transcendentalism and use that to understand Henry David Thoreau's Walden.  In the textbook I would like for you to read the excerpts "Economy," "Where I Lived," "Solitude," and "The Bean Field."  As you read, you should take notes as to interesting quotations and ideas that relate to Romanticism and Transcendentalism.  We will spend some time working through this piece on Thursday and doing some work on our two Transcendental thinkers - Emerson and Thoreau.  Be sure that you're ready for your group meeting on Friday!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Homework - 12 April 2011

Only THREE more classes to go until Spring Break!

Here is what I will be looking for next class.

Freshmen:  I will have your exams on Act I graded and returned when we get back from Spring Break.  For tonight I would like for you to read the first three scenes of Act II (don't forget the prologue at the beginning of the act).  As you read, complete your WHO, WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE notes as I will be checking these in class on Thursday/Friday.  Also, you will have your first check-in on your notecards.  I am expecting to see a good amount of cards - anywhere in the region of five to ten.  WIth this kid of assignment, more is better.  Continue to look for information that you can use to create your stories about your characters.  Don't forget to format the notecards correctly, with the MLA source at the top of the card and the parenthetical citation at the end of the quote/note/paraphrase.  Anyone needing help with notecards should see me on Wednesday afternoon.

Juniors:  You have a paper due on Friday.  This should be your number one priority along with reading your group novel.  Follow your group deadlines and be prepared for a productive meeting on Friday.  I will be collecting your final drafts on Friday.  Please come and see me as soon as possible to review drafts and get feedback.

I think that does it.  There's a lot going on in English here at the end, don't fall behind.  Ask for help and work hard!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homework - 11 April 2011

One more week to go until Spring Break!  Remember that we don't stop until 2:30 on Friday.  This is no time to start getting lazy.  Be sure that you come to class every day with your best effort and your A game.


As stated in the previous post, now that you know how to research and do notecards, I fully expect that you will be working on this project and research on your own time.  On Tuesday/Wednesday you will have your Act I exam on Romeo and Juliet.  You will want to focus on the following information to prepare:
  • new literary devices connected to drama (monologue, tragic hero, soliloquy, aside, dramatic irony, etc.)
  • new literary devices connected to poetry (blank verse, iambic pentameter, couplet, sonnet, etc.)
  • plot events in Act I - putting the information in order, knowing WHAT happened WHEN
  • the characters - which family, what role they play, their importance
  • the historical information about the time period

Honors students will have quote identifications and Standard students will have short answers on this exam.  The quotes and ideas that I ask you about will be pretty apparent, but you would do well to review all of Act I before your exam.

For Thursday/Friday I will be expecting you to have read Act II, Scenes 1, 2 and 3 as well as complete your notes for WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN.  You will also need to be ready for your first notecard check that day.  You should have anywhere from five to ten notecards.


Today we got started with ROMANTICISM - this will be something that we will be working on over the next two weeks.  For today, it's important that you understand the key elements of ROMANTICISM as well as the elements of scansion in poetry.  Romantics were great proponents of sacrifice in order to gain understanding about ourselves and the world around us - in that same idea, I am asking you to respond to the following question in a one page response:
What is something that you cannot live without?  Why?
As you answer this question, be specific and personal.  Really try to understand your need for this thing.  Don't tell me about something that every human needs to survive (water, food, etc.) but something instead that is important to you (iPhone, Twitter, car, etc.).  I look forward to reading your responses.

Also, don't forget that you should be reading every night in your novels and meeting the goals that your group has set.  You will have another group meeting on Friday.  Your papers on Mean Girls/The Crucible will also be collected this day - come see me outside of class for draft conferences.

Enjoy the beautiful afternoon - I think I'll ride my bike...home.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Homework over the Weekend - 4/8/2011

English I:  Over the weekend you'll need to spend a lot of time studying for your Act I exam.  This exam is going to happen on Tuesday and Wednesday with a review session on Monday afternoon.  Be ready!  Also, as you now know about the MLA formatting and the notecard structure, I expect that you will be working on your research projects on your own time.  You will have a notecard check next week on Thursday/Friday and you'll need to be sure that you have the required cards by that time.

English III:  Over the weekend your first priority is to create your outlines for your Mean Girls/The Crucible compare/contrast paper.  Come to class with these on Monday.  Also, you'll want to make sure that you're starting your reading of your novels.  The quicker you get through the book, the easier this project will be.  This group project is a big deal.  It's important that you keep yourselves honest and focused.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Homework for April 7, 2011


Tomorrow we are going to have our first group meeting of the nine weeks.  You'll need to have a copy of your novel and be ready to establish norms for your groups so that you can sucessfully complete the tasks ahead.  If you don't have a copy of your novel, I'll have a copy or two for you to use in class that you could check out for the weekend while you get your own.  I am expecting you to annotate your novels and I will be checking in on you as we work through the rest of the quarter. 

On Monday you'll need to bring your textbook to class AND you're going to need to have a rough outline for your The Crucible/Mean Girls paper.  You'll be conferencing with your peers about these outlines on Monday and we'll be doing some draft workshops on Tuesday for these papers.  I'll collect final drafts of these papers on Friday, right before break begins.

Also, don't forget that I'll be checking vocabulary tomorrow:  three cards and ten words on the bookmark.


You should be reading in Romeo and Juliet.  By next Tuesday and Wednesday you'll need to be to the end of Act II, Scene 2 and have your notes done on these portions.  Don't forget that you'll have your Act I exam on Tuesday and Wednesday!  We'll have a review session on Monday during Study Hall if you'd like to attend.  Don't forget your index cards on Friday/Monday - we're going to research our faces off over the next few days to get ready for the next portion of our research project.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Homework - 4/6/2011


Tomorrow you're going to have your final assessment on The Crucible.  You should review all of the major information in the play and be prepared to show me what you know.  Focus specifically on the idea of social and political change, contrasting settings, and the ending.  I will most likely be collecting annotations tomorrow too.  We're also going to be finishing Mean Girls tomorrow - that means that you'll need to construct your outlines and drafts very soon!


We will be going to the library on Friday and Monday to continue researching for our Elizabethan England projects.  You'll need to bring notecards with you on Friday/Monday because I will be teaching you a very specific method on how to take notes to complete your research for this assignment.  You will also want to begin reading Act II of Romeo and Juliet.  You'll have a reading assignment over the weekend in Act II.  Take this time to get ahead.  As you read, you should take your basic notes (who, where, when, what) to keep up with the information.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Homework for 4/5/2011


For tonight you don't have any homework that will be collected tomorrow.  It would be a very good idea if you spent an hour or so tonight doing some preliminary work on your compare/contrast papers on Mean Girls and The Crucible.  Seeing as we have finished The Crucible you should be able to get an idea for what idea you'll focus on between both stories and you should begin to pull out quotations and details that you will discuss in your essay.  Tomorrow we'll spend most of class watching Mean Girls and hopefully we'll finish it. 

You will have your final assessment on The Crucible on Thursday and we will begin a new unit on literature of the 1800's.  You should prepare for this final assessment which will cover the whole play and you should have your annotations ready to check.


Your homework is in the previous post.  Have your notes thoroughly done in your notebooks for class on Thursday.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Homework for Monday, 4/4/2011


Tonight for homework I'd like for you to finish reading Act I.  You'll need to read the final scene and then begin your notes.  Make sure that you note the WHO, WHERE, WHEN, and WHAT in your notebooks.  We will complete the HOW/WHY in class.  Don't forget that you will have an exam on Act I next week.  Be sure that you are ready!


For tonight I would like for you to reflect on one of the earlier belief statements from The Crucible.  Your reflection should be one page, typed, double spaced.  As you complete your reflections you may want to address the following questions:
  1. Why did you have the belief that you did at the beginning?
  2. In what ways has your belief changed?
  3. What from the play has changed your opinion?
It will be best for you to choose one of these statements that you feel most passionate about - this will lead to a much better statement.  I will read these for thoroughness, use of evidence from the play, grammar, and attention to detail.  Please do not go over one page.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Weekend Homework - 4/1/2011

Freshmen:  Your homework is in the previous post.  Please make sure that you give yourself adequate time to turn in the assignment on Monday to the homework box.  Remember that I will be grading this on thoroughness, content, and grammar/usage.  Be sure that you show your best work for the beginning of the last nine weeks.  This will also serve as a good review of what you've already learned in the play as we prepare for our first test on Act I.  Lastly, if you have some extra time this weekend, start doing some more research for your Elizabethan England project.  We'll take another big step forward with these next week as we start to develop the stories featuring your characters.

Juniors:  Over the weekend you will need to complete the reading of The Crucible.  Pay attention to the end of the play, especially how the characters wind up, how the conflicts get resolved, and all of the irony that explodes in the ending.  You may also want to go back to the beginning "statements of belief" and reassess if you have changed your point of view on these statements from your reading of The Crucible.  Finally, on Monday we will continue watching Mean Girls in order to prepare for our final paper.

Enjoy the weekend!  Don't bite your thumb at strangers!