Friday, May 27, 2011

Juniors - Preparing for Next Week


Your exam is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, June 2, 2011.  We will have a review period on Wednesday afternoon.  If you were not in class today (or just aren't sure)  you should e-mail me and figure out if you are exempt from the exam or not.  Don't just assume something and then get a phone call from me on Thursday about why you aren't taking your exam.

For those of you that are exempt I will be figuring out your grades over the weekend - you may want to take the exam in order to push you up to the next grade level.  Numbers and grades will be ready on Tuesday.  See me AFTER SCHOOL for this information.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


WHOOO!  All of you are done with class and now you start exams.  The schedule of exams was in the last post as was the review sheet.

For tonight, get a good night's sleep.  Eat a good breakfast tomorrow (eggs, yogurt, peanut butter and carrots, oatmeal) and be ready!

Think about the matchboxes we've done lately - what kinds of questions have you missed (literary terms?  comprehension?  opinion?  grammar?).

There are some online practice examples that you can use if you feel it necessary.

Texutal Analysis: Literary Devices, Opinion, Style, Comprehension

Grammar and Editing

See you soon - feel free to come by after school for extra help if you need it.

Juniors - Final Day of Class

Tomorrow we'll finish presentations and wrap up the end of your Junior year.  I know that you all are looking forward to summer, I am too.  We've done a lot of good work this year and I've really enjoyed a lot of your discussions and insights about literature.  I've been making it a point to grade research papers so that I can give it back to you after you present your final project.

Those of you presenting tomorrow - I'll have your papers ready by the time I leave the building on Friday, which is usually around 4:00.  Please come and get your graded papers then or inquire via e-mail.  I'll also have exemption information for you all tomorrow.  Remember that the final can only help your grade if you are exempt.  I should have your grades figured out for those of you that are exempt by Tuesday (maybe even Friday afternoon).

The review session for our class will be held Wednesday afternoon and the exam on Thursday morning.  I expect you to attend if you are taking the final exam.

Lastly, if I've given you your paper - please make it a point to put it in your writing portfolio.  If you did a group paper, make copies for everyone.  I can even do this for you if you'd like.  Just give it to me Friday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

EOC Review Sheet


It's the end my friends.  Time to study.  Time to be ready for your exam.

A1 - Your exam will be Friday morning in one of the two computer labs.  Remember to show up early to the exam room as showing up late will likely lock you out of the system.

A2 - Your exam will be on Tuesday beginning at 11:12.  Remember to take the first lunch after your B1 exam and then report immediately to the computer lab.

B1 - Your exam will be on Tuesday morning.  Don't be late!

B2 - Your exam will be on Wednesday morning.  Don't be late.

Below are the terms from the EOC review sheet.  Remember that you should know what all of these terms are and be able to apply that knowledge in identifying their use in reading passages.  As you study, don't just think of definitions, but think of examples of the device too.

• 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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homework for Juniors - 5/24/2011


There's a few things that you need to accomplish for tomorrow's class.  Here they are:

1.  You need to complete your character worksheet and then complete your reflection on the activity today in class.  I'll collect both of these tomorrow.

2.  You'll need to turn in your rough drafts of your research papers.  Remember, like I said today in class, you should aim to make these as good as you can.  I'll be assigning you a grade based on the rubric and then I'll have these ready to give back on Tuesday.  Come and see me to get the papers.  Revised papers will be due NO LATER THAN 4:00 pm on Friday.

3.  Have your presentations ready.  I'm looking forward to them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Today was the last Monday of the School Year

Isn't that exciting?!


I really hope that you enjoyed O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" - I saw a lot of good thinking going on in the room as we were reading and discussing.  We'll finish discussing the story on Wednesday before we begin presentations.  Don't forget that tomorrow we'll be taking C-lunch.  Feel free to come by in the morning to drop off food/snacks/drinks/materials for the party.  Also, don't forget that I'll be collecting your worksheets about your characters to start class.

Lastly, your drafts of your papers are due on Wednesday.  Some people turned them in today which was good - I look forward to the rest of them.


I think that today's activity in going through our portfolios really goes to show just how far you've come as writers this year.  Remember that this is a journey that never really ends.  You always continue moving forward and developing.  Make sure that you spend a good chunk of time over the next few days reviewing those literary devices - as I said in each class, you need to know these things easily off the top of your head.  We'll have our final matchbox on Wednesday and spend some time looking at some literary terminology before the EOCs begin.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Last Weekend before Exams


This weekend you should attempt to finish your research papers.  Remember the requirements.  Remember what you need to do.  I'm here if you need me.  I'll be collecting these from you on Wednesday.  On Monday we're going to spend some time reflecting on ourselves and our writing for this course as well as move on to the last piece of the year.

Also, remember the order of the presentations.  We'll begin those on Wednesday!


Your priority at this point is to focus on preparing for your EOC.  Use the review guide.  Learn those literary terms.  We'll review this sheet in a lot of detail on Monday/Tuesday as well as get our writing portfolios ready for next year.  Wednesday/Thursday will be our final Matchbox and review.

Enjoy the weekend.  Not much more left!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's time for the end...


From here on out you should all be focused on preparing for your English I EOC - use the review guides that I gave you last week to get yourselves ready.  Remember that you need to know all of those literary terms so that you can identify them on the EOC and answer questions about them.  You've started seeing sample items the past few days in class - take this practice to help prepare you.

Oh, if you didn't turn in a project, make sure it comes in ASAP.  As I've said, you've had about two months to work on this, waiting until the last minute is only going to cause problems for you.


The drafts of your research papers are due no later than Wednesday of next week - which is the first day of our presentations.  Today was the final day of class time to be spent preparing for these papers.  I highly recommend that you put the papers together over the weekend and then come see me on Monday with a draft.  Use the rubric in your research packs to help you to construct your paper.

Also, you're going to want to think about who you want to be next week and what you're goign to bring for our Lavender Room party.  I'll collect your character choices tomorrow as you spend our final day working on your presentations.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

9:41 pm - No More E-mail

Ok.  Done checking e-mail tonight.

Some Reminders - 5/18/2011


Today was basically the last day of new content before the final exam.  You should now spend the remaining energy that you have for this course in working on your research papers and your final projects.  We will be spending tomorrow's class in the library so that you can finalize your research and (hopefully) begin writing your papers if you've not yet done so.  Drafts of these papers are coming due soon, don't wait until the last minute.  Tomorrow I will also be giving you the information you'll need for your final assignment - "The Lavender Room."  Look forward to that tomorrow.  Friday will be your final group meeting day.


Research projects!  Get them done, get them turned in.  Follow all of the guidelines.  Also, start reviewing for your EOC - use the review guide.  Every class we will complete a Matchbox as a means to prepare for the exam, be sure that you are spending time thinking about these concepts and ideas to prepare for the exam.

As always, if you need help or have questions - e-mail me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Homework - 5/17

Remember, just a few more days...just a few more days...


A lot of you have been working very hard on your research projects over the past few classes and that hard work will soon pay off.  It's time to get ready to turn them in.  In the previous post I outlined for you the order of the assignment and what you need to do at each section of the assignment.  Tonight, I'll be reposting the document for all of you for easy access.  Follow this link to access the project document.  I'll also embed it below for you.

It's important to remember that this is a research project - you're writing historical fiction.  Include your parenthetical citations after every instance where you include research in your writing.  Don't forget that your parenthetical citations and works cited page should align entirely.

It's also important to remember that you've had a lot of time to work on this project.  Your complaints are falling on deaf ears.  If you need help, ask.


Class discussion today - better.  I hope that you all enjoyed "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" - it's a really moving poem.  Of course, consider the big motifs that we discussed today (especially identity and how identity is established) - there's a lot of overlap to your own novels in a lot of what we've been discussing; I hope you all are seeing and exploring these overlaps.  We didn't get a chance to talk about Bonner today - that will dominate a lot of what we do tomorrow.  Be sure that you read and annotate it for tomorrow.  There's also going to be one additional poet - Claude McKay with "The Tropics in New York."  You should also be working on your papers!  Last day in the library is Thursday - come in with a draft, let's conference.

Don't forget to return your textbooks, all of you.

Seven more days until exams begin.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, May 16th - Homework

Juniors:  It's imperative that as we're winding down the year that you all give me a full ninety minutes to work with you in class.  Today was a bit rough; it shouldn't have taken nearly the time that it did to get through our notes on the Harlem Renaissance.  Tomorrow we will continue with the TP-CASTT of the three poems as well as have our theme battles on these three different poems by Langston Hughes.  In addition, we will discuss the two pieces that I gave you for homework:  Hurston's "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" and Bonner's "On Being Young -- a Woman -- and Colored."  I expect that you will read and annotate these two passages heavily.  There are spaces in the bottom margins for you to do so.  Remember one of the key things to consider here in these passages is how these two writers are both similar and different - think about their style, their writing, and their purpose in both pieces.

Freshmen:  Very impressive work with your Act III Translation projects.  This week, your only homework is to work on your projects in advance of Thursday/Friday's due date.  In case you missed it, here's the structure of the project:
  • Page One:  Header information (name, date, class, period), Title of Project (centered), Introduction to Character, Thesis.  You've already done the intro and thesis - just revise it!
  • Pages Two through Five/Seven:  Stories on the different topics.  Be sure to include research in your stories as well as parenthetical citations.  We reviewed how to do these on MLA day.  If you have questions, ask.
  • Page Six/Eight:  Conclusion.  Restate your thesis on the living conditions of your character and review the main points that prove your thesis.  This should only be one paragraph, through it should be a weighty paragraph.
  • Page Seven/Nine:  Works Cited Page in MLA format.
Happy writing and reading!  Only a few more classes to go.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Homework for 5/12/2011


Don't forget that your presentations are tomorrow and Monday.  Before school you will need to make sure that a member of your group has turned in a copy of your script to the box, failure to do so will negatively impact your group score.  Those of you with a lot of props and costumes can drop off your things in the morning and leave them in the classroom until the end of the day.  Those people who haven't turned in their worksheets will need to turn these in at the beginning of the period.

After presentations we will continue with Romeo and Juliet and see just how these crazy kids get themselves into so much trouble.


Tomorrow you will have three vocabulary cards due at the beginning of the period.  Make sure these are complete and well done, some of you have been slacking on vocabulary.  You'll be working the whole period in your groups to prepare for your presentations.  I'm going to start off by telling you a bit about planning a lesson and what a lesson plan needs to have in it.  This will be a major focus for your groups tomorrow, to complete a vast majority of your lesson and revisit your goals as well as your essential questions.  As I said today in class, tomorrow will be your second to last group meeting.  We have this week and then next week to prepare, presentations will be held during the final week of the quarter.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Homework - 5/11/2011


We're nearly to the end of the year.  For Friday you will be expected to turn in a copy of your group's script for the presentations to the box.  Make sure that every member of the group has a copy as well.  If you have a lot of costumes and props, feel free to drop them off in the morning before school and then pick them up at the end of the day.  I look forward to seeing your presentations.  We'll also move forward into Act IV on Friday/Monday with hopes of finishing the play on Tuesday/Wednesday as we begin reviewing for the EOC.

Don't forget about quiz redos on Friday/Monday as well as your Rough Drafts due at the end of next week.  Please ask for help if you need it.  Lastly, remember that if you didn't turn in your worksheets today, they will be due on Friday/Monday.


Tonight you should finish reading "To Build a Fire" by Jack London.  In addition, you should heavily annotate the story.  I would like to finish up the discussion of the story that we started last class tomorrow.  Also, you will have a timed writing to accomplish tomorrow as well.  Be sure that your book is with you and annotated well because you will be able to use these notes/books to accomplish the assignment.

Finally, don't forget that you have three vocabulary cards due this week.  This will most likely be the final round of vocabulary for the quarter/year.

Keep on keepin on...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homework for All Classes - 5/10/2011


I hate the fact that the online textbook wasn't functioning well last night - please take the copies of "To Build a Fire" and have them thoroughly read for when we meet on Thursday.  We'll finish up our conversation of the story then.  Also on Thursday you'll have a timed writing on your novel.  It's important that you have a good chunk of your book read by this point so that you will be able to complete the assignment well.  Consider what we did today in class (looking at sample essays/prompts) as a way to prepare for this in-class writing assignment.

Tomorrow we will be spending a bit of time in class talking about the research papers and then moving to the library to spend time researching.  Come prepared to work hard on your papers tomorrow.  You may even want to start drafting so that you're not left scrambling at the end.


Next class will be our final class to work on the in-class projects.  As I discussed today and yesterday in class, the research projects are coming due soon - namely the rough drafts on the 19th and 20th.  If you put forth a lot of energy to the rough draft you will not need to turn in a final draft.  Be sure that you make any changes to your introduction and thesis, and have this ready as the first page of your project.  After that come the stories on the different topics, and at the end the conclusion and works cited page.  On Wednesday/Thursday you will also be getting progress reports as well as a lot of returned work.  Don't forget what I said about quiz redos on Friday and Monday.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Junior Work - 5/9/2011


Tonight for homework I would like for you to complete the reading of Jack London's "To Build a Fire."  It's probably one of my favorite stories that we read all year.  As you read, be sure that you take good notes that will prepare you for our inside/outside circle discussion.  Here are some ideas to think about as you read the story:
  • describe the narrative voice of this story - how effective is it - how would this story be different if it were told from another perspective - what is the narrator's tone toward the different topics of this story
  • how does the idea of naturalism come into play - what determines the behavior of the man in this story
  • who are the significant characters in this story - what role do they play - in what ways are they symbolic
  • how does setting effect the characters in the story
  • how does the main character change throughout the story
  • what is the theme of this story
Keep track of important quotations and insights as you read.  I look forward to your inside/outside circle discussion tomorrow.  I'm sure that it will be impressive, as it often is.

Freshman Work

This post is mostly in the form of announcements - please pay attention to them all.

1.  Groups 1-4 will need to turn in their worksheets at the beginning of class on Wednesday/Thursday.  Groups 5-7 will need to turn in their worksheets on Friday/Monday.

2.  Group presentations will happen for everyone on Friday/Monday.  You'll need to be sure that one of your group members turns in a copy of the script to me before class begins.

3.  You'll be getting progress reports on Wednesday/Thursday.  On these reports you will see your grades up to this point - you will be able to redo your quizzes on Act I and II to earn back points.  This redo opportunity will happen on Friday and Monday after-school.

4.  Your Research Projects:  Rough drafts of the research projects are due on the 19th and 20th.  Thursday and Friday, next week.  With the rough draft, you will need to turn in your Introduction and Thesis, your stories (Honors students need to submit three stories, Standard students need to submit two stories), and finally your conclusion and works cited page.  With the stories, you'll need to include your research with parenthetical citations so that I can see how the research supports what you're saying.  If your Rough Draft is good enough, then you won't need to submit a final draft.

Remember - you really only have two grades left this quarter:  the translation project and then the Research Project.  Don't fall behind with either of these - they're major grades.

Friday, May 6, 2011

5/6/2011 - Junior Weekend Homework


Over the weekend I'd like for you to start pulling together the work that you've been doing in the library.  Here is what I will be looking at on Monday in class:
  1. A works cited page that has all of your sources on it in the proper order.  Be sure that you alphabetize this list and do it in the proper MLA format.
  2. A revised thesis statement that reflects some of what you've learned in your research.  Begin to make your thesis more specific and stronger.
  3. A rough outline which begins to organize the quotes and other notes that you have begun to find.
Don't worry about the London story.  We'll get into that next week.  Thank you for working hard these past two days in the library.  We'll return to the library next week.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Homework for 5/5/2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


Tonight you will need to finish your introductions and thesis statements for your research projects.  There are a few things that you need to do with the project.

• Review the preliminary introduction you wrote for your character and make any necessary revisions in light of your research.

• Write a preliminary thesis statement that summarizes the main point you will be making about life for this character in Elizabethan England. Print a copy of the introduction and thesis for class.

In terms of structure - you should put the introduction paragraph at the top of your paper and then the thesis underneath.  I would recommend typing this and saving it as it will eventually be reprinted as the first page of your project.  You may also want to do some work on your Act III projects, you will have classtime in the next few days, but getting ahead is a good idea.
For tonight you need to finish your poetry writing assignment - the "Song of Myself," remember to follow the instructions on the assignment sheet.  I look forward to reading these over the weekend.  Also, you will have vocabulary cards and bookmarks due at the beginning of class tomorrow.  Be sure that you have three cards and one full bookmark.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5/4/2011 - PLC Day

A few things that you should all take care of this afternoon as you are home early and I am in meetings.


Don't forget that your take-home exams are due at the beginning of class on Thursday/Friday.  I will not accept these late.  Whatever you get done will be taken tomorrow.  I will not really have a lot of sympathy for those who did not finish the whole exam - you've had two days and all of your resources to get this done.


Tomorrow we will have a brief quiz on Walt Whitman - if you haven't yet caught up on what we did in class on Monday, go back a few posts to see the pages that you should review for this information.  Furthermore, don't forget about your writing assignment due on Friday - the "Song of Myself."  Put some thought and effort into these and make sure that you deal with all of the listed elements in your poem.  Finally, I would like for you to spend some time tonight as you read your novels to think about your thesis.  Begin to clarify it now so that this paper doesn't sneak up and bite you at the end of the semester.

See you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Homework for 9th and 11th Graders - 5/3/2011


For tonight you should begin working on your own "Song of Myself" - please finish reviewing the instructions that I gave you today in class and realize that these will be collected from you on Friday.  As I said in the instructions, for the most part there are "no rules" in this assignment as I want you to be as creative as possible and for the poem to be a true reflection of who you are.  Please be sure that you integrate the ideas and literary devices at the bottom of the sheet - do these artfully and skillfully and be sure that you really engage with the topic.  Tomorrow we will begin work on our RESEARCH PAPERS - which are the final papers of the year!  This is a long term investigation and will take time to get started.  Remember what I said about your learning goals that your groups created, these are great jumping off points for the thesis statements you'll investigate in your essays.  Oh, don't forget #lrndneng3


Your priority for tonight will be to complete your Act II Take Home Test.  Be sure that you follow all instructions on the exam.  You may use your book, the Internet, your notes, or any other resources you see fit; however, you may not confer with each other.  Any evidence of cheating will be dealt with swiftly and with no mercy.  Tests will be collected at the beginning of class on Thursday/Friday.  We will also pick up with our study of Act III on that date as well as begin our final in-class group project on Romeo and Juliet

Monday, May 2, 2011

Work for Juniors - 5/2/2011

This is mainly for those of you not in class today due to AP Exams.  Today in class we spent time reviewing the information about Walt Whitman and two of his poems from the collection Song of Myself.  To those of you not in class today I would like for you to read in the textbook the biographical information on Whitman as well as #10 and #52 in the textbook.  You will want to answer the questions related to each of these poems as a review.  Just answer them in your notes - if you have questions, please let me know.

Tomorrow we will spend some time in our groups in preparing for the end of the year.  We will begin working on lesson plans tomorrow.  In addition, we will work on one of our final writing pieces for the year - the autobiographical poem.