Friday, September 30, 2011
AP English III:
Over the weekend I would like for all of you to read Thoreau's "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For" - it can be found in 50 Essays or at the following link. As you read, please annotate. Think especially about what we were talking about with "The Over-Soul" and Emerson's other pieces. In class on Monday/Tuesday we will dive deeper into Transcendentalism by discussing Emerson's "Nature" and "Self-Reliance" as well as a bit of this Thoreau. Please have everything read and considered before you walk in.
Also, I will be collecting vocabulary bookmarks next week to begin our vocabulary process. I'm looking for twenty complete entries.
Over the weekend you all need to read "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell - it can be found on page five of your textbook. As you read I would like for you to do something. Once you finish reading a full two pages of the story, I would like for you to write down one quotation from those two pages and next to the quote write a brief explanation as to why you wrote it down. For example, if you see suspense or imagery in a quote, you would then want to include that in your response. These quote logs will be helpful in beginning to discuss the story on Monday/Tuesday.
Also on Monday/Tuesday you all will have your first district assessment. To prepare for this, I would recommend that you study your notes from our first unit on Autobiography and Memoir. Pay particular attention to our discussion of plot, tone, foreshadowing, theme, and other important literary devices. Come to class prepared!
Enjoy the weekend - enjoy your reading and studying!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
B-day Students - thank you for being prepared for class (for the most part) - I think our discussion was pretty productive and I hope that you walked out understanding what Emerson is doing a bit more effectively. Try to spend some time reflecting on these ideas and how they intersect with The Grapes of Wrath before we get back together next week.
L'Shana Tova! Happy New Year, 5772!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Since you have nothing due next time I see you, you should use tonight to get caught up.
AP English III: I wasn't super impressed with the annotation check. Go back, actually read the article, and think. Remember, I'm not asking you all to do anything that I'm not doing either. The piece is difficult, but it doesn't mean that you have the right to quit. You all need to rise to the expectations, not meader in the dust.
English I: If you didn't turn in your reminisicence assignment today, please make sure that you turn it in to me on Friday or put it in my box. Get it in as soon as you can, remember that this counts as a major test grade and that you will lose ten points for every day that it is late.
Friday, September 23, 2011
AP English III:
I really want for all of you to hold on to everything that we said about Reverend Casy today in class. It'll help you to understand what Emerson is writing in his article called "The Over-Soul". For the weekend, please read and annotate heavily this article. This should provide you a lot of vocabulary words for your bookmarks as Emerson's vocabulary is pretty expansive. This article is definitely not easy to read, and you will probably need to read certain passages more than once. Please, as you annotate, write down any questions that you have - we will try to answer these as a class in our seminar on Tuesday/Wednesday. There are a few ideas that I noted while I was reading that you may want to look for as you read to give you a bit more help in understanding:
- Look for the idea of unity throughout this piece. Remember that this is one of the most important things about Casy.
- Pay attention to how Emerson refers to G-d throughout the piece. There are areas where he begins to change this conception.
- Think about all of the absolutes that we have in life (time, morality, etc.) - What is Emerson's approach to these things as stated in the article?
- Pay attention to goodness, this goes along with number three - but is slightly different.
- Investigate the importance of simplicity in Emerson's work - this may be especially interesting to consider given the increasing complexity of the Joad family's world.
You all have two things to accomplish before our next class. First, you need to complete your reminiscences and have them ready to turn in. Remember that you will need to turn in your final draft, your rough draft, and your peer editing sheet. Failure to turn in all the required pieces will hurt your grade. If you've given me a draft, or if you need to meet with me to go over your draft to earn back points, your final opportunity to do this is going to be Monday study hall. I'll be here late to help you.
The second thing that you need to do is read Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" - as you read, in your notes, complete a character list and jot down important quotations from the story related to the characters. You should be able to write down at least two to three quotations for each character you list. Remember that quotations are anything from the story - not just what people say. I hope that you all enjoy reading this a lot - it's a great way for us to start this unit. Keep your notes in your notebooks - I'll check them at the beginning of class.
Have a lovely weekend!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
For tonight I want you to go back and reconsider some of the earlier portions of The Grapes of Wrath. Please reread and annotate heavily the following sections - remember to look especially close for the following topics or motifs in each section:
- Chapter 4 - Starting at paragraph which begins with "Joad carefully drew the torso" (23) to the poem in the Christmas card (27). Here pay attention to Casy's philosophy and any irony you see.
- Chapter 5 - Pay attention to symbolism and the idea of the American Dream.
- Chapter 7 - Look at money and greed. Perhaps consider the conflict between morality and money.
- Chapter 8 - Look for the person to animal motif; also, begin paying attention to the different characters and make your character list.
You, officially, have no homework tonight. Relax after your exam. Work on your reminiscence. Make time to see me to get my feedback.
Monday, September 19, 2011
For our next class you should spend some time relaxing, relaxing with the Joad family. We're going to begin our study of The Grapes of Wrath next class - it's my goal that those of you who didn't like this book this summer will find something to like by the end of our consideration of it. Begin by rereading and annotating chapters one through three. We'll begin discussing on Wednesday/Thursday.
You all have your first test next class. STUDY! Use your notes, your copies of the stories, and anything else that would be helpful for you. Be ready! As of now this is a closed note exam!
Also, revise your writing assignments. I will be available after school on Wednesday and Friday to look at essays and offer feedback.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Juniors - What you need to do over the weekend is finish all of the stuff in the previous post. The most important thing is to be ready for your assessments on The Great Gatsby - the skit and the quest. We'll be doing both of these on Monday/Tuesday. Also, I'll be collecting your Petrunkevitch/Woolf tone comparison essays on Monday/Tuesday as well. This is meant to be a way for me to see how your analytical and formal writing skills are. Please come and see me Friday afternoon if you need any help with it.
Lastly, you will want to find The Grapes of Wrath and begin rereading. I would recommend you start with chapters one through three.
Over the weekend you need to complete the draft of your reminiscence assignment. Remember that you aren't telling the story of your whole life but of one particular moment in time. You need to fill your story with details and imagery that will then make everything clear to me. We will be peer editing these assignments on Monday/Tuesday as well as reviewing for our exam. These writing assignments will count as a major grade - so they need to show off your skills.
Speaking of major grades, you should probably start studying this weekend too. I would suggest spending the weekend reviewing "About School" and the pieces by Malcolm X. Next week, work on reviewing the remaining pieces.
If anyone needs help on anything, please come see me Friday or Monday afternoon.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
For tonight you have a few things to be working on, they're listed in the order of importance.
- Be aware that your Gatsby skits need to be ready and rehearsed by next week. These should be polished performances that are captivating and show a high amount of attention to detail in the text. Follow the guidelines in the assignment sheet.
- You will have a quiz on The Great Gatsby next Monday and Tuesday. The quiz will have quotes and short answers - begin to reconsider some of the important quotations of the novel - try to find some new ones. Remember to always consider and reconnect to the author's purpose.
- Today in class I handed out the Petrunkevitch article as well as a graphic organizer to prepare you for your compare/contrast assignment on tone. We will not discuss the article in class - it is meant solely for you to use in constructing your response. These writing assignments are also due next Monday/Tuesday.
- Finally - we will wrap up Gatsby on Thursday/Friday - if you have any residual questions that you feel have not yet been addressed, please bring those with you Thursday/Friday.
Tonight for homework I want you all to reflect on the piece "How to Eat a Guava" by Esmeralda Santiago. I want for you to use the notes that we took on writing last class to construct an effective paragraph answer to a question about the story. Honors students should answer question eight on page 546. Standard students should answer question nine on page 546. These paragraph responses will be due to the box before Thursday/Friday and they will count as a quiz. Don't miss this chance to improve your scores - come see me if you need extra help.
Also - a quick note on textbooks - if you have trouble with the online textbook please let me know via e-mail immediately. A lot of you told me that you couldn't complete the assignment because of technology issues - I can't fix these problems after the fact. Let me know once it happens so that we can try to find a solution.
Lastly, Freshmen will have an exam next week on autobiography and memoir. Begin to study now! The test will happen on 9/21 and 9/22.
Friday, September 9, 2011
AP English III:
Today in class you got some time to begin your final assessment on The Great Gatsby - your dramatization project. This will count as a major grade and I've already given you the rubric for how you're going to be graded. You have ten days to prepare, which is a lot of time. Make sure that your presentations are polished and show a lot of time and attention to detail.
Over the weekend I'd like for you to read Virginia Woolf's "The Death of the Moth" which is in 50 Essays and also available at this link. Remember to bring a copy to class that has been heavily annotated. In addition I'd like for you to reread and annotate chapters seven and eight of The Great Gatsby. I think it's pretty obvious given what the title of the essay is and what happens in these later chapters what we'll be discussing on Tuesday/Wednesday.
As I said today, it's important that you begin to look at all of these small details and see how they're coming together at the end to really reinforce Fitzgerald's purpose.
You all need to read a very short piece called "How to Eat a Guava" which is in your textbook on page 542. As you read I want you to do the following in your literature notes section. First, make a list of any quotations in the story which contain imagery. Then after you've read the story state the topic and the theme of the story. Remembering of course our discussion from a few days ago on the difference between topic and theme.
Also, we're almost done with our first unit, you'll have your first test very soon!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
AP English III:
I think that today's exercise in interruped reading went really well. Remember that the thing about AP is to look at all of those minute details and see the trends and then comment on the author's purpose. Always tie it back to purpose. For tonight's homework I want you to reread and annotate chapters five and six of The Great Gatsby. I'm only planning on us spending about two more days on Gatsby so you will want to find the Joad family and get them all piled up in the truck - we'll be seeing them soon.
Furthermore, you'll have time next class to work on your group assignment. It may be a good idea for you to think about who you'd like to work with tonight as well as which section of the text you'd like to cover.
I hope that after today's class the idea of theme will be a lot clearer. For tonight you have an assignment that is due to the box on Friday (A-day) and Monday (B-day). Everyone will need to read "Go Carolina" by David Sedaris and complete the worksheet. The worksheet should be turned in to the box. Honors students also need to read Sedaris's "Me Talk Pretty One Day" but you won't need to worry about answering questions until your first test. This test is coming soon! Start to prepare!
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
B-day students, you won't have any homework on Tuesday night, please remember that you do have assignments due on Tuesday morning. Look in the previous post to remind yourself of what they are.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!