Monday, October 31, 2011

Homework for 10/31 and 11/1

Welcome to the second nine weeks everyone!  I find that this quarter of the year goes by really quickly what with Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break in the middle.  So, this means that we'll get a lot done this quarter, but you'll need to make sure you're staying on top of everything.

AP English III:

You need to be sure to read and annotate thoroughly the piece from The Narrative of the Life of Oluadah Equiano.  This piece provides some excellent insight on some of the true horrors of slavery from the perspective of a slave, one Oluadah Equiano.  As you read, you may want to think about his audience and how he crafts his message to be perceived by his audience.  Also, be sure that you're keeping up with the reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  You should always try to be ahead of the reading schedule -- and always annotate!

Further, you will want to start culling vocabulary for your second vocabulary bookmarks; we're actually going to go a bit further with vocabulary this nine weeks, so be on the lookout for that.  Finally, get yourselves a GMAIL account if you don't already have one.  This will make a project that we'll be starting later this week a lot easier to complete.

English I:

Next class you will all be preseting your group projects, so your biggest thing to work on for tonight is getting that project finished.  Be sure that you've done your part and that you've communicated well with your group mates.  Remember that one copy of your group's script will need to be turned in to the box for your group to get full credit.  If you have anything that needs to be projected onto the SmartBoard, please bring that on a flashdrive or be sure to e-mail it to me in advance.

If you've not started studying for your short stories test, I would recommend doing that.  Any time left in class on Wednesday/Thursday will be spent reviewing for the short stories test which will be on Friday/Monday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homework for the Long Weekend - 10/26 and 10/27

AP English III:

I'm really looking forward to reading your timed writings. I want you all to remember that this class is a marathon, not a 100 meter dash. Keep the stamina up as we move forward. Continue to review your progress and your work. For the weekend I want you to read and annotate Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman" which can be found in 50 Essays or here. This is probably one of the better versions online because it retains Truth's vernacular as well as most of her physical additions to the speech. Due to the fact that the speech is so short, please read it thoroughly and be ready to discuss it as well as the Amy Tan piece. Also, I expect that you will all be to the end of chapter twelve and ready to discuss those chapters from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This weekend provides you a great chance to get ahead in your reading schedules.

English I:

After today's mega testing I'd like for all of you to reflect on your progress in the first nine weeks. Some of you have really been working hard, and some have not. I don't want any of you to be surprised when report cards come out. So, really think to yourself, "Is this the best that I can do?"

You may want to get yourself a copy of our novel Animal Farm this weekend. We'll begin studying the novel in the second week of November.

Enjoy the long weekend everyone. I'll see you all on Monday for the beginning of our second quarter of the year.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homework for the Last Week - 10/24 and 10/25


It's our final week of the quarter - there's a lot to be sure that you're prepared for. Look below for reminders.

AP English III:

Do your reading. Do your reading. DO YOUR READING! By Wednesday/Thursday you should be to the end of chapter six in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I would recommend that you get yourselves ahead in the reading schedule as opposed to being behind. We'll probably not have a chance to really start getting into the book until next week. Next class you'll have your first timed writing assignment - be sure that you have your favorite pen for this. Then pen you'll use for all of our timed writing assignments.

Lastly, be sure that you organize your annotations on Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" using the question sheet I gave you today in class.

English I:

You need to prepare for two tests - the district test which will (I think) be very similar to the last one you took; and then your Wordskills exam. You'll have both on Wednesday/Thursday. You should also be sure that you're working on your review project. Make sure that you've got your portion done so that when you meet back with your groups next week you'll be ready to put everything together and practice your skits!

As always, ask for any assistance you may need!

Friday, October 21, 2011


I was really proud of those reading bookmarks that I gave you all, and then I realized that the schedule is completely wrong. Dang. Below is the revised schedule, I'll review this with you all in class on Monday/Tuesday.

Chapters 1-6: A day - 10/26 B day 10/27
Chapters 7-12: A day - 10/31 B day 11/1
Chapters 13-18: A day 11/4 B day 11/7
Chapters 17-22: A day 11/8 B day 11/9
Chapters 23-28: A day 11/10 B day 11/14
Chapters 29-33: A day 11/17 B day 11/18
Chapters 34-43: A day 11/29 B day 11/30

Basically this pushes everything back one class. Sorry for the confusion. Notice that there's a week in the middle where the reading is a bit heavy, I would try to really be ahead that week.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homework for the Weekend - 10/20 and 10/21

We've only got one more week until the end of the quarter. I hope that you all are working hard to a strong finish and preparing to move forward to the second nine weeks. Remember, things will only get more difficult from here on out. It's important that you ask for help if you need it!

AP English III:

Remember that you have your reading assignments for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on your reading bookmarks. Even if I don't remind you of these assignments, it is my expectation that you will follow the schedule that you were given. For Monday's class I would like for you to read Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" which can be found in 50 Essays or at the following website. Please annotate the article heavily. As you read, you may find it productive to think about the idea of language and what it says about a person; the same way that we discussed this idea of language and identity in Twain's "Explanation." It's a very intersting piece which I hope you will all enjoy.

Furthermore, I did want to let you all know that you will have your first timed writing assignment in class on 10/26 (A-day) and 10/27 (B-day). You will get the prompt as we begin and then you will have 50 mintues to draft an essay. Please be ready by reviewing all of your bootcamp notes.

English I:

I think that slowly but surely we're starting to reach an understanding about what I expect in this classroom. Don't just look at your grades and get angry, do something about it. Come see me outside of school, start changing your behaviors so that your grades will also change. Ask for help!

Tonight for homework I would like for you to reflect on the stories we've read in this unit. They are:

  • "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe

  • "The Necklace" by Guy Du Maupassant

  • "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

  • "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell

  • "The Interlopers" by Saki

In your reflection I want you to tell me which story was your favorite and why.  Your response needs to be one page long. Make sure that you use good details, but as we discussed in class, don't just list the details - explain why the details are important - how they make you like the story.  Use quotations and explain their meaning.

Also, you should begin to study for our vocabulary unit exam. This will be happening on the 26th and 27th of next week which is the same day as your district test.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Homework/Announcements - 10/18 and 10/19

AP English III:

Phew, take a break. Tonight I'd like for all of you to recover from your first big test. Eventually I'll write a test that you can actually get done during class. But for now, I appreciate the fact that you're coming outside of class to get things done. Tonight, all you need to do is get yourself a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If you need me to get you one from the bookroom, please let me know either by speaking to me or sending me an e-mail. I'll try to get a few extra copies for Thursday/Friday so that you can check one out if needed.

English I:

I'm starting to see some improvement in all of you regarding what we talked about last class. Keep coming during lunch, and keep asking for help. Tonight, for homework, you need to read our final story in this unit which is called "The Interlopers" by Saki. It starts on page 151. After you read, I would like for you to answer questions three, five and six in your literature notes. We'll then use your responses and notes to get ready for our class discussion. I will check your notes for a grade.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Attention B-day Students!

Your assignment to prepare for Wednesday is in the post below.  Remember everyone that the quarter is ending next Thursday - if you've got outstanding assignments that can still be made up, you need to get on this.  All of you will be getting progress reports this week too - AP students can expect theirs on Tuesday/Wednesday; Freshmen will get reports on Thursday/Friday.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Homework for the Weekend - 10/14

A few things for all over the weekend and on into Tuesday/Wednesday of next week.  Review, prepare, finish the quarter strong.

AP English III:

Over the weekend you have one major thing to do - which is to study for your examination on Transcendentalism. As I stated in class today, portions of the multiple choice will be open book, but you won't be able to use your notes at all. You should still study those pieces thoroughly so that you use the book as a resource and not as a crutch. Half of your exam grade will be multiple choice and half will be short answer. There are four sections on the short answer, each with two questions, you will choose one question from each section to answer. Recall that these are not meant to be essays, but you may need more than just one paragraph to answer a few of these questions. If while you're studying you have questions, please e-mail me or leave me a comment in this thread so that I can get back to you as soon as possible.

Also, please get yourselves a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - we'll begin our study of this novel on Thursday/Friday. If you need me to get you a copy from the bookroom I will, but you will need to get some post-it notes so that you will be able to annotate in the text. I'm really looking forward to moving forward with all of you beyond the summer reading an on into the later portions of American literature.

Study hard, ask for help if you need it. I'll be here late on Monday if you'd like to come by and ask questions.

English I:

First, if you did not turn in your writing assignment to the box or in class be aware that you are losing points due to lateness.  This does count as a test grade. Make it a priority to get this turned in to me as soon as possible to lose as few points as possible. Over the weekend I would like for you to complete a creative writing assignment based on Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado." Please rewrite one of the scenes in the novel, but instead of using Montressor's perspective as Poe does, tell it from Fortunato's perspective. The point here is that it's the same story, but a different viewpoint.  You should also review the story again and reread it.  There's a really neat song/video of the story that may help clarify the plot. Review it and then reread the story.  Remember to do the vocabulary, which this song doesn't really have...

Also, we're going to be wrapping up our unit on short stories soon. You would do well to start reviewing in preparation for your unit examination.  Remember, A games.


You're getting progress reports next week.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mad Props!

AP English III:

I'm glad that I can say this for all of you now - mad props to all of you! The past two classes have been absolutely fantastic; you've ripped apart a flawed argument and showed to me that you know how to do all of this stuff. I hope that Friday and Monday will be as good as today when we discuss the end of Grapes of Wrath and King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail". Your assignment is in the previous post.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homework - 10/11 and 10/13

Remember that this week we have a strange schedule. These assignments will be due on Friday for A-day students and not until next Monday for B-day students. B-day students will not have their normal class until Thursday as Wednesday's classes will only be about 30 minutes long.

AP English III:

First off, A-day kids, amazing job today. I can't begin to express how impressed I was. I'm looking forward to reading your journals and reflections and getting everything back to you by Friday/Monday. To prepare for our next class I want you to review a few chapters from Grapes of Wrath as we wrap up this unit on Transcendentalism. Please read an annotate chapters 19-21, 25-26, and 29-30. As you read and consider these chapters, try to look for links to Transcendentalism and any other ideas that we've been discussing.

Also, we will be having an exam on the 18th and 19th on Grapes of Wrath and Transcendentalism. In class on Friday/Monday I will give you more details about this test.

English I:

I would like for all of you to read the story "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe from the textbook. As you read, you will encounter a lot of vocabulary that may be new to you. I would like for you to complete a vocabulary log in your notes where you write down the word, the page number, a definition for the word, and then finall the part of speech. Please do this in your vocabulary section.

Also, don't forget that on Friday/Monday you will need to turn in your writing assignments and worksheets to the box. Remember that this assignment is counting as a test grade! Do your best and be sure to refer to your notes on writing to help you complete this assignment

Friday, October 7, 2011

Homework for the Weekend - 10/7 and 10/8

All classes have work to accomplish this weekend - B-day Freshmen will get this writing assignment on Monday. B-day AP students should take some time to read the King piece this weekend so that you're ready for next week.

AP English III:

All of you need to continue to reflect and improve on the writing instruction that we've started today. Remember, it's bootcamp! After today you should feel a lot more comfortable about thesis statements and what exactly a thesis should look like. Remember that we'll be building on all of these skills and then we'll culminate with an in-class essay so that I can see how you're doing with these skills.

Over the weekend keep living as a Transcendentalist. Remember that your journals and reflections will be due on Tuesday/Wednesday. We will discuss King in class on Tuesday for A-day and Thursday for B-day as Wednesday's class will only be about thirty minutes long.

English I:

Over the weekend you should begin your writing assignment on The Simpsons and "The Most Dangerous Game" - I'm including the link to the video clip here so that you can rewatch it if you need to. Remember to use the notes we went over today to accomplish this assignment. See me during lunch or at study hall to get help. These are going to be due on 10/14 for A-day and 10/17 for B-day. Remember that it will count as a major test grade.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Attention Juniors!

Here is the link to a version of King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail". Be sure to read it closely and annotate it heavily. As you read it, you may want to consider the Transcendental ideas that King is also incorporating into his letter. As I said in the previous post, it's pretty lengthy - all of you would do well to take your time in reading it this weekend. It's also available in 50 Essays.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homework for 10/5 and 10/6

Sorry that I'm late in posting this.  It just slipped my mind as I was leaving.

AP English III:

I've finally finished those summer assignments.  And now I know where we all are as to writing and looking at literature.  I think that a lot of you have really improved the way that you're looking at literature from our first few weeks together - but we haven't spent any time working on writing.  As I said today in class, we start bootcamp soon.  We're going to spend time every day of class looking at a particular element of writing and then working on that element.

Your homework for tonight is to finish your first vocabulary bookmarks and to continue living as a Transcendentalist.  Please make sure that you follow the instructions on the bookmarks.  Also, I suggested that you all get going on reading Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" - this will be assigned next class, but it's pretty weighty, so you may want to take a bit of extra time on it.

Lastly, we're going to start reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn very soon.  I would recommend that you secure yourself a copy in the next few days and start reading.

English I:

In a strange turn of events you all don't have any homework tonight.  Though, you do have another major writing assignment coming soon related to "The Most Dangerous Game" - I would have given it to you today, but we didn't have a chance to discuss the assignment.  To prepare for this assignment you could review the story and pay particular attention to the characters of Rainsford and Zaroff - these may be focal points of your assignment coming up.  Also, you will have a grammar test before the end of this quarter - studying your grammar packets would be a good idea.

Lastly, we will be studying our novel for this year - Animal Farm - next month.  You may want to get yourselves a copy of this book.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Homework for 10/3 and 10/4

To prepare you for class on Wednesday and Thursday I would like for you to do the following.

AP English III:

Before you come to class next you should make two entries in your bluebooks about your life as a Transcendentalist. Remember that you are expected to make an entry every day and that these will be collected next week. In addition to your writing I would like to be sure that you've read the piece by Thoreau and the piece by White in 50 Essays. The White piece can be accessed at the following link. Thoreau can be found either in the earlier post or at this link. Please be sure to read an annotate heavily. As you read the Thoreau, definitely consider the ways in which Thoreau is exemplifying the philosophy of Emerson. As you read White, consider the fact that this is written after Thoreau's time.

We will spend the majority of class on Wednesday/Thursday working through these pieces and playing some poker.

Lastly, I'll be collecting vocabulary bookmarks soon. Be sure that it's complete!

English I:

Today's class was cut a bit short due to our district test. I'll be sure that we get that time back on Wednesday/Thursday. For tonight I would like for you to review your reading of "The Most Dangerous Game" - think especially about those ideas we discussed in class. Then, based on your reading and our discussion I'd like for you to answer question three in paragraph form. This homework will need to be turned into the homework box to recieve credit.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Online Textbook

The freshmen already have this information, but I figure that it may be helpful for those juniors who would also like to review the passages we study from the textbook.

To access the book, go to  You'll need a username and password to access the book.  I can generate a personalized one for you at school, but to access it this weekend you can use the following username (generic68) and the password (t9v2a).

Let me know if you have any questions!