Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Character Cafe Reflections B1

One of the joys of A/B scheduling is that when I do something really fun for A-day, I get to do the exact same thing with B-day.  Thanks for making the last day of class start off on a great note B-day kids.  Here are our group text photos. Remember to post your reflection in the comment thread below and attach your name to your comment. Your reflection should cover the following:
  • What did you learn about the individuals present and who impressed you the most?
  • What was your core statement? What idea would people come away with if they interacted with you?

And now the pictures:
The Great Gatsby and Virginia Woolf

The Grapes of Wrath

Sojourner Truth and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Catcher in the Rye and Arnold Friend from "WAYG? WHYB?"
The Things They Carried

Invisible Man

Friday, May 25, 2012

Character Cafe Reflections A1

I had so much fun this morning with all of you.  Here are our group text photos.  Remember to post your reflection in the comment thread below and attach your name to your comment.  Your reflection should cover the following:
  • What did you learn about the individuals present and who impressed you the most?
  • What was your core statement?  What idea would people come away with if they interacted with you?
And now, the photos:
Virginia Woolf, the spider and the wasp

The Great Gatsby and the turtle from Grapes

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Catcher in the Rye

Invisible Man and Plato

The Things They Carried

Remember your reflections are due here in 24 hours!  Those of you taking the exam, I'll see you Wednesday morning!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And this is it...almost

We've only got one more day of class ahead of us, there's the final exam ahead of you except for those Juniors who happen to be exempt.  Below are your final reminders to get you ready for LDOC (last day of class).

AP English III:

None of you are coming to class for LDOC - instead I expect to see Huck, Jim, Rinehart and all of the other characters that we've met this year.  Please come in costume and in character.  We'll follow the procedure given to all of you today in class on the handout called "The Lavender Room."  As an entry ticket, you must have completed your "Character Bone Structure Sheet" so that I can see that you've thoroughly prepared your character.  Remember to answer all questions on the sheet.

Also, don't forget to bring your food item for the class to share.  Don't be late to class on Friday/Tuesday - we're going to need all 90 minutes to do this well.  I'll be announcing which of you are exempt from the exam on Friday/Monday during class.

English I:

On Friday/Tuesday we've got two big things ahead of us, a second matchbox and the presentation of our poetry projects.  We'll begin class with the poetry projects.  Each of you will come to the front of class, turn in your work to me and present your poem.  Then you'll get mad snaps.  Remember to follow the instructions on the assignment sheet thoroughly and have all four required elements.  Each part will contribute to the overall 100 point test grade.  Each particular item is worth twenty-five points.  Failure to turn in an element will earn you a zero, automatically for that element and bring down your overall score.

Also, remember that no late work will be accepted past the last day of class.  My grades are locked after that day and I have no intention of changing them - if you've missed an opportunity to make up work, it's too late now.  Spend your time completing what you have left and doing it well.

See you on Friday/Tuesday.  B-day students, hopefully you'll see me a bit more relaxed after a long weekend at the beach.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Homework for 5/21 and 5/22


As we move toward the final two classes of the year it's important that you not miss due dates and that you complete everything to your best ability.  Remember that when the final day of classes comes, that's it.  No more late work and no more extensions.  Work hard and you'll be rewarded.  Here are your more specific reminders:

AP English III:

You all have two big things left to complete for the year.  First, on Wednesday and Thursday we will be having your final on The Things They Carried.  It will pull specifically from the stories which I assigned you and that we studied as a whole class.  Remember to have your annotations ready as I will be checking your books on this day as well.  On Friday/Tuesday (LDOC) we will be having our character cafe.  Please remember to bring your item for the party and to bring your personality (whoever that may be.)  I look forward to finishing the year with you all and celebrating your growth as students.

English I:

Today in class you all received your EOC review sheet as well as your EOC retest letter.  It's important that you fill out the retest letter and get that turned into me as soon as possible.  You probably won't need it, but it's best to be prepared.  On Wednesday/Thursday we will be completing another Matchbox and going over the review sheet.  That usually works best (the review) if you've generated questions about the terms, so spend some time doing that tonight.

Also, don't forget that your poetry projects are due on Friday/Tuesday.  This is the last day of class (LDOC) so you won't really be able to turn in these late.  You've had a lot of time to work on these, so my ability to accept your excuses will be non-existant.  We will likely also do another Matchbox on LDOC to finish preparing. 

Lastly, Honors students, if you did not finish your test essay during the class period I expect that you finish it tonight so that it can be submitted at the beginning of class on Wednesday/Thursday.

Study hard, work hard, relax in a few weeks.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Work for the Weekend and Reminders

My last post was number 666, thankfully the website is less evil today with post number 667.

AP English III:

I hope that all of you who took the exam felt confident and well prepared.  Remember, it doesn't matter what the score is that you get in July.  The point is that all of you have grown and accomplished a lot.  I'm proud of you and you should be proud of yourselves.  A-day students, you'll be finishing your discussion circles on Monday.  B-day students, you're going to finish these on Friday.  I was very impressed with both classes and your work in groups one through four.  I look forward to being equally impressed as we move forward.

Finally, you'll be having your final exam on The Things They Carried on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.  I will be checking your annotations on the whole book this day - so be ready.

English I:

All of you have due next week what I refrenced in the last post.  Be sure that you are meeting those goals and finishing strong here at the end of the year.  As a final reminder, any and all missing assignments must be made up by 4:00 on Monday the 21st.  Failure to make up any assignment by this point will result in that assignment being locked in as a zero.  You've had all quarter, and it's time for me to start wrapping up my grades for the year.  Lastly, the final day to turn in extra credit is tomorrow - Friday the 18th.  Make sure that if you're doing this assignment you get it turned in.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Homework for English I - 5/15 and 5/16

English I:

The date that all of you should be focusing on is 5/21 (A-day) and 5/22 (B-day).  These are the days when your vocabulary assignment will be due as well as our final poetry quiz for the year.  The poetry quiz is going to cover the following poems.  We've studied the first three already, the fourth one will be read and studied in class on Thursday/Friday.  The poems for the quiz are:
  1. "in Just-"  ee cummings
  2. "Fire and Ice"  Robert Frost
  3. "Once by the Pacific"  Robert Frost
  4. Ballad of Birmingham  Dudley Randall
You will be asked short answer and multiple choice questions.  Begin studying and be ready.  This will count for a lot of points.

Also, you have your vocabulary assignment due on the 21st/22nd - the NEOLOGISMS assignment.  Let me review the important elements of this assignment.

Honors - Create FIVE neologisms using at least FOUR wordparts.
Standard - Create THREE neologisms using at least THREE wordparts.

For each neologism you must do the following:
  1. the new word (neologism)
  2. a breakdown of the word with its wordparts and their meaning
  3. an actual definition of the word that makes sense
  4. a sentence using the word in context (I should understand the meaning of the word from reading the sentence)
  5. an image or picture to go along with the word
Each word will need to be on its own piece of paper to fit everything and do it well.  Make sure that you use color and graphics to add to your word page so that it pops.  Feel free to do one and bring it to me so that I can look over it.

I think that does it!

The Day Before The AP Exam

Alright Juniors, the day is finally here.  Tonight you've got your last night before you go in tomorrow for three hours of fun.  Here are some final reminders for you all as you're reviewing and studying tonight.

1.  Get a good night's sleep.  Bedtime:  no later than eleven pm.  No all nighters.  You need to be fresh in the morning.

2.  Get a good breakfast in the morning.  There's nothing worse than trying to write an essay on an empty stomach.

Study Tips:
  • look over all of the multiple choice practices that I've given you - focus on the questions that you've been getting wrong and understand why the correct answer is the correct one.
  • focus on reviewing rhetorical devices and tone words - there are plenty of online resources for you to use for this - I posted some for you a few posts back - here's another link for you of good devices to know
  • remember the three types of writing:  synthesis, analysis, and argument - remember what you need to do in each one
Lastly, AP Kids, tomorrow - don't write like this:  "I feel like people try to blame humorists and sue them because of the things he or she may say but must I remind you of our unalinable rights and not only our unalienable rights but our Bill of Rights saying and stating that we have freedom of speech meaning that a humorists can say what it pleases and he or she also have the right to a speedy trial meaning if they were to get sued or arrested to can plead their case.  My main point is that it is too much hatred in the world and not enough encouragement."

Yeah, someone wrote that for their AP exam.  Good luck.  Come see me tomorrow and let me know how it went!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Apologies that this post is late...

With my first period class being a bit out of whack with AP Exams, I completely forgot to post the homework for the weekend.  Here we go:

AP English III:

We're still in a period of the year where B-day is ahead of A-day due to the schedule.  Tomorrow (Monday the 14th) B-day students will be doing their discussion circle groups for the first four sets of stories.  Make sure that all members of your group are prepared to lead a dynamic conversation about the story or stories.  I look forward to seeing how you all teach the class and create knowledge for yourselves.  Make sure that you have your finalized outline, learning objectives and essential questions, as well as your multiple choice questions ready for the discussion groups.

A-day students, I'll be seeing you on Tuesday for our discussion of "The Lives of the Dead" - please have this read and annotated before class on Tuesday morning.

Wednesday is the AP Exam, first thing in the morning.  I'll be holding a review session/preparation session on Tuesday afternoon.  I think that this would also be a great time to take our class photo.  Please plan on coming to my room right at 2:30 so that we can take our photo.  You can then leave or stay for the study session.

English I:

This week coming up you all have extra credit assignments due for me.  Remember that there are two options for the extra credit:  the extra credit journals as well as the pamphlet/letter.  The journals will factor in as a homework grade and the pamphlet/letter will factor in as a test grade.  I hope that all of you complete at least one portion of this to improve your standing in class.  Remember, extra credit can only help you.

For the weekend, you should be focused on your poetry projects and your extra credit projects.  The poetry projects are coming due soon and I haven't seen that many of you for feedback.  Please come and see me this week during lunch to get my review of your poems and written work.  Also, make sure that you've been practicing your memorized poem for our poetry slam.  

Lastly, you all have your progress reports.  There are only a few days left in the quarter.  If you're missing something, the time is now to get it taken care of.  No late/make-up work will be accepted past the 21st of May.  This means you have one week.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

AP Resources

I wanted to share this website with all of you. I just learned of it today from Ms. Baker and wanted to pass it on soon.


You can calculate what you need to make on each portion of the exam and fidget with the numbers a bit. There are also a few study aids.

Remember to think abut when we can do our class picture. I'm here Monday and Tuesday afternoon.

See ya tomorrow.

Homework for May 9 and 10 - English I

English I:

Tonight for homework I want you all working on your poetry and extra credit projects.  Remember that your poetry projects are coming due very soon - at the end of the month.  I've seen some of you with drafts of your work and given you some feedback about the work.  Make sure that you're continuing to revise and rewrite as you contiue to work.

If you're doing the extra credit assignment then you'll be working on question seventeen for everyone and Honors students are going to also answer question number eighteen.  Remember to answer the questions thoroughly and draw on the text as you create your answers.  Write good paragraphs to create these responses.

We'll be wrapping up our poetry unit very soon.  Be sure that you're prepared with your reading and writing skills so that you're totally ready for our final assessment.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

AP English Homework - 5/8 and 5/9

AP English III:

For right now B-day students are actually ahead of A-day students.  Today and Wednesday (A-day) will be normal classes in which we continue to work and prepare for our exam next week through our study of The Things They Carried.  Friday's class will be a bit strange due to the AP US History exam, so that will throw the A-day students off a bit.  Here are your notes and reminders to preapre for our next class.

First, please read "The Lives of the Dead" and have it heavily annotated for a class discussion on the final story in the collection.  B-day students will work through this story on 5/10 and A-day students will work through it on 5/15.  I would recommend that you have thorough cover annotations when you walk into class this day, too. 

Secondly, we will be having a discussion group workday next class (5/10 and 5/15).  In order to prepare for this I want for someone in your group to e-mail me your discussion outline as it stands now no later than the beginning of class for Thursday/Friday.  This will give me a chance to give feedback to each group when you meet and speak to each other.  Don't forget that you're leading a fifteen minute discussion.  You don't need to go through the whole story (heck, we can't even get through a whole story in an hour) but I do want to be sure that whatever you have is thorough and well-considered.  Discussion groups 1-4 will lead class on 5/14 (B-day) and 5/17 (A-day).  Discussion groups 5-8 will lead class on 5/18 (B-day) and 5/21 (A-day). 

Please come see me if you need help with your group preparations, or anything else. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Homework for English I - 5/7 and 5/8

AP Students - Your homework will be posted tomorrow.  A-day did not have a real class today due to the AP Environmental Science and AP Chemistry examinations.  Remember that timing and pacing is strange for all of us right now.  Keep up with class and the website to stay on top of all of your work during AP Exams.

English I:

I hope that all of you enjoyed the poetry tournament today.  Tonight, I want you to continue working on these poems as you build and develop your writing skills.  For homework I want you to take the poem which won for your group and compose a writing assignment. 

Standard students must compose a three-part thesis which clearly identifies the title and author, the three most significant literary devices, and the theme of your poem as you interpret it.  After you've written your thesis you'll then outline your first body paragraph.  Put your topic at the beginning and then pull out three significant quotes or examples of that device.  Under each example give me some explanation which clarifies how this particular example leads to the theme of the poem as you interpret it.  As you write the explanation, you really want to show me your thinking process.

Honors students are going to complete this same assignment but instead of writing an outline of the paragraph you will actually compose the paragraph as if you were writing a full essay.  Furthermore, you'll need to write a transition sentence at the end of your first body paragraph which would then set up the next body paragraph seamlessly.

This assignment is due to the homework box or to me before school starts on Wednesday/Thursday morning.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Homework for the Weekend - 5/3 and 5/4

AP English III:

I won't be seeing most of you A-day students until Wednesday due to the fact that many of you have an AP exam on Monday morning.  We'll end up being a day behind B-day, which is fine because we'll meet up on the other side.  For the weekend be sure that you've read and annotated the following stories from The Things They Carried:  "Speaking of Courage," "Notes," "In the Field," and "The Ghost Soldiers."  This only leaves one more story that we will read as a whole group - if you want to go ahead and finish the book, I invite you to do so.  My goal is that B-day students will work through these four stories on the 8th and A-day students will do these stories on the 9th.  I should then see all of you in B-day on the 10th and again, barely any of you for A-day, on the 11th because of the AP US History exam.

Be sure that you keep up with your assignments during this time.  Get plenty of sleep and avoid stress.  Remember that cramming before an exam is not always the best idea.

English I:

Over the weekend I would like for all of you to continue working on your poetry projects.  At this point you should have at least one of your own poems written.  I want you to spend this weekend working on your mini-essay.  I'll be available next week after school to take a look at drafts of this assignment to give you extra feedback.  The presentations for these projects will be on the 25th (A-day) and the 29th (B-day) make sure that you're prepared especially with your memorization.  I hope that by this point most of you have the majority of your poem memorized.

The other work that I'd like for you to do this weekend relates to your extra credit project.  The projects will be collected the week of the 14th.  For the weekend, answer question fifteen in your reading journals.  Make sure to answer the question thoroughly by writing at least two complete paragraphs in response to the question. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone!  My neighborhood is having a block party this weekend called "Cinco de Blocko" - should be a fun time :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Homework for the First and Second of May

Welcome to May!  Happy May Day!  С днем первого мая!

Today was a really productive day for all classes.  Below are your reminders about what you have left to do before we see each other again.

AP English III:

We're about to enter into a very strange time called AP Exams.  Scheduling and lessons are going to be a bit off over the next few classes until we meet back on the other side.  Pay attention to alterations and assignments.  Today in class we went over policies and expectations regarding AP Exams.  Follow that handout and those guidelines to the letter.  The major thing is to remember where to go, when to get there, and what parts of the school day you have to attend. Also, always remember to plan for the worst when it comes to food.  Have a back-up lunch ready in case you can't get somewhere between your exams if you have two in one day.

For homework tonight, your first priority is to take a look at your previous synthesis notes and prepare for our final timed writing - another synthesis essay.  I think the prompt is a pretty interesting one.  In terms of reading, get through the next three major stories.  Annotate them heavily (like ya do) and then start to consider how this collection is being woven together.  What are those "truth threads" that O'Brien is using.

In the previous post is where I put those links to AP vocabulary - by the way.  Take a look and print if you feel so inclined.  Lastly, I think that I may hold a review/study/prep session next week after-school.  Let me know if you'd be interested in attending.

English I:

I hope that you all enjoyed reading ee cummings' "in Just-".  Tonight you need to practice these same skills of close reading an analysis as you take a look at Haki R. Madhubuti's "Back Again Home."  Read the piece carefully and then answer the assigned questions at the top of the sheet.  Make sure that you do the questions assigned to your class and section.  Answer the questions thoroughly continuing to work on your adherence to good writing rules.

Also, you now have the date for your poetry projects - the 25th and the 29th of May.  Extra Credit projects are due the week of the 14th.  Remember that these two things are meant to be completed mostly on your own time.  See me for help if you need it.