Thursday, December 20, 2012

Homework for the Break - 2012

Assuming that we all survive the end of the Mayan calendar tomorrow you have some tasks to complete over break to be ready for your return to school.  Look below for some refreshers.

Freshman Focus

You all have no work to complete over the break. I hope that you all enjoy your time off and settle in with a good book or two.  If you're traveling, safe travels.  If you're staying home, enjoy the time off.  It'll be lovely.  See you in 2013.

AP English III

Over the break you have two major priorities.  First, you need to finish reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  We are going to have relatively quick turn around between our final discussion of the text and our examination of the book.  You should all expect your exam to happen the week of the 7th of January.  Pay close attention to Tom Sawyer at the end of the novel - he becomes an important force.

Furthermore, you need to put in a lot of work on your website projects over break.  There are a few goals that I am setting for you outside of any goals that your group has made.  First, all members of the group must have their annotations, text, and analysis uploaded for review by the end of the break.  I would suggest getting this completed by the end of next week.  Then, in your groups, you will want to review and edit the various analyses.  This editing and reviewing portion will then begin to prepare you for the synthesis.  I will be giving you some direct instruction on how to complete this portion of the assignment when we return, but remember that by using the mock-up page you will get some good overview information on this part of the assignment.

Remember everyone that this is a team project - if a member of your team is not pulling his/her weight with the group, I expect that you will render him/her any possible assistance before moving to dismissal.  If you need help, you must ask, as soon as you recognize that you need help.  This is not the type of project in which you can wait until the last minute and expect to get good work done.

English IV

Your major priority is to complete the first draft of your essays.  These first drafts can be hand written or typed, but they need to be complete.  Make sure that you have this essay on the first day back from break due to the fact that we will be editing and reviewing these assignments.

That's all!  Have a lovely break and a Happy New Year!  С НОВЫМ ГОДОМ!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Homework for Tuesday/Wednesday - 18th/19th of December

We're almost to Winter Break!  Don't let yourselves slack until the bell rings on Friday afternoon at 2:30.  All of you have something to prepare for your last day of class in 2012.

Freshman Focus

Next class we will be having our skits of examples of positive and negative interview experiences.  I hope that you and your group mates have prepared today during class in order to present these skits tomorrow.  After each skit, the audience will critique the positives and negatives.  Beyond this, remember that you have essays due for me on Thursday/Friday of your college essay.  Remember to turn in your rough draft with your final draft to get full credit.

AP English III

Next class we will have time to meet in our website groups in order to set goals and procedures for working over Winter Break.  The important thing to remember is that these websites should begin to look more complete by the end of break.  As a rule, your analysis, annotations, citations, and introduction pages should be done leaving only the synthesis left to complete.  Make sure that you are communicating effectively in your group and meeting your goals while you keep everyone accountable.

Furthermore, make sure that you have read to the end of chapter thirty-three by your next class.  There are some really amazing things for us to discuss and we'll be changing the structure of our conversation a bit to change things up a bit.  Look forward to that.

English IV

By this point all classes should have a clear understanding of what they are doing in their essays.  Your goal is to finish your draft by the time you return from break.  This is an expectation for all of you.  Next class we will have our second grammar test and finish watching V for Vendetta.  Feel free to bring snacks!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Homework for the Weekend and Monday

And now it's time for the last week before Winter Break.  Pay attention below so that you're prepared for our final days of class. 

Freshman Focus

After today you should have notes on your first draft of your college essays.  If you did not have your essay today in class remember to see me on a B-day at lunch so that you can get your credit made-up.  For homework this weekend you will need to finish your answers on question four related to the film Akeelah and the Bee.  Remember to answer in a complete paragraph using clear details from the film to support your ideas.  I'll collect your notes and responses in class on Tuesday/Wednesday.

AP English III

Today we went over some important information related to your satire projects.  I'm putting that document here so that you can refer back to it as you're working.  The document also has the website address for the mock-up that you should be using to create your final site.

Over the weekend you should be putting in some work on your personal rhetorical analysis and some other work in your collaboration.  On Tuesday/Wednesday you'll have your final timed writing for 2012 and we will discuss a lot of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - please make sure you're to the end of chapter twenty-eight.  Also be aware that I will be checking your vocabulary bookmarks again.  Have at least fifteen new words on your third bookmark.

English IV

Over the weekend you should all be working on your essays.  Remember that rough drafts of the essays in their complete form will be peer edited the day we return from break.  If you need any help, please e-mail me or speak to me so that you can get yourself on a good page.  The assignment that you have due on Tuesday/Wednesday asks you to reflect on the author you read today in class.  Your question to answer in a one page response is:

What would _________ say about the living conditions in 1984?  Why?

Be sure that as you answer this question you draw on your knowledge from the speech as well as your knowledge of the novel.  You should focus on your author that you read and studied.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Posting a Day Late


As the A-day students are aware I was out yesterday.  I hope that you time with the substitute was productive and that you got a lot of individual work completed.  For the most part, the feedback I received was generally positive.  Here are some notes and reminders for all of you moving into Friday/Monday.

Freshman Focus

On Friday/Monday we will be finishing Akeelah and the Bee as well as having a draft workshop on our college essay assignment.  Please make sure that you have your rough draft done and that you bring it with you to class in order to get credit.  You will only get half credit if you just participate in editing with no draft.  Final drafts of the essays will be collected on the final day of the quarter before Winter Break (Thursday/Friday).  Don't miss any deadlines.

AP English III

I hope that the opening of Gone with the Wind has made a bit clearer the antebellum Southern society which Twain so mercilessly satirizes in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  We will not watch more of the film due to the fact that it is about five hours long, but I do invite all of you to finish it as it is a really great movie.

For Friday/Monday I would like for you to be to the end of chapter twenty eight in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well as having finished the analysis guide on Anzaldua's "How to Tame a Wild Tongue".  We will be discussing both texts thoroughly in class as well as reviewing the answers to the multiple choice questions.  You need to have already finished answering the questions before coming into class.

Lastly, we will have some time to discuss the project more.  I think that after I review the requirements with you a bit more thoroughly that you all will see what you need to be doing now.  Remember that I expect most of the work on these to be done over Winter Break as you'll have finished the book by that point, but you can go ahead and begin sooner, rather than later, which is always the best option.

English IV

Next class we will be working through a discussion of the major points that Liveley makes in her story "Next Term, We'll Mash You" as well as drawing connections to the larger work related to human rights that we've been doing.  Please make sure that you've thoroughly read the story, answered the questions, and that you've completed your vocabulary log.  We will also move forward with our study of Desmond Tutu and Aung San Suu Kyi by looking at excerpts of two of their speeches. 

Lastly, you should be working on your body paragraphs at this point.  Rough drafts of the essays will be checked after we return from break and this will be your task for the holiday.  I would suggest that you spend some time this weekend getting the essay put together so that you have nothing to do over the break for class.

I think that does it!  Enjoy your afternoon, see you all Friday.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homework for All Classes 12/10 and 12/11

Tonight all classes have goals to accomplish.  Look below for specific notes to help you out.

Freshman Focus

Today in class we began the mock college application process.  By this point you should all have an application on which you are working.  Tonight, I want you to spend some time working through brainstorming your college essay.  If your application does not have an essay which really draws you in or interests you, I offer you this topic:

Describe a risk that you have taken and discuss its impact on your life.

You might want to begin with a few possible ideas to answer this question and then follow the one that you can discuss the most thoroughly.  Remember that you want to be specific and personal.  Rough drafts will be collected from you on Friday/Monday and we will be editing that day.

AP English III

Tonight you have a few goals to accomplish.  First, I would like for you to read Gloria Anzaldua's "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" - it's available in 50 Essays or at this link.  As you read this piece you're going to want to think about a few major ideasthe idea of language as an act of revolution, the connection between language and identity, and the use of vernacular.  Also, you're going to want to consider how the author manipulates her organization in order to emphasize her points.  You'll be doing a lot of individual work on this piece on Wednesday/Thursday.  So, be prepared for that.

Also on Wednesday/Thursday you will have some time in your groups to work on separating out your work on the Satire websites.  By Thursday you should each have decided on your text that you will analyze and you should begin to create those pages on your website.  Your individual pages must be up by the end of the day on Sunday - that way you can start to fill those pages with content.  

Lastly, stay on your reading schedules.  We will be spending a lot of time on Friday/Monday discussing TAoHF.  Be prepared with thorough annotations!  

English IV

Leaving the room today you should all have your introduction paragraphs done.  Consider yourselves on the way to finishing your essays.  Tonight I want you to collect the evidence that you are planning to use in this essay.  I would recommend that you make a list of page numbers or moments in the text and then organize those moments around the different parts of your thesis.  This will then make your lives a lot easier as you begin to write your body paragraphs.  

Please let me know if you need any help with anything.  Remember A-day students that I will not be in on Wednesday.  See me Thursday or Friday with any questions or concerns.    

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homework for the Weekend - 12/6 and 12/7

Here are your announcements and reminders for the weekend.  Pay attention to the notes below, especially Juniors and Seniors as you will be getting some important notes for completing your assignments.

Freshman Focus

No homework for you all to complete this weekend.  We'll be talking about college searches and researching colleges next week - so you might want to think about the type of school you'd be interested in over the weekend.  I hope that you all will enjoy your weekend without homework and get some good reading and relaxing done.

AP English III

Over the weekend you've got a few things to take care of related to your study of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  You need to make progress on your next reading goal which is to be to the end of chapter twenty-eight by the 10th/11th.  We will likely not be discussing these chapters until the following class as we're about a day behind on our discussions.  Next class we'll be looking at the Grangerford section and the characters of the Duke and the Dauphin.  You may find it helpful to review that section.

Related to your project, there are several things to take care of this weekend.  First, you need to finish your group contract.  I'll be collecting these on Monday/Tuesday and giving you a completion grade for having all of the areas of the contract done.  Also on Monday/Tuesday you'll be getting a grade for having your site set up and shared.  You need to share it with each member of your group and with me.  This will be the second half of your completion grade.

The mockup for the site is available at -- Please use this mock-up to see what you need to include on each page and what you will need to do on each part of the assignment.  This is like your instructions for the project, if you have any questions about this project, do not hesitate to ask.

English IV

Over the weekend I would like for you to complete the introduction of your essay.  You already have a third of your introduction done if you have your thesis statement done.  Your thesis statement will come last.  Before that you will create a hook, and then a link.  The hook should be a sentence or two related to your topic which will grab my attention as a reader.  You could use a quote, you could create an image, or you could ask a thought provoking (not yes/no) question.  In the link you then want to introduce the title and author of the text and explain how the topic is connected to the book.  This then leads to the thesis.

I will be checking these on Monday/Tuesday and we will edit them, please make sure that you're meeting your deadlines on your essay.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Homework for 12/4 and 12/5

All classes have a task to complete for tonight, follow me below the greeting for a quick reminder as to what these things are.

Freshman Focus

Tonight I would like for you to reflect on your classmates presentations of their Utopian schools.  In a complete paragraph for each question, I would like for you to answer the following:

1.  Which of your classmates' schools would you like to attend if you had the chance?  Why?

2.  Which of your classmates' schools would you not like to attend?  Why?

As you answer the questions be sure that you are drawing not only on your personal opinion but also the information presented to you by each group.  I look forward to reading your responses.

AP English III

Tonight you have two things to read for me in order to prepare for next class.  First, you need to stay on your schedule and meet your next major milestone which is to be to the end of chapter twenty-two.  This is a significant chunk of pages, but it does tend to move quite quickly.  Pay attention to the new characters of the Duke and the Dauphin as well as the situation Huck undergoes while he is with the Grangerfords.  We will be focusing a lot on some very specific sections on Thursday/Friday - come equipped with thorough annotations.

In addition, I would like for you to complete the reading of Oluadah Equiano's Narrative - this is an excerpt of a real slave narrative.  Remember that the point to reading this is to get a fuller understanding of the experience of being in slavery and the dehumanizing aspect therein.  Remember that Jim's experiences are severely different from Equiano's, yet Equiano's experiences would be a part of Jim's identity as a slave.  This, in a way, is his ancestry.  We will discuss this piece tangentially as it relates to Jim, read carefully and look for new vocabulary of which there is a lot.

English IV

Walking out of class today you should all have your thesis statements done for your essay as well as having an idea as to what portions of the novel you are going to explain in your essay.  Tonight, I would like for you to continue to devote time and energy into finding examples and organizing them around the bigger topics within your thesis.  We will be working on our essays every day in class over the next few classes.  Be prepared and productive to ensure a solid performance.

Lastly - you all got progress reports today as well as information on how to access your grades through Jupiter Grades.  Please share the login information with your parents so that they can also be kept in the loop.

Monday, December 3, 2012

AP English III - Twain Satire Video

Sorry for all of the technology issues today - here's a link to the video on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the opinion of Jon Stewart.

Also - B-day Students - Be sure to read the articles I gave you today after you watch the video for a different perspective on the issue of language and changing language within a text.