Friday, December 20, 2013

Work over Break - AP English III and Russian I - 12/20/2013

Time for the last post of 2013!  To all my students - I hope that you have a wonderful and restful break!

AP English III

As you know you have your website projects and your completion of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  I'll be checking in on your websites sporadically over break, not for a grade but just to see how things are coming.  Remember that I'm only an e-mail away.  Feel free to drop me a question and I'll respond as quickly as I can.  Anywhere I'm going to be over break will have Internet access.

Enjoy the ending of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it's hard to find a book with a happy ending in high school; this is the best that I can do.

Russian I

Over break you have two things to complete for sure, but many of you have additional tasks too.  I need for all of you to be confident and sure in your abilities to decline adjectives, nouns, and pronouns in all six cases.  When we return from break we will continue to move forward with our content which requires that these declensions are firm in your wheelhouse.  Make flashcards of endings, drill yourself, use some of the internet resources below to help too.

You have your writing project as well as your extra credit to complete over break.  The extra credit is due on the 7th/8th and the project is due on the 9th/10th.  Remember that for the project you can send me as many drafts as you need to in order to get a perfect score, which all of you can attain.  Use your notes!  Learn your cases (notice how everything seems to come back to that).  Also, use vocabulary from the course, don't rely on Google at all, many times it will give you a word which you don't know how to use yet.

Here are some good resources for help in Russian.  Use these!

Master Russian - This site offers grammar outlines as well as sample exercises to quiz yourself and check your understanding.  This site is exhaustive and goes over all topics all the way back to the alphabet and handwriting.  This site also has a link to a java Russian keyboard so that you can type, and then copy/paste your content from the website to your word document.

Russia Today - Language - I don't know much about this site but it comes from a really good source.  There are lessons and activities on this page which will help for a variety of topics.  Remember to focus on the topics we've covered in class.  Explore a bit if you want, but stay focused on shoring up your skills to this point!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Homework for Winter Break - B Day Students

Honors English II

Over break your priority is to work on the formative steps of your essay and then complete your rough draft of the assignment.  Here is your process, as I would recommend you complete it:

  1. Complete your argument.  Make sure that it fully answers the question and deals with the greater significance of what you are discussing.
  2. Divide the argument into topics.  Which elements of the story will you need to discuss?  How will you organize and link the topics?  How can you break your argument into pieces?
  3. Find evidence to discuss within the topics.  Annotate panels.  Organize your notes and develop your commentary.  Explain how your argument is true based on the information.
  4. Construct your draft.
Your drafts are due on the 8th of January.  Make sure to have them this day.  I'm available to you over break via e-mail if you have any questions while you're working.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Homework for A Day Students - 12/18/2013

AP English III

Tonight you should prepare for your timed writing on Friday as well as for your journal check.  Make sure that all of your journal entries are complete and thorough.  I'll be checking them on Friday as you write your rhetorical analysis.  Also, keep in mind two very important dates for January.  On January 15 you will present your completed websites.  On January 17 you will have your final exam on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Over break you need to finish your reading of the text and put in work on your websites!  Remember to monitor and assist your group as necessary.  Enjoy this work!

Russian I

Your extra credit sheet is due in full on the day we return to class.  Your family paragraph projects are due on the 9th and 10th of January.  This allows all of you the chance to see me a few times to review your writing and get help.  Remember over break to use the time to complete your solidification of these grammar concepts - you have to know your conjugations and your declension patterns.  Spend a bit of time each day of break working and when you come back you'll be golden.

I'm available after school on Friday for any help you may need.  Also remember that I'm always only an e-mail away.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: 12/17/2013

Honors English II

I hope that our revision and review of the argument statements was useful for all of you.  Many of you were able to take the instructions and tips I gave you and turn them immediately into strong and persuasive argument statements.  Once you've received an "all clear" from me then you can move on to the next phase of your essay which is annotating specific panels and collecting your "research".  Remember that you can only do this once you know what you're trying to prove, so that as you annotate and pull out details you keep that larger point in mind.

The draft of your essay will be due when you return from break - not the 6th of January, but the 8th - our second day back.  Keep this in mind.

For tonight, you should prepare for next class's open-note quiz on Persepolis.  Study and review tonight.  Make sure to look over the text and check that your notes are complete as these are all you will be able to use on the quiz.

ESL English III

You also have a quiz next class on grammar, vocabulary, and your writing skills.  I'm looking forward to seeing how much you've grown in all of these areas in this class so far.  Study your journals and your notebooks to prepare for this assessment.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students - 12/16/2013

AP English III

I spent last week going through your assignments for this week so let me just quickly review what you have to accomplish for tonight.  Read to the end of chapter thirty-three four Wednesday's class.  Make sure that your covers as well as your pages are thoroughly completed so that I can see that you are doing this thinking as you read and that you are practicing with your analysis of the text.  In addition, you will have time in your group meetings on Wednesday's class.  Bring anything that you need for that time together.  I will give your group some goals to complete on Wednesday's meeting, so be ready for that.

Lastly, remember that you will have a timed writing on Friday's class.  If you will not be here on Friday I ask that you make up this writing assignment before class on Friday so that I can get everything done over break.

Be sure that you have your books with you next class.

Russian I

Tonight you should be working on your family projects.  Make sure to remember that you can always see me for extra help with editing your Russian sentences and paragraphs to check your grammar.  Follow the outline that I've given you on the assignment sheet and in the website to complete this assignment.  Do not use any online translators for this assignment - use only language you've learned in class.

The final due date for this writing assignment is January 9th (A-Day) and January 10th (B-Day).  Remember that this is the final due date for you - you can submit the work in advance but you must have it done by this final due date - all paragraphs written with images!

Tonight you should continue to work on your vocabulary and grammar!  Study and review.  Learn this information!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - B Day Students - 12/13/2013

Honors English II

Your homework over the weekend is to finish reading Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis.  As you finish reading you should continue to finish your notes on the family members and the different changes you've seen from each of them.  Remember that by taking notes you are much more active as a reader and thus you will remember more of the reading.  After you finish your reading, please respond to the prompt below.  Remember that you may submit your response on paper, via e-mail, or by completing a comment on this post.

What preconception about Iran has this text helped you to disprove?  How has the text done that?  Does this relate to one of Satrapi's larger purposes in this text?  Why or why not?

Please make sure to make specific references to the text as you compose your reflection.

In addition, you should continue working on your essays.  You will get your argument statements back from me on Tuesday with feedback.  Use the framing strategy we did today in class to begin your research of the specific frames that you will use in your essay.  Remember to focus on detail within the frames (language and graphics) and how these details relate to your overall argument.

ESL English III

No homework for the weekend, but do spend time reviewing your writing notes.  I'm happy to see so much growth in your writing as we've been spending a lot of time working on writing skills.  Continue to improve and develop your skills!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students: 12/12/2013

AP English III

For tonight you should continue working on your websites.  Make sure that all of your pages and sub-pages are set up.  You don't need to have the content filled in, but the framing should be done.  Also remember to keep a backup saved of everything you do for this site.  There have been instances of sites and pages being deleted by accident.  Don't let this happen to you.  Have everything saved on your computer just in case.  Remember to focus first on content - then work on design last.

Over the weekend complete your first reading goal for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - the schedule is in the previous post.  Also, don't forget that you will have your rhetorical analysis timed writing on the Friday before we leave.  Be prepared!

Russian I

Over the weekend you should revise your first two paragraphs and then continue to the next three.  Make sure to use only vocabulary that we've learned in class and in the notes - this way you can have more ownership of what you are saying.

Next class we're going to look over the review packet I gave you today on cases and then watch Doctor Zhivago since we didn't get to that in class today.  Work on your writing - I was pleased by the amount of growth that I've seen.  Keep going.  Next week I'm available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday for extra help after school.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Apologies - Homework for 12/11/13

Honors English II:

Tonight you should make your first priority the completion and formalization of your argument statement for your essay. Remember that though you are answering the question and beginning your process of drafting you will still and are expected to revise and clarify your writing as we finish the text and move forward with the process. 

This is also a good time to work with a classmate. Using a peer to read over your writing and give feedback is a great strategy - I had an edit buddy in college and we often exchanged drafts. 

On Friday I will collect your argument statement. We didn't get to the discussion of today's portion of Persepolis so you don't have to keep reading, but I encourage you to. We will be finished with the reading by winter break. 

ESL English III: 

Very good work today with your vocabulary study. You haven't yet has a vocabulary assessment like a test, so expect one soon. We will work on those questions I gave you next class to start the class then we will move on to the next chapter. 

Russian I:

Your homework is the same as a day, like always. Complete your first part of the vocabulary project for our workshop next class. I've put together a good review on cases for you for next class. Look forward to that. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students: 12/10/2013

AP English III

Tonight for homework you have two key things to accomplish.  First, make sure that your group site is up and shared with all members of your group; also, be sure to think through what you need me to cover with you at our tech help session next class in the Dell Lab.  This will give you all an opportunity to get some of your pages created as well as start plugging in media.  In addition to this, be sure to read Gloria Anzaldua's "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" - it is available in 50 Essays as well as at this link.  As you read Anzaldua you will be struck by her use of Spanish in the piece - consider her rhetorical purpose behind this.  In addition, consider the connection between language and identity that Anzaldua presents as well as the link between language and revolution.  This is a highly political and provocative piece; I'm looking forward to our seminar on it.

What follows is your reading schedule for the next few classes as well as winter break.

  • Chapters 23 - 28:  Monday, December 16th
  • Chapters 29 - 33:  Wednesday, December 18th
  • End of the Book:  Tuesday, January 7th
Don't forget that you will have a timed writing - RHETORICAL ANALYSIS - on Friday, December 20th before we leave for break.  If you are going to be absent on that day, please get your Timed Writing done before you go!

Russian I

For tonight's homework you will need to get started on your writing project.  Follow the outline that I gave you on the assignment sheet in order to complete this assignment.  The outline is below in case you forget your handout:
  • Sentence One – Introduce person by name.  State relationship to you.  Possessive Pronoun.  Agreement.
  • Sentence Two – State where person lives.  Verb – жить.  Prepositional case.
  • Sentence Three – Describe the person using an adjective.  Adjective.  Agreement.
  • Sentence Four – State something the person likes.  Verb – любить.
  • Sentence Five – State something the person does.  Verb – choice.
  • Sentence Six – State something the person wants for the holidays.  Verb – хотеть.
Remember that next class we will be having a writing workshop on these paragraphs.  Please be sure to bring what you have and make sure to try!  We won't be able to do much of a workshop without any work.  Use your vocabulary lists for this and dictionaries.  Do not translate whole sentences.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Homework - B Day - 12/9/2013

Honors English II

Tonight you need to read the next three chapters in Persepolis - "The Trip", "The F14's" and "The Jewels".  As you read these chapters consider the way in which the country is changing and how Marji's family reacts and adapts to those changes.  You should be thoroughly adding to your notes with this.

Furthermore, you have your essay question for Persepolis.  Tonight you should to the translation of the question into your own words and then your one sentence answer of the question.  It is important that you get this work done tonight as next class we will be working on writing our thesis/argument statements.  You will want the translation and the one sentence answer done as this is the pre-work for the completion of the argument statement.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - A Day - 12/6/2013

AP English III

Over the weekend you have a few things to accomplish.  First you need to finish the reading of the Grangerford section.  Be sure to consider what Twain is able to accomplish through his writing of this part of the text.  Why would he stop the main story to present this?  Obviously there must be a big point he's trying to make.

In addition, make sure that you have created and shared your website with your groupmates and with me.  Use my school gmail account for this project (mrmillerjhs @ gmail . com) and also use that to communicate with me any questions or issues you may have.  Since we went through how to do a rhetorical analysis today you should also begin going through your selected piece to complete your own analysis.

Russian I

For homework tonight you will be completing the exercise in the middle of the listening activities.  Remember to use the nominative case and change the adjectives to agree with the noun they modify.  I will collect this for an accuracy grade next class, so have it ready.  Use your notes and apply what we have been learning in class.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: 12/5/2013 - Weekend

Honors English II:

There aren't many times that you can say that you don't have English homework due to a bank robbery, but that's the situation in which we find ourselves.  Over the weekend you should make sure that you've completed all of the Persepolis reading.  In addition we will be starting our essay on this text soon - you may find it useful to reflect on your essay skills for our workshops in the next few weeks.

As well, be reading your choice novels, remember that you need to finish these books by the time we return from Winter Break!

ESL English III:

Very good improvement on your writing today!  I like that I see you all applying what we are learning in class so that you can be a stronger writer.  Continue to read your choice books and be sure that you have them next week during class since it's a reading week!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students - 12/4/2013

AP English III

Today we introduced our major project on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - our satire analysis websites.  Below is the link to the site mock-up, remember that this is your instruction manual for the project.  All required elements are here and all instructions are here.  Be sure that your group follows them to the letter.  To start tonight, you will want to decide which genre (Huck Finn, video, contemporary non-fiction, or image) you want to analyze for your group.  We will begin working through the skills of rhetorical analysis next week so that you can begin this work in earnest.

For reading tonight you need to read the excerpt from Oluadah Equiano.  Remember that this is part of the shared slave consciousness - a shared memory.  Think about how this deepens your understanding of Jim and his situation as well as his character.  Don't forget that for Tuesday you need to be to the end of chapter twenty-two, the end of the "Grangerford section."

Russian I

For homework tonight you need to complete exercises 124 and 125 on adjectives and agreement.  Also remember that there will be a scheduled help session this Friday afternoon on verbs.  Those of you struggling in Russian would do well to attend this.  Additional times can be made but you have to ask.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Homework for B-day Students - 12/3/2013

Honors English II

Tonight for homework you need to read "Moscow" and "The Sheep" - our next two chapters in Persepolis.  Remember what I said today in class about the chapter called "The Sheep" - it represents a significant turning point for all of the characters, Iran included.  Make sure to add to your character notes and understand thoroughly how this moment in "The Sheep" develops the main characters.

In addition you need to remember to always be reading in your supplemental novels.  This is a standing assignment, thus you should be always reading.

ESL English III

We did a lot of work today on writing.  Continue to reflect on and build on your skills in this area.  We will continue to do a lot of work on our writing as we move forward.  For tonight, you should keep reading in your individual books.  We will do some writing on these books during our next class.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Russian I - Homework - Extra Credit

Tonight's homework for Russian I is optional - respond to this post by leaving a comment with your name and you will receive two bonus points on today's quiz.  Be sure to respond by the beginning of your next class to get credit.

Which group of characters do you sympathize with more - the lower class represented by Lara and others like her or the upper class represented by Yuri and Tanya?  What in the film has caused you to develop these feelings?  How do you think this is connected to Pasternak's (the author's) larger purpose?

Homework for 12/2/2013 - AP English III

AP English III -

Tonight your key task is to complete the reading of Sanders' "The Inheritance of Tools" - it can be found in 50 Essays or at the following link.  If you use the link be aware that you don't need to answer the questions but they give you something to think about as you're reading.  This is a great piece for you to use to think about family and how a family is created and maintained.  It will provide some excellent perspective on the creation of Huck and Jim's family relationship.

Furthermore, be aware that you need to be to the end of chapter twenty-two by Tuesday, December 10.  We're going to continue working on the section you read over break for the next few classes so continue to bring Huck with you.

Lastly, if you don't have a Gmail account be sure to get one set up.  You'll need this for Wednesday's class as we'll be starting our online project.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Homework over Break - ESL English III

ESL English III Students - 

Over break put in some time on your independent books.  We'll be coming back after the break to finish our current book and move on to another more challenging (for many reasons) text.

Enjoy the time off from school.  I'll be interested to hear about how you spend vacation!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Homework over Break - Honors English II

Honors English II Students - 

Over break you need to read "The Letter", "The Party" and "The Heroes" - continue to take your notes on character development as you read.  Additionally, you'll want to spend some time with your personal books too.  Enjoy the break!  Eat lots!

Homework over Break - Russian I

Russian I Students

Over break all of you need to prepare yourselves for your test on vocabulary, verbs, and declensions.  You've received back all of your work with my feedback.  Use this to be prepared for your exam.  Be sure to study your vocabulary for units one and two.  Know how to conjugate verbs.

Please ask for help if you need it.  Underlines below indicate stress!  Wish your families a Happy Thanksgiving in Russian :)

С Днём Благодарения!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Homework over Break! AP English III

AP English III Students,

Remember over break that all you have to do is read to the end of chapter sixteen.  As you're reading, make sure to pay attention to the development of Huck's and Jim's character as well as the relationship between them.  Also continue to note how Twain is continuing to build on his satirical targets in the text.  Is the satire getting more multi-faceted or focused?  How is Twain increasing the severity of his commentary?

Keep on your annotations!  Look for vocabulary!  Read!  Enjoy your break!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - 11/22/2013

Honors English II

Over the weekend I'd like for you to do a few things related to the first four sections of Persepolis.  First, you should go back through and make sure that your notes are in good shape.  Remember that you're supposed to be focusing on the main characters in the family as well as key moments which lead to development in the characters.  Second, I'd like for you to respond to the following prompt in a solid paragraph.  You can use the comments to do your paragraph (which I prefer because we can then see what we think) or you can submit your response on paper.  No matter which route you choose, be sure that you use clear references to the text in order to clarify, develop, and explain your answer.
In Persepolis Marjane Satrapi makes use of light and dark imagery in her panels in order to add meaning to scenes and language.  Investigate one panel (other than one we discussed today in class) and explain how the use of light and dark imagery within the panel helps Satrapi to express to the reader a larger idea within that panel or within the larger text.
As you write this response, please make sure that you cite your panel so that I can refer to the text as I read your response.  Identify the row, frame, and page number so that I know I'm looking at the right thing.  Also, if you have any additional questions please jot those down and bring them to class on Tuesday.

ESL English III

Over the weekend you should prepare for your exam on Tuesday.  Remember that you'll have grammar, questions on Number the Stars, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and you'll have some multiple choice questions.  Study and review so that you are prepared for this examination.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - 11/21/2013

AP English III

Over the weekend your key priority is to prepare for your mini-AP exam on Monday.  For Monday you'll have approximately twenty multiple choice questions and then an argumentative timed writing.  To prepare for this I would suggest the following:

  1. review your vocabulary - especially tone words and rhetorical devices
  2. look over your sample multiple choices, review questions that you missed
  3. review your comments from your first timed writing as well as your summer essay - the same strategies will be useful on the timed writing
For Thanksgiving Break you'll need to read to the end of Chapter 16.  I hope you're enjoying this book, the discussion today was wonderful!  Let's keep it going.

Russian I

You will have another quiz on Monday/Tuesday related to sentence formation and verb conjugation.  Make this better than last time.  Know your verbs.  Know your declensions!  Be ready!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Homework for 11/20/2013 - B Day Students

Honors English II

Tonight you need to read the next two portions of Persepolis for our seminar in class on Friday.  You'll read "The Water Cell" and "Persepolis".  Make sure to pay special attention to the "Persepolis" section as this is the title chapter and thus is very important.

As you are reading, continue to add to your character notes on the main people in the family.  You'll be getting a lot of significant information about them in these chapters.  Also, consider how our discussion of The Koran also helps you to understand how Marjane and her family live their lives.

ESL English III

We'll be discussing the quiz for Tuesday on Friday and making our study guide.  Be ready for that!  Ask any questions that you may have.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students - 11/19/2013

AP English III

First I'm going to repost the video we watched today in class from The Daily Show.  Remember the different elements of satire which we see in this clip, especially understatement and hyperbole.  Don't also to notice the tone and irony at work in the piece.
Now, remember the big question that we started discussing last class - does altering the language significantly alter the text and its meaning?  How does the altering of the illustrations hyperbolically align with the altering of the language and help show the argument of the show?

Also, don't forget to finish the reading.  You've got to be to the end of chapter six with complete annotations.  Be ready for a thorough discussion on Thursday!  Lastly, there's a timed writing waiting for you on Monday before Thanksgiving break!

Russian I

Tonight for homework you need to focus on finishing your writing and your floor plans for Thursday/Friday.  Remember that you will be reading your description of one room aloud to the class.  Don't forget that right now you can only use your possessive pronouns in the nominative case.  If you try to use them in the other cases this won't count against you, but the sentence technically won't be grammatically correct.

Lastly, you'll be reviewing with me next class to get ready for another quiz on sentence formation next week and the new vocabulary.  Be studying!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Honors English II Homework - 11/18/2013

Honors English II

As you saw from our opening discussion on Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis you will need to have a good wealth of background knowledge on Iran and the events surrounding the narrator/author's life as she is heavily impacted by the drastic changes happening in her country, Iran.

In this online homework assignment, you will investigate at least one piece of non-fiction regarding this area of Iran's history, reflect on it, and then continue the conversation.

First - Read/Experience one of these online sources about Iran.  You may choose to explore any or all of them but you must select one for your comment/reflection.

Option I - An audio slideshow reflecting on the lessons of the 1979 Revolution.

Option II - A photo slideshow with informative captions of the important moments and people in the 1979 Revolution.

Option III - An NPR story/interview with an Iranian who remembers and discusses the 1979 Revolution.

Option IV - An article on the American Hostage crisis in Iran related to the 1979 Revolution.

Option V - A brief overview in text of the key players and events in the Revolution.

Second - Post a comment to this post in which you answer the following questions:

  1. What is the author's purpose in writing this article.  Be specific and highlight a purpose linked explicitly to this article.
  2. Explain what the author used in his/her writing/piece to alert you to the purpose.
  3. What did this article help you to understand from the first excerpt of Persepolis?
  4. Post a current event about Iran - there's a lot in the news right now - and explain how your current event continues the conversation with you and the topic of Iran.  What are you continuing to learn?  How are you fighting your preconceptions?
If you cannot post a comment, please do this assignment on paper and turn it in at the beginning of class on Wednesday.  Remember that you can complete this assignment from the school library.  Please sign your post with your name to receive credit.  Assignments are due at 9:00 am on Wednesday 11/20/2013.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - A-Day Students - 11/15/2013

AP English III

This weekend you have a few things to be working on in preparation for our last three classes before Thanksgiving break.  First, you need to read Amy Tan's "Mother Tongue" for class on Tuesday.  This is a great piece to investigate the connection between language and identity.  Use that as your main anchor to help you to get through this piece.  The article can be found in 50 Essays or at this address.

Beyond this you will need to complete the reading and annotating of chapters one through six of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Thursday the 21st.  Feel free to read ahead.  Lastly, we will have our second argumentative timed writing on the 25th.  Be prepared for that!

Russian I

Today in class I went over with you our new vocabulary and our new verbs for this unit.  Now you will use this new vocabulary to complete a floor plan project, in Russian.  Follow the instructions on your assignment sheet to the letter.  Remember that you only need to write ten sentences in Russian about three different rooms.  Use your verbs!  Use your notes!  Ask me for help with your writing if you need it.  Floor plans and writing assignments are due on the 21st and 22nd.  You will be presenting on one of your rooms in Russian, so do be prepared to read to the class.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Russian Language Resources

For those of you wanting a bit more help with Russian I wanted to share this great website with you all.

Master Russian

This website has a bevy of material for you from the alphabet all the way up to complex grammar topics we likely won't touch until Russian IV.  Use the links on the left hand side of the page to navigate.  And remember, see me for help.  A lunch on A-day, B lunch on B-day and after school on Thursday and Friday.

Homework for B-Day Students - 11/14/13

Honors English II

This weekend you will begin reading our next major text, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.  I'm very excited to study this text with you as I'm a bit of a comic book nerd.  Over the weekend you need to read the "Introduction" found before the story begins, as well as the chapters called "The Veil" and "The Bicycle".  While you're reading these chapters I really want you to focus on the main characters.  You should take notes on the key characters and their traits as well as any key scenes or moments involving the characters.

In addition, you may want to consider the ideas we discussed today with Allende in her piece "Writing as an Act of Hope."  How do we see that Satrapi is doing what Allende discussed?  There are a lot of commonalities between these two writers which I look forward to discovering with you all.

ESL English III

This weekend you should review your notes on chapters one through seven on Number the Stars.  I think it would be especially important for you to focus on the patterns and the topics we've spent several days discussing.  Next class we will read and discuss chapter eight and hopefully finish The Boy in the Striped Pajamas before preparing for our test.  The test will be on Wednesday the 20th.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homework for AP English and Russian Students - 11/13/13

AP English III

Tonight you have no homework!  Yay!  You've spent a lot of time finishing up on The Great Gatsby and that definitely paid off in your performances.  I'll have your take-home tests graded and back to you next week.  Remember to have a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for class on Friday.

Russian I

You had a quiz today so you have no homework tonight too.  Remember that even though you don't have anything to turn in you will still want to study and review.  Keep up on your vocabulary and especially study any areas of the test which were difficult for you.  The trick with foreign language classes is that we continue to build on what we've already done.  Study and review so that you can keep learning!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Homework for 11/12/13 - B Day Students

Honors English II

Tonight you officially have no homework as you had an exam today in class.  Unofficially, however, many of you probably need to finish your Siddhartha final projects to show me your symbolic journey.  If you would like for me to review your project, please stop by today (Tuesday) or Wednesday after-school; remember that face-to-face conferences are your only option for this.

On Thursday we will present our projects and then begin on our next major piece, Persepolis which I hope that all of you will enjoy.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Reminders for the Weekend

A-Day Students

I hope your day today was productive with the substitute.  There are a few important reminders for all of you that I want to communicate for you this weekend.

  1. Remember that all classes will have a major grade coming due on Wednesday.  Russian students, you have your quizzes on verbs, sentence formation, and declensions.  Make sure to use the study guide and packet.  Also, remember that I'll be in the building on Tuesday, please come see me if you'd like to review anything.  AP English students, you all have your skit presentations and I'll be collecting your take-home exams.  Be ready for those assignments.
Honors English II Students - Remember that you have your in-class essay assignment on Tuesday.  I'll be collecting your copies of Siddhartha and giving you our next text, Persepolis.  If you're going to purchase your own copy of Persepolis please make sure that you have one before Thursday, for sure.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - B Day Students

Honors English II

Your main goal for this weekend is to prepare for your in-class essay on Siddhartha on Tuesday.  Remember that you will have the full ninety minute period to plan, write, and revise your final product.  To assist you in this, you will be able to enter class with one sheet of paper of notes.  You may use both sides of the paper.  Here is the essay question you will answer for your final exam.

Throughout Siddhartha the main character encounters many teachers who guide him toward enlightenment.  In your opinion, which of these teachers is the most influential in guiding Siddhartha?  How?  Why?  Be sure to fully explain and defend your position using appropriate information from the text.

Remember that in this assignment there really isn't a right answer; it's about defending and proving that your answer is correct.  Defend yourself through your use of the text and your explanation of that text.

ESL English III

No homework this weekend.  I enjoyed seeing your skits today in class.  Please make sure that you keep up with your reading and studying as we continue forward in Number the Stars.  You'll have a test once we hit the midpoint of this book which is coming soon.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Homework for Wednesday - 11/6/2013

AP English III

Remember students that I will not be here on Friday as I will be working on a DPS project for English II Honors classes.  Be good for the substitute.  You'll be watching The Great Gatsby as a means of reviewing the text and seeing your different scenes for your skits.  Remember as you watch these scenes that you should be thinking about how you can reflect some of these same ideas in your own skits.  Your skits will be presented on Wednesday, the 13th.  This is the same day that your take-home exams on The Great Gatsby are due.  Remember what I went over with you in class today regarding this assessment.  Please type your responses and turn in your work on the 13th.  Remember to sign the honor code and submit that and the test paper with your answer document.

Lastly, remember to get a copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for Friday the 15th.  If you need me to get you a copy of the text, please let me know.

Russian I

Next class, in my absence, you will get a study and review guide for our quiz next week.  To prepare for that, you should spend time tonight reviewing for this upcoming quiz.  Make sure that you focus on the relationship between verbs and cases.  Know which verb triggers which case or cases and what the difference in meaning is between those different case usages.  In addition, be sure that you review your declension chart and endings so that you have a good knowledge of those endings in making your sentences.  You also will want to be sure that you can complete first and second conjugations.

Your quiz will be on the 13th and 14th of next week.  Remember that I am here after-school for help with Russian on Thursdays.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: 11/15/2013

Honors English II

Tonight for homework you only have one chapter to read "Om" which is a pretty quick chapter.  As you read, make sure to pay attention for the moment when Siddhartha really changes.  Consider what causes his inner change.  How do we know as readers that he has changed and found enlightenment?

Further, be reminded that next week will be a very busy week for all of you.  On Tuesday you'll have your in-class essay.  Review your writing notes from today and from the first nine weeks.  Remember what you're trying to accomplish in the essay.  You can't really prepare until next class when I give you the question for the in-class essay.  On Thursday of next week you'll have the presentation of your Siddhartha final projects.  Tonight and this week allow you a lot of chances to get a lot of work on these projects done.  Remember to ask for help if you need it.

ESL English III

No homework for tonight.  Next class we will be finishing our scripts and then presenting these dialogue skits.  I look forward to seeing what you have all come up with!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Homework for Monday - 11/4/2013

AP English III

Tonight for homework you have a few things to accomplish.  I'm going to list them here for you and then go over a few details with each assignment.

  1. Finish your annotations of The Great Gatsby.  Make sure that you have really spent time looking at your covers and that you have page number references for characters.
  2. Work on your scripts.  Remember that you should have a Google Doc which is shared amongst the group so that you can work on it without being in the same room.  Your script is already written in the pages of your text.  You just need to redo it as an actual script.  Remember to add notes as to tone and stage directions.
  3. Read Joan Didion's "On Keeping a Notebook" - you can find it in 50 Essays or you can find it here.  This is a very beautiful piece about writing.  As you read it, you may want to reflect on the way in which Nick has told us this story.  Essentially we are reading his notebook.  
  4. Remember that you need your copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Friday, November the 15th.
Russian I

Tonight you should spend time working on your sentences for your dialogue activity.  Remember that next class you'll have approximately twenty minutes to finish your dialogue and then you will present.  Use as much vocabulary as you can.  Use verbs!  Make complete sentences.  This is wonderful practice for your quiz next week on the 13th and 14th.  Your quiz next week will really be focused on the verbs we are learning in this unit.  Study!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - B Day Students - 11/1/2013

Happy November Everyone!  Here are your reminders for the weekend:

Honors English II

This weekend you have to read the next two chapters of Siddhartha, "The Ferryman" and "The Son".  As you read these chapters, be sure to pay attention to the character of Vasuveda.  He's a significant person in this text made even more significant by the fact that he is introduced to us so close to the end of the text.  Furthermore, continue to draw links and connections between the ideas that you are seeing in this text.  You all did some great thinking today in class related to the overall messages in this text.  Keep doing that work.

ESL English III

This weekend's assignment is an extra credit opportunity for you.  Using your vocabulary from chapters four and five which you collected in class I want you to write a brief story (8-12 sentences) using at least six of the new words from your lists.  Make sure that you underline your new words when you use them.  Also be sure that you know the meaning of the word.  You will not get credit for using a word if you use it incorrectly.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - A Day - 10/31/2013

AP English III

For the weekend you have two key priorities - First, you should finish reading and annotating The Great Gatsby.  As you finish make sure that you go back to your covers especially and fill in any blanks about the meanings of symbols or develop your motifs into more complete theme/argument statements that Fitzgerald is presenting through the text.  Second, you will need to complete the planning sheet and the analysis for Woolf and Petrunkevitch.  Remember the advice I gave you today in class about your organization of this assignment as well as your argument that you will present.

Lastly, you have your final project and your group for The Great Gatsby skits.  Over the weekend you don't need to put in any work on these as you'll have approximately half of the class on Monday to work on this.  I would perhaps set up a Google Doc to work on the script and make sure that you and your groupmates are starting to divide the work so that you can conquer it.

Russian I

This weekend I want you to work with your vocabulary.  You are to write ten complete sentences using a variety of verbs and vocabulary from unit one.  Use your vocabulary sheets.  Use only the verbs you can conjugate.  Do not use any sort of translator software - use of this is a violation of the honor code and will earn you no credit for this assignment.  Remember that I'm available both Thursday (today) and Friday (tomorrow ) after school for help.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students

Honors English II

Tonight for homework you'll read the chapter "By the River" from Siddhartha.  As you read, I want you to take notes on four key ideas:  self, suffering, cycles, and changes.  I would suggest that you divide a piece of paper into four areas and then make notes of quotes, paraphrases, moments, and scenes as you read.  Once you finish the reading you should then analyze your findings to discover some of the connections between these ideas.  You'll find something really interesting if you look closely enough.

Your Siddhartha projects will be due on the 14th of November.  Your final exam on the book will happen on the 12th.  Be prepared for both.

ESL English III

No homework tonight.  Next class there will be a lot of independent working time.  Be prepared for that!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Homework for AP English III and Russian I

AP English III

Tonight for homework I'd like for you to complete the reading of A. Petrunkevitch's "The Spider and the Wasp" and complete your note sheet for this and Woolf.  The Petrunkevitch piece is available at this link.  We will be working through Woolf next class and go over how to draft this type of tone analysis assignment.  Please make sure that your note sheet is finished as it will be useful in our notes and walk-through of the writing assignment.  I will not be assigning a chapter of The Great Gatsby tonight but your next assignment will have you finish the book.  You may want to get ahead a bit.

Remember that your tone assignments on Woolf/Petrunkevitch will be collected on 11/4.  Your Gatsby projects will be due on 11/13.  This is the same day your take-home tests on Gatsby will be due.

Russian I

Tonight please complete the homework sheet.  Do exercises seven through ten, and fifteen through sixteen.  Complete all work on your own paper.  Remember to be studying and reviewing your verb conjugation rules as well as your vocabulary notes.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Status Check


At this point grades are finalized for all classes except for AP English III since I have essay revisions to read this weekend.  I'll have everything done no later than 9:00 am on Monday.  If you are still needing to make up an assignment or turn something in I better see you at my classroom door on Monday morning at 8:00 when I arrive.

Enjoy the weekend!

Homework for the Long Weekend - All Classes

As I "grade my face off" this weekend and finish your finish your scores for the first quarter, you all get a bit of time to relax.

Russian I and ESL English III

There's no homework this weekend.

Russian I Students - I would spend some time this weekend staying up with your language skills.  Remember that a bit of Russian every day is helpful.  Listen to some Russian music on and follow along with the lyrics.  Test your comprehension and speaking.  Next week we will be continuing on with cases, especially and moving in to verbs.  Be prepared and for those of you struggling, it's time to come in and work extra hard.  Remember that I'm free most lunches and after school.

Honors English II

Reread "Among the People" and "Samsara" to be prepared for Wednesday's class.  Also put in some work on your projects!  The due date will be announced on Wednesday.

AP English III

This weekend you have some reading to do.  Read and annotate chapter seven of The Great Gatsby.  As you read, continue to draw connections to motifs and symbols.  At this point in the novel you should be able to make some conclusions about the meaning of some of these symbols.  Also, I want you to read Virginia Woolf's "The Death of the Moth."  The article is available in 50 Essays or at this link.  As you read this piece, know that it is in a rhetorical mode called "process analysis."  We will work on this piece over several classes as it is quite beautiful and has some interesting Gatsby connections.  Read and annotate.  Always!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: 10/23/2013

Honors English II

On Friday you will have your final exam on chapters one through four of Siddhartha.  Please make sure that you take your time and prepare for this exam.  You will have multiple choice and true/false questions related to:

  • plot and characters from chapters one through four
  • notes and ideas from the poem "Night" which you read with the substitute
  • opening PowerPoint information on Hinduism, Buddhism and Hesse's life
There will be short answer questions which are derived from your study guide which you had last class, please make sure to review those ideas.  Also you will have quotes.  You'll need to tell me the speaker of the quotation, the context, and analyze the quote to show its importance to the overall narrative.

I look forward to seeing what you produce.

ESL English III

Please respond to the following question in a clear paragraph.  Try to follow the rules for good writing as you create this response:

At the end of chapter three we see that Annemarie begins to mature as a character due to what is happening in her country.  Describe a moment in your life which caused you to mature as a person.  How did this event affect you?  How did it encourage your growth?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students: 10/22/2013

AP English III

Today in class we did a lot of work on our cover annotations and then in that close reading of the passage from chapter four.  Remember as we complete close readings and things of that nature that I am modeling for you how to approach this text.  Try to incorporate some of these same skills into your practice as a reader.  For tonight, you should read and annotate chapters five and six.  Also, I will be checking vocabulary on Thursday.  Make sure that you have at least ten words from The Great Gatsby as well as your definitions and such.

Russian I

You have an exam on Thursday/Friday.  We reviewed today in class.  Be ready!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - 10/18/2013

AP English III

Over the weekend you need to read and annotate chapter four of The Great Gatsby.  Chapter four is essentially the half-way point of the novel.  This provides you an excellent chance to check in with your cover annotations to record important topics and motifs as well as going through your characters and checking in on them.  Make sure that you've also been collecting vocabulary, it's not terribly elevated in this text, but there are some great words that Fitzgerald uses for very specific purposes.

Also, feel proud of yourselves, you've done your first timed writing.  We'll continue doing these throughout the year!  So know that they're not going anywhere.

Lastly, this weekend gives you your final weekend before the end of the grading period.  Make sure that you have your essay revision ready to go, many of you are getting on my calendar - be sure to not wait on this!

Russian I

This weekend you have no homework officially but you should spend this time by going through your assignments, especially your homework, to make sure that everything is complete.  The final sheet I gave you today (or the substitute gave) is a great review of the possessive pronouns and the possessive interrogative.  Do these exercises.  Make sure to go through your notes and assignments to generate questions.  Tuesday/Wednesday will be our review day before the exam.  Be prepared!

Remember that I won't be in on Monday - I'll see everyone on Tuesday!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - B Day Students - 10/17

Students of B-day.  Remember that I will not be here with you on Monday due to the fact that I will be working on a project for Durham Public Schools.  Don't fret.  You'll have plenty of independent work to do with your substitute.  Here are your notes to take you through the weekend.

Honors English II

Over the weekend you should read the chapters "Among the People" and "Samsara" from Siddhartha.  As you read, you are not required to take notes, but I would recommend that you do continue to take notes as it makes you a stronger reader.  In addition, I gave you today your final project on Siddhartha.  You may want to spend some time this weekend working and brainstorming about that project.  The due date will likely be the first full week of November, be prepared.

Lastly, you have two tests coming next week.  The first, on Wednesday, will be a district assessment.  This test is not for a grade but is meant to show me how prepared you are for our final EOC.  Please do not study for this exam; I want to see your raw skills at this point in the year.  Your test on Friday will cover part one of Siddhartha, chapters one through four.  On Monday I will have a study guide for you all to work on which will prepare you for this exam.

ESL English III

This weekend you should complete your quiz corrections on section one of your quiz.  Remember to redo the questions you missed on a separate sheet of paper and then submit that to Ms. Gillen on Monday, after lunch.

On Monday you will continue working on Number the Stars and move into chapter two on your own.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Homework for AP English and Russian I - 10/16

AP English III

This post is extremely important for those of you who were not in class today due to PSAT testing.  Today in class we discussed "The Ways We Lie" by Stephanie Ericsson.  As we discussed this piece, we focused on the following topics; please be sure that you go through the piece and analyze or consider these topics.  Remember that being absent does not excuse you from the content we cover in class.  Topics of discussion were:

  • the structure and organization of her argument
  • the argument she presents about human nature and lies as well as the pervasiveness of lies
  • the use of irony and anecdote as rhetorical devices in her argument
  • the mixing of rhetorical modes, especially definition and exemplification
  • connecting the different types of lies to the main characters in The Great Gatsby (consider society as a character and the lies in which society is complicit)
If you are confused about these topics or would like to discuss further please make a note to raise a question on Friday as we will finish up on this piece then.  Outside of our analysis of this article we watched some clips of The Great Gatsby (2013) in order to better understand the characters, especially Daisy.

For homework:  Prepare for your timed writing assignment.  You will have an argumentative essay on Friday.  Prepare by reviewing your bootcamp notes.  Remember that this is your chance to show off everything that you've learned so far this quarter.  Show me how you've grown!  Also, be sure to read and annotate chapter four of The Great Gatsby.  This isn't really a priority until Tuesday's class as the timed writing and finishing up of "The Ways We Lie" will take most of our time on Friday.

Lastly - remember that next week is the last week of the grading period.  All revised essays and any other aspects of the summer assignment are due no later than 3:30 pm on Friday, October 25th.  No extensions will be granted.  Prepare accordingly.

Russian I:

Tonight for homework you have several exercises to complete to practice work on possessive and subject pronouns as well as the possessive interrogative.  Remember the concept of gender as you work through these exercises as we are really reviewing gender on this assignment.  Here are your notes for each exercise:
  • Exercise 51 and 52:  Just fill in the blanks - You do not need to rewrite the sentences or answer the questions in 52 - just fill in the blanks.
  • Exercise 53:  Organize the nouns based on the gender.  For soft sign nouns, use your vocabulary list.
  • Exercise 54:  Pronoun replacement.  Fill in the blanks with the appropriate subject pronoun.
  • Exercise 85:  Answer the questions using possessive pronouns.  Make sure to change the possessive pronoun from the question to an appropriate and logical answer.
  • Exercise 86:  Write the proper form of the possessive interrogative (whose) based on the gender at use in each question.  You do not need to write whole questions if you do not choose to.
  • Exercise 87:  Fill in the blanks with a variety of possessive pronouns.
  • Exercise 88:  Use the possessive interrogative to ask questions about the words in the sentences.
Remember to do this work on your own paper and see me for additional help if you need it.  We will not review this assignment as we did today with cases.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: 10/15/2013

Honors English II

Tonight you have two chapters of Siddhartha to read "The Awakening" and "Kamala".  As you read through "The Awakening" keep track of the following ideas -- transformations, paradox of unity, vision, and epiphanies.  You may want to make some notes about these ideas as we go through since that will lead you to a fuller reading experience.  In chapter five, "Kamala" you will need to take notes as part of your reading experience.  You should take notes on the ideas of symbolism (consider Kamala as a symbol as well as the things associated with her), the moments when Siddhartha finds himself (what are these moments?  why can't he hold on to these moments?), and finally the changes that Siddhartha is undergoing.

I look forward to another super productive day on Thursday.  Today's discussion was wonderful, but I do want to stress to all of you to participate more, especially if you were silent during your inside circle work.  Remember that asking questions and further developing a classmate's opinion works.  Be active.  Be engaged!

ESL English III

No homework tonight since we didn't finish our reading of chapter one.  Next class we will have finished that reading and you will need to do some writing for me over the weekend.  Look forward to this!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students: 10/14/2013

AP English III

Next class is going to be a bit strange with so many of you taking the PSAT.  I still want you to complete the reading of "The Ways We Lie" and have that ready for Wednesday if you are in class or not.  The link to the article is available in the previous post for the weekend.  We will likely continue to analyze and discuss some moments from chapters one through three.  We will probably watch a bit of the film too so that we can analyze some of the visuals from the text.

On Friday you will have your first timed writing assignment.  It will be an argumentative piece.  Please make sure to review your notes on writing and argumentation as this will be the way that you show me what you can do and what you've learned.

Russian I

Tonight for homework I want you to continue working on case identification and changes.  Please complete both sides of the worksheet.  On side one you are identifying the case used in the underlined portion.  Remember to identify each underlined portion.  On the second side you are then applying that case to the word.  Remember what we did in class today.  Use your notes and apply the changes accurately.  We will review this next class.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekend Homework - A day and B day Students - 10/10 and 10/11

AP English III

This weekend your priority is to complete chapter three of The Great Gatsby.  As you are reading you need to continue to annotate and add to your cover notes on characters, topics, symbols, settings and motifs.  As we continue to discuss and draw out the patterns we see in the text, you should continue to look for these ideas and elements on your own.  Monday we will be focused solely on Gatsby.  If you would like to get ahead for Wednesday's class I would suggest that you also read "The Ways We Lie" by Stephanie Ericsson which is in 50 Essays or at this link.  As you read Ericsson's piece, connect the different lies back to the characters in the text.  How does this text give you a better understanding of what it truly means to tell a lie?

Russian I

This weekend you have no homework due to the fact that you had a quiz today or yesterday.  Please continue to study and learn on your own with this language.  I am still disappointed in the fact that some of you are not putting forth the effort required of you to be successful.  Many of you who are struggling are not completing homework assignments or coming to me for extra help.

Honors English II

This weekend everyone you need to read chapter three of Siddhartha.  This is when he will meet Buddha - the man who is enlightened.  Watch this scene carefully and consider how it continues Siddhartha's quest for knowledge and understanding of himself.  As you read you should be collecting vocabulary and defining that vocabulary.  I will be collecting your next vocabulary bookmark on Tuesday.  Have that ready!

Lastly, you have the opportunity this weekend to do test corrections on your multiple choice.  To earn back one half point for each question missed you need to turn in a sheet of paper on which you:

  • write out the question that you missed with the correct answer
  • explain why the answer is correct
Only assignments which do both parts will earn credit back.  Submit this with your original test.

ESL English III

Relax this weekend - you've taken your first test for me today and have done a lot of writing.  Enjoy the weekend and be ready to continue moving forward next week.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: 10/9/2013

Honors English II

Tonight for homework you need to read chapter two of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.  As you read you should continue to add to your character lists as well as your notes on topics, motifs, and symbols in the text.  Continue to pay attention to the relationship between Govinda and Siddhartha.  Lastly, as you read, make sure that you go through chapters one and two and add to your vocabulary lists.  I look forward to a very productive conversation on Friday about this opening of the text.

ESL English III

Your goal for tonight and tomorrow is to study for your first assessment on "A Taste of Home."  Remember to use your notes as your key resource for studying.  As you are studying your notes, make sure that you go back to the text and review the ideas in the story to pair your notes with your text.  We will start class on Friday with questions and then launch into the test.  Be ready!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students: October 8th

AP English III

Tonight for homework you need to read to the end of chapter two in The Great Gatsby.  As you read, be sure to pay attention to motifs, characters, and symbols.  Try to make connections to our opening lecture as we worked through those topics so that you will start to see them within the text.  Be sure to also be adding to your vocabulary bookmarks -- now that we're doing novels you'll want to start keeping up with the vocabulary a lot more.

Here's the prompt for you to respond to as we go through to next class.  Please respond to this post by commenting on this post.  If you cannot comment, please submit your response via e-mail or on paper next class.

By the end of chapter two, whom do you consider to be the most immoral character?  Why?

Respond briefly to this, make sure that you're not simply parroting another classmate.  We can think the same person is immoral, but there should be a variety of reasons.

Russian I

Next class you will have your quiz on grammar and vocabulary.  In order to prepare for this quiz you should do the following:
  1. Study and know your vocabulary list.  If you need another copy, come see me and get a textbook.
  2. Be sure that you know your six cases as well as their function.  Studying your notes and your homework on cases would be helpful.
  3. Be sure that your grammar exercises are complete.  These are useful in studying.  Be especially sure that you can replace your pronouns and nouns as well as distinguishing between КТО\ЧТО.
  4. Be sure that you know how to make questions and answers both positive and negative.
If you know your notes and the grammar structures we've been using then you'll be in good shape.  Again, many of you have not come to see me so I assume that everything is okay.  Please see me if you need help!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: 10/07/2013

Honors English II:

For homework tonight I want you to build from our lecture today on Hinduism and Hesse's biography.  We'll be continuing these notes on Wednesday as we start reading Siddhartha on that day too.  Tonight, I want you to find a news article related to one of the different topics we touched on during our lecture today.  Once you've found the article, you'll need to post a comment in which you do the following:

  1. Post the link for the article you've found.
  2. State the main idea/argument of the article as a complete sentence.
  3. Explain how the article connects to our lecture today.
  4. State three facts you learned from reading the article.  
If you don't do this on the class website then you will need to bring a printout of your article as well as the answers to the three tasks.  There can be no repeat of an article, so make sure that you look at what others have posted before you submit yours.  Let me know if you have any questions about this.

ESL English III

Today we finished reading our first major text of the year "A Taste of Home."  On Friday you will have a quiz on this text.  For tonight, it would be in your best interest to begin studying and reviewing this story.  We will do a bit of a guided review on Wednesday after our time in the computer lab.  Come with questions to class on Wednesday so that you're prepared for Friday!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - 10/04/2013

AP English III

You've just passed a major milestone - your first exam with me.  I hope that you felt prepared and confident as you went through your exam.  I look forward to reading your responses and working with you all as you continue to develop your composition skills.  I should get these tests to you by the end of next week.

For the weekend you have no homework.  Please make sure that you get yourselves a copy of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and bring it with you to class on Tuesday.  Remember that a used copy is perfectly acceptable to me and there are several good used book stores in the area; my personal favorite is Nice Price Books on Broad Street, near East Campus.

Russian I

You are starting to now learn about one of the most challenging aspects in the entire Russian language - cases.  There is a steep learning curve here, but you will be able to comprehend this.  Remember that you should study and work with Russian nightly in order to conquer these blocks, and you can see me outside of class for extra help.

Tonight, I want you to apply your knowledge of cases to English with your bridge assignment.  Using the ten sentences, identify which case would be used in the underlined portions.  The number to the side indicates how many cases are at play in the sentence.  We will review this in class on Tuesday/Wednesday as part of our review for our quiz on Thursday/Friday.  Make sure that you spend time this weekend studying and internalizing your vocabulary as that will be a significant portion of your quiz.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: 10/3/2013

Honors English II

Today you took your first test for me.  I hope that you all felt prepared and that the test was not super difficult.  If you studied and felt as though your studying was not helpful, come and see me so that we can discuss some new strategies for you.

This weekend you have no homework.  Make sure that you have your copies of Siddhartha with you in class on Monday as we'll begin reading this text together on that day.

ESL English III

I was very pleased at the amount of work that we got done together in class today.  For the weekend you should continue to study your vocabulary.  Next week we will begin working on two major assignments.  Stay tuned for that!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students: 10/2/2013

AP English III

Tonight you should make your priority studying for your first exam on Transcendentalism as it is reflected in the literature and non-fiction that we have read in this opening unit.  Remember that your focus texts for this exam are Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham City Jail", Thoreau's "Where I Lived and What I Lived For", and finally Ralph Waldo Emerson's "The Over Soul".  These texts will have specific questions asked of them, but you can then use the parallel texts to explain your ideas from these key texts.

Remember as you study that you will have four short answer questions on this exam.  You should consider your writing boot camp notes as you prepare for this exam as I will be looking for improvements in your clarity, argument, use and explanation of examples.  I look forward to seeing your growth so far!

Russian I

Tonight for homework you have several grammar exercises to complete.  You need to complete numbers one, two, three, and four based on our lesson today on pronouns, questions and answers.  Please write out all of your answers on a separate sheet of paper.  On the reverse, you should complete exercises six and half of exercise seven as you identify whether you use КТО or ЧТО to ask a question about those different nouns.

As well, continue to study your chapter one vocabulary.  I would expect a quiz soon!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students - 10/1/2013

Honors English II

Next class you will be having your first exam with me which will cover all of the texts that we have read in this opening unit.  Take the review we accomplished today in class and continue to study and review.  Now that you know the sections of the test as well as how to accomplish each section, you should find an easy time of studying.  Tonight you should go through your notes and materials in order to prepare questions.  Remember that I will not answer questions twenty-four hours before a test; this requires that you prepare now and ask your questions in advance.

Study hard, especially the vocabulary and literary devices.  Remember to review your feedback on your writing as you will be graded more harshly on this in the test.  If you have been making consistent errors in your writing you will want to focus on those before Thursday's exam.

ESL English III

On Thursday we will finish up the vocabulary for this section of "A Taste of Home" as well as continue to work on the distinction between tone and mood.  I wanted to let you all know as well that you will be having a test, likely next week, on these different stories that we have read.  Make sure that you start studying now!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Homework and Tips for A-Day Students - 9/30/2013

And with that we say good-bye to September and hello to October and the last half of the first quarter.  Here are your reminders for tonight to take you through to our next class. 

AP English III

Your homework for tonight is the same that it will be tomorrow night - prepare for your examination.  Your exam on Friday will consist solely of short answer questions.  These are not essays, but you may find that they require more of you than just a paragraph as these questions will be quite complex.  I will not give you any questions for this test.  The questions are all in your notes, you just have to find them first.  As you go through and study your notes, focus on noticing trends and patterns throughout the texts as well as drawing connections between them.  This will be an important and productive way to study.  As well, write sample questions and then time yourself as you respond.  The biggest challenge that most of you will have with this test is the time constraint, the only way to conquer this is to practice a timed testing environment.

For next class, we will have our meeting with guidance as well as a quick discussion of "Once More to the Lake" which is our last piece for the exam.  If you have any questions for me about what we have covered so far, be sure that you raise them on Wednesday.  I will not answer questions about this test past that date.

Russian I

For tonight you need to finish your handout on identifying gender as well as working through your handwriting practice.  As we are moving forward with our grammar, please remember that we will constantly be building on what we've done before.  That's how a foreign language works, which is why you need to be so solid on your foundational elements.  Please make sure that you constantly study your vocabulary and try to use it daily.  We will soon have vocabulary quizzes and assessments, but we have to learn some of the nitty gritty of the grammar first.

Lastly, be sure to hang on to your НАЧАЛО sheets as you'll need that for every day of class.  They will be collected for a grade.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students - 9/27/2013

Honors English II

I want to start this post with a reminder that you have to be responsible for your learning and for what you are accomplishing in this class.  It is unacceptable that when given two days to pick up a reading assignment that some of you did not do this.  It's especially troubling that not completing homework assignments is developing into a very dangerous trend for some of you.  Keep up with all of your assignments.  Every single day.  Here's what you need to accomplish over the weekend - your study guide for your first test.  You should look at each of the texts that we have studied so far in this unit and consider the following information on each:

  1. What is the theme (are the themes) that the author is presenting in the piece?  How?
  2. Who are the major characters?  Do these characters undergo significant changes?  Why is this change significant to the overall text or to the author's theme?
  3. Are there significant literary devices at play such as irony, tone, or others?
  4. What is the main plot of the story?
  5. How is the author using language and specifically word choice to further his/her ideas.
  6. How does this piece reflect the idea of culture?
  7. Do you have any questions about this piece?
We will start class by doing our review and from there we may begin work on our first major text of the year.  Remember that your test will fall on Thursday, October 3rd.

ESL English III

Over the weekend you should take the drafts of the assignments you did and apply my feedback.  Try to follow the suggestions that I've made for you so that you can revise what you've done and then move on to the next phase of the assignment.  Please come and ask if you need any help with this.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students - 9/26/2013

AP English III

Let me begin this post by saying how impressed I was by both classes today.  Your attention to detail and the depth of our discussion today was absolutely fantastic.  Remember that we really only looked at several small pieces of the overall "Letter", yet we were able to fill over an hour with solid discussion.  Way to go.  Here are your reminders for tonight.

1.  Remember that you will have your unit test on October 4th.  Any text that we have read in this opening unit is fair game for your exam.  To prepare for the test I would recommend that you write sample questions and then time yourself as you write your responses.  This test will be made up of several short answers.  Practice!

2.  We will begin our study of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby during the week of October 7th.  Please have a copy of the text.  You can purchase a used copy, which is totally fine with me or you can get a new one.  If you need me to furnish you with a copy of the text, please let me know in advance.

3.  Your final reading selection for this unit is E.B. White's "Once More to the Lake" -- You can find it in 50 Essays or at this link.  As you read, be sure to focus on the rhetorical effect of White's use of detail and description.  It's a beautiful piece that reminds me a lot of summers in Alaska.  I hope you all enjoy it.

Russian I

Congratulations!  You've survived your first unit exam.  I'll be working hard to get them graded and returned to you early next week.  If you still have gaps in your alphabet knowledge it is imperative that you shore up those gaps this weekend.  As I've said consistently in class, "I can't learn this for you.  I already learned it for myself."  Commit to memorizing the alphabet and internalizing it.

Over the weekend you should be learning your new vocabulary.  Read the words several times and practice using them.  We will begin next week by investigating the grammar of the Russian language.  It's about to get harder and much more intense from here on out, be sure that you're ready.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students - 9/25/2013

Honors English II

For homework tonight I want you to read the excerpt from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's 1970 Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.  As you read, focus on the two questions that I've given you at the top of the speech.

  1. What is Solzhenitsyn's view on the purpose of authors and literature?
  2. How does this piece reflect the idea of culture which we've been focused on in this unit?
There is also a lot of vocabulary that you can glean from this excerpt, make sure that you're adding to those vocabulary bookmarks.  Finally, be sure that you annotate this text heavily.  I'm looking forward to a great seminar on Friday to finish our week.

ESL English III

Tonight I want you to read independently in our story "A Taste of Home".  You need to read to the top of page 199.  As you're reading, continue to focus on what we learn about the narrator, take notes as you read to help you remember what you're reading.  Also, like always, focus on your vocabulary.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Homework for A-Day Students - 9/24/2013

AP English III

Tonight you need to finish your reading and annotation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's "Letter from a Birmingham City Jail".  As you read, remember the connection between this piece and the shorter letter we read today in class.  Make sure that you draw connections between the two pieces so that you can see just how effectively King refutes and then utterly destroys their argument.  Remember to always read closely and to draw connections!  Also, be sure that you continue to develop your vocabulary lists.  I will collect a bookmark next week.

Russian I

Your alphabet unit test is coming on Thursday and Friday.  Be sure that you are studying your cultural notes on formality and names as this will be an important part of your exam.  Review your phonics, handwriting, and all notes up to this point.  Consider this your last chance to solidify your skills before we move on to the grammar and structure of the language.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Homework for B-Day Students: September 23, 2013

One day down and just four more to go this week.  Here are your reminders for Wednesday's class.

Honors English II

Tonight you have an online reflection due for class.  Please either e-mail your response to me, complete it as a comment on this post, or complete a written response on paper and turn it in at the beginning of class on Wednesday.  Here is the prompt -

What is one element of upper class Russian culture which you understand from reading "A Problem" by Anton Chekhov?  Is this element of the culture important or unimportant?  How do you know?

Furthermore, if you did not turn in your vocabulary today at the end of class you MUST submit it for a grade on Wednesday.

ESL English III

Tonight for homework you should continue working on your vocabulary and your reading skills.  I would suggest that you practice your skills of annotating by applying them to another text you are reading right now. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - 9/20/2013

I forgot to post this before I left the building, so I'm taking care of this from my kitchen table.  Then I'm going out for my run as I hope the clouds don't open up on me.

AP English III

Over the weekend you should begin reading Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior's "Letter from a Birmingham City Jail."  This piece is quite lengthy and will take you some time to get through; that's why we won't be discussing this piece until Thursday.  You can find the piece in 50 Essays or at this link.  As you read this piece keep track of Transcendentalism and the Over Soul.  You'll see a lot of that here.  Also, continue looking at your vocabulary sheets.  I will be collecting those next week.  Enjoy this piece, it's one of the most important things written in the twentieth century.

Russian I

Over the weekend you need to prepare for your presentations on Tuesday/Wednesday.  In addition, you should work through the worksheets I gave you today on Russian naming customs and on the distinction between formal and informal.  You'll see a lot of that information on your test on Thursday and Friday.  Be ready.  Study.  Ask for help if you need it!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Homework for the B-day Classes -- September 19, 2013

We've had our last B-day of the week, so it's time to rev up for the weekend.  Here is what you need to make sure to take care of before we see each other again on Monday.

Honors English II

Over the weekend I want you to read Anton Chekhov's "A Problem" from our literature textbooks.  As you read the story, the key idea I want you to look for is the idea we saw reflected in Szymborska's poem "In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself."  How are you seeing the characters praising their bad feelings about themselves?  What about the narrator?  How does the language of the text reflect these ideas?

Be sure that as you read Chekhov that you continue working on your vocabulary bookmarks.

I was very pleased with your performances today!  I look forward to our next skit day!

ESL English III

Over the weekend I would like for all of you to move forward with your vocabulary bookmarks.  Use the article we read today as well as the other texts we've read so far to fill up your first bookmark.  Remember that you've got to make sure to understand the definition in order to put it on your bookmark form.  We will have a bit of time to finish these bookmarks on Monday, but you should try to get a lot done this weekend.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Homework for 9/18/2013 - A Day Classes

Students!  I hope that your Wednesday has been as wonderful as mine!  Lots of stimulating conversation in my AP classes and some amazing progress in our Russian speaking ability in class too!  Keep moving forward!  Never stay still!

AP English III

Tonight you have two key tasks to prepare you for our class on Friday.  First, I would like for you to read an annotate the excerpted version of The Grapes of Wrath which I gave you in class.  The text is from my own copy so you can see how I annotate a text.  As you work through the four excerpts, I want you to "find the Over Soul" -- How do you see Emerson's philosophy reflected by the characters and scenes I've given you.  Focus on the five essential elements of Transcendentalism as well as our discussion to get you through this.

In addition, you need to read Henry David Thoreau's "Where I Lived and What I Lived For" which is in 50 Essays or available at this link.  Remember to use this as an outgrowth of our discussion of Emerson.  How is Thoreau living the philosophy?  Where are some issues related to practicality?

I look forward to another hearty discussion on Friday!

Russian I

Tonight you need to all practice your reading, writing, and phonics.  Practice the lines in your skit.  If you're still having trouble with the alphabet - then continue to study that.  Your test is coming next week!  You need to be ready.  If you're having serious trouble, then come see me so that I can help.  Remember, I can't learn it for you.  You've got to do it for yourself.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Homework for Tuesday - 9/17/2013

Honors English II

Your key homework assignment for tonight is to finish preparing for your skits and presentations which you will have on Thursday.  Remember that we are starting with the skits before we move on to finishing our work on "In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself".  Remember that each member needs a copy of the script, a role in the presentation, and any necessary props.  I look forward to seeing what you all have come up with.  If you have any powerpoints or images to load onto the Brightlinks screen, please email those files to me.

ESL English III

Tonight you should continue to review and revise your writing assignments as well as work on your vocabulary bookmarks.  I will be returning your first drafts back to you on Thursday so that we can continue working through and finishing these first assignments.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Homework for Monday - 9/16/2013

AP English III

By next class all of you should have finished Emerson's "The Over Soul" and have thorough annotations to take you through the piece.  As you read, continue to mark vocabulary and add to your bookmarks.  I'm looking forward to our seminar on Wednesday; remember that participation comes through both asking and answering questions!

Russian I

Next class we will continue to work on phonetics related to consonants and voicing rules.  For tonight, you should complete your worksheet on the different cities in Russia and the handwriting practice.  Continue researching your city if you need to.  Next class we will start writing scripts for our presentations.

Homework for the Weekend/Monday - 9/16/2013

This post is for my B-day students.  A-day students will be able to find their homework in the post at the end of the day.

B-day students:  I'm sorry for not getting this up earlier.  I had a crazy busy day yesterday and then Friday and Saturday were eaten by Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur.  Here are your notes to get you ready for tomorrow's class.

Honors English II

For homework you need to construct an extended response which uses two pieces of textual support to develop your answer to a question of your choice.  At the end of Sundiata there are several questions for you to consider.  I would like for you to choose either number six, nine, or eleven and complete your extended response.  You must have a clear topic sentence which clearly answers the question; in addition, there needs to be two pieces of evidence taken directly from the text which you then explain to show how it helps to prove the point you are trying to make.  Remember to take our discussion from today's class about writing - make sure that you aren't leaving me to draw my own conclusions - make your point clear, always. 

Next class you will be working in your dramatization teams again - make sure you have anything that you need for your group to work well together.

ESL English III

I was very pleased to see all of you develop your writing today by considering the positives and negatives of a particular issue.  Next class we are going to spend some time working through our writing pieces and revising them to consider both sides of the idea of being an immigrant in America.  Make sure that you have your original drafts in which you only considered one side of the issue.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quite the Day Today. 9/12/2013

Today was quite the day at Jordan High School.  I don't know where all of you evacuated to during third period, but I want to say a special thanks to my 3A Russian class for staying together, staying calm, and following instructions.  Спасибо!  AP Students, this update is especially important for all of you.

AP English III

With today's evacuation we did not have fourth period so Monday's class is going to become Wednesday's class to make sure that all students are in the same place in the calendar.  You should still put in and hopefully finish "The Over Soul" this weekend.  The extra day will be great for you to review it before class and to write down any questions which you're going to ask in class during our seminar.  You've also got some time to work on your vocabulary bookmarks.  I will want to collect one of those from you soon, be sure to go through Emerson thoroughly as he's got a highly elevated diction in his writing.

If you need the link to the article, see last class's post.  If you need a paper copy, please see me tomorrow to collect one.  4A - You will get your essays back on Monday and we will have today's class then.  2A - We will have an enrichment day on Monday.  I look forward to that with you.  It may also give us a chance to read a bit more together.

If you have any questions, please come see me tomorrow.

Russian I

I want all of you to think of this first quiz as a challenge.  Even if you did very well, there are still places where all of you can improve.  Focus on reviewing your handwriting very thoroughly as we go through the weekend.  We will begin with a speaking and culture activity on Monday and Tuesday.  I wanted to give 3A the handout today, but we were busy evacuating and not only did I leave my phone and car keys in the classroom, I left your handouts too.  I'll get these to you tomorrow morning during our short time together (see below).

To those of you who did not perform as well as you had hoped on the quiz, I especially want you to practice and study and review.  Remember that language needs to be experienced daily.  Over the weekend, it's your job to expose yourself to Russian!  Write your name, review your alphabet, listen to recordings as you look at your handouts and notes.  Remember that I'm also available during some lunches, before and after school for help and to review.

Here's that film we watched today in class.  I hope that you all enjoyed the beauty of Moscow.  Those of you in 3A - you're among the few people who know why I don't chew gum.  Congratulations.

All Students

Mr. Leathers will be calling tonight about tomorrow's schedule.  We are starting with 3A and then going to our normal schedule.  This will allow you to collect any belongings you left behind.  We will be in 3A only for 10 minutes.