Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Homework for 1/29 and 1/30

So yesterday we have a delayed start because of freezing rain, and today we have seventy degrees and sunshine.  What the heck?!  Anyway, while you're enjoying this amazing weather, I hope that you also enjoy your homework assignments outlined for you below.

AP English IV

We didn't get a chance to touch Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" so we have that on our agenda for Thursday.  I would suggest that you review the text so that it's fresh in your heads.  Also, I want you to also read "When in Rome" by Mari Evans and "Kitchenette Building" by Gwendolyn Brooks.  All three are excellent African-American female writers; I hope that you enjoy these pieces.

AP English III

On Thursday/Friday you will be having a quiz on Acts I and II of The Crucible.  You will be asked relatively basic multiple choice questions about plot, characters, conflicts, and the allegory in the play.  Furthermore, you'll be asked to complete quote identifications for Act I and II.  The quotes are relatively significant ones, think about your motif lists and use your annotations to help you prepare.

I also want you to read a piece of non-fiction for Thursday/Friday's class from the 50 Essays book.  You will need to read "The Morals of the Prince" by Niccolo Machiavelli.  If you don't have 50 Essays, you can access the reading at this link.  As you read, notice the qualities that Machiavelli says are good for a leader to have.  You may find this a useful text in thinking about power, manipulation, and several of the characters we've seen, especially Abigail, Rev. Parris and the Putnams.

English IV

Tonight I want you to complete a one page response to either of the following questions based on what you think of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.  Remember as you write to use textual evidence to support your claims.

If you find this play to be funny, then answer the following question:  What makes Twelfth Night a comedy?

If you don't find this play to be funny, then answer the following question:  Why does Twelfth Night fail as a comedy?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Homework for All Classes - 1/25 and 1/28

Early Release because of SNOW!?  That's the best thing ever!  Well, I would have liked full classes, but we can make up the time throughout the next few days.  Here are your notes for the weekend or Monday night to prepare you for Tuesday/Wednesday.

AP English IV

Over the weekend I'd like for you to read Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" from your Perrine book.  As you read the story, think especially about connections to O'Connor -- the stories mirror each other in a few ways which I hope we'll be able to tease out in our discussion and analysis.  As a note, we've only got two more stories to read after this one so you may find it useful to begin to review the other texts that we've studied so far to prepare you for a comprehensive exam on this short literature unit.

Don't forget about your poetry projects -- they'll be due a week from Monday.  Nobody has really come to see me yet, so I assume that everything is going swimmingly with these.

AP English III

Over the weekend I'll be reviewing your paper proposals and returning those to you on Tuesday/Wednesday - make sure that if you did not get this assignment submitted on time that you get this turned in ASAP, don't fall behind.  E-mail is an acceptable option for this assignment as speed is of the essence.

To prepare for our next class please read ALL of Act II of The Crucible.  Pay special attention to the development of John and Elizabeth Proctor as characters - we're really going to get to know them in Act II.  Also, we will spend a bit of time reviewing Act I since we were rushed today.  Lastly, please complete a works cited entry for your texts - we'll spend some time talking about MLA formatting on Tuesday/Wednesday.

English IV

You have no required homework, but if you are missing an assignment you need to get it turned in.  The only assignment at this point which you can be missing is the vocabulary assignment for Twelfth Night.  For this, find five words from our reading so far which are new to you.  Once you have those words, note the act, scene, and line number next to the word.  Then, define the word, give two synonyms and finally create a sentence which uses the word with context.  Don't just drop the word in, but show me in your sentence that you know what it means.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homework for All Classes - 1/23 and 1/24

It's time for us to begin our long stretch to Spring Break.  Here are your reminders to prepare for Friday/Monday's class.

AP English IV

That Flannery O'Connor - what a great author, right?  Tonight for homework you've got two poems to read in your Perrine books:  Lucille Clifton's "in the inner city" and Wallace Stevens' "Sunday Morning".  The Clifton poem acts as a really excellent counterpoint to O'Connor's "Good Country People"; the Stevens poem is just a really beautiful one.  Remember to read the questions after the poem with the Stevens piece as they will really help you to understand what's going on in the poem, especially with the structure.

Also, next class we're going to keep looking at our timed writing tasks.  You might find it helpful to look at all of the work we've done with analyzing poetry to prepare for this.

AP English III

Today's discussion was really productive and I hope it served you well in opening up your approach to The Crucible.  Tonight you need to finish reading Act I of the play -- remember to consider the major motifs and concepts in the play and to think about their meaning or importance in the text as you move forward.  Also remember that drama is all about conflict.  On your back cover, make sure that you identify the significant conflicts as you see them to help you keep track of the various plot lines.

In addition your paper proposals are due next class.  In your proposal you should tell me the following information:

1.  As you see it, what is your argument at this point?  What are you going to prove in this paper?
2.  Which texts are going to be used?  How will you use them?
3.  Do you have any questions for me?

Consider this a pre-outline, we'll make them more developed and specific as we move to the next step.

English IV

You need to finish your vocabulary development activity for Act I, Scenes 1 and 2 if you did not finish that work in class.  If you finished that work, you have no homework for tonight. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Focus Homework - 1/22/2013

Freshman Focus

For tonight I want you to do a bit of research about the value of money.  Talk to people older than yourself and figure out what you could get for twenty dollars.  Go back as far as you can thinking of your own experiences and those of your parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  Remember to look at three categories:  basic necessities, luxury items, and fun.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Homework for the Long Weekend/Tuesday - 1/17 and 1/22


This snow day couldn't come at a better time.  We've already got the day off tomorrow so we don't have to worry about making up the time.  Hopefully it snows enough that the hill on the road up the block from my house will get good and icy for sledding.  If not, I'll just have to enjoy being here tomorrow finishing up some work.  Here are your reminders for the weekend or Tuesday night before you come back in on Wednesday/Thursday.

AP English IV

This weekend you need to read Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People" from your Perrine books.  As you read, always annotate.  Pay especial attention to O'Connor's use of religion, grotesque, and irony.  Also, be sure to pay attention to the narrator as well as the characters within the story.

After you finish reading you are going to complete a 1Q1P assignment based on the story.  You need to select a sentence from the story which is anywhere from ten to thirty-five words long.  Write that sentence at the top of your page and then below present a full reading of that quotation.  Wring every bit of meaning out of all of the parts of the quotation.  Leave no comma unturned!  This is a great activity to prepare you for larger analysis type assignments which we will begin to approach this nine weeks.

AP English III

Over the weekend you have some reading to do for me.  First, read Arthur Miller's article entitled "Why I Wrote The Crucible" - remember that the copy I gave you is edited to avoid giving away plot points, if you read a different version of the article, be sure not to give away major plot moments.  Also, you need to begin reading Act I of The Crucible.  I'd like for you to read to the entrance of Rev. Hale of Beverly.

As always, annotate everything highly.  We're venturing into a new foray studying drama, but I think it's going to be great fun.

English IV

Over the weekend you all don't have any homework to complete for me.  However, I would invite you to continue the process of reflection we started in class due to the fact that you all have a very important goal to reach this year and some of you are falling short.  Remember, I'm here to help if you need it.

Freshman Focus

Your homework will be posted on Tuesday after our class.

Happy end of the first semester everyone!  Come back energized to begin the long slog to summer vacation!  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Homework for 1/15 and 1/16

Sorry for not getting this up earlier; it was just one of those things that I allowed to slip my mind in the mix of everything else.  Here are your reminders for our next class.  A-day students, I'll see you on Thursday.  B-day students, I won't be seeing you until after the four day weekend.

AP English IV

Tonight you have two goals to accomplish.  First you need to study for your Wordskills exam on unit two.  Ms. Rubenstein left me the test and stressed the importance of giving it to all of you for this quarter.  The test is scheduled to take the first thirty to forty minutes of our class.  Following your preparation for the test, secondly, you need to read Philip Larkin's "Church Going" and Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "Constantly Risking Absurdity".  I would also recommend that you review all of the poems that we have read so far as we will be having a Poetry Extravaganza on Thursday!

AP English III

Thank you all for your dedication to your website projects.  Grades for these as well as comments will be available for you on Jupiter Grades.  There are a few things that you all need to accomplish before our next class.  First, finish reading Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" for our next class.  I hope that all of you find the story interesting and intriguing.  It's one of my favorites.  I'm looking forward to our discussion to see what you all got from it.  Also, I would like to remind you that we'll be starting our study of The Crucible on Thursday/Tuesday so you will want your copy of that text if you intend to purchase.  I do have copies which you can borrow in the room.

Finally, this nine weeks you are going to write two papers for me.  I would like for you to get started on this first paper today.  You should begin brainstorming your argument and which texts (one major and one minor) you would like to use for this assignment.  I would start this process by considering which of the major texts we read has been your favorite and then go from there to your argument and other text.  I'll be giving out more particulars on this paper next class.

English IV

Those of you who got your papers in have no homework tonight.  If you did not submit your paper today then your last chance is Thursday.  I would like to remind you that you did have a lot of time to get this put together - and I made myself available outside of class for any assistance.  My grades are due on Friday - so I am under a time crunch and need these papers submitted.

Freshman Focus

If you and your partner did not present your lesson today you will be expected to present on Tuesday. I certainly hope that Tuesday goes better than today.  Expect to have new seats.  

Friday, January 11, 2013

Homework for the Weekend and Monday - 1/11 and 1/14

Here are your tasks to prepare for Tuesday/Wednesday which will be the final full days of this nine weeks.

AP English IV

This weekend you have two poems to read and consider - Countee Cullen's "Yet I Do Marvel" and Claude McKay's "The White City".  As you look at these poems, consider the elements of the acronym that I gave you last class to help you understand what these authors are trying to accomplish.  Further, try to tease out any connections between these pieces and Ha Jin's "A Contract".  We will discuss all these pieces on Tuesday's class.

Also, don't forget that you have your Wordskills exam on Thursday.  Be ready!

AP English III

As promised here is the link to the Purdue OWL for help on completing your MLA citations.


Use this site to your advantage and remember to ask any questions that you may have.  Over this weekend your focus needs to be on your websites.  As a group you will have ten minutes to present your sites to the class.  After presentation, your content will be graded.  Grades and comments will be done in Jupiter Grades.  Please e-mail me through the weekend and I will get back to you as soon as I can with answers.

The story we started today in class will be discussed on Thursday (A-day) and Tuesday the 22nd (B-day).  Have it read and annotated.  This will serve as our bridge to our next piece, The Crucible.

English IV

Your final essays are due next class.  It is imperative that you submit anything that you have for this essay so that you can get some if not all credit.  Today in class we reviewed the rubric that I will use to grade this assignment.  I hope that you will use this rubric to edit your assignment so that you earn as many points as possible.

Also next class we will have our grammar test and start our work on William Shakespeare.  It'll be an exciting day for all involved.

Freshman Focus

No homework for Monday night.  If you're missing anything from Jupiter Grades make sure that you've seen me to get anything you're missing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Homework for All Classes - 1/9 and 1/10

To prepare for Friday and Monday's classes please be sure that you have completed the following tasks.  Be especially clear about the fact that all work will need to be submitted to me no later than 3:00 pm on Thursday the 17th.  This is the last day of the quarter.  Please use your Jupiter Grades login to see if you are missing assignments; if you are, ask if these assignments can be made up.

AP English IV

For our next class we will be looking at another short story.  I would like for you to read Ha Jin's "A Contract" in our Perrine books -- there are no questions connected to the story, but be sure to annotate it heavily.  Keep an eye out for irony and satire as Jin is pretty critical of the Chinese government, its agencies, and representatives of that power.  Also, the majority of class will be spent working through Donne and Marvell, taking another look at those poems given our work with today's class would be productive.

Lastly, Mrs. Mausi (AP over English) was impressed with your poem dramatizations today.  Mad props!

AP English III

Tonight your priority should be your websites.  I hope that you are now at the point where you are revising your work, putting finishing touches on your site, and beginning to plan for your presentations.  Next class the Guidance department will be coming in to speak with you all about registration for next year.  Following that, we will go through some maintenance issues related to your websites -- If you have any questions related to websites you will want to ask them during Friday/Monday's class.

Also, don't forget that we will be starting our study of The Crucible on the 23rd and 24th of the month.  Be sure that you have your copy of the text.

English IV

I would like for all of you to continue working on your essays for tonight's assignment.  Remember that this will be one of your last major grades of the quarter and will create a large impact on your grade.  Even if you are unable to finish the whole essay you should turn in a partial draft as that will earn you more points than no draft.  On Friday/Monday we will spend our last day in our workshop mode and I will go over the rubric so that all of you understand how you will be graded in this assignment.

Freshman Focus

After our time in the lab you should have your resume finished and ready to submit for Monday's deadline.  Also, be ready to teach your lesson!  Remember to have a formal lesson plan which you can turn in to me as well as any needed materials.  This is our last activity in the education unit and soon we will be moving on to a unit on cultural diversity and appreciation.  Let me know if you need anything from me in completing your assignments.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Homework for 1/7 and 1/8


We have only a few classes left before the end of the grading period.  Please make sure that you're keeping up with your deadlines.  Be especially clear about the fact that I will not accept late work on the teacher workday.  Here are your reminders to prepare for our next class.

AP English IV

Tonight you will need to read two poems out of our Perrine books to prepare for next class.  First, read John Donne's "Valediction: A Forbidding Morning" and complete the questions following the poem.  You will want to make sure that you do keep your vocabulary on a separate sheet of paper in your notebooks as I will often check vocabulary.  Also be aware that with a poem, vocabulary is of the utmost importance -- if you don't know a word, look it up.  You'll then read Andrew Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" and consider questions one and three through seven. 

Next class we're going to focus on how to read a poem in an AP class and build on the skills we already have.  We also have another poem to look at connected to "Hills Like White Elephants".  I was really pleased with our discussion today.  Keep it going!

AP English III

You've read the book so now it's time to take the test.  Next class you will have your final exam on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Make sure that you're prepared.  In order to prepare for the exam be sure that your books are in good shape as I will be collecting books and checking annotations while you work on the test.  I'll also be looking at your journals, so have those too.  I hope that our conversation on themes and motifs was helpful to you - it's important to think about those bigger issues especially as we finish a text.

Your website projects are going to be due on the 15th (A-day) and 16th (B-day).  At this point you should be revising and finishing those.  Remember to ask for help if you need it.

English IV

Your biggest priority is to work on your essays.  These assignments will be due on the 15th for A-day students and the 16th for B-day students.  Remember that this is your final major grade of the nine weeks and will serve to either lift you up or bring you down.  If you need help, let me know.

Freshman Focus

I'm hoping that after our time in the lab that your resumes are beginning to look more finished.  These resumes will be collected from you on Monday the 14th and they will count as a major project grade.  Also you have your lesson plan presentation.  Be sure that you and your partner have clearly defined what you're trying to teach, how you will teach it, how you will know that your classmates have learned what you want them to learn, and how you will assess that learning.

Enjoy your afternoon everyone!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

And with that, we're off!

I think that one of the best things about having a short Winter Break is that we came back and immediately had a weekend.  This gives you a good chance to get some things done before Monday/Tuesday's classes.  Here are your reminders:

AP English IV

Surprise and Happy New Year!  I know that I can't fill Mrs. Rubenstein's shoes, nor would I attempt to, but I think that we're going to have a lot of fun before the year ends.  Over the weekend for homework I would like for you to finish reading Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" from the Perrine textbook.  Remember that annotating is the key to thoroughly comprehending a piece of literature - so I would suggest post-it notes for all of you since we're working out of school books.  If you would prefer to take notes on paper, that also works for me.  The important thing is that you annotate!

After you finish the story, work through the consideration questions and make sure to thoroughly think through and annotate sections of the story which could be used to answer the questions.  I will not collect these from you, but we will definitely discuss these questions and topics, so thorough preparation will lead to easier participation. 

AP English III

Over the weekend, given our lesson today on synthesis, I would ask that your first priority is on your group websites.  You need to make sure that all analyses are posted, all annotations are posted, and that you have begun to craft your synthesis assignment as a group.  You will definitely want to have this done ASAP as next week should be geared toward revising and preparing for your presentations, which we will discuss later.

Furthermore, you should be done with your reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Your test on the book will happen on the 9th for A day and the 10th for B day students.  We will review what will be on the test and how to prepare next class as we finish our review of the book.

Finally, our next text will be Arthur Miller's The Crucible.  I would recommend finding yourself a copy of this text.  You will need your copy by the 22nd/23rd which will likely be our first day studying this play.

English IV

Over the weekend you have two pieces of writing to work on.  One is relatively short and the other relatively major.  First, the short piece:  In a one page response I would like for you to answer the following questions.  Make sure that as you write your answer you use clear details and explanation to make your point clear.

How are the characters of V and Winston most similar?  How are they most different?  Why are the similarity and difference so important?

The major thing that you need to work on is your essay.  Make sure that for Monday/Tuesday you bring in anything that you've completed for the essay even if that is only planning.  We will have a writing workshop time on Monday/Tuesday to begin to put these pieces together.

I think that does it for all of us.  Freshman Focus is now only taught on the B-day, so you all will have your assignments listed in a separate post which I will put up after class each B-day.