Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Grades for the Third Quarter

I will aim to have all students grades finalized by 3:30, tomorrow afternoon. Please check Jupiter at that time for your updated grade.

Announcements and Reminders for Spring Break!

I may be counting my chickens before they're hatched since it's not technically tomorrow yet, but we made it.  I know that I need this vacation, so I know that you all need it too.  If you're in my AP classes you do have work to do over the break, here are those reminders for you.

AP English IV

Today we finished reading Twelfth Night, so now you can really begin in earnest on your essays.  I want to remind you of two things:  first, since we didn't get to review outlines today I'm making myself available tomorrow and also after we get back from break to look at these before you begin to draft.  The drafts of the essays are going to be workshopped on Friday, April 12th.  Be ready for this date.  Second, remember that you will have a timed writing the day we return from break on Twelfth Night.  You can't really study for this, but I don't want you to be unprepared and surprised.

Furthermore, over break, make sure that you find yourself a copy of A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

AP English III

Now that you have your outlines returned to you, you can begin to draft; however, many of you need to work on your outlines further before you can begin to draft.  Remember that this is an argumetative research paper - at this point many of you have thesis statements which rely on simple truths and aren't making a claim.  Remember that there has to be an overall idea you are trying to prove here.  Get to that point at the very beginning -- What are you trying to say about the topic you've chosen?

Furthermore, you have approximately 140 pages of reading from Invisible Man over break.  Remember, that's around fourteen pages a day, so I have a hard time not being mean about it.  You'll be reading a lot, so keep up with your motifs (either in books or on a separate  sheet), your vocabulary, and your notes.  Remember - quiz on these chapters (13-19) when we return from Break!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Reminders for the Last Day - Wednesday/Thursday

It's the last day of the quarter!  And Spring Break is finally upon us.  Here are your reminders going in to the final day of the nine weeks.

AP English IV

Our priority for our final class is going to be to finish Twelfth Night.  I have an annotation guide which I wanted you to get to last class after finishing She's the Man, but you didn't get to it.  We may have to push back the outlines and conferences on those outlines depending on how our study of the end of the play goes.  I'm sure we'll be able to work it out though.

AP English III

By the end of the day today (Tuesday) all of you should have put your outlines in my hand or in my e-mail inbox.  If you haven't then you're falling behind on your research paper.  I will be returning these outlines to you with my comments on Wednesday/Thursday so that you can turn around and start writing your essays.  Remember that you will come back to school and immediately sign up for draft conferences.  We'll talk about that when we get back from break. 

For class on Wednesday/Thursday we'll be discussing the most recent chapters in Invisible Man (chapters ten, eleven, and twelve) -- have your motif charts completed as I'll be spot checking them and have these sections read.  You'll likely have a lot of questions on chapter eleven which will really throw you for a loop.

English IV

If you didn't turn in your comparison chart between the movie and the play then I will collect that from you on Wednesday/Thursday -- be sure that you're ready to turn that in.  Like my AP section, our main task is going to be to finish the play.  From there, we'll transition to break and do a bit of survey work so that I can prepare an interesting last quarter for you.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Homework for AP English III and English IV - 3/21 and 3/22

Here are the assignments pending for AP English III and English IV students.  As a reminder, be aware that I will not be in the building on Monday as I'll be preparing for Passover by completing the fast of the first born.  I hope that all of you enjoy your time with the substitute.  Here are the reminders and notes that you need to have in order to finish the quarter strongly.

AP English III

Over the weekend and moving into Wednesday/Thursday's class you have a lot of reading to accomplish as well as your first major checkpoint on your research papers.  I would say that your research outlines should be your bigger priority since those are due on Monday/Tuesday.  Remember that A-day students will need to e-mail me outlines, B-day students will submit hard copies of the outlines.  If any A-day students cannot e-mail the outline, I will accept a hard copy on Tuesday.  Please follow the guidelines on your rubric, remembering about the topics you need to discuss in order to prove your argument and the use of sources in the outline.  Everything needs to be cited with parenthetical references on your outline.  Don't lose points and don't skimp on the work - remember that by putting in more work now on the outline that your paper will be much easier to write.

Outside of that, related to Invisible Man, you have a major reading checkpoint to reach by Wednesday/Thursday which is to be to the end of chapter twelve.  You're going to see a lot of changes in the Invisible Man's character at this moment in the text.  Pay attention to those changes, especially as they relate to chapter ten.  I hope that all of you will come to class on Wednesday/Thursday with a lot of questions for me.  In addition, remember that I will be spot checking your motif charts - be complete through to chapter twelve.  Feel free to partner with a friend on this:  sometimes someone will see something that you've overlooked.

English IV:

If you did not finish your word transformation vocabulary assignment then you need to finish that over the weekend.  In addition, if you have any missing assignments then you need to get those submitted ASAP.  We will be finishing this play shortly and having our final test on the play AFTER Spring Break.  It'd be best to study to prepare.

AP English IV Discussion and Homework

You all get your own post for the weekend since you have a discussion board here.  First, let me remind you about your homework for the weekend and to prepare for our last class of the nine weeks on Wednesday.

Remember that for Wednesday you should all be walking in to class with your outlines for your papers on Twelfth Night.  After we get through Act V, Scene 1 and finish the play we will do some individual conferences on your outlines.  Come prepared with questions.

For this weekend you'll need to read the Montegut criticism and respond to the following prompt in the comments section.  You should be able to comment no matter what - though the program may ask you to sign in for security.  Make sure to post your name at the end of your comment so that you can get credit for your response.  Here is your prompt:

In Montegut's criticism of the play he begins to develop the idea of the carnivalesque and apply it to Twelfth Night.  Why does Montegut think that the carnivalesque is so important to the play?  Do you agree or disagree with his assertion?  Why?  Be sure to use evidence from the play to support your assertions.

Be sure that your post is done by the end of the school day on Monday - I will grade these for not just completion but mastery, show me that you're literary scholars.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homework for All Classes - 3/19 and 3/20

We're so close to Spring Break I can just feel the mountain air on my face!  Here's what you need to accomplish to prepare for Thursday/Friday.

AP English IV

Your first priority right now is to complete your next round of vocabulary cards for Acts III and IV of Twelfth Night.  Remember to take your notes from your first round and improve for the second round.  Pay particular attention to the etymology and the synonyms portion of the assignment as this is where a lot of people lost points last time.

In addition, please begin revising your paper portfolios and beginning your planning or drafting.  You will not have drafts of the assignment due until we return from break - but I will expect you to be drafting and writing over break.  Don't worry about the criticism review, we'll look at that next class together as we start Act V.

AP English III

You have two major priorities for tonight.  First you need to read through chapters seven, eight, and nine of Invisible Man.  With chapter seven, focus on the Vet and his advice to the Invisible Man.  With chapter eight, look at the turning point in his life and the depiction of the city.  Lastly, with chapter nine, notice how the Invisible Man is trying to move forward but still getting stuck in the past.

Also, you need to begin putting together your outlines from your research proposals.  Remember that A-day students will need to e-mail this assignment to me using my school e-mail address, on Monday or turn in a hard copy to me on Tuesday.  I'll not be here Monday, but the due date still stands.  B-day students will turn in a hard copy on Tuesday.  I will get these back to you on Wednesday/Thursday so that you can begin drafting over break.  When we get back we will register for writing conferences to review your rough drafts.  Conferences will run from the 10th to the 19th of April with final drafts of the research paper being collected on the 24th (A-day) or 25th (B-day).  Remember the trick about outlining, leave it all on the paper - the more you put in to your outline, the easier your paper will be to write.  Please see me if you have any questions especially in developing your subtopics.

English IV

You all have no homework tonight - if you need to finish anything from workshop time today in class, get that turned in to me at the beginning of class on Thursday.  Next week we will move through Acts IV and V very quickly to resolve some of the complications that we've seen.

SENIORS - Don't forget that tomorrow during B2 you will be with me in the gym for our in-school field trip.  I hope that you all enjoy As You Like It.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

AP Seniors

For Tuesday's class bring some change for the photocopier in the library. We'll be getting some literary criticism on _Twelfth Night_ and you won't be able to check out all of the sources.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Homework for the Weekend and Monday - 3/15 and 3/18

With the coming of the weekend you have a lot of opportunities to get ahead on some major work coming down the pike in the last few weeks of the quarter.  Here are your reminders.

AP English IV

Over the weekend you need to complete the reading of Act IV.  I know that I did not check annotations of your texts today in class, so do expect that when we return from the weekend.  In addition, you will have a second round of vocabulary cards due on Thursday.  Your words must come from Acts III and IV.  Please take the notes I gave you on your cards, which I handed back to you today, and apply them to your next set.  Remember - the etymology refers to the history and sources of the words.  Don't leave something blank on your cards, if there is no known source, then say that.  Show me that you did your work.

AP English III

Over the weekend you should continue to move forward on your research using SIRS and the CQ Researcher.  Remember that you must compile EIGHT sources and then eventually synthesize at least FIVE in the body of your essay.  At least ONE of those sources must be a non-print source.  Remember that on SIRS you are able to simply search graphics, which can be useful in using the non-print source.

Next week I'll be giving you your outline rubric to begin moving you toward your drafting process.  Remember that you must research before you can fully outline!

Lastly, this weekend you need to finish your reading of chapters five and six of Invisible Man.  We'll be having a lengthy discussion/seminar on Tuesday/Wednesday related to these chapters.  Annotate heavily!

English IV

Over the weekend you have no homework; however, if you have missing assignments or you did not finish your one page response on conflicts in Twelfth Night, please get that done this weekend.  Use Jupiter grades and ask about any assignments which are missing for you right now.  There are only two weeks left in the grading period.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homework for 3/13 and 3/14

Apologies for not posting this yesterday.  I left quickly and then it just flew out of my mind.  Here are your reminders to prepare for Friday/Monday.

AP English IV

You all did an amazing job on your teaching aspects for your presentations.  All groups have their performances of the translated scenes on Friday.  We'll go in order of the act, so that you all see how the ideas and the characters and the plot develop through the act.  Remember the requirements for the presentations:  props, costumes, and scripts!  I need a copy of your script turned in to me at the beginning of the period.

Also, I'll be collecting your paper proposals on Friday and reading these over the weekend.  What I'm looking for in these is an (as clear as you can articulate it now) argument you will be exploring and proving in this paper and what your source material will be from Twelfth Night or from other sources (a film or other text for comparison purposes).  Lastly, don't forget about a quick annotation check for Acts I-III.

AP English III

You've completed your first SYNTHESIS prompt - congratulations!  You'll be getting these back on Friday/Monday as well as your term papers.  We'll spend some time reflecting and assessing skills related to writing on Friday.  In addition on Friday we will be getting a visit from Guidance related to the college search process for next year.  Come with questions -- it's never to early to start this process.

Make sure that you're ready for a thorough discussion of chapters three and four for Friday/Monday - we'll start by looking at those quotation posters, and I'll be pointing out some additional elements from these chapters to help your understanding.

Don't forget that you have to have chapters five and six read for Tuesday/Wednesday.  Keep track of your vocabulary and motif charts -- remember that these assignments should be done WHILE you are reading.  Not after.

English IV

Tonight you have a one page response related to the different conflicts encountered so far in Twelfth Night.  Here are your questions for this assignment: 
  1. Which conflict in Twelfth Night is the most important conflict in the play? Why? 
  2. How has this conflict been developed? 
  3. How do you think this will be resolved? Why?
You can approach this assignment by writing a third of a page on each of the questions above.  Remember that once you identify the most important conflict that you need to stay focused on that for the remainder of the assignment -- no switching mid way through.  

That font shift is really bothering me and I can't figure out how to change it.  Oh well, see you Friday! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Freshman Focus Announcement

Today in class we began our major research project related to a country's culture.  You don't have any homework tonight except to continue working on your projects.  I would focus right now on finishing your notes and research before moving on to constructing your Powerpoint.

Focus for today on your information that you need for your presentation.  As you move forward you can focus on making your presentations fancier by adding images and other graphics.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Announcement - AP Students

AP Kiddos,

If you're interested in attending any of the district workshops to prepare for AP Exams, please make sure that you register using the link below.

Don't forget too that you need to register and pay for your AP Exams.  See your counselor for questions or help applying for a fee waver if you think you qualify.

Homework for All Classes - 3/11 and 3/12

Students - We're very close to Spring Break which will end the third grading period.  Many of you are currently starting long term projects and these due dates will likely take you into the last grading period of the year.  Stay on your assignments and make sure that you ask for help if you need any.  Don't forget that I'm here on Wednesday afternoons if you need me.

AP English IV

Today in class we started a mini-project which will count as your test grade for Act III.  Remember that the goal of the assignment is to translate the scene and still retain the meaning as well as teach the literary elements of your scene or portion to the class.  On Wednesday each group will present their teaching to the scene; on Friday you will be running through your scenes.  Remember to have your costumes and props ready for Friday.

In addition, on Friday I will be collecting paper proposals from you.  Make sure that you have an outline of your argument (as clearly as you can articulate it right now) and that you also have outlined for me areas of the play that you will use to prove your argument is valid.  Please remember that you have the chance to take a look at any aspect of the play - have fun and be creative as you determine your paper's direction.

AP English III

Wednesday and Thursday are going to be big days for this class.  Here is what I will be collecting from all of you on this day:
  • Your research paper proposals will be due.  Please be sure that if you did not get the information from the Durham County Libraries that you get this information from me or from a classmate ASAP.  This is one of those times where you need to make sure that you follow up from your absence due to a field trip.
  • Your jazz journals will be checked.  I know that we have had other journals, but I'm really going to focus on these for your grade.
  • You will complete an in-class timed SYNTHESIS.  Prepare for this by reviewing your notes on argumentative writing; remember that the synthesis is nothing more than an argument using sources for support.  The argument needs to stay central!
Outside of that you also need to read chapters five and six of Invisible Man.  You have until next week (the 19th and 20th) to get this reading done.  Chapter five is really difficult, it's very stream of consciousness, just get what you can get out of it -- we'll work through it next week.

English IV

After your presentations today I am not assigning any homework for you tonight.  If you are missing assignments I would recommend that you spend time catching up on those tonight as the grading period is going to be over soon.

Only thirteen more days remaining until Spring Break.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Homework for the Weekend - 3/7 and 3/8

Here are your tasks for the weekend - be sure that you ask for any assistance you may need!

AP English IV

Over the weekend I want for you to read all of Act III.  It's a pretty quick act, but Shakespeare will be giving us the main turning point of the play here - be sure to be on the lookout for it.  As you're reading, be sure to keep up with your annotations and especially spend time on your back covers since we are at the mid point of the play.  Remember to include symbols, topics/motifs, conflicts, and settings on your back cover.

In addition, be sure that you continue to collect vocabulary.  You'll have cards due again - so you may want to use this time to begin your next set.

AP English III

By this point all of you have gone through and received instruction on how to use CQ and SIRS from the Durham County Library.  If you were not in class for the presentation, please try to see me next week so that I can review this information with you.  Begin working through your paper topics so that you are ready to submit these to me this upcoming Wednesday/Thursday.  You will have a SYNTHESIS timed writing this same day and a journal check!  Lots to do on Wednesday/Thursday!

For the weekend, continue moving forward in your reading of Invisible Man - get through chapters three and four.  As you read, pay special attention to the character of The Vet (you'll meet him at Chapter Three) - he acts as a very important voice in the text.  Look at how he is foreshadowing events.

English IV

Your presentations on Elizabethan England are due on Monday/Tuesday - No Exceptions and No Excuses.  I hope that you will use the rubrics to complete your presentation so that you are prepared for Monday/Tuesday.  I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of your labor!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The A-Day That Wasn't

Today with the ACT was really a bit of a pause for most of us. Remember that the assignments outlined in the previous post are due for collection on Thursday/Friday.

AP English III Students - Be aware that we will be beginning on out next major paper assignment tomorrow and Thursday. B-day students are going to be slightly ahead here. We'll get all caught up together next week. I hope that all the students taking the ACT felt prepared.

See you tomorrow!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Homework for the Weekend and Monday - 3/1 and 3/4

Happy March!  It's time to start a new month.  Here are your notes and reminders to prepare you for next class.

AP English IV

These assignments will not be collected or due until Thursday the 7th of March as there will be a substitute with you on Tuesday since I'll be administering the ACT to the Juniors.  For the weekend you have a few things to accomplish:
  1. Reread Act II, Scene 5 - As you reread, select a quote to complete your 1Q1P assignment.  Remember that the goal of the 1Q1P is to carefully analyze the quotation in order to draw connections between its content and the larger play.  This is your second of these assignments, so I hope to see some improvement in your skills.
  2. Complete your vocabulary cards.  Have five cards ready for Thursday's class.  Follow all of the guidelines on the assignment sheet.  Ask if you have questions.
AP English III

These assignments are also due for Thursday/Friday.  First I want you to read James Baldwin's "Notes of a Native Son" - but only read parts one and two.  This is a long piece that we're going to spend a few days talking about - we're also going to be talking about this piece as we work through the rest of Invisible Man.  Read this article and connect it as thoroughly as you can to Invisible Man.  Here is a link to the piece - sorry for not uploading it sooner.

Your other reading assignment for the weekend is to read chapter two of Invisible Man.  This is a long chapter - around seventy pages - so you will need to divide and conquer.  Figure out an amount of reading that can be accomplished daily for you and meet your goal.  This is a difficult chapter due to its provocative content - there's a rape scene and some other very disturbing elements.  Push through and realize why Ellison is having you feel a particular way.  We'll discuss this thoroughly Thursday/Friday.

English IV

If you did not finish your Act II assessment then you need to finish that over the weekend.  I need those to be collected next class.  If you need to review the film to help you answer the questions, here's a link to so that you can find the film there.  This is a link to part four of the film on youtube.  Act II begins at about the seven minute mark.  Then, you'll want to watch parts five and six, to finish Act II.  Use the navigation on the side of the page. 

Furthermore, you should be completing your visual and preparing your presentations.  A day will present on the 11th, B day on the 12th.  Be ready!