Archive for September, 2010

30
Sep

All-

A slight shift in plans for this week makes it necessary for me to make sure that you are appropriately prepared for our small group discussion on Heracles, Perseus, and Bellerophon tomorrow. As an entry slip please complete the following prompt:

Heracles Seminar Prompt

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
26
Sep

Happy Homecoming week, all. I’ll keep this short, because nobody needs two long-winded introductions in a row.

Monday: We’ll start the week off with a 10 minute FreeWrite on the subject of Homecoming, so that should engender some interesting conversation. Afterwards I’ll be giving you 15 minutes to finish up your charts from Friday. We’ll end the day by discussing what we’ve learned about each piece of writing.

Tuesday: I’ll be handing out the last of our Early Voices pieces from a European perspective, a selection from the journals of John Smith (yeah, the Pocahontas dude). We’ll be reading his journals, then reading a short article about his writings. Lastly, I’ve got a series of questions that will ask you to think critically about his journal and set the stage for some conversations that will last much of the year. Also, you’ll receive Vocab #2.

Wednesday: You’ll receive the last of our Early Voices readings in the form of two separate accounts of first contact from the Native perspective. I’d love to post them here, but I’m pretty sure they’re under copyright. You can find one of them here by Charles Alexander Eastman, but I can’t take responsibility if the link goes down. We’ll end the day with a short FreeWrite.

Thursday: We’ll begin with Vocab #3, then transition into the reading of Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative. As homework I’ll be asking each student to prepare two analytical questions about the text which I’ll be checking off at the start of class on Friday.

Homework: Analytical Questions on Rowlandson.

Friday: The last day of the week will start with our second Vocabulary Quiz during which I’ll check off both the week’s vocabulary notes and the homework on Rowlandson. We’ll end the week with a short discussion and reflection on Rowlandson and the American Dream.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
26
Sep

Happy Homecoming Week! I trust that this week will be an interesting one, and I have a sneaking suspicion that somebody will accuse me of not having nearly enough spirit. I suppose that’s fair. Here’s the week:

Monday: We’ll start off with a super short 5 Minute FreeWrite about Homecoming, then you’ll have about 10 minutes at the start of class to put any finishing touches on your posters before we present them. The last 25 minutes or so of class will be spent presenting, so make darn sure that you’re ready to go. I’ll end by handing out copies of the myth of Bellerophon to those of you who didn’t receive them on Friday, and they need to be read for class on Tuesday. I’ll also distribute the Perseus and Heracles myths.

Homework: Read the Bellerophon myth for class on Tuesday. Perseus should be done by Wednesday, and Heracles should be read by Friday.

Tuesday: We’ll start the day with a short Grammar Warm Up then move on to an activity in which we try to identify some of the steps from the Hero’s Journey. If you are gone, you can find the worksheet here.

Homework: Read the Perseus myth for class on Wednesday. You can’t complete the assignment on Wednesday if you’re not caught up on the reading.

Wednesday: Wednesday will be our first in-class essay. If you miss class, you’ll still be responsible for completing the assignment and having it ready upon your return.

Thursday: As per normal, we’ll begin class with a Grammar Warm Up, and then I’ll be dedicating the remainder of the period to you and the reading of the Heracles myth. It is long, so make sure that you’ve budgeted enough time to get it done.

Homework: Finish reading Heracles.

Friday: After our Grammar Quiz #3 (during which I’ll be checking your notebooks) we have an activity comparing the mythical Heracles with a more modern depiction of him. I’ll post the activity later, because I don’t want to ruin the surprise.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
21
Sep

So because I fell behind our schedule for the week is slightly off. Instead of doing things as homework we’ll spend time working in class. Here’s the quick schedule:

Tuesday: Today we read an excerpt from Columbus’ journal and annotated it together. You’ll need this document for Thursday, so if you were gone make sure to pick up a copy.

Wednesday: After vocab #2 we’ll be reading excerpts from a couple other early American documents, one from an explored and the other an oral tale from a group of Indians. We’ll break them down in class via a small group activity on Thursday.

Homework: A 1 page thought paper on the 3 readings. I’ll explain the paper in class.

Thursday: As promised, the day starts with a vocabulary quiz, then we’ll have our small group activity. You must have the response done to participate, otherwise you get to go through the make-up process.

Homework: Over the weekend you’ll be reading from John Smith, and you’ll need to craft a thought paper around that as well.

As an aside, this was done entirely from my phone, HTML included.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
21
Sep

Picture 14

Well, what size is he?

Category : Misspellings | Blog
19
Sep

Cron

Corn. C-O-R-N. Really, not that hard. (Except in Northern California, it would seem).

Category : Funny Signs | Misspellings | Blog
19
Sep

This is an important week for us, as it marks the beginning of our study of American literature. American literature is my favorite course to teach, mainly because I think that it does a very good job answering a tremendously important question: Who the heck are we? The truth is, of course, that it is far to large a question to answer with a single essay, with a single response, with anything, really. But buried in that question is a simple acknowledgement; we are myriad. We are from here, from elsewhere. We are rich, we are poor. We are Republicans, we are Democrats. We are young, old, married, single, straight, gay, urban, rural. We are American, we are Mexican, we are Indian, we are Filipino. But through all of this, we are here. Living in America, as Americans, no matter our upbringing, our culture, our whatever. For this reason, American Lit is special to me because it helps us figure out just who we actually are.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox and tell you about the week.

Monday: We’ll review the week then jump in with a 10 minute FreeWrite identifying an object that we believe is America. We’ll share out, and I’ll hand out the reading for the evening. This reading is one of the earliest pieces of writing to come from America, specifically from Christopher Columbus’ journal. More about that later.

Tuesday: We’ll be starting our year long vocab unit Tuesday, and afterwards I have an in-class assignment about Columbus’ journal that will look closely at his feelings towards the people he met here, and we’ll discuss it at length in class. Expect a reading for homework, though each of you may receive a slightly different text.

Homework: You’ll need to write a brief response to the text, and I’ll post the instructions for the response shortly. Without the response completed you will not be eligible to participate in Wednesday’s activity and will not be eligible to receive credit.

Wednesday: Usually we’ll do vocab on Tuesday and Thursday, but this is a short week, so it’ll be on Wednesday, instead. Afterwards there is a small group exercise designed to look closely at the homework readings. I’ll check your responses and we’ll jump right in. As an aside, I will be filming this exercise for my own work in order to analyze how well we do group work and what I can do to make it better.

Thursday: We’ll have our first vocab quiz of the year to start the day, then we’ll kick back and relax for the rest of the time with a reading from John Smith’s A Description of New England. I’ll try to find a non-copyrighted version that I can post soon.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
19
Sep

Hey y’all! You’ve got a week of craziness here as we begin our unit on the Hero’s Journey. This is one of my favorite units of the entire year, as we get to read all sorts of mythology, watch some movies, and start looking at the kind of stories that we are making with our own lives. You can find the Unit Guide here.

Here’s the week:

Monday: I’ll walk you through the week and the Unit Guide then I’ve got a short video clip for you. There is a 5 minute FreeWrite that we’ll do together, then share out in order to start making sense of what we think a hero is, isn’t, and if they even still exist.

Tuesday: We’ll begin with a grammar warm-up, then, as we continue our study of the Hero’s Journey you’ll be learning about the stages in the trip (so to speak), by watching a film with author Joseph Campbell. I’ll post the viewing notes shortly.

Wednesday: Because of the short week we’ll have our second grammar mini-lesson on Wednesday then we’ll be starting our first little project of the year, in which you’ll be illustrating part of the Hero’s Journey with a partner. You can find the directions here.

Thursday: We’ll start with grammar quiz number 2 and I’ll be conducting notebook checks of both the Grammar Books and your 5 Minute FreeWrites. Afterwards we’ll be presenting our posters to the class. Lastly, I’ll be handing out copies of the myths of Perseus and Bellerophon to the class. Please, if you can print your own, please do so. I don’t want to run off more copies than I need to.

Homework: Read the Bellerophon myth for class on Monday.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
18
Sep

All-

If you were gone on Friday (or just had a dysfunctional computer…) make sure to take a look at the .pdf explaining how to set up a Turnitin.com account. You’ll need to set this up in order to turn in work over the course of the year, and it is an integral part of my classroom.

Have a great weekend!

Category : 10th Grade | 11th Grade | Blog
16
Sep

In case you weren’t in class today, here’s a .pdf of the peer editing form that we used today to work through each others’ work. Remember, unless you demonstrate clearly that you went through a revision process I will not accept your essays when they are due on Monday. Make  sure that you have somebody give you some clear, targeted feedback. You need more that simple “yes” or “no” answers to do this well. I won’t be collecting any of this until Monday, so if you have questions between now and then, email at isakson@mrisakson.com.

Category : 10th Grade | 11th Grade | Blog