Archive for May, 2011

30
May

Hey, it’s late, so I’ll keep this short. Here’s the week:

Tuesday: I’ll be handing out the prompts for our final American literature essay of the year and discussing it a bit in class to make sure we’re all clear. Then we’ll be making a map in class about our potential themes so that you can start to see how they are related and begin to put together some ideas. You can find the prompt here.

Wednesday: We’ll be working on the essays together in class. I’ve elected not to bring computers in to the classroom this time around, as they were more of a distraction than an aid last time around. You’ll be required to have completed your introduction by the end of class on Tuesday, and I’ll be signing off on them. If they aren’t done, I won’t sign off, and you’ll be out 10 points.

Thursday: Again, we’ll be working on our essays in class, and you’ll need to work through at least two body paragraphs in class. I’ll be checking them off, and if you’re not done, you’re out some more points. It is my hope that by adding points directly to the writing process that you will stay accountable and on-task.

Friday: The final parts of the essay need to be finished in class for me to sign off on them. You’ll need to be focused an on task to make this happen. Our peer editing day is Monday, and the final copies of the essay are due on Tuesday.

Homework: Type up rough draft for peer edits on Monday. Final draft due Tuesday, June 7th.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
30
May

All-

Here’s your week. Keeping it short here.

Tuesday: After play previews I’ll be handing out the prompt for our final essay on the novel Things Fall Apart. You can find it here. I’ll spend some time reviewing the requirements, but I should mention that I’m especially concerned with your ability to connect your selected evidence to the author’s purpose. This didn’t happen nearly enough in the previous round of essays, so I’m especially keen to see it happen here. Also, note that the essay will be due, without exception, on June 7th.

Wednesday: I’ll be giving you class time to work on your essays on Wednesday, after our weekly grammar installment. We’re still working on prepositions, and will transition to reviewing for the grammar final beginning next week. You must have part one (the introduction) of our essay checklist complete by the time you leave class on Wednesday. I will not be signing it afterwards, and it is worth 10 points.

Thursday: Again, I’ll begin the day with more work on prepositions, then will be giving you the rest of the period to work on your essays. You must have at least Body Paragraphs 1 and 2 signed off on before you leave class. Again, these are worth 10 points.

Friday: We’ll begin the day with our grammar quiz, then will move into some more time to continue work on your essays. I need to sign off on Body Paragraph 3 and the Conclusion before you leave class on Friday. Note that you must have these essays typed up for class on Monday when we’ll spend the period peer-editing them.

Homework: Type essays for Peer Edit on Monday.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
25
May

Hey all-

The set of response questions that I had posted for today (Wednesday) includes a homework response that asks you to craft a 1 page response to the final chapter of the text. Skip that. All I want from you is the first section, the in-class response questions.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
22
May

Hey s’mores! I’m in Oly today, presenting a bunch of stuff to OSPI about testing and student achievement, so I’ll trust that you take a close look at the week ahead. We’ll be finishing the novel this week, which means (of course) that you’ll have your end-of-novel exam on Thursday before the long weekend. Here’s what the week looks like:

Monday: This will be an in-class reading day. You must get through at least chapters 20-22 for the start of class on Tuesday, as we’ll be going over a set of questions regarding the work. As you read, look especially closely at the character of Mr. Brown. You’ll notice that he isn’t necessarily all bad. In fact, he does some pretty cool things for Umuofia. Make note of what he does, as his actions will be central to our conversation on Tuesday.

Tuesday: We’ll be discussing chapters 20-22. We have a short discussion piece followed by some questions for your Response Journals.

Homework: Read chapters 23 and 24.

Wednesday: After a brief discussion about chapters 23 and 24 I’ll be reading the final chapter aloud. It’s a pretty moving piece, and I want to make sure that everybody gets to hear it. We’ll end the day with these response questions.

Thursday: Your end-of-novel exam is Thursday. We’ll be doing some writing on this text next week, specifically around the notion of Okonkwo and the Hero’s Journey (remember that?), so give a little bit of thought over the weekend to whether or not you think that Okonkwo can be called a hero in any way, shape, or form.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
22
May

Howdy y’all. So…. I’m in Olympia, talking to some folks about student achievement and thinking about taking a dip in Capitol Lake. Actually, no. It is infested with creepy alien-looking snails. This week is a pretty straight forward one. We’re jumping into the work of novelist, poet, lecturer, and film-maker Sherman Alexie. We’ll begin with some of his short stories before moving into his film Smoke Signals. So, that said, here’s your week:

Monday: We’ll begin with Alexie’s short story Every Little Hurricane. For a bit more of his work, check out this article he wrote, published in Time magazine about the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark’s little trip. You’ll be asked to read this story in class and annotate it as we have discussed previously.

Homework: Read our second Alexie story for the week, entitled A Drug Called Tradition. Make sure to annotate this story, also.

Tuesday: We’ll be talking through these two stories through an in-class seminar. Your entry slip is a short thought paper (1 page, typed) reflecting on the two pieces. You’ll be graded on two things: first, your thought paper will count for 10 points. Second, your participation in the seminar will account for an additional 10 points. There is no way to make up the seminar, so make sure you’re in class.

Wednesday+Thursday: We’ll be watching Alexie’s film Smoke Signals over the course of these last two days of the week. It is a profoundly interesting film that raises some interesting questions about who we are as a nation and sheds some light on a culture that, I believe, we regularly have profound misconceptions about.

Homework: Rather than write a formal essay on Alexie’s work, I’ll ask that you simply craft a 1-2 page response to his work, detailing, in some way, how the elements of his work function to support his purpose. Take a look at the handout about how to annotate a short story if you need ideas.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
17
May

Sorry for the slightly later than normal post. This week has been waaaay to full of crazy. Here’s the schedule this week. Essentially, the week revolves around one project. Rather than deal with the two sets of short stories that we’ve been reading with an essay, I’ve elected to have students pick a story from the six we’ve read (A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Parker’s Back, Everything That Rises Must Converge, Cathedral, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, A Small, Good Thing) with a partner and present their readings of the story to the class. You can find the directions for the presentation here.

Here’s the week:

Monday: I’ll hand out the directions for the project and go over exactly what I expect. Again, this is essentially a literary analysis essay that I have converted into a presentation (that is, after I grabbed it from another teacher and modified it), so you need to make sure that your analysis of the literary elements is sound and ties back to a dominant idea in the story.

Tuesday-Wednesday: I’ll have computers in the room on Tuesday and Wednesday, so you can work in your groups on your presentations. At the end of class on Wednesday I’ll tell you when your group will be presenting.

Thursday-Friday: We’ll be going through our presentations.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
17
May

Hey-oh! Sorry for the slightly later than usual post. A series of meetings last night made it virtually impossible for me to get this done. Here’s the schedule for the week:

Monday: Monday is an in-class writing day. I’m assessing how well you understand some elements of the Ibo culture as described by Chinua Achebe in Things Fall Apart. You’ll be responsible for completing one of the two written responses for chapter 14.

Tuesday: After Grammar #51 about prepositions and their functions we’ll transition to part one of a bizarre assignment dealing with what you’ve observed about Achebe’s descriptions of Ibo culture. You can find the details here.

Wednesday: We’ll be turning in your illustrated quote from Tuesday, taping it to the wall, then connecting things with tons of string. It will be epic. We’ll have a short written response to it which I’ll have you do in your journals. You can find the response here.

Homework: Read through chapter 17 for class on Thursday.

Thursday: We’ll be discussing our little web project after Grammar #52, then there will be a short series of questions for you to do in your response journals. You can find them here.

Homework: Read through chapter 19 for class on Friday

Friday: After our Grammar Quiz we’ll transition to our last response journal entry for the week. You can find it here.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
9
May

Well, here we are, nearly half way through May, and there’s still so very much to be done. This week will demand that you keep up on the reading (though I’ll be allocating some time in class to make sure y’all stay current). Here’s the plan:

Monday: I’ll be reading chapter 5 aloud to start the day, then there is a short assignment that you’ll need to complete in your response journals on the first few chapters of the novel.

Tuesday: We have our weekly grammar (on prepositions this week), then I’ll be allocating the remainder of the period to reading. You need to be through chapter 9 for the start of class on Wednesday. It’s about 40 pages, so if you need to set aside some time to get it done at home, make sure you do so.

Homework: Read through the end of chapter 9 for class on Wednesday.

Wednesday: We’ll begin with another installment of our weekly grammar followed brainstorming some themes that you are beginning to see develop in the novel, which you’ll need as I’ll be introducing one of the types of journal responses that I will be requiring for this novel. It is slightly different than what we’ve done before, so make sure that if you’re absent that you check the website. I’ll post the results of our discussion on Wednesday evening.

You can find the instructions for the Dialectical Journal here.

Homework: Free Response #1

Thursday: We’ll start the day with our vocabulary and grammar quizzes, then follow them up with some more time dedicated to reading. You need to be done with chapter 14 by the start of class on Monday.

Homework: Read chapters 10-14 over the weekend. We’ll have an in-class writing assignment on the chapter first thing on Monday morning.

Category : 10th Grade | Blog
9
May

All-

Sorry for the lack of updates the last two weeks; I’ve been slammed with a combination of late work and musical things. But, fear not, I’m back and better than… well, at least the same as ever. We’re digging into the writing of Raymond Carver this week, reading the stories “A Small, Good Thing,” “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” and one or two others. Check out the stuff I’ve posted on Carver and his writing here.

Here’s the plan for the week:

Monday: I’ll be introducing Minimalism through a brief presentation of the works of the painter Mark Rothko and some music by Brian Eno. As a class we’ll be working on a writing assignment that will ask you to pare down some of your own writing to almost nothing. We’ll be sharing them aloud on Tuesday.

Homework: Complete the introduction to Minimalism assignment for class on Tuesday.

Tuesday: After we share our work I’ll be handing out Carver’s story “A Small, Good Thing” and giving you time to read in class after a brief lecture on Carver. I’ll post the lecture notes afterwards. I’ll also be covering a what I expect in your short story annotation, a new skill that we’ll be adding to this unit.

Homework: Complete the reading and annotating of “A Small, Good Thing.”

Wednesday: We’ll discuss the previous evening’s story in brief, though I don’t want to belabor the point before you’ve read a bit more of his work. I’ll also hand out his story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” You’ll need to finish it for class on Thursday.

Homework: Complete the reading and annotating of “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”

Thursday: After a short summary of “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” I’ll be distributing a number of different stories that will help us with our Short Story Seminar on Carver for Monday. You’ll have some time to read them in class, but you also must take notes on these stories. You’ll be responsible for contributing to your group’s work on Monday, and your grade depends on how well you and your group read these additional stories.

Homework: Finish reading and annotating your story for Monday.


Category : 11th Grade | Blog