Archive for March, 2012

29
Mar

Hey 11’s! In case you were gone on Wednesday, or just sort of forgot what was going on, here’s a quick review:

First, I handed out the close reading guidelines that we’ll be using to craft our more detailed responses to Their Eyes Were Watching God. Then, together, we made our first close reading. You can check out one of the samples that I did during the day here. It isn’t perfect, but it goes step-by-step. First, I discuss my first impressions. Next, I examine some specific words that I found interesting. Third, I look at some patterns that I see, primarily centered around repetition. Fourth, I examine some characterization. Fifth… well, I actually skipped step five because I had discussed symbolism in great detail previously in my analysis. I hope this helps!

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
25
Mar

Hola, s’mores! This is a bit of a strange week, primarily because we have just wrapped up a novel, but don’t particularly have time to begin a new one. I, of course, find this mildly annoying, but have found a few ways to make up for it. I’ll explain more in class, but do me a favor a play along.

Monday: I’ll be handing out your essays on Monday. But not in the way that you expect; we’ll be reading each others’ final essays (without any names attached) and doing some peer grading. I’m planning on handing you the rubric that I will grade you based on, then have you look at the work that you’ve been given. The idea here is to help you act more as an editor than you already have. It will be fun (or horrible, I’m not really quite sure). The entire function of the day is to have the editor ask this question: what is the purpose?

Tuesday: I’ll have some computers in the room and will be handing your back your own graded essays so that you can take the opportunity to revise your work and resubmit based upon your peers’ essays.

Wednesday: I’ll be handing out our next novel, but we won’t begin reading it until Friday. Instead, we’ll be watching the beginning of the film The Gods Must Be Crazy. There’s a reason. I promise.

Thursday: We have a lovely Free Write activity based upon the portion of the film that we watched on Wednesday which we will spend the rest of the time discussing.

Friday: Friday is a day to begin reading Things Fall Apart. I need you to read through chapter… um… darn it. I don’t have the book here with me now, but the reading has to go through the end of part 1 by the return from Spring Break. I’ll fill in those blanks in a moment.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog
25
Mar

Well, this will be an interesting week, but not quite as bizarre as last week was. We’ll dive into Their Eyes Were Watching God in earnest, reading about 8 chapters by week’s end. If you feel like reading ahead during advisory or on the bus, I strongly recommend it. That said, here’s the schedule.

Monday: We’ll be starting a little project on Monday that will ask us to examine part of Hurston’s novel on a personal level. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making regular connections between yourself and the text, and this little Tree Project is a great place to start. If you miss class, see me and I’ll explain it.

Tuesday: After we start the day off with a little Free Write focused on chapter two (and on building connections between ourselves and the text), I’ll be introducing our Dialectical Journal Project which we’ll be maintaining throughout the novel.

Homework: Read chapter 3 an craft your first three entries for your dialectical journals.

Wednesday: I will begin the class by checking off your journals. You will receive credit or no credit only; there are no partial grades given. Make sure to come to class prepared. Afterwards, I’ll be walking you through my expectations for the second portion of your journals, that of close reading. I’ll hand out a lovely list of close reading techniques and model several of them for you in class so that you can see how I expect you to use them.

Thursday: During class I will be giving you an opportunity to begin reading and responding to/dialoguing with chapters 4-6 in TEWWG. If you do not finish these three chapters in class, they will become homework.

Friday: I will begin class on Thursday by checking off your close readings and responses in your Dialectical Journals to chapters 4-6. Again, you’ll need three responses per chapter, and at least one must be a close reading of a passage you find interesting. This is a credit/no credit assignment, so make sure to set aside a bit of time if you don’t finish in class on Thursday. Afterwards, I’ll be giving you time to read and respond to chapters 5-8 in your Dialectical Journals. I’ll be checking these on Monday, after the break, when we’ll begin to have a serious conversation about the first two sections of the text, which are marked by Janie’s two different relationships.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
19
Mar

Well, this will be an interesting week. We’ll be working through the writing process together this week, focusing especially keenly on the editing portion of the process. I’ve noticed that many of us make the mistake of considering proof-reading as editing. Frankly, this is not the case. (Which is why they are different words…). I’ll post a bit more on that shortly. For now, here’s the schedule:

Monday: Peer Edit Day #1. Please make sure to bring 2 copies of your essay in for editing. As per normal, we’ll be going through the read-aloud process, but I’ll be asking you to look at a few other things, as well.

Tuesday: Well, this will be Play Preview day. Hooray for musicals!

Wednesday: I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll be spending 2 days editing, if any of our last experiences are indications of how long this will take. If not, sweet, but I’ve carved out the time for it.

Homework: Bring one edited and revised copy of your essay to class for proof-reading day.

Thursday: Thursday will be a proof-reading day. Not an editing day. These are different things, and I hope to show you exactly how they differ. I have a checklist prepared for class, so we’ll spend a little time explaining how that works and then we’ll, of course, proof-read.

Homework: As per normal, your essays are due on Friday. Yes, I know we don’t have class. Yes, you can still turn in an essay online.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog
19
Mar

Okay, this is officially the strangest week of school thus far. We have all sorts of things that will get in the way of actual class work, but I think they’re worth our time (duh… why did I even bother writing that?). So, without further ado, here’s the week:

Monday: After handing back a whole bundle of papers, I need to make sure that all of you turned in your rough drafts for the Into the Wild essay. I have most of the final essays, but am missing many, many of the drafts. Next, we’ll transition into a 5 minute free write activity about the Zora Neale Hurston story The Gilded Six-Bits that will, I imagine, start something of an interesting conversation. If we have time, we’ll also transition to a little game to check for your understanding of the short story’s plot.

Incidentally, the short story was recently adapted into a short film. You can check out a clip from it below:

Tuesday: Tuesday is play preview day (hooray for musicals!), but we’ll also be checking out Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. If you miss class, be sure to remind me to check a book out to you. Also, if you have not turned in your copy of Into the Wild, I’ll be issuing fines at the end of the week.

Wednesday: The counselors have put together a pretty cool Career Day that will be taking place in the Library. We’ll meet up there, and hear presentations from counselors, LHS graduates, and community members about the transition from high school to the rest of your life.

Thursday: I’ll start class by reading the first chapter of TEWWG aloud, specifically so that you can start to hear some of the dialect that Hurston’s characters employ. This is a hallmark of hers, and I want you to be well aware of it.

Homework: Read chapter 2 for class on Monday. If I were you, I’d consider the strong likelihood of a quiz as motivation of a sort :)

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
15
Mar

Hey s’mores… here’s the study guide I promised I’d upload. Sorry it’s a touch late. Also, it’s really, really similar to the exam. Give it a look.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog
15
Mar

So, it is quite clear to me that we need to spend a little bit more time working on our annotations in class together. With that said, here’s my update to this week’s schedule:

Thursday: Finish working on the annotations to Hurston’s story Sweat.

Friday: Do the group activity that I had originally planned for Thursday. In truth, the ultra-short period just won’t work for it, and now that the period has been shortened even more, I feel like we really can’t make this work well.

Homework: Read and annotate Hurston’s story The Gilded Six Bits over the course of the weekend.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
13
Mar

In case you missed it, here are the notes we took in class today about annotation and how to do it successfully. First, I acknowledge that it slows reading waaaay down. That’s the point. I want to force you to read much more closely than you usually do. And it’s good. You’ll remember more. I promise.

Sweat Annotation Sample

(click the image to enlarge).

In the left margin, I like to make predictions, ask questions, make general comments, and make some note about connections with other texts, myself, or the rest of the world. In the right margin, I summarize each paragraph or section. I like to put a * by each summary so that I can find them quickly, in case I end up writing any comments or questions in the right margin.

There are many other ways to annotate a text, and many other things to look for while we read, but this is a nice place to start.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
11
Mar

Happy HSPE week, y’all. I suppose that for many of you this means that you have a chance to sleep in a bit. So you’ve got that going for you, which is nice. (I’ll give a shiny new quarter to whoever gets that reference…). We’ve got a few things to do this week, despite the bizarre schedule. Take a look!

Monday: We’ll be starting our next unit on Monday, focusing on the work of the author Zora Neale Hurston, but will also be looking at some other authors associated with the Harlem Renaissance. We’ll be starting everything off with a look at Langston Hughes’ poem A Dream Deferred through a series of short questions. This poem does a pretty good job of setting the tone for the entire unit, and we’ll be looking at it in fair detail. I’ll post more about it shortly. Afterwards, I’ll be distributing copies of Zora Neale Hurston’s story Sweat. Finally, and somewhat sadly, we need to have a very realistic talk about your grades, essays, and things along those lines.

Homework: Read Sweat class on Thursday.

Tuesday/Wednesday: I’ll be dedicating these class periods to reading through Hurston’s story and annotating it. I’ll speak briefly on the topic of annotating a text, as I am keenly aware that many of you simply highlight things as you read, rather than making meaningful notes. I’ll post the presentation after class, in case you miss it.

Wednesday: Um… see Tuesday.

Homework: Finish reading and annotating Sweat.

Thursday: We’ll be breaking into small groups for an activity dealing with Hurston’s story. Let me be perfectly clear. If you have not annotating the text, or do not bring it to class, you will not be allowed to participate and you will not get credit for the work.

Friday: And with the HSPE finally over we’ll spend a portion of the class discussing the small group activity from Thursday and end by beginning to read our second short story by Hurston entitled The Gilded Six-Bits. You’ll be asked to read and annotate this text as well for class on Monday.

Homework. Um… see above.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog
11
Mar

Happy HSPE week! Naturally, that throws something of a wrench into our plans for the week, but we’ll do our darnedest to make things go as smoothly as possible. We’ll be finishing up our time with To Kill A Mockingbird, and starting work on our final essay for it, which, the smart kids have already figured out, will deal with tone and the author’s purpose. Here’s the week:

Monday: Because Monday is the day before we jump right on into the HSPE, we will spend just a bit more time talking about things that you should do in order to be successful when you take it. Afterwards, I want to spend about 25 minutes to finish up our seminar from Friday, and focus keenly on the things that you think Harper Lee is trying to tell the reader. Finally, we’ll take about 10 minutes to break into small groups to discuss our little projects :)

Tuesday: I will not see you on Tuesday. I know this probably breaks your little hearts, but there is little that I can do about it. Happy HSPE-ing!

Wednesday: I will, however, see you on Wednesday, when I will introduce the essay prompts for TKAM. You will have to select one of the prompts, and come to class with a thesis prepared for our activity on Thursday.

Homework: See above.

Thursday: Because the writing process is often a tricky one, and because I need to make sure that you all understand the differences between editing and proofreading, we’ll be starting the editing process with a small group brainstorming session. You’ll be getting stamps (for credit) on your thesis, so make sure that you come prepared, and ready to help your classmates as well.

Friday: I will see you again on Friday, but it will be quietly, for Friday is the day that we will take the final exam for To Kill A Mockingbird. If you’ve read it, you’ve really nothing to fret about.

Homework: Complete a first draft of you TKAM essay and bring two copies (printed! double spaced!) to class on Monday for a proper editing session.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog