Archive for April, 2012


Okay, sorry for not posting last week. Your little dance occupied most of my time 🙂

That said, here’s your week:

Monday: I’ll start the week by reviewing, in brief, what we’ve done thus far with our unit on Rhetoric, Tone, and Things Fall Apart. It’s been a little more disjointed than I wanted, and I need to tie it together. From there, we’ll jump into a reading of How To Write About Africa and crafting a short, 1 page analysis of the piece’s tone and use of argument. It needs to be typed and is due at the start of class on Tuesday.

Homework: See above.

Tuesday: We’ll spend much of the period discussing Wainaina’s piece and applying it to what we’ve read/seen so far. Our work will happen in small groups, and you’ll only be allowed to participate if you’ve finished and brought in a typed response to the piece (see Monday).

Wednesday + Thursday: We’ll actually watch a movie. Holy cow, the universe must be ending. I want to show you the rest of The Gods Must Be Crazy, but there is a twist: you need to keep notes on the film, asking questions from the simple (why doesn’t the Coke bottle break?) to the more complex (what is Uys really saying about Africa?).

Friday: If we haven’t finished the film, we will. Then I’ll be introducing your essay. It is a synthesis piece in which I’ll be asking you to do many things you’ve never done before. There is a presentation. Be there for it. (If you can’t be, I will post it after class).

Homework: Your first draft is due Tuesday for peer editing. I’ll be giving you a work day on Monday, but you’ll need to have something started before hand.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Hey juniors! Sorry about not posting last week. It was a tough one for me (silly 10th grade dances…). Anywho, this week is all planned out and ready to go, so take a quick look, make some notes in your planners, and get ready for a wonderful little foray into the world of my favorite author ever, Flannery O’Connor.

Monday: I managed to secure the laptops for class for two more days, and we’ll be using them Monday to revise/wrap up our essays on Their Eyes Were Watching God. If you need to work on yours, make sure to bring it in via flash drive or email so that you can make use of the time. I’ll be there to help, too, if you’re stuck.

Tuedsay: The first few minutes of the day will be dedicated to turning in your essay on the Turnitins. Afterwards, we’ll be starting in on the work of Flannery O’Connor. She’s a easily my all-time favorite writer in any genre (yeah, big claim, I know), and I have a short presentation on her work to start us off. It is important that you know a bit about her before we start dealing with her writing, as she is such an enigmatic individual that a little understanding of who she is will go a long way. If you’re gone, check the blog for the presentation after class. Afterwards, I’ll start playing O’Connor reading the story A Good Man Is Hard To Find aloud so that you get a feel for her writing and her voice. You’ll need to keep a journal for each of the short stories we read in which you must respond to 10 passages and write one 1 page response. I’ll talk more about those in class and post instructions on Tuesday. Of course we’ll also be making mini-journals for our mini-unit.

Wednesday: You’ll have the whole period to read/make journal notes/respond to O’Connor’s story. I’ll be collecting the journals next Monday.

Thursday: I’ll hand out O’Connor’s story Parker’s Back and you’ll have much of the period to read/journal/respond to the piece. I have a short introduction to the story as well which I will post after class in which I’ll detail some of the major points that you should be looking for in the story.

Friday: Our final O’Connor story for the week will be Everything That Rises Must Converge. I have a few remarks to make about this story as well, highlighting things that you really should be noticing and making notes about him your journals.

Homework: Craft a 1 page response to O’Connor’s stories in which you explore one character or story that struck you. This is an entirely individual thing, and there is no wrong way to do it, unless you don’t. I’ll collect this, along with the rest of your mini-journal, on Monday when we start our mini-unit on the author Raymond Carver.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Hey s’mores! Sorry for the late post. The NSPA/JEA national convention sucked up my entire weekend and I’ve been in the studio all evening. Ah, the life of a teacher…

Monday: We’ll spend Monday discussing the readings from last week. It is my goal to slightly problematize some of the (I think) natural reactions to reading White Man’s Burden. I know that there is something of a natural aversion to Kipling’s point of view, and while I won’t defend him, I hope to make you think about his proposal in a different way.

Homework: Read chapter 16 and make 3 entries into your dialectical journals.

Tuesday: I have a few brief words to say about chapter 16, but it isn’t anything particularly earth-shattering. I hope to give you a little bit of time to read chapter 17, but if that doesn’t happen, it becomes your homework, along with this series of questions.

Homework: See above.

Wednesday: We’ll take a little bit of time to discuss chapters 14-17, specifically focusing on Achebe’s argument. This will, of course, necessitate a short presentation on argument. I won’t post it until Wednesday, but if you’re gone make sure to check out the presentation, as you’ll need some of the information in it to help you in your seminar preparation.

Homework: Complete a 1 page, double-spaced, typed analysis of Achebe’s argument in section 2 of the novel.

Thursday: We’ll spend the first 10 minutes of class (or so) preparing a secondary response to the text, then launching into a modified seminar on Achebe’s argument to end the week.

Homework: Read chapters 18 + 19 and complete 3 entries in your dialectical journals for each chapter. I’ll be stamping them on Monday.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Hola, juniors! Happy Monday to each of you. I’m sorry for the later than usual post today; the weekend was entirely too busy. As a result, I haven’t finished grading your journals for Their Eyes Were Watching God just yet, and will have to return those to you Tuesday. That said, here’s the slightly shortened week:

Monday: We’ll kick the week off with a quick examination of Chapter 18 through a series of short questions. Just like every other novel that has ever been written (that’s a joke), Hurston makes use of weather in a powerfully symbolic way which I think we need to discuss.

Tuesday: During class we will be listening to part of chapter 19 together, completing a close reading, and then reading the rest of the chapter. You need to complete 3 additional entries in your dialectical journals as well.

Wednesday: Wednesday is much like Tuesday, as we’ll be listening to part of chapter 20, completing a close reading, then ending the day with a Free Write that I will post on Wednesday morning.

Homework: Prepare a 1 page, double-spaced, typed or neatly written in ink response to this prompt in preparation for Thursday’s seminar.

Thursday: Having finished the novel on Wednesday we’ll spend Thursday debriefing the novel through a short seminar. You need to have prepared the prompt above in order to participate. Lastly, I’ll introduce the prompts for the final essay.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Monday: We’ll be starting to talk about Things Fall Apart by reflecting on the first section of the text through a short writing piece detailing the novel’s tone thus far. (The smart kids are saying something like “tone in regard to what, pray tell?). I’ll post it ASAP.

Tuesday: We’ll continue our analysis of the first section of the text with a super, super fun activity that will take two days. I can’t really talk about it, otherwise it’ll ruin the fun. If you miss class, shoot me an email or talk to me in person (or just check the website on Tuesday) for information about our little activity.

Wednesday: And we’ll continue our activity on Wednesday with a written reflection (which I will post on Tuesday as well).

Homework: Read chapters 14+15 and complete 3 dialectical journal entries for each chapter.

Thursday: I have a short writing activity that will be comparing Ibo and Christian societies and exploring a particularly important quote from Uchendu in order to, in Atticus Finch’s words, see things differently.

Homework: Read Kipling’s poem White Man’s Burden and another piece with it.

Friday: We’ll write about the aforementioned stuff.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog

Welcome back! This week is awesome, but I can’t tell you why yet or it will ruin the surprise 🙂

Monday: We’ll start the week off with a little review of what we left off dealing with, specifically the last chapters of Janie’s relationship with Tea Cake. I have a series of discussion questions that will address chapters 7+8 that are designed to help you remember what we read before the break. Also, there is a short 5 minute free write that we’ll do in the last 15 minutes of class, which means we need to work quickly.

Homework: Read chapters 9+10 and complete 3 dialectical journal entries for each.

Tuesday: I’ll be indulging a few student email that I received over the break and letting you listen to chapter 11 from the audio book of Their Eyes Were Watching God before we launch into an exercise on close reading which I will upload on Tuesday.

Homework: Read chapters 11+12 (or don’t, if you can finish them during our reading day Wednesday).

Wednesday: I will be devoting the entire to reading. Bring a Snuggie. I expect that by the end of class you’ll be done with chapter 15.

Thursday: Is amazing.

Friday: We’ll begin with a rad Free Write which we’ll discuss at length. The rest of class will be given over to you reading chapters 16-18 and completing 3 dialectical journals per chapter and one close reading which I’ll check off on Monday.

Read chapters 16-18 for Monday and complete the aforementioned journals.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog