Archive for September, 2012


Hey s’mores! Here’s my picture of the notes on how to integrate text into your writing in an efficient manner. Remember, the idea is to be as concise as possible. Don’t use more than you absolutely need, because if you don’t need it, it shouldn’t be there.

Quote Notes

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Hey y’all! Here’s the Captivity┬áNarrative of Mary Rowlandson. Remember, your job is to read through the 3 removes you’ve been assigned for class tomorrow. You’ll be responsible for knowing what she went through and how she describes her fellow settlers and her captors.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Howdy, 11’s! Welcome to Week One of rad American literature. This will be a pretty cool week, though some of the readings will be a touch difficult. You’ll need to schedule some extra time to get our readings done, so make time, make a schedule, and stick to it. You’re smart, you’re awesome, and you can do cool things.

Monday: We’ll start the whole week off with a quick free write on life in Puritan New England. Afterwards, we’ll be watching a sweet clip of a sermon delivered by Jonathan Edwards entitled “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” This will, we hope, serve to illustrate some of the beliefs that the Puritans of New England held to and will help you understand our first two longer works of the year (The Scarlett Letter and The Crucible). You’ll need to work through some of the metaphors in the sermon, and we’ll be analyzing those together on Tuesday.

Tuesday: We’ll be working through Edwards’ metaphors in class. Afterwards, we’ll transition to a work by Mary Rowlandson in which she details her experience after being taken captive by a group of Indians. We’ll be analyzing her work, focusing on the ways in which she describes herself and her fellow settlers and the ways in which she describes her captors.

Homework: You’ll need to read two parts of the story on your own.

Wednesday: We’ll be illustrating what we read in Rowlandson and sharing them in class.

Thursday: William Bradford, one of the original leaders of the Puritan colony, wrote a scathing letter about Thomas Morton. I will read this aloud, and we’ll discuss it afterwards. Lastly, I’ll be distributing a handful of short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. More on that later.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Hola, s’mores! We’ve been at this for a bit now, and I’m starting to get the hang of who y’all are as students (btw, I’m almost done with your exams… you should have them back by Wednesday). This week we’ll start working in earnest on our first proper literary analysis essay of the year, and I’m excited to start showing you what we’ll be doing over the course of the year. Here’s the week:

Monday: I’ll be handing out the essay prompts on Monday. This is a challenging essay, primarily because I’m going to ask you to do some things that you’ve probably never done before. Don’t worry, we’ll walk through each step and I’ll post our notes each day, but I strongly suggest that you be in class and wildly attentive. My brief lecture will consist of the process of asking good questions and beginning to formulate responses to them. Indeed, much of our work this year will be centered around the process of asking good questions. I’d like to point your attention to this lovely little handout and this mildly informative slide show for a review of the function of a piece of literary analysis. (Note: I did not make either, and will offer additional insight during class)

Tuesday: I’ll be lecturing briefly on body paragraphs, MLA format, and how to make quotes work for you on Tuesday, then giving you some time to work on your essays. If you have a laptop, feel free to bring it.

Wednesday: Wednesday is purely a writing day. I will be available to help, and will begin conferences with each of you. You’ll have the chance to pitch your ideas to me, talk through your organization, and work through questions.

Thursday: Again this is a writing day. I’ll lecture briefly on introductions and conclusions, but beyond that it is one more chance to get your work done. The essays won’t be due until next Wednesday, but you’ll need to have 2 copies of your rough draft for class on Monday for the start of our Peer Editing.

Homework: Bring 2 copies of your essay for Monday. They will be printed, double spaced, and beautiful.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Yo! Here’s the information you need.

Category : 12th Grade | Blog

Hey newly minted juniors! Here’s your week:

Monday: Monday is a day for revision of your essays. Remember, you need two copies of your essay printed out for our peer editing sessions. The purpose of this day is for each of you to help each other make your work better. We’ll be nice to each other, but seriously, I expect your essays to be bleeding red ink. It’s good for you. Sort of like leaching.

Tuesday: We’ll be spending Tuesday in the library setting up our accounts. If your essay is done, you can turn it in during class (which will make your afternoon lovely!). If not, it will be due at some point on Tuesday. (Read: that means that if your essay is submitted by 11:59:59, you’re on time).

Wednesday: This will mark something of a transition for us, as we’ll be moving from the Personal Essay to our proper American Literature curriculum. I’ll start by introducing you to the Puritans (it’s a fascinating story, I promise) and, ultimately, to their educational system. We’ll be taking a look at the way they taught the alphabet, specifically.

Homework: You’ll need to make your own primer, but the focus will be on you, your friends and family, and Lynnwood (both the city and the school).

Thursday: We’ll be presenting our own versions of the LHS primer in class on Thursday and comparing it to the Puritan’s primer.

Friday: Both Mr. Molitor and I have worked to put together some notes on our friends the Puritans, and we’ll be presenting it in class on Friday. If I were you, I would expect some sort of formal assessment of your learning (read: a quiz).

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Hola, s’mores! Happy end-of-weekend or start of week to each of you. After the crazy that was last week with the Friday assembly, we’ll settle into something of a routine this week. Without further ado, here it is:

Monday: We’ll start the week with a lecture on MLA citations and the right way to cite the text. I have a series of short questions on chapter 7 which will ask you to demonstrate that you understand how to smoothly integrate MLA format into your work. I’ll also be giving you your vocab for chapters 9-12.

Homework: Read chapters 8+9

Tuesday: We have a super cool assignment dealing with youth and violence on Tuesday. You’ll be reading this article and we’ll be discussing it in class. I’ll post the discussion questions shortly.

Homework: Read through chapters 10+11 for class on Wednesday.

Wednesday: As you may have guessed, we’ll be discussing chapters 10 and 11 in class on Wednesday. I’ll also be introducing a small project that we’ll be spending a bit of time with next week, as I’m going to be tweaking the schedule a bit (terribly sorry about that…).

Homework: Read chapter 12 for class on Thursday.

Thursday: We’ll be discussing the end of the novel on Thursday. Additionally we’ll have a mini-exam on the novel.

Friday: I have a super, super cool project that we’ll do in class. If you’re not familiar with Post Secret, you may want to check it out. Not all of it is terribly appropriate, so I’ll be showing you examples of the work that is school appropriate and we’ll be using their format to do some cool stuff on the novel.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Hola, s’mores! At this point you should be pretty well acclimated to school, to waking up earlier than you want, and to doing things that aren’t eating or sleeping. We’re going to be hitting the ground running this week, and I’m confident that you will be ready to start doing real work and real learning. In addition to beginning our first proper novel of the year we will also be beginning the common essay that all sophomores write a the beginning of the year. It’s all about you, and it should be relatively easy to pull off. Oh, and there are school pictures. Here’s the week:

Monday: We will start the week off with a short discussion of the story The Mustache, focusing primarily on the symbolism and characterization the author makes use of in order to set up Lord of the Flies. I will also be introducing the Momentous Event Essay.

Homework: Read chapters 1 and 2 in LOTF.

Tuesday: I have a short worksheet for us to do in class that will help lay some of the groundwork for the novel. In general, I don’t make copies of these, but simply project them and then give you time to work, either in groups or separately. If time allows (and it will, darn it!), we’ll spend the rest of the period discussing the text thus far.

Homework: Read chapters 3 and 4 for Friday.

Wednesday: Wednesday is picture day. Come to school looking fresh and clean. (You know, not in pajamas). Afterwards I’d like to give you a little time to get some writing done. You may find it useful to use this essay organizer to put your thoughts in order.

Thursday: Like Wednesday, Thursday is an opportunity to simply work on this essay. I’ll be taking the time to check in with each of you about your topic sentences, your examples, and your commentary. Remember, I’ll be collecting the essay on Friday, the 21st.

Friday: We’ll be discussing chapters 3 and 4 from LOTF, as well as completing a bit more work to demonstrate the you understand what you’re reading.

Homework: Read chapters 5-7 for class on Monday.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Hola, juniors! It strikes me that you’re probably pretty well settled in at this point, and that’s lovely because we have quite a lot to get done here. Let’s jump right in, shall we? Here’s the week:

Monday: On Monday I will be formally introducing your junior essay. We will go through a number of different parts of the essay that you should consider, including a brief review of one way that you could organize your information in body paragraphs using concrete details and commentary for support. I anticipate that it will take us roughly half the period to review the essay, and that we’ll be able to start working on our thesis and topic sentences before the end of class.

Tuesday: This is also a designated writing day. My expectation is that you will spend the period working on your thesis and body paragraphs, and I will be giving you a stamp for credit once you have crafted satisfactory topic sentences and a clear, concise thesis. Students will only be eligible for a stamp once they have reached a “3” on the rubric contained in the above PowerPoint.

Wednesday: Whee! Picture day! Dress to impress, and for the love of all things good and holy, please don’t wear your pajamas.

Homework: Complete work on all three body paragraphs. I will be stamping them during class on Thursday.

Thursday: After I stamp your body paragraphs (assuming that they are done well enough to merit a stamp) I will be presenting a bit of information that you should consider prior to writing your introductions and conclusions. Most of this information is already contained in the PowerPoint of the junior essay that is linked to in Monday’s description.

Friday: Friday will be our final writing day, and I expect that you’ll be working on your introductions and conclusions a bit more. I will be stamping them when students have reached standard.

Homework: You need to arrive Monday with two typed, printed copies of your first draft for peer revision.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Howdy, newly minted upper classmen. Here you’ll find just about everything you’ll need to be successful in English 11. Between the blog, the full site, and our social media, you can stay up-to-date and connected. It’ll be rad.

Wednesday: As we begin the year we’ll spend some time reviewing the Course Overview and the first two months of the syllabus. Afterwards, we will briefly review metaphors before launching in to Zora Neale Hurston’s short story How it feels to be colored me. This short story will be the basis for the collective 11th grade essay.

Homework: Read How it feels to be colored me and highlight each metaphor that you find.

Thursday: We’ll be doing an activity with How it feels…, looking specifically at each of her metaphors and brainstorming potential interpretations for each.

Homework: Each of you will be responsible for creating your own bag of metaphors. Just find three objects that work as metaphors for who you are, put them in a paper bag, and bring them in.

Friday: When you come in you’ll be handed a playing card which will determine your presentation order. Each student will have a minute or two to present and explain his or her objects/metaphors. These will help set the foundation for our essay next week.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog