Archive for December, 2012


Whee! It’s almost break! Here’s the plan for our last week of 2012:

Monday: We’re going to start the day off with a short warm-up that is going to look at some more of Whitman’s poetry. I’ll post it here after class. Afterwards, we’ll spend a little bit of time reading chapters 16 and 17. I hope to give you about a half hour to do so. In other cool news, I was shown this link to an online copy of the text.

Homework: Finish reading 16 and 17

Tuesday: This is the Junior career unit day. You’ll still need to complete the study guide for chapter 17.

Homework: Finish up your study guide. I’ll stamp them first thing on Wednesday.

Wednesday: As I (literally) just typed, I’ll begin the day by stamping your study guides for chapter 17. We’ll discuss, then I’ll give you the rest of the class period to read chapter 18.

Homework: Finish chapter 18.

Thursday: We’ll start the day off with a journal entry, then spend the rest of the period working on a study guide for chapter 18.

Friday: I’ll be collecting your completed journals after our final exam on Into the Wild on Friday. You can use this study guide to help you. Remember, your Outside Reading Project is due on this day as well.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Hey s’mores! Here’s your action-packed, pre-break week!

Monday: We’ll start the week off right quick with a seminar on To Kill A Mockingbird. If you missed the entry slip instructions, you can find them under last week’s blog post.

Tuesday: You’ll be having your Mockingbird exam. In addition to knowing your vocabulary, you’d be wise to take a look at this study guide. I’ll also be collecting your journals.

Wednesday: I’ll be assigning your final Mockingbird essay. We’ll go over the prompts, and then you’ll need to make some choices about which you’ll be writing on.

Thursday + Friday: Both of these are writing days. They are an opportunity to work with your peers, do some typing, and, if you’re lucky, have zero homework in my class over the break. When we come back you need to have your rough draft done.

Winter Break Homework: Finish your rough draft for Monday, January 7th.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Hey juniors! Thanks for being awesome. Here’s your week:

Monday: After checking in and reviewing the week, I want to give you a little bit of time to read chapter 14. We’ll be doing an in-class jigsaw activity on the chapter on Tuesday, so I need to make sure that you’ve all read it.

Homework: Finish reading chapter 14.

Tuesday: We’ll be starting the day with a short activity dealing with chapter 14, then I’ll give you the rest of the period to read chapter 15.

Homework: Finish reading chapter 15 if you didn’t do so during class.

Wednesday: We’ll be debriefing chapters 14 and 15 with this short set of study questions. Afterwards I’ll be distributing Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself to you.

Homework: Read Song of Myself and highlight/underline any sections of the text that seem particularly Transcendentalist to you.

Thursday: The smart kids will expect a short quiz on Song of Myself. I’ll be doing a short lecture on the piece as well. Afterwards, we’ll have a short study guide that you’ll need to complete in your journals on Whitman.

Friday: We’ll start the day by discussing Whitman and the study guide. The week will end with some time for you to read chapter 17 in Into the Wild.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Hola, s’mores! This is a reading heavy week, so buckle up!

Monday: We’ll start the week of quickly with a short series of questions for your journal dealing with chapter 21 that focus on the tone that a number of characters take during the course of the trial. I also have a short lecture, largely derived from Gladwell’s essay on the novel, pertaining to Atticus’ defense strategy and some of the potential problems with it. Also, I’ll be doing a journal check, just to make sure that you’re staying on top of the work. Finally, the smart kids will expect some kind of evaluation to make sure that we’re all keeping up on the reading that we should be doing (hint hint…).

Homework: Read chapters 22-24

Tuesday: I have a journal prompt for chapter 24 that asks you to do a bit of reflection on Jem and his tone. We’ll discuss it, and, if you’re super cool, I’ll be giving you a bit of time to read.

Homework: Read chapters 25-27

Wednesday: In an effort to build on Tuesday, there is a short in-class exercise that we’ll toss into your journal that asks you to start parsing apart the difference in the author’s tone compared to that of her characters’ tones. This involves making some preliminary observations about what it is that Lee is trying to address and examining how she’s doing it. I’ll be referencing a number of Disney movies in order to help make this clear. Additionally, there is a short set of study questions for our journals dealing with chapters 25-27.

Homework: Read chapters 28-29

Thursday: We’ll start the day off with a short set of study questions for the last two chapters of the novel. Hopefully we’ll be able to generate some quality discussion from the last question that will help to feed our seminar on Friday.

Friday: I think it is important to have a short conversation about the end of the novel, and the novel’s tone. There will be an entry slip required for this seminar. In order to participate in the seminar, you must arrive with on paragraph (typed!) addressing the following question: What is Harper Lee’s purpose in writing this novel, and how does her tone towards the novel’s topic support (or fail to support, I suppose) this purpose?

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Aloha, young ones. Writing from the iPhone tonight, so I’ll keep things brief.

Monday: After a quick review of the week we’ll be having a short seminar on the tone of the first half of the novel. My hope is that you’ll be able to bounce some ideas off of each other and parse apart the differences between the characters’ tones towards a subject and the author’s tone. It’s a pretty sophisticated type of analysis, but I know you can do it.

Homework: Read chapters 12-13.

Tuesday: We’ll jump right in with this study guide on chapters 12 and 13. Please make sure that you do it in your journals. I’ll also hand you vocabulary number three

Homework: Nope.

Wednesday: I have a short lecture inspired by an essay by Malcolm Gladwell that is about a former Alabama Governor, Jim Crow, and the rise of the KKK. Its intent is to get you to think a little about Atticus, and we’ll end with a written piece in our journals that I will post after class (but not before, because it would ruin the lecture).

Thursday: I have no idea what you’ll be doing Thursday. I’ll figure it out.

Friday: We’ll have a proper reading day. I need you through section 21 for Monday.

Homework: Read through 21. There will be a journal check (and other things…hint) on Monday.

Category : Honors 10 | Blog

Hey-o! This week is super cool. We’ll be reading a number of secondary sources that will help you form a more complete understanding of Transcendentalism and the love of Nature that McCandless embraced. At the end of the week we’ll be reading some more of the novel in preparation for the next major event, that of the author John Krakauer’s own story.

Monday: In response to the reading that you did over the weekend we’ll be discussing chapters 8+9 in which Krakauer discusses a handful of different characters in order to help us understand Chris more fully. We’ll spend time discussing why he deviates from McCandless’ story and the effect of this deviation through the chapter 8+9 study guide.

Tuesday: Because I need to make sure that you all understand the purpose of Krakauer’s deviation we’ll also be reading one extra piece. I’m going to have you read through these excerpts from John Muir’s writings and summarizing them.  We’ll then discuss in what ways Chris was, or was not, like Muir. Here are the questions that I’ll be asking you to respond to in your journals.

Wednesday: We’ll be reading excerpts from Thoreau’s Walden and responding to it as we continue looking at other individuals who lived lives that Chris found inspirational.

Thursday: Thursday and Friday are partial reading days. On Thursday I’ll be asking you to complete chapters 10 and 11. First, however, I’ll ask you to respond to Walden with this study guide.

Friday: We’ll start the day with journal entry number 5. Afterwards, once you share out, you’ll need to read chapters 12 and 13. Again, the smart kids will expect a quiz next week.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog

Happy post-Turkey-day, y’all! This should be a pretty fun week. We’ll be spending some time with John Krakauer’s novel Into The Wild as well as reading some excerpts from a number of noteworthy Transcendentalists. Here’s the week:

Monday: We’ll start the week with the third entry into your ITW journals. Afterwards, we’ll review the weekend’s reading with a study guide that focus’ on chapters 3 and 4. Please note that we are only doing the first analysis question.

Tuesday: In an effort to help you guys and gals with our ITW vocabulary, I’ll be doing a number of quizzes on the words that you receive in class. The first of these quizzes will be on Tuesday. If you are absent, make sure that you make the quiz up upon your return. (If you didn’t get the first two installments of the vocabulary, you can find them here and here). We’ll also spend some time reviewing your study guide from the previous evening. The last 20 minutes of class will be dedicated to giving you time to read chapters 5 and 6. If you don’t finish in class, you’ll need to check out a copy of the novel to finish the reading at home.

Wednesday: Because I care about keeping you accountable to getting our reading done, we’ll be starting Wednesday with a short reading quiz on chapters 5 and 6. We also have an activity in which I will ask you to choose a passage that tells you something unique about Chris/Alex, illustrate it, and complete a short write up detailing what this passage shows us. You can find an example here. We’ll end the day with the third installment of our ITW vocabulary.

Thursday: Thursday will start with the fourth journal entry. This will build on the quote assignment from the previous day, asking you to craft a mini-essay that analyzes Chris/Alex at this point in the novel. This will take most of the period, as I’m asking you to do a number of very specific things. At the end of the period I’ll be giving you the fourth installment of our vocabulary.

Friday: Friday will be a reading day. You need to complete chapters 7-9 in class. If you don’t, you’ll need to check out a book for the weekend.

Category : 11th Grade | Blog